First, a short description of what's going on. I'm getting some random "crashes" when playing games or using some 3D software such as Daz|Studio. The screen turns black with no warning, with no signal, then the graphic card fan makes some noise (faster speed i believe) and the computer is just frozen like that. The green light from the hard disk stays green, pressing the power button doesn't do anything, not keyboard or whatever. I then need to remove the plug and do a hard reboot, which isn't too great for the computer health i believe.
For the details, it's a lot more complicated (i think) than it looks at first. I got that computer in early july 2010, bought it on the advice of a friend. My old one died so i had to get a new one with a rather low budget. He adviced to take this one then switch the awful video card for an ATI HD 4850, which i did just fine. Computer itself. The computer itself is a Fujitsu ESPRIMO P1500:
- Win 7 64 bits
- Motherboard Name FUJITSU D2950-A1
- CPU Type QuadCore Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400, 2666 MHz (8 x 333)
- North Bridge nVIDIA nForce 7100-630i (MCP73PV)
- Disk Drive Hitachi HDT721010SLA SCSI Disk Device (931 GB)
- Audio Adapter Realtek ALC663 @ nVIDIA MCP73 - High Definition Audio Controller
- System Memory 4096 MB (DDR2-800 DDR2 SDRAM)
- Power supply: Device Name S26113-E546-V50
The computer was running perfectly fine from July to September. I did some quite intense stuff, the environement was hot (summer time) yet it was flawless. At around mid september, i left an online game (Aion) running overnight while i was sleeping as i had to stay in game, when i woke up i found the screen black and computer in a crashed state. Next day, it happened again, back then i had no idea what was going on, so i just stopped running the game for too long. I didn't change any driver or anything before that could make that, so i began searching what was wrong.
I found out my powersupply is quite terrible and the computer has some weird (rare info on the net) motherboard and devices. But the powersupply itself scared me: it seems to have lower Watt output than what the video card needs. Yet it was running fine for two months. I thought maybe there was some dust now, which could mean the videocard was getting harder, then it needed to activate the fan to a higher speed. The powersupply could not bring enough power so eventually it crashed the computer. I then began to use Rivatuner to monitor fanspeed and block it at 25%, while using Everest to monitor the temperature.
While the video card seemed fine (50-65°C while playing), i noticed the chipset was very hot (up to 80°C+). After some research about it i just came to conclusion that my computer didn't have enough fans for it, so i opened it to make it easier to cool down. But it still seemed odd as around that time (end september) it was rather cold here. Anyway it pretty much stopped crashing and i played fine for more weeks, while still monitoring heat and trying to not push the computer too much.
On 24th december, black screen again. Exactly the same crash. I was shocked, so i cleaned the dust again, then i added a large fan outside of the computer to bring some fresh air, thinking the hot chipset might be bringing too much heat, activating all the fans, and then running out of power. A friend told me playing youtube and having several windows opened while playing could make a crash so, i stopped using that.
It went fine for several days, then i installed Daz|Studio to start again on some 3D rendering and posing. And there, ouch. In 3 days using it i had several crashed, and some odd driver error from windows (driver has been reset or something like that after a quick blinking screen). It was obviously raising a lot the crashes frequency, but that driver error was something i considered. I then looked on the net for the "most stable ATI 4850 drivers" and installed the Catalyst 10.1, instead of the latest i had. After cleaning with CCleaner and doing a proper installation, i stopped using Daz Studio and went back to my usual gaming, i thought it was fixed.
Then, two days ago, crash again while playing Aion for several hours. One more yesterday after playing for 20mn, one today after 30min. The temperatures are fine (proc cores at around 50°C, the MCP chipset 57°C, graphic card 50-58°C while playing, hard disk 33°c so i'm now pretty sure it doesn't come from the temperatures.
Now the most obvious would be, the powersupply, and this is the core of the problem: i can't afford to change anything, and i don't have access to another computer to mix and match parts. Basically, i have to do with that, at worst i could switch the ATI 4850 for the GT 200 (or something like that) that came with the computer but, i'd rather avoid that as much as i can. Now the odd behavior remains: i can sometimes play for several hours with no problem, during weeks, then it crashes for some reason. It ran fine two months during the summer with a lot more intensive use (running two games at same time). It happens in several games and in the 3D program so it's obviously not related to a software in particular. So i tend to think it's not a systematic failure but something that triggers it, however i'm lost as to what it can be.
Taking some advices from different forums and friends i looked at the Windows event viewer log. For the crash two days ago, it showed a line about graphic card overheating, despite it never being too hot i think. I pulled it out today and cleaned all the dust, plugged it back, making sure it was done well, but it still crashed 1 hr later with the temperature at around 55°. The older event viewer logs often don't show anything for the crashs (only that the computer didn't restart in a normal way).
Any thoughts about it and how i could fix that ? If it can indeed come from the powersupply, is there any workaround to avoid it as i can't change it ? I would really like to find something to do to avoid that, while the crashes themselves are annoying (losing data, etc), it quite scares me as i don't think it's good for the overall computer "health" so, i hope someone here can tell me a way to get rid of them, either with a fix or most likely, a workaround. I really can't change anything in the comp beside switching to a cheap graphic card.
Thanks a lot in advance, for reading, and hopefully answering
Edited by Celidya, 21 January 2011 - 10:19 AM.