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Computer-age: PC randomly loses video signal, dies

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adg1034

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Lately, I've been having a rather annoying computer problem. You see, every so often (and by every so often, I mean way, way too often), my monitor will just cut to black, claiming "No signal on DVI1", meaning it's no longer receiving any video output from my graphics card. Now, sometimes, this just seems to happen by itself, but other times, it happens at the very moment that I accidentally bump my rig (physically) or drop something on the floor or do something that might jostle my computer in some way. And it's not just the video card that cuts out; everything else on my rig does, too, apparently (I can't activate, say, Num Lock on my USB keyboard, and my sound cuts out, as does my network connectivity). Still, the computer's technically on throughout all of this- the fans are running, the lights are on, and (occasionally) I can see the HDD activity lights blinking, too.

So, my best guess is that there's a faulty wire in there somewhere, likely in the PSU (in the 24-pin ATX cable that connects to the motherboard, maybe?), but it could just as easily be something in the motherboard itself, and that's something I really don't want to have to pay for right now. Has anyone else dealt with something like this before? Veteran wisdom would be mucho appreciado.
 

adg1034

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TheKingsCrown said:
Sounds like 1 of 2 things:

1. Bad power supply loose wires to the power supply
2. Overheating.

I'd never actually thought about the possibility of overheating before. Could be. I'll keep Core Temp running and find out what's what.

S. L. said:
sounds like a cold solder point somewhere in your system.
so something looses contact by either bump or heat

Somewhere, huh? Sweet. This'll be fun.
 

adg1034

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Well, if it is overheating, it'd have to come on fast/be triggered by something, because my CPU cores have been sitting nicely at 45/42C for the last hour or so. And this doesn't seem to be tied to any particular activity on the computer; these system anomalies happen just as often when my computer's just sitting there idling as they do when I'm in the middle of a CPU-intensive 3D game.

I've been meaning to upgrade my PSU for a while, now, so it'll at least be a worthwhile purchase even if it doesn't fix my problems, but buying the unsexy parts is always kind of depressing. Eh.
 

Sol..

I am Wayne Brady.
Apr 23, 2007
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are you running Vista?

It might be TDR related. I'm having the same problem but i simply don't know what I can do to fix it. I'm guessing I need to get a new PSU because my PC is running cool as ice as i spent alot of time working on that before I even powered this bitch up (i even have a few inactive fans ready to connect just in case).
 

Dark Stalkers

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adg1034 said:
Well, if it is overheating, it'd have to come on fast/be triggered by something, because my CPU cores have been sitting nicely at 45/42C for the last hour or so. And this doesn't seem to be tied to any particular activity on the computer; these system anomalies happen just as often when my computer's just sitting there idling as they do when I'm in the middle of a CPU-intensive 3D game.

I've been meaning to upgrade my PSU for a while, now, so it'll at least be a worthwhile purchase even if it doesn't fix my problems, but buying the unsexy parts is always kind of depressing. Eh.

I think he meant your video card could be overheating.
 

adg1034

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Dark Stalkers said:
I think he meant your video card could be overheating.

First off, to Sol.., no, I'm running XP. The thing is, though, you'd think Event Viewer would show something relevant if it were, in fact, a software error. But it's not. Eh.

To Dark Stalkers- good point. We can check on that, too!
 

adg1034

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Someone else recently suggested that if dropping a heavy object near my PC causes these system crashes, flicking the offending component inside my PC while the system's running would surely have the same effect. Below are my results.

Flicking the PSU does nothing. Flicking my 8800GT does nothing. Flicking the Molex-to-six-pin-PCI-E adapter does nothing. Flicking the metal assembly inside my case that contains all its 5 1/4" drive bays, though, results in instant system failure.

Does this mean we're looking at a short in the power/reset button wiring? I'm insanely confused now.
 

miked808

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Mar 4, 2009
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I recently just solved the exact same problems you are having. Seems one of my RAM sticks had become slightly loose due to all my constant case cleanings.
 

adg1034

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miked808 said:
I recently just solved the exact same problems you are having. Seems one of my RAM sticks had become slightly loose due to all my constant case cleanings.

Hmmm. That's definitely worth checking. Let's see.
 

adg1034

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adg1034 said:
Hmmm. That's definitely worth checking. Let's see.

...and even though my RAM modules seemed to be seated properly, after pushing them firmly in, this seems to be an unqualified success. The flick test proved ineffective everywhere I tried it (even on the optical drive cage), so I was unable to induce the system failure. At all. (I sound like a doctor. Eh.)

Good advice, sir. I tip my hat to you.
 

miked808

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Now if you could tell me why none of my X buttons work on my PS3 controllers we'll be even.
Kidding aside glad I could help.
 
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