I have been trying to fix my buddies computer for a few hours now to no avail. He has the follwing:
2x256mb ddr266 value ram
80g western 7200
Whats funny is that all of a sudden last week his cpu temps went through the roof, it would idle at 50-51c and 60c under full load, then in his games artifacts would start appearing all over the place and now windows will get stuck at the welcome screen and go no further. I tried a fresh install but it gets to windows setup and BLAM blue screen o' death. The error message it gives me is bad ram but i have tried ram from my comp and nothing again. Is it possible for a cpu to go out over a period of time? Could this be the cpu or do you guys think the culprit could be motherboard related? I just gave him a new antec 350w true so I know it's not that. I have also tried different video cards and nothin' either, any clues?
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Check the capacitors around the chip. If they are rounded on top, or out of shape, or leaking, that's your problem.
They can be replaced, if you are good with a solder sucker, and soldering.
Look at the other parts near them, esp the v-regs. If one of them is burned, the board is toast.
Was he using rage 3d tweek to OC his graphics card?
If you can go into bios, and the temps are not terrible, and it's stable, the chip is probably ok. Check v-core, and make sure it's good. (1.65v)
You have checked the ram, and the graphics card, and the psu.
When was the last time you cleaned the hsf?
Take out everything else, and see if the problem goes away.
If not, go into windows in safe mode, and uninstall the catalyst drivers, and 3d tweak.
I had a very similar problem in an older AMD system...I spent so much time figuring what the cause was but never did until the computer stopped working completely (it would restart or restart just after POST). Anyway, a new mobo fixed the problem. There is no physical damage to the dead board (I have it right in front of me), it just died over a period of time.
The only difference was there was noticable instability before temps started to go through the roof, then the temps went up, my efforts went up, then after about 2 weeks of troubleshooting, it completely crapped out.
Maxtor disgraces the six letters that make Matrox.
I've never used a solder sucker. In fact, when I pull a cap I try to keep the hole filled with old solder. And if it goes dry I refill it with new solder. Then I put the new cap against the solder "plugs" and heat them until the legs poke through. If the solder gets pulled away from the board, I heat the leg near the PCB until it flatens out.
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