I have a 4 year old Dell Studio XPS 8100 Intel Core i5 Processor 650 (3.20GHz, 4MB), Memory : 8192MB (4x2GB) 1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel, Hard Drive : 1.2TB(2x640GB) Serial ATA Raid 0 "Stripe"(7200RPM)Dual HDD, Graphics Card - Single 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTS 240. It used mainly for internet (facebook, facebook games etc) and for playing The Sims 3. I also usually have either the TV or windows media music player on simultaneously.
Recently it has started crashing. At first this only happened whilst I was playing sims 3. The screen would go black and then the monitor would go into standby mode (the music continued playing in the background for a while). I was forced to unplug the computer as there was no other way to get it back on.
I have had the insides of the computer cleaned by one of the IT guys at work - it was very dusty but he ran it at work for about 8 hours with no problems.
Since getting it back I still have the same problem when playing Sims so I stopped doing that. It has now started to have 2 other errors. the first one is the computer freezes for a few minutes (mouse won't move, music stutters like a stuck record) this usually lasts for a few minutes and then everything works ok again. The other one is similar to the original error but instead of a black screen I get a different colour each time (the colours have been white, yellow, orange and green). This time the music turns off instantly and the monitor does not go into save mode. I have to unplug the computer to get it working again.
I suspect that it is beyond repair but wondered if you have any suggestions before I buy a new one. I have run Core temp and the temperature seems fine and I have run defrag, scan disc and reg edit.
I did wonder if it was the graphics card as I had the black screen problem a few years ago which was fixed by replacing the graphics card. However the freezing and the other coloured screens are new which is why I wondered if it was something else. I don't want to spend money on a new graphics card if the computer needs replacing. If I did need a new computer I was considering buying a basic PC shell and getting someone to install the OS and graphics card etc for me rather than buying a computer off the shelf. Will any graphics card work in any computer ? If a got a higher spec graphics card would it work in the Dell I currently have ? At least that way if I did need a new computer at a later date I could use the new graphics card for that rather than buy another Gforce 240 and then have to put that in a new computer ?
Just to update you I turned my computer on yesterday to catch up on any posts and it crashed again. When I tried to turn it back on the power button light flashed red and there was a loud beeping noise - it now won't come on at all - I am therefore now looking at buying a new computer and have started a new thread for advice on this.
I think it was definately red - it just won't turn on at all now - I had just done a windows stability check and there were over 6000 errors on it with stability between 1 and 5. I had tried to do a boot disk check (sorry I'm not sure if that is the right terminology but I pressed F12 and than the check thing there and it actually crashed during that and would not open even in safe mode after that, that is when i got the flashing red light and the beeping.