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Desktop going on the fritz


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#1 CyberSurfer409

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:33 PM

Hi all. I'm hoping someone here can provide some guidance or insight as to what is going on with my PC, or steps to diagnose. I'm a software engineer, but I'll admit I'm more a code monkey then a hardware person.

 

Issue: My computer has been giving me more and more problems this last year. When I wake my computer from sleep it will either: wake fine, OR wake/then go black/then comes back up with a message that a graphic driver failed but recovered, OR it just sits at a black screen (with the fans running and everything. Tower is on, but monitor is in power save mode). I've also had an occasional crash while playing Starcraft2. I get no error messages beyond the occasional driver failed and recovered. My motherboard doesn't seem to be triggering/displaying any errors.

 

Background: Last year my two video cards died (several months apart). I figured it was from brown outs over the year, but now i'm not sure. My liquid cooling also went bad (leaked out) and required a replacement pump. So in the last year I upgraded the RAM, got a new pump, and the GTX660 video card. The Starcraft 2 crashes also occurred with my prior video card (an nVidia 9800GT).

 

Stats

  • Alienware Area 51 (purchased in late 2008)
  • Intel Quad Q9550 @2.83Ghz
  • 8 GB ram
  • 64-bit Windows 7
  • MSI GTX 660 w/2GB ram


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#2 dicke

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 06:51 PM

Hi,

Only guesses on my part;

Are the drivers for all of the components current? Have you run any diagnostic software on your hard drive(s) to be sure they are OK? What security software is installed and protecting the system? What scans have you run to see if there are any 'nasties' present?

Keep us posted


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#3 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 07:48 PM

To add to what dicke has said, there is a fair sized body of opinion on BC - including me - that says that sleep or hibernation is for laptops, not desktops. It is considered better to leave them on, or, if you are going to be away for some time, switch it off.

 

I would be surprised if 'brownouts' were at the root of your problems. computer PSUs are of the type known as 'switched mode' power supplies and they are much more tolerant of supply voltage changes than traditional, if simpler, transformer - rectifier - smoothing filter types. They became virtually standard components of electronic systems because, despite their more complex construction, they use smaller and therefore cheaper components and so are cheaper overall to manufacture. Power cuts are more likely to do damage than brownouts.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#4 CyberSurfer409

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 01:28 PM

Hi guys.

 

I have Norton Security Suite installed and keep it up to date. I will run Super Anti-spyware and Housecall TrendMicro to be sure, but I'm pretty sure my pc is clean. 

Also, I have run Disk Defragger several times, and updated my drivers fairly often.

 

With regards to hibernate. I use it because I hate listening to my fan run all the time when I'm away from my PC, but I often have browser windows open for several days at a time. Thanks for the info on the brown outs. That is something I did not know. (for what its worth I finally bought a UPS system anyways).



#5 CyberSurfer409

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 02:13 PM

I have confirmed my computer was clean and everything up to date. Only had some tracking cookies. 

 

Still looking for help!!



#6 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 05:25 PM

From what you have said, it seems that the problem is most likely connected with your video / display drivers. The only further suggestion I can make is to uninstall your video drivers and re-install them, but I feel I am clutching at straws here. Sorry.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#7 synergy513

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 06:22 PM

sometimes display drivers are too up-to-date and they surpass the given gfx card edition and don't communicate so well retroactively.. also, never a good idea to leave browsers open, but that is just an opinion. if you go into your BIOS, there are some options that you might find that concern your display config.  don't change anything unless you are confident you will not hose up the settings, just report back what you saw that could pertain to your display. I want you to also try to get information from a handy app we affectionately call S I W. it is free to download a watered down version, it basically tells you exactly what you have in your PC, including BIOS and GPU temperatures. it can get puzzling because the information SIW  provides is seamingly endless, but we need the information that is specific to this PC adversity you are facing. you can also do a screen grab and post up the image of information pertaining to this  issue. watch out though, BC puts tight limits on your attachment upload file size tiotals. and you may have to clean them out using your BC profile manager before you can put up another image attachment.

 

  This one time i saw something peculiar. the poor guys computer was powering up and then went blank.boom/bam - no video signal. he left a foxtrotting disk in his optical drive and BIOS was prioritizing boot from it. we had to go into his BIOS to get the boot priority set right and then he was set. it made me wonder though, that disk being in there on startup, did BIOS change automatically to prioritize it?  i didn't think that would happen, then i thought of my gfx incursions, when i had to get by on onboard, when i did install a gfx card i didn;t have to go into BIOS and change anything, and this happened 3 times going back and forth between onboard and gfx card installs

 

 

 

I read somewhere about how gfx card memory plays see-saw with ram addresses, but that might not pertain to 64-bit.. is your gfx memory  gddr3 or gddr5? gddr5 pulls more power. there is yet another handy app called memtest86+ that takes until christmas to diagnose your system ram, so it might be something you start running at bedtime and see the next day what it came up with.

 

I used to also suffer from power outages. I finally parted with a few bucks and bought a cheapie UPS after so many power outages finally blew the bulbs in my monitor. it was worth it.

