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Suspecting a faulty PSU or GPU


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#1 lightray

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 05:13 PM

Hello everyone!

I've had an issue for a while now where my computer crashes to desktop (black screen and then desktop) within 2-10 minutes (usually around 3 minutes), whenever I'm running a graphics heavy application, like either OCCT, Furmark or a newer game on high settings. I can usually still hear the sounds from my game once I crash, but I have to completely restart the application to be able to see anything in it.

 

I started by checking temperatures, but they all seemed within reasonable limits, with the graphics card hitting about 70C on Furmark and my other components never going past 60C. I tried cleaning out my case and graphics card, which didn't seem to have that much dust for starters and although the temperatures lowered marginally, it made no difference otherwise.

 

My computer runs completely fine otherwise (except for one crash I had watching an 1080p youtube video) and I've run the OCCT GPU, PSU and Linpack tests without issues, the windows memory diagnostics tool and I've also tried updating drivers (my issues did not coincide with a driver update), then cleaning out all the drivers using AMDs driver cleaning utility and reinstalling them, to no avail.

 

I had a .Netframework 4.5.1 update recently before this started happening, but from what I've read around, no one seems to have gotten similar issues because of it and just to be safe, I did try a repair install of it anyways.

 

I've also tried unplugging everything from all the USB ports and then my graphics card took at least twice as long to crash. Changing the clock frequencies to stock or even as low as 20% below stock, had no significant effect.

 

From everything I've tried, I suspect that I either have a faulty graphics card or power supply, but I don't have anyone to switch components with and I have no clue as to what I should try next.

 

 

My specs:

 

ASRock Z77 Pro4

Intel Core i5 3570K

Corsair 16GB RAM

Radeon 7970 Windforce 3x (R797OC-3GD)

Corsair GS600W 80+

 

Catalyst version 14.4

Windows 7 64 bit, SP1



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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 05:34 PM

Hello and Welcome to Bleeping Computer.
 
Let's find out a little bit more about what is going on with your computer system.
 
 
Please download MiniToolBox save it to your desktop and run it.
Checkmark the following checkboxes:
  • List last 10 Event Viewer log
  • List Installed Programs
  • List Devices
  • List Users, Partitions and Memory size.
  • List Minidump Files
  • List Restore Points
Click Go and post the result (Result.txt). A copy of Result.txt will be saved in the same directory the tool is run. Note: When using "Reset FF Proxy Settings" option Firefox should be closed.
 
 
Also,
  • Go to Piriform's website, and click the big download.png button.
  • Next, click Download from Piriform.com (the FileHippo link requires an extra click). Or if you want to use a portable version of Speccy (which doesn't require installation), click the builds page link and download the portable version.
  • You will now be asked where you want to save the file. The best place to put it is the Desktop, as it will be easy to find later.
  • After the file finishes downloading, you are ready to run Speccy. If you downloaded the installer, simply double-click on it and follow the prompts until installation is complete. If you downloaded the portable version, you will need to unzip it before use. Right-click the ZIP file and click Extract all. Click Next. Open up the extracted folder and double-click on Speccy.
  • Once inside Speccy, it will look similar to this (with your computer's specifications, of course):
    p22004369.gif
  • Now, at the top, click File > Publish Snapshot
  • You will see the following prompt:
    p22004371.gif
  • Click Yes > then Copy to Clipboard
    p22004372.gif
  • Now, once you are back in the forum topic you are posting in, click the p22004370.gif button. Right-click in the empty space of the Reply box and click Paste. Then, click Add Reply below the Reply box.
  • Congrats! You have just posted your specs!
Once you have posted your Speccy snapshot, it will be reviewed and a reply will be offered to you as soon as time permits.
Thank You For Choosing Bleeping Computer For computer related Help And Assistance
 
Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 06 June 2014 - 05:42 PM.

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#3 lightray

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:11 PM

Thank you for the clear instructions!

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/Aee31cT0ck6D8lVZqlgTgqP

 

Attached Files



#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:45 PM

I have a question regarding this windows update install:

2014-06-04 Intel Corporation - Graphics Adapter WDDM1.1, Graphics Adapter WDDM1.2, Graphics Adapter WDDM1.3 - Intel® HD Graphics 4000
Intel Corporation Graphics Adapter WDDM1.1, Graphics Adapter WDDM1.2, Graphics Adapter WDDM1.3 software update released in May, 2014


It appears this driver was installed through windows update.

How many active graphics cards do you have in your computer system? Do you use dual monitors?

Bruce.

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#5 lightray

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:49 PM

I'm supposed to have just one active I think, and I only use a single monitor.



#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:59 PM

I am curious if your graphics driver was replaced by a Microsoft version of your graphics driver from windows update.

