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The other night, I was playing a game on my desktop PC when the graphics started stuttering and, eventually without warning, the entire display froze and the speakers emitted a constant buzzing sound. Windows wasn't even able to display a BSOD — the system simply froze with garbage on the display and buzzing on the speakers.

I powered down my PC, then tried turning it back on. This time, it wouldn't enter POST; the display remained in power-saving mode while the fans and disks started spinning as usual. I tried this a couple more times, but no dice.

So I decided to call it a night and figure out what to do about my PC the next day. Except in the morning, when I tried turning it on again... it POSTed successfully and booted to the desktop. Everything was working normally again. Apparently, the hardware (I'm assuming it's the motherboard specifically) got knocked out, but recovered overnight.

I'm about to get a new rig anyway, but why would my computer simply stop POSTing — and only for a few hours — after a really bad crash, then suddenly start working normally again without me doing anything special about it? How would I go about troubleshooting this whole situation post-mortem?

share|improve this question
What do you mean by "POSTing"? – SPRBRN May 2 '13 at 8:55
is your pc overheating ? – Kola May 2 '13 at 9:00
@rxt: Displaying the POST screen - the stuff that appears before the boot sequence. – BoltClock May 2 '13 at 9:00
Did you get a POST code (beeps)? IIRC, long-short-short is an error with the video card. – Kevin May 2 '13 at 12:31
@Kevin: None at all. – BoltClock May 2 '13 at 14:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It sounds like something overheated (most probably the graphics card) and then "fixed" itself when everything cooled down.

Is the graphics card fan working properly?

You could install something like SpeedFan and check that the fan is spinning or simply open up the case and look.

share|improve this answer
Well, SpeedFan is telling me that it isn't spinning (GPU fan: 0 rpm, GPU temp: 50°C during normal operation, 60°C while gaming). That might be it. Nice work, graphics card, but as I mentioned I was going to get a new machine anyway. – BoltClock May 2 '13 at 9:44
GPU-Z disagrees. The fan on my graphics card is working properly. – BoltClock May 16 '13 at 6:45
@BoltClock - Oh. Though the symptoms are consistent with something overheating. – ChrisF May 16 '13 at 7:38

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