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BFG Tech GeForce 7950 GTOC - PC Shutting Off - Temperature Problem?

Discussion in 'Nvidia' started by Damaeus, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    I think BFG is out of business.

    I bought a 7900GT made by them, and the thing was, it appeared for
    sale well after production had stopped. So I knew at the time, that
    BFG would be going out of business (because, they were selling
    their warranty replacement cards). I don't know how much support
    from them you'll get now. Some companies leave a warranty handling
    section in operation, for a few years. I don't know what BFG
    offers right now.

    If your motherboard had built-in video, you could try pulling the
    video card, and just use the motherboard graphics for some testing.

    One tool I have here, is a clamp-on DC ammeter. I can use that
    to monitor current flow on any power supply rails. If something
    was overloading, that's how I would detect it. That meter is
    better than my other multimeter, because you don't cut any wires
    to make a current measurement. The jaws of the meter just clamp
    around a wire, to measure current flow. (The meter uses a Hall probe,
    and is actually detecting the magnetic field around the wire, and that
    is how it knows the current.)

    This is my ammeter (only mine is older and all-gray in color).
    I can measure heavy currents with this safely. For example, when
    I wanted to know how much current the starter motor in my car
    draws, this meter could tell me. It measured a peak current
    of 150 amps from the battery. The starter needed to be replaced.
    It's also useful for the main power cable on the motherboard,
    and checking 3.3V, 5V, and 12V amps.


    Maybe there is some means, where a video driver can ask to have
    a computer shut down. It's just I've never heard of it. There have
    been enough burned up video cards, if there was such a protection,
    it isn't working very well :)

    Paul, Nov 14, 2012
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  2. Damaeus

    Buffalo Guest

    Things you may want to try.
    Try jiggling your monitor connector at the PC.
    Try tapping your PC OR shaking it some while it is running.
    Try disconnecting your UPS
    Try , with the power off, disconnecting and reconnecting all your connectors
    inside yoru PC (perhaps you will notice some heat damage, arcing, corrosion,
    Remove and reseat all your cards and memory
    Try to flex your MB while it is running (do it safely and mildly) to see if
    it may have a possible broken trace that intermiittently works.
    Check for bulging and/or leaking capacitors.
    Try a different monitor
    Try a different keyboard ???
    Try uninstalling your vid card drivers and remove all traces of the old one
    before installing the new ones after a reboot
    Try a different vid card.
    Try a different PSU.
    Clean install of your OS. That would invole some time.
    Have a beer, or two or threee or !!!
    Buffalo, Nov 14, 2012
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  3. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    Just a quick note.

    I found another mechanism to shut off a computer.


    In that example, Speedfan, if given an opportunity to
    scan the SMBUS, can shut off the computer. So something
    on that particular motherboard design, is "exposed", and
    visiting all the addresses on the bus (a bus scan),
    triggers something it shouldn't.

    Paul, Nov 14, 2012
  4. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    Yes, I'm reading that thread. That is all getting a bit too complicated
    for me. I can build computers easily with parts that work, but when it
    gets to something like this, I start shopping for new parts...assuming I
    have the money.

    By the way, I tried running in 1024 x 768 mode since that's what the 15"
    LCD was running. I had another shut-down about three or four seconds
    after I went full-screen in Farmville 2 about ten minutes ago.

    If I was going to have a problem like this, I would rather have seen it
    manifest with the old monitor first. Having problems in this order just
    messes with my sense of cause and effect.

    I'm to the point now where I'd just rather spend my time trying to make
    enough money to simply buy a new graphics card and see if that does the
    trick. I already know something has been messed up with the graphics
    since I built this thing, so before I start poking around inside with
    various tools, pressing on this, jiggling that, measuring this, and taking
    a chance of scratching a board, I might just avoid the programs that are
    giving me problems until I get some new hardware.

    I might reconnect the 15" LCD if I can tolerate it. Even when running
    this big monitor at 1024 x 768, it was agonizing. Everything was huge,
    overlapping windows, scrolling left and right and up and down just to see
    all of some web pages. It's just so annoying. lol

    Damaeus, Nov 14, 2012
  5. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    There is one other point I forgot to include in all these messages: when I
    was using the 15" LCD, it only had a VGA cable so I had to use a DVI-VGA
    adapter. This new monitor has DVI natively so I don't need that adapter.
    Maybe the DVI has more demands for the video card than it has ever
    experienced before. So the new monitor exposes flaws that were not
    exposed using a VGA adapter.

