Computer crashing 3 different ways

  JoanneBonnett 11:04 21 Sep 2014

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.

Any help would be much appreciated

  JoanneBonnett 11:19 21 Sep 2014

Sorry - I forgot to say that it is Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:48 21 Sep 2014

Black screen / multicoloured screen + freezing during gaming

This sounds like a graphics card problem, its possible the fan on the card has failed, (speaking from experience) or card loose in socket.

Remove the card, look carefully at the fan and refit if OK, retry to see if this solves problem.

Hope the IT guy also cleaned between fan and heatsink (an area easily forgotten) as fluff buils up there and cannot be seen but machine overheats and freezes when heavily loaded i.e. gameing.

  JoanneBonnett 12:47 21 Sep 2014

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 ?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:45 21 Sep 2014

click here seems to be fitted with ATI on board graphics as well as the card.

so could remove old card and just try with the onboard graphics.

  JoanneBonnett 08:19 23 Sep 2014

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.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:12 23 Sep 2014

The number of beeps should indicate the problem

1 - Possible motherboard failure or BIOS ROM checksum failure

2 - No RAM detected

3 - Possible motherboard failure / Chipset failure

4 - RAM read/write failure

5 - Real Time Clock failure

6 - Video card or chip failure

7 - Processor failure

Amber or Red? no mention of red in the manual. If the power light is blinking amber — There may be a problem with the system board. from the manual

  JoanneBonnett 16:30 23 Sep 2014

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.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:14 23 Sep 2014

Certainly doesn't sound very good.

What is the number of beeps?

  JoanneBonnett 17:17 23 Sep 2014

I don't know - it seemed to beep for ages - I never thought to count them. I turned it off at the wall and now when I press the power button nothing happens.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:21 23 Sep 2014

Quite possibly the motherboard has failed.

Do you have a back up of all your data?

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