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Random black screens, desesperate for some help :)


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#16
phillpower2

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There are 3 different models of your computer V1, V2 and V3, is this yours at the attached link http://web.amtel.co....thers/p1500.pdf
It would make sense if it is as it has a GT220 GFX card and a 330W PSU.
Sometimes the battery can be on edge like a coin, this would make it harder for you to see, you can change a GFX card no problem so you will have no problems removing and then replacing a battery.
To enter the BIOS all you do is, on boot up keep tapping the F2, F8 or Del key, once in the BIOS you use the arrow keys to navigate the page, we are only interested in resetting the time and date, just highlight the time or date and key in the correct details, when you are done press F10 to save the settings and the Y to accept the changes and you are done.
A picture would be good if you can arrange it, take things one step at a time and you will be fine.
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#17
Celidya

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Thank you again for the detailled answerd, this is great. I hope you don't mind if i ask some more as i'd like to understand and not make any mistake. These maybe stupid question but, this is an area i never had good advice for and despite using computers a lot for 11 years now, i still don't understand some of this.

The bios:

-What do you mean exactly by "reseting" the date, is there a "reset" option i'll have to select, or should i set it myself to a random date, or which date ? Will it have any side effect on the computer, like windows calendar or something ?

-As far as i understand the bios is controlling the motherboard, right ? So i fear if i screw up something, the computer won't work at all, is there any security against that or a way to restore the bios to the previous state if i mess up somehow ? I'm quite scared by this as i tend to consider it as the "do not touch that !" thing.


The damage done by the current card:

-Does that mean all the components currently affected will have a lower lifetime overall and that i still have some time to go, or that they may already die at anytime ?

-if the PSU is a bit better than you first thought, does it sound better for them ?

-I saw Win 7 has some power management options, with economic mode, and things like that, would that do anything to ease the pain on the components ?


I'm trying to understand it as, basically, right now i'm scared to do anything on the computer (starting a game or something), thinking it could damage it too much, as if any components dies right now i will be in big trouble. Am i worrying too much and can i still expect it to run for a few months just fine, or is it like a huge axe over it ready to fall at any random given time ? I'm especially asking that in the case i could not make the Nvidia card work, i'd be stuck with the ATI one and staying for weeks like that doesn't sound relaxing at all.

I'm trying to consider as well if it's better to buy a PSU for this computer, considering all the components might be already weakened and i'll have to change them at some point, or if i should save for a whole new computer in several months. I mean, it doesn't sound overly exciting to invest in a PSU if the motherboard dies in 3 weeks. I know you probably can't give any serious estimation like that but, as a rough feeling, i'm not sure if i have to go into "panic mode" yet and look every 2min at the computer in fear it's going wrong, or if i'm relatively safe and can plan for some long term (6 months+) solution. I tend to be overly paranoid about it as i have no back-up computer and i need that one to work for some time.

That said, i'm on a night schedule so it doesn't help doing much every day, as i have only a few hours in the end of the afternoon (not gonna do that in the middle of the night). Sorry if you feel it's taking forever. I will try to make the pics tomorrow and look inside the Bios to see if i can locate the date and how it looks in there, as well as check again if i can locate the motherboard battery. I'll probably update here in mid/late afternoon.


Thanks a lot for your time and dedication, i really hope i'm not annoying with all the questions. :D

Edited by Celidya, 23 January 2011 - 09:17 PM.

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#18
Celidya

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I checked in the Bios and could find the date, though i didn't touch it yet as i don't know to which date i should set it. Couldn't bring enough light inside the computer to make any decent picture and, i sadly really can't find where the motherboard battery is hidden. :D

Edited by Celidya, 24 January 2011 - 10:48 AM.

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#19
phillpower2

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Ask as many questions as you need, none of them are stupid and by asking them you are learning and that is what forums are for, learning and sharing knowledge.
You have asked a few questions so I will answer them individually but some of the answers may be connected.

What do you mean exactly by "reseting" the date, is there a "reset" option i'll have to select,

If and when you remove the CMOS battery as I described earlier the BIOS chip on the MB restores the factory default settings including the time and date effectively giving you a clean slate, it does not adjust any other settings and neither will you by doing this, you only highlight what you want to adjust using the arrow keys, see the screen shot + the full instructions can be found at the attached link http://www.bootbeta....e-and-time.html I have just read your last post so I will come back to this next.

