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Frequent automatic reboots

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by Xithon, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Xithon

    Xithon Member

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    I've been quite annoyed lately. My PC (check specs in my sig) has taken to crashing every few hours of use, no matter what it is doing, although I've only experienced these reboots when I am using my PC for doing something (like playing games or doing homework) and as a matter of ironic fact, it has already rebooted once while writing this post.

    These frequent reboots are pretty much a daily occurrence, but if I am simply leaving my PC on to download a large file or just leaving it on to use later, it has never rebooted as far as I've known.

    They've been happening ever since I upgraded to a better graphics card, from an nVidia FX5500 256mb AGP card to my monstrous Gainward GeForce 7800GS 512mb Golden Sample AGP, it's quite a jump in performance.

    As a matter of fact, the reboots used to happen every time I played a game (any game requiring a fair bit of performance like Quake 4 or even Half-Life 2 at full GFX) for a maximum of about 10 minutes, and usually sooner with Q4.

    Eventually my PC wouldn't even boot up and packed in totally. I bought a new PSU in the hope that it would sort itself out. I bought a 400W unit, the same power output at my old one. My PC booted fine and worked without any rebooting or shutting down problems for a week, then I started experiencing them again.

    My instincts tell me I need to buy a PSU with a higher output value, possibly a 450W or 500W. The trouble is I have had this PSU now for about a month or so an I shelled out a lot of money for this damn thing, only to find these reboots are getting more and more frequent.

    I have plans soon to buy a PCI sound card as I only have an in-built one at the moment and I am having trouble with some games (like FEAR) where the sound doesn't play as it sound or no sound at all it heard.

    I fear (no pun intended) that if I do get a PCI sound card, that will need power which will cause my PSU to struggle even more and eventually collapse like my old one.

    I apologise for the lack of information about the situation, I hope I've given enough for someone to throw some advice my way or hopefully come up with some fix that will stop these reboots and say no to any possibility of the problem being something to do with power.

    As for software and programs, I have Norton Antivirus 2007, Windows Defender, HijackThis and ZoneAlarm Pro, and they all turn out no viruses, adware, malware, spyware or anything potentially harmful to my PC and I do checks with all programs at least twice weekly. So I don't think the problem is down to software in any way, but maybe I am wrong.

    Any information anyone can give is welcomed as I really am annoyed at the fact my high-end PC is cursed by these god-awful frequent restarts.

    Also, I wanted to ask but I am not sure, but if I did by say a 450W or 500W or more PSU, could it harm my PC by overloading it? I feel certain that the PSU doesn't try to offload all the power it can and that the PC only uses the power it needs, but I don't know for certain.

    Cheers in advance.
     
  2. onya

    onya Guest

    Xithon, I think you've hit the nail on the head with the PSU having a hard time keeping up with all those terrific goodies you have. Just before you tear off to buy ANOTHER psu, try taking off the case cover to the computer and point a personal fan into the case at full blast, and see if that helps with those crashes. Something may or may not be getting it's full quota of juice, but something might be getting too hot for comfort. Also if we're in luck, others may post with other solutions. Can and often is worth waiting for. Let us know how you go.

    Cheers also.
     
  3. dvdsndict

    dvdsndict Regular member

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    Yes, you'll be fine. I don't know if its a power supply because of that one week interval you described that was reboot-free. Have you reinstalled the graphics card drivers since the reboots started?
     
  4. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    what is the power requirements of the card & what is the wattage of your psu?
     
  5. Xithon

    Xithon Member

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    Thanks for your replies everyone, I really didn't expect such interest in my topic overnight :)

    I had a hunch that the heat getting to the system may also be a bit too much for it to handle, that's why I bought the extra 120mm fan for my case which at the time read a drop of around 2-3 degrees celcius after installing it. However, this was probably about a week after I installed my GFX card, which I think I may have mentioned was about a month or so ago. And being as though time takes it's toll on all things good, there's no doubt my system's bound to have taken on a whole heap load of dust which has probably raised the temperature inside back up the 2-3 degrees it lost in the first place.

    It's strange because I'm with you on the heat thing, but there are times where it reboots and I feel the air billowing out of the PSU and the case fans and the GPU 'Arctic' cooling vent and it's no warmer than if I was to have just booted it up, but there is a definite increase in the heat of the air when I'm playing a game that needs some power behind it (for example a common game I play which shows this is Half-Life 2 with full GFX settings and HDR when it's there).

