Not Sure If Your System Problem Is Caused by Faulty Hardware? Please Read This First.

Article Number: GPU 605

​​​​This article provides the basic debug and troubleshooting steps to help identify and resolve the causes to common system problems.

Table of Contents

Introduction

When a system begins to exhibit problems with startup, instability, overheating, and/or noise the first assumption is that a hardware component has become faulty and should be replaced.  However, there are different causes to these issues which are not related to faulty hardware.  Therefore, replacing the hardware component will not resolve the issue but add unnecessary costs and time to resolving the issue.

Below are quick and effective debugging and troubleshooting steps that may help identify and resolve the cause to common system problems.  The steps are provided in a logical order and each step should be performed and tested before moving onto the next steps.

Computer Startup Issues

Computer powers on but displays nothing

Symptom: The power LED on the computer case is lit, the fans and hard drive are working but nothing comes up on the display.

This issue is typically the result of a monitor problem, improperly configured BIOS, failed system memory, motherboard, processor, graphics card and/or power supply.  To isolate the problem follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure the monitor is working. Remove the video adapter cable from graphics card and then power on the monitor. If there is no on screen display (OSD) image on the screen, it is likely that the monitor is the root cause to the problem. Please check the monitor user guide or contact the manufacturer if you need help with troubleshooting the monitor.

  2. If the system beeps during the boot up process.  Make a note of the beep code sequence and check the beep code definition in the motherboard manual to determine the cause.

  3. If you had made changes in the BIOS to overclock the system, restore the BIOS settings back to default. This can usually be done by shorting jumpers on the motherboard. Please check the motherboard manual or contact motherboard manufacturer if you need assistance resetting the BIOS.

  4. Make sure the power connections from the power supply unit (PSU) to the CPU and graphics card (if required) are firmly connected. If you need help locating the power connections please refer to the motherboard and graphics card user guide or contact the manufacturer for assistance.

  5. Ensure the system memory (RAM) sticks are properly installed. Try reseating the memory module(s) or use a different DIMM slot.

  6. Be sure the graphics card is properly installed and securely seated. Try reseating the graphics card or move it to a different graphics slot (if available).

  7. Inspect and reseat all data/power cables, and expansion card to ensure secure connection between these peripherals and the motherboard.

  8. Test the power supply unit and swap it with a known good unit, if possible. The power supply is the root cause of many startup problems and has good chance to be the cause of your problems during POST.

  9. If the steps above don't resolve the problem, try swapping the suspected faulty component with a known good part or contact the system builder for support. If an AMD product is determined to be faulty, you may be eligible for warranty service.

 

Computer halts or continuously reboot during POST

Symptom: The computer powers on and halts or restarts continuously without loading the operating system.

Note: Click here to learn more about POST

This issue is typically caused by an improperly configured BIOS, failed system memory, motherboard, processor, graphics card and/or power supply.

If the computer was working just prior to any changes were made, please undo the changes.  This includes:

  1. Resetting the BIOS back to default. For more information about BIOS, please click here.
  2. Remove the hardware that was just installed

If this is a new build please make sure the CPU, memory, and graphics card is compatible with your motherboard.

If steps 1 and 2 doesn't help to resolve the problem, proceed to step 3:

  1. Start computer with only the essential hardware to isolate the cause, this includes:

              1. Processor
              2. Memory
              3. Motherboard
              4. Graphics card (If there is no integrated graphics with the processor or motherboard)
              5. Hard drive
              6. Keyboard and mouse​​
  2. Be sure the graphics card is properly installed and securely seated. Try reseating the graphics card or move it to a different graphics slot (if available).

  3. Test the power supply unit and swap it with a known good unit, if possible. The power supply is the root cause of many startup problems and has good chance to be the cause of your problems during POST.

  1. If the steps above don't resolve the problem, try swapping the suspected faulty component with a known good part or contact the system builder for support. If an AMD product is determined to be faulty, you may be eligible for warranty service.

