New motherboard, power supply, heatsink, and fans... and still having computer issues

  1. I really do not want to be stuck on the phone with some tech guy in India for two hours again, so I wanted to ask some professionals.

    I have a Dell Inspiron 530, bought back in 2007 -

    Windows XP OS

    3G of DDR2 800mhz Ram (2 - 512Mb and 2 - 1GB)

    Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6550 (4M Cache, 2.33 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB

    500GB HD

    300 Watt Power Supply

    NVIDIA GeForce 8300 mGPU graphics card

    M-Audio Fast Track Pro external sound card

    This computer is my studio baby. I use it for all my computer graphics and 3D animation work, while my husband uses it for all his audio recording work. About 2 years ago, it did the whole turn itself off and on and off and on, etc. , so we had the motherboard and power supply replaced and it worked like new. Just last week, it happened again, same power off/on problem, so this time we had the motherboard, power supply, heat sink, and fans replaced. It worked fine for a few hours, and then suddenly shut itself off again. It hasn't done the whole turn itself back on and off thing multiple times yet, so I'm thinking this might be a new problem.

    Any suggestions? Thank you in advance for any help!
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    Is the version of Windows XP 64-bit by any chance? If so, that could explain the intermittent behavior...

    You might want to go with a 400w power supply from a trusted manufacturer
  3. CrazyAnimator

    CrazyAnimator TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm pretty sure it was the 64 bit. Would it say in the BIOS settings? If it's XP, how would I go about fixing it? Will I have to do a system repair with the OS disks, or wipe it and start all over? I have a lot of files saved on there that I absolutely cannot lose.

    And I'll definitely look into getting a better power supply. Thanks!
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    You can find the OS version under System Properties from Control Panel

    Unfortunately, 64-bit Windows XP is notoriously buggy and unstable; you should consider yourself lucky if you've been running it stable up until now. I don't know of any remedy for the instability but I know for a fact that when it comes to drivers, all bets are off with 64-bit XP. My suggestion is to move to 32-bit XP Professional or Home Edition--if you find the OS is indeed 64-bit. You can slave the hard drive you have (use it as a secondary HDD) to keep the file in tact if you want. You'll need to use another drive but at least your data will be safe. This is the quickest solution.
  5. CrazyAnimator

    CrazyAnimator TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was wrong! I have the 32 bit Home Edition. The problem hasn't happened again, so I think it was just a little hiccup after replacing all that hardware. :) Thanks again!
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    Maybe It's Having Hot Flashes.......

    Have you monitored the CPU temps while all this was going on??
  7. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    The NVIDIA GeForce 8300 mGPU, afaik, is a motherboard using AMD cpu's.

    Is that an NVIDIA GeForce 8400?
  8. CrazyAnimator

    CrazyAnimator TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How do I monitor the temps?

    And the 8300 is listed as my graphics card on my computer specs on Dell, there isn't anything else on there.
  9. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

  10. CrazyAnimator

    CrazyAnimator TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for that forum thread! I have the diagnostics disk, so I'll run it on the video card and see if it brings up any errors, then switch to the onboard. Do you think that would be covered under my warranty so I could get a replacement for it? I didn't realize that having the video card go bad could cause the computer to have power issues.
  11. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

  12. CrazyAnimator

    CrazyAnimator TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, I always try to plan ahead. That, and I was a broke college student, so I knew I wasn't going to be able to afford any major repairs, so I paid the extra for an extended warranty. It's good until next October.

    The 530s came with the ATI 2400 XT, because it was almost half the size as the regular 530 and most graphic cards wouldn't fit. But I have the regular 530, so I know that's not the problem.

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