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Old 04-12-2006, 01:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default boot/PSU problem?

ok so a while back while playing 3D games such as battlefield 2 and counter-strike:source at random times i would notice my performance start to drop (i would start seeing a lot of the imfamous snow and lower fps) and then all at once my screen would go black and my computer would be unresponsive. This did not happen all the time and there was nothing that seemed to tigger it.

Now recently when i try to restart my computer from windows it will go to the 'windows is shutting down' screen and then the screen will go blank and the computer wont restart. So I have to turn my machine off manually and then turn it back on. Upon doing this all of my fans roar loudly (louder than before) and then my computer wont boot up (the lights are blinking on the power button and on the drives but the screen is blank) . After 2 or 3 times of turning it on and off it will finally boot up.

I have tried reformatting and reloading everything several times. I have the latest drivers and everything. I also ran the hardware diagnostics that came with my machine and the motherboard, HD, video card... all check out.

I dont know if these problems are related. Do I need a new power supply?

Dell XPS gen 2
P4 3.2 ghz
2gb ram
ATI 9800XT 256 mb
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It could certainly be a power issue. Have you checked the temperature of your graphics card after you have been playing these games for a while- It quite possibly could be related to the fact that your components are getting too hot?

My experience of fans making a loud noise and computer not booting up has often been down to a faulty motherboard or VRM but I think that because you are able to get it working after a few attempts it may rule this out..
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well right now I havent been able to load any 3D games because they immediately crash, but lets say that I could. How would I know if my card is too hot. I feel like there should be adquate cooling since this is not a custom built machine (its an infamous dell).
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Old 04-12-2006, 01:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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that 9800xt came with your dell or you puted it yourself recently? and if you did put it yourself did you connect the power plug to it? (it have a power connector...) , open the case and while the pc is powered on see if the video card fan is spinning

check the mobo for bad capacitors (perferably with a flashlight) , see these examples
http://home.earthlink.net/~doniteli/index27.htm
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=195

also i suggest youll get a digital multimeter and measure the psu voltages in real-time (will cost 15-20$) , see thse guides
http://www.driverheaven.net/guides/testingPSU/
http://www.ochardware.com/articles/psuvolt/psuvolt.html
report back with the voltages
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Old 04-12-2006, 04:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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well the 9800xt came with my machine and i havent done anything to it except clean out the fan after the first time that this in-game crash occured, but other than that my machine is strictly stock...anything else you want me to try because I dont know if i trust myself to go rooting around on my motherboard
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Old 04-12-2006, 04:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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its nothing complicated , just have a good look with a flashlight , and check those links so youll know what to look for
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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well all of the capacitors seem to be in good shape....got any other ideas?
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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2 actually , alredy suggested em in my first reply

Quote:
Originally posted by jeremy
open the case and while the pc is powered on see if the video card fan is spinning
Quote:
Originally posted by jeremy

i suggest youll get a digital multimeter and measure the psu voltages in real-time (will cost 15-20$) , see thse guides
http://www.driverheaven.net/guides/testingPSU/
http://www.ochardware.com/articles/psuvolt/psuvolt.html
report back with the voltages
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The baseline in multi-testing is that the voltages tested shold be no less that +/- 5%. Addtionally, not mentioned in the above articles: test the ground wire voltages. I realize that this sounds silly at first but this is the rule of thumb for ground voltages: If your multi-tester shows more than .0010 volts at ground in any ground wire you have Mobo voltage back leakage and the mobo is probably fubared!!!
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Old 04-14-2006, 01:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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well now my monitor wont turn on at all but i had a hunch that the computer was still booting up ok so after i switched the power on i waited a minute and then i typed in my windows password and then hit enter and i heard the sound when windows loads so i guess that means that either my monitor is toast or my graphics card is toast and im guessing my card is toast because it has been acting up alot recently and the fan has become increasingly noisy too. (right now it is basically like a grinding sound). If i hook up a different monitor to my computer and it doesnt work does that mean that my graphics card is what has been causing the problem all along and i need a new 1?
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