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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.

After Windows has booted and my desktop loads, my screen starts flashing every few seconds and if I click the mouse a few times I will hear a beep and then the whole system will just freeze.

If I press the restart button on the front of the computer, windows loads fine and the system works perfectly. I can then restart the computer using the normal method (using windows rather than the physical button at the front) as many times as I want and the problem wont happen again.

The problem only happens when I turn on the computer from cold.

If I turn on from cold, then press the restart button when I see the first boot text, then windows will boot fine and everything is ok. This is an adequate workaround (when I remember to do it) but I'd like to get this problem sorted if I can.

One thing I've noticed is that when I turn on from cold, the windows logo will appear with the green bar thing and when that disappears, the moniter goes a coupla shades of black like normal but the mouse curser will take an unusually long time (maybe 10 seconds) to appear. When I boot with the restart button method the curser only take a few seconds to appear.

I tried disabling all startup processes and that helped because I could actually get to my desktop, but as soon as I start using any application....the same problem arises.

I am beyond my own abilities to help myself so I humbly turn this issue over to this excellent forum and give many thanks in advance to anyone who responds as this is my work/business computer and I really want it running properly.

Cheers.

SPECS:

Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600
Motherboard: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. Model EP35-DS3R
One Physical Processor / 4 Cores / 4 Logical Processors / 64 bits
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8400 @ 2.66GHz, GenuineIntel
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT
Hard Disk: (1X500GB Western Digital SATA, 3 Partitions)
Disk C: 27 GB Available, 39 GB Total
Disk D: 52 GB Available, 97 GB Total
Disk E: 126 GB Available, 329 GB Total
Physical Memory: 3583 MB Total, 2709 MB Free
Memory Load: 24%, Virtual Memory: 5463 MB Total, 4652 MB Free
 

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What you need to do is boot to Safe Mode and when the desktop has finished loading you then SHUT DOWN (not restart) for a minute or so.

Now power on and allow to boot to desktop without interference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What you need to do is boot to Safe Mode and when the desktop has finished loading you then SHUT DOWN (not restart) for a minute or so.

Now power on and allow to boot to desktop without interference.
Hi friend. I followed your instructions.

1. Turned on from cold and booted in safe mode
2. Shut down and left it for 2 minutes.
3. Turned on from cold and let it boot normally
4. It crashed.
5. I hard reset, it booted up fine....and I wrote you this message.

Weirdest thing. My computer only works when I reset.

Thanks so much for your time Jupiter, any other ideas?

Is there any way to see what were the last software I installed? I think I installed a few recently just before this problem appeared and I'd like to wipe them and see if that helps but cant remember what they were.

Cheers.
 

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Go back to Safe Mode then Control Panel and uninstall whatever you feel is the problem but only uninstall those games or programs that you recently installed. In Safe Mode, the video output reverts to a VGA Safe Mode so there is not much video memory, about 64mb (not sure) so don't go playing any games while you are in Safe Mode.

Actually, it might not be any recent install but more likely that you are using a high tech GPU and motherboard (better with Vista or Windows 7) with XP.

It could be a PSU problem. What is your wattage on the PSU?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Go back to Safe Mode then Control Panel and uninstall whatever you feel is the problem but only uninstall those games or programs that you recently installed. In Safe Mode, the video output reverts to a VGA Safe Mode so there is not much video memory, about 64mb (not sure) so don't go playing any games while you are in Safe Mode.

Actually, it might not be any recent install but more likely that you are using a high tech GPU and motherboard (better with Vista or Windows 7) with XP.

It could be a PSU problem. What is your wattage on the PSU?
I already uninstalled a coupla programmes while I was waiting. Not is safe mode though, does that matter?

It was a game, Kingdoms of Amalur....and an image mounting programme called alcohol 120%. :whistling::angel:. Thats the only 2 I installed that I can def. remember and the problem started right after that.

