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Old 09-23-2013, 02:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Need help with a PC problem

I've been trying to resolve this myself but I'm not all that tech savvy and some stuff is confusing me. Any help is appreciated.

Recently(last couple weeks or so) I've been having some weird symptoms effecting my PC. It started with audio problems mainly when using Youtube but I also noticed it on Team Fortress 2(but didn't notice it with any other games). The audio screws up seemingly randomly, I can't figure out a pattern or cause. It's hard to describe but it's almost as if something is running in the background to lag it out. For example I'll be watching a video and I'll start to hear some kind of static sound and the words will be like "aaaa(static)nndd heeeeee(static) saaaaaaaiidd toooooo thhhhhhe maaaaa(static)aan ruuunnning thhheeeee staaaaand" and the video lags along with it. Sometimes closing the browser(FF but seems to happen with IE too) will fix it but sometimes I have to restart my PC to get normal sound.
Even more recently I've had a problem where the mouse pointer acts laggy and jumps around the screen when I try to move it. This is usually accompanied by the audio problem but I'm not 100% that it always happens with it. If I don't restart the PC it will Blue Screen. So far that's only happened 4-5 times and it seems to be totally random.

Some quick info-

  • The problem seems to be getting worse/more frequent.
  • I don't know how to trigger this or if there's a pattern to it.
  • I have no idea what caused this, virus/malware scans are clean.
  • I tried restoring it to a couple weeks ago(4-5 critical updates) and it still happens.
  • I did a disk check on the C drive and it showed nothing wrong.
  • I downloaded a temperature program(Speedfan) to check if something is getting too hot and it shows most results at 40-50C except the GPU seems to stay around 50-60C with a little fire symbol implying it's hot, I assume.
  • Also when the issue happens and I try to run the temp check the program stops responding and has to be forced closed.
  • When I check the "action center" it shows these recent errors as video problems but it doesn't give me much info beyond that.
I'm guessing that maybe a fan isn't working right or died but the fact that I can play Minecraft or Civ5 for hours and have no crashes makes me doubt that. I was also thinking one of the RAM sticks might be bad. I know about pulling them one by one and testing to see if things work but since I can't trigger the blue screen it's gonna be really time consuming and annoying. I read that I can download PassMark MemTest86 - Memory Diagnostic Tool to test it without removing anything but it requires downloading an "image" onto a bootable CD and I don't understand what that really means. Someone please explain that in simple terms and I'll try it.


This is a Dell desktop running Windows 7. If you want me to post more info just let me know.

Last edited by Dudebro; 09-25-2013 at 06:24 PM..
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

Do you use speakers? Maybe they are broken. Perhaps trying a new speaker system for your computer? Umm, someone like Kong would be more helpful, especially if its internal stuff.

That or you computer is possessed by demons.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

Could be the sound card crapping out too.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

I thought about the sound card but the mouse pointer thing makes me think it's something else.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

So from what i read this doesn't happen on everything? Only on youtube and team fortress?

It sounds like it could be video card or possibly motherboard. But really it could be anything.

I would try disabling your audio card and using headphones. See if that causes any issues. If you have onboard video and a video card disable one and then disable the other if the problem persists.

Fans shouldn't affect audio/video unless some off shoot chance the pins are touching something else metallic and causing interference.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

I don't know what causes it but yeah it seems to only be effecting light stuff like youtube. TF2 had the audio problem so I just logged out to be safe. It also happened to an app my wife has from her work. It's basically just a portal to log in and access her account, I think.

How would I disable the sound card?

I'm not sure how to see if I have an onboard card.

I was thinking the card could be over heating because of a bad fan.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

Let me begin by saying:

IF you decide to go in there yourself remember - MAKE CERTAIN TO REMAIN GROUNDED ON THE EXPOSED, UNPAINTED METAL OF THE COMPUTER CABINET ITSELF any time you go inside your comp; even a tiny spark from your skin you cannot feel or see can be deadly to electronic components!!

Blue screen in my experience could mean a lot of different things:

It could be just a 'Windows' problem.

If there is too much dust built up around/ in the heat sink under the fan which is mounted directly on top of your C.P.U. it may be causing overheating {which in turn could cause things like you describe} and will need to be cleaned.
The tough part is getting past the fan blades to the heat sink itself; canned pressurized air is the preferred method {no touching required} but I took the tube from a ball point pen, taped it to the hose of a vacuum, and got it that way.
This will, of course, cause your vacuum motor to run 'hard' since this method does not allow enough airflow through the vacuum hose to cool the vacuum itself = so watch it and don't run the vacuum for long at a time if you do it this way.

It could be your power supply is nearly kaput and output voltages are beginning to fluctuate.

