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BSOD (black screen of death!)

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April 2, 2007 8:22:53 AM

I bought a msi p965 motherboard but it died on me twice, I also got a replacement psu because that was found to be faulty (which maybe killed the msi motherboard both times). Anyway I started again with a new psu and the asus p5n-e.

Installed the mobo with new psu and everything seemed fine. Except about 1 week after the install i was watching a movie and the screen went black, sound was still playing but i had to restart, windows said id had a serious error. This problem seems to happen randomly even when just browsing the internet. It even happened when I was reinstalling windows.

I have bios 0401 installed but i still seem to have the problem. All the settings on the BIOS are on default except for primary graphics adapter which i have set as PCI-E (it was set to PCI). I just bought cheap memory so dont know what settings I should have.

Any idea whats causing it? Could the old psu that failed have damaged the graphics card, so is this a graphics card problem? Could it be a CPU, RAM or motherboard problem? Or even the psu again? Someone suggested overheating but I think thats unlikely because nothing is overclocked and the problem sometimes happens after the PC has been on 5 mins and sometimes 24 hours.

If anyone could suggest any BIOS settings which i should change, or thinks they know what the problem is I would be very grateful. I bought this pc 3 months ago and it still doesnt work so im very upset :( 

I tried memtest and it reports no errors

Thank you all


Asus P5N-E
Core 2 Duo E6400
Antec Neo 500W PSU
Antec solo quiet case
2x DDR2 800Mhz RAM
PX7900 256MB Video Card
Seagate 7200 SATA Hard Disk
IDE DVD rewriter
Soundblaster XFi
April 2, 2007 9:16:31 AM

I had a similar - ish problem before. Not quite to the extend you had it, but similar.
I used to have a 7800GT, and with me it also went black a couple of times, until a time came where I would start up my computer and the whole time my screen stayed black; and it was my 7800GT which had died.

R.I.P. 7800GT
April 2, 2007 9:33:56 AM

i think thats probably most likely, although ive never had a video card die on me before. Wish i could just plug my old AGP card in to test it
Related resources
April 2, 2007 9:58:24 AM

Sorry dude, not going to happen.
April 2, 2007 10:05:56 AM

hey thanks for the tip. Since i posted I actually did run memtest for a good while, it reported no errors. I did just put the new mb in and not install a fresh XP. But since then i bought a second hard disk (needed one anyway) and although i havent had the problems yet i think its just a matter of time (although time will tell). I think the fact that the monitor went off during the install of win xp on the new disk means it has to be a hardware problem, do you agree?
April 2, 2007 10:12:58 AM

It is likely yes. It does sound alot like the card since according to what I got out of your first post everything keeps going but the screen goes black. Btw does the monitor go into standby (orange/yellow light usually) or just goes black (green light still on)? This may help a bit if you can tell us. Check your connections at both ends of the monitor cable too and reseat the card, cleaning the connectors on the card and the PCIe slot of dust. This caused problems for my brother once, similar to yours but the screen was black from startup.

EDIT: 23 to go, counting down to the new millenium.
April 2, 2007 10:14:06 AM

well, i got the new hard disk, put it in but then went out for a few beers. Came back and decided to install windows (at 3am). I booted from the xp cd and told it to format the disk. I was feeling a little sleepy so i shut my eyes for 5minutes and when i woke up 6 hours later with a sore head the monitor was doing its thing again. So i guess thats no help is it :)  Oh if anyone is wondering its not the monitor as it works fine with my other (old but reliable!!) pc
April 2, 2007 10:20:03 AM

it goes into standby (a blue flashing light on my monitor). First time it happened i expected to wiggle the mouse or press a key and it would come back. The cables are in securely i checked that, i also changed the cable. Havent tried reseating it yet though but will give that a try when i get in from work this afternoon.

Does the stand by thing give you an idea?
April 2, 2007 10:26:28 AM

Blue LEDs, whats this world coming to? 8) Well it tells me that the monitor has lost signal for some reason, possibly due to a faulty card, bad connection (which apparently isnt the case), dust in the connections, power saving feature (which since you cant just move your mouse makes it seem unlikely) etc. If you have a PCI card lying around then try connecting to that and if nothing goes wrong then its the card or the connections.
April 2, 2007 10:30:30 AM

Can you use an old pci graphics card like a tnt2 just in the standard pci slots? I might have one of them lying around somewhere. Also, my mb is sli it sounds like a long shot and the mb tells me to put the card in the slot its in now, but is it worth trying the card in the other slot?
April 2, 2007 10:35:33 AM

