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strange issues (black screen, blue screen, and freezes)

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by keakar, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. keakar

    keakar

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    my computer specs to the left are up to date

    this system has been running flawlessly for a year now and i keep it clean, well cooled, and dust free

    right out of the blue lately my computer started freezing up randomely, sometimes when its just sitting idle it will make a "bong" sound and then the screen goes black and the computer is frozen with no way to get in but restarting it.

    most of the freeze ups come when multi tasking but it has done it sitting idle once or twice.

    a couple of times when i started the computer it gave me the blue screen that says windows had a problem and needs to restart but doesnt say anything more.

    sometimes while the computer seams to be working ok, when i start the media player or games it sometimes give me the blue screen but it only says windows had a problem and needs to restart but doesnt say anything more. :banghead:

    just one time the blue screen did say that the nvidia driver had an issue so i updated that but its still giving the random freezes and so far i havent seen any more blue screens yet.

    i cant remember how you get to read the error report to see whats going on for sure so can someone remind me how to do it?

    if its a virus its no big deal since im getting ready to update from xp to windows 7 but i want to be certain its not something hardware related before i do a reformat and install windows 7.

    what would be the top suspects to look at here and how do i test them?

    im thinking if it were the video card it wouldnt be effecting the system so even thou it was my first idea im guessing its probably not the problem.

    its been a long time since i was fixing a computer so whats the best diagnostic test program for dummies. im not into benches or detailed diagnostic figures, i just want a pass or fail kind of test to see if something works or has issues.

    thanks for your help in advance guys :)


    EDIT: this problem turned out to be due to the psu that was still working but it got weak and was not supplying enough amps anymore even thou the voltages looked ok when tested. i suggest you read through this thread as it is very informative as to just how strange your computer can act when something like this happens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  2. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If the "bong" noise is coming from the computer itself, I would take a look at the PSU.
     
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  3. keakar

    keakar

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    the "bonk" or "bong" come out of the speakers not the motherboard.

    it was like the "bong" you get when a pop up is waiting on an action before you can do anything else and you click on something else instead

    or when you run out of space to type in a box with limited key spaces and you get the "bong" when you hit another key on the keyboard

    whats the best tool to use for testing/diagnosing your system?
     
  4. keakar

    keakar

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    bump
     
  5. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Heating issues?

    (Actually I dont know, just bump in disguise)
     
  6. Wingo101

    Wingo101

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    Sounds to me like it could be either your RAM or Video Card. You say it usually occurs when "multi tasking" when your system is using more memory.

    Try a program like Memtest to test your RAM.
     
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  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    dont forget power supply. he's got a cheap no name, and surges in power/feedback could explain noises through speakers


    erratic problems like this would usually be overheating related, i'd focus on PSU, ram, and anything else that seems hot (EG, use programs for CPU and GPU, and use your finger on ram/motherboard to see whats hot)
     
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  8. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    my guess would be memory.. test with prime95
     
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  9. {JNT}Raptor

    {JNT}Raptor New Member

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    Memory or PSU gets my vote......although the 8800GT is getting alittle long in the tooth now.....but I'll stick with my 1st 2 suggestions.....get into the bios and check your voltage on your +3.3/ +5/and +12 lines and list them here.


    Hope it helps. :)
     
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  10. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    checking in the BIOS is useless, those things are never accurate. he'll need to use a multimeter to test that.
     
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  11. keakar

    keakar

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    case temp is steady 35 c and cpu temps are steady at 34c and 40c under full load

    i have a coolermaster centurian 5 case that the front is all grill top to bottom, the whole front grill is a screen so airflow is not an issue and its dust free inside case and psu as well. see it here:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119068

    all fans are running fine and they are still running when this "issue" happens.

    i also checked for heat by feel and the psu is just slightly warmer than room temp along with everything else so im pretty sure whatever is going on its not heat related. i even reseasted the cpu (figured it couldnt hurt while i was changing paste) and replaced the thermal paste for cpu "just in case" but it was fine and made no difference.

    i also checked for heat by feel for the video card and after gaming (sh4) it is very warm to almost hot temp touching the back side of the card where the gpu is and the cooler fins are just slightly warm.

    im running the ARCTIC COOLING Accelero VGA Cooler with a 120 mm case fan on it (with the weight of card and fan supported so its not all on the mobo) so im pretty sure whatever is going on its not heat related.

    is there something that will monitor the psu voltages and let me see a record of it?

    like a time graph to see if there is some irregular output?

    when i check it on the volt meter right now everythings fine, i even restarted it to try a power drain check but no voltage drop on startup.

    i havent taken voltages while its happening yet so i'll try to get that if i can.

    for now my voltages are:

    +3.3 = 3.42
    +5 = 5.12
    +12 = 12.20

    i'll see what prime85 says and report back, memtest wont do all of my memory at once
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  12. keakar

    keakar

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    results from prime95 memory test:

    (results)
    [Tue Dec 08 15:17:29 2009]
    Self-test 1024K passed!
    Self-test 1024K passed!
    Self-test 1024K passed!
    Self-test 1024K passed!



