Vista Ubuntu dual-boot w/ crashes in both. Underspec PSU?


I have the following system (newish and has had this problem from new, although I thought it was down to Vista until I recently Linuxed it):

- Biostar GF7050V-M7-SE GeForce 7050 Socket 775 mATX Motherboard w/LAN
* Biostar GF7050V-M7-SE GeForce 7050 Socket 775 mATX Motherboard General Features:
* NVIDIA GeForce 7050 chipset 800/1066/1333 MHz Front Side Bus (FSB) Socket 775 mATX form factor
* Supports up to 4 GB DDR2 667/800 MHz SDRAM Realtek ALC662 6-channel HD audio CODEC
* Realtek RTL8201CL 10/100 Ethernet controller One (1) UDMA/133 IDE controller
* Four (4) Serial ATA controllers
*** Graphics and sound incorporated on motherboard, i.e., no additional cards.

- Pentium E2180 CPU

- 2 x Samsung DDR2 2GB 800Mhz 256MB RAM cards (tested in mem386+ and by physically removing and testing each in turn)

- 1 x Lighstribe CD-ROM drive, unsure of model.

- Maxtor 500GB DiamondMax22 9GT154-325

- 2 x unbranded DC12v fans.

Now, the PSU is Alphapower ATX-450W.

The problem I have both in Vista and Ubuntu (dual boot) is random reboots or sometimes the screen will crash with a frozen and blurred screen and the sound will stutter. I never get BSOD. There's not much of a pattern although it is slightly more common watrching vids or playing games. A driving game called TORCS in Linux will crash it for sure but otherwise hard to find a pattern.

I've had a look online for the PSU specs and I find spec for a Kingwin ATX-450W (not good, efficiency >65%, max 450W) and I'm not 100% sure if this is the same as the Alphapower or not. Looking at the label it appears to have 1 x 12v rail rated at 15A.

The system is not from a major manufacturer but I didn't build myself. My questions are?

Could the crashing and rebooting be down to the PSU?

Does this PSU seem underspec? What would you guys have used for this motherboard/hardware combo? I'm considering an upgrade to a Coolermaster 520W Cooler Master - Real Power Pro M520 PC Power Supply: Electronics & Photo
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  1. I forgot

    - 22" monitor at 1680x1250
  2. definatly could be a psu, but as mentioned, yours should be ok.

    Memtest is great for testing memory, but you can still have bad ram and it can pass. its NOT fool proof (close, but not quite).

    I would boot ubuntu on just 1 module at a time and see if it will crash. Reason I say ubuntu, is because you wont be able to run anything in vista (if it will boot at all) on 256 meg.

    really to make vista shine, you need 2 gig. with ram so cheap now, I would just buy a psu, and 2 gig of ram, and swap all 3. that way if you have a problem after that, you can be pretty much assured its a bad mobo. and good thing about changing these parts is, if the mobo is bad, they can be re-used with the new mobo.
  3. Hi,

    The memory is 2 x 2GB and I have physically removed the memory cards and tested the system with 1 x 2GB
  4. Is the PC still under warranty? If so, then let them fix it. Can you borrow a good PSU to determine if it's the issue or not?
  5. Hi,

    Yes it's under warranty but I am liable for the costs of returning it and them subsequently returning it to me! So for less than the price of returning it I could upgrade.

    I just found something on the Alphapower 450W and it is CHEAP!!

    £12.02 Inc VAT (British pounds)

    I also asked on the Ubuntu forums and the concensus was either PSU or motherboard, so I think I'm going to go for a PSU upgrade as I think the cheap PSU supplied warrants an upgrade anyway and take it from there.....
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