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Whats happening with my computer?

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.
21 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about whats happening computer
  1. Sounds like a psu problem to me. PSUs usually go out in a bang, first little things then they keep gettin' worse and worse till this happens. If you have another psu laying around in a spare pc somewhere or if you have a friend ask if you can use his. If the problem goes away then its clearly the psu. I would say its overheating but if it goes off randomly when reading articles I don't think it would be vs RTS/Shooters.
  2. What brand of PSU do you have? How old is it? Refubrished?
  3. its an FSP brand. it is the original that came stock. i didn't upgrade anything. I've had this computer for a little over 4 years now.
  4. Get a new PSU, that is about 90% likely to fix it I would say.

    If you can borrow a high wattage tier 1 brand, you can confirm that it will work before you buy it, but I don't even really think it is necessary.

    When computers get old, the PSU is almost always the first thing to go. PSU problems show up randomly in many different areas and they are very hard to diagnose unless you have a good spare laying around to test with.
  5. Almost certainly the PSU.
  6. thanks for all the replies! I've been talking to another guy and he says that it may be the mobo also.. your guy's thoughts??
  7. check all of the eletrolitic capacitors on the MOBO bad caps can cause all kinds of odd things to happen if the psu replacement doesnt fix the problem I would bet its a bad capacitor somewhere
  8. I don't see any blown caps or anything with burn marks or mushroomed out.
  9. PSU is easier and cheaper to replace... but your issue could be caused be either the motherboard or PSU. Both equally likely. Easy things - Replace power Cable, try another outlet/surge protector.

    Does you Monitor say 'No signal' or does it go to "sleep"? Or does it actually turn off...
  10. It could be the PSU (my guess 90% likely) or it could be any number of other things including the motherboard (my guess 10% likely, collectively).

    I would start with buying a new PSU.
  11. yeah PSU , or surge protector ..OR very rarely but possible the Electricity coming from your Utilities Company ..but I am assuming that has been fine , and you would generally notice other things like light bulbs getting brighter or dimmer as well
  12. the surge protector i've been using has a lamp and an alarm clock plugged into it as well and it hasn't effected either of those things ever so i doubt it's that. i have a spare psu with the same watts and all that so the next time it happens i'm first going to see if the problem persists in BIOS since i have yet to do so and then i'll try the new psu. IF the problem still occurs, i'll get back on here and update my findings.
  13. 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.
  14. If it thinks the CMOS battery is bad it really might be bad.

    Try buying this one for $1.50
  15. thanks Raiddinn, i will do that.. but, do you have any idea if that would be the only thing that's making my computer do this?
  16. I currently have 4 or 5 mobo batteries lying around, and to think that someone could use them. I was just gonna toss them! rofl. oh and btw new psu should fix your issue, the cmos battery is only used in startup
  17. I thought all along that it had something to do with the PSU, I still think that may have something to do with it now.

    Even if you buy this battery for $1.50, it may not solve all the problems.

    I think you will be really lucky if it does.
  18. 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??
  19. Best answer
    A checksum is pretty simple.

    What happens is that a computer has some file and it runs an encryption routine on it. Pretend the first characters of the result are like this:


    If you change even one letter of the entire file, it will change the contents of the first characters so they are something like this


    This is why many companies that deliver software over the web supply MD5 checksums for the files they send out. When someone downloads the file they can test it with an MD5 generator on their computer and compare what they got vs what the webpage said. If the sums are different then there was some problem with the download and they need to download it again.

    If a hacker hacked the website and replace the good exe with a trojan exe, all the customers would get different checksums than what it said on the page, alerting the website to the problem so they can fix it.

    The same thing happens with the BIOS files.

    The computer generates the checksum and stores it somewhere. When it starts up the computer every time it quickly generates another checksum and compares it to the number that it has stored. If the numbers are different then there is something wrong, either the number stored failed somehow or some part of the BIOS failed and now generates a different checksum.

    If a battery is losing its ability to power the computer clock in an off state, for instance, it may drop power to the computer clock for a fraction of a second and that could cause the computer clock to stop temporarily. If it does that with a couple different parts, they may forget some important piece of data they need to have or it may chance from a 1 to a 0 or something.

    The difference in there would create a wildly different checksum.

    Mind you the checksums CAN be faked. It is possible for two different files to have the same checksum, but it is extremely hard to engineer this. Usually if the checksum is the same you can trust that the inputs are the same. If one piece of data is different it takes a LOT of work to fix the checksum so its the same as the old one.

    Anyway, it is another reason to believe you should pay $1.50 to buy a new battery.
  20. raddinn,

    thanks a lot for the info! i'll get the new battery.
  21. Best answer selected by dave_1792.
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