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PC randomly restarting and boot up problems

PhDragonPhDragon Registered User regular
I recently bought a new PC and I've run into a few problems.

A few times now, it has just restarted itself without a prompt from me to do so. It doesn't look like the restart was prompted by another program/automatic update either as after the restart occurs, I get asked as to whether I want to start Windows Vista in safe mode since it shut down unexpectedly.

Also, whenever I do a full shut down of the PC, I occasionally get a problem booting up Windows the next time I turn it on. The windows loading screen pops up with that little status bar filling up but after a couple seconds, the lines on those bars start moving across very very slowly. I watched it continue to run and it eventually finished loading Windows after about 10 minutes but now the internal clock has slowed down by 40 minutes and is behind.

I've called the small computer store I bought the PC from and he said that this may be occuring because I currently have the trial version of Vista running and some programs are incompatible with them. I don't think he's right though as I made sure that all the software I installed specifically said for 32 bit Vista.

Any ideas?

PhDragon on

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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Their explanation is bullshit. But it makes me suspect that you're not running genuine software. But a trial install of vista typically runs like normal until the month to enter a valid key expires, unless they installed some illegal hack for you.

    But these problems are very difficult to nail down over a message board. It could be several pieces of hardware, it could be a driver issue, it could be a corrupted windows install.

    I suspect the power supply, so the easiest first step I guess is to go into your BIOS and verify that all of your voltages are +/- 10% of what they're supposed to be. Also make sure your temps are good.

    Transparent on
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    Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Your local PC store is full of idiotic douchebags. Who knows what's inside your prebuilt. It could be any number of problems. First, like transparent said, it could be your PSU, or your HDD, or your RAM, or your OS installation is corrupt. Best way to check, is right after a reboot, go to...

    Start -> Run -> eventvwr -> Windows Logs

    And start browsing through Applications and System to look for little error dialogues.


    Next, go to....

    Control Panel -> System -> Advanced system settings -> Startup and Recovery -> Settings

    and then check if "Automatically Restart" is checked. Uncheck it. Now instead of restarting you will get a blue screen. When seeing this bluescreen, you'll get some codes. Write them down and show us, so we can tell you what's wrong.

    Desert_Eagle25 on
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    TharghorTharghor Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Try and play some game or other and see if it makes it reboot faster. If it does it's probably too high a temperature meaning a fan is dead or not plugged in.

    Tharghor on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    most likely your power supply is going or your case has shot wires.

    i dont think its your ram or CPU as you would see performance decrease.

    it could be your mobo, though im betting it would be more consistent if it was.

    i doubt its any video card you have or vista or software but those are remote possibilities.

    download HWmonitor, take a look at your voltages and temperatures to see if anything is getting too hot or the voltages are fluxuating alot. it runs in windows.

    Dunadan019 on
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    PhDragonPhDragon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    So I've been poking around and I've tried some of the things you guys said.

    I turned off the restart option in case of system failure but I still ran into an unexpected restart with no blue screen of death. All I was doing at the time was browsing a site using firefox with no other applications open so I'm not sure what the cause was. The only message I saw in event viewer related to it was:
    "The previous system shutdown at 6:18:27 PM on 8/16/2008 was unexpected."
    which doesn't seem particularly helpful.

    I also downloaded HWMonitor and as far as I can tell, all my voltages and temperatures are within the min and max ranges specified.

    Also, I believe the trial version of vista they installed on this is legit since I still see the message that this copy will expire in 27 days and I have the option to type in a code.

    edit: I also ran Mass Effect to see if it had any effects on a faster reboot but I didn't see any noticeable difference. I did notice though that even after playing it for a couple of hours, I didn't get any reboots but this could be a coincidence for all I know.

    PhDragon on
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    Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm thinking it's probably the hardware or something. Any idea what you're packing? What the speccs are on your hardware and your PSU?

