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I think I have a hardware problem.


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#1
Kenparsons

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3-5 days ago my computer started to restart itself at random times. Usually the first 5 mins after boot up, sometimes even shorter. Sometimes it will show a blue screen, sometimes not, and sometimes it just freezes on spot. I decided to reformat today since itís been a while since I did so and I was thinking I may have came in contact with a virus. Unfortunately after the format there has been no change in the restarts. Iím thinking I have a hardware problem. I donít know where to start in fixing this problem. I would appreciate some help and guidelines. Thanks.

Its a hp a6235x. Product Specifications:
http://h10025.www1.h...cname=c01185446


I purchased this computer about 3-4 years now. The only thing I put in it is a 650 watt powersupply and a Nivdia GTX 260. neither recently, both purcashed new.
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#2
rshaffer61

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Hello kenparsons.... Welcome to
GeeksToGo, :D
;) ;)

I'm sorry to hear about your issue. We will try to help you resolve this as soon
as possible.
  • Please understand we are all volunteers and we are not here all the time.
  • Sometimes it may be a extended amount of time to get back to you. If it has been
    more then 3 days please shoot me a PM and I will try to get back to you quickly
    then.
  • Please do the following and supply the requested information as needed. If you
    don't understand my instructions please ask and I will try to explain them
    clearer for you.
  • Do not attempt any steps unless instructed or ask before to
    make sure they will not cause any further issues.


First lets get some diagnostics done to see where the issue is really.

Download Speedfan (The download link is to the right), and install it. Once it's installed, run the program and post here the information it shows.
The information I want you to post is the stuff that is circled in the example picture I have attached.
To make sure we are getting all the correct information it would help us if you were to attach a screenshot like the one below of your Speedfan results.

To do a screenshot please have click on your Print Screen on your keyboard.
  • It is normally the key above your number pad between the F12 key and the Scroll Lock key
  • Now go to Start and then to All Programs
  • Scroll to Accessories and then click on Paint
  • In the Empty White Area click and hold the CTRL key and then click the V
  • Go to the File option at the top and click on Save as
  • Save as file type JPEG and save it to your Desktop
  • Attach it to your next reply

Posted Image




Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), and make the CD bootable.

NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, unfortunately, you're out of luck, because Toshiba doesn't provide any diagnostic tool.

Thanks to Broni for the instructions


If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-2.11.iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-2.11.iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-2.11.iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run. You may have to change the boot sequence in your BIOS to make it work right.

To change Boot Sequence in your BIOS

Reboot the system and at the first post screen (where it is counting up memory) start tapping the DEL button
This will enter you into the Bios\Cmos area.
Find the Advanced area and click Enter
Look for Boot Sequence or Boot Options and highlight that click Enter
Now highlight the first drive and follow the directions on the bottom of the screen on how to modify it and change it to CDrom.
Change the second drive to the C or Main Drive
Once that is done then click F10 to Save and Exit
You will prompted to enter Y to verify Save and Exit. Click Y and the system will now reboot with the new settings.


The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the ďerrorsĒ line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.
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#3
Kenparsons

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I have a prbolem with the rest of the Diagnostics. I do not have a CD drive so I am not able to create or boot up a bootable CD...

Attached Thumbnails

  • Speed test.jpg

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#4
rshaffer61

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+3.3v rail is very low. May be the source of the problem.
Let's check the consistency of the hd then by doing the following.
Go to

Start and then to Run
Type in Chkdsk /r Note the space between k and /
Click Enter ...It will probably ask if you want to do this on the next reboot...click Y
If the window doesn't shutdown on its own then reboot the system manually. On reboot the system will start the chkdsk operation
This one will take longer then chkdsk /f

Note... there are 5 stages...
It may appear to hang at a certain percent for a hour or more or even back up and go over the same area...this is normal...
DO NOT SHUT YOUR COMPUTER DOWN WHILE CHKDSK IS RUNNING OR YOU CAN HAVE SEVERE PROBLEMS
This can take several hours to complete.
When completed it will boot the system back into windows.