    Damaeus, Nov 14, 2012
  6. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    In Damaeus
    Well, the power-down problem has gotten worse so I reconnected the 15"
    LCD. First it started doing it under conditions it hadn't at first. It
    shut down twice playing Total Domination, and that is only a pseudo 3-D
    game with very little animation. Then I rebooted and the PC powered off
    before it was even finished booting yet.

    This is the first time I've had the 15" LCD reconnected, so now I guess
    we'll find out for sure. I'm about to try all the games that were causing
    a shut-down before.

    I'll post again later, assuming it doesn't shut down permanently.

    Damaeus, Nov 14, 2012
  7. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    Even if there was a problem with Safety Ground connection on the AC
    side of your wiring, I don't think these symptoms would result. The
    shell of the monitor cable has a ground connection, so the monitor and
    computer will operate at a common ground potential.

    It could be that the motherboard has a weak PS_ON# signal, making
    a poor logic 0. (This is something you check with a multimeter.
    0.4V to 0.8V or so would be a reasonable logic signal, in the
    active state. It should float up to close to 5.0V when the
    computer is soft-off.)

    The critical detail, is the correlation of events. If it *only*
    shuts down during 3D games, then PS_ON# would not care whether
    you were gaming or not. Games don't draw on +5VSB. So there is
    nothing there to de-stabilize the system. The video card power
    drain goes up. The CPU power drain goes up. But I don't know
    of any other mechanism (barring that SMBUS scan type of fault),
    that can shut down the computer. I can't see the video driver
    doing it.

    If we were debugging in the lab, we'd start at PS_ON# and
    work backwards. A schematic is generally recommended,
    as the logic tree has more than a few terms in it (SB and
    SuperI/O signals). I've debugged electronics without
    a schematic, but it isn't that much fun.

    Paul, Nov 14, 2012
  8. Damaeus

    Buffalo Guest

    If you have another PSU, switch it out.
    Buffalo, Nov 14, 2012
  9. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    I don't have enough money to have multiple computer parts lying around. I
    do have OLD parts, like a couple of old motherboards. I only have one
    power supply and I bought it new back in July 2012.

    PSU: Thermaltake SP-850AH3CCB 850w

    I got a Thermaltake because I sort of thought it was a good brand.

    Damaeus, Nov 15, 2012
  10. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    Well, it WAS only shutting down in 3D games, but now it's shutting down in
    a game that shouldn't be 3D. I mean, there's very little animation that
    goes on, you can't spin the view to see it from different angles, when you
    scroll around the game, there is no depth interpretation to make closer
    objects move around more quickly than distant objects, etc.... It's like
    scrolling around an old SimCity game.

    Also, with the 27" LCD, I had a power-off event happen while the system
    was booting up, just a few seconds after the desktop appeared.

    So I reconnected the 15" LCD and had another power-off event after
    Farmville 2 launched in a background tab in Chrome, so it wasn't even
    full-screen when it happened. I'm pretty confident now in saying it's not
    the monitor causing the problem, but in a horrible timing of events,
    something went kapooey in the computer just a couple of days after hooking
    up the new monitor.
    Yes, that gets too complicated for me. I'd have to learn as I go and I
    wouldn't want to do that unless I'm horribly desperate. This is the time
    when I usually start shopping for computer parts, but I am invariably
    broke. I've got a couple of things I could sell on eBay, like one very
    rare comic book -- and the creator of it has died since I bought it. I
    can't remember what I paid for it, myself... it was somewhere between $65
    and $145. And I've got one of only 1,000 copies of another book that I
    paid $150 or so for. The two together might cover a motherboard. lol

    At this point, I fear I'd probably lose power right when I'm about to list
    them for sale.

    Damaeus, Nov 15, 2012
  11. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    Oh, I'm not sure if having a desktop background image up and running
    stresses anything more than having no background at all, so set the
    background to plain black, just to see. It probably won't make any
    difference, but maybe it does.

    Chkdsk found a couple of entries in a couple of files, so it deleted those
    entries. Those were the only two errors it found after all these

    Damaeus, Nov 15, 2012
  12. There should be a sticker on the side, that indicates the
    maximum amperage on each rail. What does it show for the +12 V Rail?