Anyways....the problem persists.

Remind me again how to procure the wattage on the PSU my friend?

EDIT: I opened the casing and looked on the side of the PSU. It says...

AC Input - 115/230V ~ 10/6A 60/50Hz

Do you need the DC output? Cuz that looks a bit more complicated.
 

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There should be a big label about 4 inches wide and 3 inches long and has information about the voltages and amp. There is a serial or model number that can give the wattage if the avtual wattage is not shown. The label might be on the otherside of the case. There might be a window in the base plate to allow you to remove the other side of the case but some "other" sides are not removable. You might have to unscrew the PSU from its mounting then you just swivel it around to see the label.

If possible, take a snapshot and post the pic or give as many details as possible.
 

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It was a game, Kingdoms of Amalur....and an image mounting programme called alcohol 120%. :whistling::angel:. Thats the only 2 I installed that I can def. remember and the problem started right after that.
Did you install Alcohol 120% to mount a downloaded ISO copy of Kingdoms Of Amalur?

If you're running any pirate software or downloads from non-legit sites, run some virus scans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
it's a number, followed by the word Watts. as in 230 watts
Ok, on the label is a table. The last row on the table says:

Max Power 165W 360W 6W 12.5W



EDIT: I'm clean of viruses.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that when I start up there are some red and amber lights on my motherboard that all light up and then they go away once it starts booting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
360 watts is not enough power to run an nVidia 9800 GT GPU. You need at least 550 Watts and a name brand PSU.
Hi spunk....

So do you think that after about 4 years of running a graphics card with a PSU that isn't adequate to run it, the actual card itself has started to malfunction?

Getting a new PSU you think might solve the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
PSU may fail at any time. Is this the only game or program that is suffering?
I dont have any games or programmes suffering my friend.

....as long as I hard reset my computer after I turn it on everything runs smooth as butter.

Its only when I turn on from cold and leave it, windows crashes as soon as I try and do anything.

Confuzzled. :confused:

Thanks for your time spunk. Is there any tests I can do to check if my PSU is providing enough power?
 

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It does sound like the GPU has frazzled. Sometimes you can get away with a lower wattage if you are only using simple programs like Microsoft Office, listenig to music or just simple internet but once you start playing games or use extensive programs, you will find the GPU will eventually fry itself, or even the CPu or ram or motherboard.

I got a Dell PC (DM-061) that only had a 305 watt PSU and though it worked fine for just simple stuff, once I started to do something intensive, the Cd burner wouldn't burn CD's, and I couldn't connect external hdd. I fitted it with a 550 watt PSU and it works much better.

I only got Vista 32 bit on it with a GT 8600 graphics card (512mb), 2 gb ram, 160gb hdd. I just use it for easy gaming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Is there any way of testing the GPU or the PSU to see if they are fried?

I've been playing games on this rig since the day I had it built and its been fine for 4-5 years. And its still fine as long as I reset the computer. Games run smooth. I dont understand why theres a problem only from a full start up from cold? Something involved in the cold boot is causing windows to crash that isn't present in a reset boot. What could it be?

I was having a google around and noticed some people with similar problems who ended up having mbr viruses. I used the tool they said cured it but it didnt find anything.

I may try a reinstall of windows before I start thinking about buying new hardware but it would be great to fix this problem without doing that.

Thanks for helping. Any ideas?
 

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Remove the Video card and use onboard video out instead and see if the problem persists.

When a PC boots it uses all the psu power available (total output) for a few seconds while initiating boot up, it could be the PSU is no longer providing the higher power output and the reset is just using standard power.

Is the boot up slow or quite fast like how long does it take to boot up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Boot up takes about 1.5 mins.

Just as fast as it ever was I think.

Can I just unplug or disable the video card or do I actually have to physically remove it?

After I remove/unplug it, will the PC switch to the onboard video out automatically or do I need to do something?

Thanks Jupiter.
 
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