"Dying" randomly/blackouts

The VCR King

Well-Known Member
No, I am not talking about my laptop. My desktop gaming PC will randomly "die" every now and then. When it happens, the screen goes black, all HDD activity stops, then anything plugged into the USB ports loses power/stops. The PC though, keeps running. The case LEDs, fans, PSU, GPUs stay powered on. Holding the power button down on the PC does nothing. The only way to turn it off it to switch off the power supply or unplug it. After I plug it back in and reboot it everything seems fine.

Could it be a hardware issue?
 

spirit

Moderator
Staff member
What are your specs again?

I would suggest it could be a power supply issue or a motherboard problem of some description.

The first thing I would try is updating your motherboard drivers and/or your BIOS.
 

The VCR King

Well-Known Member
MSI 890FXA-GD65 mobo
AMD Phenom II 6-core processor
Cougar CMX 1000-watt power supply
Win7 Home Premium SP1
1tb WD Caviar Black for O/S and user files
120GB and 250GB HDDs for additional storage
120GB OCZ Vertex3 SSD for backup
 

johnb35

Administrator
Staff member
Could be anything from the power supply, motherboard or just a short between motherboard and case. Might want to build it outside of the case to test for a few days.
 

spirit

Moderator
Staff member
It does sound like your board is shorting on the case. Have you got all of those brass standoffs in the correct place and do you only have as many of them as you need?
 

The VCR King

Well-Known Member
I have no idea WTF a brass standoff is...

Again, I got the PC from a friend whose son made it, and I have no idea what he did when he built it.
 
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spirit

Moderator
Staff member
I have no idea WTF a brass standoff is...
They're these little things that raise the board from the case so that it doesn't short on it:



If you don't use them or you have too many or too few then the board can short on the case and you get problems like the ones you're having.
 

spirit

Moderator
Staff member
There are plenty of these on my board.
OK that's good... but are they in the right places? You only need them where the board screws into them. If you have them where they're not needed and the board touches them it can cause problems.
 

spirit

Moderator
Staff member
OK so it might not be that then.

The next thing to try would be to remove the board from the case altogether and run it on cardboard or wood or a while and see if it still plays up if you feel confident enough to do that. It could be the I/O shield that is causing the problems and shorting if it's not fitted correctly.

You can also try updating your drivers and your BIOS. If you update your BIOS it will reset it anyway, but if anything is overclocked remove all overclocks and see if you still have problems.

If you're still unlucky then it could be a power supply issue. How old is this PC?

The best way to test if the PSU is at fault would be to get/buy/borrow another PSU to use and see if the problem persists but I know it's not particularly ideal.

I'm even going to suggest checking your RAM with Memtest86 - that could be the problem: http://www.memtest86.com/ burn ISO to CD, boot off it, let it run for 5-6 hours. Swap sticks and bays after each test. Once you've run Memtest with some different combinations try using the system with 1 stick of RAM for a while, then put the stick(s) you removed back in for a bit. Try different combinations. See how it goes.



That's really everything I have to suggest.
 
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StrangleHold

Moderator
Staff member
Does it do this while your using it and while sitting idle? Could be the power supply or motherboard. The power supply is pretty lowend. Made by HEC and has 6 rails. Could be low voltage or a rail overloaded. Look at PC Wizard and see what the 12/5/3.3 rails are running at. Have you checked your temps lately?
 

The VCR King

Well-Known Member
OK so it might not be that then.

The next thing to try would be to remove the board from the case altogether and run it on cardboard or wood or a while and see if it still plays up if you feel confident enough to do that. It could be the I/O shield that is causing the problems and shorting if it's not fitted correctly.

You can also try updating your drivers and your BIOS. If you update your BIOS it will reset it anyway, but if anything is overclocked remove all overclocks and see if you still have problems.

If you're still unlucky then it could be a power supply issue. How old is this PC?

The best way to test if the PSU is at fault would be to get/buy/borrow another PSU to use and see if the problem persists but I know it's not particularly ideal.

I'm even going to suggest checking your RAM with Memtest86 - that could be the problem: http://www.memtest86.com/ burn ISO to CD, boot off it, let it run for 5-6 hours. Swap sticks and bays after each test. Once you've run Memtest with some different combinations try using the system with 1 stick of RAM for a while, then put the stick(s) you removed back in for a bit. Try different combinations. See how it goes.



That's really everything I have to suggest.
If I barely had enough confidence to unplug a fan what makes you think I'll work up the guts to take the PC out of the case and run a boot disc?

