PC all gone b0rked

in Techie Stuff
3 replies 560 views
Hi All,

Sorry in advance for long thread.

Bought a new monitor and keyboard etc so I could finally get my old PC set up in our new place at the weekend.

PC's about 5 years old:
Athlon XP 3200+; NF7-S v2.0; 1gb OCZ PC3200; 2x160gb Maxtor Diamondmax; XFX 6600GT 128MB

That's the basic spec (as written up a looong time ago :)) - it's had a couple of extra HDDs added to it, a TV card and a soundblaster card also...

Anyway, set it up at the weekend and it went fine. I was amazed at the speed of the thing (all the lappies I deal with these days are *so slow* by comparison), was happily clicking around.

My 360's going a little red-ringy at the mo, so I thought, to gimme a quick fix I'd play some counterstrike (cs:s) - took me about a day to get the game working, by the time I'd jumped through all the hoops Steam asked of me. So, finally, I got playing - and after about half hour playing, the computer rebooted and went straight back to bios.

Anyway, it degenerated as these things do - I thought it was the graphics card, as it started rebooting every time I tried to change the resolution in safe mode - I found the fan etc was loose on the card, so took that off, redid the thermal compound etc and reseated it. I've also found the fan on the northbridge is stiff and going nowhere and I've been unable to get that turning again. I've tried "last known configuration" and I've put the bios onto "failsafe mode" without luck. I've rebuilt the whole thing and am now running bare minimum, just mb, cpu, memory, booting hdd and gfx.

Right, so, the state of the thing now is that it will boot til the "do you want to run safemode" bit, then it just freezes, whatever option I chose.

So, two questions:

1) Does anyone have any other suggestions I might try to get this thing kicked back to life?

2) Failing that, I may take the chance to upgrade the PC, but the spec I need really needn't be any more advanced than what I had - I will literally be using it for word processing, browsing, videos and games up til the CS:S era, I don't have any interest in playing modern games and I need the budget to be as small as possible. I'm a bit out of the loop these days, though, so am a little lost as to what all the numbers mean on the modern gear, so would appreciate any input :)

My case is solid, it's a nice customised chieftech one, so that can stay - and I have a very respectable PSU, so that would be OK. Guess I'd be looking for MB/CPU/Mem/GFX/HDD, something like that.

I got an email through from ebuyer today pointing me at this:
Seems like very good value, but one of the reviews says it's strictly not for gaming - is that modern gaming, or will it even struggle with counterstrike?

Also, do "retail boxed" cpus still come with the HSF included?

Many thanks in advance for your help - sorry again it's so long!


  • edited 30 June 2009 at 10:48PM
    FreeganFreegan Forumite
    45 Posts
    edited 30 June 2009 at 10:48PM
    Have you checked the SMART parameters on your HDD or run a disk check as sometimes an old failing drive can cause this sort of problem?

    Another cause could be faulty memory so set the BIOS to check every bit if it allows. If it passes don't forget to change it back as it does add significantly to the bootup time.

    You haven't overclocked it have you?
  • tomfuntomfun Forumite
    683 Posts
    If not the graphics card,the next thing i would do is change your memory and see if you still get the problem, a bit of trail and error until you find the problem.
  • IdiophreakIdiophreak Forumite
    12K Posts
    thanks for the replies, guys.

    the memory only works one way round (ie chip 1 in socket a, chip 2 in socket b), so I'm not sure all's well there. The failsafe mode in the bios goes through each bit and that seems to be working fine.

    The disk check ran through ok, but took about 2 seconds, so I'm a little sceptical about that.

    The machine's not overclocked, no, I decided against that :)

    Thanks again for your help!
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