Jump to content



Photo

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 moeburn

moeburn

    tracer bullet

  • Joined: 10-March 04
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario

Posted 12 July 2014 - 06:57

OS: Windows 8.1

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6ghz quad core

RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3

System drive: Crucial M4 128GB SSD

Motherboard: 2nd-hand Acer FRS780M OEM board

GPU: XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB DDR5

PSU: Thermaltake TR2 500W (don't worry, it's not the infamous terrible Thermaltake model)

 

This has started happening more and more often.  It used to be once a month, now it's more like once a week.  I typically leave my computer on 24/7 (I would let it go to sleep when idle but for some reason it won't, something is resetting the idle timer), but sometimes I will come in and find my computer turned off - when I boot it up, there are no "your system has recovered from a serious error" messages, although I don't know if Windows 8 even does that.  When I start up my browser it says it wasn't closed properly and asks me if I want to restore my open tabs.  It almost never happens while I am using the computer, I think it only ever happened once while I was using it.  I always come to find it turned off as though there was a power failure in the house - but there wasn't, otherwise my clocks would be reset.  It just happened again a few minutes ago, but this time, my desktop icon layout was scrambled, like what happens when the resolution changes back and forth.  Now I have to go back and rearrange them all.

 

My system is pretty old and crappy, I know.  I haven't upgraded it because it still lets me play almost all the latest AAA games at med-high settings at 1080p at 30-60fps.  But I really don't think this is the power supply.  The PSU is less than a year old, I bought it recently because my last one failed.  But I'm guessing that something is starting to fail.  It probably doesn't help that this computer runs on the floor of a sometimes-damp, very dusty basement.  I do vacuum it very often though, I never let the fans collect much dust.  But my point is that something could be corroding, maybe on the motherboard.  Does anyone know what I should be looking for, or what component other than the PSU failing that could cause this to happen?  Or at least what I can rule out?  Burst capacitors on the motherboard, or corroded traces?  The GPU?  The CPU itself failing?  Should I do a RAM scan?  My SSD?




#2 conna

conna

    Conna

  • Joined: 10-June 03

Posted 12 July 2014 - 07:22

Turn off the sleep modes and hibernation. Don't let it go to low power mode and see if you problem stops.  



#3 Circaflex

Circaflex

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 18-August 02
  • Location: California
  • OS: 8 x64, 7 x64, Mountain Lion, Ubuntu
  • Phone: hammerhead

Posted 14 July 2014 - 20:09

Check the motherboard for blown or extended caps

 

disable ulps (amds power saving mode for graphics cards)

 

 

I had a similar issue where it seemed when my system (server) was idling it would freeze or randomly reboot or shut down. I eliminated heat as the culprit and in the end it was my psu. Any chance a friend or family member has an old psu you can at least try?



#4 +techbeck

techbeck

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 11
  • Joined: 20-January 05

Posted 14 July 2014 - 20:13

Processor failing could cause this.  Or a fan not working properly.  Sounds like it is over heating and shutting down.



#5 Circaflex

Circaflex

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 18-August 02
  • Location: California
  • OS: 8 x64, 7 x64, Mountain Lion, Ubuntu
  • Phone: hammerhead

Posted 14 July 2014 - 20:15

Processor failing could cause this.  Or a fan not working properly.  Sounds like it is over heating and shutting down.

i thought heat as well, but he states it rarely happens when he is using the pc/playing games which would generate more heat than idle. It wouldnt hurt to double check your thermal paste and heatsink though



#6 +techbeck

techbeck

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 11
  • Joined: 20-January 05

Posted 14 July 2014 - 20:19

i thought heat as well, but he states it rarely happens when he is using the pc/playing games which would generate more heat than idle. It wouldnt hurt to double check your thermal paste and heatsink though

 

Still could be failing processor.  Or memory.  I doubt it is software related since that normally results in a BSOD or recovery message.  Probably hardware most likely since the system just shuts off.  I would start disconnecting any external components, and any internal you can live without, one by one to see if you can narrow it down to hardware.



#7 Circaflex

Circaflex

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 18-August 02
  • Location: California
  • OS: 8 x64, 7 x64, Mountain Lion, Ubuntu
  • Phone: hammerhead

Posted 14 July 2014 - 20:39

Still could be failing processor.  Or memory.  I doubt it is software related since that normally results in a BSOD or recovery message.  Probably hardware most likely since the system just shuts off.  I would start disconnecting any external components, and any internal you can live without, one by one to see if you can narrow it down to hardware.

 

I have to agree, I would start testing all components individually:

 

Run memtest overnight

Test your Hard Drives via MFG diagnostics

PC Check is pretty decent for testing CPU

 

 

check your board for the blown caps though or extended caps



#8 OP moeburn

moeburn

    tracer bullet

  • Joined: 10-March 04
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario

Posted 14 July 2014 - 20:46

Check the motherboard for blown or extended caps

 

disable ulps (amds power saving mode for graphics cards)

 

 

I had a similar issue where it seemed when my system (server) was idling it would freeze or randomly reboot or shut down. I eliminated heat as the culprit and in the end it was my psu. Any chance a friend or family member has an old psu you can at least try?

