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Computer occasionally giving errors.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 30, 2013 1:26:43 PM

Hello,
I have owned the following computer for about 2 years:

OS: Windows 8 64-bit (upgraded from Windows 7 32-bit a few months ago)
CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 2.80 GHz, 8 GB RAM
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 SE
PSU: MS-Tech ATX Power Supply 750W
Motherboard: ASRock N68-GE3 UCC

I have always had trouble with the computer randomly freezing/powering down (once every few weeks), and occasionally the computer would freeze when booting (during the windows icon), forcing me to restart. I also sometimes encountered the following error: "Driver display stopped responding and has recovered". When this happened the screen would go black for a couple of seconds and then everything would be fine again.
Recently I upgraded my GPU to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti, and because according to some people on another forum my issues could be because of my no-name "time bomb" PSU, I also upgraded my PSU to a Corsair TX750 v2.

This however did not solve my issues. I did still encounter random freezes and the "Driver display stopped responding and has recovered" error several times, and my computer froze today when booting. When I restarted I encountered a Blue Screen Of Death giving me the error "VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE". After another restart everything worked fine again. Since the upgrade I also occasionally encountered the error "the program ___ is blocked from accessing graphics hardware", forcing me to restart the program.

All of my drivers are up to date (except the motherboard drivers which don't exist yet for Windows 8). Could anyone shed some light on these issues as they are really driving me crazy.

Thanks!
a b U Graphics card
January 30, 2013 1:40:42 PM

I'd say you've narrowed it down to the motherboard. Replacing the no-name PSU was the right call, even if it didn't resolve the problem (it did prevent future problems, and I guarantee you they were coming).

So, since it isn't the PSU, and it's not the GPU either, then the only thing left that could be causing problems with the video card is the motherboard. You could try upgrading to an AM3+ mobo, which would let you upgrade to a Piledriver CPU in the future.

That said, I'm not that confident that it would fix your problems. It's more likely to fix it than not fix it, I think, but I'm not going to advise you go spend even more money on something that may not fix the problem.
a c 187 U Graphics card
January 30, 2013 1:41:13 PM

update the bios if it has not.then check to see if the ram you have is on the mb qal list. i would run cpu-z check that the ram runing at one of it rated speeds. under the spd tab.
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January 30, 2013 2:46:28 PM

Did you have issues when you were using windows 7?

(I'm going to assume you did. If you didn't I suggest you downgrade back to Windows 7.)

Initially when I was reading about your discription of the issues you've been having I would have guessed the PSU.
Random reboots without a blue screen or any type of error message are typically caused by a faulty power supply but not the only possible cause.
BUT... you've replaced that.

Based on the video issues you described I would also have suggested a faulty video card. I've seen similar issues with faulty video cards including my old one. I was getting the "Driver display stopped responding and has recovered" error. After replacing the video card the error stopped occuring.
BUT... you've replaced that.

There are still a few possibilities.
For the random reboots...
1. A faulty motherboard
2. A faulty CPU

For the Error messages and freezing...
1. Faulty RAM
2. Faulty Hard Drive

SO...
What do you do?
1. Figure out if you have a bad RAM module:
http://www.memtest.org/#downiso
(Note: You should run this test [in extended or extensive mode] for a couple of days.)
2. Figure out if you have a bad HDD:
I. Go into your BIOS
II. Turn on your hard drive's SMART feature
(If the drive is faulty it tell you before attempting to boot. If it's not faulty it will boot as normal and you won't even know SMART is enabled.)
3. Fix errors on your HDD:
You should google how to run a "chkdsk /r". -Reason: randomly rebooting your computer causes errors on a HDD these errors can cause many different issues including blue screens and other error messages.

If you are still getting all kinds of errors I would try a different motherboard, which may be the cause of your random reboots as well anyway. Also, If you are having issues with your computer, Windows 8 isn't going to help with anything. Infact it would only make the situation worse. I would install Windows 7. Windows 7 has been out for a while and has a proven record of stability.

Oh, and before you go buying a motherboard remove all extra add-in cards that you don't absolutely need (for testing purposes).
Do the following:
1. Disconnect all Drives except for your windows/boot drive (including CD/DVD drives)
2. Remove all PCI cards like sound cards, wireless add in cards, TV tuners and any other add-in cards you might have.
3. Remove all but the keyboard, mouse, monitor and power plug, plugged into the back of the PC.

Once all of that is removed then boot the PC. It may seem trivial but I've replaced a faulty DVD drive that would not allow a PC turn on. Seems crazy but I know it's true cause I was the tech that fixed the issue. It's also a troubleshooting step used by all major computer companys. (I used to be a DELL warranty service tech.)
January 30, 2013 4:28:02 PM

Hello,
thank you for the helpful replies. I think I forgot to mention that the random powering down stopped occurring after I replaced my PSU. The computer does however still freeze, forcing me to restart, and give the video issues I described.

I turned my hard drive's S.M.A.R.T. feature on and I could boot without a problem. I ran memtest last week, and it came back without any errors. I didn't run it in extensive mode though, would this always make a difference?

But I guess it's probably something with my Motherboard then that's cracking everything up?
a b U Graphics card
February 1, 2013 3:00:48 PM

Shedi said:
thank you for the helpful replies. I think I forgot to mention that the random powering down stopped occurring after I replaced my PSU.

Well, that changes things.

Quote:
I turned my hard drive's S.M.A.R.T. feature on and I could boot without a problem.

Did you run a diagnostic by chance? If not, could you do that and let us know if any of the scores come back as unhealthy? There's a bunch of software out there that does this for free, off the top of my hand you could use SpeedFan.

Quote:
I ran memtest last week, and it came back without any errors. I didn't run it in extensive mode though, would this always make a difference?

Not always, but it could. Given that you're having such severe problems, it makes sense to do a thorough test.

Quote:
But I guess it's probably something with my Motherboard then that's cracking everything up?

That's still my guess, though running a SMART diagnostic and thorough memtest will help narrow things down some more.

It's possible, however unlikely, that your previous bad PSU damaged it during the power fluctuations. The fluctuations are why your computer kept turning itself off, power output suddenly dropped, which is often accompanied by spikes of equal magnitude.
!