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Expert Help Needed! -- Possible Power Issue

Last response: in Systems
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March 27, 2006 9:34:13 PM

Mobo=Asus A7V600
Processor= AMD 2800+
Memory= 512mb PC2700 (single stick) I think Samsung memory
Case/PS= Antec Sonata oritional True 380s Power supply
Video Card= AGP MSI Geforce 5700+
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Ok, now here's the scoop. I went out of town and turned off my PC (which is usually on 24/7) last weekend. When I came back I tried to boot it up and instead of the nice white Asus on dark blue background, I get all these vertical lines and funky characters all over my screen. I freaked out and clicked it off and tried again. Again I got the same thing, but I notice the colors look white and blue, but just all vertical lines with jibberish on the screen. I then proceeded to reseat EVERYTHING (memory, video card, sound card, hard drive connections, power connections, etc). Still I could get it up. I tried a different monitor, same thing. Finally after maybe 60 reboots FINALLY I got it to post where I could read the ASUS splash screen and it booted up fine. I have had ZERO problems since it was up, even playing 3d games (which is why I think its not the video card). . . no artifacts, no slow down NOTHING. A few days later I decided to move my PC from under the desk to the side of the desk, and when I connected everthing back up. . . guess what? More vertical lines and gabage. After many reboots its back up again, and its been running fine since then, running 24/7. Anyone have any ideas of what may be going on? I'm leaning towards a bad power supply, but before I spend some money I wanna hear what others think. Thanks!
March 28, 2006 12:05:44 AM

It could be the PS itself or maybe dirty input voltage from a bad outlet?

When it happens again, if you have a DMM handy measure the wall socket and if it is ok measure your ps voltages. It could be as simple as moving the power plug to a different socket, changing the ac power cord or if it is not quite 115v AC input maybe get a small UPS unit - has seen that help in some cases. You can try and reseat the ATX connector itself, maybe it is not good connection there? you can get a small screwdriver (eyeglasses type) and bend the molex female connectors to get a tighter connection on the mobo (hope i didn't offend anyone with that suggestion :wink: )
March 28, 2006 12:58:03 AM

Hey GREAT suggestions. Good to hear that someone else may think its power related. I had several brief brownouts last year, that caused my PC to shut off. They were getting really annoying. I was thinking about buying a UPS, so that when those happened my PC wouldn't shut down. I know it can't be good on the equipment. I don't if this is normal or helpful even, but I did write down my voltages numbers from the bios when I got it to boot up. Of course I can't see it when the screen is all jumbled like it was, but here they are:

<Should Be> = <Actual Value>
___________________
VCORE = 1.62V
+3.3V = 3.28V
+5V = 4.51V
+12V = 11.71V
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March 29, 2006 7:41:02 PM

uh... could be static electricity... how's your grounding wire?

or maybe it could have a lightning or something while you were away, that may have discharged over power lines affecting your computer (did you disconnected from power outlet and telephone line/broadband?)

are you sure nobody messed whit your computer while you were away? my mother loves to do that when she cleans my room hahahah
March 29, 2006 8:01:01 PM

scrambled display on a cold power up sucks!! I hate that and being intermitant makes it the ultimut insult. I'm not convinced it is power but take inventory on what you have as resources and go from there. Got another power supply, video card or someone you can trade or test with. I know I'm a fool but I solve these problems with new parts or at the least different one's. Can you test your video card in another machine? Cut this problem in half buy testing video card, video cable and monitor some where else. If it follows the card, cable monitor you know its not your system platform.
March 30, 2006 2:32:30 AM

I actually need to test the ground. Unfortunately I have only two wires in most of the house and this room happens to be one of that majority. I have to use an adapter, but I have the screw on the outlet going through the 2 prong to 3 prong adapter. I tried it on two different outlets in this room and same thing, so it seems to be following the computer which is why I point to an internal component. . . . but I dunno maybe powers bad in the whole house. I ordered an APC 800VA switch and should clean up the line and give me some battery, but won't be here until next week. I didn't have anything plugged in when I went out of town. . . . unplugged from the power supply, switch turned off on power supply, and it has wireless and no other cabels go to the case . . . . so I think I'm safe there. I'm really not leaning towards the video card, otherwise I'd start to see artifacts when in Windows or playing 3d games. Oh, and this problem happened initially on a cold boot, but it happens even on warm boots. Its totally crazy. What really sucks is that I'm going to sell this computer, when my new barbones gets in next week (see below for bragging), so I really need this to work steady before I sell it. I am supposed to get a power supply from my brother this weekend. . . hopefully this solves the problem. Thanks again for all the help guys! I'll let ya know if I get it figured out.



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New Computer Bragging:
-Hornet mATX case from Monarch
-Asus A8N-VM CSM mobo
-Athlon 64 x2 4600+
-Toppower 350w mATX PSU
-Corsair TWINX2048-3500LLPRO 2x1gb=2gb RAM
-eVGA 7900GT @500mhz
-Hitachi T7K250 250gb SATA II drive (w/NCQ)

It was about as cheap for them to build the barebones and test it as it would have been for me to build it. If I would have built it, it would have been about my 9th PC to build so I've been doing this for a while. Plus they test it with windows, and they do a 24 hour burn in to try to prevent sending out DOA products. Pretty sweet. I have to install the video card, hard drive, DVD drive myself. Also, I have to put a heatsink on the Southbridge, as I hear it overheats especially when using the onboard video.
April 12, 2006 5:29:00 PM

Thank you doolittle, and everyone else. It ended up being dirty power. When I got my new baby, I plugged it into the wall and guess what?. . . it toasted that mATX power supply. It probably wasn't able to handle the bad power as well as the larger full size power supply. Also, that power supply on the old machine was toast, but once I replaced it worked great. I got an APC 800VA battery backup for like $85 from iunitek.com. But again, THANKS!! Definately dirty power.
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