I think I've got this figured out, but I wanted to double-check with the pros before I went and replaced any parts. Here is my setup:
Motherboard: ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 550 Callisto 3.1GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core
Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Video Card: EVGA 512-P3-N987-TR GeForce 9800 GT HDMI 512MB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
OS: Windows 7 Pro 32-bit
Here's my problem:
I've been running this system for a little over a year with no problems. Recently, the system began failing to display anything upon bootup while displaying from the Video Card (DVI > DVI btw). Since that first time, it has had a bunch of varying responses on boot, including:
-No display, no BIOS, no POST (fans spin, lights are on - nothing is happening, computer turns off with one push of the power button, no hold)
-No display of BIOS - display begins at Windows load screen and continues perfectly
-No display at all, but Windows initializing sounds can be heard
-Computer turns on normally, but resolution is modified to huge icons (800x600 or so) and cannot be changed
-Computer turns on and functions perfectly.
I haven't had any BSODs, freeze-ups, random reboots/shutdowns, and can't find any trace of a problem in the error logs. I've also updated and rolled back the driver numerous times, to no avail.
Strangely, I did once run an error-check on the HDD, which repaired a few things, and the computer ran perfectly after that...once. Then returned to its problematic state.
Additionally, the last time I rolled back the driver, the computer began the sequence of disengaging and re-engaging the video card. After it had disengaged it, the screen went black and re-engage sounds could be heard, but no display came with it.
Finally, the system seems to function normally the first time it is turned on, if it has been left off for a number of hours. It will not display after being rebooted, and frequently will not display if turned off and then turned on again too soon.
On the other hand, when connected to onboard graphics (Radeon 4200 I believe - part of the mobo), everything functions perfectly. The system reboots perfectly, proceeds through BIOS and POST perfectly, etc.
I'm sure that you guys are where I'm at - obviously the video card is shot. I've been reading some other threads on this forum though, and I want to make sure I don't fall victim to any kind of motherboard tomfoolery. I've checked both my PS and my mobo temp, and here's what I've found (basically nothing but the testing software was running when these tests were done) (Tests done with Speedfan and AIDA64 Extreme):
CPU Temp: Core 1: 25C/77F Core 2: 25C/77F
Mobo temp: 25C/95F
CPU Fan: 3392 RPM
CPU Core: 0.880V
Thanks for any help or advice you guys can offer. If I've left out any details or specs that would assist please let me know.
While the problem could be caused by the graphics card it is also much more likely that the problem is caused by the power supply. A faulty or under powered power supply can give all of the symptoms you have described. The reason that the computer works with the on-board video is because it draws less power. Substitution of the power supply is the only reliable test.
I took your advice and did some further testing, and it seems that you are correct in that I was mistaken.
Solution: Clearing the CMOS seems to be what ultimately resolved my problem.
The rails coming off my power supply (which is modular) all tested perfectly, but I have taken your advice about the system not receiving enough power. If this happens again I would be inclined to test the surge protector that this machine is plugged into, and the PS again.
Regardless, the video card, motherboard, and memory are all doing well (and so am I, because I don't have to replace anything )
After I had applied the changes detailed above, my problem came back a few hours later. I did some research, and it seems like my video card was defaulting to a resolution that was higher than my monitor was supposed to display. I brought the resolution back down to within proper limits for the monitor, and voila.