    Desert_Eagle25 on
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    PhDragonPhDragon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Well, here's what my invoice says:

    ASUS M3A AMD PHENOM DDR2 Motherboard
    AMD PHENOM 9850 2.5GHZ 4MB CPU
    2048 PC-6400 800MHZ DDr2 Memory
    SEAGATE 500GB 7200RPM SATA II HDD
    HIS ATI HD4870 512MB GDDR5 PCI-E Video Card
    IN-WIN C589T 17" ATX Case w/ power supply

    PhDragon on
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    Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Really, a no-name power supply? It looks like you need some major power there. Open up your side panel and see what info you can scope off the side sticker. Combined power should be atleast 550-600w. If you're in view of the sticker that tells you everything. Take a picture if you can, or copy it all down. It should be like.....

    15.JPG

    Desert_Eagle25 on
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    PhDragonPhDragon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Alright, I opened up the case and here's the picture I took.
    DSC02474.jpg

    PhDragon on
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    Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Your power supply is a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE piece of shit that shouldn't be even allowed to be made in production.

    Order a new one from Newegg or Tigerdirect. I've gotta go make dinner, but i'll post some links later.

    Desert_Eagle25 on
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    Simon MoonSimon Moon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Your power supply is a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE piece of shit that shouldn't be even allowed to be made in production.

    Order a new one from Newegg or Tigerdirect. I've gotta go make dinner, but i'll post some links later.

    For the education of us all, mind explaining what's so HORRIBLE about the PSU? The only thing I'm really seeing is the fact that it's effectively a generic brand. (Which, in and of itself, would be a reason to suspect the PSU of being at fault, I guess.)

    Simon Moon on
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    PhDragonPhDragon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Alright, should I assume then that the PSU is most likely the culprit in this scenario? I'm hoping this isn't going to end up being a monster of a problem seeing as how dealing with that PC shop has already left a sour taste in my mouth.

    PhDragon on
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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The video card is 11 amps with its own 18 amp rail. The CPU is 125 watts, which is well below the 216 watts the other 18 amp rail can power. This power supply appears to be sufficient assuming they used the splitter for the 6 pin connector for the second rail on your power supply (that video card has two 6 pin connectors).

    However the manufacturer specifications for that motherboard say it only supports up to a 95 watt processor.
    http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?modelmenu=2&model=1934&l1=3&l2=149&l3=592&l4=0
    So if your motherboard is really an M3A without any extra numbers or letters after (it makes a difference), your builders used a motherboard that doesn't have good enough power regulation to handle your CPU. Check your motherboard between the CPU and RAM. If all it says is M3A like this picture (the third one actually, I can't link a specific one) then we have a winner for the fail contest.

    Also, since I don't trust this builder, check to see that your ram is on the QVL (link is on the side of the page I linked above if you have an M3a) and installed in the slots the chart recommends. Also, if your board is something other than a vanilla M3A (and therefor less likely to be the problem), please post a picture of how the power is connected from your power supply to your video card, I want to be sure your video card is connected to the second 12 volt rail correctly.

    Transparent on
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    Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Simon Moon wrote: »
    Your power supply is a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE piece of shit that shouldn't be even allowed to be made in production.

    Order a new one from Newegg or Tigerdirect. I've gotta go make dinner, but i'll post some links later.

    For the education of us all, mind explaining what's so HORRIBLE about the PSU? The only thing I'm really seeing is the fact that it's effectively a generic brand. (Which, in and of itself, would be a reason to suspect the PSU of being at fault, I guess.)

    Foxtech and their parent company/sister companies are known for horribly built PSU's, as well as fairly inaccurate testing methods. Aside from that, it's rather low amperage count is split on two rails.

    Desert_Eagle25 on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    either the power supply is bad and has interruptions (causing sudden shut downs)

    or theres a short in your case causing sudden shut downs.

    the power supply is the more likely culprit, but its not because it doesnt have enough power.

    it could also be your mobo so take a picture of it like transparent said.

    Dunadan019 on
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    ToyDToyD Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Errr, I'm goign to throw something else out there for you. Download Memtest and run it before you buy/replace ANYTHING. This could be bad RAM

    The few times I've had your symptoms, a BSOD flashes, then restart. This can be either on boot-up or after boot-up. Once it happens, sometimes you can get stuck in an infinite boot loop. I've never had a bad PSU cause reboots, only components failing as the power is insufficient.

    ToyD on
    steam_sig.png
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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Did you guys even read my damn post? If his motherboard is what he says it is, IT IS THE PROBLEM. I just limed for the tl;dr.

