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Homebuilt system having problems, Urgent help needed!

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Last response: in Systems
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February 15, 2010 8:04:23 PM

A little about me and my computer:

I use this computer mainly for playing an online MMO (SWG), web serfing and some light work using ms office. I'm an old school person who does not shut off my system, ever, unless I really have to (problems), I do however reboot it on a daily basis. When I'm playing the game which is most of the time I'mn using the computer I usually play two copies of the game at one time, alt - tabbing between accounts and probably have the internet open to a gaming web site.

I home built my system again a little while ago from good advice I obtain from people in here. The had been running great until about three weeks ago when I rebooted it it started going through it's startup process then stopped with a black screen. It will sit there forever like that unless I do something. SOME-Times it will reboot and startup if I hit the hard reset button, other times it will take a hard shut off (switching the power supply off), and now a couple of times I've had to shut the system off, start it, it goes to the black screeen then when I hit the hard reset Button, it will start. So far.

I have the MCaffee suite installed on the system (compliments of Cox Cable) and it says there is nothing wrong and so does doing a chkdsk. So I'm not sure if this is a hardware problem or a software problem but the limited tools that I have say there is nothing wrong even though the actul system ats like it has a problem?

Any help in figuring out this problem would be greatly appreciated ( Free system checking and repair software, anything free - low cost that I could use to figure out what is wrong with this system, before something major happens and I'm without a computer to use at all.

Thanks in advance, For your help.

Rob

BTW: I meant to add that the system had been getting a lot slower recently, things that used to take only a few seconds could some times take many seconds - minutes, Error Check, Defrag & Disk Cleanup all say that there is no problem?

More about : homebuilt system problems urgent needed

February 15, 2010 8:06:31 PM

I didn't even realize that I had actually made a reply that inculded the entire original post. DOH! Sorry!
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February 16, 2010 3:52:00 PM

Am I in the wrong forum for this type of help? Did I not include enough information to enable you guys to help me? I know my luck and if I allow this thing to keep getting worse I'm going to have a useless computer that won't start up at all. Any help would be greatly appreciated, if nothing else could you send me in the right direction to find some help?

Thanks again
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February 16, 2010 5:49:18 PM

Please list out all of your components and any peripherals you have connected to your machine. Be specific.

Try booting in safe mode. Can you load and run without any issues?
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February 21, 2010 4:42:09 PM

ekoostik said:
Please list out all of your components and any peripherals you have connected to your machine. Be specific.

Try booting in safe mode. Can you load and run without any issues?


Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.

As I said the system pretty much runs 24/7 365 running the MMO SWG when I'm there or away running a macro. Most times when i wake up I'll log off my character (if they are not already logged off from a game server reboot) then I will will refresh a couple of times then go into shut down and restart. Most times the system will beep, then you hear the hd chunk as it goes thru the startup check then the screen will go black and the system will just sit there. Some times when I hit the reboot button the system will start, most of the time when I hit the reboot button the system will do the same thing as a software restart - beep, check and then the screen goes black.

Every time so far after I manually shut the power off at the PSU and let it sit for a couple of minutes, then restart it the system starts up and runs fine again. Recently the system has been getting slower and slower but I have the Mcaffeee suite (compliments of Cox Cable) and it says that I have no virus, no malware or other critters that slow down a system?

I do know that when the system starts up and goes through the startup procedure it says that the memeory is DDR 800 in unganged mode, whatever that is?

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

My System is this:

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128394

AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX250OCGQBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103681

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4 - Retail

2 Western Digital Caviar GP WD5000AACS 500GB 5400 to 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136149

Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817371016

NEC Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16821152005

1 Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16829102188


1 Sony Optiarc Black IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1615/B2s - OEM
Item #: N82E16827101131

1 BenQ 16X DVD±R DVD Burner With exclusive SolidBurn Technology Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model DW1650 BK - OEM
Item #: N82E16827101010

EVGA: GeForce 7950GT

All running under Win XP pro Service pack 3.
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March 3, 2010 2:55:25 PM

System still does this, but if I shut down the system and let it sit for a min or two, it will start up just fine? But if I soft reboot it, especially if it's been running for a couple of days without a reboot then it will go thru the startup procedure until it gets to the HDD where it chunks it and then goes to a black screen.

If anyone has any idea's on what could be causing this and/or how to fix this I sure would appreciate it.

Thanks
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March 3, 2010 3:33:03 PM

Your problem sounds similar to one I've had, and narrowed down to a bad hard drive. This is especially similar, as you have two of them in your system as well. I had inconsistent startup issues, and coming back from standby could take several minutes completely frozen, or not come back at all. In my case, it became obvious when the system would hang until I heard a very hard-disk like click, and then it would run fine again.

My thought would be to try unplugging your secondary hard drive, and see if that helps any. With this being an intermittent thing, though, it could be hard to tell if an improvement is related or just a fluke.
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March 5, 2010 4:02:47 PM

alazeer said:
System still does this, but if I shut down the system and let it sit for a min or two, it will start up just fine? But if I soft reboot it, especially if it's been running for a couple of days without a reboot then it will go thru the startup procedure until it gets to the HDD where it chunks it and then goes to a black screen.

