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I'm stumped on this one. At semi-random intervals my video cuts out. The monitor flashes "no signal" then goes to sleep. This happens with both the video card and the on-board video. The computer is also locked up at these times, evidenced by the inability to toggle the numlock key or eject optical disc tray. The hard drive shows constant activity while this is happening. I have updated the bios, updated drivers (chipset, audio, video, lan) and pulled in every windows update. The issue happens semi-randomly. I say semi because certain things will drastically increase the odds of failure... connecting devices to front usb ports or getting online will almost guarantee failure within 5 minutes. However the failure can happen even if nothing is connected to the front usb nor is a browser open. Sometimes it will happen as soon as the user profile loads. The issue does not happen in safe mode. I've disabled every non-essential program and service in startup to no avail. The Event Viewer gives the following information: "The Computer Browser service depends on the Server service which failed to start because of the following error: The dependency service or group failed to start." Details tab reveals [ Name] Service Control Manager [ Guid] {555908D1-A6D7-4695-8E1E-26931D2012F4} [ EventSourceName] Service Control Manager EventID 7001 [ Qualifiers] 49152 Help please.

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  • Computers & ... Master
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Hardware problems that emulate software problems.

I just had this problem on a 5 year old Gateway 7200X.
Logic would have dictated to first replace the monitor cable, then graphics card.

Experience and information detailed replacing the Power Supply.

1) ALL the LED lights combined use less than 1 Watt of power.

2) EACH fan uses 2 to 3 Watts of power.

3) Peripheral devices vary, but 10 to 20 Watts each is the general norm.

4) A Processor can use 51 to 125 Watts. Depends on what Processor it is.
(Older processors such as a Pentium II, or III, or older AMD's use less)

Bad Power Supply.
Weak voltage power rail.

{ There are three main power rails.
1) The 3.3 Volt power rail
2) The 5 Volt power rail
3) The 12 Volt power rail}

The Power Supply's used in personal desktop computer's are SMPS.
Switched-Mode Power Supply.

There are Electrolytic Capacitors used.
Used in the Input Stage, and the Output Stage of an SMPS,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switched-mode_power_supply

Left-click on the photo to the upper right.
In this view of a typical SMPS, (Not all are built of the same design), B in the photo designates the Input Stage electrolytic capacitors.
E denotes the Output Stage electrolytic capacitors.

Typical construction of an Electrolytic Capacitor.
(On the motherboard, and in the power supply, they are Radial Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors)

Essentially there are three strips rolled together tightly, and inserted into an aluminum 'can'.
(Reference is to a Radial Aluminum electrolytic capacitor)

1) One strip is composed of metal, and is the Conducting strip.
(Positive connection)

2) One strip is also composed of metal, but has a Non-Conducting medium applied to it.
(Negative connection)

3) The last strip is usually composed of a paper-like substance, and is soaked with Electrolytic Paste.

The paper-like strip is laid in-between the two metal strips, and all three are rolled up tightly.

The top of the 'can' case has a vent.
A thin flat disk shaped, circular piece of metal.
The center of this disk has a design etched part way into it.
Generally an X or K.

The bottom of the 'can' case has a synthetic rubber plug. Disk shaped, and flat. It's the Bung.

There are two leads that come out through the Bung. One lead is Positive, and connects to the Conducting strip.
The other lead is Negative, and connects to the Negative strip.

When an Electrolytic Capacitor breaks down, the paste inside forms a gas.
Hydrogen Gas.

The gas creates pressure inside the case, and eventually compromises the seal at the bottom, (Bung), and the vent at the top.
(Breaks the X, or K etched shape open)

Electrolytic Paste is slowly pushed our.
(Oozes out)
So much paste loss, and the capacitor will operate in a weakened state.
Too much paste loss, and the capacitor fails.

A failing capacitor, (Or more than one), will cause a weak voltage power rail, but can cause the power to be intermittent.

Capacitor operates okay for a time period, then starts breaking down, and fails.
Too much of a load will cause the capacitor to break down also.

A failing capacitor can build it's charge back up. It's operating with a paste loss.
Eventually it will completely fail, and your computer won't boot at all.

Sorry for the long 'dissertation'.
Replace the Power Supply with a KNOWN to be good, and compatible one, for a test.

You may have access to one. Perhaps someone has upgraded to a better computer, and has the 'old' one around.
Maybe you can borrow the Power Supply for a test unit.

Posted on Oct 15, 2010

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Oct 15, 2010

    Edit:
    "Electrolytic Paste is slowly pushed our.",

    Should be, "Electrolytic Paste is slowly pushed OUT."

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  • Master
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The no signal message from the monitor means that it loses connection from the computer. Check your VGA cable if it is plugged in properly. You might want to unplug and replug it or twist some part of the cord as if you are trying to align a loose connection inside the wire.

Please let me know how this goes . Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Oct 15, 2010

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  • Master
  • 707 Answers

Try re-seating RAM modules

Posted on Oct 15, 2010

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