Computer havok, help?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by bloodstar23, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. bloodstar23

    bloodstar23 Guest

    So my computer has decided to pretty much host an all out war against me.
    I've tried every troubleshooting method, debugging, scanning, everything I
    could think of and nothing is working. The computer just randomly decides it
    wants to shut down whenever I'm trying to run like two or more active
    graphics programs, such as trying to run a game and a flash at the same time,
    multiple flash files, multiple games, even multiple GIFS will cause this, and
    it doesn't blue screen, it just shuts down. Upon turning it back on I have to
    try multiple times as it will start up, then shut down again several times
    before actually booting up. I figured this HAD to be a GPU issue, I have two
    graphics cards so of course that's it, but upon removing and individually
    testing each under the same conditions, it still crashed just the same. Yes,
    the crashing is bad enough I can actually quite easily force it to crash.
    This time, however, upon re-installing both cards and rebooting, my nTune
    suddenly doesn't work, and after launching the Nvidia monitor (having to use
    cmd to do so because I couldn't boot up nTune), and putting it under the
    exact same conditions that crashed it before, it refused to crash. I opened
    over 20 flashes simultaenously and it wouldn't go above 74% CPU usage. (I was
    trying to force a crash and monitor what happened at the moment of crashing)
    It's like the computer is fighting against me, it won't crash when I'm trying
    to see why. The temperatures of the system are stable and at a healthy level,
    they've never gone much above it seeing as I have the side panel OPENED and a
    FAN pointed directly at it to make sure it does not overheat. I just don't
    know what's wrong with this thing or how to fix it, it's demonic I swear.

    I'm running dual NForce 8600 GT graphics cards with an SLI connection
    3.000 Ghz dual core pentium processor
    3 gigs 533.333 MHz DDR2 RAM
    FSB: 800.000 (QDR) Mhz
    PCI-E: 2500.000 MHz
    GPU core (3D): 540.000 MHz
    GPU Memory: 700.000 MHz

    It could just be coinscidence, but the problem seemed to start after I
    updated my graphics drivers. Honestly it wouldn't at all surprise me if this
    was an issue with drivers, because it seems that the point of new drivers is
    to completely sabotage computers, they ALWAYS break something. If you know
    what this problem is, or know a way I can roll back my drivers, please let me
    know. This computer is driving me completely insane at this point.

    Note: No matter how much I run, Memory always remains at 18%, what's that
    about?
     
    bloodstar23, Nov 2, 2008
    #1
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  2. bloodstar23

    barman58 Guest

    Hi Bloodstar

    were the drivers installed through Windows update? If so check with th
    manufacturers site for later drivers as the Update is quite often behin
    the times when it comes to graphics drivers and you can end up "rollin
    back" to an earlier version without intending to. If you are not gettin
    the problem now I would leave things as they are as it may have been
    simple bad connection that caused the problem, and re-fitting the card
    has cured i

    --
    barman5

    Regards,
    *Nigel*
    the beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do no
    understand.,- frank herbert
     
    barman58, Nov 2, 2008
    #2
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  3. bloodstar23

    DDW Guest

    Go to Control Panel (Classic version)

    Device Manager

    Display adapters

    Right-click the adapter

    Properties

    Driver

    Roll Back

    DDW
     
    DDW, Nov 2, 2008
    #3
  4. The computer just randomly decides it
    There's the clue. A shutdown, rather than a bluescreen, is almost always a
    hardware problem.

    To be specific, it is pretty well always one of two things. The most likely
    by far is your PSU being under-rated (or gradually failing). Its overheat
    or over-current sensors are shutting it down.

    The cure is to fit a new, bigger and better one. (You could try blasting
    the dust out of it, but I don't think it'll work - I think it's simply too
    underpowered for your rig).

    The second possibility is your processor overheating. That doesn't normally
    cause a complete shutdown like that, but it *can* do. The cure is to remove
    the heatsink, clean off and renew the thermal paste, and blast the heatsink
    and fan clean of dust. After refitting, check the fan works.

