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Requesting assistance with identifying hardware problem/s


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#1 PhantasmLazerade

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 09:30 PM

Hey, I'm new here. Greetings to you all. If its not too much I'd like some assistence in diagnosing my computer as accurately as possible.

 

Here are my rigs specific specifications: 

 

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX260OCGMBOX

Graphics: PNY VCGGTS4501XPB GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Ram: PNY Optima 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model MD4096KD3-1333

Motherboard: BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard

PSU: Linkworld Linkpower ATX-550 LPG12-35-p4 550W ATX 12V REV. 2.01 Power Supply I-7 ready

Hard Drive: WD Caviar SE Sata2 320gb 7200RPM 8MB Cache 3.5" 3.0 gb/s WD3200JS

Case/Tower: RAIDMAX Typhoon ATX-312WS Black / Silver SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Monitor: MAG GML2226 22 Inch Widescreen LED LCD Monitor w/ 1920x1080, 10000000:1, 2ms, VGA, DVI-D, HDCP(Closest I could find)

 

 

Temperature Readings and Additional Information: The system will boot just fine and bios gives an all clear beep before attempting to boot to the OS. From my recollection and  depending on the weather the cpu temperature will read around 24c-28c in the summer and 17c-24c at startup in the winter. At idle, the motherboards temperature readings were on around 25c with one section at 30c. The hard drive usually sits a aroundt 35-38C  in warm weather, 28c or so on a cool day. To be honest the hard drive was reading at around 47-48c after gaming  or heavy use usually, but it sits in front of a large case fan and manages to get around 39C-41C after cooling down. The graphics card was usually at 35C or lower at idle regardless of the weather. Other temperature readings are unknown or unavailable. CPU and Graphics card usually did not get hotter than 48C if gaming hard. PSU fan tends to be loud during gaming, hard drive has a noticeable thinking sound when in use but nothing unusual when working. Red LED and Green LED works fine. All Fans are spinning and working correctly. The new and old hard drive is detected in bios.

 

Problems/Symptoms before non-operational status: Before the rig stopped working correctly there was the occasional freeze/lockup of the system during gaming or regular tasks. It would hang or blue screen then restart. Sometimes the graphics of the bios were glitched and another restart or shutdown was required to restore it to normal. Occasionally FPS would drop during gaming to a cap of 12FPS or less and it would not be fixed until restarting. These problems occurred early on, and got progressively worse until it eventually broke down a month or so ago after a year or two of operation. 

 

Current Problem/ Non-operating status: The system hard drive was wiped, this was done intentionally. The hard drive would attempt to load the OS but the PSU would make a noise similar to shutting down the entire system and the hard drive would stop working. The system and the monitor would remain on and operational without glitches. The RED LED for the hard drive will turn off and the OS would fail to load before the computer would restart or hang. Attempts to install a new windows 8 Pro OS on a brand new hard drive result in a slow start up of the disc program and multiple hard drive shut downs and powering up sequences before ultimately failing to install the OS with an error as follows: "windows cannot install required files. the file does not exist". The computer itself does not power off, the screen does not power off, it is still usable with slightly choppy graphics performance. 

 

What I have attempted to do thus far: 

1. I loaded a linux live CD to see how the PC would fair without a hard drive inside. A GPU lockup occurred after normal performance/operation randomly. Previous runs provided no errors or problems, generally was on for a couple hours. I also attempted to install ubuntu 13.04 and the installation failed for the same reasons windows had. The PSU would shut down the hard drive and it would fail.

2. Switching the sata/data cables into different ports doesn't seem to change anything. I have two orange(with clips) and one red SATA cables. My motherboard is capable of sata2 3.0 gbps interface.

3. I re-seated everything inside the computer and i dusted everything out. I checked the motherboard for bulging capacitors or other symptoms and signs of trouble. There is nothing to report. 

4. I cleared the CMOS just in case the trouble was incorrect bios settings. Loaded optimal defaults, same problem. 

5. New Hard Drive did not solve the issue, probably means there wasn't anything wrong with the old one. 

 

Things I have not done: 

1. Memory Test

2. Replace PSU

3. Replace Motherboard

4. Replace Graphics Card(Eek I hope not.)

5. Other suggestions are welcome.

 

I'm looking to salvage the computer so I hope that you kind folk can help me narrow down what the problem is and prevent further issues so I can replace the right parts. I'm on a budget and trying to maintain its performance to price ratio, thus buying a completely new computer is preferably an option I'd like to avoid. The computer is generally used to draw high resolution CG art and play a variety of heavy/light games. I fear there are multiple parts showing signs of failure, but these are the only problems thus far. Thank you for your time.


Edited by PhantasmLazerade, 07 June 2013 - 09:49 PM.


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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 10:48 PM

Sounds like a bad power supply
Chad Mockensturm 
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Certified CompTia Network +, A +

#3 PhantasmLazerade

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 11:20 PM

That simple eh? Thanks for your input. i realize i made a mistake and did not follow all the rules for posting problems so it was  bit of a long read, i will simplify things next time, my apologies. i see youre an IT support specialist so that gives me a great deal confidence about it. I'll look into a new psu. 550 w is adequate for the system right?


Edited by PhantasmLazerade, 08 June 2013 - 11:27 PM.


#4 Sneakycyber

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 12:11 AM

No worries to much info is better then to Little. 550 should be just fine. I would test the memory too. Bad memory can give you the same problems you described loading an operating system.
Chad Mockensturm 
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#5 PhantasmLazerade

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 02:11 AM

will do, best to cover everything. once more thanks fot helping me narrow it down.






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