1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Totally weird problems - help!!

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by mjow, 7 Jun 2006.

  1. mjow

    Associate

    Joined: 2 Aug 2005

    Posts: 29

    Location: Wales, UK

    Hi

    My system: AMD 64 3200+, MSI K8N Neo 2 Plat mobo, 2 Gigs dual Crucial RAM, Sparkle Geforce 6600GT 128mb video, Enermax 485 watt PSU, Audigy 2ZS sound, 19" Iiyama LCD monitor, Netgear DG834GT router.

    Last night while running as normal the monitor image just went blank. At first I figured it was a monitor problem so I set it up on my old AMD 2400 system that the wife uses and the monitor worked fine. So then I figured it was the graphics card. Took it out and put in an old Geforce Ti 4200, that worked fine and so did all the other hardware, put the 6600 GT back in and the system failed to boot properly. AHA! failed graphics card I thought. As the Ti 4200 won't run any games/sims I play I decided to get a new graphics card (a 6800 GS AGP). When it arrived I slotted it in fired up the PC and everything booted up OK the first time but after a short while the monitor went blank again :mad: I tested the new card in my other machine and it worked fine.
    When I turn the power on all the fans seem to be working OK on the PSU, mobo, case and video card, but the system fails to boot up fully or else boots up and then the monitor goes blank.

    Now I am not sure what is causing the monitor to go blank and the failure to boot up properly. I suspect the PSU, but don't really want to keep throwing money at replacing individual components when I am not sure what is causing the underlying problem.

    Anyone got any idea what is wrong and how I should progress ?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2006
  2. Stripe

    Gangster

    Joined: 28 Aug 2005

    Posts: 221

    hmm, I don't really know what the problem is but I wonder whether temperature might be an issue. do you have a well ventilated case? and if you know, what sort of temps are you getting?

    that PSU should be more than enough to handle those sort of specs but if it's gone a bit dodgy like the fan's stopped or something then that could be the problem.

    sorry I can't be of more help.
     
  3. mjow

    Associate

    Joined: 2 Aug 2005

    Posts: 29

    Location: Wales, UK

    Temp has always been within acceptable ranges during hot weather last year. The case has two case fans and the Enermax PSU has two fans also with one presumably drawing heat off the CPU and case in general. Cannot check the temps in the BIOS at the moment as the PC is in pieces.
     
  4. StefanHolmes

    Associate

    Joined: 17 Apr 2006

    Posts: 27

    It does sound like a power problem, or possibly a failed component on the motherboard affecting your PCI express slot.

    My bet is faulty PSU.
     
  5. mjow

    Associate

    Joined: 2 Aug 2005

    Posts: 29

    Location: Wales, UK

    Thanks for the input. I don't have a PCI express slot on the board just an AGP 8X slot. I have ruled out the AGP slot not working by trying an old Ti 4200 graphics card in it which was fine. The latter does not require a molex power connection though unlike my original 6600GT.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jun 2006
  6. Dutch Guy

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,563

    Location: Amsterdam,The Netherlands

    Looks like power problem but to rule out the memory (it is Ballistix ;) ) run MemTest (Windows) and/or Memtest86+ (Bootable Floppy/CD) first and loop tests 5 and 8 for a while with Memtest86+
     
  7. StefanHolmes

    Associate

    Joined: 17 Apr 2006

    Posts: 27

    OK, trying the Ti4200 I think has isolated the problem. The Ti4200 draws power from the AGP slot alone (I should have read your original post more closely, apologies). If the 6600GT and 6800GS are failing, it sounds distinctly possible that your PSU is not delivering enough current (or is delivering a very 'dirty' supply of current) on the 12V rail.

    It's the 12V that those cards need from the molex connector. The AGP slot alone (for the Ti4200) draws from the 5V. You will see a load of voltage regulators on your 6800GS near the molex connector, these are what get used to drop 12V down to whatever yor GPU uses (probably between 1.3 and 1.5V!).
     