 

You have an AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series video card correct?

 

Your driver may have been replaced by one from Windows update.

 

Have you tried downloading and installing a fresh copy of the latest official driver for your video card?

 

Bruce.

 

Edited: added missing word for clarity.


Edited by MrBruce1959, 06 June 2014 - 07:01 PM.

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#7 lightray

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 07:23 PM

Yes, I have an HD 7970.

I started getting this issue around may 21rst I think and the first thing I did then was to update my catalyst drivers, then I tried wiping them with a driver cleaner (amds own) and then I just installed the latest version again.



#8 MrBruce1959

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 07:57 PM

I see you use Utorrent, so do I. Have you checked your system for possible malware/virus issues lately?

Bruce.

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#9 lightray

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 08:32 PM

Yes, I do. Yeah, I have and I haven't even used Utorrent for a few weeks now I think.



#10 MrBruce1959

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 09:05 PM

Your topic title is faulty PSU or GPU. Have you noticed any artifacts on the screen at any point in the last two months?

Often a failing GPU results in artifacts and occasional graphic resets and recoveries. Any signs of those at all?

Lastly, as for faulty PSU. It is possible, but before we go replacing it needlessly, let's look at other options first.

Have you inspected the motherboard for possible leaking or bulging capacitors?

Examples of such can be found at this links:

http://www.capacitorlab.com/visible-failures/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

http://pc-medic.blogspot.com/2006/10/leaking-capacitors.html

Bruce.

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#11 lightray

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 09:14 PM

I have noticed artifacts on the screen after crashing. If my computer crashes to desktop and I don't restart it, I sometimes get artifacts if I try to start a game or test (OCCT or Furmark) afterwards. Furmark is usually pretty consistent with giving me artifacts if I let it run until it crashes. Otherwise I never really get any artifacts at all.

 

I've had the message "Display driver has stopped and has recovered" a few times after crashing to desktop (my screen usually goes black for a few seconds before I can see the desktop).

 

I'll definitely have to take a look at my motherboard then.



#12 MrBruce1959

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 09:31 PM

Correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe you have an add on video card.

While you are inspecting those capacitors I'd like you to do the following:

I suggest that you try re-seating the video card into the slot, but before you touch anything inside the computer case, I would like you to place one hand on the metal surface of the computer tower first so as to discharge any lethal static electricity from your body may have. Look for the hold down screw or lever that locks the card to the case. Then look for the release lever that locks your video card into place on the motherboard and remove it from the tower.

Do not touch the gold colored contacts on the video card with your fingers as this will cause issues down the line with contact corrosion. You can blow air into the slot, using either canned air or just your breath to discharge any dust from the slot.

Replace the video card back into it's slot and make sure it is firmly in place and lock it back into the slot with the screw or hold down bracket that locks it into the slot.

If problems continue to persist and the capacitors are okay by your inspection, I will be looking at having you reset your BIOS settings to safe defaults and see if the issues stop happening. But don't do that until I tell you too.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 06 June 2014 - 09:34 PM.

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#13 lightray

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 02:44 PM

Yes, the HD 7970 is a discrete graphics card. I inspected all the capacitors and nothing seemed wrong (I checked both the top and bottom parts). I didn't reseat the card as I did that just a few days ago, when I tried to clean the card (which had almost no effect, except for just getting it a degrees cooler).

 

Should I perhaps try putting it into a different PCI-E slot?

I really appreciate the help!



#14 MrBruce1959

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 03:11 PM

Should I perhaps try putting it into a different PCI-E slot?

I really appreciate the help!

First, no problem with my helping you, it is one of the things I enjoy doing for our forum board membership.

 

It would not hurt to change slots, who knows maybe that slot your using has a contact issue.

 

You mentioned the temperature readings went down after re-seating the video card. I find that to be interesting, perhaps the card was closer to another heat emitting device? 

 

A BIOS re-set may fix issues, but let's change the slot first and see what happens. Post back the results for us okay?

 

Bruce.


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#15 lightray

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 05:58 PM

I've tried running Furmark for 5 minutes (at which point my card got to 80 degrees and I made a brief stop to turn the fans up to 100%) and then for another 4 minutes with overclocking also on and then OCCT for more than 14 minutes. My pc hasn't felt this stable since before these issues started showing up. I can't be sure, but I think this may have fixed it now.

I suspected it may had to do with the dust, but I can't be sure (there wasn't really that much dust). It was closer to the processor in that slot though.

 

If I hadn't gotten help here, I could have probably wasted a lot of money with replacing either the power supply or graphics card as I never suspected it could have been the motherboard slot. Thanks a lot! :)






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