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Black screen crashes, unsure if PSU or GPU


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#1 ebbykirk

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 07:10 PM

I am not hardware savvy. I bought this premade computer: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It worked fine for about a month but now it keeps black screen crashing when I'm gaming and it frequently won't power on properly. I'll try to turn it on and the lights come on and fans whir but it outputs nothing to the monitor, just started making a twanging sound twice, and will try to restart after a few seconds. If I unplug the power cord and USB devices it will usually manage to come on. All this happened in basically two days and it's going downhill from here.

When I have gotten an error code from it, I got BCCode 116, which points to GPU.

However, this is using a GTX 760 (min recommended PSU 500W) with what came with it: a Corsair CX 430 which is a 450W supply. I understand that gaming is what stresses the PSU the most with power spikes and have some idea that this could be manifesting itself in the error code as a GPU problem when it's really the PSU.

The manufacturer wants me to mail it back to them but I've read horror stories about that and since I'd have to pay for shipping I think I'd save money fixing it myself, wouldn't put the computer through the trauma of shipping, and anyway if it is the supply they'd just put another 450W in there. However, not being sure of the issue, I don't want to buy a new supply and discover that not only did I not fix the problem but I also voided my warranty.

I'm afraid of damaging other components in the computer which I know a failing PSU might do so I have turned it off and am not touching it anymore!

Please help.



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#2 YeahBleeping

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 07:43 PM

Determining possible heat factor.  Do you have a fan you can place next to your computer blowing into the case with a side open?

 

If you can game for a long time with fan running into the case then you may have a heat problem. 

 

It really is difficult to determine the culprit here unless you have another PSU or GPU to try in the system.  And then you open yourself up to driver conflicts etc...

 

Corsair are not a bad PSU but that doesn't mean its not gone bad.  Since this 'return policy' is on your dime I would ask them if they would be willing to replace the PSU to the recomended wattage first to try and nail down weather its the PSU or the GPU. 

 

That way you don't have to send the whole thing back.



#3 ranchhand_

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 07:59 PM

I feel your pain.  Here is the situation, as I see it.

As far as finding your problem, that can be done. The flip side to that is the fact that you don't know your way around the inside of the box (which is not something to be embarrassed about, it's just a fact). There are only two dependable ways to test a power supply; swap it with another, or use a power supply tester, neither of which you have.

Your comment:

 

stresses the PSU the most with power spikes

The power supply never "spikes" voltages, that would be death to the components. It supplies even, "clean" voltage to each component. The only way a power supply could damage components is if it short-circuited inside or blew a capacitor which could send a spike through, in theory. In reality that almost never happens.

So....let's try a couple of simple things first. If they don't yield results, then the best thing is to send the unit back. If it is packed properly and you insure it for what you paid, you are safe. When they send it back to you, they will be responsible for any insurance charges.

> I see that YeahBleeping beat me to the post above :) and his suggestion about overheating is good. I don't think that is the problem, but it's free & easy to test.

> Check your video card; remove it, take a clean paper towel and wipe the contacts, and reinstall it making sure it clicks down firmly. There will be some sort of locking device on the rear, make sure it snaps in good.

> Make sure the memory sticks are in evenly and snapped into place. IF YOU KNOW how to safely remove them, take them out and re-seat them and make sure they are in evenly and locked in place.
> Check all cables, that they are plugged in firmly. Unplug and replug  to make sure.

Other than that, do not let this go beyond the warranty period or you will be up a creek without a paddle.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#4 YeahBleeping

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 08:12 PM

Great suggestions Ranchand... Is that an arab there?  ohhhh to live on a ranch ... wheres that winning lottery ticket..



#5 ebbykirk

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 08:51 PM

Thanks for your time, guys!

I honestly don't think it's an overheating issue because my computer is always very cool and when I've monitored the temperatures they've been all right, but I do have a fan and will go ahead and try that.

 

I ordered a Corsair CX 750M which will arrive on Friday. I don't know if it is hard to swap a power supply out but I'll do my best and report back.

 

Thank you for the explanation, Ranchhand. I thought that during taxing moments like starting a game up more power was drawn than usual which is why problems would manifest themselves during gaming, but I certainly won't pretend to have any idea I know what I'm talking about.

 

They did say they would require both shipping to and from to be prepaid and given how heavy the tower is I'm sure replacing the PSU (if it is the problem) will be less expensive.

I have gone through and checked every connection I could find to ensure everything is snapped tightly together and all of that checked out.

I will go ahead and check to see if the graphics card and RAM are seated properly but I'm wondering if perhaps I should wait until I have swapped power supplies simply because I feel so uncomfortable "messing around" inside of the tower.

