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Report article RSS Feed My Computer is KIA

Unfortunately, my computer is KIA, and right as I was about 2 days from releasing Broken Steel and V8.2... More info below.

Posted by Slayer_2 on Oct 15th, 2010

UPDATE #1:
My problem has been FIXED, it was a malfunctioning PCI-E slot, which my WIFI card to freeze the computer. How this happened, I have no idea.

UDATE #2:
Now my graphics card went belly-up... I'm spending $450 upgrading almost every component of my PC, besides the motherboard and CPU, and I can't do any gaming until then, so scratch Reborn patches being released next week, it'll be at least 3 days before the PC is back and gaming.

Yesterday, my computer stopped working. It just froze in a game, and when I restarted, it got worse: I couldn't even load a game without hanging. From there, it got worse over the course of several hours, soon I couldn't boot it up without a 50% chance of it freezing on startup. I tried everything, but in the end, I got fed up and re-installed Vista, hoping to wipe away the issue, if it was software related.

Nope, no luck there, so I'm forced to conclude that it's a hardware issue. Since I am rather poor, I'm hoping that it's something cheap, although that's a bit of an oxymoron when it comes to computers.

On the plus side, my important files HAVE been backed up (that includes the new Reborn stuff), so as soon as I get my PC back up and running, it will be less that a week before new content comes out. 

Till next time,

Adam

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ShEsHy
ShEsHy Oct 16 2010, 5:18am says:

Sorry to say, but it sounds like an overheating issue, which in most cases means either the graphics card or the CPU, and sometimes the motherboard.
Since it happened while playing a game, my first suspect would be the graphics card, so you can maybe try a friends card before buying a new one. But if it's the CPU or the motherboard that is overheating, it's going to be harder to determine.

I'm afraid I can't tell you any more without personally checking the computer, which is sadly impossible.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 16 2010, 1:48pm replied:

Yes, I was thinking the same thing, that or a malfunctioning power supply.

One thing that points to over-heating is that the computer will run fine for about half an hour if I leave it off for a while, but after it starts malfunctioning, it happens sooner and sooner, unless I give it time to cool off again. SpeedFan doesn't report any insane amounts of heat, GPU is 57, and CPU is like 40 at idle.

I just cleaned it out a few weeks ago, but now I'm gonna try re-seating the CPU with new thermal paste.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ShEsHy
ShEsHy Oct 17 2010, 5:16am replied:

the GPU seems kinda high (mine idles at 30-35, but that might be just me).

0 votes     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 18 2010, 2:09am replied:

Yeah, perhaps, maybe it's just Vista doing it's thing. My GPU is fine, though, I swapped it with the 7800GT in my old PC, and both cards work fine.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Awesome_ninja
Awesome_ninja Oct 18 2010, 4:44pm replied:

57 is decent I'd say. Mine at rest is at 70 (ATI HD 4890 not OC)...
You still use this...this..V.I.S.T.A. (Viruses Intruders Spywares Trojans Adwares)... Switch to Seven, much MUCH more stable. Just a tip

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 19 2010, 1:45pm replied:

Vista gets a lot of hate, but honestly, I find it more stable than XP (king of BSOD's). Windows 7 seems like an over-priced Vista knockoff, I'll spend my 200 bucks on ram and hard drive upgrades, I think :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Awesome_ninja
Awesome_ninja Oct 19 2010, 3:49pm replied:

I never said //BUY// it... Not like I am saying piracy is good, but sometimes, some people already have enought money to live their lives...
As an advice too from ;y own experience, you are better of spending more on a brand power supply like Corsair. It's more expensive, but so worth it! Never had any overheating, thunder, etc... problems.
And to come back to XP, I never had BSOD problems with it except if you use a software called "Steam" and a game engine called idtech3...

+1 vote     reply to comment
βéϯд
βéϯд Oct 16 2010, 5:53am says:

damn :S too bad, same happened to my old laptop :O it froze 24/7 and in the end it broke completely, didnt even start up -.-

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 16 2010, 2:03pm replied:

Yeah, and I really don't have the cash to pay for a new PC.

+1 vote     reply to comment
dave_5430
dave_5430 Oct 16 2010, 7:25am says:

Ya see kids, this is why you clean out your computer every once in a while if you don't want to be eating fried circuits for a week! >.>
No, seriously.
I'll make you eat them.

Well, I hope it is something cheap. If you can, make a new news post what exactly is broken and further details.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 16 2010, 2:02pm replied:

I did clean it out a few weeks ago, so I doubt it's dust buildup, like that would cause such drastic problems...

