My friend has a PC bought 1 month ago. I am going to his house tomorrow to help him. Any advice I can get would be highly appreciated.
Here are the specs as I remember them:
P5Q Asus motherboard
Q9650 with stock cooler
4 GB of OCZ RAM
Sapphire 4850 Radeon
550W Antec TruePower Trio
3 case fans
When his brother plays Oblivion or even old games like Warcraft 3, the system either shuts down or gets a blue screen of death.
He reformatted his C drive and re-installed windows XP, yet the problem still persists. His D drive which contain all his data was not re-formatted, so perhaps a virus still remains.
What could have caused this problem?
-A virus?: Can a virus be powerful enough to make a system shut down? I think its unlikely.
-High Temperature which makes the motherboard automatically shut down? Maybe. I will install speedfan and have him play his games to check the temperature. Nvidia cards can use RivaTuner to display a graph of the temperatures. Are there any apps for Ati Cards that can display a graph? If I cant see a graph, then the time between alt-tabbing and checking the built-in ATI temp reader app could be enough to reduce the card temp by a few degrees.
-Defective Power supply? I asked the salesman and he said this 550W power supply is more than good enough for this system. But maybe this individual power supply unit is defective. But even after the PC shuts down, he can power it back on right away without problem, so I personally think thats its unlikely that the Power Supply is the issue.
-Defective motherboard? Maybe. I heard a lot of bad stories about the P5Q motherboard. Ill try to flash the BIOS and see if it fixes things.
-Memory problem? Ill run memtest from my Ubuntu Live CD and see how that goes.
Do you guys think anything else could have caused this problem? Weird stuff like his electric power surge protector being cheap or stuff like that? If you have any advice concerning this matter, feel free to share them.
The shutdown could be heat related, but the BSODs might be caused by memory errors or the PSU. Knowing what errors were logged in the Event Viewer might be useful. Reformatting and reinstalling the OS usually doesn't help with hardware issues.