Unstable PC. What could be the problem?

  Strangely Brown 15:58 29 Aug 2007

Hi all,

I have a bit of a problem with my home-built PC at the moment. It's been working fine for over a year but in the last few days has started playing up.

I was using the machine the other day when the screen suddenly proze with a display of large pixels in primary colours. On attempting to reboot the POST would not get as far as the RAM check before crashing.

So.... I assumed I might have a RAM issue and proceeded to test the 2 sticks independently of each other and both seemed to be OK. I then reinserted both sticks to see if it was just a problem with badly seated sticks and, hey presto, the machine booted up and worked OK for the whole of that day.

Then the next day I booted up the machine, started up an EVE Online session but then got called away for about 30 minutes. When I returned the screen had gone black but the PC was still powered up. I rebooted and then the same thing happended about 15 minutes later.

The machine has good ventilation and it hasn't been that hot weather-wise.

Is this more likely to be a problem with failing RAM, a Graphics Card approaching death or something completely different.

Any pointers you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

  citadel 16:56 29 Aug 2007

If there are no error messages it could be the psu. If you have a cheap psu this increases the chance.

  Strangely Brown 19:17 29 Aug 2007

I've got a Hyper 500w PSU. Don't think that's the problem but I'm happy to be proven wrong. Hope it's not that. It cost £70!!!

  mrwoowoo 19:36 29 Aug 2007

since the screen suddenly froze with a display of large pixels i would go for the graphics card or driver theory.
Can't see a psu doing that.
If you have a graphics card try uninstalling the drivers and then use onboard graphics for a while to try to elliminate it.

  woodchip 19:39 29 Aug 2007

Try downloading new Graphics drivers

  mrwoowoo 19:43 29 Aug 2007

yeah,i should have mentioned that option first.

  citadel 20:27 29 Aug 2007

hyper psu is good so graphics card is probably to blame.

  umbongo(uk) 22:14 29 Aug 2007

just remember when updating the grfx and its a nvidia card to get the international driver not the american one

  Strangely Brown 22:26 29 Aug 2007

Thanks so far for the help.

I'll try the driver update route and see if that helps but it just seems a little odd for this to happen now.

Still Mrs Brown did install some software for our daughter last week so I suppose there could be some kind of conflict that I am not aware of.

Pesky kids and their educational Disney games. Grrrr!

  Stuartli 22:54 29 Aug 2007

Also check the monitor leads for firmness at both ends and that the graphics card is properly seated.

  Strangely Brown 10:55 30 Aug 2007

Thanks Stuartli,

I did do that at the time but it's worth checking again when I get home tomorrow night. I am leaning towards blaming the video card at the moment though because the monitor works fine when I reboot.

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