Justin Guitar Community

Tools of the Trade => Computer and OS => Topic started by: DeadlyChicken on December 18, 2010, 11:41:59 am

Title: PSU or video card ?
Post by: DeadlyChicken on December 18, 2010, 11:41:59 am
ok, got a self built machine, its getting a bit old now ... its a few years old.

core2quad Q6600
Gigabyte ga x38-ds4
8 GB DDR2 1066
ati 3870
corsair 550watt vx psu
 
so recently it started doing this thing where it would be going along fine and then the screens would both go into powersave .. and nothing responds .. pressing the power button doesn't even seem to do anything.    anyway it even started doing this before it got to windows ....  first thought was RAM, so I did a test and one showed up as faulty .. but then I rebooted and there was a message about the BIOS was corrupt and it reverted to the one from the backup BIOS thing and it seemed ok.  I had to flash the BIOS again and reset the CMOS.
everything went back and it seemed fine .. for about a day and it did it again ..
so I rechecked the RAM , now it shows not faulty

its not software so it must be hardware .. started to worry that the motherboard might be on its way out.   then I had the idea to put in a different graphics card..  the one in there is a bit of a power hungry thing and has that 6 pin pci power thing .... so I put in a hd 3400 I had in another machine, and so far so good .. however, is it the video card, or is it the psu not giving enough juice consistently enough ? I don't have another trustworthy PSU that is 550 watt or more.  also if its motherboard then I probably need to go to a new memory set as well as none of the currently ddr2 memory motherboards I can find for sale seem to have more than 2 slots  ( seems that where there are 4 slots the other two are for ddr3 )

which is a bit of a bugger as this machine is plenty powerful enough for me atm

so anything else I can do to figure out which is the issue ?
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: Wishbone on December 18, 2010, 04:20:22 pm
DC-

Your system ran fine for a couple of years, so it's a safe assumption that there were no power requirement problems beforehand. Unless you hit an experienced hunch square on the head, swapping parts out is usually the best form of diagnostic process. From what you're saying, it would be fairly safe to assume that your graphics card would seem to be at fault.
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: TB-AV on December 18, 2010, 04:37:57 pm
Replace the battery for the BIOS. Those symptoms point to that. Once you get it going again be sure all your BIOS settings are set back correctly and saved.

Also you might want to read this thread.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/255526-30-endless-reboot

I once had a GByte board go bad after quite a long time and they sent be one free so check your warranty.

But I had one of my PCs here do that same thing just the other day. Put a new battery in and all was fine.

Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: Dan Graves on December 18, 2010, 09:40:09 pm
Bad CMOS battery for sure.
The BIOS going tits up is almost universally the battery dying, in rare cases it's the BIOS ROM.

And it's worth a try to disassemble the videocard, clean out the dust and replace the thermal pads/thermal paste on any heatsinks and the GPU.
Had an old customer call me last summer with a similar video issue, and that's what worked for him.
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: DeadlyChicken on December 18, 2010, 10:37:55 pm
hmm had not considered the CMOLS battery as it seems to hold the info fine.  Sure it did go corrupt once, but I figured that might have been due to the system hanging and me pressing the on off power button a bunch of times to try and get it to respond :p

its a simple fix I guess.  The thing is still running fine with the smaller video card.  Regarding me suspecting the psu, it was just because I figured it may be delivering less power than it did when it was new ? maybe.  and I figured I would expect something in the system logs, a while back I had a second video card and was running 3 screens and I had suspicions that there was not quite enough power then,  I had a few cases of the system hanging.

