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Crash to blank screen, please help!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 25, 2007 3:53:06 AM

Ok, so I built my computer nearly four years ago and have done a few upgrades along the way. I've been using my current configuration for nearly 2 years and it has been (up till now) rock solid stable:

Intel D875PBZ Mobo
Intel 3.0Ghz processor
4GB Corsair TwinX RAM
ATI Radeon X700Pro (AGP 8x)
Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS
400W PS

I don't Overclock and I have 1 forward intake fan(120mm), a side panel fan(80mm), and two rear exhaust fans(80mm each) in addition to the fans on the CPU (thermaltake, can't remember which model) and vid card (stock). Heat isn't an issue.

Starting a few weeks ago, my computer would "crash" to a blank screen. During the crash, the monitor LED blinks as if it is getting no signal. Sound will either continue, generally looping or I'll hear a high pitched hum. Fans are on, lights are on, but nobody's home. I'm forced to reboot the computer when this happens.

I've run DXdiag and got no errors. I've checked my RAM and memtest checks out fine. I updated to the latest BIOS, Video Drivers and DirectX (9.0c). Still have the problem. I tried disabling fast writes, increasing the AGP aperture from 64MB to 128MB. Still no luck.

Any ideas? Please help!

More about : crash blank screen

a c 130 U Graphics card
August 25, 2007 8:59:20 AM

I had a x800xl which did just about exactly what you are describing and sorry but about a mounth latter it curled up its toes and died on me. :( 
Mactronix
August 25, 2007 12:28:15 PM

It could be the motherboard too. Check it for leaking condensators.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
August 25, 2007 12:44:08 PM

xciter said:
It could be the motherboard too. Check it for leaking condensators.

I think you mean capacitors, and if so then no, the problem is more the graphic card is on it's last legs or not getting enough power i.e flaky PSU.
August 25, 2007 8:27:16 PM

Well, I must say that I'm not such a big fan of ATI if you folks are right. I got the card less than 2 years ago. If the Video Card is dying, is there a way to test for that? Some sort of stress test? I found a CPU/RAM stress test (Prime95) and I ran it for about an hour with no problems or errors. Is there one for video cards?

As for the PSU, is there any way to test if it is dying or not? In BIOS I can see the voltages coming out and they appear to be ok, but I'm not an electrical engineer so I can't tell. Even though I have an Intel motherboard and processor, I can't get their "active monitor" to work.

a c 271 U Graphics card
August 25, 2007 8:48:36 PM

Hasn't Ati tool got some kind of artifact testing tool?, or what about looping 3D'06 on a full test a few times? [:mousemonkey:2]
August 25, 2007 8:48:53 PM

Make and model of PSU? It DOES matter. How old is PSU? They weaken with age. Speedfan will let you monitor PSU voltages while testing.3DMark06 will stress video card.

Mike.
August 25, 2007 9:24:10 PM

Mousemonkey,

I'll look for the ATI artifact tool and give that a try.


Mike,

The PSU is a "Powerup" switching power supply. Model LC-B400ATX. It is approximately four years old. I realize that the video card probably consumes the most power, but if the power supply was failing, wouldn't other components have problems too?

I'm going to find and download both the speedfan and the 3DMark06 programs and see what they do.
August 25, 2007 9:38:06 PM

jrawlings said:
Ok, so I built my computer nearly four years ago and have done a few upgrades along the way. I've been using my current configuration for nearly 2 years and it has been (up till now) rock solid stable:

Intel D875PBZ Mobo
Intel 3.0Ghz processor
4GB Corsair TwinX RAM
ATI Radeon X700Pro (AGP 8x)
Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS
400W PS

I don't Overclock and I have 1 forward intake fan(120mm), a side panel fan(80mm), and two rear exhaust fans(80mm each) in addition to the fans on the CPU (thermaltake, can't remember which model) and vid card (stock). Heat isn't an issue.

Starting a few weeks ago, my computer would "crash" to a blank screen. During the crash, the monitor LED blinks as if it is getting no signal. Sound will either continue, generally looping or I'll hear a high pitched hum. Fans are on, lights are on, but nobody's home. I'm forced to reboot the computer when this happens.

I've run DXdiag and got no errors. I've checked my RAM and memtest checks out fine. I updated to the latest BIOS, Video Drivers and DirectX (9.0c). Still have the problem. I tried disabling fast writes, increasing the AGP aperture from 64MB to 128MB. Still no luck.

Any ideas? Please help!


Check out your Sound card drivers'. They might be corrupted and need to be uninstalled and reinstalled.
August 25, 2007 10:40:51 PM

Ok, running speedfan...great program! Possibly found the culprit. A couple of odd readings were found.

First, under fan speeds. Fan1 (not sure which fan this might be in the case) is running at 29RPM, which I think would be a bit slow?? Nevertheless, my temps look good. CPU at 56, ambient at 34, remote at 33.

Second, the voltages. Here's what I get:
+2.5V: 1.48V !?!?!
Vcore: 1.30V
+3.3V: 3.27V
+5V: 5.05V
+12V: 11.94V

I'm going to reboot my computer and check that first voltage in BIOS to confirm. I'm guessing that number should be close to 2.5, not at 1.48V. By the way, as an FMI (For My Information), can anyone tell me what these voltages are for (which voltage goes where, component wise).

Got 3DMark06 downloaded, will run that over dinner. Still looking for the ATI artifact tool.

Yoosty: I'll take your advice too and reinstall my sound drivers too.
August 25, 2007 11:04:30 PM

Quick update. Ran 3DMark06, left it unattended, when I came back, I was face to face with the blank screen again, which gave me the opportunity to reboot and check my BIOS.

In BIOS the first voltage is listed as +1.5Vin, which makes the 1.48 reading seem OK. So maybe it isn't my power, just a problem with my vid card or oerhaps my sound card drivers... Also no slow fan speeds indicated in BIOS, everyone is above 2K rpm.

Ran the ATI Tool...neat program. The artifact test ran for approx. 40 seconds then my computer crashed to the blank screen. At the time, the fan speed was 43% (never changed) and the GPU temp had risen to ~63degrees. I did this twice and got the same result.

Going to run 3DMark06 again and see if I can get any more info.
August 26, 2007 2:18:36 AM

Played some more with the ATI Tool program... noticed that my core was set to 425.25, so I lowered it down to 425 (which is supposed to be the stock value), ATI Tools then placed it at 424.8, not sure why. With this configuration, I was able to run longer on the artifact test. I ran it for 5 minutes with no problems.

3DMark06. Before I made the adjustment above, 3DMark06 would crash during the first CPU test... I'd get the familiar blank screen. After the adjustment, 3DMark06 finished and I got a score of 977.

I'm crossing my fingers that my problem is fixed, otherwise, I will attempt to RMA the card.
August 26, 2007 10:33:26 PM

Today's update:

Video card is dead. May it rest in peace. Yesterday after I had all that fun with the artifact tester, I updated my sound card drivers per Yoosty's advice. I thought all was well.

Fastforward to today... Turn on the computer, I get the windows splashscreen, and then blank screen...ouch. I turn off the power, turn it back on, and I don't even get the splash screen. I attempted this 5 times and got the same result. On one attempt, I tried to get into BIOS, and the screen went blank there too. So, I sent off the RMA request to ATI and in the meantime, I put in my old PNY 5600 Ultra and everything is running fine, confirming the video card as the culprit.
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