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Very Strange Problem With My Computer

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October 6, 2009 2:17:28 PM

hello i have a strange problem with my pc. i built this computer back in January 09 i have had this problem from the start and just wondering if anyone could know what the problem is.

i dont really know how to explain it but sometimes the computer will just not boot up and i have to reset it about 1 to 10 times to get it to boot to desktop and other times it will load to desktop but freeze up as everything is loading up but if it does boot successfully i have no problems with it at all. i have to reformat the computer every month because as time goes by it gets worse an worse. i have been through 3 hard drives as they have all failed on me because of the amount of times i have to reset and format the drive.

i have just bought a new harddrive and i dont want this one to fail on me so i would like this problem solved. what i did notice was when i used my old IDE harddrive (as i was waiting for my new one to be delivered) i had no problems with it at all so am starting to think there is a problem with the SATA on my computer? is this a known problem if anyone can help me i would much appreciate it thanks.

if this helps my computer specs are

Windows Vista Premium 64
AMD Phenom x4 9650
6GB DDR2 Ram
Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H motherboard
ATI Radeon HD 4850
500GB Hitachi Deskstar Harddrive (new)
Atrix 650w PSU ( i also think it could be this? )
a b B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2009 3:49:56 PM

Which exact "6GB DDR2" RAM kit do you have? Are you using a 2x2GB kit plus a 2x1GB kit? Does all your RAM have the exact same speed/timing/voltage specs? Did you manually set the RAM specs to the recommended settings in the BIOS? Have you run Memtest86+ overnight to test for RAM errors?

If the RAM tests OK, then I would focus on that POS PSU next.
October 6, 2009 4:39:37 PM

am using OCZ PC-6400 gold 2x2GB and another 1x2GB from my older system which used the same ram but the other stick did not work. my old system fell and was destroyed but i managed to salvage 1 of the ram sticks which appears to work. i did think it might of been faulty and the cause of the problem but i have taken it out many of times and i still get the same problem.

but i will test the ram now and see what comes out. anymore advice would be great thanks.
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October 6, 2009 6:08:39 PM

i ran the test and the stick of ram i salvaged came back with 2 errors so i have removed it from the system. but still i have the problem. as soon as i finshed testing the ram i went to boot the computer back up and i had to reset it 4 times to get it to work. what the hell could this be?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2009 6:16:55 PM

Did you run Memtest86+ again with the RAM currently in the computer? You need to let it do multiple passes to really test the RAM.
October 6, 2009 6:31:57 PM

1) if you install windows and you got memory problem you'll get problems.

Try installing windows without the defectives mem.

But the fact that HD are crashing makes me suspect that the motherboard or power supply might damage the HD's

that's a strange problem indeed
a b B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2009 6:38:07 PM

I think you might have multiple issues. I don't think you've ruled out the RAM as the problem yet. That POS PSU is also certainly not contributing to a stable system. A cheap PSU will cause all sorts of problems ranging from system instability to fried components. Even if it's not the cause of your problems, you should replace that PSU ASAP.
October 6, 2009 7:02:22 PM

is my PSU really that bad? i dont know much about them so i would not know. i have been looking for a new PSU lately anyway as i want to buy a new graphics card. ive been looking for one that will power a ATI 5870 and a 4850 crossfired but as i know very little about them am confused on what to get. could you recommend one or a good brand name to go for?

i was thinking about buying this one but i dont know if its any better than the one i currently have or it would just be a waste of money?

http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-850w-corsai...

again thanks for the replies much appreciated
October 6, 2009 7:08:01 PM

OwnedTBH said:
is my PSU really that bad? i dont know much about them so i would not know. i have been looking for a new PSU lately anyway as i want to buy a new graphics card. ive been looking for one that will power a ATI 5870 and a 4850 crossfired but as i know very little about them am confused on what to get. could you recommend one or a good brand name to go for?

i was thinking about buying this one but i dont know if its any better than the one i currently have or it would just be a waste of money?

http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-850w-corsai...

again thanks for the replies much appreciated


It is most likely your PSU. I do not see any "Atrix" brand listed on 80plus which is a bad sign. You need one that is at least 80plus certified tested with active PFC.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2009 7:09:02 PM

The Corsair 850HX is a very nice PSU. It will easily power any current GPU's in crossfire or SLI. You can't crossfire a 5870 with a 4850, though. You wouldn't want to even if you could, since the higher card would be dumbed down to run with the lower card.

All Corsair PSU's are very high quality units. The 750TX, 750HX, or 850TX would also be a good choice with future crossfire compatibility in mind.

Corsair Memory 750W TX SERIES ATX

Corsair Memory 850W Ultra Quit 80+ ATX PSU

Corsair Memory 750W Corsair Modular PSU
October 6, 2009 7:23:00 PM

ok well looks like i will have to buy a new PSU. i think i will get the cheapest of the 3. 750w TX series would that be still good enough to power a single 5870? i take it you need 2 of the same card to crossfire. i thought u could do it with any crossfire compatible card ah well. thanks guys hopefully the new PSU will solve the problem :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2009 7:30:34 PM

Yes, the 750TX will easily power your system with a 5870. Even the 650TX would be plenty of power for your system with a single 5870.

Corsair Memory 650W TX SERIES ATX

I was listing the 750W - 850W PSU's to allow for crossfire in the future.
October 6, 2009 7:43:04 PM

ok thanks.

ive just ordered the 750w TX am going to turn this computer off and use my old one while i wait for the PSU to arrive. i dont want to do anymore damage to this. thanks again for the help :) 
October 8, 2009 4:44:53 PM

hello am back and have a new problem :( 


i got my PSU today and hooked it up no problems. my computer seems to be fine now i no longer need to reset it 20 times to get it to boot up. but now am having problems with the graphics/monitor at random times the screen will go blank (white) or the will go all strange and funny patterns across the whole screen and i have to reset the computer to fix it. this has to be the PSU because it has never happend to me before with the old PSU do i have to change any settings in the bios or anything or do you think the PSU is faulty?


:cry: 
a b B Homebuilt system
October 8, 2009 4:56:23 PM

It sounds more like a problem with the GPU. Are you sure the power connector to the GPU is plugged in tight?
October 8, 2009 5:47:13 PM

+1 shortstuff_mt

looks like a video card problem.

try another one to see if it works better if you got a spare.

My bro computer has had same issue, got rma on card and now works fine.
October 8, 2009 8:40:53 PM

i have tried another 6-pin and even reformatted the computer to see if that would work but after about 3 hours it flickerd about 5 times then went white. its only happend twice but i can see it happening again. so you dont think the PSU could be causing the problem? is there anyway to test the PSU with any software? am stuck on what to do really now and just waiting for it to happen again :( 

i also noticed when it happend the first time. when there was all strange patterns on the screen an error message came up in the corner but i could not read it would you have any idea what it could of been?

thanks for the advice.
December 6, 2009 10:04:27 PM

I've been having a similar problem with an old system. I upgraded the motherboard a couple of years ago. The system has been shutting itself down randomly for sometime (before and after new MoBo) and I suspected overheating. Now it will boot to the desktop then freeze. Actually it will power up and give me a blinking cursor then after I do a reset it will boot to the desktop and then freeze. I'm suspecting the power supply since it is probably 10-years old. Any thoughts?
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