Really strange problem I can't figure out

Hi guys,

I’m having a very strange problem with my computer that I’m stumped to figure out. Here goes.

I built the rig myself, installed windows 7 and it ran beautifully for around 8 months. I used it for everything from high demand gaming to video editing and it ran great.

Then something went wrong. I was playing a game and the screen froze for a few seconds, then the system reset itself. Then it started working intermittently, sometimes it would boot ok, sometimes it wouldn’t. If I tried to watch a video or play a game it would crash straightaway.

Naturally, I thought there was a problem with the video card. I took it out, sent it back to the place I bought it from, and replaced it with a cheap radeon HD 5450 for the meanwhile and my system worked fine, further adding to my belief that the video card was the culprit.

The place I bought it from, however, send it back, saying they’d ran it through a multitude of tests and it was fine. Disbelieving of this, I sent it to an IT friend of mine who put it in his comp and agreed with them, he put it through its paces and it was fine.

Here’s the confusing part – the computer worked fine for weeks after replacing the original graphics card, and yet there apparently isn’t anything wrong with it. The only difference between the original Nvidia graphics card and the radeon card is that the nvidia has two extra power cables plugged in to it and the radeon does not.

So after receiving the Nvidia card back from my friend I plugged it back in, and now I’m not even getting a display on screen. The system posts ok (1 beep) and then resets, posts, resets, posts, resets etc etc.

I should also mention that I’ve installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 on a completely clean hard drive and the problem reoccurs.


The specs:
(Don’t have CPU details on hand but it’s a socket 1366 multi core Intel, mid-high end at the time that I bought it)
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 Intel X58 Chipset Socket 1366 ATX ICH10R
Asus GF GTX 470 PCI-E 2.0 1280MB DDR5 320-bit
Kingston 6GB 1600MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL9 DIMM (Kit of 3) XMP
Corsair 850W HX-850 ATX Power Supply, 140mm Fan, Universal AC Input 90~264V
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 SATA II 3Gb/s 1TB x 2
Thermaltake Armor+ MX Black Steel Mid Tower Case
7 answers Last reply
More about really strange problem figure
  1. Check your PSU - could be a bad connector or two. 1366 motherboards have had a lot of issues with PSUs - I was using a modular Ultra PSU and my computer did the same thing until I swapped the modular PSU with a single rail TX 750 - been problem free ever since. You have a relatively high end Corsair - you might want to contact them to see what the problem is.
  2. Thanks g-unit, I tried a different power supply (couldn't get a single rail, used a similar 850w corsair) and the exact same thing happened.

    So then I tried a different graphics card, a gtx 580, and it worked! What the hell? How can my graphics card work in my friends computer but not mine!

    I'm still confused and don't want to waste money buying parts I don't need... advice please!
  3. It can also be related to the temperature of your motherboard. I had a problem once where my video card would cover the chipset heatsink of my mobo and cause it to overheat if I didn't turn the case fans to higher speeds.
    Compare the video cards which cause the system to crash and which don't - do they have closed cases of open heatpies and fans?
  4. Hi Tulx,

    Thank you for trying to help with the Twilight Zone PC!

    The video card that works is actually larger than the one that doesn't - it is a gtx 480 as opposed to a gtx 470. Both look pretty similar except for the fact that the 480 is longer and has exposed heat pipes.

    I don't understand how it could overheat when it doesn't even boot up properly? Surely there wouldn't be enough time?

    Thank you
  5. Sounds like the motherboard got too hot one day and something got screwed up in it.

    Can you borrow a motherboard similar to what you already have?
  6. Hi Raiddinn, thanks for your input.

    No, don't have access to a similar mobo unfortunately.

    Can you explain to me how there could be something wrong with my mobo but the other video card (which is physically larger) works ok?

  7. Physical dimensions just don't really have a lot to do with it.

    You threw out numbers for 4 different video cards

    gtx 580
    gtx 480
    gtx 470
    hd 5450

    so it was hard to keep up with what was going on, but the one thing I think I understood correctly is that the one you want to use was tested by two different sources and they both found it to work OK.

    If that is the case, about all I can tell you is that it is a motherboard problem.

    Either 1) your motherboard isn't new enough for the card and you need to upgrade your whole core (processor, motherboard, ram), or 2) the motherboard slot that you stick the video card in is screwed up and you need a new motherboard and nothing else.

    Both of those could be wrong and I don't have any idea what I am talking about, or I can be completely right and it is a messed up motherboard.

    The best way to test would be to try a different motherboard with similar specifications to the one you currently have.

    If you don't want to go that route, you could have the store tell you the motherboard they tested it with as well as your friend tell you the motherboard they tested it with and see if you can find something that is the same between both of theirs and different in yours.

    Whichever one is easiest for you.
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