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I've got a custom built PC from early 2011, and I'm running into an issue that I'm not sure how to debug. Every few days the following will occur (in order):

  1. Screen goes black (if i'm playing music the music keeps playing)

  2. All fans spin up to full speed (gets really loud)

  3. I have to reboot the machine

My wild guess was overheating, so I bought an air can and blew out some dust, but it's still happening.

So my question is, how do you debug a possible hardware issue? Is there some diagnostic I can run from within Windows after I reboot due to a lockup that will tell me which component is at fault?

Some parts:

  • CPU: i7 950

  • MOBO: EVGA 131-GT-E767-TR LGA 1366

  • Power supply: Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt TX Series

  • GPU: XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB

Operating system is Windows 7. No overclocking.

Also I'm new to superuser (but not stack exchange), so I'm not sure what the best tags are for this.

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Screen goes black (if i'm playing music the music keeps playing)

This to me would indicate a graphics card failure given that only your display had stopped working and the computer for all other purposes is working correctly

Easiest way to isolate this would be to swap the graphics card out with a spare and test it from there. Normally it would be switching to on-board but with the EVGA that's not an option

Also your motherboard has a Debug LED display so it should be displaying an error code when something fails

Support manual <- This contains a list of error codes for your Debug LED display

I mention this as I have one of the older EVGA motherboards with a Debug LED Display and it is a lifesaver!

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