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Another one of my friends called to come an look to see what was wrong with his computer. It is a home built computer built in July of 07.

Here is the problem. I went and checked it out and this is what happened. I turned it on and just played around for a while and it worked fine. It ran smoothly, had good speed and looked just fine. I started doing some more things and opened up a couple browsers. I then went and turned on media player when the browsers were on and started listening to music. The screen got a little fuzzy and all the words and pictures etc went multi colored and the machine froze. The one thing I noticed though was that the speakers had some tat tat tat tat sounds continuously coming out of the speakers. I forced shut down and and restarted and tried the same things to have the same result. I know it is not media player that caused this to happen because media player was not opened when it happened to him. He just had several tabs and apps open at the time.

Video card going bad? PSU? CPU? Memory?

These are the components of the machine.
Ultra Black Case w/450 Antec Smartpower power supply


NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

2 - Seagate Barracuda ES ST3320620NS 320GB
7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ Windsor 2.4GHz
Socket AM2 Processor Model ADA4600CUBOX

Rosewill RCR-FD200 All-in-one USB 2.0 Black
3.5" Card Reader with 1.44MB Floppy Drive

Logitech 967692-0403 Beige & Black USB + PS/2 RF
Wireless Ergonomics Desktop Comfort Laser Mouse Included

LITE-ON Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model SHD-16S1S-05

Sony NEC Optiarc 18X DVD±R DVD Burner with
12X DVD-RAM Write Black SATA Model AD-7170S-0B

DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400

XFX GeForce 8500 GT 256MB PCI Express Video Card w/DVI
It is raid 1 and one of the hdd went down a couple of months ago that I replaced for him.

My first thought while reading through was PSU. Would be worth checking it over for stability with a multimeter!

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Well, here is what has been happening also. For the last couple of times I was working on it if I would shut it down it would not power back up. When I hit the power button it would do a quick surge and then shut back down again. I would have to shut off the psu, hit the power button, turn the psu back on and it would start up.

PSU is worth checking out!

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Tried memtest for 24 hours and no errors. Put in a new psu and still the same problem. What next?

Next, check all the capacitators on the motherboard. If any are domed up or leaking then they will need to be replaced!

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No bad capacitors that I could see. After talking to someone I removed the video card from the 16x1 video slot and placed it in the other 16x2 video slot. I worked the machine to death and nothing happens now. It seems to work fine but what am I losing with this? Why would this work and not the other slot? It may go bad after they start really using it but at this time it seems to work.

In thoery, using the other slot should work fine. Thing is, it must mean that there is something wrong with the first slot!

If the problem in the first place was the gfx-card getting too hot, switching the slot might have provided better air-flow around the card.

You can try to download GPU-Z and see what kind of temperature the graphics card is working at, while under heavy load.

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There was actually a better air flow where it originally was. The issue was not being too hot.