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Unusual Computer Crash

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December 29, 2006 4:38:14 PM

My problem is my computer will randomally crash. I'll have my TV Tuner on, or some other program, then suddenly both monitors will go black and I'll hear the audio repeat about 3 seconds worth of sound over and over and over. One monitor will have the orange light on, and the other will have the green light.. sometimes. I don't have any unusual overheating (besides the Prescott but they always run hot), RAM is good (memtested it), changed CPUs (Had a 2.53 Northwood.. but after swapping it crashes more often). CPU usage is fine, volt meters seem in place.

I can't seem to figure it out. I was guessing it was the PS but I don't think I'm going overboard with the power. 480W should be more than enough. GPU? It's running at 54C which isn't bad on full load with dual 20 monitors. What could it be!?

So here are the specs of my comp

3.0E Ghz Prescott P4
2x512 PC3200 Corsair Value RAM
480W PS Thermaltake SilentPower (I forgot exact model)
XFX 6600GT AGP
SB X-FI Xtrememusic
MSI TV Tuner Theatre550
Win XP Pro SP2
160GB Seagate (Primary)
160GB Western Digital
200GB Seagate
USB Keyboard and Mouse
2xDell 2007WFP Monitor
Intel D865PERLX Mobo
3 80mm Fans (I forgot what)
Liani-li PC6070 Case with Dynamat.

More about : unusual computer crash

a b B Homebuilt system
December 29, 2006 5:05:36 PM

Hmmm - read it wrong

I would start with your video card. Remove all unnecessary cards. Go from there and try and duplicate the problem.

Narrow your variables.
December 29, 2006 5:07:38 PM

I'd look in to getting a new PSU. The wattage might look ok (which actually looks fairly low anyway), but that doesn't mean your amps are fine. What you're talking about sounds a lot like a power issue.

What are the amps on your 12v rails?
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
December 29, 2006 5:12:38 PM

Its not the power supply. He would experience lockups and/or reboots. Monitors going black ... sounds like a video problem.

Quote:
I'd look in to getting a new PSU. The wattage might look ok (which actually looks fairly low anyway), but that doesn't mean your amps are fine. What you're talking about sounds a lot like a power issue.

What are the amps on your 12v rails?
December 29, 2006 5:16:24 PM

"My problem is my computer will randomally crash. I'll have my TV Tuner on, or some other program, then suddenly both monitors will go black and I'll hear the audio repeat about 3 seconds worth of sound over and over and over."

Forget the part about the sound...aye? Could be video card or your TV tuner going nuts too.

Does it randomly shut off or reboot?
a b B Homebuilt system
December 29, 2006 5:28:16 PM

the sound is hardware failure related usually. And he's talking about the monitor shutting off not the computer. I would bet the computer is still on while the monitors cut out.
December 29, 2006 5:33:55 PM

Happens more often after CPU upgrade too which pulls more power. Not saying it's not video, but can't rule out power either. I find it funny that the CPU upgrade had an effect on it. If it's the video card, CPU wouldn't have that effect unless the card just so happened to get worse after a CPU swap.
December 29, 2006 5:44:37 PM

Your crash sounds a lot like when my GPU crashed in games (due to catalyst AI), PC would not respond, and the sound repeated on a 4 second loop for me.

I'd definately check out your graphics card, if you have a spare lying around, try that in the machine, see if it crashes.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 29, 2006 5:46:21 PM

If you did a CPU upgrade the first thing you should do is reinstall Windows. It may be the reason for your woes.
December 29, 2006 5:49:10 PM

Sounds like a driver / software conflict. Check for updates.
December 29, 2006 5:51:01 PM

Common solutions to Windows problems:

1. Restart - that normally fixes most things for some unknown reason

2. Reinstall Windows

3. Format and reinstall Windows

:p 
a b B Homebuilt system
December 29, 2006 6:15:09 PM

You can't have all of that stuff in there, replace one thing, and automatically conclude its the power supply when the video goes black.

It could be a million things including power. In the business world you can't make huge jumps like that. You have to go by the obvious and work your way from there.

its a display issue. You work from that. Not make a huge leap of assumptions. It doesn't work that way.

Remove everything and test things related to video. If video is fine THEN you start looking at other possibilities.

always always always start with the obvious when troubleshooting.


Quote:
Happens more often after CPU upgrade too which pulls more power. Not saying it's not video, but can't rule out power either. I find it funny that the CPU upgrade had an effect on it. If it's the video card, CPU wouldn't have that effect unless the card just so happened to get worse after a CPU swap.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 29, 2006 6:18:18 PM

lol

i would love to see you at my job and suggest that when a computer crashes to my boss. The look on his face would be worth the admission ticket.


