Question Strange PC errors, faulty hardware? Please help

Jun 6, 2020
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Hi,

I really need your help. My friends PC is kinda new, maybe like 2 months old. I was here to build it for him.

All of the sudden computer seems to crash, no BSOD just a plain error. PC stops outputting video/audio signal, all interaction is completely dead. You just have to hard reset it.

It happened time to time, then it was more frequent. Like 2 times a day. So I took the computer to my house and started testing.

Set bios to default, updated it with a proper bios version.
Run all kind of stress tests: 10 hour memtest, furmark stress test, cpu-z stress test and then AIDA64 combined. No errors at all. All temps good.

So I thought it was solved by some bios settings. And of coure it worked as intended in my hands.

Some time later I received a call from him. He says it started doing all over again, time to time from the beginning and now it does like 5 times a day.

He even tried to plug the computer in different power outlets. Nothing solved that.

I don't know what could cause this. I have some suspicion that the PSU might be faulty, but there is no way of me trying that out.

Side note: All of the drivers are up to date, tried rolling back to an older gpu driver but with no result. Only generic usb devices are plugged in.

2nd side note: Windows logs are just saying something caused critical error such a loss of power.


specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600
Mobo: B450M Pro4-F
RAM: Patriot Viper 4 3000Mhz CL16
GPU: XFX GTS Radeon RX 580
PSU: Corsair VS650
OS SSD: Apacer 256GB
HDD: Seagate BarraCuda 1TB

Don't ask me why, but price played a biggest role.

I would appreciate any help. If you could assure me that it's really caused by some faulty hardware or the PSU itself, it would be very nice.

Thank you and sorry for my bad grammar.
 
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Grobe

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You should take the computer (the whole rig) and try testing it at your place.

Also - Ask your friend if other electrical installations at his home is acting up. There may be some problem with main voltage at his place.

Another thing: Up through the years I've seen countless of cases where there is in fact unstability in a computer, and no test procedure on earth is able to trigger a fault, yet when used on actual gaming, the computer does not work stable.

Therefore ask your friend: Is it one particular game that seem to be in use every time a crash occur? If he play several games, then ask him write down date/timestamp and what game for every crash. Then we hopefully can figure out if there is a HW problem or a game that is unstable.
 
Jun 6, 2020
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You should take the computer (the whole rig) and try testing it at your place.

Also - Ask your friend if other electrical installations at his home is acting up. There may be some problem with main voltage at his place.

Another thing: Up through the years I've seen countless of cases where there is in fact unstability in a computer, and no test procedure on earth is able to trigger a fault, yet when used on actual gaming, the computer does not work stable.

Therefore ask your friend: Is it one particular game that seem to be in use every time a crash occur? If he play several games, then ask him write down date/timestamp and what game for every crash. Then we hopefully can figure out if there is a HW problem or a game that is unstable.
Thank you so much for trying to help me out. I really appreciate your effort.

I actually had his pc at my house and did the testing.

The worst thing about this is, It seems like it has no trigger. According to him It simply happens when you're watching video, playing games or just browsing the internet.

I got quite a bit confused because it worked just fine when I did the testing. I thought it was related to XMP, so I dissbled that and ran those tests. I even played some quite demanding games on it for like an hour or so.

The strangest thing about this for me is when he had his computer for the first time it worked normally. Then the error started occuring. And throughout the time it got more frequent. It ended up at point he had to reset it 3 times an hour.

After I gave him the pc back, it happened all over again: From the beginning it worked just fine, then the error started occuring occasionally and then it ended up happening numerous times a day.

I don't entirelly know how the PSUs work. But that pattern kinda seems like a something "charging" and then when it can not charge more it shuts down. Then you start it again and it does that error in a shorter time because it had no time to discharge..? That is such a theory. You can complete ignore this. Just brainstorming at this point. I would go and straight away swapped the power supply but I have none left.
 

Grobe

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Ok, so it actually are unstable no matter of its location?

Normally, if the PSU is bad, it tends to black out during stress tests. However, that doesn't have to be the case every time. So trying to swap PSU seems like a good idea to try out.
 
Jun 6, 2020
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Ok, so it actually are unstable no matter of its location?

Normally, if the PSU is bad, it tends to black out during stress tests. However, that doesn't have to be the case every time. So trying to swap PSU seems like a good idea to try out.
In my conditions it worked as intended. I had it for a few days, run tests and everything was fine.

It seems like the only way to give it a proper troubleshooting would be getting it in my hands again. But if it's caused by some bad voltage in their outlets I will not be able to test it in their exact conditions.