+1 vote     reply to comment
FailerOfLife
FailerOfLife Oct 16 2010, 9:15am says:

Ouch. I lost 2 laptops to issues like that before I switched to a desktop. So much easier to maintain. Hopefully all you computer needs is a good cleaning or a simple fix to get it running again. My mom's laptop had a problem like that and all it needed was a good cleaning and new thermal paste for the processor. I think that whole thing was about $50.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 16 2010, 2:04pm replied:

Yeah, that's what I'm hoping for, although, I just cleaned it out a few weeks ago, I AM going to re-seat the CPU.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FailerOfLife
FailerOfLife Oct 17 2010, 12:37am replied:

What type of heatsink do you have on your cpu? And what type of thermal paste is on it?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 18 2010, 2:07am replied:

The stock one, aluminium, I believe, and I used arctic silver, or something like that.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FailerOfLife
FailerOfLife Oct 18 2010, 12:54pm replied:

Switch to a copper heatsink. Something by Zalman. I've got a Zalman CNPS9500 AT and it works great with arctic silver.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 19 2010, 1:44pm replied:

I've fixed the problem, it was the PCI-E slot that my WIFI card was in, for some reason, it malfunctioned, and caused all those issues, except the fan failure, which was caused by a wire blocking the fan, and causing a short.

I'd consider upgrading my heatsink, except the stock one works great, and I don't want to over-clock my PC (for fear of wrecking it).

I am back up and running, expect to see updates to Reborn soon.

+1 vote     reply to comment
KokoroWarrior
KokoroWarrior Oct 16 2010, 3:52pm says:

That is very unfortunate. I know how bad that can suck.

You are wise to have been making backups. I could only imagine what it would be like to crash a hard drive without a backup. All that work...

I second the request to keep us posted, as long as it's not too much trouble.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 16 2010, 6:34pm replied:

I only have some files backed up, as I have only a single 1GB flash drive, but I don't think my hard-drive is the problem, I actually believe it to be over-heating or a failing power supply.

And don't worry, I'm by no means done with Reborn, it's just a setback.

+1 vote     reply to comment
sbseed
sbseed Oct 16 2010, 5:58pm says:

you might consider taking it someplace and have some diagnostics run... there not always right but most of the time they can at least narrow stuff down for you.

also, i would suggest making sure you have more than one hard drive, putting your OS on the first and keeping all 'important' programs and information on the second :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 16 2010, 6:37pm replied:

Perhaps, although most tech support people are legendarily stupid. One guy didn't understand what RAM was, it was London Drugs, but still...

I think I'm gonna get my dad to look at it, he's a huge computer nerd, and he could probably bring it back without any trouble.

I'm too poor for multiple hard-drives, BUT, I do have a partitioned drive, with both Ubuntu and XP operating systems. I also have a 20GB partition set aside for my mod files.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Death8338
Death8338 Oct 17 2010, 5:39pm says:

try just blowing it out with an air compressor, that's what i do for really old computers that overheat... and that might be the problem.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 18 2010, 2:06am replied:

I cleaned it out, but something is screwy with the hardware. The CPU fan stops spinning shorty upon startup, and it was emitting a burnt smell.

I'm getting a new motherboard, CPU, RAM, and CPU cooler, so my PC should be good as new and twice as fast. It was great to start with, until this problem hit, but now it'll be even better.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ShEsHy
ShEsHy Oct 18 2010, 3:53pm replied:

Hahaha, that's a smell you never want coming from your computer :p.
But if only the CPU fan stopped, you may have your suspect right there.
It is possible that the fan started dying, causing the CPU's heatsink not to cooldown properly, which in turn would build up heat in both the heatsink and the CPU, causing it to overheat, and shut down.
So, now the question is, is the CPU only overheated or fried? My suggestion would be to get a new CPU heatsink+fan by Zalman (like FailerOfLife suggested), apply some thermal paste and try it out.
If the CPU isn't fried, you can boot up again, and if it turns out to be toast, you still have a new cooler for your new CPU :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 19 2010, 1:33pm says:

Good news, the smell was from a fried capicitor on the motherboard, the fan doesn't work from the fan plugin anymore, BUT if you swap it to "comp fan 1", it works, but only at a fixed RPM of 2000 whenever the computer is on. The capacitator was overloaded

The freezing issue was caused by my WIFI network card, or more accurately, the PCI-E slot it was in. Something as simple as moving it to another slot solved the whole issue... I hate computers sometimes.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FailerOfLife
FailerOfLife Oct 19 2010, 1:40pm replied:

That's good to hear. Sometimes its the simplest things.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slayer_2
Slayer_2 Oct 19 2010, 11:11pm replied:

I know, eh, it's damn irritating to have spent all that time trying everything, to find out it's so simple :|

On the bad side, my GPU died today, and I can't play any games (although I can do everything else now, at least). So I'm gonna screw it and do a $450 dollar upgrade to my whole PC.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Released Apr 22, 2009
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