It could be virus/ malware - but here's the thing = anti virus/ malware programs can only detect KNOWN viruses and malware, that is, ones which have been reported ; no anti - virus/ malware in the world can provide protection against something new and as - yet unreported !

But already I'm jumping to conclusions.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

The only odd thing is it doesn't do it always. Only on certain programs.

If you have a Windows OS. You can either type (if on vista or higher) device manager in the start menu search or click start menu and right click my computer ---> manage. Under display adapters is where you need to look. Doube click, go to drivers tab and disable. If you don't have a physical card then ignore this.

Another thing you can look at is if you're on xp go to volume control and mute all external hardware like cd and mic.

When the noise happens, if you don't move the mouse at all, does the noise still happen or after a short period does it stop?

You could look in the case and make sure no wires are near the video card/audio card or by fans or anything that could cause interference. You're going to get interference with audio in most cases. I use a nice headphone setup and if i move a cell phone or other conducive objects near my audio cable i will get humming in my headphones. Hard drives will cause this hum too and fans. Before i swithched to ssd i would get a lot of humming in my phones. Now its very rare.

One last thing, this isn't an HP or Compaq, is it?

Last edited by TodayIsForgotten; 09-24-2013 at 10:34 AM..
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

@JG- I know about the grounding thing, I just don't touch anything unless I absolutely have to. I use canned air for dusting.

I'm worried it could be the power supply too since it's so random, not sure if that even makes sense though.


@TodayIsForgotten(mind if I call you TIF?)- Sorry I forgot basic info like OS and version, I'll add them to the first post at the bottom so it's all in one place.

I'll try disabling the sound but would that cause game/program/mouse pointer lag?

I have a separate graphics card. I remembered because I had to send it in for a new one under warranty a while back. I suppose that means I should have an onboard one as well?

When the noise happens usually I'm not even touching the mouse at all. I'll turn on a video and after a few seconds it starts to happen. Btw static might not be the right word for the sound. It's kinda like a robot voice in a cheesy movie. It's very ugly sounding.

It's a Dell(yea I know lolDell) running Windows 7. If you, or anyone, needs more info about it just ask.

Btw the temperature program shows the GPU getting up to 70C at times, that can't be good. It also says there's no GPU fan, not sure if that's normal or a clear sign of what's wrong.

Last edited by Dudebro; 09-25-2013 at 06:23 PM..
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudebro View Post
@JG- I know about the grounding thing, I just don't touch anything unless I absolutely have to. I use canned air for dusting.

I'm worried it could be the power supply too since it's so random, not sure if that even makes sense though.


@TodayIsForgotten(mind if I call you TIF?)- Sorry I forgot basic info like OS and version, I'll add them to the first post at the bottom so it's all in one place.

I'll try disabling the sound but would that cause game/program/mouse pointer lag?

I have a separate graphics card. I remembered because I had to send it in for a new one under warranty a while back. I suppose that means I should have an onboard one as well?

When the noise happens usually I'm not even touching the mouse at all. I'll turn on a video and after a few seconds it starts to happen. Btw static might not be the right word for the sound. It's kinda like a robot voice in a cheesy movie. It's very ugly sounding.

It's a Dell(yea I know lolDell) running Windows 7. If you, or anyone, needs more info about it just ask.

Btw the temperature program shows the GPU getting up to 70C at times, that can't be good. It also says there's no GPU fan, not sure if that's normal or a clear sign of what's wrong.
The GPU may not have a fan, just a heat sink. Not all video cards have attached fans you'd have to look at it to know for sure.

You likely have an onboard video card. Easiest way to tell is look at the back for another place to connect your monitor thats not the graphics card. If you bought your computer in a store it's very likely you have an onboard video card.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

I have a ATI Radeon 5670 and without taking it out to check google seems to say it has a fan. The problem is I never checked the temps before this so I dunno if what I'm seeing is higher than normal. Also I read online that 50-70ish is a normal range anyways. That's nice to know but now it makes me doubt it's a problem.

I definitely have a separate graphics card, I had to send it in to be swapped when it went bad.

Does anyone know of a simple way to check if your power supply is working right?
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudebro View Post

@TodayIsForgotten(mind if I call you TIF?)- Sorry I forgot basic info like OS and version, I'll add them to the first post at the bottom so it's all in one place.

I'll try disabling the sound but would that cause game/program/mouse pointer lag?

I have a separate graphics card. I remembered because I had to send it in for a new one under warranty a while back. I suppose that means I should have an onboard one as well?

When the noise happens usually I'm not even touching the mouse at all. I'll turn on a video and after a few seconds it starts to happen. Btw static might not be the right word for the sound. It's kinda like a robot voice in a cheesy movie. It's very ugly sounding.

It's a Dell(yea I know lolDell) running Windows 7. If you, or anyone, needs more info about it just ask.

