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Please help...! emergency!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 14, 2010 1:55:17 PM

Greetings everyone!

before i start, here are my specs:

Inno 3d GTX 260 overclock
E 8500 Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.16 Ghz
Asrock Penryn 1600-110-Sli Motherboard
650w PSU
500 Gb HDD
2 gig RAM

one day i connected my pc to my friends tv (42" LCD TV) and started watching movies! all was fine until the screens (Both my pc screen and the TV) showed this:

"windows has encountered an error and will be shutting down"

after this my computer was still running but there was nothing on the screens! i rebooted, but nothing!! just a blank screen!

my first guess was the harddrive! i unplugged the harddrive and the screen asked me where i wanted to boot from! obviously!

i got a bit disheartened and dismantelled my whole system, from power supply to my graphics card...and everything in between... i rebooted and then everything was working again!!!

thinking that this could be to good to be true, i shut down properly and the same thing happened as before... nothing!!!

i plugged my harddrive into my friends computer and it worked.... what could be the problem?

many say that it could be my power supply, many say my SATA cables that are faulty (bearing in mind that i replaced the SATA cables with no effect!!!

it can't be RAM because i would have got a warning at start up!!!


please help!!! thank you

Dane (South Africa)

More about : emergency

April 14, 2010 3:01:38 PM

Well, I don't think this issue belongs in Graphics... This seems more like a Motherboard or CPU & Components issue.

I'd personally start by going through the Motherboard section's FAQ checklist, here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/97744-30-motherboards

Once you've gone through all the basic troubleshooting it explains and explores (including the purchase and use of a speaker to listen to BIOS beep codes), hit us back with something specific. Because honestly, it could be anything at this point. There's really no info to give us any direction here...
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April 14, 2010 5:58:58 PM

Dane,

Does your PC make noise after the startup? Are the drives spinning and working? Can you boot, hold the del key or what ever key gets to the CMOS config? Can you set it to a failsafe boot? Also double check the video cable and that means unlug them and replug them to make sure there is a solid and fresh physical connection. If you can't boot to the CMOS, try refreshing the MB, using the reset jumper - your manual will explain it, and remove/replace the MB battery as well. If at all possible, I'd suggest a fresh install of the OS, to get a fresh registry going, which is where the problem may be buried. Good luck!
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April 15, 2010 11:57:08 AM

Dear Promytius,

thank you for replying and showing your concern!

what i did was i did a power supply check, and what i noticed is that one cable from my power supply was split between the motherboard and my harddrive? and so what i did was take a direct cable to my harddrive and a seperate one to my motherboard! and it worked! my pc start as usual with no indication of software damage! could this be the initial problem from the start, or was i just lucky in my attempt?

i phoned my local technician and he said that it might just have been a glitch in the harddrive and that it needed to rethink itself before giving it time to restart again? could this be true? or is he taking my credit away for finding a solution that he could not?

i lost no information on my harddrive and to be honest, my system is running better than before!

3D mark score from 12944 to 13699, is this possible? was power my only fault? or , like i said before, just lucky to have found a solution?

what i think was my harddrive and motherboard weren't getting enough power and so when i did connect the system to the tv, it just shut down!!!

i thank you again for your input Promytius, your opinion and expertise is greatly appreciated!!

Dane
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April 15, 2010 12:45:55 PM

I'm a little confused by what you said - if you look at the connectors on those cables, the ones to the hard drive and the ones to the MB are different - the HD SATA cables look completely different that the power cables that go to your MB - there's a special 18 or 20 pin power cable for the MB, sometimes a small 3-4 pin connector for sensing, but no power cables for the MB will fit a peripheral and vise versa. I'm glad it's working better - if you want, we can discuss this a little further to try to understand what happened, but it would be easier if when talking about cables to specify power/data cables separately. If you meant power cables, they may be bundled out of the power supply and look connected, but I believe they are all separately wired into the power supply board. I say if it's fixed, then say-no-more! I think your analysis was the correct one.
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April 15, 2010 2:00:02 PM

Dear Promytius,

i do apologise for my ambiguous notion. yes, my motherboard has a 20 pin connector connecting to the power supply.... but the cable is divided by a 4 pin connector.... that is where i disconnected the cable and used a cable to the power supply.... to be more clear: the wire from the power supply to the motherboard is not one full cable, but a two piece cable....


my harddrive as well... the cable from the power supply is not a full cable but a two piece cable.... : from power supply to connector (4 Pin), then from this 4 pin connector to the harddrive...

but the cable from the power supply was divided into two 4 pin connectors.... connecting to this two components.... the motherboard and the harddrive...!

i hope my description is a little more clear to you now, and yet again, i do apologise for the lack of detail!

thank you again for your concern Promytius,

but i still don't know if this may be the main problem, as i don't want this to happen again in future!

does my detail in the connectors bring any clarity to your potential solution?
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April 15, 2010 3:57:42 PM

Run a memtest.
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April 15, 2010 4:18:06 PM

I understand. The motherboard and hard drive now have separate cables powering them so they no longer share the same cable/PSU rail. That can actually increase performance by evenly distributing the load on the PSU.

I'm glad you got it working, Dane. Hopefully there won't be anymore problems. If there are, please try to explain things with as much detail as you can.

