I have been having an issue with the rig I built back in June. Occasionally, usually when I first boot in the morning, nothing happens when I press the power button. I have found that cycling the power strip and power supply, disconnecting and reconnecting the cord, or slapping the side of the case fixes the problem. I have also had some rare instances where the computer unexpectedly shuts down, as if it were unplugged. Since this is a relatively new rig, most of the parts (with the exception of the motherboard, which I purchased as an open-box item) are still under warranty. I just need to know what component might be at fault—I suspect the power supply or the motherboard.
Read the Doctor's answer for Scott after the jump.
Even though I have absolutely no interest in computer games, I study Maximum PC for the best information on the best computer components. However, I have not been able to identify graphics cards that are best for graphics-editing applications such as Photoshop. The outstanding gaming graphics cards seem to consume too much power and too many dollars without much benefit for non-gaming applications. Can you recommend a good GPU for non-gaming graphics work?
Read the Doctor's recommendation for Wayne after the jump.
I recently had a number of issues with my PC. It seemed that my keyboard was sluggish, if not unresponsive. I also experienced some unusually slow hard drive response times now and then, and there have been times when my computer wouldn’t even boot (the BIOS doesn’t even recognize that my RAID 0 stripe is set up when I reboot). However, if I shut down the PC for a few minutes and then reboot, everything works fine.
I decided to give the insides a thorough dusting, and I discovered there was quite a large dust bunny lodged in my south-bridge chip fan, most likely preventing it from spinning. Since I’ve removed that dust bunny, I haven’t noticed any of the previously described issues with my computer. Could my problems really have been caused by the south-bridge fan not spinning? Could an overheated south-bridge chip cause issues like that, and eventually cripple a computer? I want to believe the answer is yes, but am I getting my hopes up? The system is an EVGA 680i LT board with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM, and 64-bit Windows 7.
Read the Doctor's answer for McKenna after the jump.
I built a computer a month ago that’s running Windows XP on a 2.6GHz Pentium 4 CPU. For some reason the computer thinks it is 1.3GHz. I’ve tried to change it in the BIOS but it will only let me overclock it to 1.54GHz.
Read the Doctor's advice for Daichi after the jump.
After reading the Ultimate Malware Removal Guide, I have a question: Do you recommend using SuperAntiSpyware, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, and an antivirus program like Norton Internet Security, or is Microsoft Security Essentials a good enough antivirus/spyware/malware solution on its own?
Read the Doctor's answer for David after the jump.
I have Windows Vista on my desktop computer and I’m stuck on what to do about backing up my more than 500GB of videos and music. I’ve read that external is the way to go, but I’m a little iffy because of expense and the fact that the backup drive can crash. DVDs are not a bad idea, but it takes forever to back up that much data. I use these files every day and want easy access to them. The most reliable method, plus easiest to access, would be an online site, but that costs a lot of money. Please help me make a decision so I can install Windows 7 worry-free.
Read the Doctor's recommendation for Tony after the jump.
I followed Maximum PC’s “Clean Start” article (February 2009) and used Acronis True Image to set up a weekly full disk image. My XP Pro system is installed on C:, which is a 1.5 TB hard drive. I have another 1.5TB hard drive of the exact same make and model, to which I write the weekly image. I have 120GB of free space on the C: drive, but the backup drive is already full!
The destination drive contains no files except the image; is it possible for an exact image of a C: drive to be bigger than the original (by more than 10 percent)? Yes, I selected “incremental” as backup method.
One evening my house’s master breaker box was shut off while my computer was still on. I went into the BIOS and ensured that all my settings were set as before, but since then, every time I start up my computer cold it starts to spool up, then stops for about two seconds, and then boots. If I restart after my machine has been running for a while, it boots with no delay. I went into the BIOS to see if there was any problem in the APM settings, but I still got delays during cold boots. My last resort would be to cut the power again. Except for the annoying delay, it runs rock-solid in every game I throw at it—from Crysis to Modern Warfare 2. Hope you can puzzle out what caused it and the fix.
My motherboard will not read dual-channel memory. It’s a Biostar TForce 4; the CPU is an AMD 64 X2 dual-core at 3.2GHz with 4GB of DDR/400 RAM. On boot it only reads single-channel RAM. Is my motherboard going bad?
Read the Doctor's answer for Richard after the jump.