 

         Also, you have other options to try. you can try to use your onboard video VGA output to see if that is ok to run everything, or you can play swap -out with other PCs. just clean all current drivers out before installing and reinstalling back and forth. Speaking of VGA.....is your monitor using VGA input out of your 660 or DVI?

 

   The next thing is power supply. what is your make/model/wattage/rail amps etc? I don't think SIW can tell you anything about that, but other apps might.

 

 

           Apologies for going off on tangents.


Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#8 CyberSurfer409

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:42 AM

My graphics card is GDDR5. I've had this problem with an older driver set, so I'm not sure that is the issue (but I can try and revert again to be sure). I've run memory test before with no errors located. I don't have an on-board VGA output, only the graphics card (I know weird). I have a 1000w power supply. Not sure about the other specs for it though. It came with the pc from Alienware.

 

 

I'll run memtest86, and SIW this weekend and see if that gets me any new info. Still open to new suggestions....Thanks



#9 synergy513

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:20 AM

oh yes,

 

        if you have gddr5 then chances are you are correct to desire the latest and greatest drivers from the Nvidia Publisher site.  So, power supply is not short of watts. there is no onboard vga coming out of the mobo to use for a plan b check. memory test has been run and is clean.is there a spare moitor laying around to use as another plan b check? we are running out of avenues. I hate to keep bringing it up, But as i stated earlier, i would like to think that BIOS doesn't just change settings under cloak without the user knowing what happened, but i have seen mysterious occurrences that are suspect. Maybe some editions do and some don't. but that is another topic.  This hibernation function  is obviously the heart of the angst. As stated above, there are OS settings for what action to take after wake-up, the solution could be that simple or it could be in your Nvidia controls.


Edited by synergy513, 17 August 2013 - 12:37 PM.

Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#10 CyberSurfer409

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 05:32 PM

synergy, What information should I post from SIW? (seems I have a few options :) 



#11 synergy513

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 12:04 AM

definitely the video,  BIOS, power policy and sensors under hardware, to get the info rolling. there may be more, but that is a good start. if there is too much imagery, we use a handy utility called photobucket, you can put the images there and link us via URL address.


Edited by synergy513, 20 August 2013 - 12:34 AM.

Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#12 CyberSurfer409

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 07:20 PM

The reports generated an HTML file. Is there a way for me to upload files?

 

If not I will have to stitch together images tomorrow and upload with photobucket (as I can't capture the report in a single screenshot.)

 

Thanks again



#13 synergy513

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 08:15 PM

ok, t is a lot of data at once. photobucket is just a spot to put the files, and then you can put the URL here and we can link over to it.   is your PC still giving the same dysfunction? If so, at least we can give it good grades for consistency.


Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#14 CyberSurfer409

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:13 PM

Here are the files. I only got a partial of the Power Policy (there are probably over 100 tabs to expand for a full capture). Hope this helps with the diagnoses. It is a consistent problem (at least several months), however, per you suggestion I'm currently shutting the system down each time (which is a bit of a paint :/)

 

http://s823.photobucket.com/user/CyberSurfer409/library/SIWscreenGrabs

 

 

Thanks



#15 synergy513

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:03 PM

ok, first glance, there is an abnormally high 86c-90c internal temperature (SYSINT) I think SIW is missing the bus on this one. the other temperatures look just fine yet that one temperature is WAY up there.  there is another app called HWmonitor that snoops out temperatures, but it gets the info from BIOS just like SIW. I also see an abnormal voltage on your power supply +12v rail that doesn't look right (9.14v)  that should be hovering in  the 12v +/- .1v range. The BIOS looks ok, however, your display BIOS adapter is 2012 but your system BIOS is 2008.

 

          ok, once i set my PC to hibernate, thinking along the same lines that i didn't want to turn off the system and lose my place, but i didn't want my fans spinning throughout the night. it wasn't a good idea, the system would not respond and wake up. there are standard display  properties in windows that need to be tweaked. i just went into the menu by right clicking out in the desktop space and then snooped around for that one special setting. i couldn't get it right, I was wanting to just move the mouse and get a wake-up  like a screen saver.  so thankfully, my fans are quiet enough to not be a disturbance and i opted out of the hibernate/sleep once i got my air filter configuration correct. those fans can move quite a bit of dust in the wrong direction if left spinning around the clock. i think someone mentioned that the hibernate/sleep function is really for laptops to save energy/battery. it didn't work out so good on my desktop.

 

 Anyway,  thanks for the images. i will analyze further. but as it is right now, you have one or two abnormally high internal temperature(s) being contradicted by your other temperatures. Your power supply indication isn't looking good on the 12v rail. My vote at this point would be to try another power supply with the 80+ endorsement. I read somewhere that the Corsair TX series manufactured by Seasonic is getting great reviews. If you can get one at a retailer, that would be preferred. You may be able to take it back for a refund if it doesn't solve the issue. Be sure to check to see if there is a return policy. sometimes there is, sometimes there isn't. I will PM with the details.


Edited by synergy513, 22 August 2013 - 11:33 PM.

Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress





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