Let me know if this fixes the problem
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#5
Kenparsons

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I put Chkdsk /r into run and a small box flashes than nothing happens. I restarted my computer and tried again but still the same result.
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#6
rshaffer61

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OK this is getting harder since you have no cdrom drive.
How did you reload OS without a cdrom drive BTW?
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#7
Kenparsons

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I have a Recovery Parition on my harddrive (D:) FACTORY_IMAGE. I'm able to restore my OS to orginal settings. I had to unplug my CD drive from my board because the GTX 260 would not fit with it plugged in (due to its long shape) I was going to invest in a external CD Drive but never had a reason to....until now I guess.

Just some background information on my computer that you may find humorous and maybe useful to fixing my recent problem:

About 2 months ago my computer would shut off automatically 2 seconds into boot, as soon as I turned it on it would shut off. I google the problem along with my computer's name and found on a forum someone else with the same problem. The solution was to stick a hair dryer (on hot and high) in the side of the tower and wait 3 minutes before turning on. I swear it worked and even now if my computer is shut off for longer than 5 minutes I would have to do this in order to turn it on. :D
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#8
rshaffer61

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+3.3v rail is very low. May be the source of the problem.

This may be the root of your issue as i stated above. It looks to me like the PSU is failing and is being very unstable. Do you have access to a known working PSU of at least the same wattage you have now?
This would tell us for sure.
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#9
Placid Storm

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About 2 months ago my computer would shut off automatically 2 seconds into boot, as soon as I turned it on it would shut off. I google the problem along with my computer's name and found on a forum someone else with the same problem. The solution was to stick a hair dryer (on hot and high) in the side of the tower and wait 3 minutes before turning on. I swear it worked and even now if my computer is shut off for longer than 5 minutes I would have to do this in order to turn it on. :D


I have never heard that solution before. I agree with RShaffer61 on that the powersupply does look a little low. I had a problem with my Compaq Pressario sr1303wm failing to boot like you mentioned above. I ended up using a new power cord and it hasn't given me a problem since. You could always replace the power supply though, the Corsair CMPSU-450VX 450-Watt ATX 120mm Fan SATA-Ready Power Supply, 80Plus is a decent one that I would trust. If you have more than one pci-express device then you may need an adapter. It's 80 plus certified so it will use less power while supplying your PC with more than enough power. This looks like a good deal on an Asus DRW-24B1ST 24X Internal DVD Burner - DVD±R 24X, DVD+RW 8X, DVD-RW 6X, DVD±R (DL) 12X, DVD-RAM 12X, CD-R 48X, CD-RW 32X, SATA, 2MB, Black, OEM unless you just want an external drive then I would give this Lite-On eSAU208-101 Slim External DVD Writer - 8X DVD+R, 8X DVD-R, 6X DVD+R9 , 6X DVD-R9, 8X DVD+RW, 6X DVD-RW, Lightscribe, White, but I would still look at the ASUS drive before I spent that much on an external drive. The best of luck with your computer issue.

Edited by Placid Storm, 04 November 2010 - 02:48 PM.

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#10
Kenparsons

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I only have a stock 350 watt, which is not enough since I put in a GTX 260. Actually the power supply I have in there now is a Corsair TX250 watts. I bought it about 6-8 months ago. The box says "Five Year Warranty"
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#11
Kenparsons

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I only have a stock 350 watt, which is not enough since I put in a GTX 260. Actually the power supply I have in there now is a Corsair TX250 watts. I bought it about 6-8 months ago. The box says "Five Year Warranty"


I apologize I mean a Corsair TX650 watts
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#12
rshaffer61

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I would say try to find a working 650 watt or no less then a 500 watt and try it. If the system is stable then your problem is PSU.
Variations in the rails like that will cause all kinds of issues the least of being shutdowns.
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#13
Kenparsons

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I don't know where I'd get a 500+ PSU without buying one. I could throw the 350 Watt power supply back in. I used it for a year with the GTX before getting a 650. The only time it would restart is when I'd run a game. It's worth a shot just to see.
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#14
rshaffer61

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or a single GeForce GTX 260 GPU NVIDIA recommends a 500W unit with 36A on the 12V rail.

Anything less then this and you are just asking for trouble I can bet it.
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#15
Kenparsons

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I won't argue with that. Thanks for all the help. I'm going to look to see if I can get my hands on one. I will post my conclusion!
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