Btw the temperature program shows the GPU getting up to 70C at times, that can't be good. It also says there's no GPU fan, not sure if that's normal or a clear sign of what's wrong.
TIF is fine. Whatever you want to call me works well, also.

Ok. No need to disable sound. Plug headphones into your computer and see if those same issues happen that you described.

Disabling sound wouldn't cause any lag or anything like that.
If you look in the system tray (where clock is) there should be a speaker icon.

If you right click on the speaker icon and choose playback devices. Make sure that the correct device is being played. Usually it would be speakers. You can also check properties on said speakers and mess around with the levels and so forth to see if something is ticked that could be causing some "robotic" overtones.

In the start menu, type device manager in the text field. Look under adapters and make sure that your ATI card is enabled. If it isn't double click on it, enable and disable onboard video.

Dell is ok. Is your gpu running at 70 idle? or under load? If it's hitting 70 under load that is ok. You should see 50s or less at idle. You can start to worry if the temps are hitting 90s and up.

Also when the noise starts to happen does at any point the video get choppy and then go back to fluid or kinda sorta both?
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

Do you have a warranty?

Check if it is hardware or software.

Boot to safe mode - Reboot and repeatedly press F8 while computer is starting.
Select Safe Mode with Networking.
Try to duplicate your problem.
If you can not duplicate your problem then it is software. Reinstall Windows.

If you do duplicate your problem then go here and follow instructions to make a linux bootable usb stick. http://www.linuxliveusb.com/
Boot from usb into linux.
Try to duplicate the problem.
If you can not duplicate your problem then it is software. Reinstall Windows.

If you do duplicate problem in linux then it is hardware.
Replace hardware. Might be as easy as disabling your sound card and getting a $5 usb sound card. Might be as bad as getting a whole new computer.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

Ok so I thought I fixed this problem but apparently it's back. I'm willing to try the stuff Kong suggested in the post right above this one but it's so random I don't know how to. I infrequently get very random blue screens and there seems to be no pattern. The majority of the time it happens not long after I start up my PC. It gets to the desktop and everything seems to load fine and then it just crashes without me doing anything. Once in a blue moon it crashes during a game but it's so infrequently it doesn't seem to be related to the game running. I'm also getting sound issues rarely when I play games that make my PC run harder. It sounds like the whole PC is lagging and making the sound play in slow mo.

So any ideas on how to stress test my PC in safe mode besides just repeatedly rebooting it?

I heard some PCs can reinstall windows without an installation CD, how would I check for that? I don't know what happened to my installation disc but it might be buried somewhere.

I think all my problems are caused by my graphics card. I checked and it seems like my warranty ran out and it's a weak card anyways so I'm thinking of buying a new one. Can you guys give me suggestions on a decent card that will last a while and doesn't cost that much?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

you might wanna also check out if youre motherboard has any bad capacitors, theres one i bought that worked but would crash, turns out it had like 4 bad capacitors (it will look like an over frozen soda can) but for video cards you get what you pay for, whats your budget?
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

How about cheaper cards that aren't junk? My budget can be semi flexible depending on what I need to buy.
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

Blue screen crash reader. It will tell you the stop code of your blue screen. Googling the stop code will tell you the cause of the problem.
Blue screen of death (STOP error) information in dump files.

Do ^^^^ that first.

Press the Windows Key + R to open a run prompt. Type msconfig. That let's you start in safe mode but that is only going to give you any info if you can reliably duplicate the problem.

Windows 8 can reinstall itself. If you have older OS then some hardware manufactures have reinsalls on the drive. OS, Make and Model of your computer?
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

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How about cheaper cards that aren't junk? My budget can be semi flexible depending on what I need to buy.
Is this an xps? They are known to have these issues. Does this happen when only listening to audio?

I don't know what the equivalent is to ATI but look into used 9800 gtx. Not much more than 20-40 bucks.
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

The last 8 or so BSOD are listed as 0x00000124
Quote:
STOP Error 0x00000124: WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR

STOP error 0x124 means that a fatal hardware error has occurred. uses the error data that is provided by the Windows Hardware Error Architecture (WHEA). STOP code 0x00000124 may also display "WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR" on the same STOP message.
Unfortunately that seems to be a difficult one to pin down and solve. I guess I'll need to check if anything isn't seated right? I am very wary of doing this. I've been told I'm ok if I keep on hand on the PC case to ground it, is that right? I tried to remove hardware in the past and it seemed pretty snug, what's the best way to remove it without snapping it in half or breaking off the connector?

Windows 7 pro, Dell, Studio XPS 9100. Need other info?



@TIF- XPS as in the model of my PC? My sound issue happens randomly when playing a game or watching something on youtube. It has preceded a BSOD or two but I'm not sure if it's a signal that it's gonna happen everytime because I close down whatever I'm doing when I notice it(sometimes I don't have sound on though so who knows).
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

I got this recently, GT 640 as an emergency replacement for my old broken one. It says discontinued but it is still regularly stocked at Best Buy, on sale for 80$.

