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Whats happening with my computer?

Last response: in Motherboards
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December 4, 2011 9:27:20 PM

hello all,

My computer monitor has been shutting off completely randomly for the past two months and it's extremely frustrating. What happens is:

-monitor goes black and seems to have lost the signal

-if i am listening to music, the sound shuts off

-the light on my mouse (blue) turns off

-the light on my tower stays ON(solid, not blinking), though i cannot shut the computer down manually by holding this during this state

-the two fans i have keep running

-the only way to turn off my system is to flip the power surge protector off for at least 30 seconds(sometimes longer) and flip it back on again

I've cleaned my cpu heatsink as well as dust and alcohol swabbed just about everything on my computer. I have an on board graphics card as well as a discerte higher quality graphics card which is what i actually use. What i've done in testing is taken out my discrete card and used my onboard card and the problem still occurs. i've tested each of my four RAM DDR2 sticks and slots and the problem still exists. Even in SAFE mode, the problem stills exists.

-this problem occurs at random times meaning it could be idling, i could be watching youtube videos, i could be reading articles online, i could be in microsoft word, i could be playing multiplayer games(RTS's/Shooters), i could be doing ANYTHING and it still happens. Sometimes it will stay on without the problem for days, other times it will happen multiple times a day in rapid succession.

ANYONE. please. help. me... everyone's thoughts are welcome and appreciated.
a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
December 4, 2011 9:51:33 PM

Looks, unfortunately, like a motherboard problem, if the ports get messed up like that (losing the mouse light) and the power button shutdown doesn't work. That last is the biggest warning sign, as it should still work with just about any other part malfunctioning. Do you have any sort of connections to another board you could try with your CPU and RAM? Some friend with an old build? Do some scientific breadboarding if you can, and RMA (or replace) the motherboard if you can't.
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December 4, 2011 10:09:36 PM

thanks for your input, kajabla! unfortunately i do not have the means to another mobo. also, in a different thread a guy said that he suspects a psu problem... your thoughts?
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a b V Motherboard
December 4, 2011 10:14:48 PM

Well there's a little more to check...

Does it happen in the bios? If not, then it's probably software related.

Does holding down the power button for 5 seconds work to turn it off? If not, that indicates the motherboard, as kajabla said.

You didn't mention booting to Linux (Use Linux Mint from a USB or CD--no install required). Does it happen in Linux? If not, it's Windows. Go to the device manager and uninstall a bunch of your devices then reinstall the drivers. If the drivers have utilities (like with graphics), do a "Clean Install". Or you can do a clean Windows install.

If it happens in Linux and the bios, then it's your hardware.
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a b V Motherboard
December 4, 2011 10:17:10 PM

dave_1792 said:
thanks for your input, kajabla! unfortunately i do not have the means to another mobo. also, in a different thread a guy said that he suspects a psu problem... your thoughts?
More than likely if it was a PSU problem, then it would be aggravated by heavy usage. The fact that an FPS shooter doesn't crash it any more than idling (as far as you can tell), makes it less likely it's the PSU.

Normally, I'd go straight to blaming the PSU though.
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December 4, 2011 11:28:11 PM

dalauder,

thanks for your input as well! i really appreciate it. although. I'm not entirely computer savvy and im not sure how i would know if it happens in the BIOS. Could you explain the steps i would take to do this?
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a b V Motherboard
December 5, 2011 12:15:59 AM

Go into your bios on startup (probably "Delete", but possibly F2, Tab, Esc, or other Function buttons). Sit there on that blue bios screen and see if the screen ever goes black permanently.

If you'd like to be able to browse the internet while testing instead of leaving your computer as an idling blue bios box, then burn Linux Mint to a CD and boot from that(or write it to a flash stick): http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

Then you can boot to Linux instead of Windows with no Linux install and just go about your day browsing youtube. Then just tell us if it crashes to black.
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December 5, 2011 12:32:41 AM

daladuer,

alright. i will do this when it the next time it crashes. sometimes it'll be fine for a day straight so it may take some time to crash if it ever does. ill leave it go for at least two days. I'll be back!
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a b V Motherboard
December 5, 2011 12:45:12 AM

dave_1792 said:
daladuer,

alright. i will do this when it the next time it crashes. sometimes it'll be fine for a day straight so it may take some time to crash if it ever does. ill leave it go for at least two days. I'll be back!
Okay, just PM me if you come back because I might close this tab in my browser if nobody posts for a couple days.
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December 5, 2011 12:51:58 AM

will do. thanks a lot.
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December 10, 2011 1:49:53 AM

sooo update... my computer just did it again after two days of being fine.. when i booted it back up i had a screen come up telling me all my components and stuff like it usually would after it happened and i noticed that it said """"CMOS battery bad""""...

what does this mean? is it the circular battery on my mobo?? if so.. would that be the thing causing my computer to do this?? need some answers... let me know guys!! thanks a lot.
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December 10, 2011 1:54:13 PM

also, in the same screen where it said that the battery was bad it said CMOS checksum bad or wrong or something. can't remember exactly.. what does this mean??
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a b V Motherboard
December 12, 2011 1:14:25 AM

The CMOS battery is that circular battery on your motherboard. To check how it's doing, you can load up your bios and check the Hardware Monitor page. That will have a reading to the effect of VBat, which will tell you the battery voltage. Or HWMonitor might have that reading. It's supposed to be 3V.

Anyhow...all that does is supply power to your mobo's bios chip, to keep it from resetting after every power down. So your bios may be restarting with defaults every startup, but that shouldn't cause crashes--just would be less than optimal settings. This would only cause instability if your RAM needs extra voltage to run at stock speeds or something like that.

I'll replied to your PM too.

The CMOS checksum is probably related to the battery. Just pop it out by pressing the latch with a flathead screwdriver and go pick another one up at Walmart for $1.79.
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