    I had a problem described in

    Turned out, when the video card drew too much from the +12V rail, the
    system would spontaneously shutdown.

    Easiest way to test, is to remove everything you can, that draws from
    the +12V rail. Dvd, extra hard drives, any usb devices, etc., and see
    if the system is stable with less draw.

    Another way to test would be to add more usb devices, and confirm that it
    won't even boot with more usb devices connected.

    If this is the problem, it doesn't mean any of the parts are bad, just that
    they are not suitable for the current configuration. Either the power supply
    would have to be replaced with one that has a high enough rating on the +12V
    rail, or the video card replaced with one that draws less power, or just keep
    unneeded usb devices, etc., disconnected.

    In the case I ran into, replacing the ps with one rated for 52 amps on the
    +12V rail fixed the problem.

    Regards, Dave Hodgins
    David W. Hodgins, Nov 15, 2012
  13. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    Quite a few companies, use OEM supplies. For example, your Thermaltake
    power supply was probably actually made by ChannelWell (CWT).
    If someday you're inside the PSU, with the cover off,
    you may see transformers with CWT printed on them.

    Several retail companies, might be using the same core
    design as your supply. But when ChannelWell assembles them,
    they can use a different parts list, depending on the
    retailer's preference. That would affect the contract
    price, but also perhaps, the "tier" the product
    is marketed into. There can even be performance
    differences (ones people with oscilloscopes check for),
    even though the basic PCB for the power supply design is
    the same. Like two identical base designs, one having
    more output ripple at high load, than the other.

    The only thing you have to watch for on ChannelWell, is
    leaking caps. The two dead Antec supplies I have here,
    were made by ChannelWell, and that's what killed them.
    Antec has some of their supplies, made by Delta now.

    It's one reason to read reviews if you can find them,
    find out who makes the supply, whether all caps
    are good. There are a couple sites that consider
    technical issues, while a lot of the smaller
    sites just admire "the color of the paint used"
    on the outside of the PSU. Web sites with a proper
    Chroma tester, are less common.


    There are various ways to do that. Buy a Chroma is one.
    Buy a cheaper brand, a more portable tester, made by
    some other company. Or in some cases, web sites build their
    own test equipment. At least one or two sites, they actually
    do rather nice designs. Whereas in other cases, they do
    designs like I might do them in my basement (like this) :)
    It all depends on what your budget is.


    Paul, Nov 15, 2012
  14. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    I wonder if an old CMOS battery that won't hold a charge for more than
    three minutes could cause it to shut down. I wouldn't think so. The
    battery has been dead for a long time. I've had to reset the date and
    time and other BIOS settings after a power failure for probably two years.
    It's only been powering off for about a week and a half now.

    Damaeus, Nov 15, 2012
  15. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    That, in my view, is an unacceptable business practice. If a company
    designs a power supply to be build with specific parts for the reasons of
    reliability, some company that builds it should not just change that parts
    list just because some retailer has a preference. They probably just
    prefer lower-cost parts so they can make more money. That just makes me
    want to puke. I actually bought this one at BestBuy, and I have to admit,
    because it was $20 cheaper there than it was at the local computer store.
    I figured they were the same power supply inside and out.

    If I was a millionaire, I don't suppose I would really care. I'd just
    keep buying parts until the problem is fixed. I know nobody here can do
    anything about my poverty, but I can't help expressing the frustration. I
    simply can't afford to run around and buy a bunch of testing equipment,
    new parts, etc... until I just happen to run across what finally fixes the
    problem. And while I do have an old video card, it's an AGP card and this
    motherboard does not have an AGP slot.
    And I would have considered Antec a good power supply.

    My last power supply actually had red and blue LEDs inside behind the fan
    and it worked fine until July 2012 when I replaced it with what I thought
    would be an even better brand. I don't even remember the brand of my old
    power supply, but it was 500 or 550 watts and was red color with what
    looked like one of those anodized finishes on it.

    I don't like this feeling that I could just be sitting here typing a
    message like this and suddenly it can all be lost when the power shuts
    If I had $100,000 to spare, I'd buy a Chroma, even if I only got to use it
    once every five years.
    I have 11 cents. If anybody asks me what I want for Christmas this year
    (and I hate Christmas since I can't afford to get anybody anything, but I
    usually end up receiving a few things) I'll definitely be saying I need a
    means to buy computer parts.

