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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After using my PC for a while - the screen goes off (and the light goes on orange, like on standby) - any music playing stops and there is nothing to do except restart. Upon restarting, the BIOS screen is scrambled and the the XP loading screen is messed up and it just goes to a black screen...I have to turn the PC off. Upon turning the PC on again it does the same. I turn off the power supply, wait a while and power up and everything is fine again...untill it does it all over again.

I started experiencing this problem on Monday and it's happened once each day. I haven't got a clue what could be causing it?!? :-/

The PC has an ASRock Board, 2.8Ghz AMD Athlon, 512MB RAM, GeForce5200 128MB. It runs pretty well...but now this...Any advice or diagnostics I can run to find the source of the problem and sort it out :)
 

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Sounds like you may be overheating, what are the temps in the bios? you also can check temps with the program listed below under overheating section

Here is what I recommend for a computer that crashes/reboot/freeze

Microsoft says whenever a computer freezes or reboots (crashes) you need to run chkdsk
Start, my computer, right click on your hard drive, select properties, select tools, error checking click "check now"(chkdsk).
(General maintenance can save alot of headaches, see link below for general maintenance)

Hard drive
Download the diagnostic tool and check your hard drive
Hard Disk Drive Diagnostics/Utilities

Overheating

Description

When your CPU overheats, it will usually cause your computer to reboot. Video card overheating causes artifacts to appear on your screen, and usually wont cause reboots.

Diagnostic

Enter BIOS upon powering on your computer. Most BIOs have a hardware monitor. Use this to check your temperatures and fan speeds.

There is also hardware monitoring software that can check your temperatures from Windows. Your hardware monitoring software should have come with your motherboard. If you have no monitoring software, you can go to www.cpuid.com and get PC Wizard. PC Wizard is an easy to use program that will let you know what kind of temperatures you have, and what your fan speeds are at.

Causes

CPU overheating is usually caused by a failing CPU fan or improperly applied thermal paste. Fortunately, these 2 causes are easy to fix. If the CPU fan is dead, buy a new one and install it. If the thermal paste is improperly applied, remove the old paste off and apply new paste.

Another method is to take a house fan and open the case blowing the fan on high into the case.
if this helps we know its heat.
Goto radio shack buy a can of PCB cleaner (printed circuit board) unplug computer for an hour, open case spray everything starting from top working down to the bottom make sure you get the cpu heatsink and video card really goods.

Power Supply (PSU) Problems

Description

It is important to have a functioning, proper size of PSU for your computer. Having an underpowered or failing PSU is often the cause for random reboots. To get an estimate of how powerful a PSU, use this PSU calculator and add about 50W to the minimum power the calculator gives you.

Diagnostic

The easiest and best way to diagnose a faulty PSU is to swap it with another one that you know is in good working order.

Flowchart for ATX Power Supply Repair
Causes

PSUs just die after a while.

RAM

Description

Faulty RAM and RAM slots can cause random errors/reboots.

Diagnostic

The best way to determine if RAM is your problem is to run your computer with one stick at a time, and see if the problem occurs for either stick. This obviously doesn't apply if you only have one stick to begin with Also, try the RAM in different slots. The actual slots might be causing RAM-failing like problems. The next step is to run memtest86 to determine if you have faulty RAM.

Drivers
Visit the manufactures website and download the latest drivers for your hardware.

Viruses/malware/Trojans

Ad-Aware SE Personal
I run this daily

SpywareBlaster 3.5.1
I update once a week (keeps bad pages with known malware that cold cause damage from being displayed.)

Spybot - Search & Destroy
Daily or every other day

CwShredder
This is one I only use once a week or month lol but good to have

AVG Anti-Spyware
In order to get full use of this one you have to buy it but has a free trial. Good program to have and run before you run Hijackthis.

Download and update (update is very important before you scan) boot into safe mode (You do not need to boot into safe mode every time to run programs. Some malware cannot be fully removed or detected unless you are in Safemode, This is why I recommend running it the first time in safe mode then perhaps once a month in safe mode)

With some computers if you press and hold a key as the computer is booting you will get a stuck key message. If this occurs, instead of pressing and holding the "F8 key", tap the "F8 key" continuously until you get the startup menu.

Scan the computer,

Boot backup into Normal mode, download
CodeStuff Starter manage your startup programs

Disable all startup programs that you "do not" need running at startup.

A guide to help keep a smooth system.
Maintain your system with Windows XP

Diskeeper
The best program to use for defragging
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have the PC Wizard and the hard disk is running at 25 degrees.
How do I access the BIOS screen - I would rather not tamper without specific instructions!!

Also: I have no information about fan speeds, could it have anything to do with the fact than my Chipset is Unspecified, in add/remove hardware there is a RAID controller and SCSI/RAID controller and it says the drivers are not installed??
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have been into BIOS and found the following information
CPU Temperature: 51 Degrees
M/B Temperature: 26 Degrees
Fan Speed: 4000RPM
Is this normal/abnormal?
 

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schuster, thanks for that psu flowchart.....that will be handy.
 

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me10 said:
I have been into BIOS and found the following information
CPU Temperature: 51 Degrees
M/B Temperature: 26 Degrees
Fan Speed: 4000RPM
Is this normal/abnormal?
They seem normal, but what you need to do is play a game till it crashes (get it nice and warm) then when it reboots enter the bios and grab the temps real fast.

schuster, thanks for that psu flowchart.....that will be handy.
No problem, I will send you a gift via PM many flow charts for total computer diagnostics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The PC fan is VERY loud - I mean extremely, it then it will suddenly go quiet...
I bought a new fan but couldn't replace it because its in a kind of CPU box and I didn't want to damage the processor (it says NOT to open it)
On top of the cut-outs it has been sluggish, but this might just be down to me not maintaining it recently, I will run defrags and cleanups etc.

Do I need to try another power lead? How do I make sure I get one that supports my PC?
How much does it cost to replace the power supply - is it easy to install?

Thanks for all the help
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ahhh I see so I replace that box in the machine that is the PSU
I think it contains the processor though - does that sound right?

What I meant was is that my noisy fan is boxed in (inside the PC its in like a case with the processor) Is this box the PSU which also contains the processor?

Sorry for my lack of knowledge...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How can I be sure that a new PSU will solve the problem?
Also could you please point me in the direction where I could buy a compatible PSU in the UK if possible?

Sorry...More Questions:
-Does the PSU contain my processor or graphics card or anything like that?
-That one you sent a link for says it has support for a PCI-E graphics card - does that mean I could have a 256mb graphics card even though my motherboard is standard PCI?? That would be good news I was going to have to wait till I bought the new computer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK I've done some research the processor, graphics card etc. are on the motherboard and the PSU contains the power supply and fan - newer PSU's also have Graphics cards slots. Sorry, I am not very experienced when it comes to hardware but we all learn sometime!
So I should install this hardware http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817153023 and I will be able to have a PCI-E Graphics card as well?
 
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