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  #1  
Old March 1st, 2009, 09:56 PM
BradleyLev BradleyLev is offline
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Computer suddenly stalling

So when I went to sleep last night, computer was fine. It wasn't in perfect condition, it had problems every now and then but nothing big.

Today however, it won't start up. I turn it on, lights come on, fans start going. But my monitor stays in inactive mode, not really turning on (Orange light on the monitors power button instead of green). The light on the front of the computer idicates that it's "working", but nothing happens. I've waited up to 10 minutes, the computer stays in this state. After several more attempts, I did get a few changes. The monitor came out of its inactive state and showed me the computer starting up normally. It gets to the first BIOs screen and said "Overclocking failed...". It said more than that, but then the monitor went back to inactive and the computer stalled again.

Few more restarting attempts have shown me messed up screens. Blue screens that are all jumbled and screwed up.

I'm trying to find what the parts are so I can list them here but all I remember at the moment is the video card. It's a nVIDIA GeForce FX 5200. The computer isn't new, and the last change I did to it was I added a new 1gb DDR RAM stick over a year ago. Computer is running Windows XP.

If I could get help it'd be great. Any information missing let me know please, I'll try to get it.

Also, sorry if this is the wrong section. I wasn't really sure what this problem falls under.
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  #2  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 12:19 AM
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Murf Murf is offline
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Welcome to CTH

Reboot and immediately start tapping the DEL key or the BIOS screen should tell you what to hit to get into SETUP

Once in SETUP find where you can set to DEFAULTS, save and exit.
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  #3  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 02:05 AM
BradleyLev BradleyLev is offline
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I appreciate you taking the time to help me.

I've tried to do as you instructed, constantly having to restart but the monitor is staying inactive and I can't see anything. I've tried hitting the del key anyways but nothing happens. Since this has started I've only seen the BIOs screen once for roughly 4 seconds. Not been able to get back to that.
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  #4  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 07:28 PM
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Murf Murf is offline
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Well another way to set it defaults is to take the case side off (if a tower) and remove the CMOS battery (large watch type) for about 5 minutes (have PC unplugged) put back in if you get the BIOS screen immediately get into SETUP as you will have to reset the date and time, Save & Exit.

If that doesn't work, then take out your video card (if using a seperate card) and reseat it then try.
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  #5  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 08:26 PM
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Baser-X Baser-X is offline
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I have an ASUS board that would randomly give the "Overclock Failed" message followed by the monitor going into standby. I had not changed any of the overclock settings in BIOS. Luckily for me, I was able to kill the power, restart and it would work fine for a few more days. I was finally able to resolve this by updating the BIOS. Since then I've gotten better hardware in there and now I am using the overclock settings in the BIOS with no issues. If you haven't done so and are able to get into Windows, you might try updating the BIOS if they aren't already.
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  #6  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 08:32 PM
BradleyLev BradleyLev is offline
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Okay, I tried taking the battery out. Sorry I forgot to mention that yes it's a tower, not a laptop.

I put the battery back in and started it up. At first it looked promising, My monitor came out of it's inactive state and showed me the motherboard image, then proceeded to the BIOs screen. Before I could hit F2 to enter setup though, the screen suddenly emptied of everything, then these white dots came up in a slanted pattern across the screen. When I pressed the power button, the computer turned off instantly, as opposed to having to be held for 5+ seconds. I tried again, this time with another black screen and white dots, except the white dots were moving around.

I haven't tried the video card yet because I notice an issue. If I take the card out, I won't have any place to plug the monitor into. Atleast not that I can see.

Baser, is there a way I can find out what my board is by looking at it? I've had both sides of the cover off looking for a label or anything to tell me what type it is but so far I've not found anything.

Last edited by BradleyLev; March 2nd, 2009 at 09:19 PM.
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  #7  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 11:30 PM
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Murf Murf is offline
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What I ment is physically remove the Video Card then putting it back in making sure it is completely seated. It could of jarred loose and not be completely seated.
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  #8  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 11:52 PM
BradleyLev BradleyLev is offline
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Ahh, alright well I just tried that, god that was a fight. But the computer is still messed up.

I have found the motherboard is an ASUS P4P800S-X. But I can't update or do as Baser suggested currently without being able to get it started.

Last edited by BradleyLev; March 3rd, 2009 at 02:13 AM.
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  #9  
Old March 3rd, 2009, 02:53 AM
BradleyLev BradleyLev is offline
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Sorry to double post but there's a strange update to this.