 

I've never heard of ULPS - disabling it wont shorten the life of my card, will it?  it's already 5 years old :p

 

Processor failing could cause this.  Or a fan not working properly.  Sounds like it is over heating and shutting down.

 

Definitely not a heat issue, unless none of my thermometers are registering properly.  I run OpenHardwareMonitor and graph all my temps with min and max:

IDLE: CPU - 37°C, GPU - 47°C

MAX LOAD: CPU - 47°C, GPU - 86°C

 

I'm pretty sure those are well below tolerable limits. But the CPU is kinda old, it could be failing otherwise.

 

I have to agree, I would start testing all components individually:

 

Run memtest overnight

Test your Hard Drives via MFG diagnostics

PC Check is pretty decent for testing CPU

 

 

check your board for the blown caps though or extended caps

 

Allright I'll run some mem tests, can't see any obvious blown caps but the bulging ones can be hard to identify sometimes.  

 

I'm also running AMD Cool-n-Quiet which automatically throttles the CPU clock down to 700mhz and in between depending on demand, I guess I could try turning that off too.  The trouble is that this happens so infrequently that eliminating components is gonna take a while...



#9 Circaflex

Circaflex

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 18-August 02
  • Location: California
  • OS: 8 x64, 7 x64, Mountain Lion, Ubuntu
  • Phone: hammerhead

Posted 14 July 2014 - 20:51

nope disabling ULPS wont shorten the lifespan.

 

Cool n Quiet could also be causing this, maybe try turning it off for a week.

 

 

Does anything pop out within event viewer after these crashes?



#10 badb0y

badb0y

    I'm Bad!

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 10-April 09
  • Location: NY

Posted 14 July 2014 - 20:52

Random shutdown are also caused by RAM. Check it as well.



#11 farmeunit

farmeunit

    The other white meat.

  • Tech Issues Solved: 3
  • Joined: 05-May 03
  • Location: Branson, MO USA

Posted 14 July 2014 - 21:01

Even if you don't "think" it's the PSU, I would check it.  What is the brand?  That one area it's not a good idea to go cheap.

 

ANY part can fail within a year, so don't rule it out.  If it's completely off, then I'd say PSU.  Memory or other things will cause BSoD and typically loop unless you set it to NOT reboot, then it'll stay on the BSoD screen.  Same with HD errors.



#12 +techbeck

techbeck

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 11
  • Joined: 20-January 05

Posted 14 July 2014 - 22:53

I've never heard of ULPS - disabling it wont shorten the life of my card, will it?  it's already 5 years old :p

 

 

Definitely not a heat issue, unless none of my thermometers are registering properly.  I run OpenHardwareMonitor and graph all my temps with min and max:

IDLE: CPU - 37°C, GPU - 47°C

MAX LOAD: CPU - 47°C, GPU - 86°C

 

I'm pretty sure those are well below tolerable limits. But the CPU is kinda old, it could be failing otherwise.

 

 

Allright I'll run some mem tests, can't see any obvious blown caps but the bulging ones can be hard to identify sometimes.  

 

I'm also running AMD Cool-n-Quiet which automatically throttles the CPU clock down to 700mhz and in between depending on demand, I guess I could try turning that off too.  The trouble is that this happens so infrequently that eliminating components is gonna take a while...

 

Then I would lean more towards something else over heater or just failing.   Would look at the processor or mobo.  Also, disconnect components internal and external to see if you can narrow it down that way.  And did you run a memory check?  How often does this happen in a day?



#13 +techbeck

techbeck

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 11
  • Joined: 20-January 05

Posted 14 July 2014 - 22:58

 

ANY part can fail within a year, so don't rule it out.  If it's completely off, then I'd say PSU.  Memory or other things will cause BSoD and typically loop unless you set it to NOT reboot, then it'll stay on the BSoD screen.  Same with HD errors.

 

Not necessarily.  I have seen PCs refuse to boot, or just shutoff, with bad sticks of memory.  I have even run in to laptops that would not boot if there was an external USB drive plugged in.  Chances are it probably isnt memory, but it is the process of elimination at this point.  Dont rule anything out but I am leaning more towards CPU/mobo personally.  Ran in to a few laptops that would turn on for a few minutes...or couple hours...and just turn off.  Ended up being one of the two.



#14 T3X4S

T3X4S

    Neowinian

  • Tech Issues Solved: 3
  • Joined: 28-October 13

Posted 14 July 2014 - 22:59

If the PSU says Thermaltake on it -- its definately suspect.

1.) Check error logs
2.) memtest
3.) replace PSU, even if its not the problem - it needs to be replaced.  Besides you can always use it on your next computer (BTW - you need a new computer)



#15 Circaflex

Circaflex

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 18-August 02
  • Location: California
  • OS: 8 x64, 7 x64, Mountain Lion, Ubuntu
  • Phone: hammerhead

Posted 15 July 2014 - 00:00

Only because I have seen a few of OPs posts, flat out telling him to replace something isnt always the easiest, money doesnt grow on trees for everyone. What might be a cheap part replacement for you, might not be for the next.

 

 

Do you have any retail stores near you that you can purchase a temporary PSU just to rule it out? If it is the PSU keep it if possible, if it isnt return it for a full refund?