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Compatibility/Overheat Issue?

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#1 Thwomp


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Posted 04 November 2008 - 05:37 AM

A friend of mine has put together a computer about a year ago, with the following components...

Motherboard - Gigabyte P965P-DS3
Processor - intel CPU coreduo E6750 2.66ghz 1333 FSB LGA775 4mb cache
Memory - Geil DDR2 PC6400 2gb
Sound Card - Creative Xifi Extreme
Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda 160gb
DVD - Sony NEC Optiarc 7170
Power Supply - Thermaltake TR2 500 watt & ThermalTake 250W Power Express VGA Power Supply for SLI and Crossfire Black (fits 5.25 bay)
Graphics Card - Radeon Sapphire X1950 Pro 512mb
Chassis - Thermaltake Soprano VX

The problem with it is that he could be playing on games (for over an hour), browsing the web (with multiple windows going at the same time) or other multiple tasks, when all of a sudden he says it suddenly dies and needs rebooting (I'm sure he means it's a Blue Screen Of Death). He is yet to get all of the information from this error that happens. When he does reboot the computer, it starts up and can work for a period of time again.

The game in question is Medieval: Total War in case this could be one of the culprits for the problem.

One other thing I should mention about it starting up, which I believe is linked to the problem, after pressing the power button, the fans burst into life for a split second, but the power light on the front doesn't come on, or it flickers for a split second and goes off and it fails to power up. It automatically powers back up on it's own and will again kick the fans up for a second and die again (same as before with the power light too). This is completely tempremental he says, sometimes it starts up first time without a problem, other times it can take 2, 3, 4 maybe even 5 times to get up and running properly.

I first thought that it was a compatibility issue, but would it really work for about an hour (or longer) then suddenly die?

I did mention that it could be that the computer overheats, but surely it wouldn't be able to be restarted so quickly and work for a long period of time again can it?

Someone else mentioned it was his graphics card driver which he downloaded and installed the most up-to-date one, but this didn't fix the problem.

He says it's been like this since he put it together in September last year.

He recently acquired a lovely virus which wreaked havoc on his system so he completely wiped it and reinstalled Windows XP again. However, he still has the same problem, even with the most up-to-date drivers for everything, not just the graphics card.

Can anyone suggest what it could be? Do you require any other additional information to help diagnose this?

Thanks in advance.

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#2 dc3


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Posted 04 November 2008 - 10:38 AM

I would be looking at the PSU. You can use the following technique to test the PSU.

The purpose of this procedure is to bypass the motherboard to test the PSU.

This procedure will involve working with live 12VDC electrical potentials which if handled improperly may lead to electrical shock. Proper precautions should also be taken to prevent electrostatic discharges (ESDs) within the case of the computer. For safety purposes please follow the instructions step by step.

First, shutdown your computer. Then unplug the power cable going into your computer.

Once you have opened the case, touch the metal of the case to discharge any static electricity.

The connector of the PSU which connects to the motherboard is readily recognizable by the number of wires in the bundle. To disconnect it you will need to press on the plastic clip to disengage it and then pull the connector up and away from the motherboard. Please take notice of the location of the locking tab and the notch on the socket of the motherboard, this will only connect one way as it is keyed. This wire bundle will have a memory of the way it has been installed and will want to bend back that direction, you may have to play around with it to find a position that the connector will stay in the same position while you run the test.

Posted Image

From the top left to right the pins are 13-24, the bottom from left to right are 1-12.

Please notice that there are PSUs with 24 pin and 20 pin connectors, the location of the green wire in the 24 pin connector is #16, and the green wire in the 20 pin connector is #14. If you look at the connector with socket side facing you and the clip on the top the number one pin will be on the bottom left corner. This makes the pin out for the 24 pin connector from left to right 13-24 on top, and 1-12 on the bottom. The pin out for the 20 pin connector from left to right is 11-20 on top , and 1-10 on the bottom. If you look at the connectors you notice that these are sockets that fit over the pins on the motherboard where the PSU cable attaches, this is where you will place the jumper. For a jumper you will need a piece of solid wire about the size of a paper clip (20-22 awg), preferably a wire with insulation. It will need to be large enough to fit firmly into the socket so that it will not need to be held in place while testing. You are at risk of electrical shock if you are holding the jumper when you power up the PSU. Insert one end of the jumper into the socket of the Green wire, and insert the other end into the socket of any Black wire.

Once the jumper is in place plug the cord back in. If the PSU is working properly the case fans, optical drives, hdds, and LEDs should power up and remain on. I would suggest that you not leave this connected any longer than is necessary for safety purposes.

At this point you can use a DC Voltage meter to read the different rail Voltages. You will want to insert the black probe into any of the Black (-) sockets, and insert the Red (+) probe in the five different colored sockets, one at a time. Below are the five different colors and their corresponding rail voltages. The Voltages should be within about ten percent plus or minus of the given values.

Yellow +12VDC

Blue -12VDC

Red +5VDC

White -5VDC

Orange +3.3VDC

To reconnect the 20/4 pin connector unplug the power cord, remove the jumper, and reconnect the connector. Take a moment at this time to make sure that nothing has been dislodged inside the case.

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