  8. Dutch Guy

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,563

    Location: Amsterdam,The Netherlands

    Did you connect the 12V molex connector to the 6600/6800 cards and did you use the molex cable labelled Extra? (I think the PSU has such a cable)
     
  9. mjow

    Associate

    Joined: 2 Aug 2005

    Posts: 29

    Location: Wales, UK

    Hi Guys

    Thanks for the continued suggestions. I still have problems. To answer your questions: Yes I did have the 6600GT connected to a molex with the Enermax PSU. It was on its own connector as the other molex cable connected the optical drives and floppy.

    Since your last replies though I have bought a new power supply. A 600w FSP. Having connected all this up and making sure that the new 6800GS has its own molex I started up and still have the same problem ie. the boot sequence gets as far as the windows XP logo then at the point where it would normally take you to your desktop and load up the icons the monitor screen goes blank and displays the message "No Signal". Also I notice that during bootup the splash screen and windows logo screen graphics are corrupted before the monitor goes blank.

    I have run out of ideas now (and spare cash). I can get into Windows via Safe mode and browse and copy files to DVD so I know there is nothing wrong with the hard drive and the optical drives. Also the monitor works on my older 2GHz machine as does the new 6800 GS card.

    In the BIOS system temps and voltages are as follows:

    System temp - averages 27C/80F to 30C/86F
    CPU temp - 39C/102F to 41C/105F
    CPU Fan RPM - 3245
    NB Fan RPM - 5037-5113
    Vcore 1.34v to 1.36v
    +3.3v - 3.23
    +12v - 11.97 to 11.91
    +5v - 4.86v
    Battery - 3.19v
    +5 USB - 5.02v

    System and CPU temp look normal to me for idle in this heat so the CPU seems to be functioning OK.

    Have tried re-seating the RAM and changing round the slots that the paired RAM sits in and there is no change to the problem.

    I don't get any error beep codes when the sytem starts up just the normal POST beep.

    Any more advice or should I just give up and take it to my nearest PC repair bloke in town (not that I want to trust my machine to the satanic deeds of the local repair man ! )

    Thanks mbv
     
  10. mjow

    Associate

    Joined: 2 Aug 2005

    Posts: 29

    Location: Wales, UK

    Bump - any more ideas out there?
     
  11. t31os

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 May 2006

    Posts: 3,436

    Location: Surrey - UK

    Could be an old bios problem on the mobo, you could try updating that, though i'll say now, i won't be held responsible for anything that happens of an incorrect bios flash.

    If you feel comfortable flashing the bios then it could help.

    I mentioned that because there's been quite a few bios problems across various boards that all seem to cause the corrupt bios logo.

    Have you try removing everything non-essential, ie, leave in 1 stick of ram, the 1 hdd with the OS, no CD/DVD drive, no case fans, just make it bare. If that works, you can add 1 thing back at a time and see where the problem occurs.
     
  12. hp7909

    Soldato

    Joined: 8 Jun 2003

    Posts: 5,016

    Create a new partition & try a fresh install of Windows.

    But, all fingers are pointing at mobo & best way to rule it/find out is to do a Google search of that mobo & see if anyone else has experienced the same problem.

    hp7909 :cool:

    EDIT: & everything's sitting properly, i.e. CPU, heatsink, RAM, graphics card, fan connectors + anyother connectors, nothing broken on mobo, etc??? :confused:
     
    Last edited: 9 Jun 2006
  13. S.T.F.U

    Gangster

    Joined: 7 Nov 2004

    Posts: 154

    Location: Liverpool, England

    He said he can boot the computer using safe mode so If he can do that then doesnt that indicate a graphics card driver error if he is unable to boot when graphics drivers are being loaded? :rolleyes: Did you install any new driver/motherboard software before you encountered this problem? :confused:

    IRN00B
     
  14. Dutch Guy

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,563

    Location: Amsterdam,The Netherlands

    Did you try running one of those memory testers?
     
  15. mjow

    Associate

    Joined: 2 Aug 2005

    Posts: 29

    Location: Wales, UK

    Yup tried memtest and that came out OK after an overnight run. All components seated properly.

    Only thing in terms of drivers that I had installed was the latest nvidia graphics drivers, but they were stable for at least a week before the problem occured so it is not as though they caused an instant conflict.