Shouldnt matter, but I dont own an SLI board so I'm not sure. The TNT2 will work in a standard PCI slot if its PCI.
April 2, 2007 10:44:33 AM

hmm, maybe i'll try swapping the slots then. The other slot only supports 8x PCI-E though. This saga has gone on for over 3 months now, so im not sure I can RMA the card, I hope so, will have to check the website
April 2, 2007 10:51:12 AM

You sure? Or is it just 8x in SLI mode? It doesnt make that much difference tho, its noticeable at high resolutions and with high end cards (like the 8800s) but not otherwise.
April 2, 2007 10:54:29 AM

yeah its 16x normally and 8x in SLI. The second slot is noticibly smaller than the first one (dunno why that is, im guessing it has something to do with the 8x and 16x thing!)
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
April 2, 2007 11:28:53 AM

To rule out Windows, you could try loading a Linux LiveCD, like Knoppix, and see if the same thing happens.
If the same thing happens in Linux, it is definitely a hardware problem.
April 2, 2007 5:21:20 PM

ok, it was seated ok, no dust. Another thing i noticed is that the drives are still been accessed when the screen dies, and i can open and close the cd draw as normal, is that significant? Think ill probs RMA the graphics card today tho
April 3, 2007 1:26:21 AM

Constant accessing for no reason, or just coz you're doing something?
April 3, 2007 3:52:36 AM

Do you have a floppy drive?
April 3, 2007 6:46:23 AM

Quote:
Constant accessing for no reason, or just coz you're doing something?


Constant accessing, but not really constant more like occasonal accessing as if i was randomly opening a file every minute or so.

And no i dont have a floppy drive why would that be important?

Taking the pc to my friends house, think he's going to try it with his graphics card but the fact that it sometimes works for several hours without crashing makes the problem tough to diagnose
April 3, 2007 7:02:09 AM

I have had that happen to me before with the drives, sometimes I cant even open my dvd-rom when it happens. Not for a long time has it happened tho. Maybe its time for a reformat...
April 3, 2007 7:43:27 AM

Yeah it definitely sounds like a video card issue with the monitor going into standby. I had the same problem with a 6800GT whenever I played Oblivion cause the thing would get too hot after a couple minutes, and it would stop sending a signal to my monitor. An aftermarket Zalman solved my particular problem. Since it's doing it during mundane, non-intensive stuff, sounds like you might need a new card...Sorry man.
April 3, 2007 7:57:03 AM

Yeah i think it is, my friend is testing it with his card today hopefully it'll work fine with his and i can then RAM the other card
April 3, 2007 9:21:47 AM

Is the card getting enough space for heat to properly dissipate . What are the temp readings.

IS the cable properly plugged in on either end. Make sure to check for the stupidist things first.

make a list of things and then do problem solving 8) thats how i do it all the time .
April 3, 2007 9:30:41 AM

yeah the card is no where near anything else hot, temp is around 35degree's which is fine and cable is in. Don't think its anything too stupid, i have heard of other asus boards not liking my psu though, could that be a possibility? Best case scenario is bad graphics card i think cause i dont want to fit my 4th board by time i get this working it'll be time to buy a quad core (or possibly a space ship at this rate)
April 3, 2007 9:31:10 AM

He already checked the cable.
April 3, 2007 9:42:55 AM

Okay no problem DO this

Since the problem happens randomly let stress test the Video card and the PSU

If you have Oblivion or Fear or any other demanding game or even 3d mark , put all settings on high and run the game or 3dmark.

BEFORE DOING THIS , make a note of the Temperature of your graphic card , use NTUNE .

Also how many amps on the 12v+ . What is likely happening is 2 situations,

The PSU has not got enough amps and most likely when enough power is not available the graphic card suffers .

Secondly the Ram on your graphic card is getting HOT due to inefficient cooling and therefore you are getting the Blackout .

It could also be both the situations.

Please also make a not of the serious Window error like code and stuff .

Post it here .

Also http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...


Just saw the specs of your PSU on Newegg link above -3rails but not enough amperage for your system in my opinion .

17a on the 12v rail 3 rails is on the weaker side for sure , at the stuff you have got in your computer.

Not enough in my opinion and your problem could defnitly be the lack of enough power.

Can you borrow a PSU from your friend for a day which has about 28a on the 12v, or use your graphic card in his computer with sort of similar specs to yours.
April 3, 2007 9:45:38 AM

Quote:
I bought a msi p965 motherboard but it died on me twice, I also got a replacement psu because that was found to be faulty (which maybe killed the msi motherboard both times). Anyway I started again with a new psu and the asus p5n-e.

Installed the mobo with new psu and everything seemed fine. Except about 1 week after the install i was watching a movie and the screen went black, sound was still playing but i had to restart, windows said id had a serious error. This problem seems to happen randomly even when just browsing the internet. It even happened when I was reinstalling windows.