I guess its about time for a new video card as this one is so old I cannot even buy a second one and team it up.  But is 550 watt enough power for a system like this ? how many more devices can I add before I go over what it can deliver ?
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: LievenDV on December 18, 2010, 10:49:36 pm
the CMOS battery could help and if it doesn't it was worth the try because it will prevent similar issues
and save you a couple of hourse that you can sped findign THAT tone or learnign those jazz grips ;)

In my ICT years; problems like these and similar all fell back on mobo,GPU's,power supplies and CMOS batteries.
I think you're about 97% certain it's one of those things.

block lines dodgy images; failing images; insta-resetters....GPU's were the usual suspect :)

I'm the Dick Dale of computers.. I blew up 3 power units in this pc.
What dick dale did to leo fenders amps; I do to pc's

I always had high end video card (yeah for games :) ) and these days; 600w aint a luxury.
550 should do though.
after I seemed to have fried my Geforce 8800 GTX (which was a fine card in his time) I never updated windows again.
I pressed "shut down" on the "locked user" screen in vista and it started to shut down but update first...
Guess my pc forgot to keep the fans running, as my graphics card just locked up while I left the update unattended.
Anyway; I've got a ATI whatevernumberIdon'tcare with a gig memory and this thing doesn't blow any psu's any more
(although it crashes in HL2 based games sometimes; sound hangs, image are small blocks and reset is the answer)

I now have a prob with my pc freezing during screensaver.. but it's a Win Vista problem I think :p

Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: DeadlyChicken on December 19, 2010, 03:48:27 am
For what its worth, its still running ... have not changed the cmos battery yet, but have a new ish motherboard ( brought a few months back and didnt end up needing it )  it only has 2 DDR2 slots tho .. otherwise I would just switch up the motherboard.

I had a look at taking the video card apart, but its got one of those massive cooling ducts on it and there does not seem to be anyway to remove it.  Having said that, the card looks in good nick.  Clean no real fluff anywhere, although the grill on the second pci slot plate looks a but corroded and has some small fluff bits on it, the rest looks remarkably clean.  might blow $150 on an ati 5770 or is there something better in that price range ( Aus )

looks like its a fair upgrade from the 3870 that has been removed ( and that did everything I wanted fast enough ? ).
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: Wishbone on December 19, 2010, 11:02:28 pm
Maybe I'm a bit confused......... were we talking a 'corrupt' BIOS....... or just one that had reverted to defaults due to CMOS battery failure?

I always considered the two to be two different things........
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: DeadlyChicken on December 19, 2010, 11:28:24 pm
no it was a corrupted CMOS .. that happened just once tho, and I am not sure if that was just because when the system was hanging, I had to hold the power in to power it off, and sometimes had to pull the power out of the back of it to get it to fully power down.  So yeah once it came up with a corrupted CMOS and I had to recover from the backup BIOS ( which reverted things to the initial firmware )

so I am not sure if this is the actual problem, or just a side effect from something I was doing.

However last night I did take the battery from my new ish motherboard and replaced the one in the old motherboard ( stands to reason the newer motherboard has a newer battery and thats not a bad thing to have in there :) )  and I also replaced the video card .. put back in the "problematic" one.  Guess what .. no problems so far , working like a dream ??

annoying, this computer has done this several times to me now :D

the reason I have a spare motherboard is that a few months ago it wouldn't power on, no beeps nothing ... I did everything I could think of and still wouldn't boot.  I went out and got a replacement motherboard and everything worked in it.  then I realised that new motherboards do not have a built in speaker and maybe my motherboard had been trying to beep to tell me that the RAM or something was at fault but had not managed to make anything audible due to no speaker.

So I plugged everything back into the original and it has been working fine until this recent issue.

so I have had suspicions about the motherboard / psu for a while ..

Now however I am still considering a new video card as it looks like I can get a fairly decent upgrade to a ATI 5770 for $150 ish and move up to dx 11 from a dx 10 card.  So might be an idea anyway.  Then I have a decent backup / test card if there is nothing wrong with  the old video card ?

its annoying to spend much cash on this as this system having DDR2 is now becoming harder to support.  But to move to a new memory standard would end up costing quite a lot of cash and leave me with a bunch of good and working kit, that I couldnt use.