    That corrupt BIOS logo issue sounds as though it could be on the right track. I will do a Google search on the mobo and see what comes up.

    After that its a windows re-install I guess.

    Thanks for all the advice - very helpful people on here :)
     
  16. mjow

    Associate

    Joined: 2 Aug 2005

    Posts: 29

    Location: Wales, UK

    Couldn't find anything quite like the problem on Google so in desperation I took the PC to the local repair guy in town. The result five hours later is that I am £39 worse off and they could not fix the problem, which kind of confirms my less than trusting attitute to our glorious local PC repair guys.

    They confirmed my problem with the boot, tried a few earlier drivers which made no difference. Curiously they did stick an ATI card in the slot and that worked fine. So they handed me my PC back and pronounced that it was the brand new graphics card and I should send it back. They seemed to forget that the problem began with my 6600GT, not the new 6800GS.

    I did actually manage to get the 6800GS fully through the boot and to the point where the desktop and icons loaded last night. It was OK for 2 mins then the monitor blanked out again. I am still not wholly convinced the new graphics card is at fault here.

    I have an old nvidia 5700 Ultra that still works. I think I will try that in the slot next while reverting to the 77.77 drivers which always worked fine for me.

    Wish me luck :D
     
  17. t31os

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 May 2006

    Posts: 3,436

    Location: Surrey - UK

    The only thing that is different to how your PC repair guys had it setup is the fact they used a graphics card that isnt Nvidia.

    How about trying out some drivers that are not made by Nvidia.

    As to the formatting and reinstalling.....

    WHY DO PPL HERE!!.... always so quickly say format and reinstall.... this should be the last, very last thing you do when you're troubleshooting a hardware or even software issue. It takes longer then changing drivers or uninstalling/reinstalling drivers, or software.....

    If you can't add anything to the thread other then "reinstall windows", then its really not worth replying imo, especially a hardware fault, it will do nothing to help but tell you its not a software issue, which i will add can be discovered quite easily without sitting through yet another OS install.

    The fact the guys at the shop the tried an ATI and found no problems, to me would indicate a driver issue somewhere, try using one of the programs around the net designed for properly removing driver reminents, and also vary the drivers you try, start at a lower driver, for example 61.25 then work your way up. I know from my experience that some cards really screw up on some versions, heck my 6600GT was running on ancient drivers, because firstly it stopped crashing, and secondly it gave me a much better average FPS in games.

    Process of elimination, remove the non-essential parts, and add them back one at a time until a problem occurs, if it occurs when you only have minimal parts, its far easier to isolate the problem.
     
  18. Diddyman

    Hitman

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 518

    Location: Essex

    Sorry ignore
     
  19. mjow

    Associate

    Joined: 2 Aug 2005

    Posts: 29

    Location: Wales, UK

    Well, I stuck an old 5700 ultra in and it WORKS :eek: Whole system boots up fine and all systems are Go.

    So it turns out my original graphics 6600GT card was a dud as suspected, no idea why it suddenly failed though. My new 6800GS must also be a complete dud, either dead on arrival, or died as soon as I put it in the machine. Guess I was just unlucky to lose two graphics cards in one week. I will RMA them back and try the new ones when they arrive.

    EDIT - A note about the tech repair guys in town - they managed to leave a mess of beta and non beta graphics drivers on my machine that they were testing my dud 6800GS with and also tried ATI drivers (with an ATI card)without fully cleaning the system of nvidia drivers first. The result was that when I tried to put some new nvidia drivers on my machine for the 5700 ultra the setup constantly claimed it could not find existing drivers and the driver install would fail. I had to do a system restore to get the system back to a state where it would accept new nvidia drivers.

    Also they disabled my sound card in the device manager and left it that way!

    Now for me this wasn't much of a problem as I knew how to fix the mess they had left me with. But you imagine your average punter with little or no troubleshooting knowledge getting their machine back, finding they have no sound and the graphics are stuck on 800x600 resolution. Naturally they will call the repair centre again and the guys will say they will take a look - a nice easy extra £39 for cleaning up their own mess :mad:

    Thanks to all who tried to help in this thread :)
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2006