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Weird error with Homebuilt PC

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January 15, 2011 7:39:21 PM

So a while back I built a pc, something I've wanted to do in a long while. I originally had but cheaper parts and it was decent and once together I had no problems accept I needed a better psu. So I went and got a 500w Apevia PSU at Fry's. So recently I decided to upgrade the GPU, the motherboard, the ram, the case, and add more displays. So I did that and reinstalled windows 7 and it worked, for about 2 hours then the monitor lost signal, fans went to 100%. Rebooted with no problems and again, about 30 minutes past and monitors lost signal, fans went to 100%. After that it would boot into windows and freeze then black screen again. Bios was fine but as soon as the splash screen popped up my monitors would loose signal. Strangely it would go into safe mode half the time and if I tried to repair windows through a CD, it would go black screen as well. So I thought it was the motherboard I had got or the RAM so I put everything back onto my old motherboard and returned the MB and RAM, reinstalled windows 7 and it worked for about 2 weeks. Then I added another hard drive. After that my pc froze at splash screen again and wouldn't fully load into my pc. So I put the new hard drive in by itself installed windows and it worked, then i put my other hard drives in and I couldn't get it to boot. So I just just left the new one thinking the old hard drives were bad. So its been working for about 3 weeks now and randomly 3 days ago my pc went black screen after being on for about 5 days straight. I found out the power went out for a split second so I didn't worry. I booted it back up with no problems. Then today it did it again. My monitors say "no signal detected" then my fans go 100%. I reboot and it works fine. So its not the hard drive, the motherboard, the ram, or the dvd drive. I'm beginning to think its my PSU or my GPU because before the upgrade to the new gpu and case it ran fine. Course a 5850 requires more power then the 4850 I had before so I'm leaning towards the PSU. Its not overheating everything runs at 28-34c. What do you guys think? You think the psu is supply insuffient power causing the computer to eventually power down? I also saw that my PSU 12+ voltage drops from 11.77v to 11.34, is that alarming or normal? It stays between 11.58v and 11.77v usually.

Specs:
Athlon II x4 620 w/ stock cooler
PNY DDR2 800
XFX 5850
Biostar A780L
LG x22 dvd burner
Seagate Baracuda 1TB HDD @7200 rpm
Apevia Java 500w PSU
Rosewill ARMOR Case

More about : weird error homebuilt

January 15, 2011 8:01:26 PM

Paragraphs were invented for a reason.

Being an asshole aside though, are any of the heat sinks, computer case vents or fans dusty? Have you applied enough thermal compound in between the processor/heat sink? Are any of the components extremely hot after the computer crashes?

Definitely sounds like a PSU problem though. The voltage might be surging and causing your motherboard to shut down all but the BIOS which runs the fans, CPU and GPU. I don't really trust PSU's that aren't at least silver certified. I personally have a Gold certified one.
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January 15, 2011 8:13:56 PM

chinesepanda said:
Paragraphs were invented for a reason.

Being an asshole aside though, are any of the heat sinks, computer case vents or fans dusty? Have you applied enough thermal compound in between the processor/heat sink? Are any of the components extremely hot after the computer crashes?

Definitely sounds like a PSU problem though. The voltage might be surging and causing your motherboard to shut down all but the BIOS which runs the fans, CPU and GPU. I don't really trust PSU's that aren't at least silver certified. I personally have a Gold certified one.



Well sorry, grammar police. :p 

The heatsinks are on tight and I have a fair amount of artic silver 5. The temps feel warm to the touch but not hot. Plus the reading on my pc never goes above 35c on any of my computer parts accept for the card that holds the gpu which reaches 41c.

I'm thinking of getting a 750w Corsair PSU from Newegg as it has 5 stars and was voted the best PSU of the year (or I think best PSU maker). Has 60 amperes on a single 12v+ so thats pretty cool.
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January 16, 2011 3:58:25 PM

Andrew, all grammar issues aside, paragraphs would make your posts easier to read.

11.34 volts on the 12 volt rail is just a little out of tolerance on the low side.

If your new PSU doesn't fix your problem:
Work systematically through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
I mean work through, not just read over it. We spent a lot of time on this. It should find most of the problems.

If not, continue.

I have tested the following beep patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different, but they all use a single short beep for a successful POST.

Breadboard - that will help isolate any kind of case problem you might have.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...

Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU.

Make sure you plug the CPU power cable in. The system will not boot without it.

I always breadboard a new build. It takes only a few minutes, and you know you are putting good parts in the case once you are finished.

You can turn on the PC by momentarily shorting the two pins that the case power switch goes to. You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence indicates a problem with (in most likely order) the PSU, motherboard, or CPU. Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.

If no beeps:
Running fans and drives and motherboard LED's do not necessarily indicate a good PSU. In the absence of a single short beep, they also do not indicate that the system is booting.