I have bios 0401 installed but i still seem to have the problem. All the settings on the BIOS are on default except for primary graphics adapter which i have set as PCI-E (it was set to PCI). I just bought cheap memory so dont know what settings I should have.

Any idea whats causing it? Could the old psu that failed have damaged the graphics card, so is this a graphics card problem? Could it be a CPU, RAM or motherboard problem? Or even the psu again? Someone suggested overheating but I think thats unlikely because nothing is overclocked and the problem sometimes happens after the PC has been on 5 mins and sometimes 24 hours.

If anyone could suggest any BIOS settings which i should change, or thinks they know what the problem is I would be very grateful. I bought this pc 3 months ago and it still doesnt work so im very upset :( 

I tried memtest and it reports no errors

Thank you all


Asus P5N-E
Core 2 Duo E6400
Antec Neo 500W PSU
Antec solo quiet case
2x DDR2 800Mhz RAM
PX7900 256MB Video Card
Seagate 7200 SATA Hard Disk
IDE DVD rewriter
Soundblaster XFi



Try to get your PC to a local PC service. Your problem might be anything. I advise you to do this so that you will avoid breaking more components in your machine.
April 3, 2007 9:47:05 AM

Somehow I think a windows installation is a little less taxing than oblivion and still causes "BSOD"s
April 3, 2007 9:47:52 AM

Quote:
Try to get your PC to a local PC service. Your problem might be anything. I advise you to do this so that you will avoid breaking more components in your machine.

And pay them $100 to do nothing but say its OK?
April 3, 2007 9:54:29 AM

Quote:
Somehow I think a windows installation is a little less taxing than oblivion and still causes "BSOD"s


Okay dude you have a fair point , but i am just trying to help by brainstorming to a solution .

Infact why don't you give some constructive advice as to what it could be rather than being sarcastic.

If you want to comment , then please let it be constructive and towards finding the solution .

Thank you
no offense meant , just get on board or STFU
April 3, 2007 9:55:25 AM

yeah thats what i'd be worried about, its an intermittent problem so an "expert" could look at it for an hour, see nothings wrong and tell me its fixed. Meanwhile it will still have the problem and cost me $100 (or rather £50) for no reason. Ive built about 4 systems now and numerous upgrades and never had problems til now. But sadly this has put me off self building again, i know a good site that'll let me pick the parts and they'll build and test it, if it fails its their problem. Worth £50 in my opinion, i guess you live and learn
April 3, 2007 10:02:03 AM

Quote:
yeah thats what i'd be worried about, its an intermittent problem so an "expert" could look at it for an hour, see nothings wrong and tell me its fixed. Meanwhile it will still have the problem and cost me $100 (or rather £50) for no reason. Ive built about 4 systems now and numerous upgrades and never had problems til now. But sadly this has put me off self building again, i know a good site that'll let me pick the parts and they'll build and test it, if it fails its their problem. Worth £50 in my opinion, i guess you live and learn


HOld on a sec , we will solve this dude just be a little patient, 50 quid is a decent sum of money .

Also if you have built systems before then thats great dude , i have built systems before as well and i can tell you some time the brain dosen't work .

You stick with me and this forum ..WE WILL solve this ..plus what is this happens sometime in the future would you again want to be in this situation

Plus i am learning as well so what do you say :?:
April 3, 2007 10:06:15 AM

I have been constructive, just not on this page.

EDIT: Soz about the sarcasm, I cant help it.
April 3, 2007 10:11:45 AM

yeah thanks for the support guys i appreciate it. I guess it'll be all the better when the thing actually does work! My friend (whos an electrician) is taking a look at it today while im at work, hopefully he'll check it out with his voltmeter (might help check for a bad psu or slot or something) and try his graphics card. If he's really nice he'll let me keep his graphics card for a couple days, if it doesnt fail in that time i can be pretty sure its the card thats dead
April 3, 2007 10:13:34 AM

Quote:
I have been constructive, just not on this page.

EDIT: Soz about the sarcasm, I cant help it.


Thats alright , sometimes i can't either :D 

You got any thoughts on this , cause i am reading 4 other forums , loads of people have this issuse

just trying to figure by narrowing it

RAM , GRAPHIC CARD OR PSU ..worst of a bad motherboard .

so i am being open about it , well back to the reading :) 
April 3, 2007 10:20:09 AM

Okay dude it looks like you have bad system ram .

see here is the thing , IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN RESOLVING THIS I CAN'T HELP

:evil: 
April 3, 2007 10:25:09 AM

what makes you think bad system ram? im certanily interested in fixing it :)  I tested the ram with memtest86+ and it said no problems, but my ram is cheap (yeah i know thats not a great idea, ill definantly get branded ram next time) and not on the offical supported list for this mobo
April 3, 2007 10:32:14 AM

Okay gr8 then it is not the ram , so we can forget about that ...

i thought it was the ram as you were having problems installing stuff , ill give a detailed explanation as to how that can happen even if one ram piece is spoilt which make the random things happen .

