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I think my computer is dying, but I don't know why.

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March 20, 2009 6:43:46 AM

I hope I haven't screwed up by posting in this forum; I generally don't frequent forums, after all, so my knowledge of them is limited.

Anyways, I built a computer in November of 2007. Since then, I've upgraded a few parts, including the motherboard and graphics card, added some storage and RAM. The only major problems were a power supply and sound card failure. Any way, a couple of weeks ago, I booted the system up and discovered that, for some reason, my boot choices had been switched around, from largest hard drive to smallest. The same thing happened again tonight, but by then, I'd found more things to worry about.

Firstly, my USB keyboard didn't work. The computer wouldn't boot up without it, so I switched it out with my old PS/2 keyboard. After logging in to Windows, checking my email, and doing some homework, I, on a whim, plugged my Wave (That's the USB keyboard) in, and it worked. In fact, it worked great for a couple weeks; as is nothing had been wrong at all!

Then came the monitor problem. It started today, when I was playing Far Cry 2. Suddenly, the monitor's power light turned orange, and it declared that it had no signal. This had happened once a few days before, so I thought nothing of it and restarted my computer. ...Then it happened again about a half hour later. I began to get worried, so I restarted the computer, played for a while longer (this time to see if it would happen again), and finally left for supper. I returned a few hours later, played for another hour (hooray for finishing homework early!), and left again. Once again, I logged into Far Cry 2, began playing, and about an hour or so later, the fans... well, some of them went quiet. My CPU Cooler and GTX 260 fans stopped running, but the case and power supply fans were fine. Suspiciously, I hit the reset button.

Nothing happened.

I hit it again. Nothing. Power switch? Dead. Power Supply? Yes. The whole system spun down, and the room plunged into darkness. I turned the lights on, flipped the computer on its side, took off the panel, turned the power supply back on, and hit the power button. Success!

...or so I thought. Instead, a few seconds later, the CPU and GPU fans turned off. The hard drives didn't sound like they were moving either, though they, like the other fans, had run when I first booted it up. At this point, I hadn't actually looked at the GPU fan, so I didn't notice it wasn't running. I took off the CPU cooler, thinking it might be a problem, but the processor wasn't warm at all, so overheating didn't seem to be the problem. I put the CPU cooler in, booted the computer up again, and, on a whim, checked the 260; that's when I discovered that it wasn't working either. The reset and power switches that are built into the motherboard didn't work either, so I turned off the power supply and, grumbling, trundled over to the parents' house, found my old M2N, and returned.

Then, on a whim, I booted up the computer. Maybe I was desperate and hoping for a miracle; I don't know. What I do know, is that it booted up, said it couldn't find anything to boot off of, and sat there stubbornly. I restarted the machine, hit "delete," and lo and behold, the bios had switched boot priorities again. Having switched those back to the proper order, I rebooted, and shazam! everything appears to be fine again.

This is the second computer I've really worked on, and the first that I've built from the ground up. It's my work machine, my school machine, my television, my dvd player, and my game system. I use it for just about everything, which means I need it to work all the time, but now, it isn't. What's wrong?

More about : computer dying

March 20, 2009 6:51:00 AM

From what iv'e collected here is that it mainly could be power supply related, could you post system specs so we can see what your workin with :) ?
March 20, 2009 7:06:50 AM

Antec 900
AMD Athlon X2 6400+ Black Edition
EVGA 896-P3-1262-AR GTX 260
Thermaltake W0116RU 750 Watt PSU
4 GB Corsair XMS2 RAM
Asus M3A79-T Deluxe
1 TB Samsung 7200 RPM
500 GB and 320 GB WD 7200 RPM
Vista Business 32
Samsung Super Multi DVD burner

Sound card isn't installed since the people at Creative apparently don't care about their customers and took a month longer to send a replacement than they said they would (Definitely not buying Creative again). But, for the record, it's a X-Fi Titanium, the PCIe one. CPU cooler is some Thermaltake dealie. I've also got a wireless card in the machine.

I was thinking the issue might lie with the motherboard, myself.

One other problem the system has is that when I hit the reboot switch (which I don't do that often, but I do do on occasion), the computer freezes at the "ASUS M3N WHATEVER!" screen. On my M2N, this would only occur on a boot/reboot with my Sansa plugged in, and could be fixed by unplugging the Sansa and rebooting.

I started saving for this computer when I was twelve. That it works is very important to me.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 20, 2009 12:35:51 PM

Sounds like it could be the PSU to me as well.
But just for the heck of it, they don't cost much, try replacing the battery on the motherboard first.
March 20, 2009 12:43:34 PM

^+1 for the psu. It is a good unit but anything can happen. Do you have another psu to test your system on ? If not you could find a local shop where they have good psu testers.
March 20, 2009 5:54:39 PM

Quote:
Do you have another psu to test your system on ?


Unfortunately, no. My last one kinda... caught on fire.
March 20, 2009 6:20:51 PM

Do you have a UPS ? If not, it sounds like you could do with one... it might help protect your PSUs... unless your old one was coal-burning, they really are not supposed to 'kinda' catch on fire.
March 21, 2009 5:30:59 AM

Well, the computer is in a completely different location now. It caught on fire when I plugged my GTX into it; apparently, while I had enough wattage, I didn't have enough amps or something. When I booted it up, swoosh! Smoke and flame (just one) and nothingness.

Still, I can't help but wonder how my power supply would affect my boot sequence. Would it be reasonable to switch motherboards and see if that has any effect before I do anything that's going to cost me money?
March 21, 2009 6:37:13 PM

IF everything is plugged into the mobo properly,then you might consider getting the psu tested at your local computer store,it might be possible that a capacitor some where is not putting out 100%,this might have an effect on your system just as it boots,check the mobo for swollen cappy's,I understand how you feel about your computer I'm in the same boat,it has to work and that is all there is to it.
Therefore it follows that one should always have at least $100.00 stashed away for computer emergency's,easier said than done,lol...:) 
ps..,If you have another mobo handy try it,got nothing to loose.....
March 22, 2009 1:33:41 AM

Man, this is tough, but it seems like your PSU is on the blink....Of all the reviews I have read on thermaltake (and I have the thermaltake toughpower 1000W) The 750W that they sell isn't up to the standards that the others are....I suspect from your description it is PSU related. I don't know why, but Thermaltake let the 750W slip thru there QC and alot of them are failing...I hate to say that as the 1000W I have is a good one. But if it is your PSU, get a Corsair, they are like a rock from what I have read!!!
a b B Homebuilt system
March 25, 2009 11:12:09 AM

I'll say it 1 more time, before you go to drastic measures and start spending money and time needlessly, replace the battery on the board.............................
March 27, 2009 5:17:46 PM

Interestingly, I've tried moving the cables around a bit, providing the guts with a bit better airflow and now my graphics card doesn't get nearly as hot. In fact, I haven't had a single problem since I did that. Looks like heating was the problem.
June 27, 2011 7:02:28 PM

jitpublisher said:
Sounds like it could be the PSU to me as well.
But just for the heck of it, they don't cost much, try replacing the battery on the motherboard first.




well it sounds like a proccer and power supply i had the same problem i just installed a new power supply in one of my old systems and it failed with 2 secs the old not new. so i put in the new one and the computer works.
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