 

Operating system starts to load but halts or reboot

Symptom: The computer halts while loading the operating system or restarts continuously without fully loading the operating system.

This symptom is usually the result of a corrupted operating system, driver conflict, improperly configured BIOS, virus, failed system memory, motherboard, processor, graphics card and/or power supply.

If the computer was working just prior to any changes were made, please undo the changes.  This includes:

  1. Resetting the BIOS back to default. For more information about BIOS, please click here.
  2. Remove the hardware that was just installed
  3. Startup the operating system with last known good configuration (not available for Microsoft® Windows 8):

                                                               i.    Windows XP

                                                             ii.     Windows Vista/7

a.    ​Use System Restore to undo recent changes to the operating system:

                                                            iii.     Windows XP

                                                           iv.      Windows Vista/7

                                                             v.     Windows 8

  1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Roll back the driver that you just updated to previous version if previous steps don't work or not available:

                                                               i.    Windows XP

                                                              ii.    Windows Vista/7/8

​​​​​
  1. Make sure there is sufficient free space on the primary partition. Microsoft recommends at least 100MB free space to be maintained.

  2. Scan your computer for virus and remove any that is found.

  3. Verify the power supply is working. Click here for a video on how to troubleshooting a power supply.

  4. Try to repair Windows if the computer continuously return to Advanced Boot Options or prompt system file is missing or corrupt. For details, please refer to the links below:

              1. Windows XP
              2. Windows Vista
              3. Windows 7
              4. Windows 8
  5. Inspect and reseat all data/power cables, and expansion card to ensure secure connection between these peripherals and the motherboard.

  6. Test the system memory and hard drive. Replace the part that failed the test.

  7. If the steps above don't resolve the problem, try swapping the suspected faulty component with a known good part or contact the system builder for support. If an AMD product is determined to be faulty, you may be eligible for warranty service.

Note: If you are using an operating system other than Windows, you are recommended to contact the operating system vendor or seek solutions from the operating system support forums.​

System Stability Issues​​

System Crash

Symptom: The operating system generates blue screens or error message randomly after running for a period of time.

This issue is generally caused by a corrupted operating system, driver conflict, improperly configured BIOS, virus, failed system memory, motherboard, processor, graphics card, power supply, and overheating.

If the computer was working just prior to any changes were made, please undo the changes.  This includes:

  1. Resetting the BIOS back to default. For more information about BIOS, please click here.
  2. Remove the hardware that was just installed
  3. Startup the operating system with last known good configuration (Not available for Microsoft® Windows 8):

                                                               i.      Windows XP

                                                             ii.       Windows Vista/7

a.    Use System Restore to undo recent changes to the operating system:

                                                            iii.      Windows XP

                                                           iv.       Windows Vista/7

                                                             v.      Windows 8

    1. Roll back the driver that you just updated to a previous version if the previous steps don't work or not available:

                                                               i.     Windows XP

                                                              ii.     Windows Vista/7/8​​

  1. Make sure there is sufficient free space on the primary partition. Microsoft recommends at least 100MB free space to be maintained.

  2. Scan your computer for virus and remove any that is found.

  3. Verify if the power supply is working. Click here for a video on how to troubleshooting a power supply.

  4. Inspect and reseat all data/power cables, and expansion card to ensure secure connection between these peripherals and the motherboard.

  5. Test the system memory and hard drive. Replace the part that failed the test.

  6. Make sure the processor and the graphics card(s) don't have overheating issues. If overheating detected, please refer to the Overheating Issue section. 

  7. If the steps above don't resolve the problem, try swapping the suspected faulty component with a known good part or contact the system builder for support. If an AMD product is determined to be faulty, you may be eligible for warranty service.

Note: If you are using an operating system other than Windows, you are recommended to contact the operating system vendor or seek solutions from the operating system support forums.

Display Corruption

Symptom: The rendered image on the display is corrupted.

If you are experiencing display corruption issue, please watch the following videos for troubleshooting steps:

Automatic Power Off/Reset

Symptom: System automatically shut down or restarts after running for a period of time.