    But I wouldn't bother. I'll bet the remains of my bank balance it's the
    power supply.

    SteveT
     
    Steve Thackery, Nov 2, 2008
    #4
  5. What size power supply do you have installed? It could make a huge
    difference.
     
    Richard Urban, Nov 2, 2008
    #5
  6. bloodstar23

    bloodstar23 Guest

    Well the drivers I have now came straight from the driver website, and the
    power supply reads:
    AC Input: 115V/230V, 10/5A, 60/50Hz

    DC Output: +3.3V==30.0A(ORG), +5V== 28.0A(RED), +12V1==14.0A(YEL)
    +12V2==15.0A(YLW/BLK), +5Vsb==2.0(PURP), -12V==0.3A(BLUE)
    (+3.3V & +5V = 140W Max)

    It's a model number PSF500V Switching power supply.

    I can't really make sense of that, I'm more a software guy than a hardware
    guy. By the way, what's PSU? Never heard if it before, is that power supply
    unit?
     
    bloodstar23, Nov 2, 2008
    #6
  7. bloodstar23

    bloodstar23 Guest

    Okay yeah I get that PSU is power supply unit now lol. Anyway I'm going with
    Steve on this one, with the way it's been acting, it does make sense it could
    be the power supply which I'm thinking by what it says is a 400W power
    supply. Is there a way to calculate just how much power I need? I'm a bit low
     
    bloodstar23, Nov 2, 2008
    #7
  8. Richard Urban, Nov 3, 2008
    #8
  9. bloodstar23

    w_tom Guest

    It could be a power supply - and anything else. Replies are classic
    wild speculation. A recommended solution to wild speculation is to
    keep buying and replacing parts until something appears to work. Also
    called shotgunning. Typically a most expensive solution.

    Do you want speculation or an answer that is definitive the first
    time? For example, is that power supply definitively good or
    definitively bad. Nobody has or can answer definitively given the
    provided information. Definitive means numbers in less than two
    minutes from a multimeter. In your case, the best information is to
    get the computer doing as much as you can make it - then take voltages
    from any purple, red, yellow, and orange wire. Those numbers must
    exceed 3.23, 4.87, and 11.7 VDC.

    The meter is available in most any store that also sells hammers -
    for about the same price. This is the least expensive, the fastest,
    and the only definitive way to establish what is and is not defective.

    Your power supply could have been defective all along. A defective
    power supply can boot and operate a computer. As it ages, the
    defective power supply eventually caused computer crashes.

    400 watts is more than enough power. Those current numbers (not
    watts) are important. But that means you know how much current is
    required from manufacturer specs. Since that information is typically
    not available from every component manufacturer, then use the above
    experiment to learn if each power supply actually does provide
    sufficient current.

    BTW, if replacing a power supply, again, a defective supply can
    still boot a computer. IOW also use the meter to confirm a new power
    supply actually does provide sufficient current. IOW find a failure
    before it even happens. The meter is a powerful tool (and even sold
    in Kmart or Wal-Mart).

    Bottom line - the only useful answer is one that either says so
    without speculation OR provides a method to get that answer without
    speculation. An answer without any doubt means numbers and an
    inexpensive meter.
     
    w_tom, Nov 3, 2008
    #9
  10. It could be a power supply - and anything else. Replies are classic
    I agree, but the speculation isn't "wild". It is based on years of
    experience. Of course, as you say, without the right diagnostic equipment
    it is impossible to diagnose the problem definitively.

    However, that doesn't alter my argument: that symptoms like this are almost
    always due to the power supply over-current or over-temperature sensors
    shutting it down. I made it clear that this is as close as we can get to a
    diagnosis, by using the term "most likely".

    I don't fully agree with you about using a multimeter. You can measure the
    voltages, of course, and if they are out of spec you need to change the
    power supply. But really you need to know how much current is being drawn
    from each line - that is the crucial measurement, and it isn't really
    feasible without intercepting each line. Then you compare the measured
    current with the rating for that line on the PSU label.