I have a 375W power supply which is really low (the card recommends 350W) but it works fine, stays quiet.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:26 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

Heard the AMD Radeon R9 259X2 is amazing.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:47 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

I forgot to mention what happened this morning. I went to the Dell support site to check my warranty and I noticed they can check if my drivers are up to date and look for other issues. When I did the driver thing it said it needed to update, fine, but when it got right near the end it gave me a blue screen. When I booted back up the graphics card wasn't working at all and I wasn't sure how to fix that, if at all possible, so I did a system restore to a couple a days ago. So that means I don't have the info on the most recent BSOD, or if I do that program Kong linked doesn't see it.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:36 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

0x00000124
Means
bad hardware
bad drivers
or bad cooling.

I assume you have never overclocked your system right? If you did then undo it.

Laptop or desktop?
Clean the fans and any dust.
If laptop prop something under it so it has room to breath.

Try this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqKwuM_7Ix4


Stress test the hardware one at a time to find which piece is the problem. These will take a long time so do when you wont need your computer for a while.

RAM
open run prompt and enter MDSCHED to test the ram or use MemTest86 - Offical Site of the x86 Memory Testing Tool

HD
Find the cmd shortcut in start menu or search for it, or look in C:\Windows\System32 then right click it and select "run as administrator". then type "CHKDSK /R"

CPU
run this Free Software: Prime95 download - PrimeNet


If you find no problems try upgrading the drivers again. If you still can't run the automated Dell service try doing one driver at a time.

If still having problems reinstall windows.

If still having problems replace random hardware one at a time from Dell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudebro View Post
I've been told I'm ok if I keep on hand on the PC case to ground it, is that right?
Just touch a piece of grounded metal before hand to discharge any static electricity and don't run around in wool socks.

Quote:
I tried to remove hardware in the past and it seemed pretty snug, what's the best way to remove it without snapping it in half or breaking off the connector?
Make sure there are no snaps that need to be disconnected then just pull. Should be a bit snug.

Last edited by Kong; 08-01-2014 at 12:38 PM..
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudebro View Post
I've been trying to resolve this myself but I'm not all that tech savvy and some stuff is confusing me. Any help is appreciated.

Recently(last couple weeks or so) I've been having some weird symptoms effecting my PC. It started with audio problems mainly when using Youtube but I also noticed it on Team Fortress 2(but didn't notice it with any other games). The audio screws up seemingly randomly, I can't figure out a pattern or cause. It's hard to describe but it's almost as if something is running in the background to lag it out. For example I'll be watching a video and I'll start to hear some kind of static sound and the words will be like "aaaa(static)nndd heeeeee(static) saaaaaaaiidd toooooo thhhhhhe maaaaa(static)aan ruuunnning thhheeeee staaaaand" and the video lags along with it. Sometimes closing the browser(FF but seems to happen with IE too) will fix it but sometimes I have to restart my PC to get normal sound.
Even more recently I've had a problem where the mouse pointer acts laggy and jumps around the screen when I try to move it. This is usually accompanied by the audio problem but I'm not 100% that it always happens with it. If I don't restart the PC it will Blue Screen. So far that's only happened 4-5 times and it seems to be totally random.

Some quick info-

  • The problem seems to be getting worse/more frequent.
  • I don't know how to trigger this or if there's a pattern to it.
  • I have no idea what caused this, virus/malware scans are clean.
  • I tried restoring it to a couple weeks ago(4-5 critical updates) and it still happens.
  • I did a disk check on the C drive and it showed nothing wrong.
  • I downloaded a temperature program(Speedfan) to check if something is getting too hot and it shows most results at 40-50C except the GPU seems to stay around 50-60C with a little fire symbol implying it's hot, I assume.
  • Also when the issue happens and I try to run the temp check the program stops responding and has to be forced closed.
  • When I check the "action center" it shows these recent errors as video problems but it doesn't give me much info beyond that.
I'm guessing that maybe a fan isn't working right or died but the fact that I can play Minecraft or Civ5 for hours and have no crashes makes me doubt that. I was also thinking one of the RAM sticks might be bad. I know about pulling them one by one and testing to see if things work but since I can't trigger the blue screen it's gonna be really time consuming and annoying. I read that I can download PassMark MemTest86 - Memory Diagnostic Tool to test it without removing anything but it requires downloading an "image" onto a bootable CD and I don't understand what that really means. Someone please explain that in simple terms and I'll try it.


This is a Dell desktop running Windows 7. If you want me to post more info just let me know.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:33 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Need help with a PC problem

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LMAO...Im in love with that Gif..hahahaha
are you talking about his signature?
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