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Computer crashing. dont know if drivers or hardware

Last response: in Windows 7
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September 24, 2012 10:19:16 PM

I built a computer about three months ago. Upgraded the graphics from intel's HD 4000 (integrated graphics) to a EVGA GeForce GTX560 SE 1024MB about a month ago. Everything has been fine until today. My comp has rebooted itself about 10 times and when I look into the event logs I have critical error eventID 41 source: kernel-power for every reboot. I enabled the BSOD rather than reboot and got the error irql_not_less_or_equal. This only happened once even after I enabled the BSOD, other times it just shut down improperly and restarted as it was doing before. My initial reaction was the PSU as I bought a rather cheap one and about a week after I had it the fan started hitting the face plate causing me to remove the face plate, though that has been fine ever since. But now I am thinking there is something wrong with the drivers. The only thing I can think of would be the intel HD 4000 drivers still being installed along with my new geforce drivers. Another odd thing was my norton security suite being "not secure" after I rebooted from the BSOD. I installed the latest update and it went back to secure. This has never happened before but I dont believe I have any sort of virus. I did a virus scan and the sfc/scannow in the command prompt with no issues. Any help at all would be much appreciated.

specs:

haf 912 mid tower
intel 3570k
EVGA GeForce GTX560 SE 1024MB
asus P8 Z77-V-LK
WD caviar black 1 TB
Kingston HyperX 8 GB (2x4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 240 pin
coolermaster extreme 500w
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September 24, 2012 10:24:47 PM

Cheap power supply & relatively power hungry video adapter. This is not a good combination. I'd wager that the power supply just can't handle the load. It's most likely been running near maximum output for the last month or so and any substandard components are beginning to fail. Never skimp on the power supply.
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September 24, 2012 10:45:29 PM

How would I go about checking how much power it is using? Also, do you think I should delete the intel 4000 graphics driver, or is there no harm in keeping it?
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September 24, 2012 10:53:06 PM

The onboard drivers aren't causing any problems. You mentioned having to take the cover off the fan. This tells me that the power supply is very poorly built. Not worth testing, replace it. Antec and Corsair are good but avoid Coolermaster and any noname supplies. The power supply is not a place to pinch pennies.
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September 24, 2012 10:58:53 PM

I understand. It is supposed to be a 500 watt PSU and got good reviews. I figure a test couldn't hurt. I just deleted a few old MS drivers that I had newer versions for and the comp has not crashed since. I have 5 programs running now and two are downloading files, so what I did may or may not have fixed it, only time will tell. I have searched for testing the PSU and only found ways to test it manually or by buying something (or with a paper clip, something I do not intend to do). If there is software that will tell me the amount of stress I am putting on it, that would be more helpful than dropping +/-50 bucks on a new PSU. I figure it'll crash again and I will have to buy a new one, but Id really just like to be sure that's the problem before I replace it.
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September 24, 2012 11:09:18 PM

Power supply ratings are optimistic at best and outright lies at worst. The big name brands are much better in that regard. If you only spent $50 for a "500 Watt" supply then you definitely got ripped off. I'd wager that there would be arc'in and spark'in long before the max rating was reached (300-325 "maybe").
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September 24, 2012 11:19:02 PM

I spent 35 for that one. I would like to know if there is a way I could test the PSU with software and not have to buy any PSU tester. I did mention my first guess was the PSU as I realize I skimped on it and would have to replace it in the future. Dumb idea on my part.

If I must replace it...

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

That comes out to $45 after the promo code and $20 MIB. It is antec and 80+ bronze certified. I know bubblehead will tell me to go ahead and buy it. Still if there is any way I can test my current one without having to buy a PSU tester, Id love to hear about it.
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September 25, 2012 12:04:00 AM

darealgolfer said:
I spent 35 for that one. I would like to know if there is a way I could test the PSU with software and not have to buy any PSU tester. I did mention my first guess was the PSU as I realize I skimped on it and would have to replace it in the future. Dumb idea on my part.

If I must replace it...

