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Laloosh

Random Reboots (formerly Monitor and Power Supply)

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I just inherited a 3-year-old PC from a friend. It's a Pentium 4, 2GHz processor (don't laugh--I was running a PIII 867 MHz). I just added an ATI Radeon 9700 video card, and ATI recommended a 300-watt power supply. The PC currently has a 160-watt power supply, and I noticed my monitor starting to have "ghost" images in vertical strips since I put the new video card in.

 

My first question is ... can anyone recommend a reasonably priced 300-watt (or greater) power supply? By reasonable I'm thinking less than $50. I'm not doing anything earth shattering with my PC, mostly just browsing and playing MVP Baseball 05.

 

I'm also looking to upgrade from a CRT to LCD monitor, and would appreciate any advice on this as well.

 

Thanks in advance!

Edited by Laloosh

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Quality is the most important thing for a power supply. But before you can replace the power supply there are some questions. Is this an off the shelf computer like HP or another brand? If it's an HP you can't replace the power supply because they use non-standard power supplies. A low wattage power supply will quickly start ruining your hardware. You can check either newegg or zipzoomfly for power supplies in a variety of price ranges. We would never laugh at person's system there are people here that still use PII or even earlier computers.

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Quality is the most important thing for a power supply. But before you can replace the power supply there are some questions. Is this an off the shelf computer like HP or another brand? If it's an HP you can't replace the power supply because they use non-standard power supplies. A low wattage power supply will quickly start ruining your hardware. You can check either newegg or zipzoomfly for power supplies in a variety of price ranges. We would never laugh at person's system there are people here that still use PII or even earlier computers.

 

Hehe ... thanks for not making me feel like a dinosaur, Mouse.

 

The PC is a Gateway ... I'm pretty sure it's replaceable because I Googled the part # and found a bunch of "compatible" power supplies. I just don't know what's decent and won't make things even worse. Do you think the "ghosting" is a result of the lacking power? Or could it be something else?

 

EDIT: How about this one? It's 430W, which is way more than I need, but I figure it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

http://extremeoverclocking.pricegrabber.co...asterid=8894452

Edited by Laloosh

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You can never have too much power that is like being "too rich". Your system will only use the amount of power it needs. But check those compatible power supplies to see if they are ATX that is a standard power supply which not all off the shelf computers use. Also Gateway might use special motherboards which could keep a standard power supply from working with that system. Your ghosting problem is very likely caused by the lack of power you keep running that card you will ruin it and other parts of your computer that are being starved for power.

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You can never have too much power that is like being "too rich". Your system will only use the amount of power it needs. But check those compatible power supplies to see if they are ATX that is a standard power supply which not all off the shelf computers use. Also Gateway might use special motherboards which could keep a standard power supply from working with that system. Your ghosting problem is very likely caused by the lack of power you keep running that card you will ruin it and other parts of your computer that are being starved for power.

 

Thanks for the info, Mouse. I went out and bought an Antec SmartPower 2.0 400W PSU (on sale at Staples for only $45). Technically, it doesn't fit--I was at work and couldn't check my current power supply (which turns out to be a Micro ATX). But I found an ATX case at CompUSA for $29.99 that I'll probably pick up tomorrow. So at least I'm getting enough power to everything ... the next step is getting everything to fit in the case properly.

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Thanks for letting us know what's going on and good luck with the new case.

 

I just read somewhere else that Dell's motherboard mounts are proprietary. Does anybody know if this is also true for Gateway PCs? And if so, does that mean I can't buy a generic case? This is the one I'm considering:

http://www.compusa.com/products/product_in...313065&pfp=cat3

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If the motherboard is proprietary you will run into all sorts of problems ranging from the stand offs for the motherboard not fitting, case connections not working (power on for example), ATX power supply not able to connect and those list goes on. But I don't know about Gateway and the motherboards they use. Thankfully I've never had to do hardware work on one of them.