I do have an onboard VGA port and I'm thinking perhaps when/if I check the aforementioned components I ought to try temporarily leaving the card out and seeing if I have further issues because at least then we should be able to eliminate the GPU as the source of the problem.

What do you think?

 

Thanks again.


Edited by ebbykirk, 14 January 2015 - 08:55 PM.


#6 YeahBleeping

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 09:07 PM

I'm still gunnin for heat related ' gpu/fan issue'

 

It is not too difficult to switch out a power supply.  Just take note on how many devices are connected.  Take good closeup pix with your phone or something note them down so you know you reconnect just as many cables.

 

The big connector that connects to the motherboard can sometimes be REALLY hard to get off.  There is a plastic tip you have to PINCH not separate with a finger or needle nosed pliers,  The same goes for the 4 pin connector theres a clip to pinch.

 

Check this utube vid.  (this is not me)



#7 ebbykirk

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 10:13 PM

Thank you for the advice, I'll be careful. :) I'm sure the video will be very helpful when I do it.

Quick question, should I be able to swap the old one back seamlessly if the new one doesn't help and I decide I need to send it in to the manufacturer?  Their warranty states they do not cover: "Products that are altered or repaired by anyone not authorized by Company" but I feel like that would imply if you so much as open your computer to look into it you've already voided it, and a big part of owning a gaming rig is maintaining the interior and keeping parts clean by pulling them out and cleaning and putting them back in. If I'm very careful and put the supply back the way I found it do you think it would be okay? I have no experience with this but feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place... want to avoid putting the computer through shipping trauma/wasting money but also want to have the option to get it fixed if I absolutely have to (would very much prefer to be able to try the things suggested here first because if it's an easy fix like putting in a new part that will save me a lot of time and money).



#8 ranchhand_

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 10:48 PM

 

should I be able to swap the old one back seamlessly

Yes. We are talking about simple remove & replace here. Take care not to scratch or damage it. An easy way is to take thin-width masking tape, and mark the cable ends and sockets so if you replace them they go back into the same place. Bear in mind that if the problem happens to be the power supply, that will void your warranty because you replaced it. Of course, much depends on the attitude of the manufacturer.

As far as integrated video, I don't know what kind of mainboard they supplied to you, but if there is a video socket on it in the rear along with the other inputs it most likely has integrated video. If so, that is a good test; unplug your monitor from the card and into the mainboard socket, and if your problems stop you found the cause. Most mainboards now automatically switch between video card and integrated video when the card is removed.

@Yeahbleeping: no, not an Arab, just a guy watering his horse. Pics from my childhood growing up on a cattle ranch in south central Idaho (Bitterroot mountain chain).
 

 >[EDIT]:  I just looked at the pics on the Newegg website you linked to; I see a VGA port, so you do have integrated video and can test your video card easily.


Edited by ranchhand_, 15 January 2015 - 05:19 AM.

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#9 ebbykirk

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 01:13 AM

So I have an update, I replaced the PSU and have had no further crashes yet (although have only done maybe 40 minutes of gaming so far).  However, shortly before the crashes started I was having problems with games I never had issues playing lagging so hard they could be basically unplayable, and this is still happening, which makes me think the problem wasn't solved.  Everything ran perfectly until maybe a week or so ago where I had random horrible lag, then crashes, then issues booting, etc.  I also noticed after installing the PSU that I am getting coil whine from the card (I never noticed this before although I usually game with headphones, but I think I would have noticed this at some point during about 3 months of heavy gaming).  I thought at first it was just the new component making a new noise but I ran a benchmark to stress the card and took one side of the computer off and listened very closely and it sounded exactly like coil whine and was louder by the card.  While I was playing a game to test the system I noticed that every 3-15 seconds the coil whine would stop for maybe half a second and when it did, the game would lag for an instant.  Unfortunately I don't know what it sounds like during the heavy gamebreaking lag as while I was doing that I had the game sound up but I can try that again later.

Any new thoughts?

 

EDIT: I have two cats. It occurred to me that perhaps the GPU overheating thing YeahBleeping mentioned may be far more likely than I originally thought. I found a small amount of cat hair in the case but the GPU's fans seem to be running quite nicely (with no stress I have a steady 1230 RPM and visually I can see the two fans under the card spinning away with no issues). Does that rule the cat hair out as a culprit or could it still be gunking something in my GPU I can't see externally?


Edited by ebbykirk, 17 January 2015 - 01:37 AM.


#10 ebbykirk

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 04:13 PM

Vacuumed the cat hair out and I'm still getting the lag issues.






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