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Troubleshooting problems

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June 25, 2010 3:18:21 AM

My computer has been starting to go downhill lately, and I'm having a tough time tracking down the problem. My best guess is the power supply, but I'd like to hear what you all think before I replace anything.

A month or two ago I replaced a 8500gt graphics card with a 240gt. There were a bunch of small issues with card, and it took me 2 days to get it working correctly. The problems started about that time, but I am pretty sure that the problems I am having now are not directly the cards fault, especially because the problems persisted when I put the 8500gt back in. But I thought I'd put that out there. Here are some of the things it has been doing:

Temporary hangs: These occur somewhat frequently, and usually during a graphic intensive game or video, where the sound will continue on but the visual is frozen for anywhere from 5 seconds to 30 seconds. Sometimes the graphics drivers crash*(see below)

Complete freezes: Requires a hard boot. These happen more frequently than the hangs, but seem more random. Sometimes its during a game, sometimes browsing the web, sometimes its from the desktop with absolutely nothing running. I'm pretty sure this has been happening more and more often since it started, and it still baffles me that it doesn't require the computer to be doing anything intensive to happen most of the time.

Crashes: No BSoDs, just shuts off. But I think it's only when I plug a USB device in. I don't think I'm overloading the USB ports though, because I've only got 2-3 things plugged in. This is what made me think it was my PSU.

*This may be unrelated, but once and awhile, when my drivers crash, explore.exe will also crash, along with any java, adobe, monitoring software, printer services, ect that are running in the background, and they will try to restart, and then crash again, over and over until I restart the computer.

I also monitor my temps, and they are still fine under heavy loads, so nothing is overheating.

I've had people suggest memory problems, a dying psu, a bad motherboard, and the graphics card.

The PC still runs great between problems, I play BC2 on high settings with no hiccups most of the time.

Here are the system specs

Liteon stock 300W PSU (It is terrible, and is another reason why I think it's the PSU, but the symptoms are still strange, and I don't want to jump to conclusions too fast and buy something I don't need)

AMD Phenom 9600 quad core

GT240 graphics

3GB DDR2 RAM

Nettle3-GL8E motherboard

Is it possible that loading the GT240 for the first time was too much for the PSU, and permanently damaged it? Please let me know what you think!

a b ) Power supply
June 25, 2010 8:53:38 AM

GT240 is not a power hungry card and normally can work with 300W PSU...
How old this PSU?

You have many problems there, do you mind when i say clean install OS?
Also, you could borrow a friend's PSU and try it to your PC... See if your problems are still exist...
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a b ) Power supply
June 25, 2010 2:00:46 PM

i would remove the drivers completely, steps below:

1. remove any and all Nvidia drivers with add/remove software
2. Boot up into safe mode and remove any residual drivers using driversweeper (driversweeper is a program that will need to be downloaded before you can do this)
3. Boot up normally and add the latest driver for your video card (download the driver first before removing old one)
4. Test to see if the issue still exists.
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Related resources
June 25, 2010 7:02:03 PM

jonpaul37 said:
i would remove the drivers completely, steps below:

1. remove any and all Nvidia drivers with add/remove software
2. Boot up into safe mode and remove any residual drivers using driversweeper (driversweeper is a program that will need to be downloaded before you can do this)
3. Boot up normally and add the latest driver for your video card (download the driver first before removing old one)
4. Test to see if the issue still exists.


I have done that so many times that I've bound driver sweeper programs to my keyboard. I don't think there's anyway I missed something. When I first got my card, doing that did fix the few problems that I knew were because of the card, but they didn't do anything for the other problems.

wa1 said:
GT240 is not a power hungry card and normally can work with 300W PSU...
How old this PSU?

You have many problems there, do you mind when i say clean install OS?
Also, you could borrow a friend's PSU and try it to your PC... See if your problems are still exist...


I'm pretty sure I got this computer in 2007.
I've never had to do a clean install before, is there a guide around here somewhere that I could take a look at? (Vista 32b)


Also, whenever the system is hanging or about to crash, something in the computer starts making a repetitive, short, low pitched noise, as if something was trying to start up but can't, so it tries again and again. Kinda like a trying to start a dead car if you keep turning the key. It's very quiet though, I usually can't hear if there's any background noise. Also, whenever I restart the computer after one of these problems has happened, it can take almost 3-4 minutes to to get to the Vista splash screen, and another 3-4 minutes to log in. Restarting the computer when there hasn't been a problem goes quickly, though.
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a b ) Power supply
June 25, 2010 7:14:02 PM

might want to reset or upgrade the BIOS of your motherboard then do a fresh install of Windows.
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