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Persistent System Hang After New GFX Card Installed

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 4, 2011 10:50:31 PM

Hey guys, I'm having some problems here hopefully you can help me out.

Before I go on and on the TLDR: System specs at bottom of post.

PROBLEM: Black Ops crashed after installing a new (used) 8800GTS 640MB from eBay and playing through about half of one match. The system now repeatedly hangs at reboot even after clearing CMOS and leaving power unplugged for 3 mins. Already pulled the (new) board and went back to my old one, problem persists.

I have had the same system for about 4 years now and due to its age and my upgrading to a 26 inch monitor running @ 1920x1200 I have recently looked into upgrading to a second GFX card to SLI and 2 additional GB of ram. Well I ordered these parts off eBay and the RAM came first so I replaced my original 2GB kit with the used RAM from eBay and played some CoD: Black Ops for a few matches before running Memtest86+ 4.20 for 24 hours. After 30 passes with no errors reported I assumed all was well and continued by installing my original 4GB of RAM and played Black ops some more. Everything was ok until -- the GFX card came in the mail today (used from eBay) and I did a similar procedure, replaced my original GFX card with the used one (identical) set the fan speed to 100% in nTune and proceded to load up Black Ops for testing. All seemed well and the game played as normal/expected until it suddenly froze in the middle of my first match... No big deal right? The game is buggy and it could have been anything. Well I pressed the reset button on my chassis and the computer did a strange thing I have NEVER seen it do... It beeped once as normal but then proceded to load the point where the computer was frozen prior to resetting it (nTune Fanspeed at 100% and all) and the system just hangs. I have Corsair LED series RAM so I can see that the activity lights are frozen meaning the system is hung and the fan speed profile would NEVER load on its own after a restart so this is all very strange... I thought OK... let's just turn the power completely off, remove the power cord for 2-3 mins and then reboot -- Nothing, system still hangs. Tried clearning CMOS and leaving power cable unplugged -- Nothing still hangs. Replaced original GFX card -- Nothing, Removed 2GB or used RAM from the system -- Nothing. Unplugged HDDs to see if I could JUST see a POST screen even if the computer won't boot -- Nothing. The computer persistently remembers where it hung up mid-game with the Fan speed at 100% on the GFX card no matter what I do.

I have never experienced anything like this before, the only thing I can think of is leaving the reset jumper on the CMOS and power cord unplugged for several hours ad trying again. My motherboard doesn't have any onboard GFX so I can't troubleshoot the system without at least my original GFX card plugged into the PCI express slot. So did this guy on eBay sell me a totally bum GFX card with a screwy BIOS or other defect? Or maybe my power supply just suddenly died? (unlikely as it was only ever at about 300W load and it's a 700W PSU). I have a PSU tester which I will bust out and try if all else fails but this is just too weird. Any help will be much appreciated guys, if anyone has had a similar experience please help me out here :( 

My System Specs:
Mobo: Asus M2N SLI Deluxe / Chipset Nforce 570
PSU: Thermaltake 700W
RAM: 4x1GB Corsair XMS2 LED Series 800Mhz
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2.6GHz
GFX: Asus Nvidia Geforce 8800GTS 640MB
HDDS: 2x WD Caviar Black 640MB 7200RPM in Raid 0

More about : persistent system hang gfx card installed

April 4, 2011 11:46:00 PM

Update:

Alright guys, I'm really trying everything I can here so I did bust out my Antec PSU tester and here's the result... I got a low voltage warning on the +12V2. So there IS a problem with my PSU. now this brings up several important questions...

I am pretty sure +12V goes to the GFX card, which explains why I am having this trouble... but do you think it was the eBay card that ruined my PSU -- OR did it go bad on its own and this is just a VERY strange coincidence? I HAVE heard bad things about Thermaltake Power Supplies and now I AM starting to think these arguments have merit...

I will send for a new PSU (Probably Corsair 750-1200W depending on my budget) AND I will see about a warranty replacement of the Thermaltake just for fun, but I really hope I did not damage my original GFX card by under-volting it for the brief seconds that I was troubleshooting this problem with it connected (I only booted with it connect for a few seconds at a time maybe 3-5 times).

Hey guys any comments are appreciated even if you don't know any specifics, just let me know your thoughts on the situation / Thermaltake products etc.

Antec PSU checker Instructions:
Abnormal Voltage Detection:
1. PG value
a. Power OK delay: 100ms<PG<500ms
b. When PG value is detected in the low 100ms or high 900ms, the Digital PC Power Tester will alarm and display a blinking “too low” or “too high” indicator.
2. Abnormal voltage (refer to table below)
a. When voltage is below “Low(A)”, an alarm will sound.
b. When voltage is higher than “High(B)”, an alarm will sound.
c. When voltage is lower than “Min(C)”, an alarm will sound and the screen will display “LL.”
d. When voltage is higher than “Max(D)”, an alarm will sound and the screen will display “HH.”

My PSU checker constantly beeps displaying "LL" on +12V2 as in example c.
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April 5, 2011 12:15:37 AM

Can't go wrong with a Corsair, me I like OCZ , personally I feel a little leery about buying electronic stuff from ebay as there would be no adjustment when and if there is a snafu at least when ordering from "tiger" or" the egg" one can always do a rma even though you will have to pay the postage, still prefer local brick and mortar as they are only a bus ride away...:) 
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April 12, 2011 1:50:41 AM

Alright guys I just wanted to update you on the situation here -- everything is fixed now it WAS the thermaltake powersupply being on the fritz.

I ordered a new Corsair 750W PSU from the Egg and everything is working, including the SLI 8800GTS setup (including the eBay card) for several days now with no issues.

In case anyone else has the same trouble, my advice is this: Buy a power supply tester - they are cheap and easy to use and can save you a ton of hassle in troubleshooting your rig. Also: never assume a power supply will last as long as the MTBF on the box states, even if you paid $170.00 for it like I did and it was supposedly "high-end" for its day. That is all.

From now on I'm probably only gonna buy Corsair and PC Power and Cooling PSUs.
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April 22, 2011 6:28:53 PM

Best answer selected by savagenorseman.
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