    Transparent on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Did you guys even read my damn post? If his motherboard is what he says it is, IT IS THE PROBLEM. I just limed for the tl;dr.

    usually if a mobo doesnt support the processor the mobo wont work AT ALL with the CPU.

    im not saying it cant be true but i cant see how a prebuilt (which it seems he bought) can come with an incompatible mobo/processor.

    im all for a PSU failure. however my brother has recently had a similar failure from RAM and PSU so it could be either.

    run Memtest first is a good option if it doesnt run through all the ram you have installed, or it turns up a problem, you're screwed.

    Dunadan019 on
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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    He bought from a smalltime computer store, this isn't a Dell we're talking about. Billybob's computer shack and bait emporium probably didn't do their homework, do you honestly trust them to build a thought out computer if their answer when he came to them with the problem was "it's probably Vista." Come on, they didn't even include more than a trial version of the OS.

    But you're right. The motherboard is responsible for converting 12 volt power to the 1.32 or whatever the CPU works at, and it's only rated to do that up to 75 watts. Throwing a processor in there that needs 125 watts couldn't possibly be the problem. Wait, that sounds like a problem to me.

    I'm not saying the RAM or power supply couldn't be the problem, but this part of his system is the only thing that's actually out of spec. Start there.

    Transparent on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    He bought from a smalltime computer store, this isn't a Dell we're talking about. Billybob's computer shack and bait emporium probably didn't do their homework, do you honestly trust them to build a thought out computer if their answer when he came to them with the problem was "it's probably Vista." Come on, they didn't even include more than a trial version of the OS.

    But you're right. The motherboard is responsible for converting 12 volt power to the 1.32 or whatever the CPU works at, and it's only rated to do that up to 75 watts. Throwing a processor in there that needs 125 watts couldn't possibly be the problem. Wait, that sounds like a problem to me.

    im not saying it isnt the problem, but a computer selling store has never made that magnitude of a mistake that i recall.

    i still think he misinterpreted the mobo and its a memory or PSU problem

    Dunadan019 on
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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    That's a possibility. I'm just starting with distrust for this place. It could also be something as dumb as the video card is hooked up with the 6 pin to molex connector instead of the PCI-E connector for the second rail of his powersupply.

    All I'm saying is the motherboard model and how the video card is connected to power are easy things that should be checked before assuming it's something else.

    Transparent on
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    PhDragonPhDragon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I took a few pics of my comp as I'm not sure which are relevant.

    Spoilered for multiple pics:
    Here are a couple pics of the entire layout from different angles

    DSC02478.jpg

    DSC02480.jpg

    Here are some more close up pics:

    DSC02479.jpg

    DSC02481.jpg

    DSC02482.jpg

    Also, I tried the memtest but I opened up the exe and couldn't figure out what to type at the DOS prompt that came up.

    PhDragon on
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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Sorry, but it looks like you've got a couple of issues from these pictures.

    1st, that indeed appears to be a regular M3A. The ASUS website says that motherboard doesn't support your CPU. I'd call them and verify that. The CPU / Motherboard mismatch is likely what's causing your stability problems.

    2nd, your video card has two power plugs because a 6 pin plug is only supposed to deliver up to 75 watts. One of them is powered using a molex adapter, putting some of its draw on the same rail the CPU uses, which would be really pushing it. You've got 66-75 watts drawing off of the 2nd 12v rail, and over 190 watts on the first. If your power supply only has one PCIe connector you can't load balance correctly and it should be replaced (with a power supply with one good 12v rail).

    Transparent on
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm going to be the voice of reason and say, if you recently bought it, it must have some sort of warranty surely? while the store doesn't sound particularly competent the logical course of action would be to take it back and say you want it fixed, or you want your money back, definitely don't shell out money for new parts, if anythings not working its their fault, and their responsibility to fix.


    On a semi-related note, while the 9850 doesn't seem to be officially supported, a quick google shows quite a few people running them on the m3a without problems, so it's unlikely thats it.

    taliosfalcon on
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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I agree that the shop you bought it from needs to take responsability for your computer not running properly. If you buy a prebuilt system, you should expect the power supply and motherboard to be the correct ones. Personally, I was trying to help you figure out if there was a specific hardware problem so you knew what was up if you needed to try to get the people who built your system to make good.