If anyone has any idea's on what could be causing this and/or how to fix this I sure would appreciate it.

Thanks


zaserov said:
Your problem sounds similar to one I've had, and narrowed down to a bad hard drive. This is especially similar, as you have two of them in your system as well. I had inconsistent startup issues, and coming back from standby could take several minutes completely frozen, or not come back at all. In my case, it became obvious when the system would hang until I heard a very hard-disk like click, and then it would run fine again.

My thought would be to try unplugging your secondary hard drive, and see if that helps any. With this being an intermittent thing, though, it could be hard to tell if an improvement is related or just a fluke.



This was working, albeit not being able to reboot when I want to is a real PIA, but it was working by shutting the system down, turning the power off then restarting after a couple of minutes.

Yesterday it was to the point where the system would not boot up, reboot nothing. So i figured that maybe it had something to do with the drivers of the video card considering they were old? I uninstalled the old Nvidia drivers and rebooted, for whatever reason the system did not want to find my video card and install it in vga mode so I could reinstall new Nvidia drivers. Tried and tried and finally got it to work and instaleld the new drivers.

Now the system does not want to go into any better graphics then 1024 X 768 even though the Video card (Evga GT7950, 512 mb vRAM) and Monitor (acer AL2051W) can handle much higher graphics. When I put the system into 1600 X 900 mode it works for a little while then all of a sudden the viewing area of the screen on the monitor becomes to big both L <-> R & Up & Down? I've never seen this happen before? And again the system will still not reboot and has to be shut off then restarted (where I'm at right now). The system is holding at 1600 X 900 right now but as soon as I start playing a game or whatever the viewing area will become too big and will then move around again (I know it's a bad description but I don't know what else to call it?)

So at this point I'm totally lost because I don't know if this is a HDD, video card or software problem? I did check the temps for the CPU and Video card and those are well within range so It's not a heat problem? Would a new install of XP pro over the current install do anything to help without losing the data I already have on the system or? Is there any kind of inexpensive diagnostic software I can download and install that would check my system and tell me what the problem(s) are and then fix them or is that too much to ask lol?

I do own a copy of System mechanic but I already have the Mcaffeee suite installed and didn't want to mess with System mechanic?

Again, thanks 100000% for any help that someone can give me on this problem.
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March 5, 2010 11:10:25 PM

Well I thought by coming here early enough I could have figured out what the problem might be? Now it's too late as the stupid thing died on me. I was online playing SWG and all of a sudden the screen goes black and then nothing, can't reboot, can't turn it off then start it up, nothing? It is getting power, I can hear the HDD chunk but I never see anythng on the monitor?
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March 6, 2010 6:51:06 PM

I thought I had the problem narrowed down to the monitor as when I changed from my acer lcd qidescreen to an anaolg monitor that I had (a sony) the system worked again. Now today when I was playing the game the same exact thing happend, playing the game then all of a sudden Poofm the screeen goes black and the monitor goes into sleep mode. had to do a rteboot to get it back. Any idea what this may be? The video card? Any idea how to figure out which component is causing my problems? Look guys, I'm really stuck here, if this is not the correct forum to be posting in for help then please tell me which one to post in for some help. thanks! I'm afraid I'm going to lose everything and then this will be another stupid disaster that i could not get any help for!
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March 6, 2010 7:02:36 PM

It's hard to tell from your posts what exactly your problem is. Maybe because you're having multiple issues. You're getting shutdowns when using the PC, but also having problems starting up. Is that right?

1. Is there any behavior that consistently causes problems? Anything you can do that you know will cause it to shutdown everytime?

2. You said that the problem first began three weeks ago. What had changed at that time? Had you installed any new components? What about new software?

3. Did you try Zaserov's suggestion and unplug your secondary hard drive?

4. You said that temperatures were not a problem, but what are your temperatures? Do you notice them spike or doing anything unusual right before the system crashes? Also, what software are you using to measure your GPU temps and your CPU temps?

5. The next time your machine crashes, wait a couple minutes and then start it back up. In windows, open your Event Viewer or Event Log Monitor (I forget what it's called in XP.) Look in the Application Log and the System Log. Are there any warnings or errors reported at the time the machine crashed?
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March 9, 2010 2:18:53 AM

ekoostik said:
It's hard to tell from your posts what exactly your problem is. Maybe because you're having multiple issues. You're getting shutdowns when using the PC, but also having problems starting up. Is that right?

1. Is there any behavior that consistently causes problems? Anything you can do that you know will cause it to shutdown everytime?

2. You said that the problem first began three weeks ago. What had changed at that time? Had you installed any new components? What about new software?

