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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I use a Dell Dimension 4700. A few weeks ago it began crashing. Slowly becoming less responsive, and over the course of 5 minutes would completely crash and the tower of the computer would give a long continuous beep, indicating it was no longer functioning in the slightest. I'd have to hard boot.

A few days and a dozen crashes and hard boots later, my computer screen just started going black and the computer stopped working upon reaching the user login screen (or when it should have brought up the login screen, rather). I was still able to at least start it up in safe mode, but my computer would still crash within 30 minutes.

I tried removing my video card and had no change.

Suspecting some sort of memory hardware problem, I tried removing one of my 512 MB ram sticks, and was able to start the computer normally again. It did, however, still crash after an hour or two. I switched out the ram sticks and got the same result. When both RAM sticks were inserted the computer again died at login.

Strangely enough, I was able to get my machine to start normally (not in safe mode) when I used the system restore option (restoring it to just a few weeks ago) while in safe mode and rebooted the computer. Upon starting up I would get a message (AFTER logging in) informing me that no changes could be made. Of course, the fact that my computer had not crashed long enough to display this message meant something happened to make it not crash. This worked 3 or 4 times, the computer would still crash, and now I again have no way of getting the computer to start out of safe mode.

The problem has worsened. Even running in safe mode, my computer crashes within 10 minutes of starting up now.

If I had to guess I'd say it's an overheating problem, but I really don't know. What solutions/diagnosis could I do if it is heating? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Hi,

When your system crashes, is there a blue screen imminently before it does? If the computer fails to boot when both RAM are installed it could be bad memory - the best way to test this is install a single module and run Memtest86 on each stick for a few hours, tell us if you find any errors on the stick.

If the above doesn't bring you to any conclusion, then there's a very high chance that your system is overheating or your PSU is not outputting the correct voltage. Download Speedfan and make a note of the temperature every minute or two, then post the information here.

Regards,
Nick.
 

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Remove the side and CLEAN. Check your temps in the Bios.
Run Memtest86. Run Malwarebytes.
Very possible the PSU is failing. Dell uses good qualty PSU's rated for the hardware included in the original build. Adding hardware can put a strain on the stock PSU.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi,

When your system crashes, is there a blue screen imminently before it does? If the computer fails to boot when both RAM are installed it could be bad memory - the best way to test this is install a single module and run Memtest86 on each stick for a few hours, tell us if you find any errors on the stick.

If the above doesn't bring you to any conclusion, then there's a very high chance that your system is overheating or your PSU is not outputting the correct voltage. Download Speedfan and make a note of the temperature every minute or two, then post the information here.

Regards,
Nick.
When the computer crashes, it does not bring up any blue screen. Various parts of the computer progressively less responsive, which sometimes culminates in even the mouse cursor freezing up, at which point the computer makes a long continuous beep until I shut the computer off (unless there is a BIOS beep code for a 30+ second beep).

I downloaded and ran Memtest86 on both ram sticks and discovered no errors.

I installed Speedfan this afternoon but it won't run on my computer (after starting the program it immediately says "This program has encountered an error, must close" and gives the Send Error Report option).

This is all in safe mode. Is there another program like speedfan that hopefully won't rub my computer the wrong way? Or a readily available way to get SpeedFan working?

I actually had this typed up earlier this afternoon but... my computer crashed before I could post it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update: I got SpeedFan working. Computer crashed before I could even figure out how to check the voltage, with a temperature of 34 degrees Celsius. I can only assume this means my computer is not overheating.

Is it possible it's still memory even though Memtest86 found no problems?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Have you been able to find out the voltages or temperatures?
The last computer crash occurred while the computer was at a very low temp (34 degrees C). I ran memtest86 again on the individual RAM sticks for a few hours, which is the only way I can get my computer to stay on without crashing for that long, and when i finally started windows it was hovering at about 55 degrees (this is just after running memtest86).

Regardless, temperature doesn't seem to be the problem as it crashed long before it even had time to get warm.

SpeedFan can't seem to find any voltage information on my computer. It also only has a single temperature reading on that machine, whereas the older computer (1.5 ghz Emachine) I'm using now has 5 temperature readings and voltage information. Could this be a problem with SpeedFan, or do Dells just not have as many(or any) sensors for the program to access?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I can't actually see the side of the power supply with the label on it, as it is blocked by the heat sink on the CPU. I'll have to remove the CPU to get a look at the PSU (the PSU can't be removed with the CPU/heat sink in the way either).

Also, when the computer crashes, all of the Diagnostic lights are green. I did have one crash today where the screen just went entirely black, it gave a beep code i did not catch, and the diagnostic lights indicated a memory failure (orange/orange/green/green). This was the first and last time the computer has crashed that way.

When the computer crashes in the way described in the first post the diagnostic lights are all green.

I have also cleaned the case several times. If there is any dust left I declare it to be a superior evolution of dust that is immune to the effects of compressed air and vacuum hoses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was finally able to get a look at my PSU's label. To be honest I'm not sure what the relevant info is, so I'm just gonna post everything on it.

Model: NPS-305BB C
Input: 100-120V ~ / 9.0A, 50-60Hz
200-240V ~ / 4.5A,
Output +5v === / 22.0A, -12V === / 0.5A,
305W MAX. +12VA === / 18.0A, +3.3V === / 17.0A,
+12VB === / 18.0A, +5VSB === / 2.0A,
MAX COMBINED POWER ON +5V AND +3.3V OUTPUT IS 150 W. MAX COMBINED OUTPUT CURRENT ON +12VA & 12VB OUTPUTS IS 22A.

DATE CODE: 0444

Sorry if it's way too much of the wrong info, but I have no idea what I should be looking for, so I tried to represent the label as accurately as possible. I also omitted some bits in Chinese, as it was made in China.
Also, heating is not off the table as I just realized the only heat sensor i was getting from my computer was the for the Hard Drive, which seems to be functioning fine. If any other part of the computer is overheating, as of right now I don't know how to find that out. Although I'm going to need to buy some thermal compound to replace my heat sink, as I needed to remove it to even be able to see the power supply.
 
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