At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU of around 550 - 600 watts. That will power just about any system with a single GPU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. Red wires: +5 volts, orange wires: +3.3 volts, blue wire : -12 volts, violet wire: 5 volts always on. Tolerances are +/- 5% except for the -12 volts which is +/- 10%.

The gray wire is really important. It should go from 0 to +5 volts when you turn the PSU on with the case switch. CPU needs this signal to boot.

You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4&feature=yout...

A way that might be easier is to use the main power plug. Working from the back of the plug where the wires come out, use a bare paperclip to short between the green wire and one of the neighboring black wires. That will do the same thing with an installed PSU. It is also an easy way to bypass a questionable case power switch.

This checks the PSU under no load conditions, so it is not completely reliable. But if it can not pass this, it is dead. Then repeat the checks with the PSU plugged into the computer to put a load on the PSU.

If the system beeps:
If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Boot. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card.

Silence, long single beeps, or series of short beeps indicate a problem with the memory. If you get short beeps verify that the memory is in the appropriate motherboard slots.

Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. Boot. At this point, the system should POST successfully (a single short beep). Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST.
At this point, if the system doesn't work, it's either the video card or an inadequate PSU. Or rarely - the motherboard's PCIe interface.

Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step. It's possible that you can pass the POST with a defective video card. The POST routines can only check the video interface. It cannot check the internal parts of the video card.
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January 16, 2011 8:25:37 PM

jsc said:
Andrew, all grammar issues aside, paragraphs would make your posts easier to read.

11.34 volts on the 12 volt rail is just a little out of tolerance on the low side.

If your new PSU doesn't fix your problem:
Work systematically through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
I mean work through, not just read over it. We spent a lot of time on this. It should find most of the problems.

If not, continue.

I have tested the following beep patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different, but they all use a single short beep for a successful POST.

Breadboard - that will help isolate any kind of case problem you might have.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...

Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU.

Make sure you plug the CPU power cable in. The system will not boot without it.

I always breadboard a new build. It takes only a few minutes, and you know you are putting good parts in the case once you are finished.

You can turn on the PC by momentarily shorting the two pins that the case power switch goes to. You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence indicates a problem with (in most likely order) the PSU, motherboard, or CPU. Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.

If no beeps:
Running fans and drives and motherboard LED's do not necessarily indicate a good PSU. In the absence of a single short beep, they also do not indicate that the system is booting.

At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU of around 550 - 600 watts. That will power just about any system with a single GPU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. Red wires: +5 volts, orange wires: +3.3 volts, blue wire : -12 volts, violet wire: 5 volts always on. Tolerances are +/- 5% except for the -12 volts which is +/- 10%.

The gray wire is really important. It should go from 0 to +5 volts when you turn the PSU on with the case switch. CPU needs this signal to boot.

You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4&feature=yout...

A way that might be easier is to use the main power plug. Working from the back of the plug where the wires come out, use a bare paperclip to short between the green wire and one of the neighboring black wires. That will do the same thing with an installed PSU. It is also an easy way to bypass a questionable case power switch.

This checks the PSU under no load conditions, so it is not completely reliable. But if it can not pass this, it is dead. Then repeat the checks with the PSU plugged into the computer to put a load on the PSU.

If the system beeps:
If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Boot. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card.

Silence, long single beeps, or series of short beeps indicate a problem with the memory. If you get short beeps verify that the memory is in the appropriate motherboard slots.

Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. Boot. At this point, the system should POST successfully (a single short beep). Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST.
At this point, if the system doesn't work, it's either the video card or an inadequate PSU. Or rarely - the motherboard's PCIe interface.

Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step. It's possible that you can pass the POST with a defective video card. The POST routines can only check the video interface. It cannot check the internal parts of the video card.


See I know these steps because I mysself had to repair a computer with bad memory. I actually did this already, at least not the paper clip shorting thing. It's not the the computer can't boot (it can't if I have the hard drives that survived a blown PSU and motherboard from a lightning storm. surprisingly when I used them before the new case and gpu, they were fine, but now if they are in I can't get past the bios screen just says auto detecting sata devices and freezes so they are bad, weird that both of them are..), its the fact that after 100 hours or 50 hours my monitors loose signal, then my fans just jump to 100%.

The standoffs could be an issue though. I do have a few extra on the mounting tray I believe, but none which touch the micro atx board, I think. I'll check in a while.

Another thing, I realized that in CPU-Z my RAM is running at 400 MHz it suppose to be running at 800 MHz or does the system underclock it on idle because the bios reads it at 800 MHz. Also in bios, my memory says voltage is auto dected at 1.92v, I think my ram is suppose to run at 1.8v and I can't manually lower it. Problem?
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