Congrats on fixing your PC.
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April 16, 2010 6:40:37 AM

hey everyone and thank you for all your help and concern!

i knew it was to good to be true.... my solution to my problem was only temporary and the problem persists on irritating me!!!

so its not the power, alright someone mentioned a memory test!!! that i shall do and get back to you!!!

thank you again and please keep the potential solutions coming!!!

Dane
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April 16, 2010 10:15:01 AM

Well, again, I'd check the CMOS battery - if it is old it may not support retaining the config, so your system doesn't know how to boot. Do you have another power supply you can try? Also try disconnecting everything from the system, just the MB/memory and mouse/monitors/keyboard and see if it will post; if so, start putting things back on, one by one, re-posting each time. This may tell you it is a component if the trouble starts after you replace something. Also remove and re-seat your memory. Also, if you have new CPU paste, you may want to disassemble and re-paste the CPU/heatsink/fan arrangement. The first time you post with just the MB, check in the CMOS for the temperatures. All that should give you a pretty good idea of where the trouble is. That's a lot to do. Let us know!
Promytius
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April 16, 2010 10:58:34 AM

Dear Promytius,

that helps a great deal, i will try all of your recommendations and will get back to you as soon as i've tried everything!!

but before i fiddle with the cpu, i'll take it in to a technician, stating my procedure and his advice (if any)

your help is always greatly appreciated! thank you Promytius!!

i'll let you know as soon as there are any changes or progress!!

Dane
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April 16, 2010 5:39:40 PM

Something this intermittent, I'd suspect the CMOS battery, too. They're an inexpensive part to replace - maybe $5, tops. But, if Dane didn't receive a CMOS warning when he managed to get it functional after playing with power cables, then it's likely something else. See as playing with the power cabling helped, it may also be a suspect power supply, or a potential motherboard mounting short.

Sure sucks not being able to get "hands on" sometimes...
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April 16, 2010 8:26:23 PM

We don't always keep up with the technology - the power supply may not be powerful enough and/or not working well. Newer hardware has different demands on power. I saw a chart on how to calculate a properly sized power supply, but I can't remember where. I'll try to find it.
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April 19, 2010 8:35:17 AM

hey Promytius, hope you had a good weekend!!

well i certainly had a lot to do this weekend with my pc!! but i feel no progress!

first i did a memory test! i found out that 3 out of my four slots were faulty! so for the mean while, i was just using one slot... slot 4

it worked for about 1 to 2 hours then did the same, it did not want to switch on... then i put a 1gb ram piece into the first slot and it worked.... this was just f'*$ing me around now.....

i took the ram out swapped it all then did another memtest, with success again in the first and third slot, but the end of the day i tested all slots and all work now.... but the question is til when????

my pc works now, heaven knows why, but it does!!

does this mean a motherboard fault or power supply fault!!! it hasn't switched off yet and is running disk defrags and virus scans as we speak!

another question: as my pc was working most of yesterday, i tried to install windows 7 which i purchased a week ago, (64 bit ultimate)

i tried to install it but after the (windows starting) screen, it just hangs, and it doesn't want to read off the disk! what the hell is going on with my pc!!! i didn't pay a *** load for these components but they don't want to work!! taking into account that i did buy it more than a year ago and the problems are only arising now!!!!

thank you for your help Promytius! its always appreciated!
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April 19, 2010 2:50:47 PM

I would suggest you consider getting a new motherboard if the mem slots are finicky like that you can't depend on them. I don't know where in the world you are, but I do know that humid environments can cause a build up on connective surfaces, and mem slots and pci slots etc can lose their connectivity after a time - which is why I suggested removing and re-seating everything. But if you get different results over time from a slot, that's not good. As far as WIN7, try installing from the CD to a CLEAN HDD as a new install, no upgrade/port/util migrate. I would suggest using an older clean drive before you wipe out your old stuff. Hey installing WIN7 is a whole subject by itself! Lots of ways to go. Good luck!
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Best solution

April 19, 2010 2:53:57 PM

p.s.
I think your physical problems are due to deterioration of marginal parts in your motherboard. Clue: worked differently after being heated up all day.
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April 19, 2010 3:56:01 PM

Something seems "dodgy" for sure. You may want to consider open-air testing this system. That means pulling everything out, laying it on a table, and then slowly rebuilding it and testing after each additional non-core component (parts other than CPU, RAM, GPU) is installed. This should serve to eliminate the possibility of the motherboard shorting against the case.

If you're worried about switching the PC on and off because the actual switch is in the case, you can pick-up a cheap switch at Radio Shack for a buck or two, or use a flat-head screwdriver to just short the pins on the power switch header of the motherboard itself. One quick tap from the screwdriver is all it takes to start it up, but you may have to hold it in place a few seconds to power it down. Just be careful which pins you're hitting.
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April 29, 2010 5:58:38 AM

hey everyone!

well i finally got windows 7 installed on my pc, my pc has never performed this well! on the other hand, i never got any more trouble again with my pc switching off!

i can honestly tell you that i don't kbnow where the problem lies! but i am upgrading my motherboard, and my ram because i'm running 2gig of ram at 667..... and at least want to upgrade to 1333mhz!!!!

thank you for all your concern and replies!!! i'll keep in touch to let everyone know how things are going!!!

Dane
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April 29, 2010 5:59:08 AM

Best answer selected by Dane Bouwer.
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