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Hi All and can anybody help with these issues???

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April 18, 2012 12:37:33 PM

Hi All,

This is my first post here so a big hello to everyone.

I am having a few problems with my pc at the moment. I am not sure if they are related or not so i will post them all (and hopefully not bore you). I have included a full tech spec in my profile but have included it it at the end also.

The first problem i had was the USB ports at the front of the computer. They have never seemed to work properly if they both had something plugged into them, and my Seagate external hard drives had to be continuosly plugged in and out to work (when plugged in i would get a message saying that the device had not been recognised, or nothing would happen at all). If 2 things are plugged in at once, one of them either doesn't work properly (eg the USB wifi dongle being unable to connect to the internet or not work at all).

Then after i moved and set up my PC again i would get a problem on boot up. It would get as far as loading the USB controllers and then freeze on the first boot up screen. I would turn off my USB devices and it would then load ok (This tended to happen if the Pods were switched on during boot up).

The next problem that i was encountering was that i would get audio drop out when working with Nuendo or Reason. What would happen is that the sound would begin to play and then be replaced by a high pitched whistling sound and crackling (a bit like an old am radio tuner). The sound would drop in and out during this. In Soundforge sometimes it would play back the sound and it would sound very lofi. On restarting the computer this would normally resolve this.

A couple of weeks back the pc started randomly crashing and giving me the dreaded blue screen of death. This would normally happen after loading up a piece of software and after the first task had been done in that software.

I am also noticing that the computer is getting slower, and a couple of days ago it was loading up Soundforge, and when i tried to import sound from a cd the gui would lose some of its characteristics (The buttons would still be there in word form but the actual graphic would disappear.

I have been running a dual boot system of both Windows 7 32 bit (due to some of the music software not being 64 bit compatible) and Win 7 64 bit (Due to the video editing software needing 64 bit). I then decided to see if cleaning the inside of the pc a bit and reformatting would help. I have rebooted with only win 7 64 bit and so far the problems seem to still be there (It no longer boots the pc if i have my USB software dongles attached (USB controller again)).

My USB ports are a little overloaded, but i tend to keep my PODS and Oxygen 8 switched off unless i am using them, although all four dongles are on a hub (I have an Ilok for waves and Melodyne, an elicenser for Nuendo, a codemeter for Reason and a USB hard drive containing the Waves activations).

If any one could shed any light on this it would be most helpful as i have just moved from England to France and have been out of work for a few months (Thus i cannot afford to replace the computer at the moment :-( )

Thanks in advance.

TCT.

PC Spec

OS

Windows 7 Ultimate 64

Processor

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 Stepping (2.4GHz 1066MHz) Socket 775 L2 8MB Cache (2x4MB (4MB per core pair) Retail Boxed Processor.

Motherboard

Asus P5Q PRO P45 Socket 775 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard.

Memory

2 x Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 1066MHz/PC2-8500 HyperX Memory CL5 2.2V.

Graphics

ASUS GeForce GTX 550 Ti DirectCU - 1 GB GDDR5 - PCI-Express 2.0 (ENGTX550 Ti DC/DI/1GD5) (90-C1CQF0-L0UAY0YZ)

Hard Drives

2 x Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB Hard Drive SATAII 16MB Cache 10000rpm.
1 x Samsung SpinPoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache

Sound

MOTU 8in8out 828mk2 Firewire Audio Unit.

PSU

Corsair CMPSU-850AXUK 850W Power Supply

DVD Burner

Sony DRU-190A 20X DVD±RW DL & DVD-RAM IDE internal

Blu Ray Burner

Pioneer BDR-205 / 12x Internal SATA Blu-Ray BD-RE Drive

CPU Cooler

Noctua NH-C12P Socket 775, AM2, AM2+ Processor Cooler

Monitor

2 x Samsung SyncMaster SM923NW 19" TFT Monitor 1440x900 300cd/m2 1000:1 5ms 16:9 VGA Silver.

Other

Belkin FireWire 3-Port PCI Express Card
Antec Sonata III Piano Black Quiet Mid Tower Case
Logitech Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Desktop EX 110 – USB/PS2
Line 6 POD XT Pro
Nuendo USB Dongle
Ilok
Codemeter
USB drive containing waves activation
MAudio Oxygen 8 mk2

More about : issues

a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 18, 2012 1:47:08 PM

Just wondering, how did you end up with an 850w PSU when the rest of the computer uses like 200w?

Also, is there something keeping you from using the back ports rather than the front ports? The back ports are built into the motherboard whereas the front ones have to jump through hoops to emulate that. If you have more available back ports I would just use those instead.

It sounds like you have a lot of USB stuff already (mind you I don't really know what any of those parts are you are talking about), but USB hubs are good.

Also, I want to point out that USB devices are bad for your computer. Ideally, you want to limit the number of plugged in USB devices at all times. They take power from the 5v wires which is not good from a power standpoint.

What I would do is just unplug all that USB stuff you have so that you only have one thing plugged in and then test that to see how well it performs.

Afterwards, take that out and plug something else in to see how well that does by itself.

If you do this with every part you effectively test two things:
1) If a device is failing, which is more or less unlikely since you probably would have already noticed anyway

and more importantly

2) If the devices are putting too much strain on the computer in combination. If so, the computer will work perfectly with each item being the only one connected.

Do those things and report back and I can try to guide you a bit more based on the results.
April 18, 2012 3:10:36 PM

Hi Raiddin,

Thanks for the reply.

I was advised to get the power supply as i was having power issues with my previous one (A 600w). My DVD and BluRay drives would just disappear. When i upgraded my video card i was advised on the Adobe users forum to get this power supply to handle the graphics card.