    Here is my advice on that front: If you think they'll give you problems, bring evidence with you. Print the product page from ASUS that says it only supports up to 95 watts, that's an easy one. It's easy to do the math and figure out 12v1 on your power supply is overloaded, but I can't think of an easy way to show them that with official documentation. Also, if you're a type B personality, bring a wingman that doesn't have a problem being forceful with them. You need a couple hundred dollars of replacement parts. I guess you need to decide if you want to try for a refund or you want to get them to fix it.

    And talios: Google M3a 9850. The first 2 or three results I got were a youtube video of a guy whose computer restarts constantly and the a forum thread of a guy who couldn't get his system to post. Even if it works for some people, the overloaded motherboard (and overloaded 12v on the power supply) will lead to problems like failed caps down the road.

    Transparent on
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    PhDragonPhDragon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Alright, thanks for all your help. I'll try bringing it back later this week with the ASUS page to the shop and see what happens. Preferably, I'd like for them to just fix it so that I don't have to buy another new computer again but if necessary, I might have to cut all ties with them and just return it.

    PhDragon on
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    PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    PhDragon wrote: »
    Alright, thanks for all your help. I'll try bringing it back later this week with the ASUS page to the shop and see what happens. Preferably, I'd like for them to just fix it so that I don't have to buy another new computer again but if necessary, I might have to cut all ties with them and just return it.

    I don't know why you'd want anything more to do with these idiots. Cut all ties, burn the bridge, and salt the earth so nothing will ever grow again, then buy a new computer.

    It'll be a little more pain now, in exchange for a whole lot less down the road.

    PeregrineFalcon on
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    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    PhDragon wrote: »
    Alright, thanks for all your help. I'll try bringing it back later this week with the ASUS page to the shop and see what happens. Preferably, I'd like for them to just fix it so that I don't have to buy another new computer again but if necessary, I might have to cut all ties with them and just return it.

    I don't know why you'd want anything more to do with these idiots. Cut all ties, burn the bridge, and salt the earth so nothing will ever grow again, then buy a new computer.

    It'll be a little more pain now, in exchange for a whole lot less down the road.

    its not a huge mistake.... they at least picked good components and didnt sell him crap in a bag.

    id say go back and work with them. then if they screw you again you can find a new place.

    however finding a place that wont sell you crap in a bag may be difficult.

    Dunadan019 on
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    PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    its not a huge mistake.... they at least picked good components and didnt sell him crap in a bag.

    id say go back and work with them. then if they screw you again you can find a new place.

    however finding a place that wont sell you crap in a bag may be difficult.

    The very fact that they built him an AMD system for performance/gaming tells me that they're Doing It Wrong. Add in the unsupported CPU-motherboard combo, power the whole rig including a 4870 with a generic shitty PSU, top it with a line of bullshit about "oh it's Vista" and you say it's not a bag of crap? o_O

    I bet his Vista key is warez'd as well.

    PeregrineFalcon on
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    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    its not a huge mistake.... they at least picked good components and didnt sell him crap in a bag.

    id say go back and work with them. then if they screw you again you can find a new place.

    however finding a place that wont sell you crap in a bag may be difficult.

    The very fact that they built him an AMD system for performance/gaming tells me that they're Doing It Wrong. Add in the unsupported CPU-motherboard combo, power the whole rig including a 4870 with a generic shitty PSU, top it with a line of bullshit about "oh it's Vista" and you say it's not a bag of crap? o_O

    I bet his Vista key is warez'd as well.

    you obviously have never tried to shop at a computer store.

    my advice stands, work with them and tell them about the things mentioned here.

    1: wrong mobo

    2: small PSU

    Dunadan019 on
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    PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    you obviously have never tried to shop at a computer store.

    my advice stands, work with them and tell them about the things mentioned here.

    1: wrong mobo

    2: small PSU

    Oh, I have. That's why I not only don't shop there any more, I advise people to avoid them like the plague.

    PeregrineFalcon on
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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I bet his Vista key is warez'd as well.
    According to the OP, the key isn't entered. His computer is doing the 30 day no key countdown.

    I think PhDragon giving them a chance to make good is probably the thing to do though.

    EDIT: Fix'd quote edit.