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If the motherboard is proprietary you will run into all sorts of problems ranging from the stand offs for the motherboard not fitting, case connections not working (power on for example), ATX power supply not able to connect and those list goes on. But I don't know about Gateway and the motherboards they use. Thankfully I've never had to do hardware work on one of them.

 

I called Gateway this morning to ask, and a support technician told me that it shouldn't be a problem. I figured they'd tell me I would have to buy a case from Gateway in order for it to work, whether it was true or not. I bought the case at lunch, so we'll see what happens tonight.

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As far as the LCD upgrade goes, I would strongly recommend the LG monitor that I have. It's a "flatron" model from LG and it is L1710s. It's not the best in the world, but it certainly isn't the worst. It's good for gaming, and it has modes on it to reduce eye strain, focusing trouble, etc. Also, the hardware the comes with it is really great.

 

:)

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As far as the LCD upgrade goes, I would strongly recommend the LG monitor that I have. It's a "flatron" model from LG and it is L1710s. It's not the best in the world, but it certainly isn't the worst. It's good for gaming, and it has modes on it to reduce eye strain, focusing trouble, etc. Also, the hardware the comes with it is really great.

 

:)

 

Thanks for the recommendation, kmv. Unfortunately, what I promised my wife was going to be a free PC has ended up costing close to $200, so I think the monitor will have to wait.

 

My wife just called to tell me that the computer has been randomly rebooting itself all day. Is this a sign that things are getting a little too hot in the case? She also said that both Firefox and IE are crashing constantly, too.

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It can also be a sign that your system is failing due to low power conditions. Turn it off and leave it off until you can at the very least replace the power supply before your free computer is no more.

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It can also be a sign that your system is failing due to low power conditions. Turn it off and leave it off until you can at the very least replace the power supply before your free computer is no more.

 

That's the thing: I did replace the power supply last night. It's a pretty tight squeeze, which is why I wanted to get the new case (I also got a case fan, although maybe I should get more--there is room for 4). I'll see what happens after I transfer the guts into the new case tonight.

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Once you get it into the new case and put at least two case fans in the case one blowing in from the front and one blowing out from the rear please post a test. If we have a test maybe we can track down the problems with software and hardware that might be causing the problems.

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Once you get it into the new case and put at least two case fans in the case one blowing in from the front and one blowing out from the rear please post a test. If we have a test maybe we can track down the problems with software and hardware that might be causing the problems.

 

Pretty much took me all night to do, but I finally finished getting the new case all set up. Ran a test:

http://www.pcpitstop.com/techexpress.asp?id=DWHJ0WYWDNCSUWWR

 

The first thing I noticed was that the USB ports on the motherboard seem to be very laggy (the front panel ports work fine).

 

I just downloaded Everest, and I'm getting a temperature reading of 32-33 degrees Celsius. So I guess I resolved the overheating issue :)

Edited by Laloosh

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Very good out come and the temps are great :P Turn off the Java auto updater and you'll drop the cpu load to zero. You might want to use Ati drivers instead of XP drivers for your video card. Congrats on the sucessful transplant has it solved your crash/lock up problems?

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Very good out come and the temps are great :P Turn off the Java auto updater and you'll drop the cpu load to zero. You might want to use Ati drivers instead of XP drivers for your video card. Congrats on the sucessful transplant has it solved your crash/lock up problems?

 

So I went into the Control Panel, went to Java to turn off the auto-update ... and CRASH!

 

Maybe the ATI driver will solve a compatibility issue that's causing the problem?

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Sorry I didn't explain how to shut the Jave auto updater off. Go to start-run-( type in) msconfig-startup-uncheck the java update-click apply, reboot and Java autoupdater will no longer start when your system starts up.

 

Ok I own and have owned dozens of Ati cards and currently have 4 running in my systems. Always use Ati drivers. It's best to install the full package of drivers that come with the card, then go to Ati downlaod drivers about 6 months old that are for your operating system, uninstall the Ati control panel from add remove programs, reboot, uninstall the drivers for the Ati card from add/remove programs, reboot, now install the software package you downloaded from Ati. Without the full package you can't use all the features of your video card.

