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Random Black Screen - Gateway DX4300

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April 8, 2010 3:57:27 PM

This is a new one on me - I'm hoping someone out there has some insight. I have an 8-month old Gateway DX4300 (AMD Phenom X4 9750 quad-core, ATI Radeon 4650, 8Mb Ram). Starting about a week ago, I began experiencing random black screen hard lock-ups: screen goes black, power button light is lit and steady, fans are running, but ALL activity ceases. The only way to recover is the pull the plug - holding the power button down will not work. This happens independent of the particular software that might be running at the time: spreadsheet, explorer, video, just the OS (Win 7 Professional x64). It happens 2-3 time per day.

I tried using the recovery console to go back to the system state 2 weeks ago - no luck. I tried vacuuming the dust caked on the air input (and inside the case). Nope. Replaced Norton 2010 with Panda cloud antivirus. Not the answer. Dropped Windows aero in favor of the classic interface. No go. Loaded Everest Ultimate to check temps - they are running 34-49 for CPU and MB, 50-59 for the GPU. Don't think that's it. Decided to test the memory chips, so I booted memtest86+ from the cd drive to test the memory overnight. I watched for about 25 minutes - no errors, and I went to bed and left it running. During the night, the same thing happened: black screen, no response was waiting for me in the am. So this is good info, right? Doesn't this indicate the problem is hardware-based? My guess is the 300W power supply or the video card, but I'm really just guessing here. Does anyone have some additional insight? I really don't want to send in the box to the factory.

(On a side note, do first-level techs know how to do anything other than tell you "Don't worry - resetting to factory-level defaults will fix this"? I had to get to the 2nd level at Gateway to have a decent conversation...

I sure could use some help if anyone has run into this, or a similar issue.

Thanks!
April 8, 2010 7:21:35 PM

Can you borrow a good PSU and test it?
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April 8, 2010 8:08:38 PM

I'm working on it. I removed the tv tuner card and modem. Got a black screen within 3 minutes - if it isn't the PSU, its gotta be the MB....
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October 27, 2011 4:58:04 PM

I have the same problem, did you go to a larger PSU or replace with same size?
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November 9, 2011 3:03:44 PM

Same problem. Purchased mine in the Fall of 2010 and had occasional problems. The past week it would not stay up for more than a few minutes. Installed a bigger PSU and the machine has run for the last 36 hours. I have never built a computer and the job to pull the old one and put in the new one was less than 15 minutes.
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January 4, 2013 7:29:50 PM

jlscabs said:
Solved - it was the PSU. I found another DX4300 user in a different forum section, and he had the same issue. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274293-28-gateway-dx4...



Hi.. i'm here try to find the problem with my all in one DX4300. Look like you find the answer. My question is what is the PSU if is ok to you the respond me please.
I'm running the recovery factory system and after download the 23/23 driver the computer got froze for like 4 hours so i'm decide umplug and this is when the black screen coming up.
I'm try hold 30 second the power bottom and nothing happen, leave off to like other 5 hrs and the black screen still there ;) 
My question is... why i can even see the gateway logo?
The PSU is a hardware? is something inside? I can open the case and check is not a problem for me.. only think i need to know, if you understand me.. if you have the same problem .
Thank you and sorry for my bad english :) 
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August 9, 2013 6:06:51 PM

I read through the other thread linked in this one to read about resolving a similar issue with DX4300 that I am working on as well. The PC was given to us without a harddrive, so I purchased/downloaded the recovery disks through gateway and was trying to re-install Vista. The PC would lock-up in the manner described in this thread, as well (screen goes black, Power LED stays lit, no response to long press of power button to shut down the PC). I will be upgrading the Power Supply Unit (PSU). I'm going to go with a 500W model that has good user ratings and seems reasonable at $50. I'll report back here if it also resolves the issues I'm having.
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August 14, 2013 6:43:54 AM

So, to confirm earlier resolutions, this was solved with an upgraded Power Supply Unit (PSU). I went with a 500W model. The computer now powers up and runs its tasks (those that I've got going so far) without issues. The computer has an ATI HD4650 video card installed, and I understand those can draw a bit of power, which is what likely helped pushed the original, lower-rated PSU over the edge and put the computer in a freeze state.

Now to resolve issues I'm having re-loading the OS...
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August 24, 2014 8:33:17 AM

Thank you for the thread, I am experiencing the same issue now. Started yesterday with random shut downs with the power light still on and I had to unplug the power cord to reset the computer. Tried recovery and had it fail twice during recovery. Finally got back up and had it happen a few more times. Same thing, vacuumed out the dust and dog hair, concluded it may be the power supply. I was searching the net looking to see if the dx4300 series psu was replaceable with a common store bought psu or needed a special psu like some dell models do because of an oem difference in the build. Glad to see you all were able to replace it with a normal power supply! Gonna go find me one if any stores around here are open on a Sunday. lol
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