PCs are terrible technology

LostManAbroad

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Firstly I will say that this is a rant as I have had almost three weeks of terrible experiences with my computer.

The last three weeks have cost me 250€ trying to fix my computer and has gotten me absolutely nowhere. I spent 150€ on a new graphics card as everyone kept telling me that the problem was my old graphics card. Then I finally got my new graphics card and installed it and then the latest Windows 10 update came out and totally corrupted my Windows resulting in a computer that could not be turned on because it would get stuck at the, "Windows is updating, please do not turn off your computer" screen. So then I forked out 100€ paying a guy at a computer shop to completely wipe my system and reinstall.

He gave me my computer back after almost a week and it worked fine for almost 24 hours. Then it crashed while I was playing a game and would no longer boot up all the way to my desktop. It would boot up and then each time it would crash again, each time somewhere different; once at the windows loading screen, once at the blue screen telling me that my computer was trying to automatically repair itself, once the computer kept starting up but then kept turning back off after a couple seconds. It did that repeatedly for about half an hour.

I took it back to the store and told the guy what had happened and he told me it was my fault and said that something I installed is no longer compatible with Windows 10. I explained to him that the only things I had installed were Firefox, Steam, Discord and Teamspeak, all programs that all of my friends with Windows 10 also have. But he insisted that is the problem and told me he would re-wipe my system and install everything all over again.

I don't believe that the problem will be solved this way but I'm no expert. I think it must be a hardware problem so I asked him if there was any software that can analyse and tell you if your hardware is working. He explained to me that that only happens in the movies and said that the only way to find out what hardware is broken is to unplug each component one by one and then turn the computer on each time to test if the computer then works. In my case that simply cannot work.

My computer never crashes in the same way or following the same action twice. Sometimes the computer will work for 8 hours perfectly fine and other times like this morning I turned it on and it crashed within a minute of turning the machine on. There is no possibility of troubleshooting a problem if the goal posts keep moving.

I don't know what to do. I am so angry all the time now. I love gaming but I am starting to hate my PC. What crap technology!!
 
PC isn't much more different then say a car or vacuum cleaner. If they break, you need a competent engineer to fix them - and the only difference with PC is you have a software and hardware components that interact, so you need more knowledge to fix them. Certainly the person you took your computer to was not competent enough, but that does not mean PCs are crap.
 

LostManAbroad

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I cannot tell you the brand of PSU off the top of my head. I did replace the PSU about a year ago though due to other random crashes I was having at the time. And the PSU that I bought was recommended to me by a guy I used to live with who worked in computers and who knew his stuff quite well.

Mind you, he calculated the size of PSU that I needed based on the components I had at the time. The only recent change has been upgrading my graphics card.

My specs:
OS: Windows 10 64 bit
Mainboard: ASRock (Cannot remember the exact model, I believe H87 Pro4)
CPU: Intel i5
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Factory Overclocked)
Memory: 16 Gb DDR3
 

kuhndj67

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How old is the computer... what you're describing is a hardware problem and has nothing to do with anything you've installed (software doesn't cause crashes in POST or recovery). If the machine is new then take it back... if the machine is not new then (given that you're not a computer guy) you're going to have to take decide how to handle it. If it's an inexpensive system then it might be cheaper to buy a new machine than to try to fix it. If it's an expensive machine than take it to a skilled tech and tell them what problems you've seen... It doesn't help narrow down the component but but it might make it quicker to debug. They'll likely end up swapping out things like power supply and memory to see if it can be isolated to a component.
The problem does not sound like a graphics card issue... take the new one back if you can.

One thing you CAN do is unplug everything that can be unplugged... remove any add-in cards that aren't necessary to run the machine, unplug any external devices get down to the minimum needed to run and see if that makes any difference.

Generally... this sort of issue is caused by: Bad Power Supply, Bad or improperly mounted memory, Bad Motherboard. Bad video cards generally result in either no video at all or failure under load (playing games), it's the last thing I'd have checked.
 

13thmonkey

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Who told your GPU was the problem? The posts around 3 weeks ago from you is you asking about 1050ti's on ebay. No-one here saying that it was necessary to change it. http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-3601687/graphics-card-company-difference.html

One thing that I will say about GPU's on ebay, is that we have seen fakes, i.e. something that is sold and bios'd to be a 1050ti, but is actually a 730, or something cheaper, who knows what else has been done.
 

