Black Screen crashing

  trasyd 18:17 PM 03 Dec 12

Hi All,

Now where do i start! SO basically i have a 4 year old Alienware that likes to black screen every so often, more than not i will get a single ear piercing beep or maybe i will get looping sound and the monitor will have a flashing power button.

I always have to do a hard reset after this and maybe 1 in 10 of these will give me a long beep followed by 3 short beeps which on the phonenix bios list says its a keyboard error?! (very confusing) then it wont boot at all and i have to hard reboot.

It mainly crashes while playing games(MechwarriorOnline) but sometimes i can be browsing the internet and it will just go black screen. Earlier i was running a mem test and it did it.

I ran the recommended CPU-Z and the GPU-Z monitors and kept them recording just as it crashed to which i have attached.

The biggest mystery i have come across, well 2 really is that in the bios my PSU is showing a steady 12.01v but i can clearly see in the CPUID screen shot i took it shows 9.200V.......any suggestions? could this be causing my PC to black screen? PLus i also heard that my Motherboard Nvidia 790i ultra, never liked Ram that was under 1.65V but in my bios my ram is running at 1.5v, once again could this cause issues?

I'm looking at upgrading my GPU to a 660GTX ti and maybe my power supply but that depends on what you all think is my issue here.

My PC spec is as follows

Alienware Area51

Intel Q9450 Nvidia 790i Ultra 4 meg DDR3 Nvidia 280GTX X-FI Fatal1ty sound card PSU 750watt (no idea what make as Alienware like to strip it all off!)

I hope i have included enough information for you guys and that you can help me with this annoying problem.

Thanks in advance!

  lotvic 18:54 PM 03 Dec 12

As a first step I would advise ensuring that all cables and connections are firmly in place, both inside tower, on and between motherboard and drives etc. and external to keyboard, monitor, mouse etc. Reseat everything including RAM and Cards.

By 'Black Screen' I presume you mean no display on monitor? as opposed to having a black screen with flashing cursor? I would have thought if the pc was crashing you would get a BSOD.

  trasyd 19:08 PM 03 Dec 12

Yeah no display on monitor, then I always have to hard reset, it only really happens while playing certain games but then it will crash a couple of times after if I am just surfing the net.

  lotvic 21:23 PM 03 Dec 12

Seems like a Graphics problem, have you checked that out?

  trasyd 21:29 PM 03 Dec 12

Yeah toyed with drivers etc, is the low voltage on my psu causing issues at all do you think?

  lotvic 21:52 PM 03 Dec 12

Sorry, I don't know. Never had occasion to sort power issues out. Unless I missed it in your post you haven't mentioned which Graphics card. (which I think is the problem as no display is getting to your monitor) maybe someone else will post with another idea.

  trasyd 21:19 PM 04 Dec 12

Yeah its an old Nvidia GTX280, think i may systematically rule components out....GPU first then see what happens!

  nickf 22:48 PM 04 Dec 12

1 long beep 3 short , can be either memory failing , or can also be graphics . Sounds like the PSU may be falling over too , as previous posters have said , I would check and reseat ALL connections and cards , even if you think they are ok ( been done like that on more than 1 occasion ! ) . Is PSU fan running ok ? may be getting hot and falling over .

  lotvic 00:50 AM 05 Dec 12

Don't know how I missed that in your first post 'Nvidia GTX280'.... Think that might be the problem, but first reseat it and everything else as things work loose with heat when pc on for a while and it might be slightly rising up and breaking contact.

  trasyd 08:04 AM 05 Dec 12

Just a small update, i ran 'Speedfan' and that put my PSU voltage at a more respectable 11.48V so bit more confusing as to where 'CPUID' got 9.2V?!

Regarding the 1 long 3 short beeps that i occasionally get i see on most Bios's that relates to Extended memory error but i have a phoenix bios and can't for the life of me find anything that relates to memory only a keyboard error?!

I'm looking at buying a new card in a couple of weeks EVGA 660 GTX ti, good or bad choice people?? so i can rule that out of the equation, then possibly get a new PSU.

Before i forget.....On my board it has a little clip that holds the graphics card in as im sure most boards do but that one has broken, the card is still well held in but now im having second thoughts!

Thanks for all the advice everyone, much appreciated!

  lotvic 15:40 PM 05 Dec 12

I don't know much anything about which Graphic Card is best/better so maybe someone else will post an opinion... Hope it all gets fixed.


This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Surface Pro 4 UK release date, price and specs: Thinner, lighter, faster with new Type Cover and Pen

1995-2015: How technology has changed the world in 20 years

Territory delivers realistic NASA screens for The Martian - as they will be in 20 years time

21 brilliant tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: The best new Mac features in OS X 10.11