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PC losing image display


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#1
Crunchy409

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Hi folks.

BACKGROUND: I built my own PC rig around 2009. Nothing too fancy, about $1,200 total.
Case/PSU: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811129024
Asus 3870 graphics card

PROBLEM: This has been happening for some time but a lot more recently. For no specific reason, the picture on my monitor will go black and the fan in the graphics card will go nuts (start running full blast). I cannot get the PC to respond and must force shutdown by holding the power button in. Typically letting it sit for 30 seconds and starting it again fixes the problem. Other times, I must unplug the power cable in the back of the PC, unplug it, and then it works fine again.

THEORIES:
1. I have noticed that sometimes (it seems) when starting or shutting down another electronic device on the same circuit, this will happen. This made me think that perhaps it is something with the PSU? I'm simply using what came with the case. Would an upgrade solve my problem?
2. I do have an HDMI cable running from the graphics card to my home theater setup. At times, I feel like when I unplug this cable that I have these problems much less frequently. Not sure what would cause that
3. A few times, when attempting to plug in a USB cable or drive into the front of the PC case, this problem will occur (loss of picture, graphics card fan running full speed). Again, this makes me wonder if something is up with the PSU that for some reason adding another device, or perhaps creating an electrical imbalance, causes it to go haywire.

Suggestions or further tests/queries would be greatly appreciated!
~Matt
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#2
Crunchy409

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This forum has been a huge help in the past. Any ideas on this one?
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#3
phillpower2

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Hello Crunchy409 - sorry for the delay in you receiving a reply.

Couple of questions if I may;

Did the problem start when you began using the HDMI home theatre set-up.
What size is the screen that you are using.
Your video card has 512MB of video memory - correct.
I may have misunderstood your #3 above but it sounds as though you connect and disconnect devices while the computer is working, please clarify as you should never do this unless you are installing a new device for the first time and you receive an on screen message telling you to connect the device, the amount of power that a USB port uses may be minimal but it is still an electrical current nonetheless and can have an adverse affect on your hardware.

Lets have a look at your temps and voltages after you have been using the computer for a while please;

Download Speedfan 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.
If you are running on a vista machine, please go to where you installed the program and run the program as administrator.

Posted Image
(this is a screenshot from a vista machine)

To capture and post a screenshot;

Click on the ALT key + PRT SCR key..its on the top row..right hand side..now click on start...all programs...accessories...paint....left click in the white area ...press CTRL + V...click on file...click on save...save it to your desktop...name it something related to the screen your capturing... BE SURE TO SAVE IT AS A .JPG ...otherwise it may be to big to upload... then after typing in any response you have... click on browse...desktop...find the screenshot..select it and click on the upload button...then on the lower left...after it says upload successful...click on add reply like you normally would.

Depending on the results we may need to run further software for comparison.

Screenshot instructions are provided to assist those that may read this topic but are not yet aware of the “how to”.
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#4
Crunchy409

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Thanks so much for getting back to me!

Here are the speedfan results:
speedfan.jpg

As far as the comment about #3- yes, I'm referring to inserting flash drived into the USB slots in the front of the PC case while it is running. Even that is not recommended? Would the same be said about cameras- that they shouldn't be attached to the PC unless the PC is off?

I'm still wondering if the HDMI from the graphics card to my tv receiver is what causes this. every time that receiver is turned on or off it causes my screen to go black for a second as the pc registers a new output.
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#5
phillpower2

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Did the problem start when you began using the HDMI home theatre set-up.
What size is the screen that you are using.
Your video card has 512MB of video memory - correct.


Can you answer these questions for us please.

The +12V rail on your PSU has an anomalous reading so can you run HWMonitor and again provide a screenshot please http://www.cpuid.com.../hwmonitor.html

RE: Some devices can be plugged in while the computer is on and some cannot, the user manual for the device will advise you on this, one type of device you should not plug in or take out while the computer is on is an external USB HDD as they are prone to failing.
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#6
Crunchy409

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Here is the most recent test:

The +12V rail on your PSU appears to be different than on the previous test.

hwmonitor.jpg

I can't remember if the problem started before or after hooking the HDMI from the graphics card to the home theater set-up. I do feel like it might be related. Is that plausible? Would there be a solution?

My PC screen is 19." When I choose to extend my display to the TV, the TV is 46"

You are correct, I have 512 MB of video memory.

Thanks!
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#7
phillpower2

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Temps and voltages are good.

Your video card does not appear to have enough VRam for a 46" TV I`m afraid, please see the attached link http://www.monitorwo...s/q34_page.html
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#8
Crunchy409

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Thanks for the response!

I don't quite understand the linked page, but I'll take my word for it. I have never had a problem when actually watching something on the TV. (This problem has never happened while that is going on).

Do you think the simple act of turning the home theater receiver on would somehow make my PC monitor go dead and graphics card fan go nuts(even when the PC output is not set to the home theater)?

Are you suggesting the only way to fix this would be a graphics card with more VRAM?
thanks!
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#9
phillpower2

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At the link there is a table at the bottom of the page that advises you on how much VRam you need for various sizes of screen

What you describe sounds more like a power problem, possibly overloading on the circuit.

Does the video card work normally when only using the 19" display, also your case was provided with a 500W Antec PSU which is fine for your video card, is this still the same PSU.
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#10
Crunchy409

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Video card works well when using the monitor or TV. It's these random instances where I lose picture. I can't quite remember if these issues are related to the hdmi being connected to the home theater.

Glad to hear my PSU should be ok. So you think it's a power issue within my house maybe? Since everything is on the same circuit? It was uncanny how a couple times when I turned off a light the pc would freak out!

You think my only solution would be to rewire it to its own circuit?

Edited by Crunchy409, 13 January 2013 - 04:08 PM.

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#11
phillpower2

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I am not an electrician but something does sound amiss and having the wiring checked would be wise.

All I can suggest is that you make a note of when it occurs and see if there is a pattern to the behavior, investing in a UPS to protect your system would also be an idea, an example UPS http://www.newegg.co...N82E16842107011
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#12
Crunchy409

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Thank you very much for all your help!!
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#13
phillpower2

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You are welcome :thumbsup:

Please let us know how things work out.
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