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Computer Crashes to Single Random Color. Have to Hard-shut.

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October 31, 2012 6:32:20 AM

Hello,

It all started when on a skype chat, my computer suddenly went completely blank with sound going haywire (stuttering and stuff). It was not responsive so I had to hard-shut and shrugged it off as just a random crash. Boy was I wrong.

The crash creeped into video games, and regular video-watching online. The thing about the crashes though, is that it's not exclusive to playing video games, although it's when it happens the most frequent, and sometimes it even lets me play for hours before crashing again (to one random single color). I'd say that it happens when starting up/playing game 95% of the time while the other 4% is when watching a youtube video and 1% is just complete random when i'm not doing anything. One thing that I should mention though- is that if I can play the game for more than about 5-10 minutes, i can usually play for hours before it crashes on me again. I have to turn off and start my comp about 5-10 times before i can play for a longer period of time.

I'm no computer expert but I've done my share of work to the best of my knowledge.

I ruled out the following by testing them (stress test, swapping out parts, temperature, and etc).

Memory - what most people said could be the issue. I swapped out all memory and placed new ones and and etc so this can't be it

Overheating - my CPU and GPU temperature are very low and steady (below 60 degrees on load)

Power supply - I recently got a new power supply and it doesn't seem to be causing the problem?

Drivers - i've tried newest drivers, older drivers and etc. Doesn't affect the issue.

Games - uninstalled and reinstalled all my games. It's not exclusive to games also so naturally, it did not fix the crashing.

What can I do now? I'm reluctant to say it's my GPU because it's as new as my power supply... I don't know what to do. It doesn't seem to be a software issue, but hardware. Could it be my mobo or hardrive? How would I test if it's my mobo or hardrive?

I'll be borrowing a friend's gpu and see if my gpu is the issue in the coming days but in the mean while, what else can i do??
October 31, 2012 6:37:24 AM

Windows Windows 7 Home Premium Edition (64-bit) Service Pack 1 (Build 7601)
Memory (RAM) 6144 MB
CPU Info Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9400 @ 2.66GHz
CPU Speed 2691.5 MHz
Sound Card Speakers (Audio Device on High |
Realtek Digital Output(RCA) (Au |
Realtek HDMI Output (Audio Devi |

Display Adapters NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti | RDPDD Chained DD | RDP Encoder Mirror Driver | RDP Reflector Display Driver
Monitors 1x; Dell_ST2310_Analog |
Screen Resolution 1920 X 1080 - 32 bit
Network Network Present
Network Adapters Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
CD / DVD Drives 2x (D: | I: | ) D: TSSTcorpDVD+-RW TS-H653G | I: DTSOFT BDROM
Ports COM Ports NOT Present. LPT Port NOT Present.
Mouse 8 Button Wheel Mouse Present
Hard Disks C: 690.5GB
Hard Disks - Free C: 210.8GB
USB Controllers 8 host controllers.
Firewire (1394) Not Detected
Manufacturer * Dell Inc.
Product Make * Studio 540
AC Power Status OnLine
BIOS Info | |
Time Zone Central Standard Time
Battery Status No Battery
Motherboard * Dell Inc. 0M017G
SM BIOS 1.1.3
October 31, 2012 7:28:39 AM

Looks like u had test most of it,

meanwhile i would check the hdd for bad sector.......
also the cabling...
If u can try to do memtest and check the voltage of each rails of PSU...

just a note: new doesn't means it error free, sometimes they broke when in distribution, sometimes the QC officer had a bad days and miss checking........
Related resources
October 31, 2012 7:41:32 AM

if this is a dell system check that the mb has the newest bios. could be an issue with the mb and ram timing/speed. as long as one dimm was only being used or stressed the system might be stable. also use crusical ram advisior to read your mb and ram info. check that if it a ddr2 mb the ram is standard 800 speed or less ram. those speeds were the stock intel speed. if the ram is 1066 speed. it may be running slightly to fast for the system. the other things that it could be is a northbridge or southbridge chipset is overheating. if it a mini dell or hp case try running it with the side pannel open on it. if your using a power strip try plugging the pc into the wall to rule out the strip. also if it still crashes try using another outlet. the last is usb hubs and devices. iif the usb hub or phones or ipads are connected to some of the older mb. the usb chipset could not power them and the system would lock up or crash. i would use just a mouse and keybord and unplug any hubs or printer or usb speaker to make sure it the system and not a device connected to the pc.
October 31, 2012 7:54:14 AM

smorizio said:
if this is a dell system check that the mb has the newest bios. could be an issue with the mb and ram timing/speed. as long as one dimm was only being used or stressed the system might be stable. also use crusical ram advisior to read your mb and ram info. check that if it a ddr2 mb the ram is standard 800 speed or less ram. those speeds were the stock intel speed. if the ram is 1066 speed. it may be running slightly to fast for the system. the other things that it could be is a northbridge or southbridge chipset is overheating. if it a mini dell or hp case try running it with the side pannel open on it. if your using a power strip try plugging the pc into the wall to rule out the strip. also if it still crashes try using another outlet. the last is usb hubs and devices. iif the usb hub or phones or ipads are connected to some of the older mb. the usb chipset could not power them and the system would lock up or crash. i would use just a mouse and keybord and unplug any hubs or printer or usb speaker to make sure it the system and not a device connected to the pc.


You're talking about the Crucial ram advisor right (http://www.crucial.com/store/drammemory.aspx)?

This doesn't tell me what speed my rams are running at. Also, i went into the bios but couldn't really find a way to adjust the voltage to my RAMS and GPU.. How do i go about doing that?
November 10, 2012 7:26:00 AM

never post when your 1/2 asleep. the ram advisor will show the ram qal for your mb/system the part number for it and size.
to read your old ram use cpu-z. under the memory tab will show you your make and ram speed. the spd tab show you the rated speed for your ram. most dell and hp have locked bios. you have to read your mb guild to see if that part of the bios is unlocked. on most it not.
!