So yeah, now I am thinking of a new video card for not a lot of cash .. maybne up to $200 ish and see how things go.  Might get myself an internal speaker also ;)

( scratch the speaker, just stole one out of an old celeron system :p )
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: Dan Graves on December 20, 2010, 12:21:12 am
It was the battery DC.
It'll seem fine and dandy most of the time, but when they are on their way out like that, they will cause the weirdest issues that seem unexplainable, and at random intervals.
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: DeadlyChicken on December 20, 2010, 01:51:29 am
cool, I hope so ...

got an HD 5770 anyway.  might put the 3870 in the ubuntu box in the bar ( only use for music, youtube and a bit of TV if there is some sport on ;) )  see how that goes ;)
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: Ragz on December 21, 2010, 07:47:43 pm
changing the cmos battery wasn't the reason it started working again. But i'm not going to argue about this. (And Dan, i've probably changed more cmos batteries than you've had hot dinners, so don't start :) )

It sounds to me and probably was that when you put the video card back in that was giving you issues, you put it back in properly. It may of been loose before which is more likely to give you a short and cause that exact problem of the monitor(s) going into powersave mode. Same goes for the actual DVI/VGA cable being loose. It will do that exact same thing. Seen it a million times and fixed it the same million times.

The corrupt bios was probably not even related to the issue, unless the bios was set to a default of looking for an internal video card built into the motherboard and you have a pci-e or pci video card which you are using. Then it might be related due to the fact that the factory settings may of defaulted to internal video card or auto. But i still say no on that.

99.9% of the time it's a loose cable or expansion card. which would of been resolved when you put the card back in and connected the cable back again from monitor to the video card.
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: TB-AV on December 21, 2010, 08:19:35 pm
Precisely why when I am trouble shooting things once I find the problem, I fix it then put the problem back in to assure it returns then give it the final fix.

EDIT: I forgot to mention... I don't think I've ever had a modern adapter card come unseated. I'm actually wondering how that happens. It's screwed down on one end and newer ones are even locked on the opposite end as well. Memory, a cable, those will come loose but never seen adapter cards come loose on their own.

It probably wasn't the CMOS battery after reading that was a one time thing that he might have facilitated trying to power cycle but I still wouldn't rule it out. There is no way of knowing. You have to do one variable at a time and most people take the shotgun approach.







Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: Ragz on December 21, 2010, 11:38:06 pm
Precisely why when I am trouble shooting things once I find the problem, I fix it then put the problem back in to assure it returns then give it the final fix.

EDIT: I forgot to mention... I don't think I've ever had a modern adapter card come unseated. I'm actually wondering how that happens. It's screwed down on one end and newer ones are even locked on the opposite end as well. Memory, a cable, those will come loose but never seen adapter cards come loose on their own.


that's assuming it was seated correctly in the first place, TB :) With custom builds, sometimes the cases aren't flush to the mbd. I've had builds that i've done for customers where i've had to put a couple of rubber washers under the mbd mounting holes, to raise it up a bit in order to let the expansion cards slot in all the way.
Some cases don't even have screw downs on them. Especially Dell cases. They have a little plastic cover that swings into place and is "supposed" to hold the card down, but doesn't do a great job.

Who knows, maybe heat played a part, over several years, causing the card to unseat itself through expansion. stranger things have happened hehe.
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: TB-AV on December 22, 2010, 02:00:36 am
Quote
Some cases don't even have screw downs on them.

That's true I forgot about those.
Title: Re: PSU or video card ?
Post by: DeadlyChicken on December 22, 2010, 10:58:14 am
nah its a good case, antec p182.  although it does stand up and then its a heavy graphics card and pretty big too ..

still working a treat, given it  couple of bashes doing CS Source and it held up fine.  so problem seems fixed.

old video card is in the ubuntu box downstairs and that seems to be working, but i dont use it much anyway