    It may be impossible to help me since I don't have the most basic thing
    needed to fix a computer: money.

    But remember! Studies show that having more money won't make you any
    happier. Such bullshit. :(

    Damaeus, Nov 15, 2012
  16. Damaeus

    Buffalo Guest

    Go into your PC and disconnect and reconnect all your electrical connectors
    and also remove and reinsert all your cards. It is possible that one of the
    connectors is burnt, faulty or making a poor connection. Perhaps even one of
    your add on cards (vid, sound, etc) is not making good contact. This doesn't
    even cost 11c, unless you damage something.
    In Device Manager, are there any apparent problems marded by a yellow
    exclamation symbol? On the back of the power supply, check that the switch
    is all the way over to the proper voltage spot , perhaps even move it back
    an forth a couple of times (power off of course) to make sure it is in the
    proper spot.
    May be a total waste of time, but it doesn't take long.
    Buffalo, Nov 15, 2012
  17. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    I think I might have just found the problem. I didn't even notice these
    fans before, but there are two fans there and one of them is out. If this
    is overheating, perhaps that's what's shutting the computer down. Here's
    an image of it. I'm not sure what the chip under that heatsink does, but
    the size of it indicates that it's important to keep it cool.


    I think in a little bit, until I can get a new fan, I'm going to see if I
    can switch those fans around so the working one is on the bottom. Then
    I'll take the bad one out and see if I can find a replacement. So far,
    this is the least expensive move to make. And I don't even know when this
    fan died. It might have died a long time ago. I'm going to get two fans
    and just replace them both.

    Damaeus, Nov 15, 2012
  18. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    In Damaeus
    Woops, I mean it might have just died recently. Even though I built this
    thing, I don't remember seeing it there before, but maybe I'm kind of

    Damaeus, Nov 15, 2012
  19. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    In Damaeus
    I'm not fully sure I can even replace those. The fans are part of the
    motherboard, mounted by Abit. I see a screw holding the fan on, but the
    second screw would be impossible to get to without removing that heatsink,
    and I'm not even sure it can be removed.

    Here's another image from the web. The two fans are pictured on the
    bottom left corner of the motherboard, and you can see the location of the
    heatsink over the Fatal1ty chip:


    The two fans are mounted on the motherboard from the factory and I see
    what looks like a spring-loaded gizmo in each corner of the heatsink. I'd
    have to remove that to get to the fans, and I'd probably have to take the
    whole motherboard out of the computer to have enough room to get in
    there...and I'd probably have to take the heatsink off the CPU, too.

    Now I like building computers...when they work the first time I put them
    together, and so far, all of them have. But I don't like poking around
    inside unless absolutely necessary because I don't have the money to
    replace anything if I mess it up.

    But at least I'll get the chance to do a deep cleaning on the innards.

    What do you think? Am I on the right track? lol

    Damaeus, Nov 15, 2012
  20. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    I probably haven't done a very good job of explaining it.

    The parts list for each power supply is consistent, and would stay
    the same for the term of the contract.

    It's the contract manufacturing step though, which tends to hide the
    true source of what you're buying. If ThermalTake hired two contractors,
    it might mean one of the products is higher quality than the other.
    And then, for the customer, it's up to them to figure out which product
    line is the "winner". (And you no longer think in terms of
    "ThermalTake quality", because it depends on which contract manufacturer
    made a particular product line.)

    If I was to shop for Antec now, I'd pick the Delta manufactured
    supply, rather than the ChannelWell one. (The Delta has a D in
    the part number.)

    There are companies that make their own supplies, and to some
    extent, the faults seen, are common across a number of models.
    With Fortron, it might be that the cables are too short for
    your build. With Seasonic, they initially had problems with
    slightly weak low voltage rails (like only being able to
    draw half the rated 3.3V power). AFAIK that's been fixed. Not
    only does Seasonic make their own supplies, they also contract
    manufacture them.

    PCPowerAndCooling also buys contract manufactured power supplies.
    But they seemed to provide more input into the design process,
    such that what they sold, wasn't compromised by who was
    sourcing it. Since PCPower was bought out, they're not really
    the same company any more, but some of the staff probably
    stayed with the new owners.

    Paul, Nov 15, 2012
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