From your OP:

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

Take this as a sign that all is not well and that parts of your computer are now starting to weaken, the crashes may be caused by incorrect voltages to your Ram for example, I cannot say how much harm may have been done nor how long the computer will last just that by refitting the original GFX card until you can purchase the correct PSU for the ATI card may resolve the issue, you may never have any problems again if you do this but if you do not it is only a matter of time before disaster strikes.

Edited by phillpower2, 24 January 2011 - 12:22 PM.

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#20
phillpower2

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I checked in the Bios and could find the date, though i didn't touch it yet as i don't know to which date i should set it. Couldn't bring enough light inside the computer to make any decent picture and, i sadly really can't find where the motherboard battery is hidden. :D

You would set todays date and time, do not worry about the picture of the MB or the battery for now and let us concentrate on getting the Nvidea drivers downloaded, can you take a picture of the Nvidea GFX card and attach it to your next reply, we can then look for the correct drivers for you.

Edit: Drivers from here http://www.nvidia.co...aspx?lang=en-us
1st:Download them to your computer.
2nd:Uninstall the ATI drivers and any other software to do with the card (Catalyst Control Centre for example).
3rd:Shutdown, remove the ATI card and refit the Nvidea card securely.
4th:Reboot and install the Nvidea cards drivers all being well.

Edited by phillpower2, 24 January 2011 - 12:44 PM.

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#21
Celidya

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Edit: Drivers from here http://www.nvidia.co...aspx?lang=en-us
1st:Download them to your computer.
2nd:Uninstall the ATI drivers and any other software to do with the card (Catalyst Control Centre for example).
3rd:Shutdown, remove the ATI card and refit the Nvidea card securely.
4th:Reboot and install the Nvidea cards drivers all being well.


I did exactly that, but still the same thing, i don't get the chance to install the Nvidia drivers as the screen stays into idle mode. The Nvidia card fan is running fine but somehow i don't get anything on the screen.

On the bright side, i found the motherboard memory thingie: it was hidden below the graphic card, so with the big ATI one i had no chance to see it. It seems very small though and i'm not sure how to pull it out, let alone put it back where it was, so i didn't touch it yet of course.

However, i have an old 8800 GT card as well, i thought maybe i could try to pull it out of the old broken computer, and try it in this one, i made some research and it seems it has low energy needs, however i have no idea how valuable that info was. It might be an easier alternative to the motherboard stuff, unless i'll encounter the same problem of course. The battery is small and in a difficult place to access with my fingers so, i'm quite worried with that kind of manipulation. I saw an option in the Bios to reset to default, wouldn't that be enough ?

Edited by Celidya, 24 January 2011 - 09:33 PM.

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#22
zfkdaniel

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Hi There!
I'm Here To Help You!
The "Reset To Default" in the BIOS can help but not in all cases. It can be your MoterBoard Battery (not sure) , tell me what PSU do you have? (the model) or maybe your GT200 is broken what you should do is to try a new GT200 Like your old one. if this still not solve your problem then there is a problem with your motherboard , but if the new GT200 works then your old GT200 is not good to use anymore.

Edited by zfkdaniel, 25 January 2011 - 06:15 AM.

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#23
Celidya

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Hello ^^

Well as i said i don't have access to another GT200 :D For the PSU it's a bit of a mystery it seems for its real power, it should be a:

Power supply: Device Name S26113-E546-V50

But it seems it could be a bit better , something like 300-330W maybe.

Edited by Celidya, 25 January 2011 - 06:23 AM.

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#24
zfkdaniel

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Very Good Power Supply also the 330W is good better than good! and about the BIOS did you done the "Reset To Default"? also there can be some frequency problems , but those problems will be FIXEDafter you hit the "reset to default" button in the BIOS if your problem doesen't get solved by this then you will need a NEW COMPUTER
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#25
phillpower2

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Edit: Drivers from here http://www.nvidia.co...aspx?lang=en-us
1st:Download them to your computer.
2nd:Uninstall the ATI drivers and any other software to do with the card (Catalyst Control Centre for example).
3rd:Shutdown, remove the ATI card and refit the Nvidea card securely.
4th:Reboot and install the Nvidea cards drivers all being well.