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

That comes out to $45 after the promo code and $20 MIB. It is antec and 80+ bronze certified. I know bubblehead will tell me to go ahead and buy it. Still if there is any way I can test my current one without having to buy a PSU tester, Id love to hear about it.


Coincidentally those are the ones I'm currently using, though the Seasonics are also quite good. As far as testing a PSU goes, you've got to have the right tools (read tester) to do it correctly.
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September 25, 2012 1:15:23 AM

Quote:
Sounds like a bad psu. I would go with this one: Seasonic 520w modular psu from newegg.com for less than 70 bucks. By a quality name brand (I believe Seasonic is the best in the industry) and you will not regret it.


Why do you say it is bad? I have only heard good things about antec.

bubblehead-I figured there were no software tests for the PSU as I have researched it for a while and found nothing concrete on the subject.

I assume you have not had any problems with the PSU I posted that you said you had? I dont care that its not modular, for 45 bucks after the MIB, seems like a steal for an 650 watt 80+ bronze certified PSU. Since the promo code and MIB both expire today, I think I will go ahead and bite on it. Ill wait a couple of hours or so to see if anyone has any other suggestions or if jallenlabs has a good reason for saying "sounds like a bad PSU".

Also, my computer rebooted again before any of my downloads finished. Then again while trying to boot it up, no BSOD either time. I am 99% sure it is the PSU at this point. Thank you for the replys.
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Best solution

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September 25, 2012 1:27:14 AM

there hardware monitor it should have a power supply voltage reader built it whner you can set it to log the ps voltages and see if it drops. the easy way to see if it a power issue...pull the video card and unload the power supply. if it stays up longer then it could be the power supply. another good low cost 500w ps is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

what you want to look at is not the max wattage but the 12 volt plus line in amps rating. to low and the ps going to reboot under load with a video card.
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September 25, 2012 2:05:51 AM

smorizio said:
there hardware monitor it should have a power supply voltage reader built it whner you can set it to log the ps voltages and see if it drops. the easy way to see if it a power issue...pull the video card and unload the power supply. if it stays up longer then it could be the power supply. another good low cost 500w ps is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

what you want to look at is not the max wattage but the 12 volt plus line in amps rating. to low and the ps going to reboot under load with a video card.


Opened up the hardware monitor and there was a power supply voltage reader, had it set up to record then went to download some stuff and put the system under some stress. Rebooted on its own again. I shut down and opened it up to take out the GPU. Lo and behold there is a 4 pin power connector unplugged from my mobo. Probably happened when I moved about a week and a half ago. Kind of surprised the computer would still run. Looking at my mobo manual going from top left to bottom right the pins were "+3 volts, GND, +12 volts, +5 volts". Not exactly sure what those mean. Plugged it back in and booted up again, much faster boot up time and everything seems to be working smoothly again. I will again try to multitask and see if it crashes again. If so, ill go ahead and order a PSU. But for now I am surprised my comp would even run without that plugged in and will test to see if it is going to crash again.

edit: Seems to be working just fine again. I am running a 6 hour voltage test, per your suggestion, and the 12V line is running at 11.808 at its highest and has dipped down to 11.5 while downloading some files on chrome, and playing orcs must die on highest settings minus vsync. Is that normal? Or should I still be in the market for a PSU? I feel pretty dumb that all it was was an unplugged cable (I will be sure to open up my comp and check the hardware next time I have a problem). Still, 11.808V at its highest on the 12V line and 11.5 at its lowest (so far), is that normal?
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September 30, 2012 12:12:12 AM

that little 4 port plug is a atx power plug to give the pci bus extra power when you run a gpu. most system do not post if you forget it. on the voltage...take any software reading program with a grain of salt..not all of them going to read the mb sensor 100.00 percent right. even the mb bios if you go into the health screen the 12 5 and 3v lines do bounce. a .2 percent dev is fine for power suply and software read. if the voltage was 11v and lower under load then i would oder a replacement power supply. the same would be if the power supply was pushing close to 13v. (overvoltage). i would in six months time of run time on the system to run another test and see if the ps is still stable..running withing 11.8-11.5 if it is then run it till is stops running.
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September 30, 2012 6:42:33 AM

Best answer selected by darealgolfer.
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