Farewell, old friend

Need some computer help

Sunday, June 26, 2005 | 05:19 PM | by
THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP. I HAVEN'T IDENTIFIED THE PROBLEM YET, BUT I'M A LOT CLOSER. I'M DONE TROUBLESHOOTING FOR NOW, SO THERE IS NO NEED TO EMAIL ME WITH TECH SUPPORT. THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE.

I'm having a weird problem that I could use some help figuring out.

Here are the specs:

Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
AMD Athlon 64 3700+
2 GeForce 6800GT PCI-E connected via SLI Bridge
2GB Corsair XMS DDR400
200GB SATA HD
480W Thermaltake Power Supply

The case has 7 functioning fans and plenty of airflow, so I don't think anything is overheating. Video cards are operating at 64C with ambient temperature of 45C.

The system runs great, except when I go to run a game. When I fire up a game (World of Warcraft or Battlefield 2 for instance) the screen will go black and the system will hang up. Nothing I can do short of restarting will pull it out o the black screen.

Now, if I reinstall the display drivers, reboot, re-enable SLI (because installing drivers sets it to off by default) reboot again, *usually* the games will run just fine. That is, until I reboot again, after which I get the black screen again, and have to reinstall the drivers.

I've tried a few different nVidia drivers including the latest ones, and the ones that came with Battlefield 2. I haven't had any luck one way or another. Obviously I don't want to have to reinstall drivers every time I reboot my computer.

Also, the BIOS SLI setting is set to auto, which is the best way to have it, though I did try setting it to SLI with no improvement. I have rechecked everything and everything is installed correctly.

Any ideas?

Just to clarify

Sunday, June 26, 2005 | 05:42 PM | by
I don't think it's a hardware issue.

Once the games are running (after the driver install and reboot), I can run the games with no problem whatsoever, for as long as I want. I played Battlefield 2 for four hours last night.

The problem comes once I have to reboot the machine for one reason or another, so it has to be a software conflict somewhere.

Power supply

Sunday, June 26, 2005 | 06:18 PM | by
A lot of people think it's the power supply...

It could be possible. But then why would the system run perfectly some of the time, for as long as it's on, and then games stop working only after a reboot?

Clean start

Sunday, June 26, 2005 | 06:31 PM | by
Ok, I'm going to reinstall Windows. It's a brand new gaming rig, and only has two games on it, so formatting and reinstalling isn't that big a deal.

At least this way I can try to determine whether or not it's a conflict due to remnants of old drivers, or whatever.

We'll fine out.

Maybe it is the power supply...

Sunday, June 26, 2005 | 09:44 PM | by
Ok, totally clean install of Windows. Latest drivers, direct X and BIOS version. Installed Battlefield 2. It told me to reboot. Upon reboot tried to start the game. Black screen.

Reboot twice more, and 2 more black screens.

So I opened up the case, and moved some of the power cords around. There were two fans on the same line supplying the video cards, so I took those off and moved them to another line with some other fans.

Booted the computer up, started Battlefield and it ran fine.

So at this point I'm not too sure. Is it entirely random, and the time I fiddled with the power lines just HAPPENED to be the time it decided to work? Or are they related?

I'm sick of fiddling with it, so I'm going to play some games now, while it's running. I'll wait and see what it does the next time I reboot, and see if I can distinguish some sort of pattern.

Thank you for all of your help, everyone.