3. Did you try Zaserov's suggestion and unplug your secondary hard drive?

4. You said that temperatures were not a problem, but what are your temperatures? Do you notice them spike or doing anything unusual right before the system crashes? Also, what software are you using to measure your GPU temps and your CPU temps?

5. The next time your machine crashes, wait a couple minutes and then start it back up. In windows, open your Event Viewer or Event Log Monitor (I forget what it's called in XP.) Look in the Application Log and the System Log. Are there any warnings or errors reported at the time the machine crashed?



OK here is the best I can do on this:

I can get the system to run and run pretty good on an older Micron analog monitor using the cable with adapters on each end.

I cannot get the system to show anything when using the acer al2051W montior I have and the cable that goes with it, or with a brand new cable (friggen $54 for a new cable), does not matter which side I connect to on the video card(EVGA 7950GT) the monitor just does not show anything.

If I use the analog cable for the older micron monitor and connect that to the analog side of the monitor and then use an adapter on the other side of the cable and then plug that side into the video card (does not mattter which side) the monitor works fine, although not as good as it does in digital mode. Same goes for the acer monitor connected to an old falcon NW gaming PC, works just fine as long as it's connected to the analog side of the acer monitor.

After I got the acer monitor working as stated above, I started playing with the settings and thought that I found the problem when I noticed the montior was not set to digital (or so I thought), after setting the acer monitor to digital, then connecting either the new or the old digital cable the monitor still does not work at all?

So I'm guessing that the monitor has a problem on the digital side of it?

Anyone else have any ideas what could be the problem or what else I can do to make sure that it is the acer monitor having a problem on it's digital side? I would imagine that if it was the video card no matter which monitor I would connect to it would have a problem? Is this true or?

Still looking for help or any ideas. I sure would appreciate it!
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March 10, 2010 4:37:19 PM

Let me get this all strait.

So sometimes your pc hangs on boot up (or appears to as your screen goes black).

and sometimes it will lock up/crash (or appears to as the screen goes black).

the best way to figure out if it is an issue with your monitor is if you still have sound. i.e. when you are booting up if the screen goes black if you wait does the windows start up sound queue up? or when the screen goes black during use while gaming etc, do you still have sound?


Just an FYI if your monitor is bonked, its not going to cause your system to lock up, your computer doesnt give a damn if there is a monitor hooked up, it will boot up and run anyway. Thats why I ask if you are still getting sound. That would imply your system is still running, so it isnt your box, your monitor is failing or there is something wrong witht he contacts on your video card that is causing issues.


The only way to narrow down your issue is to troubleshoot, many symptoms can have multiple possible root causes. i.e. if you give us a symptom with the exception of a few issues where there is no other possibility (which is very rare) I doubt anyone will know on the fly specifically what your issue is.

as far as trouble shooting is concerned it boils down to is a process of elimination:

swap out your video card for another, if the problem persists it isnt your gfx card, swap ram out, swap hdd's out swap the psu out rinse repeat, until the problem clears up, if youve tried everything that leaves your proc/mobo.
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March 11, 2010 2:40:53 AM

tsd16 said:
Let me get this all strait.

So sometimes your pc hangs on boot up (or appears to as your screen goes black).

and sometimes it will lock up/crash (or appears to as the screen goes black).

the best way to figure out if it is an issue with your monitor is if you still have sound. i.e. when you are booting up if the screen goes black if you wait does the windows start up sound queue up? or when the screen goes black during use while gaming etc, do you still have sound?


Just an FYI if your monitor is bonked, its not going to cause your system to lock up, your computer doesnt give a damn if there is a monitor hooked up, it will boot up and run anyway. Thats why I ask if you are still getting sound. That would imply your system is still running, so it isnt your box, your monitor is failing or there is something wrong witht he contacts on your video card that is causing issues.


The only way to narrow down your issue is to troubleshoot, many symptoms can have multiple possible root causes. i.e. if you give us a symptom with the exception of a few issues where there is no other possibility (which is very rare) I doubt anyone will know on the fly specifically what your issue is.

as far as trouble shooting is concerned it boils down to is a process of elimination:

swap out your video card for another, if the problem persists it isnt your gfx card, swap ram out, swap hdd's out swap the psu out rinse repeat, until the problem clears up, if youve tried everything that leaves your proc/mobo.


Actually the system is working now, with one side of the cable connected to the analog side of the Acer AL2051W Flat Screen monitor (Using an adaptor) and the other end connected to the EVGA 7950GT video card. Of course the graphics are not nearly as good as connecting to the digital side of the monitor, but hey at least It's working.

After all is said and done I guess the system never really was hanging or locking up, it was just the monitor on it's way out, but just the digital side of it not the analog side, go figure? For now I'll keep running it like it is, until I can afford to buy a new monitor or I'm forced to buy a new one by this one completely dying (probably will happen sooner than later).

Thanks for the help that I received on this issue.

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July 27, 2012 11:59:30 PM



Having the same issue with a WDCaviar Green 500gb drive. I totally understand your frustration...I'm r :pfff:  eady to toss it out a window.
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