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Odd Problems

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November 15, 2009 8:10:02 PM

I built my computer about a month ago now, and just recently started having odd problems. I am running windows 7 pro 64 on an Asrock Extreme with an i7 920, ati 5850, and an encore wifi adapter.

1. Occasionally windows aero and my wifi crash at exactly the same time. The clear parts on the windows turn solid blue, and wifi shows now connection. Everything else runs just fine, and after about 2 minutes it recovers back to normal. Aero and wifi come back, again at the same time. I have no idea how to troubleshoot two seemingly unrelated problems happening at the same time. Does anyone have any ideas what might cause this?

2. The computer can never go to sleep or hibernate without crashing. I think this might be due to a crappy psu though. Its a RAIDMAX HYBRID 630w. Bought it because it was cheap and "crossfire ready" but later found out it sucks. I can do without sleep or hibernate, but if anyone has insight into this too, it would be nice.

p.s. let me know if I didn't post this in the right forum. Homebuilt seemed right to me because that what my rig is.

***EDIT***
One more odd problem that I have never seen before has arisen. Twice now my machine has crashed to a completely orange screen. Not text, no response, nothing. Just solid orange. I wasn't doing anything that would have triggered such a crash either.

More about : odd problems

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
November 15, 2009 10:21:57 PM

Disable the WiFi and see if the problem clears up.

Replace the crappy PSU anyway, before it damages the system. Antec TP-750 would be great for future crossfire.
November 16, 2009 1:10:06 AM

I've tried disabling then enabling the wifi when this problem occurs. It disables just fine but doesn't help. It will not enable however, until after those few minutes pass and the computer recovers itself and aero and wifi magically start working again.

I didn't know a bad psu can damage the system. How can I tell if this has already happened? Will it cause strange problems like I have been getting, or will it just start crashing if something is damaged?
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2009 4:01:51 AM

It could cause strange issues.

I don't think you understand what I'm saying about the WiFi. Disable the device in the control panel. Uninstall the drivers. Reboot the machine. Run it until the problem with Aero happens again or until you are sure it is not going to happen.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2009 5:14:41 AM

What he means is really bad crappy ones could just randomly die. And there's a chance that when they do they could surge the rest of the comp and kill it. It isn't terribly likely or anything, but possible.

Of course they're more likely to die if its overworked. But that particular one isn't likely to be overworked. Just by looking at the pictures it's definitely not the lowest end, but it isn't the highest either. If you're going to replace it anyway, go to newegg pick 80plus (or higher) and find one. Once you've done that they're pretty much all really good.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2009 5:52:21 AM

False_Dmitry_II said:
What he means is really bad crappy ones could just randomly die. And there's a chance that when they do they could surge the rest of the comp and kill it. It isn't terribly likely or anything, but possible.

Of course they're more likely to die if its overworked. But that particular one isn't likely to be overworked. Just by looking at the pictures it's definitely not the lowest end, but it isn't the highest either. If you're going to replace it anyway, go to newegg pick 80plus (or higher) and find one. Once you've done that they're pretty much all really good.



Sorry, not what I meant and not true.

A PSU does not have to fail in any spectacular way for it to damage a motherboard. A simple lack of over-voltage protection or out of spec rails can do the job.

80 Plus is no guarantee of quality. Here are some examples:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The list goes on from there. 80 Plus only certifies efficiency at cool room temps and has little to do with rail stability or actual computer operating temps.
November 16, 2009 5:55:00 AM

Thanks for the tips. I went ahead a took advantage of the newegg sales and got this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

99.99 with and aditional 15 off with a promo code and free shipping. Keeping my fingers crossed that maybe my problems are psu related and will go away with this upgrade. I learned my lesson about building a high end system, then skimping on the cheap power supply.
November 16, 2009 6:02:24 AM

My question still stands though, is there any way to tell if there has been some damage done? If it runs stable for the most part, and has never crashed while gaming, is it okay to assume there is no damage? Or can damage present itself in the form of problems like I'm getting where the wifi and aero, and firefox often crash? This is my first build and now I'm feeling a little paranoid that I might have damaged it with sub par parts.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2009 6:20:28 AM

It sounds much more like a driver conflict. That's why two different parts of your OS fail at the same time. This is what I'm trying to get you to test for.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2009 6:43:48 PM

How can you tell by just looking at the specs how to prune further than that. (besides just amps and rails, because that has nothing to do with quality.) I admit my knowledge is weak when it comes to PSU's and fans. What I've gathered in the last month or two is that you're looking for active PFC for it's regulatory properties and I've noticed that all 80 plus ones seem to have that.