Does it do this while your using it and while sitting idle? Could be the power supply or motherboard. The power supply is pretty lowend. Made by HEC and has 6 rails. Could be low voltage or a rail overloaded. Look at PC Wizard and see what the 12/5/3.3 rails are running at. Have you checked your temps lately?
I made a little "table" below to help ya.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES:
HDD/SDD: Idle - 96(F) / In use - 100 to 130(F)
Crossfire GPUs: Idle - 120(F) / In use - 160+(F)
Motherboard: Idle - 90(F) / In use - 100-110(F)
CPU: Idle - 80(F) / In use - 90-120(F)
I use Speccy to check my temps every day or two.
--
I installed PC Wizard but when I selected "Power Supply" nothing came up. Nothing at all. A blank screen and blank list. Nothing.

The PC doesn't get that hot because I don't use it 24/7. Most of the time it is on it is in idle. I really just use it for YouTube and TF2 to be honest.
 
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johnb35

Administrator
Staff member
Please start using the edit button to edit your posts instead of creating a new post. As long as no one as replied after you, you can edit your previous post. I have merged your 3 posts into 1.
 

johnb35

Administrator
Staff member
Here is an image. To multiquote posts simple press the multiquote button here.



Then press the quote button on all the other posts that you want to reply to, you must hit the multiquote button first though before the others.
 

spirit

Moderator
Staff member
If I barely had enough confidence to unplug a fan what makes you think I'll work up the guts to take the PC out of the case and run a boot disc?
Running Memtest is as simple as burning the ISO to a CD (which according to your thread aptly titled 'Crap' you know how to do) and then booting off the disc and letting the test run for several hours. :rolleyes:

But I try to help you and you just come back with this so I kind of think it's pointless helping you because you ignore our advice.

As I said in your last thread about the fans, if you're not prepared to try and solve the problem it's not going to go away. These are the diagnostics steps you take when you experience problems like this. They usually don't just magically go away. If you can't do it, try and find somebody else who can - consider a computer repair shop or a friend.

As Voyagerfan said in your last thread - if you're just going to reject our advice then please don't bother posting. It's a waste of our time. Good to see you really took onboard what he said, too.
 
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tylerjrb

Member
a quick easy way to do it is to do memtest or try something like this which can be done by just downloading and installing it. you should run memtest x86 if you do not find anything just to sure.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/Memory-Tweak/MemTest.shtml

the psu or ram is most likely at fault but as it keeps running is there any LED'S lit up on the mobo. it could be cpu if there is a small piece of debri stopping a pin from making a connection but this is highly unlikely if its been running good untill now.

is there no bsod etc? see if you can get a crash report.
 

The VCR King

Well-Known Member
Here is an image. To multiquote posts simple press the multiquote button here.



Then press the quote button on all the other posts that you want to reply to, you must hit the multiquote button first though before the others.
Thanks. I can't believe how dumb I am!

Running Memtest is as simple as burning the ISO to a CD (which according to your thread aptly titled 'Crap' you know how to do) and then booting off the disc and letting the test run for several hours. :rolleyes:

But I try to help you and you just come back with this so I kind of think it's pointless helping you because you ignore our advice.

As I said in your last thread about the fans, if you're not prepared to try and solve the problem it's not going to go away. These are the diagnostics steps you take when you experience problems like this. They usually don't just magically go away. If you can't do it, try and find somebody else who can - consider a computer repair shop or a friend.

As Voyagerfan said in your last thread - if you're just going to reject our advice then please don't bother posting. It's a waste of our time. Good to see you really took onboard what he said, too.
I'll go ahead and try it and if it fails, I'll take it to a repair shop.

a quick easy way to do it is to do memtest or try something like this which can be done by just downloading and installing it. you should run memtest x86 if you do not find anything just to sure.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/Memory-Tweak/MemTest.shtml
I don't feel comfortable getting software from softpedia. Last time I did that my PC got infected with spyware and keyloggers.

...the psu or ram is most likely at fault but as it keeps running is there any LED'S lit up on the mobo. it could be cpu if there is a small piece of debri stopping a pin from making a connection but this is highly unlikely if its been running good untill now.

is there no bsod etc? see if you can get a crash report.
All of my mobo LEDs are brightly lit they're beautiful shade of blue.
The only BSOD I've ever had with this machine was a bad graphics card driver but that was fixed after I ran updates.

I'm pretty sure it's RAM or PSU.
I think it is probably the PSU failing because when I got the PC from my friend he said the PSU gave him troubles in the past as well, namely, random shutdowns/blackouts. I don't think it is the RAM because I have only had my Corsair Vengeance 8GB since this July when I upgraded the PC.
 
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