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Computer crashes on start-up sometimes... Is it the Video? Processor? Motherboard? or Power Supply?

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August 20, 2013 7:46:42 PM

After 2 weeks of tweaking things on this system I have to ask for help.

My system: Acer Aspire X3400 (It's a stock computer no custom parts added)
Processor / Chipset -AMD Athlon II X4 635 / 2.9 GHz
graphics card(onboard) NVIDIA GeForce 8200
RAM - 4 GB
Hard Drive - WD 1TB
power supply: liteon ps-5221-06
OS: Win 7 64-bit

Here's the backstory I bought this 3 or 4 years ago for my parents to replace their old gateway from 2001. After a couple months it started to BSOD once in awhile. I figured out that it was overheating because it was set up against the wall. I decided to take it apart to clean out the dust. At the time I didn't really know anything about computers so please forgive me for my ignorance and the cardinal sins I committed. I opened up the case, removed the heat sink, looked at the processor and thought, "damn look at all that dust thats caked on the processor" Of course this wasn't dust but thermal paste. So I wiped it off put everything back together and it started to BSOD again. I assumed it was junk and we bought another pc but my curiosity got the better of me. I thought what if i put the heatsink fan on backwards? sure enough I switched it around and the computer started working again. So for the last 2 or 3 years I've been using this pc for streaming movies and tv over my LAN. About a month ago I decided to change it up. I decided to install linux ubuntu 12.04 it worked fine for 2 days then I updated the video drivers and all hell broke loose. I would turn it on and the video would start to go out the screen would freeze and the image would be cut in half discoloerd blurred and glitchy. Since then I uninstalled ubuntu and went back to Win 7 I still was having the same problems except it occurred less. so i decided its about dam time I put some thermal paste on it. it went from running at 55 to 60C when idle down to 35 to 40C when idle. After that it ran fine for a week no problems what so ever. then the other day it wouldn't start up right. After pressing the power button there would be no beeps meaning it failed POST. It would keep going in a loop restarting and never getting past POST. I started looking at it again the last 2 days and both times in the morning it wouldn't start up. It kept looping off, I would take it apart and put it back together it would start looping again and eventually it would get past POST. Then it would crash a few times during windows startup, reset and eventually work fine. I've currently had it on and have been using it for the last few hours watching movies and browsing the internet.

So what do you guys think? is it the video, processor, motherboard, PSU, that is causing the problem.

here's a link to video of one of the crashes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTMY9wFSfmQ&feature=yout...
a c 148 ) Power supply
a c 422 V Motherboard
August 20, 2013 7:55:22 PM

If you've been running for that processor for 2 or 3 years with no thermal paste between CPU and cooler, you may have fried the CPU. You can pick up a used Athlon II processor on ebay for cheap and see if that helps.
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a b ) Power supply
a c 150 V Motherboard
August 20, 2013 7:55:30 PM

do you have another psu you could use for test and i would also test the memory with memtest .
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August 20, 2013 11:20:00 PM

clutchc said:
If you've been running for that processor for 2 or 3 years with no thermal paste between CPU and cooler, you may have fried the CPU. You can pick up a used Athlon II processor on ebay for cheap and see if that helps.


I just ran a heavy load test for 3 min. the cpu ran at 100% and was fine
The video test was fine running at 20% and when it jumped to 100 it crashed shortly after
after reset there was long beep and 2 short beep sequence (video failure) I turned off the pc and turned it back on and everything is fine again. btw I've shut down and restarted the pc many times and it works fine. the only problem is if i leave the computer off for awhile does it not start up right.

I think I might just get a new video card what do you guys think?
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August 20, 2013 11:22:17 PM

scout_03 said:
do you have another psu you could use for test and i would also test the memory with memtest .


no i don't have a spare psu i'll run a memtest if i can but i dont think the ram is a problem
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a c 148 ) Power supply
a c 422 V Motherboard
August 21, 2013 8:40:58 AM

I couldn't tell anything in the video you posted, except it looked like it might have froze. But, If you've narrowed it down to a graphic card issue, by all means try a new card. However, it could be a driver issue too. You may want to eliminate software conflicts first. Run CCleaner and have it do the Clean and Registry both. If your system is badly fouled up, run it more than once; until it returns no errors.
http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

After that, uninstall the Nvidia gfx driver. Then run Driver Sweeper from Safe Mode. Have it remove any remnants of Nvidia, AMD, and ATI graphic driver remnants it finds. http://www.techspot.com/downloads/4266-driver-sweeper.h...
Then re-boot and install the latest graphics driver that is correct for your on-board GPU and OS: http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-82...
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August 21, 2013 12:48:53 PM

clutchc said:
I couldn't tell anything in the video you posted, except it looked like it might have froze. But, If you've narrowed it down to a graphic card issue, by all means try a new card. However, it could be a driver issue too. You may want to eliminate software conflicts first. Run CCleaner and have it do the Clean and Registry both. If your system is badly fouled up, run it more than once; until it returns no errors.
http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

After that, uninstall the Nvidia gfx driver. Then run Driver Sweeper from Safe Mode. Have it remove any remnants of Nvidia, AMD, and ATI graphic driver remnants it finds. http://www.techspot.com/downloads/4266-driver-sweeper.h...
Then re-boot and install the latest graphics driver that is correct for your on-board GPU and OS: http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-82...


thanks for the advice I never thought to run ccleaner and never heard of driver sweeper before. I did what you said and it seems to be doing ok now. actually this morning it started up fine. the only time it crashed was when i went to install the new nvidia drivers. so i ran driver sweeper again and instead of installing the new stuff windows installed a driver so im just gonna run with that for now.

I'm also running a memtest just for the hell of it, hopefully it will report no errors. If it starts to die again ill just pick up a new GPU.

Thanks for all the help!
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a c 148 ) Power supply
a c 422 V Motherboard
August 21, 2013 1:06:49 PM

Since that is an on-board graphic chip and not a discrete card, you may be better off not bothering to install the Nvidia driver if it gives you problems. Just let Windows load the generic driver for the GPU and see how that works. After a few Win Updates, Windows will probably find the correct diver for the GPU and offer to install it.

I probably should have said to run CCleaner and then see if it solves the issue before going any further.
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