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  1. #1
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    Lose Video, Then Reboot

    Neighbor of a friend of mine had me look at her HP Media Center PC yesterday. It is randomly losing the video display, and then spontaneously rebooting. I brought the PC home and this morning started to look it over.

    Video card is a Radeon (PCI-e, I think). I removed it and reinstalled it, to make sure it was seated properly on the mobo. Before I hooked the PC up, I plugged the power cord in and observed the fans. Both the case fan and the CPU fan were running. The CPU fan is a honking big CoolerMaster. I did notice that the CoolerMaster spun up to a fairly high speed when power was turned on, then within a few seconds the speed dropped way down.

    Put the side back on the PC, connected the cables and powered it up. Now it will hardly run at all, sometimes giving the "no video signal" message while booting up and then rebooting itself. I can hear the CoolerMaster going through the speed up/slow down sequence frequently. Haven't been able to even get the PC into Safe Mode for any further troubleshooting.

    Any suggestions about what might be wrong? The PSU was replaced under warranty in May by the Geek Squad, who figured out after that the power switch was faulty (and replaced it too), so the original PSU was OK [img]/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Lose Video, Then Reboot

    John,
    How often does this happen?
    It does sound like a Video display card problem but to prove it may be a problem in itself.
    Try to disable the Radeon and let it go to the default VGA setting by rebooting and refusing to let Windows install new hardware after the boot.

    AS always, the best test is substitution. Replace the video card with any other one and checking results.
    BOB
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  3. #3
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    Re: Lose Video, Then Reboot

    >> How often does this happen? <<

    Yesterday the PC ran for almost an hour before it happened. Today it starts as early as the middle of the boot process.

    >> It does sound like a Video display card problem but to prove it may be a problem in itself. Try to disable the Radeon and let it go to the default VGA setting by rebooting and refusing to let Windows install new hardware after the boot. <<

    Unfortunately the PC has no "onboard" VGA port, so running VGA mode would still involve the Radeon.

    >> AS always, the best test is substitution. Replace the video card with any other one and checking results. <<

    I hate to buy another card just to do the testing, but I may have to.

  4. #4
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    Re: Lose Video, Then Reboot

    It sure sounds like a hardware problem, BUT it could be as simple as a corrupt video driver. Can you download and install an up-to-date driver and see what happens?
    John
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    Re: Lose Video, Then Reboot

    >> It sure sounds like a hardware problem, BUT it could be as simple as a corrupt video driver. Can you download and install an up-to-date driver and see what happens? <<

    I installed the Catalyst Control Center, which included the newest drivers, but because of the crashing, an error referencing CCC came up every time the PC rebooted just now. So I uninstalled all the ATI software and let the video card revert to XP's "original" Radeon driver for that card--and the PC still crashes. I'll hit the ATI site again and download JUST the driver package.

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    Re: Lose Video, Then Reboot

    >> Can you download and install an up-to-date driver and see what happens? <<

    PC kept crashing even after installing the latest ATI drivers, so I swapped in my own Nvidia GeForce 7300. PC crashed before I could even install the Nvidia drivers, so I guess the video card is NOT the problem. I don't have the equipment to test the PSU, so I'm going to suggest to the PC's owner that I take it to a shop that can test the PSU. If it passes, then I'd guess there is a mobo problem.

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    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Lose Video, Then Reboot

    Yes, probably a visit to a reapir shop is in order. Let us know what the diagnosis is.
    John
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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Lose Video, Then Reboot

    John,
    Just a quick thought.

    Did you UNinstall the Radeon card before shutting down to install the NVidia?
    BOB
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    Re: Lose Video, Then Reboot

    >> Did you UNinstall the Radeon card before shutting down to install the NVidia? <<

    Yep. Actually had to do two uninstalls, as there were separate entries in Device Manager for Primary and Secondary displays <grin>.

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    Re: Lose Video, Then Reboot

    >> Yes, probably a visit to a reapir shop is in order. Let us know what the diagnosis is. <<

    Finally decided to just try a new PSU, and have it around as a spare if the HP's turned out to be OK. Got a 380-watt Antec (the existing PSU was only 300-watt, which I thought was kinda small for a fancy Media Center PC). Installed it Monday morning, and the PC hasn't crashed since then! So it's headed home today.

  11. #11
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    Re: Lose Video, Then Reboot

    Great. Glad the problem has been solved and thanks for posting the solution. Good luck ! <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16>
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

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