Quote:
Common solutions to Windows problems:

1. Restart - that normally fixes most things for some unknown reason

2. Reinstall Windows

3. Format and reinstall Windows

:p 
December 29, 2006 6:25:21 PM

Quote:
Common solutions to Windows problems:
1. Restart - that normally fixes most things for some unknown reason
2. Reinstall Windows
3. Format and reinstall Windows
:p 

Say, you don't work for Dell, do you..? :lol: 


-Brad
a b B Homebuilt system
December 29, 2006 6:49:44 PM

trying to explain to dell that i can't do that is a nightmare

Quote:
Common solutions to Windows problems:
1. Restart - that normally fixes most things for some unknown reason
2. Reinstall Windows
3. Format and reinstall Windows
:p 

Say, you don't work for Dell, do you..? :lol: 


-Brad
December 29, 2006 6:51:23 PM

Quote:
Common solutions to Windows problems:
1. Restart - that normally fixes most things for some unknown reason
2. Reinstall Windows
3. Format and reinstall Windows
:p 

Say, you don't work for Dell, do you..? :lol: 


-Bradlololol

dude its the power supply if you ask me....
December 29, 2006 6:54:28 PM

Quote:
Common solutions to Windows problems:
1. Restart - that normally fixes most things for some unknown reason
2. Reinstall Windows
3. Format and reinstall Windows
:p 

Say, you don't work for Dell, do you..? :lol: 
-Bradlololol
dude its the power supply if you ask me....
Last time this happened to me it was a conflict between the AIW 8500 (video/tuner) drivers and the Bluetooth software on my Win2K Pro box.

But anything's possible.

BT on Win2K is an adventure, BTW.

-Brad
December 29, 2006 8:05:47 PM

Your problem sounds very similar with what I experience with my office computer on almost a daily basis.

While I listen to the radio my monitor will just shut off and the sound from the radio repeats itself several times. Then it either turns back on and everything works nornal or the computer restarts itself. I once got an error telling me it was my Asus 6600GT PCI-E card.

I switched the power supply and tried new memory and still have the same problem. I'm betting my house that if I remove the 6600GT and go with the onboard video the problem will stop, but so far been to lazy to open the computer up and remove it.

Remove the video card and try another one and see how it goes.
December 29, 2006 8:48:43 PM

i had a problem like that it was the logitech keyboard drivers messing with with my G-force 6600.
December 29, 2006 9:19:56 PM

One of my friends actually bought a PC from Dell and she managed to get a virus on it. So what did Dell say about it?
"Back up all your stuff and send the hard drive to us"
......
Yeah, they just formatted the drive. Brilliant customer support there, jump straight to formatting...
December 29, 2006 9:52:41 PM

Quote:
One of my friends actually bought a PC from Dell and she managed to get a virus on it. So what did Dell say about it?
"Back up all your stuff and send the hard drive to us" ...... Yeah, they just formatted the drive. Brilliant customer support there, jump straight to formatting...

Just to play devil's advocate for a moment... some of the spyware virus crap crawling vulnerable Windows machines these days can entrench itself so deeply that walking a user through getting rid of it by telephone is basically impossible, and that even with the system in front of you it can take the better part of a day for someone who really knows their stuff to get rid of all the crap, and there's no guarantee that when it's all over that the system will be 100% OK. It sometimes really IS far more expedient to reformat!

I've got a relevant, recent example in fact. One of the PCs I use at the office got hit by a bunch of stuff after some prick exploited StorageReview.com's forum software and planted trojans there, that this PC was not patched against. It took me most of an afternoon to identify and get rid of the junk and put the {conspicuously} affected registry entries back to normal, etc. Since then the Windows Update functionality has been flaky and can rarely get through more than one patch at a time. So it's obviously not perfect but for now it's working well enough for me. The time involved in diagnosing and fixing WU just isn't worth it. I did the cleanup more for the education. I would not leave a customer's machine that way. I would probably reformat too unless there were so many apps on the box that the time involved in reinstalling the apps were such an issue, or unless the app installation media were not available.

-Brad
December 30, 2006 8:25:55 AM

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I normally just format because I'd rather not manually check registry entries. The only reason I thought it was a bit lame was because one of my friends works in IT, and had recently done a course on manual registry clean-up. And she was willing to sort out said friends PC. Ah well...
December 30, 2006 8:27:05 AM

Actually, my university is really good with computer stuff. You can just got to IT support and they'll get any data they can off of it and then clean the hard drive for you. Much help when you can't even get Windows to boot!
!