At the moment my pc is completely unformatted as i am doing a little research before reformatting it.

I have been advised to get a powered USB hub to take the strain of my PC. The back ports are completely full (Including a hub with 4 dongles in one of them). I use the front 2 for the external drives and Wifi dongle for ease of access, as sometimes if i try unplugging/plugging in the back ports the computer turns itself off if the metal plug on the USB cable touched the metal of the case so i have to be careful (This has only happened twice).

I have tried unplugging things one by one and it resolves the boot up issue but not the audio drop out/blue screen issues.

The parts that use the USB ports are :-

Mouse/Keyboard combination (Always on)

4 way Hub (software dongles for music production software (Ilok, Codemeter, elicencer and USB Pen Drive). One of them is a regular USB pen drive with an authorisation file on it. Three of them require power (have little lights to say they are on) (Always plugged in)

PodXTPro is a guitar amp emulator device. It has its own external power but is connected via USB to control the internal settings via software. (Only on when recording or playing)

Bass PODxt - The same as the Podxtpro but for bass guitar (Only on when recording and playing).

Oxygen 8 - Controller MIDI keyboard. Powered by the USB port (Only on when recording and playing)

The MOTU is connected by firewire, but is externally powered.

Hope this is enough info for you. Don't hesitiate to ask for anything else.

Thanks again,

TCT :D 
Related resources
April 18, 2012 3:35:54 PM

thechemisttree said:
Hi Raiddin,
If i try unplugging/plugging in the back ports the computer turns itself off if the metal plug on the USB cable touched the metal of the case so i have to be careful (This has only happened twice).


This ^ is very strange. It sounds like there is a grounding issue or short somewhere, because the shell of a USB connector is electrically ground, and your case should also be grounded. First: are you using a 3 pronged outlet for your PC, and is that outlet wired properly (i.e. the third pin on the outlet is wired to an earth ground).

Second, try disconnecting the front panel USB ports from your motherboard, since you've seen problems there, in addition, you could disconnect any internals (optical/hard drives, fans, extra ram, etc).

If you have a digital multimeter (a tool for measuring voltage) you could check to see if the case and the USB shell are grounded, and make sure they are 0 volts with reference to ground (if you don't know what any of that means, you probably shouldn't attempt it, or you should get some help from someone in person).

Overall I would suspect your Motherboard, but it seems like one of those issues that could be very insidious and send you to the store essentially replacing everything in the computer until it goes away.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 18, 2012 5:18:10 PM

Here is a link showing that an average full system with a 550 TI at load, which means playing a game that stresses the video card, uses 250w.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2011/03/15/nv...

You want to look at the second graph at the red bar.

This page

http://www.elaraonline.ie/productdetail.aspx?productcod...

says that the Corsair AX 850w can do 25a on the 5v (125w).

While this page

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Says that you can get within 1a (5w) of that with a PSU 300w less wattage.

I don't know, I guess I just don't trust the Adobe forum users to really know what they are talking about on this point.

If all you are using off the 12v lines are the video card and the processor then you can get by with a pretty low wattage PSU. Most good PSUs are in the 20-25a range for the 5vs which is what all the USB stuff is sucking out of.

I would, however, look into those powered USB hubs. If you were using some of those, it would take a lot of the strain off your 5v lines from your PSU. Those tend to be the easiest lines to overload too.

The assumption PSU makers use is that you aren't going to plug in 12 USB things at once, and in some situations like yours the default assumption isn't followed.

Either the XFX 550w or the Corsair 850w could handle the graphics card just the same. Indeed it would be easier on the PSU if it were with the XFX 550w, because PSUs work better close to 50% load and there is no way you can load that computer to 425w.

Not sure about the sound problem, though. You might try taking out the sound card and plugging the sound cables into the motherboard and see if that changes anything. It could be a dead sound card.
April 19, 2012 3:00:05 PM

Thanks for all the reply's.

Ok i have been running the MOTU soundcard on my Macbook Pro this afternoon, trying it with Nuendo, Reason and I-tunes and it appears to be working fine.

I was wondering after reading on a few other pages maybe the sound issue can be related to the video card. Apparently NVidia cards can clash with soundcards on Windows 7.

On inspection NVidea likes to install its own sound drivers on installation so when i reformat the machine i will try not installing those. I may try to disable all other sound devices apart from the MOTU. Is this wise? Or do any of the other sound devices need to be installed/working for any reason?

As for the PSU. I am currently waiting to start a couple of jobs which will pay for a new motherboard, processor, memory and a pair of SS hard drives so i guess this will be a good power supply to use once i have these newer, more powerful components (I will also add a new, more powerful video card when money allows).

As for the current machine, i will purchase a powered USB hub as soon as i can. I want to wait until i return to England so i can get one with an English plug (as all my equipment at the moment all has English plugs which are plugged into a pair of 6 ways, which in turn have English/French adaptors on the end so i can plug them in here in France). Would this also be a problem for my electrics?. I have been having static electricity problems for a while both in England and France (I always seen to get electric shocks off of the Macbook).

Thanks for all your help guys.

TCT :D 
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 19, 2012 5:20:54 PM

IT could have to do with video card sound. You should be able to test that just by disabling the video card sound.

If you don't know which is which, you could just disable anything that has to do with sound and start enabling things one at a time.

There is no good reason a sound card has to be installed and enabled for a computer to work.

The PSU you have is probably fine. It is overkill for your power needs as far as i can tell, but it would be more impactful on your wallet to buy a whole new PSU than to pay the higher power bill.

I don't see any good reason that a powered USB hub would be any different than using your computer as a makeshift powered USB hub.
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