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What the Hell is Going On Here?

Last response: in Components
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January 6, 2013 3:36:34 PM

Yesterday morning I got up and turned on my computer, only to find that my monitor wasn't displaying at the correct resolution. I attempted to correct it, but the display options wouldn't let me set it any higher.

The more I looked into it, I thought it might be a problem with the graphics card, a 9800GX2. After several attempts, I was able to get the monitor to reset to it's default resolution, and the computer booted up. It was on all day, no problem. Then, last night, my PC just shut off. No BSoD, no freezing or stuttering, just off.

I attempted to restart the system, and it turned back on for a few seconds before shutting off again. I tried again, and then it just wouldn't even respond. I realized it must be the power supply, since they seem to last about two years for me and I bought the current one two years ago.

So this morning I drove down to CompUSA and picked up a new one (the same brand and a very similar model, an Ultra LSP 750W). I got home and installed it, turned it on, everything working just fine... Then kaput. It shut off, just like the old one. I turned it back on, and it ran for a few seconds, then shut off again. The second time I attempted to turn it back on, just like with the previous power supply, it didn't respond at all.

I really have no idea what the cause of this is. When I unplug the graphics card it seems to run fine, leading me to believe it's shutting off because it's exceeding it's maximum wattage. However, my previous power supply has run with the current set of components for just shy of a year now with no problems, so it makes no sense that a brand new, almost identical power supply would have problems.

Is it the new power supply? Did I hit back luck and just happen to grab the defective one off the shelf? Is my graphics card finally dying? (I haven't changed it in four years). Could it be an issue with the motherboard or some other component? I really don't have any idea, please help.

My current setup:

Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
K9N2 MSI Platinum Motherboard
8GB RAM (4GB DDR2 800MHz, 4GB DDR2 1066MHz)
AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition 3.5GHz CPU
Nvidia 9800GX2 GPU
Ultra LSP 750W PSU

More about : hell

a b ) Power supply
January 6, 2013 3:40:24 PM

im not there to check whats wrong with ur pc, but could be a number of things, but u said works fine without the videocard, is it possible ur videocard might be the issue here?, if not u can always bring it in compusa and they can diagnose it.

best bet here if u dont know whats the problem, id bring it in for them to check whats wrong,
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a c 716 ) Power supply
January 6, 2013 3:47:41 PM

I would guess the card. Two PSU's same symptoms and everything runs fine without the card.
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a b ) Power supply
January 6, 2013 3:56:33 PM

yes i agree, sounds like a v-card issue, but there might be more problems, so i guess try the system with another videocard and see how that goes if not, bring ur pc to get it diagnosed might be more complex issues at hands. but me and rolli both agree seems like a v-card issue here.

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January 6, 2013 10:20:05 PM

That's my thinking as well, though it occurred to my it could also be my CPU overheating (doesn't seem likely as I replaced the thermal compound not too long ago, though it's possible I did something wrong). I'll try that, and if not, look at GPU's.

EDIT: Scratch that, it doesn't turn on with the GPU unplugged, either. In fact I had to plug it *in* to get the system to turn on. I've noticed when I turn it on that I smell something that could be the smell of something burning. Initially I'd dismissed it as some chemical in the new PSU, but now I'm thinking it might be my CPU overheating. Fortunately it hasn't been on for more than about 30 seconds at a time, so hopefully there's no actual damage to it.
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a b ) Power supply
January 6, 2013 10:48:10 PM

what kind of cooler u using and have u tried whipping off the thermal paste, than reapplying some new paste the size of a pea than remounting the cooler, if not maybe time for an aftermarket cooler.

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January 7, 2013 1:52:31 AM

Well I tried the thermal compound, didn't work, so I'm reasonably sure it's not the CPU (I have a third party Cooler Master heatsink that keeps it nice and icy). I tried using one stick of RAM at a time, so it's not the RAM. I tried completely removing the graphics card, and that didn't work, so it's not the GPU. I tried removing both HDDs and letting it just boot from the motherboard, which didn't work, so it's not the harddrive. The only possibility left is that my motherboard has finally gone bad, which follows since it's one of the only things in the system I haven't replaced in four years. Tomorrow I'll return the new power supply and try to exchange it for a new motherboard, hopefully that will fix my problem (otherwise I'm *really,* *completely* out of ideas.
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January 8, 2013 7:31:03 AM

Well okay. The old motherboard was fried, arcing damage and all, so I bought a new motherboard and new RAM, and the problem seems to have been solved. However, now I can't get the computer to boot at all. Everything turns on and the motherboard beeps like its loading, but nothing appears on the monitor. This could simply be a display issue (unfortunately the board doesn't have an onboard GPU and I don't have another card lying around, so there's no way to check), however, the graphics card is giving me all green lights and the fans are working, so I think its pretty unlikely that there's a problem with the card (though I will try re-seating it).

I think it's most likely an issue with the motherboard. Not necessarily hardware malfunction, this is just the first time I've ever tried this from scratch by myself, so perhaps I'm doing something wrong?
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January 8, 2013 8:20:51 AM

Problem solved. It appears one of my RAM sticks was either faulty or the motherboard can't handle a dual-channel setup on a cold boot. Either way, using only one stick of RAM did the trick and I'm now up and running.
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January 8, 2013 9:01:02 AM

Alright, I'm seriously starting to get pissed off. I turned my computer on, aaaanndd... I'm right back to square one. The monitor isn't displaying its native resolution again. Seriously, what the hell?
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January 8, 2013 10:25:15 AM

Okay, problem solved again. I had begun to re-install graphics drivers when my motherboard died, and simply needed to go to device manager and restart the installation. After a bit more fiddling around, everything seems to be back up and running 100%. The issue has been resolved.
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a b ) Power supply
January 8, 2013 12:58:03 PM

good, happy to hear ur stuff is working again :) , somethimes a bit of tweaking is required, but u feel so much better when ur the one who fixed ur pc and not the expensive pc tech .

congrats mate.
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