This issue is generally caused by a corrupted operating system, driver conflict, improperly BIOS, virus, failed system memory, motherboard, processor, graphics card, power supply, and overheating.

If the computer was working just prior to any changes were made, please undo the changes.  This includes:

  1. Resetting the BIOS back to default. For more information about BIOS, please click here.
  2. Remove the hardware that was just installed
  3. Startup the operating system with last known good configuration (Not available for Windows 8):

                                                               i.     Windows XP

                                                             ii.      Windows Vista/7

a.    Use System Restore to undo recent changes to the operating system:

                                                            iii.      Windows XP

                                                           iv.       Windows Vista/7

                                                             v.      Windows 8

    1. Roll back the driver that you just updated to a previous version if the previous steps don't work or not available:

                                                               i.     Windows XP

                                                              ii.     ​​​Windows Vista/7/8


  1. Make sure there is sufficient free space on the primary partition. Microsoft recommends at least 100MB free space to be maintained.

  2. Scan your computer for virus and remove any that is found.

  3. Verify if the power supply is working. Click here for a video on how to troubleshooting a power supply.

  4. Inspect and reseat all data/power cables, and expansion card to ensure secure connection between these peripherals and the motherboard.

  5. Test the system memory and hard drive. Replace the part that failed the test.

  6. Make sure the processor and the graphics card(s) don't have overheating issues. If overheating detected, please refer to the Overheating Issue section. 

  7. If the steps above don't resolve the problem, try swapping the suspected faulty component with a known good part or contact the system builder for support. If an AMD product is determined to be faulty, you may be eligible for warranty service.

Note: If you are using an operating system other than Windows, you are recommended to contact the operating system vendor or seek solutions from the operating system support forums.

 

Overheating Issue

Symptom: System shut down or restarts randomly after running for a period of time. High CPU/GPU temperature is detected either in BIOS or monitoring software.

Thermal issue caused by overclocking and poor air circulation inside the case.  The power management setting in BIOS would be the first thing to check.

  1. Restore the BIOS back to default settings, if you have it configured to overclock the CPU. For more information about BIOS, please click here.

  2. Restore the graphics card back to default setting, if you have it configured for overclocking.

  3. Make sure the motherboard is compatible with the processor and using the latest BIOS version.

  4. Make sure "Cool N Quiet" is enabled in BIOS. For information of BIOS set up, check the motherboard manual or contact the motherboard manufacture. 

  5. Clean the dusts inside and around the case especially the dusts on the heat sink and fans.

  6. Maintain a good air flow inside the case. Adding an extra case fan and see if it can further reduce the temperature.

  7. If the steps above don't resolve the problem, try swapping the suspected faulty component with a known good part or contact the system builder for support. If an AMD product is determined to be faulty, you may be eligible for warranty service.

                                                                                                                               

Noise Issue

Symptom: The system is making noise right after power up or running for a period of time.

The noise will usually be caused by high fan speed or mechanical problem. Since the fan will automatically adjust the speed according to the chip temperature, please go through the check list below for noise issues:

  1. Restore the BIOS back to default settings, if you have it configured to overclock the CPU. For more information about BIOS, please click here.

  2. Restore the graphics card back to default setting, if you have it configured for overclocking.

  3. Make sure the motherboard is compatible with the processor and using the latest BIOS version.

  4. Make sure "Cool N Quiet" is enabled in BIOS. For information of BIOS set up, check the motherboard manual or contact the motherboard manufacture. 

  5. Clean the dusts inside and outside the case if there is any. Especially the dusts on the heat sink and fans.

  6. Maintain a good air flow inside the case. Adding an extra case fan and see if it can further reduce the temperature.

  7. Maintain a good air flow inside the case.

  8. Test by swapping in a known good heat sink and/or graphics card.

  9. Make sure the screws in the case are firmly installed to avoid the noise caused by resonance.

  10. If an AMD product is determined to be faulty, you may be eligible for warranty service.

Footnotes