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Random crashes and long boots

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May 5, 2009 1:24:39 PM

Hi - i recently bought a (just about) completely new system which has 2 main problems - ive had a bit of a look online already for possible solutions and i have an idea but i'm not too sure so im just looking for some specific validity of my problems.


Computer Specs:
Intel E8400 cpu
Gigabyte GA-EP45 UDP mobo
ASUS Radeon HD 4870 1gb video card
*master 650w psu (im not sure about the brand here.. it has master in capital letters with the m and r in red..)
very old IDE hdd which is currently slave** to
Samsung DVD drive
running Windows Xp Professional



Problem 1:
Ok so far as i know this only happens when i play certain games - games and net are mainly what i use my computer for. In playing games such as Mass Effect, Bioshock, Crysis Warhead, Oblivion and Neverwinter Nights 2 the games will run for a random period of time before the computer completely turns off. No warning, the first thing that happens is the monitor flashes with a 'no signal' message (and i can sometimes, hear the game continuing despite this) and then about 5 seconds later its off, like ive held the on/off button for 8 seconds. This often happens at more graphics intense moments in the games (special effects etc) but can randomly happen whenever. Ive had it occur over an hour into a game, and within 30 seconds of starting. It has never happened in any games by Valve (tf2, portal, episodes etc), nor Mirror's Edge, fallout 3, supreme commander: forged alliance, or Call of Duty 4.

I'm fairly sick of it - does anyone know anything that can help me out? if i need to download any system spec programs or those apps that measure psu wattage im happy to do that


* ive got a feeling it might be a bit of a bad psu, coz while a 650w should be enough to run my system, ive looked around and people with problems in my ballpark have had trouble with their PSUs. not sure enough to buy another one though.

Problem 2: As soon as you turn the computer on, it beeps like its starting up... but nothing happens. the screen doesnt change, and about 10 seconds later it beeps again.. and again... and then it restarts. as in turns off for a few seconds, and turns itself back on again and tries vainly to boot up. it can take anywhere from a minute to 10 minutes to start up, but when it does it's fine. also, restarting the computer once im in windows happens normally - no problem there.


** Since i haven't bought an sATA hdd yet i just connected the only ide cable that comes with the mobo to both the optical drive and the hdd. i had an idea that the computer was taking a while to recognise which was master and slave and so wasn't starting - but this is just speculation really.

I go on a lot but if ive left anything important out could someone let me know - that would be great!

cheers
May 5, 2009 8:52:06 PM

I had a similar situation as your problem #2 except with no beeps. I only had one crash. It was a PSU going bad. A new PSU solved the problem.
More experienced people will come along but I'd start looking at new PSU's.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2009 9:30:14 PM

First, I would swap the HD and the optical. Make the HD the master. Check in the BIOS to make sure it's also the first boot device. You can also check to make sure quick boot is enabled. I don't believe this has anything to do with your shut down problems, however, it could speed up the boot process.

I believe you have a cooler master psu. They are a mid range quality psu. How many amps are on the 12v rails?

What kind of RAM are you using?
Related resources
May 6, 2009 1:18:15 AM

Cheers aford10, i made the hd master and its the first boot device and now it is booting like it should - i think ill get a sata drive pretty quick though. thanks for that!

with the other problem:

i have:
2x Kingston ddr2 2gb sticks of RAM

im not sure how to check how many amps are on the 12 rails with regard to psu - i have cpu-z but im guessing that won't tell you?

*edit* i also turned on the option that forces the computer to provide an error message and details of the error before shutting down, but all that did was stop the computer from turning off immediately - now the screen just says no signal continuously while the game either continues playing or freezes (i can tell via the sound).
a b B Homebuilt system
May 6, 2009 3:01:04 AM

The stats for the psu will be on the side of it. It should have it broken down by each rail. You want to find the 12v rail(s) and add up how many amps are on them total. It's an important number when calculating if it has the nutz to push your video.
May 6, 2009 3:16:28 AM

im just gonna post all the 12V things it looks like this:

+12V1 +12V2 -12V
18A 16A 0.5A
a b B Homebuilt system
May 6, 2009 4:02:28 AM

That's likely the problem. 34.5 amps on the 12v rails is a bit weak, specially if it's an aging psu.

This is a high quality psu
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Look at the amps on the 12v rails compared to what you are using. It has 52.8 and yours has 34.5.

I believe that when you hit a graphics intense point, your psu isn't capable of putting out sufficient power and shuts down.
May 6, 2009 7:16:19 AM

Fair enough. i only bought the psu last month but from the looks of i should have paid more attention.. really strange that sometimes it must provide enough power and sometimes it clearly doesnt.

i will most likely have a crack at the psu you've suggested, or at least research it more thoroughly - thanks heaps for helping me out!

cheers
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
May 6, 2009 12:10:44 PM

Most graphics cards draw twice as much with a 3D load than they do with a 2D desktop load. That's enough to cause "random" crashes and reboots.
August 9, 2009 12:44:48 AM

Hi - just an update on my (unique) system:

Bought a Thermaltake Q-Fan 750W psu and new optical dvd drive - and it fixed nothing.

$300AUS later and not only does my computer still randomly crash, the booting problem came back within a few days of changing hdd to master and setting it as the first boot device - which hasnt changed now that i only have the hdd connected to the ide cable - the new optical drive runs off sata cables.

So apparently all the tests and ideas people came up with were wrong :(  and i have no idea what's wrong now. any help is greatly appreciated! before i lose my temper and put the thing through a window!

cheers
!