    Transparent on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    I bet his Vista key is warez'd as well.
    According to the OP, the key isn't entered. His computer is doing the 30 day no key countdown.

    i didnt write that! i declare you edit this defamation of character

    Dunadan019 on
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    urahonkyurahonky Cynical Old Man Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Not to steal the thread, but I'm having almost the same issue with my girlfriend's computer. It will randomly reboot on us without warning. When I boot back into Windows XP I'll get a prompt that says Windows has recovered from a serious error... blah blah blah.

    I don't recognize anything that the error report has in it (I think it has something like: "Using SP2" etc... nothing that stands out as a problem).

    However, when I booted up in Knoppix, it ran for days without rebooting on me. Originally I thought it was overheating. But after installing speedfan in Windows and noticing that the temp never got high enough for a reboot, and Knoppix works fine... It confused me.

    Do you guys think that there's some sort of hardware conflict? I'm not sure where to start. I've ran Memtest and it's passed.

    urahonky on
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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    If it's a Windows only problem, have you tried a fresh Windows install?

    Transparent on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Simon Moon wrote: »
    Your power supply is a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE piece of shit that shouldn't be even allowed to be made in production.

    Order a new one from Newegg or Tigerdirect. I've gotta go make dinner, but i'll post some links later.

    For the education of us all, mind explaining what's so HORRIBLE about the PSU? The only thing I'm really seeing is the fact that it's effectively a generic brand. (Which, in and of itself, would be a reason to suspect the PSU of being at fault, I guess.)

    Foxtech and their parent company/sister companies are known for horribly built PSU's, as well as fairly inaccurate testing methods. Aside from that, it's rather low amperage count is split on two rails.

    I'm late, I know, but I can't stress this enough.

    The company I used to work for use them exclusively because of how cheap they were. Every single one needed to be replaced at least 2-3 times in a matter of weeks. Eventually my boss got the bright idea that he was actually losing money as opposed to spending $80 on a decent PSU, rather than $160 to replace 3-4 of them, and then another $80 for a decent one.

    Foxtech is used exclusively in "Mom-and-Pop" type computer stores.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    Simon Moon wrote: »
    Your power supply is a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE piece of shit that shouldn't be even allowed to be made in production.

    Order a new one from Newegg or Tigerdirect. I've gotta go make dinner, but i'll post some links later.

    For the education of us all, mind explaining what's so HORRIBLE about the PSU? The only thing I'm really seeing is the fact that it's effectively a generic brand. (Which, in and of itself, would be a reason to suspect the PSU of being at fault, I guess.)

    Foxtech and their parent company/sister companies are known for horribly built PSU's, as well as fairly inaccurate testing methods. Aside from that, it's rather low amperage count is split on two rails.

    I'm late, I know, but I can't stress this enough.

    The company I used to work for use them exclusively because of how cheap they were. Every single one needed to be replaced at least 2-3 times in a matter of weeks. Eventually my boss got the bright idea that he was actually losing money as opposed to spending $80 on a decent PSU, rather than $160 to replace 3-4 of them, and then another $80 for a decent one.

    Foxtech is used exclusively in "Mom-and-Pop" type computer stores.


    Yay, support is awesome!


    But seriously, know what this teaches you? Do some research, teach yourself, and build your own PC. You will never go wrong.

    Desert_Eagle25 on
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    urahonkyurahonky Cynical Old Man Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    If it's a Windows only problem, have you tried a fresh Windows install?

    Yeah, twice. :( I can't really figure it out. I thought it might be some device conflicts, but wouldn't that happen in Knoppix as well?

    urahonky on
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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    ... build your own PC. You will never go wrong.
    I can link to another thread that seems to disprove that. You know the one I'm talking about :P

    Transparent on
    PAXtrain '10, let's do this!
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    TransparentTransparent Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    urahonky wrote: »
    If it's a Windows only problem, have you tried a fresh Windows install?

    Yeah, twice. :( I can't really figure it out. I thought it might be some device conflicts, but wouldn't that happen in Knoppix as well?
    You've checked for bad ram, and overheating. And your system runs fine on Knoppix. My guess would be some piece of your hardware has drivers that are causing problems, but that's really a shot in the dark.

    Transparent on
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