    So to summarise what I mean: I'll confidently say that it reboots most often when it's warmer, although it does still happen occasionally when it's about as cool as it can get (like when I was typing before and it rebooted). But also, here's the thing I find strange- before I changed my GPU it was obvious games would cause the overhaul because it would be about 5-10 minutes into the game and it would reboot, without fail. But, now that I have this other one, there has rarely (and I only mean one or two times since I've had the PSU) been any reboots actually while I've been playing any games. In fact, it seems it happens mostly after I've stopped playing, and the system's calming down and it's usually within an hour or so, while the air still feels reasonably warm, then it will reboot. And this is usually when I've stopped playing my games and it's time to get on and do some work. So this is stressful at times.

    As for my PSU, here are the full details I have about it (which I took straight from off the box it came in):

    JEANTECH JNP-400P
    Peak load- 400W
    AC Input- 115V, 8A
    230V, 5A
    Frequency- 50-60HZ


    I bought it brand new from PC World (UK) and it cost around £50 I think (which is more or less near $100, roughly).

    My GPU specs are thus (After doing research and having being told, it's supposed to be the best AGP card on the market, I don't have PCI-E slots so I went for this bad boy in the hopes I could still get some use out of my machine, turns out I could :)

    Gainward Bliss GeForce 7800GS+ "Golden Sample" AGP 512mb TV Dual DVI
    Clocked Core speed of 425MHz
    Clocked Memory speed of 1200MHz (can overclock both adding around 200MHz+ onto the speeds, I only OC when playing demanding games for the best performance like HL2, Q4 etc)

    The book for the GPU says a 400W PSU is needed, which indeed I have, but what with my LED fans, my 2 HDD's and floppy, 2GB RAM and P4 3GHz HT processor nabbing power as well, well... you get the idea.

    I don't think I'll be shelling out any time soon anyway for new bits and bobs as I think I've reached my limit in power and definately in money. I may be able to get a more powerful unit off my dad as he works a lot with computers (as do I) just to try out for a while to see if any difference is notable.

    Cheers again for the help guys, if you'd like more information about my PC just say, I could even supply a photo of my PC if you want to see it, also, I'll try giving it extra cooling for a while, see what it does.
     
  6. onya

    onya Guest

    Xithon, I'm with dvdsndict on this one, go for the PSU with extra grunt as this allows for future upgrades etc, and as he said it won't hurt your system. My advice, install more fans you can't go wrong. (EDIT: After a psu upgrade, NOT NOW though..LOL)
    Good luck

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2007
  7. Xithon

    Xithon Member

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    As I thought, well, I'll see what I can get for this PSU as it's still reasonably new and see if I can get hold of a 450W unit. I was thinking of getting a 500, but I'm not sure there's much more I can add to my PC and the only way it can get better is if a bigger and badder AGP GPU comes out, which is unlikely.

    Chances are I'll just buy a new PC if I want to upgrade any more than a new sound card.

    Thanks a lot for your help, I appreciate the concern.

    All the best
     
  8. dvdsndict

    dvdsndict Regular member

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    Wattage requirements can be very misleading sometimes. From the information you gave me, it sounds like it could be an issue with your PSU not actually putting out 400 watts, but without more information on the graphics card I don't really know. The PSU says its AC input is rated at 8 amps but if its drawing less than that then you're not actually getting the full 400 watts. What you can do is go to this site: http://www.journeysystems.com/power_supply_calculator.php and fill in the information as best you can, that will give you an idea if it really is your power supply. Strong 450-500 watt PSUs should run 18 amps over your +12V rail.
    I still think its the PSU btw, and your restarts are due to fluctuations in available power.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  9. Xithon

    Xithon Member

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    Thanks for the link, I'll give it a whirl after I've done some work. Sounds like it could be quite helpful considering my circumstances.

    I guess I'll have to blow the money I've set aside then on a more powerful PSU. Judging by what you say, there may even be a chance of getting my RAM and GPU working at more promising performances as it seems I'm only just scraping the limit.

    Thanks a lot once again for the help. :)
     

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