    (prime)
    V24OptionsConverted=1
    WGUID_version=2
    StressTester=1
    UsePrimenet=0
    MinTortureFFT=8
    MaxTortureFFT=4096
    TortureMem=400
    TortureTime=15
    Left=176
    Top=232
    Right=1436
    Bottom=974
    W1=0 0 1250 133 0 -1 -1 -4 -30
    W2=0 133 1250 267 0 -1 -1 -1 -1
    W3=0 267 1250 400 0 -1 -1 -1 -1
    W4=0 400 1250 534 0 -1 -1 -1 -1
    W5=0 534 1250 668 0 -1 -1 -1 -1

    [PrimeNet]
    Debug=0
     
  13. keakar

    keakar

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    ok i ran disk checker and it had no bad sectors or errors found so the hdd is ok

    i just this minute had it freeze up

    description of this latest freeze up:
    this time it froze it had a ever so slight "blink" like a screen refresh thing that repeated every 3 or 4 seconds.

    it also had strage repeated patterns of blocks on the screen like a stripe of tetris shapes going in a single 1" stripe right accross the screen.

    the mouse arrow was movable but the mouse buttons werent functoning and ctr+alt+del wasnt functioning, the computer wasnt responding to anything but i could play with the mouse arrow if i wanted to lol.

    here are the voltages checked with multimeter while the computer was frozen

    +3.3 = 3.42
    +5 = 5.12
    +12 = 12.20

    i checked all the plugs in case of a bad rail or bad wire. they are unchanged from before so i think this eliminates the psu as a cause

    while the computer was still running and frozen, (just to see what would happen) i carefully unplugged the video card power plug and got a screeching continuous beep from the mobo. i plugged the video card power plug back in and the monotor was now just a dark black screen with no image. i unplugged the monitor from the card and it went to a lighter shade of black and gave me the "no signal" indicator box so the monitor is working ok.

    is it normal to go black like that if you unplug and replug the power to the card while its still powered up?

    im beginning to think my video card is going out but how can a video card freeze up and disable the functions of your computer? that makes absolutely no sense to me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  14. ste2425

    ste2425

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    just pointing something out earlier you said the back of ur gpu is very hot, so much that its nearly burning to the touch but your fan fins are only warm? im just pointing this out to someone who's no's more then me but this dont seem very right, my heatsink is always rather warm when my gpu heats up.
    just an idea hope this helps
     
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  15. keakar

    keakar

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    yes thats true, but i mentioned it was during heavy load on a very stressfull game. any other time its just gets barely warm.

    the actual chip always gets hotter then the cooler attatched to it and thats because the heat "wicks" outward the same applies to your cpu cooler. the smaller the cooler the closer it stays to the actual chip temp and the larger the cooler its that much cooler because it give off the heat quicker.

    its normal to see a hot chip but only a warm cooler if you use a large aftermarket cooler such as mine. my video cooler is huge (like 5"x8"), bigger than the entire card even (3.5"x8")and the added fan sucks the heat away so fast that it doesnt get a chance to get very warm.

    thats one reason the stock gpu coolers are so loud, they have to force a lot of air so it doesnt get overheated yet they do get pretty hot because of the compact design limits the fin area they can use.
     
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  16. keakar

    keakar

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    ok i just ran a 90 minute stress test on my video card and had no problems and ran an average bench of 486fps so ....

    i have no clue what to do now


    could this all be caused by a virus or worm?

    i use avast home antivirus which is very good and nothing has ever gotten past it yet
     
  17. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    That graphical corruption has me thinking video card. There's more to a video card than just the gpu, the vrms get very hot and can do weird things if they're not cooled. Also, the memory could be fubar
     
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    Crunching for Team TPU
  18. keakar

    keakar

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    me too "hat" and i did get one blue screen that said "you have a video driver isue" which to me was "huh what?" never heard of that blue screen error before but the driver was outdated so i replaced it.

    the video card stability test came back ok and if something was fishy with the card i would think it would have acted up during the test but it didnt act up at all and ran like a champ.

    im totally mistified on this one and its completely random so i cant DO anything to make it act up i just have to wait for it to show up at random to check things.

    i dont have the budget to buy something i dont "have to" so replacing things "just to see" isnt a realistic option for me but if i have to then i have to but i want to be 90% sure im replacing the right part.

    further complicating things is my card has lifetime warranty but if i send it in as defective and they dont find anything wrong at that time (which is extremely likey the way this is acting) they will want to charge me for service so i cant really use the warranty at this stage. i really am lost here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  19. ste2425

    ste2425

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    ok thanks i just noticed it and thought it might help :D you learn something new every day :toast:
     
  20. dr emulator (madmax)

    dr emulator (madmax)

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    cough on windows xp it's start /programs /accessorys/system tools/system information
    then software enviroment /windows error reporting

    try malware bytes here

    i'm not knocking your case but it does seem as though you only have 1 fan in it which might cause problems sorry.gif

    and if i where you i'd test the psu when your using benchmarks (my old one used to die when i ran 3dmark which is also available here)
    try it and get back someone will try and help (it's getting late here so :eek: )
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  21. keakar

    keakar

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    i ran malware and avast on full scans and both came up clean

    it doesnt look like much but its got great airflow because the whole front cover is just an open screen so with the one fan and the psu combine to move more about 80 cfms through the case. it stays room temperature inside the case at all times even when gaming

    ok i had no problems running it and got a score of 28043 with 3D marks on low detail setting and 27720 on the high detail setting
     
  22. THRiLL KiLL

    THRiLL KiLL

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    when the system crashes are there anything in the system event logs? and when it bsod, does it do a memory dump?
     
  23. keakar

    keakar

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    it freezes up the majority of the time but i did get some bsod

    they only said "system has encountered an error" and needed to reboot but gave no info about it and showed no error code numbers

    i dont recall it ever saying it was doing a memory dump but once it did tell me i had a video driver issue, which i did have an outdated driver so i upgraded that

    how do i check the system event logs?

    "dr emulator" told me how to check the "windows error reporting" but that was only the program crash errors and not the bsod errors
     
  24. THRiLL KiLL

    THRiLL KiLL

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    START >> control panel >> administrative tools >> event viewer>>

    application = programs
    system = most of the time is hardware
     
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  25. dr emulator (madmax)

    dr emulator (madmax)

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    did you notice any fluctuations in your voltages whilst running 3d mark?
     

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