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Sorry I didn't explain how to shut the Jave auto updater off. Go to start-run-( type in) msconfig-startup-uncheck the java update-click apply, reboot and Java autoupdater will no longer start when your system starts up.

 

Ok I own and have owned dozens of Ati cards and currently have 4 running in my systems. Always use Ati drivers. It's best to install the full package of drivers that come with the card, then go to Ati downlaod drivers about 6 months old that are for your operating system, uninstall the Ati control panel from add remove programs, reboot, uninstall the drivers for the Ati card from add/remove programs, reboot, now install the software package you downloaded from Ati. Without the full package you can't use all the features of your video card.

 

OK, got the ATI drivers and disabled the auto-update for Java.

 

Then it happened again ... I got "DrWatson Postmortem Debugger has encountered an error" this time, and the PC restarted. So there's still something strange going on. Any suggestions?

Edited by Laloosh

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Ok your going to need to post a test for us to look at so we can get a better idea of what is going on now that you've changed drivers. Another question which slot is the TV card installed in? Dr Watson is usually a software issue personally I never use debugger software since it causes more problems than it solves and was not intended for the casual user but rather for programmers.

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Ok your going to need to post a test for us to look at so we can get a better idea of what is going on now that you've changed drivers. Another question which slot is the TV card installed in? Dr Watson is usually a software issue personally I never use debugger software since it causes more problems than it solves and was not intended for the casual user but rather for programmers.

 

Here are the test results ... everything looks pretty good from these results. But I keep getting "(Insert application name here) has encountered a problem and must shut down"

 

http://www.pcpitstop.com/techexpress.asp?id=YGYW0WYWDNCSQKWR

 

I also headed over to DriverAgent.com for a scan and it said I have "53% Bad Drivers" (14 that are apparently out of date).

 

Oh, and Mouse the TV card is in the slot directly below the video card (if I remember correctly ... I finished installing everything at 4:00 am so it's all a blur).

 

UPDATE: PC hasn't shut down in a while (I disabled the automatic restart), but Firefox just crashed, something to do with js3250.dll.

 

So basically, I get errors from all sources. This is starting to get really annoying. I'm starting to regret ever setting this PC up in the first place. :(

UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: After disabling the automatic restart, I got the BSOD just a few minutes ago. The error message was

 

DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

 

And I also got a "Product : 768_1" error with Firefox.

 

So it appears that a driver is the culprit, although I don't know which one, seeing as I just reinstalled everything (after the guts transfer). The newest component is my video card, but I got updated drivers that were released 2 weeks ago, so I feel pretty confident it's not that.

Edited by Laloosh

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Ok we know it's a driver issue/conflict. TV card is installed in the right place :) Now when you installed the new video drivers did you look for new drivers for your TV card? Could be older drivers not playing nice with new drivers. Don't get the drivers based on that driver scan. Only get new drivers when you can identify a problem with that driver or if the driver adds a new feature. As to the Ati video card drivers sadly newest drivers are not the best ones to use you should get drivers that are a few months old they have had all the kinks knocked out of them.

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Ok we know it's a driver issue/conflict. TV card is installed in the right place :) Now when you installed the new video drivers did you look for new drivers for your TV card? Could be older drivers not playing nice with new drivers. Don't get the drivers based on that driver scan. Only get new drivers when you can identify a problem with that driver or if the driver adds a new feature. As to the Ati video card drivers sadly newest drivers are not the best ones to use you should get drivers that are a few months old they have had all the kinks knocked out of them.

 

Found a driver for the TV card. Since I installed it (7 hours ago), things seem to be ok (woke up and didn't have the BSOD).

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Sounds like your problem is fixed :P Congrats and happy computing.

 

Also found a driver for the printer, which caused the BSOD when I tried to print ... will it ever end?!

 

And now Firefox just crashed (IE does the same thing) for no apparent reason.

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