Random crashes more frequent (ok in safe mode, bad Videocard or PSU?) - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 11-21-2006, 09:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Random crashes more frequent (ok in safe mode, bad Videocard or PSU?)

AMD 64 3200+
Windows XP PRO SP2
MSI K8N Neo4-F
1 gb DDR400 Geil ram
1 gb DDR400 SuperTalent ram
ATI X800XL 256mb PCI-Ex16
Zalman Copper GPU cooler
Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS
Aspire 520W PSU
200gb SATA HDD
2 optical drives + floppy

I will cut right to the case:

I am getting random crashes (screen goes black and monitor has no signal, only way to reboot is with reset button). At first these happened once every couple hours now it is once every couple minutes. Usually the screen freezes, but I can still move the mouse but sometimes the screen is garbled (like artifacting). These vertical line segments sometimes show up in the logo screen and windows loading screens after a crash. They would go away until I would log into windows, then usually it would either crash there or once I got going in windows (usually under some load).

I will tell you all what I know...

- All RAM has been tested both together and seperate in every slot on mobo with MemTest86 (both on floppy and in windows). I was having the same problems with my GEIL ram as well as a brand new Super Talent one (which has been confirmed to work with my mobo)

-At first I was seeing GPU temps of up to 90C in games, at which point I turned up the fan to 100% in ATITOOL and it eventually burned out (the fan was brown and blown out of the spindle). I dont know how long it was like that without a fan but it couldnt have been more than 3-4 days, at which point it was idling at about 65-70C just using the dead fan as a heatsink! I tried running the card without the cooler and the temps shot up to 101C right after starting windows so I quickly shut it down. I then bought a Zalman CU cooler and installed it as carefully as possible. Result: GPU temps are low, CPU temps are fine, no overheating issues! (hopefully didnt damage the hardware?)

-I have tried many types of drivers for my vid card all with same results, used Driver cleaner between updates, etc.

-BIOS, Windows, all drivers are up to date. No IRQ conflicts.

Here's the kicker!

-No crashes in safe mode, when the videocard is using standard drivers and NO HARDWARE ACCELERATION

-After having crashes every time I would restart my PC (<5 min), I turned my fan control on my PSU up from about 1/3 to full, and I didnt get any crashes for 1.5 hours until I turned it back down, at which point it crashed in under 3 min.

Potiental problems I think...

I measured the voltages on the 12V line at 12.54V and 5V at 5.17V with a very good multimeter. These seem a little high = low current? I know this PSU isnt a very good one and maybe running for a year almost nonstop with the fans relatively low finally took their toll and weakened the unit, therefore not giving the videocard enough juice where it finally quits. I heard before that this PSU supplies 20A and 18A on the 12V rails.


When running hot as described before, my VRAM or similar got damaged. Either that or it was damaged from static shock when installing the cooler (less likely). I said VRAM because the vertical line segments and recent garbled screens are effects of bad system RAM as well, but I know my system RAM is good. I feel because I get no crashes in safe mode with no hardware acceleration that the videocard's RAM may be damaged?

Sorry for the long post guys I hope someone here can tell me what I need to buy as im sure somethings f-ed up! I know a lot more than what I typed as well, tried to keep it short. I can tell you the full story if anyone wants to know haha.

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Old 11-21-2006, 09:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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seems to me like your temps on your vid card are just beyond extreme, but if its fine in safe mode then it could be your drivers.

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Old 11-21-2006, 09:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My card idles at 35-40C max now after installing my Zalman cooler. I know for a fact that my current issues are not due to overheating as my PC will crash (well, the screen usually freezes and then the monitor loses the signal, PC still runs) only after 3 minutes or so, and it will even do it under no load now.

As for the drivers, I will try more, but I already tried my original drivers that came on the CD, Catalyst 6.10, 6.11, 6.4, etc...
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ok so I uninstalled my drivers for my videocard after trying many others and I can get my PC to run in Windows as well as safe mode with no drivers installed (i.e. Standard VGA adapter). This definitely means there is a problem running any sort of hardware acceleration on my card. Can anyone think how much of a power difference there would be between when the card is running as a standard VGA adapter with no acceleration vs. normal? I am starting to think my card is toast??
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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try a different card.

MacBook 2.2GHz Santa Rosa | 120GB HDD | 4GB ram
Intel C2D E6300 @ 3.2GHz | 4GB ram | 880GB total HDD space | Gigabyte P965-DS3 | eVGA 8800GTS 640mb | Corsair HX 520 | Audigy 2 ZS platnium | Antec 900
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, the only other card I have is a Geforce2 MX 64mb PCI card so if the power supply is the issue, that wouldn't really tell me anything? Would it even work with DirectX 9 and windows xp?

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