If their outlet voltage was not the best I would imagine that the cheap power supply would not add to it. That would make sense why in my power outlet it seemed to work properly and in their it didn't.

I have Corsair RM650x in my PC and I consider that a fairly good PSU. Maybe I could swap mine with his for some time and see.
 
Jun 6, 2020
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Ok, so it actually are unstable no matter of its location?

Normally, if the PSU is bad, it tends to black out during stress tests. However, that doesn't have to be the case every time. So trying to swap PSU seems like a good idea to try out.
If a power supply fails, does it completely cut off the power? The point is, everything seems running, fans etc. it just does not give any output and freezes. I might ask him to tell me if any motherboard led lights up when it happens. It might as well be caused by faulty motherboard if it's completely random.
 

Grobe

Distinguished
Another factor are the connection points itself. If there is a connector to the PSU that is partly loose, it can also explain random dropouts. Maybe the cable to the GPU?
This can be tested (not a very good test by any means) by gently move the PSU cable and see if that will cause a similar blackout.
 
Jun 6, 2020
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Another factor are the connection points itself. If there is a connector to the PSU that is partly loose, it can also explain random dropouts. Maybe the cable to the GPU?
This can be tested (not a very good test by any means) by gently move the PSU cable and see if that will cause a similar blackout.
Okay so I've got it at home now. I am running AIDA64 and trying to trigger the error he was experiencing. If you know about better stress test, hit me up. I hope it won't take forever for that error to occur.
 
Jun 6, 2020
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You have Catzilla and OCCT. There is also Prime95 that is part of UBCD.
Okay so I've tried all of the OCCT tests and AIDA64 for a few hours, played GTA V for some time and played video on it. No errors so far... Tomorrow I will hopefully get their usb devices and stuff. Might aswell run the aida throughout the night.
I would be so fricking happy if it was NOT working.

I hope that rig is not cursed or something.
Thank you for your help though, nobody else reached to me and I went through many forums. Really appreciate that. :)
 

Grobe

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I hope that rig is not cursed or something.
Probably not :p

If you cannot get that computer to fail in your place - there must be one or several of these factors:
  • Problem with voltage stability in your friends house.
  • Earth fault in your friends house.
  • Your friend use some external equipment (monitor, keyboard, mouse ?) that either are affected by earth fault or have a fault that make the computer crash? Maybe a very cheap (or for free, or found somewhere) usb thumbdrive.
  • Your friend have some habit, maybe have some software that trigger the fault somehow.
  • Something else regarding the environoment in your friends house (moisture, temperature eg.) that make it less stable somehow. Does the computer stay onto a solid surface so it can't be moved around?
Therefore - if nothing you do make the computer to show signs of malfunctioning, you probably have to do steps to test the above possibilities. Maybe your friend need to use the computer at your place, with all his equipment and habits - just to try to rule it out.
 
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Jun 6, 2020
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Probably not :p

If you cannot get that computer to fail in your place - there must be one or several of these factors:
  • Problem with voltage stability in your friends house.
  • Earth fault in your friends house.
  • Your friend use some external equipment (monitor, keyboard, mouse ?) that either are affected by earth fault or have a fault that make the computer crash? Maybe a very cheap (or for free, or found somewhere) usb thumbdrive.
  • Your friend have some habit, maybe have some software that trigger the fault somehow.
  • Something else regarding the environoment in your friends house (moisture, temperature eg.) that make it less stable somehow. Does the computer stay onto a solid surface so it can't be moved around?
Therefore - if nothing you do make the computer to show signs of malfunctioning, you probably have to do steps to test the above possibilities. Maybe your friend need to use the computer at your place, with all his equipment and habits - just to try to rule it out.
I've had the pc running for around 40 hours. Did stress tests, skype calls, played video... Tested all of his usb devices he had plugged in (printer, wifi dongle, webcam), filled all of the usb ports. No issues what so ever.

I did not test his monitor and speakers though. I'll plug in some speakers and mic of mine to test the onboard audio out at least.
I'll replug all of the hardware to make myself sure it's ok, reset the cmos, Set everything to default and probably give it back to him.

Last time I thought it was caused by the monitor. He tried different cables and then I gave him the one I have plugged in right now and he told me it did the same. But that could have been due to an xmp settings he had set. I did the testing and found out it's not exactly stable (one error in memtest), so he dissabled it. But that could've been the time he thought it did the same.

He's moving in some time so if there's something with his voltage at his house, it will be probably solved anyways.
I'll give it back to him, maybe with the monitor I have and we'll see...
 

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