Most of the time in posts like this (like your own) just say 'get this particular thing' and that's it. Leaving no way to be able to differentiate further.
November 16, 2009 7:16:04 PM

I will be curious to hear if the new PS solves these problems. Reason being, I would bet dollars to donuts it's a network driver issue. I would try uninstalling and reinstalling the network drivers (whatever the latest stable release.) Especially since you're on 64bit 7, it would not surprise me at all if it was simply an unstable driver or conflict. If that turns out to be the case, I wouldn't feel bad about the purchase...A better PS is probably a good investment either way.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2009 8:04:38 PM

False_Dmitry_II said:
How can you tell by just looking at the specs how to prune further than that. (besides just amps and rails, because that has nothing to do with quality.) I admit my knowledge is weak when it comes to PSU's and fans. What I've gathered in the last month or two is that you're looking for active PFC for it's regulatory properties and I've noticed that all 80 plus ones seem to have that.

Most of the time in posts like this (like your own) just say 'get this particular thing' and that's it. Leaving no way to be able to differentiate further.


My guide has a section on PSUs, and links several important sources.

The available wattage and amps on various rails DOES actually tell you something about the design of a PSU, but that's really not important. There is no way to tell the quality of a PSU properly without some VERY expensive equipment.

There are perhaps 4 or 5 active reviewers operating the equipment needed to provide good reviews of power supplies. These individuals can sometimes also predict the quality of a specific PSU based on very high levels of knowledge. This is my (and others) main source of information.

Methods of identifying a quality PSU:

1. A review from one of the few qualified sites. That's the best way, although they cannot get to all of them.

2. Knowing the actual manufacturer of the PSU. This is usually different from the brand. Although not every PSU made by Delta has the same quality, it's an indicator of quality. It's possible to discover the OEM of a specific unit from the UL number often.

3. Internal photos of the specific PSU viewed by experts who render an opinion of who made it and what parts are in it.

I would never just leave you wondering... this info is all in my guide and the links provided inside. All you have to do is read them.
November 16, 2009 8:18:49 PM

So I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling drivers, from both the manufacturer website and from what windows finds online. Everytime I reinstall the drivers though, windows immediatly comes up saying there is an important update, and it wants to update the driver for the wifi card. The problem persists both before and after this update, but it does point out that there are some known issues with the driver from the manufacturer that maybe the update from ms just fails to fix. I suppose I will tough it out for a while and hope for another driver update unless anyone else has some better advice?
I was going to upgrade my psu anyway, and with the newegg sales right now, this was probably the best timing.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2009 8:23:26 PM

jetsamrover said:
So I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling drivers, from both the manufacturer website and from what windows finds online.


:cry: 

If you want to find out if it's the driver or not, follow my advice. Don't re-install the driver.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2009 10:37:23 PM

Or use a different wireless card entirely. What he's trying to get you to do here, is eliminate entirely the wireless cards effect on the system and seeing if the problem goes away. Pull it completely and uninstall. Then see if it happens. If it doesn't either deal with it or get a different card and look up cards that have good windows 7 support.

I know that probably leaves you without internet access, but if you want to find the problem that's what you'll have to do.
November 16, 2009 10:56:41 PM

I understand what he is trying to get me to do, but there is no circumstance I can think of where I would be using my computer in a manner in which I would notice the task bar and window borders turning from clear to solid blue that would signify the aero crash/glich still occurring in which I would not be using an internet connection, especially for the length of time it would require to be sure its not going to happen again. And buying a new wifi card for the sole purpose of diagnostics seems impractical to me. The router I connect to is in another building, so there is no way to physically connect.
Maybe I could use my spare linksys router as a wireless bridge and hook my computer physically to that? Its got dd-wrt. I'll look into that as a temporary network card substitute.
!