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Weird Power/Graphics Issue?

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July 16, 2012 11:32:32 PM

I'm not sure if this is in the correct part of the board, but I've been having an issue where if the clothes washer or dryer are on (which are hooked up to the wall directly opposite to my computer), I get checkerboard effects on my display which results in a graphics TDR which mostly will happen if the computer is under load, but occasionally also happens even on idle or web browsing.

If I'm trying to power the computer on when the washer or dryer is on, these graphical glitches happen right away and sometimes it doesn't even boot, or BSOD.

Is this an issue with filtering? Is there ground noise that is interrupting the power enough to cause these issues on my computer? It's already connected to a surge protector, and I've thought about getting a UPS but I thought I'd get some other people's opinions since I don't know much about this stuff. Thanks in advance!

My computer specs are in the sig. Let me know if I need to provide any more information.


UPDATE:
Yesterday was my dad's birthday so I couldn't do any troubleshooting, but here is an update.

This morning before heading out to work, I made sure the washer, dryer, and stove were all turned off and powered on my computer. Post was normal, but after that i got white checkerboardish effects and then it blue screened. On the auto-reboot after the blue screen, the graphics were all messed up even on the post so I turned it off and left for work.

So it turns out this issue happens on cold boot, even when the washer and dryer isn't on. Could this mean there is an issue with my power supply? Would there be any way to check if everything is ok with the PSU using a multi-meter? I'll try plugging in the comp near one of my tv's (which is on the other side of the house from the laundry room and computer room) and see if these problems continue.

It's weird because sometimes I'll be able to turn the computer on, run kombuster, games like battlefield 3 etc. just fine. But then sometimes it'll blue screen on boot with the graphical glitches, checkerboard then TDR when the graphics card is under load, or TDR even while web-browsing or even idle.

My PSU is a TX850 v2. I'm completely lost here and I appreciated you guys trying to help me.

UPDATE 2:

Video of the issue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6szKyNKsv0&feature=yout...
a b B Homebuilt system
July 17, 2012 1:38:26 AM

This sounds like the power outlet you are using is on the same circuit as your washer or dryer. There probably isn't enough power on the circuit for you to pull what your PC needs.

Has your breaker ever tripped while trying to use both at the same time? If so, this is definitely what's going on. If not, then I could be totally off base :) 
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July 17, 2012 1:56:55 AM

JMer806 said:
This sounds like the power outlet you are using is on the same circuit as your washer or dryer. There probably isn't enough power on the circuit for you to pull what your PC needs.

Has your breaker ever tripped while trying to use both at the same time? If so, this is definitely what's going on. If not, then I could be totally off base :) 



The breaker has never tripped even when they're all on at the same time, and this seems to only be affecting my graphics card. What's weird is that the same washer and dryer have been in the house for about a year now but the issue didn't start happening until I came home after a week away from home in February.

My dad suggests that it could be ground noise is causing this problem and my graphics card is susceptible to this ground noise. So he thinks noise filtering would remedy the problem. So I would need to buy something with good noise filtering, but I don't want to buy a UPS or something and have that not fix the problem.

I'll try hooking up my computer in a completely different part of the house tomorrow to see if the Graphic TDR and crashes occur. I need to make sure these issues don't happen when the washer and dryer are out of the picture.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 17, 2012 2:12:03 AM

Hmm. I've never heard of ground noise causing a graphics card to glitch. Definitely try it in a different room. I suspect that the card may have become loose in its fitting, and it's possible that the vibrations from the appliances are jostling it enough to cause it to lose a bit of connectivity.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 17, 2012 2:16:36 AM

It could definitely be possible. I would recommend trying to hook it up somewhere in your house as far away as possible and then try to cause the issue(s). Such as turning both washer + dryer on and then attempting to boot your computer/turning them on when your computer is already on.
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July 17, 2012 2:27:15 AM

This might sound like stupid but if relocating the PC is not an option, I would use an UPC or APC between the wall and your PC.
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July 17, 2012 2:36:07 AM

JMer806 said:
Hmm. I've never heard of ground noise causing a graphics card to glitch. Definitely try it in a different room. I suspect that the card may have become loose in its fitting, and it's possible that the vibrations from the appliances are jostling it enough to cause it to lose a bit of connectivity.