LostManAbroad

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The GPU I bought is definitely legitimate. It was being sold on Ebay from a german computer store called Media Markt and they have over 600,00 sales and 100% positive feedback so I am not worried about that. As for the age and price of the computer, all parts of it were bought individually about 2 years ago, with the exception of my graphics card. A guy I lived with who worked with computers advised me on all the parts to buy and it wasn't that cheap. I built the machine myself and had my father, who worked with computers for most of his life, check I had done it all correctly.

The problem is how to troubleshoot a hardware issue if there is no set place to look for an improvement. Yesterday I played Farming Simulator 2017 for about 6 hours and had no issues. Today I turned it on and it crashed while the computer was simply idle at the desktop with no programs running. The only place I can think to get a guaranteed crash is by turning on Arma 3. My computer has more than the recommended requirements to play it yet the game crashes 100% of the time within 2 minutes of starting a game.
 

LostManAbroad

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That may explain the crash from the game Arma 3 but surely the fact that the computer crashed this morning while sitting idle at the desktop only minutes after I turned it on would rule out it being a temperature issue. I will check the temperatures with a system monitoring program once I get my PC back.As for a memtest from a USB stick, I do not know what that is but I am sure my father will so I will ask him about it tomorrow after I get my PC back from the guy at the computer store.
 

13thmonkey

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Current versions of Windows randomly consume blocks of memory, so you might get lucky and miss the bad bit, or you might not and you hit it, hence it can work well for a while or not. It fits the symptoms.
 

LostManAbroad

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Well, I got my PC back from the computer shop today. Before I left the shop the guy plugged in the computer to show me that it worked. When I got home, I plugged in all the cables and turned the machine on. It started as it normally does but it won't recognize the monitor. I shut it down and tried again plugging the monitor cable into the slot on the motherboard. I turned it back on and straight away the monitor came on and I could see the screen as it booted Windows up. I shut the machine back down and opened it up. I removed the graphics card and plugged it back in to see if it was not plugged in correctly. Again I started the machine up and again there was no picture.

Thoroughly pissed off, I decided to give up and go back to using the slot on the motherboard. I turned the machine on again and this time I also got no picture. Now the slot on the motherboard isn't working. I called the guy at the shop back and he says it is my own fault. He tells me that because I collected my PC by putting it in a large hard shelled suitcase which I then wheeled out of the store in order to get it home, it is my fault because the vibrations of the suitcase wheels on the pavement are responsible for breaking my machine. Is that even possible or is this shop owner as full of <mod edit> as he sounds?

Moderator Warning: Watch your language in these forums
 

13thmonkey

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Vibration can indeed do that, but reseating it should have resolved that. I can only assume that it is not reseated properly. Power was fully off (unplugged), and allowed to discharge before you started unplugging the GPU?
 

LostManAbroad

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I have taken the GPU out a couple times now and put it back into the slot. I have checked it and rechecked it but I still cannot get a signal to the monitor from either the GPU or the slot on the motherboard. I just don't get it.
 

kuhndj67

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Do you know the machine is even starting? No video COULD be a graphics card issue - but it could also be a dead mobo or PS. If the machine starts up normally you can usually tell because it makes the right noises and has the right amount of drive activity and so on. If you don't see that stuff happening then your machine is not starting at all.
 

LostManAbroad

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Okay here is what I meant before about the goal posts moving. After the problems yesterday getting no picture when turning on my PC, I gave up. I decided to stop pulling my hair out. About an hour later a friend I was talking to on Discord through my laptop told me that they had the same problem once and just needed to restart the computer a bunch of times and eventually his graphics card detected his monitor.

I turned my PC back on and again, I got nothing. All the sounds and the drive activity sounded exactly like a normal start so I waited long enough for Windows to have loaded and then I restarted the computer. Straight away the computer detected the monitor and the picture came up and my computer loaded fine. It ran for about half an hour but then crashed while I was installing Steam The light blue screen came up saying that my PC had an unexpected error and that it would try and detect what had happened. I watched as the counter counted up to 100% and then the computer restarted and loaded fine.

I decided to test if my memory had anything to do with the crash so I took out 3 of my 4 DDR3 sims. (That is what you call the memory right? Sims?) I then started the computer up again. It ran perfectly fine. I reinstalled Steam, the install went smoothly. I installed Teamspeak and then I spent a while talking to some gamer friends online for a while. After about an hour of the computer running smoothly, I turned the computer off and put another sim into the machine. I turned it back on and again the computer ran smoothly for the next few hours.

After a few hours, I was in the middle of downloading a game through Steam and the computer crashed again. Again it went to the light blue screen and again I watched as it counted up to 100% before restarting the computer. The computer loaded smoothly back to my desktop.

