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graphics card or monitor problem (I think)


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#1
tech noob

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Hello,

I'm really at a loss here... For the past few weeks I've been having trouble with my computer. The problem started when I was running games.

The screen suddenly freezes and the monitor seems to shut down or go into standby mode. The only way out of this is to reboot.

This problem is getting more and more frequent and now also occurs sometimes when browsing the internet.

My immediate assumption was that the problem was connected to the graphics card. However, after upgrading to a GeForce FX 5500 256mb DDR and reinstalling my OS the problem continues. I think all the latest drivers and updates have been installed.

My specs:

Intel Pentium 4 1,60 GHz
1048 MB DDR
GeForce 5500 256 MB DDR
OS: Windows 2000

I must add that I am not an avid gamer trying to run the latest games. All of my games are more than 1 years old. But the problem described happens in every single game.

Hope someone can shed a little light towards the real problem which I can't find

Thanks in advance
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#2
austin_o

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Hi and welcome to Geeks to Go. Random events like you described are ususally caused by heat, memory, driver issues or the power supply. You will need to investigate each possible cause to either rule it out or correct it. Check the fans, make sure all are running. Also check inside the case to make sure it is clean. You can get "canned air" and blow out the dust. Use a vacuum cleaner in conjunction with that for thorough cleaning. You can test the memory with Memtest86 from http://www.memtest.org/ Make sure you have the current driver for your video card. If you update the driver, use Driver Cleaner to clean the previous installation first. (http://www.drivercleaner.net/ it is free). As for the power supply the real question here is, does the power supply have adequate wattage and current capability for your system, especially during graphically intense gaming activity. This type of activity puts a draw on the power supply and also generates heat. Look at the lable on the side of the power supply. It will give you the manufacturer, model number, wattage, and amp ratings on various rails (+12v, +5v, etc). Make note of these. Then go to http://www.hardforum...isplay.php?f=93 and check out the sticky posts at the top of the forum. This is the best collection of information on power supplies that I have found. You will be able to check your power supply against the information in the sticky posts and determine how it measures up. There are power supply calculators where you can detail your systems components and come up with watts needed to power your system as configured. Is it adequate? See that sticky post where a multitude of common power supplies are identified as less than desireable because the over state their ratings by they way they apply the term "under ideal circumstances". In these cases you need to deduct 30 percent from the stated rating to come up with a realistic rating. This was how I figured out my 420 Watt Raidmax power supply that came with my case was only capable of 294 watts (I needed 370 based on the calculator) and not adequate for my system. I had random reboot problems too. I replaced my power supply with a good quality Forton 520 watt PSU and reboot problem went away.
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#3
tech noob

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Many thanks for your input.

You've given me something to check out and I will report back with the findings.
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#4
tech noob

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ok,

I've gone through all of your suggestions. I did check my fans and investigated if there was a dust problem and everything was in order. I ran a test of my memory and it seemed to be fine (only about 20% in use while running my basic setup). All drivers are up to date. Now, regarding the power supply I did read through as much of the information you linked to as I could. The Power Supply calculator there didn't work but after looking at my own PSU which was a 300 Watts PSU with 15a at +12v I suspected that this was the problem. I therefore went out and purchased a new PSU - 400 Watts with 21a at +12v.

Unfortunately, this did not really alter the situation. The problem is still there. Since my system is not exactly very fast or demanding by today's standards, I can't imagine I should have bought a more powerful PSU.

Now, if anyone have any suggestions on what to do or investigate, I'm all ears!

thanks in advance!
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#5
tech noob

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Can anyone help???

I can add to the above that my mouse pointer sometimes disappears and that my computer occasionally won't boot up properly (ie. the monitor shuts down during boot up).

I presume that the problem is related although I'm not sure. And just to clarify the problem I described in my first post, the computer does NOT reboot by itself. I meant that rebooting was the only way to bypass the monitor shutdown. The computer simply won't respond to anything after the monitor shutdown. So therefore I reboot. I have tried borrowing another monitor but the shutdown also occured here.

Could it be a problem with the motherboard???

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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