Now here is the thing , NEXT component THE PSU

It is weak read my earlier post it NOT enough amperage i have also suggested some solutions as to what you can do , i ain't repeating those in this post .

so here RAM,VCARD,PSU,MOTHERBOARD

RAM -OKAY

PSU-? likely the problem

VCARD- first get PSU out of the equation.

unplug one or more cd/dvd rives you may have or any extra peripherial like if you have 2 hard drives unplug one .

WE DO THIS SO THAT WE CAN , GIVE THE EXTRA JUICE TO THE VCARD ..see where i am going with this ..do this and post back

I am reading on 4 other forums so as to get more ideas :wink: :) 
April 3, 2007 10:33:50 AM

"Officially supported" lists should be labeled "List of RAM manufacturers that pay us for advertising compatibility". Brands mean nothing for compatibility, only the type of RAM. Memtest86 doesnt always pick up errors, I've heard of people who run it for 24+ hours rock solid stable but cant boot into windows. And remember, slashzapper is looking on 4 other forums for this issue, and he obviously found stuff about the RAM on it, so thats why he suggested it.
April 3, 2007 10:36:54 AM

Quote:
not on the offical supported list for this mobo


CHANGE YOUR RAM -IGNORE MY POST ON THE PSU , DO THIS FIRST

YOU KNOW WHY YOU HAVE A OFFICIAL SUPPORTED LIST :roll:

TAKE a guess , so that you don't have the problems you are having .

PLEASE CHANGE YOUR RAM AND THEN post back here

sell this back or ebay it but your problem has been your ignorance 8O

Do this and let me know if you are still having any issues

i'll be here waiting to help or celebrate :D  Good Luck

FOR ALL THE PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT OFFICIAL LISTS ARE BRAND GIMMICKS NEWSFLASH - 680! CHIPSET AND corsair .

SEARCH IT and you will see COMPUTER HELL :lol: 
April 3, 2007 10:38:49 AM

I would suggest undervolting the cpu to lower power draw, but since you arent likely knowledgeable in that area, I wont. It may lead to other problems if you dont know what you're doing. Have you tried reseating the card and cleaning the slot yet like I suggested b4? Sorry my memory (pun not intended) is terrible.
April 3, 2007 10:41:44 AM

ok i appreciate you looking at other forums. I think the amperage thing is plausable. As for the ram, ive always bought basic ram and never had a problem so was just going from experience. I'll try to get ahold of my friend to swap the ram with his (if he's willing to do it) but as the problem is intermittent it'll be tough to tell if that fixes the problem, it might run fine for 24 hours with his ram, then die again. This problem is really tough to test and diagnose.

From what you've read on other forums and youw knoelwdge can you suggest a more suitable psu? all the stuff is 3-6 months old so RMA'ing it shouldnt be a problem (except the graphics card which i bought elsewhere so not sure about their returns policy)
April 3, 2007 10:46:00 AM

Hold on i am reading on your motherboard and incompatibility issues with ram .

Give me a little bit and i'll just narrow it down for you .

Plus whatever the problem since it has to do with compatibility , you will have to stress test your system for atleast 48 hours.

Like install all kinds of games and run movie whatever like overload it completly , but thats later

ill post here as soon as i learn more watch this space :wink:
April 3, 2007 10:46:17 AM

Quote:
I would suggest undervolting the cpu to lower power draw, but since you arent likely knowledgeable in that area, I wont. It may lead to other problems if you dont know what you're doing. Have you tried reseating the card and cleaning the slot yet like I suggested b4? Sorry my memory (pun not intended) is terrible.


yeah i have, out of interest, what takes more power a sata hard disk or a dvd rom (on ide). Unplug one (or both) if that solves it it's likely a psu problem woudlnt you think?
April 3, 2007 10:48:58 AM

Yes but both dont use heaps of power. HDD uses more I would think, as the HDD keeps spinning and unless you got a disc in I dont think a dvd rom does. You got any fancy lights or anything in there? If you do, turn them off too.
April 3, 2007 10:53:28 AM

ive got my friend running 3dmark whilst playing a 1080p movie that should stress it out!

And no ive got no disco lights on it, have a fan connected to the (cant remember its proper name) ide type power supply.


Slashzapper - yeah thats me! They were no help whatsoever on that board though you guys rule
April 3, 2007 10:58:20 AM

Coz its not a real forum, just full of idiots and people with problems (like yourself)
April 3, 2007 11:00:31 AM

and they call me by what obviously is my surname
!