I did exactly that, but still the same thing, i don't get the chance to install the Nvidia drivers as the screen stays into idle mode. The Nvidia card fan is running fine but somehow i don't get anything on the screen.

On the bright side, i found the motherboard memory thingie: it was hidden below the graphic card, so with the big ATI one i had no chance to see it. It seems very small though and i'm not sure how to pull it out, let alone put it back where it was, so i didn't touch it yet of course.

However, i have an old 8800 GT card as well, i thought maybe i could try to pull it out of the old broken computer, and try it in this one, i made some research and it seems it has low energy needs, however i have no idea how valuable that info was. It might be an easier alternative to the motherboard stuff, unless i'll encounter the same problem of course. The battery is small and in a difficult place to access with my fingers so, i'm quite worried with that kind of manipulation. I saw an option in the Bios to reset to default, wouldn't that be enough ?


Does the computers MB have an onboard video chip?
This can be determined by looking at the back of the computer for a 15 pin VGA port, normally blue in colour, if it does connect your monitor cable to it and reboot and see if you get a display, if you have an onboard GFX chip it is possible that when you remove the ATI card the MB is reverting back to the onboard video chip, hence why you get no display because unless the GT220 is damaged in some way there is no reason why you should not get a display using the Windows default drivers.
Does the MB in the image below resemble the one that is in your computer, note that it has a VGA port.

Edited by phillpower2, 25 January 2011 - 04:06 PM.

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#26
Celidya

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I actually thought about that VGA thing last time. I think i have one that could fit on the back of the computer, problem, there is a black thing on it with very small screws that i couldn't remove at all to check. I'll try to find some better tool for it, but it seems like it could indeed be a VGA port. I swear the computer designers make sure everything is as complicated as it can be. :D

The motherboard looks a bit like this, a bit hard to tell without the fan and all the cables on it.

I'll update tomorrow with my findings, thanks again ;)

Edited by Celidya, 25 January 2011 - 06:07 PM.

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#27
phillpower2

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I actually thought about that VGA thing last time. I think i have one that could fit on the back of the computer, problem, there is a black thing on it with very small screws that i couldn't remove at all to check

Does it look like the white adapter in the j.peg? If it does and you need to remove it so that your monitor lead will fit you only need a small flat bladed screwdriver to remove it, these only ever need to be finger tight.
I am not sure if this is what is on the back of your computer though as they tend to be used on older computers that are being connected to a more modern monitor, the plugs and ports are smaller, like on the ATI card.
If you are using an older monitor it may have a VGA connector and your MB being more modern may have a DVI port meaning what you have is a DVI to VGA adapter like the black one in the j.peg.

I'll update tomorrow with my findings, thanks again

Ok I will look out for your post, be careful what you remove from the back of your computer and you are welcome.
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#28
Celidya

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I have a very old monitor indeed so it has a VGA port only. I already used an adaptator so i can plug it on the DVI port on the ATI card. The Nvidia card only has a VGA output so, i had to remove the adaptator. I believe my motherboard has a VGA output as well but it's protected by a black cover so, i can't plug anything on it until i can remove it. I had some unexpected stuff today so didn't have a chance to try, this might take a little while, i'll probably try all the tools i have (mainly some unexpected ones, i don't have much stuff for tinkering at all as i usually never do it, especially very small stuff like computer screws) and that means i'll have to sit there for a little while during the daylight, which is a bit hard on some days due to my schedule (or just being too tired for that).

Anyway i hope i can find a way and a tool that fits, i will tell you how it goes. Otherwise, is there any way to disable the onboard graphics and make sure they don't reactivate when i remove the ATI card to use the Nvidia one ?

Edited by Celidya, 26 January 2011 - 08:49 PM.

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#29
phillpower2

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I believe my motherboard has a VGA output as well but it's protected by a black cover so, i can't plug anything on it until i can remove it

Can you please take a photograph of the rear of the computer where the monitor plugs into what you are describing, do not attempt to remove anything until we have had a look at the picture.
Here is a picture of the only tool that you should need for adding or removing a GFX card or a DVI to VGA adapter;
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#30
Celidya

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I couldn't remove it anyway so far. The screws are incredibly small and none of the usual tools fit to turn them. There is a little symbol showing a monitor near the plug, i'm quite confident it's a VGA and the black cover is here to protect it somehow. I'll take a picture of it as soon as i can, hopefully tomorrow or tonight. :D
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