I re-seated my graphics card twice with no success. I've also noticed that if my mom turns off the stove, which is connected to the same wall my washer and dryer are, I hear a weird thump on the washer/dryer/stove side of the wall and my computer gets the graphics crashes and TDR's if it is already on.
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July 17, 2012 2:37:28 AM

Supermuncher85 said:
This might sound like stupid but if relocating the PC is not an option, I would use an UPC or APC between the wall and your PC.


My dad actually suggested this, but would getting a UPC/APC have the same effect as plugging my computer to an outlet using a different circuit breaker?
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July 17, 2012 2:40:27 AM

No. They will essentially filter and regulate the electricity coming in. Regulating spikes and surges, using battery power if needed, to increase voltage or lowering it through capactiors and resistors.

Your rig is pretty new so for sure your using a quality PSU in which case it might have ACTIVE PFC PSU, you cannot use a normal UPC with them and MUST buy UPCs designed for active PFC PSUs or they will not work!
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 17, 2012 2:49:42 AM

try relocating *first* though
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July 17, 2012 2:58:29 AM

Yes as ScrewSqrl said. You want to rule out hardware problems before buying a UPC/APC
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 17, 2012 2:58:50 AM

are you sure no one been in your house while you were away?? most stoves and dryers are 220v units. your pc is 110v.
sounds like in the pannel there a lose wire on one side of the 220v. or somthing not wired right in your home panel. i have an electrician look at it a soon as you can. if it not the pannel sounds like someone tap the wrong line.
try this if your washer and dry do have a 4 prong 220v plug turn the power off to them and see if the stove goes out. it should not they should be on two separate lines. also see if your pc goes out. (speakers or monitor).
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 17, 2012 5:15:29 PM

xdmds said:
I re-seated my graphics card twice with no success. I've also noticed that if my mom turns off the stove, which is connected to the same wall my washer and dryer are, I hear a weird thump on the washer/dryer/stove side of the wall and my computer gets the graphics crashes and TDR's if it is already on.


I just thought of something else. In my apartment, whenever the TV is on, if any device comes on - whether AC, washer, dryer, or dishwasher (sometimes even stove) - the power cuts in and out a bit because of fluctuations in the line. It's possible that this is your problem, in which case the UPC/APC suggested should solve it.

Agree with others that you should try relocation first.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2012 12:27:01 AM

Here's an odd possibility. I have an old washer and dryer I have been doing maintenance on for years. The dryer has had one problem that has re-occurred several times. The electric heater coil breaks off at some point and, instead of going dead as an open circuit, one end of the snapped coil bends over and grounds itself to the surrounding support frame. Thus a part of the coil is still operating at 120 V, and the other part is dead. This means the dryer appears to be working, but just takes longer than normal to dry stuff.

Why does it work? Well, in a 240 VAC dryer in North America, the supply lines to the dryer are all three lines into the house - two 120 VAC lines on opposite phases, a Neutral line connected to Ground at the breaker panel, and the bare Ground line. This is the "Grounded Neutral" system. So the broken coil end that has touched the grounded dryer frame internally actually completes a current path from one of the 120 VAC lines to Ground, which back at the panel is also Neutral. As long as the Ground lead is good, the voltage on the chassis of the dryer will be very small because the voltage drop between the dryer end of the Ground line and the breaker panel's true Ground will be very small. So nobody notices the faulty electrical connection, and the heater can partly operate.

However, this obviously DOES put a current through the Ground system, which should not happen normally. That could create a fluctuating noise signal on the entire Ground system of the house. That electrical noise may be insignificant for many pieces of electrical apparatus, but it might be enough to disrupt some sensitive things like computers.

