Crash Diagnosing Help

I just got a new system and have been experiencing strange crashes particularly when gaming or starting up the computer.

I have a Intel E8400, 2046MB DDR2 Ram, amd a GeForce 8800 GTS 512.
All of them have the latest drivers, including the motherboard and bios (which were needed to make the GPU run properly). All of this is running on a 430w Power Supply from my old computer. This is because my father said I did not need to upgrade the power supply.

Onto the crashes.

1. When playing in game (ie Bioshock, Crysis, etc) the games run fine. However, if I pause the game or simply let the game idle (ie While I went to eat dinner) often I would come back and the game will have locked up. I would then restart the computer but would never get an error message saying "Driver failed" etc. At first I thought the graphics card or cpu was overheating but I quickly ruled that out. Then I thought it could be a corruption in DirectX so I downloaded the complete redistributable for 9.0c and installed it but the same thing happened. The card is obviously not bad because it has no problems running the games while I am playing it, but its driving me "round the twist."

2. Second strange crash is when I start up the computer after its been shut off for a while. Now this does not happen all the time but its happened at least twice now. The computer will start up and show the colorful bios/energy star startup screen but then, after the initial single beep, the computer will restart and ends up getting stuck in an infinite loop of restarts. Ironically once I press the restart button, it then loads into windows normally.

I have had a problem like this happen before with a previous power supply where one of the voltages went bad and the computer had a really hard time starting up without being jump started (metaphorically speaking) but then once the computer loaded up everything worked fine. Im wondering if it is infact the power supply not being powerful enough to handle all the new componants and if that would also explain the crashes that Ive been having when games have idled.

Im hoping someone could give me some ideas. Ive thought about doing a repair install of WinXP or possibly even a complete reformat and install if something got corrupted. Ive already tried system recovery and that hasnt done anything. Hopefully you guys can give me some input.
3 answers Last reply
More about crash diagnosing help
  1. I suspect the PS but if your willing to try an OS reinstall, I would recommend that route first (its cheaper and will eliminate other possible causes)
  2. Its the PSU because I believe that nvidia recommends a psu of at least 600w for an 8800gt
  3. Yeah, Im looking at the specs for the card that I have (BFG GeForce 8800 GTS 512) and two says that it needs 425w (BFG & Newegg) and another is saying 450w (TigerDirect). So do you think I could get away with a 500w?
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