I removed the original RAM stick that came with the computer so many years ago, and tried to start it up. And it did, it started up perfectly, just had to adjust the BIOS time/date, as mentioned above. So it starts, and like 8 minutes later, the screen screws up and shows me some messed up image that it's been showing me since this problem started. I restart, and it starts up just fine again. The screen dies again, showing me the same messed up image, but it happened sooner than 8 minutes, more like 4.

Any help? There's still one RAM stick in there, the 1gb one I got on Christmas 2007, a year and 3ish months ago. It was bought new.
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  #10  
Old March 3rd, 2009, 03:17 AM
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Murf Murf is offline
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When you set to defaults it loads a generic video driver, so you will have to reload the video driver. Boot it up in SAFE MODE see if it stays up longer, if so you can install the video driver in SAFE mode.

Appears the memory stick is bad. Try taking the other one out and use a pencil eraser to gently clean the contacts, blow it off and reinstall may help.
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  #11  
Old March 3rd, 2009, 05:06 AM
BradleyLev BradleyLev is offline
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God this is just driving me insane.

After my last post, I had to go out. I only restarted it twice and it worked both times, just crashed soon after. I come back and now I am back at square one, can't even get to the BIOS screen. I've tried using both sticks, and each stick seperately in the main RAM port, not the secondary. But nothing seems to be working.

Tried using the eraser on both sticks, trying seperately and together again, nothing.

Last edited by BradleyLev; March 3rd, 2009 at 05:32 AM.
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  #12  
Old March 3rd, 2009, 06:17 PM
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Murf Murf is offline
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Frustrating,

That motherboard ,as you found out, does not have on-board video. It uses a AGP video card, it is possible that the video card itself is going bad. It can happen, but unfortunately the only way to find out is trying another card.

Let it sit and try a reboot, if it does get into SAFE MODE again, see if it stays booted up. Also if it stays up awile, get into control panel | Performance and Maintenance | Power Options, what you want to do is turn off Hibernation (Hibernate TAB) and set everything to NEVER, apply and OK. This may prevent the monitor from hibernating. Also on your monitor if yuou have a menu find where you can turn off hiberation.

Heat can also cause your symptoms, leave the side of the case off when running (if you can get it to run), better yet if you have a small fan let it blow into the side of the case. If it runs like this OK then you do have a heat problem. While doing this look inside and make sure the fan on top of the processor is running OK.

Otherwise, to the shop, but it may be worth getting a cheap AGP card to see if in fact it is the video card.

You AGP card is a 0.8V, 1.5V so when shopping it must have these specs.

You can also use a PCI video card (not PCIe (Express), they are cheaper for testing purposes.

For example: PCI

Or if you have a really good friend that has a computer with either a AGP or PCI video card you could try.

This is the type of AGP card you would be looking for, but I wouldn't run out and buy until you can confirm your problem is the video card.
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  #13  
Old March 3rd, 2009, 09:01 PM
BradleyLev BradleyLev is offline
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Unfortunately I really can't afford to get anything or send the computer off to a shop. It figures too the computer I'm using right now is running off a PCI-E, so I can't borrow it's card.

I definitely know it's not overheating though. I keep the tower in a spot where it can always breathe, and I open the case if I ever do a lot of work on the computer that makes it work too hard. Plus I take it to the garage and blow out all the dust frequently (Using a very light touch on the compressed air gun to avoid knocking any wires, the amount of air I use is pretty harmless), plus all the fans in it. I've had problems on a previous computer with overheating so since that I've always paid attention to that sort of thing.

Thanks for the assistance Murf.
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  #14  
Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:02 PM
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Murf Murf is offline
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Since it has been running OK and no new hardware has been added, except the memory 1 1/2 yrs ago, I don't think its the BIOS. Taking out the one memory stick and it booted, even though it shut down after awhile, would lead one to believe that both memory sticks are bad.

By some chance is the computer your using have the same type of memory as the sick one??? If so try one stick....

Didn't see where you might of indicated that you have a floppy drive in the sicki, if so then run a memory test, since it runs from the floppy may stay up running long enough to test.
www.memtest86.com/

Is a good one.
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  #15  
Old March 4th, 2009, 04:46 AM
BradleyLev BradleyLev is offline
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I checked the ram in this computer but it's not the same. Came from the same company, surprisingly, but not the same type.

Both computers have a floppy drive, I can try that.
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