As a first check, try to verify that your trouble happens only when the dryer is running - not just the washer, and not with the dryer turned off, and not even with the dryer turned on but NOT running because the door is open. If that is true, then my suggestion becomes MAYBE a cause. If you consider yourself competent to inspect and test and repair electrical appliances, check your out. But maybe this needs an electrician. A good clue would be to unplug the dryer from its wall socket, turn its controls to "on", and check for continuity between either Line blade on the plug and the round Ground prong.

Oh, one other thing to check, separate from all that stuff. This may need an electrician, but you should verify that the Ground connection from your breaker panel to true earth Ground is good. A non-existent connection, or even a poor connection with too much resistance, can cause significant fluctuating noise voltages on the house Ground even without any malfunctioning dryers.
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July 18, 2012 1:17:24 PM

Yesterday was my dad's birthday so I couldn't do any troubleshooting, but here is an update.

This morning before heading out to work, I made sure the washer, dryer, and stove were all turned off and powered on my computer. Post was normal, but after that i got white checkerboardish effects and then it blue screened. On the auto-reboot after the blue screen, the graphics were all messed up even on the post so I turned it off and left for work.

So it turns out this issue happens on cold boot, even when the washer and dryer isn't on. Could this mean there is an issue with my power supply? Would there be any way to check if everything is ok with the PSU using a multi-meter? I'll try plugging in the comp near one of my tv's (which is on the other side of the house from the laundry room and computer room) and see if these problems continue.

It's weird because sometimes I'll be able to turn the computer on, run kombuster, games like battlefield 3 etc. just fine. But then sometimes it'll blue screen on boot with the graphical glitches, checkerboard then TDR when the graphics card is under load, or TDR even while web-browsing or even idle.

My PSU is a TX850 v2. I'm completely lost here and I appreciated you guys trying to help me.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2012 1:55:55 PM

that oculd also be the GPU itself going. seen that happen on laptop GPUs
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July 18, 2012 2:13:43 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
that oculd also be the GPU itself going. seen that happen on laptop GPUs


Luckily all my components are still under warranty. I actually still have my old hd5770 lying around so I could try to see if these issues continue with that card although it doesn't use nearly as much power as my gtx570.

If I use a multi-meter on all the power supply connectors and they all read the correct voltages, is that enough to rule out the PSU being faulty? If it really is a gpu issue it would be as simple as mailing it in for a warranty replacement (had to do that with my 5770 since the fan started sounding like a lawn mower).
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2012 3:55:50 PM

Agree with ScrewySqrl - your last description really sounds like the graphics card is going bad. Replacement under warranty is a good option while still possible.

To check PSU outputs, you really need to read them with the entire computer running so the PSU is under normal load. That means you need four things:

1. A pinout diagram of all the PSU output leads so you know what you are testing where;
2. A table of correct voltages, with acceptable tolerances;
3. A voltmeter you know is reading correctly; and,
4. Probes and techniques to reach the appropriate sample points without touching anything else that might cause a problem.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2012 5:16:51 PM

Yep, sounds like a GPU problem. Try a boot with just onboard video and see what happens. I'm guessing you won't see any issues.
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July 18, 2012 7:40:49 PM

JMer806 said:
Yep, sounds like a GPU problem. Try a boot with just onboard video and see what happens. I'm guessing you won't see any issues.


I have a p67 motherboard so I don't think I have onboard graphics capability, though I'm at work right now so I can't check until I go home. Also, I've been thinking of some things that could be effecting this issue.

-Does the graphics getting all messed up even during POST rule out the possibility that there is something corrupt with the OS?
-my TX850 v2 has active PFC and I have it plugged into a surge protector strip. Would this cause any issues?

