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Multiple problems with computer

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by hoopa2, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. hoopa2

    hoopa2 Member

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    I've built the following system:
    MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU
    512 RAM
    Athlon 2100
    WD120GB 7200 rpms HD

    System ran fine for 2 years and am now having major probs with it. Recently, my power supply (PSU) wore out. Fine, I had a crappy one and replaced it with another from Enlight. This worked for 1 week and then my RAM controller burnt out (diagnosed by 4 diagnostic lights add on). Purchased new mobo and had same problem. To correct, I purchased new mobo, RAM stick (returned/replaced by Crucial), PSU with quality Silverstone unit, and ethernet card as a random just-in-case fix. This ran fine for 1 day and now I'm getting issues with the CPU. WTF!

    What happened was random shut offs. I was making sure bios were at DEFAULT to go from there, even though they should have been anyway. So then I tried to restart and now I can't even get the BIOS up. Now the computer starts and shuts itself off after about 5-10 secs. Diagnostic light points to faulty CPU. I guess I'll replace that, too, now.

    Someone please offer me some advice on this. I'm so frustrated with this machine; might as well have purchased a new system with the money that is flying out of my wallet on repairs for this POS. My current assumption is that the faulty PSU (either the one that burned out or the cheapo new one) damaged everything.

    Another scenerio is that there is some shorting on my case. Have never heard of this, tho, and if the case were the prob then I don't think I'd have made it for 12 hours of use before my latest setback.

    Thanks in advance for advice.
     
  2. Jeanc1

    Jeanc1 Guest

    A screw on your MOBO shorting against the case would do a lot of damages ! ~~
     
  3. Divinus

    Divinus Guest

    Yeah, could be shorting out. Take the mobo out of the case and try it, see how/if it works.
     
  4. baabaa

    baabaa Active member

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    Also double check that the CPU is seated correctly and has thermal compound between heatsink and CPU.
    Also make sure the fan is on the heatsink is running as it maybe a thermal issue either due to the fan or indeed the CPU.

    Diagnosing thermal issues is very difficult to nail down, short of obtaining a thermal imaging camera and monitoring it anyway.

    The fact that you have swapped basically everything else, suggests either of the suggestions in the thread to be the problem.

    CPU, fan, post shorting out tracks.....etc etc.

    I would shoot for the easiest option first as Jeanc1 and divinus have suggested, remove the mobo and power it up on the bench.........failing that the only other issue could be the seating of the CPU or infact a CPU failure..........
     
  5. hoopa2

    hoopa2 Member

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    Tried computer again last night after I posted this thread. It started and worked fine. Shut it off at end of day.

    Today, it is giving me a triple beep before shutting down. Any ideas on that?

    New CPU ordered.
     
  6. Jeanc1

    Jeanc1 Guest

    Your motherboard manual should give you the explanation of those Beeps on POST ! -- Depending on the Bios you use , those beep codes on POST can be different ! An IBM or an Ami bios have different Beep codes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2005
  7. hoopa2

    hoopa2 Member

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    Tried system again. It is apparently working fine, for now. I have no idea. Obviously the random problem still exists. I hope that my new CPU will aleviate future errors...

    To answer the above: I definitely have a lot of thermal grease on the CPU In fact, I stupidly got some thermal grease on the pins of my CPU, but wiped it off as best I could with microscope lens paper. How sensative is the chip? Is it necessary to use one of the $10 fancy TG compounds or is generic stuff okay?

    The fans are running normally (ie loudly and at maximum RPMs). I have 1 80mm intake fan, 1 HD fan, a fan on my CPU (Thermaltake Volcano), mobo chip, and graphics card heatsink, and one 80 mm fan venting out the rear of the computer. I don't think I can cool it any more efficiently, other than drilling a fan hole above my PSU. My PSU vents to the rear as per usual and also has a topside 120mm fan.



    I want to ask you guys a couple more questions:
    -What temp should an athlon xp chip be? I have installed temp monitoring probes near all my chips (mobo, CPU, graphics card...and the HD), per your suggestion. Incidentally, my case hovers around 48 deg C.

    -Can running certain programs cause excessive heating of the CPU and thereby result in system shutdown?

    -Am concerned abuout CPU seating. It seems pretty obvious to me, however. I mean, you stick it in place and flip the clamp down and that's it, right? Are there any tricks to this?

    I just want to say that this forum is very helpful. I enjoyed reading a lot of ya'll's other posts. Thanks a lot!
     
  8. baabaa

    baabaa Active member

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    The thermal grease, can be conductive (water based), but it's function is for heat transfer, it may well be down to some residue still evident on the pins.

    IPA or an alcohol based solution should clean them up nice.

    Depends on versions really, most XP's sit around the 45c mark but can obviously go higher, the part number on the chip gives it it's specifications so you can check that out at AMD's site.
    http://139.95.253.213/SRVS/CGI-BIN/...00000000196511314,K=8961,Sxi=11,Solution=3913

    The answer is yes, the more resources that require CPU power then it's workrate will increase and therefore increase power useage = temp rise and yes this can cause the CPU to overheat and invoke it's thermal shutdown characteristic.

    Also within the BIOS/CMOS settings there is usually a setting to enable to shutdown the PC at specific temperatures for your CPU, and yes this can cause shutdowns if enabled.

    No real trick to placing the CPU, as you say, place it in and pull down the lever.
    I place one finger on 2 opposite corners whilst pulling the lever down usually, don't know whether it does make a difference or not.

    No problems, that is what the forum is here for, nice to hear of your appreciation.
     
  9. hoopa2

    hoopa2 Member

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    To update, I have no idea why but my computer is running okay right now.

    I changed the windows option under 'System' in the control panels to prevent windows from shutting down in the case of errors. This seemed to relieve my random shut downs. So it appears that I've been taking a beating from both the hardware and the software.

    I noticed that Windows stops at a point and can't remember anything (ie new documents that are opened, new programs installed, web page histories, etc.) ..it won't remember anything without my prompting. That is, I can still save documents and everything seems to work fine. Do you guys have any suggestions as to why this happens???
     
  10. hoopa2

    hoopa2 Member

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    Here are instructions for changing error reporting etc. in XP:
    Start> Control Panel> System then click on the tab Advanced then go to Settings under Startup and Recovery, Then under System Failure there is a few options, make sure that you uncheck Automatically Restart.
     

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