It had run smoothly for a few hours so I let it continue downloading the game overnight while I went to bed. This morning I woke up to find the computer sitting at the light blue screen with a button that said, "Restart Computer" and another that said, "More Options". It had obviously crashed at some point during the night. I chose restart computer.

This time the computer did not detect the monitor again and the picture wouldn't come up. The boot up sounded completely normal so I waited a bit and then reset the computer. I did that 5 times in a row but today it will not detect the monitor. I have now turned it off in the hopes that later when I try it it will detect the monitor. That worked yesterday. Any ideas? I am so confused with my machine.
 

13thmonkey

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Every time you do this it risks corruption, so you may have caused windows issues. But that last stick that you put in seems to be bad (or the slot). So run memtest using just that stick in that slot.
 

LostManAbroad

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Well, I managed to get the computer to turn on only once today and connect to the monitor so I could see what I was doing. Unfortunately it crashed before I could do any kind of memory test so I am still no closer to figuring out the issue. I did rule out my PSU as the source ot the problem as I used a PSU tester that I bought yesterday. I went through a step by step guide on how to test a PSU and everything came back showing that it works perfectly fine. I was actually hoping I would find a problem because then I could just buy a new PSU and the problem would be solved.

Back to the drawing board. I still cannot understand why the computer cannot detect the monitor most of the time when it switches on and then randomly I will turn it on and it will detect it straight away and turn on like normal. Surely a memory problem cannot be causing that? Anyone?
 

13thmonkey

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Last time. Run mem test from a USB stick. No idea how you tested a psu, you can only test it turns on, not what is output is.

You keep fiddling with it, its making it me difficult.
 

LostManAbroad

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You keep saying run a memtest from a USB stick but if I cannot get the computer to detect the monitor then how am I supposed to run a mem test? I was fairly clear in my last post when I stated,

"Unfortunately it crashed before I could do any kind of memory test".

After the crash the computer restarted and again would not detect the monitor so I could not see anything to be able to run a test. As for testing a PSU, you are not correct that it is only possible to test if it turns on or not. You can test it with a multimeter or, as I did, you can buy a power supply tester which shows you the outputs of the PSU which you then compare with the Power Supply Voltage Tolerances. If the outputs that the tester shows fall within the tolerances of the power supply then it is working correctly. Mine is working fine.
 

13thmonkey

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You need to boot from a USB stick, you crashed whilst booting into windows yes? I'm saying don't go into windows.

Those tests only show that it is outputting 12V, not how much current it is doing that at, as there is no load, and it is at load that things will fail.
 

InvalidError

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Actually, it is at lighter loads and during load transients that output capacitors (the parts most likely to fail or be under-sized) work hardest. Under constant heavy load, output capacitors can theoretically be omitted. Of course, before getting to a state of constant load, the PSU has to be able to handle everything else before that point. That's why we often see threads about people having issues with their system randomly rebooting or shutting down under light load but still able to play games fine for hours on end when they manage to start them.
 

LostManAbroad

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Well, I will try that tomorrow. I will have to do some research first to find out how to create a bootable mem test on a USB stick. If I am going to do a mem test anyway, would it not be better for me to put all 4 of my RAM sims back into my computer before doing the test so I can test all of my memory at the same time?

As for the PSU, I did not understand any of what 13thmonkey said regarding load and the reply that InvalidError posted might as well have been in Chinese as far as my skill level regarding computers is concerned.

On a side note, a friend of mine has offered me the parts from his old PC which he no longer needs as he has built a better system. I think they seem to be better than what I already have but I'm no expert. What do you think? Links below are for the motherboard and cpu he has offered me.

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/RAMPAGE-II-EXTREME/
https://ark.intel.com/products/37150/Intel-Core-i7-950-Processor-8M-Cache-3_06-GHz-4_80-GTs-Intel-QPI

And would my PSU be able to power them? My PSU is a Corsair CX750M.
 

InvalidError

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The problem with putting all the RAM in at once is that if you do get a failure, you'll have to repeat the test by removing DIMMs until you find out which one is causing issues if you run into any. Of course, there is the possibility that RAM isn't your issue, in which case putting all the RAM in would spare you the trouble of testing the other half of your RAM after the first half got clean sweeps.

Which strategy saves the most time depends on your luck and confidence that your problem isn't RAM.

As for the PSU thing, poor quality, dying or otherwise sub-par PSUs are a frequent cause of random reboots, random shutdown, crashes, failures to boot, etc. That said, the CX750M is a decent quality unit and isn't very likely to be a problem.
 

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