When I get home I'll record the boot up and hopefully the problem during boot recreates itself. It seems like there's 2 different outcomes. Either it crashes on boot where it has white artifacts, or it TDR's where there are fuzzy multi-colored checkerboarding throughout the entire screen.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2012 7:45:33 PM

if this happens when there is nothing else going on, its a hardware failure on the gpu. especially if its on the startup screen
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July 18, 2012 7:46:58 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
if this happens when there is nothing else going on, its a hardware failure on the gpu. especially if its on the startup screen


Does this rule out the PSU and MOBO for sure?
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July 18, 2012 10:56:47 PM

Also, I tried booting again with the washer and dryer off and same issue. It seems to be happening regardless of those appliances now.
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July 19, 2012 12:13:40 AM

Ok so I moved the computer to another room on the other side of the house, The crashing continued. But once I swapped out the gtx570 for my old hd5770 everything now seems ok and the crashing stopped. I've run some benchmarks and so far everything is good. I guess it was my graphics card.

Does anyone who has experience dealing with MSI have any suggestions how I should go about RMA'ing this with? Should I fill out the online form or call them? What's a good way to put it so that I don't get any crap from them?
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 2:27:15 AM

I'd call the tech support line first. should be able to set up an RMA through that.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 3:02:23 AM

Yes definitely always call first if you have the option. It is the best way to communicate about these kinds of things. Just be as straight forward with them as you can, and be sure to give as much information as is needed/ have it ready so you don't keep them waiting for too long.
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July 19, 2012 3:11:02 AM

jrwizbang said:
Yes definitely always call first if you have the option. It is the best way to communicate about these kinds of things. Just be as straight forward with them as you can, and be sure to give as much information as is needed/ have it ready so you don't keep them waiting for too long.


When I went to the MSI website and clicked customer service, it just gave me the option to fill out an online RMA request form. Then after filling out my info and describing my problem it just gave me an RMA # with all the paperwork and the shipping label.

The customer service call center is closed right now but I guess I'll call tomorrow to confirm that's all I need to do before I ship it as I've already packaged it following the instructions on the paperwork.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 12:41:30 PM

I think they prefer to just have you send everything in without calling them, since that keeps their customer service resources open. Call them if you think it's needed, but personally this sounds like a pretty clear-cut case of a faulty GPU, so all the CSR would have you do is RMA the card.
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July 19, 2012 1:11:26 PM

JMer806 said:
I think they prefer to just have you send everything in without calling them, since that keeps their customer service resources open. Call them if you think it's needed, but personally this sounds like a pretty clear-cut case of a faulty GPU, so all the CSR would have you do is RMA the card.


Yea it seems like you don't have to call on the website. I have my GPU packaged up and I'll be dropping it off at the UPS store on the way home from work. I just feel bad that I wasn't able to test the GPU in another system to make 100% sure it was the card that's the problem. The thing that scares me most is the thought of them testing the the card and saying there's nothing wrong with it, only to have them send it back to me and have the same problem.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 4:02:08 PM

to see if your ps is fine there as program called hardware monitor...there also a gen version called open hardware monitor.. it read the ps voltage for you in windows. have the program running or loging the system voltages and temps and play a game with both cards and see if the 12v line holds.
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July 20, 2012 4:12:57 AM

smorizio said:
to see if your ps is fine there as program called hardware monitor...there also a gen version called open hardware monitor.. it read the ps voltage for you in windows. have the program running or loging the system voltages and temps and play a game with both cards and see if the 12v line holds.


I have the program and completely forgot about that! All the voltages seem fine. I sent the package UPS ground but it's going all the way to California and I'm in NY so it's getting there next friday. I'll update when I get the card back!
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August 9, 2012 1:54:54 PM

So my RMA finally came back and they swapped the card. No issues so far. Thanks for the help guys!
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August 13, 2012 1:48:02 PM

Bad news. After 4 days of the card working perfectly, my computer crashed while play counter strike global offensive and it will no longer boot with the gtx570. After the starting windows screen it just BSOD's. It will boot into safe mode fine, and the computer still works perfectly fine with my old 5770. I guess I'll be calling up MSI.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 15, 2012 6:41:20 AM

That really stinks. Could be the psu that caused it to fail or it could have just been a bad card. No real way to tell other than getting a new one of either....
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