    A low voltage on the power lines is NOT necessarily an indication that they
    are being overloaded. It may mean that the PSU has drifted out of spec (so
    it will still need changing). Similarly, a voltage within spec is NOT
    necessarily an indication that the current draw is within limits. Some PSUs
    will continue to provide the right voltage right up until the over-current
    sensor trips out.

    In summary, if you measure the voltages and they are low, you should change
    the PSU. However, if they are within spec, you might still have to change
    the PSU.
    The two sentences disagree. A 400W power supply may not be powerful enough
    if one of the lines doesn't have sufficient current rating for the job.
    This is especially true of low cost supplies. But as a general rule, the
    higher the power rating, the higher the current rating on each of the lines.

    SteveT
     
    Steve Thackery, Nov 4, 2008
    #10
  11. bloodstar23

    Snidley W. Guest

    Then what's the point in measuring? HMMM?
     
    Snidley W., Nov 4, 2008
    #11
  12. bloodstar23

    mika7367 Guest

    2x 8600 GT running in Sli uses 250W of power.Your cpu will consume up to
    115W at full load.3 x 1Gb 533Mhz ram around 35-45W each(depending on
    load ofcourse).So just right there you have 500W under full load.This
    doesn't take into account all your HDD and other peripherals.All these
    are worst case scenarios (all under full load), but you get the idea.I
    had the same problem when I upgraded drivers for my old 8600GT Sli
    system and getting a decent 750W PSU fixed the problem.Make sure you
    have enough cooling also.
     
    mika7367, Nov 4, 2008
    #12
  13. Then what's the point in measuring? HMMM?

    Because if they are low, you definitely need to change the PSU.

    If they aren't low, you must continue with further diagnosis.

    Or don't bother. PSUs are cheap. Just change the damn thing.

    SteveT
     
    Steve Thackery, Nov 4, 2008
    #13
  14. bloodstar23

    SCSIraidGURU Guest

    Get a multimeter and test the Red and Black (+5V) and Yellow and Black
    (+12V) under various loads. If they drop below 5V and 12V, replace the
    power supply. What are the specs on your power supply? What are their
    combined specs? You have a pair of 8600 in SLI?
     
    SCSIraidGURU, Nov 4, 2008
    #14
  15. bloodstar23

    Snidley W. Guest

    GEESH. Why didn't _I_ think of that!? I'll just reach back on my
    workbench and pull a multimeter outta the pile of 'em I have.

    Like most everyone reading these groups have </sarcasm off>.
     
    Snidley W., Nov 5, 2008
    #15
  16. Get a multimeter and test the Red and Black (+5V) and Yellow and Black
    And as I've said elsewhere, that is NOT a reliable indication of whether the
    lines are being overloaded.

    SteveT
     
    Steve Thackery, Nov 5, 2008
    #16
  17. bloodstar23

    westom1 Guest

    Swapping a power supplly is not a reliable indiciation of whether
    the lines are overloaded. Those who do this stuff professionally know
    that. There is no other method of identifying an overloaded supply
    without much more expensive equipment.

    An overloaded supply can still boot and run a computer. And a
    perfectly good supply can appear defective in an otherwise perfectly
    good computer. Swapping power supplies may create additional computer
    damage. It does not report anything useful. It also takes
    significantly longer. Longer because the meter reports on the supply
    and other possible problems - in much less time.

    Due to no numbers from a meter, then no useful reply exists. And
    with numbers, other information may also be obtained from the better
    informed responders. No meter numbers means only the naive can
    reply. Only useful reply occurs when those meter numbers are
    provided. And if an power supply is defective, the meter must again
    be used to confirm the new supply is both good and sufficient. Just
    another reason why the electrically knowledegable technician uses a
    meter.

    The meter will easily identify an overloaded power supply when the
    computer is doing many things simultaneously. Professionals routinely
    knew before PCs existed even 40 years ago.
     
    westom1, Nov 7, 2008
    #17
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