I recently got a new computer and it only crashes when I enable the 2nd graphics card. Otherwise it runs just fine. Any ideas on how it can stop it crashing?

It either crashes 5 seconds after enabling it from the device manager or 5 seconds after I hit the boot screen (if I had the 2nd card enabled at boot). When it crashes, the 2 monitors on the 2nd card go black and "inactive", and the windows GUI locks. I can normally move the mouse around for maybe 5seconds before it stops working as well.

Main card is a Gefore GTX 275 and the 2nd is a 8400GS, not using it for sli or hybrid sli, just need 2 graphics cards to run 4 monitors.

EDIT In swapping around the graphics cards to try that to see if a graphics card was dead, I found eventually that putting them both back as they were initially, the computer booted again! I'm guessing resocketing them fixed a bad connection somewhere.

Computer has been running just fine for maybe 30mins now. So seems to be fixed

  • How powerful is you PSU? I'm thinking that the current draw is a bit too much for both cards. – MBraedley Dec 11 '10 at 20:46
  • Peek in the Windows Event Log to see if there is anything relevant. A power problem isn't likely to be logged, but a problem with a driver might be. – Mike Chess Dec 11 '10 at 20:57
  • Its a 700Watt powersupply. overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-032-OC – Kurru Dec 11 '10 at 20:58

First, make sure that all video drivers are updated from the manufacturer's website.

Second, watch the temperature of the GPUs. If they are getting hot that will do it. Often the fans on graphic cards will go bad without making any noise. Swap them and see if either one by itself causes the same problem.

  • how do i watch the temperature of the GPUs? – Kurru Dec 11 '10 at 20:06
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    That depends on the operating system. For Windows a good utility to watch all sensors is SpeedFan. – harrymc Dec 11 '10 at 20:12
  • My 8400 is passively cooled, running at 50C and my GTX275 is idling at about 56C. Should I worry about these temperatures? – Kurru Dec 11 '10 at 21:07
  • These temperatures are pretty low for a GPU. Have you tried swapping or using only the 2nd card as the 1st? – harrymc Dec 11 '10 at 21:10
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    A bad socket connection somewhere was one of the reasons for suggesting the swap. – harrymc Dec 11 '10 at 21:53

One distinct possibility is that you've run out of power. Sure, heat is a possibility, but 5 seconds is really fast to see heat related issues, while power issues show up about that fast (sometimes faster, sometimes slightly slower).

New graphics cards draw a lot, and most COTS (commercial, off the shelf) computers don't have power supplies that are oversized. Adding a 100W graphics card can overload the built-in power supply, causing crashes just as you've described.

  • Good point, though it's a home build and I've learnt not to skimp on PSUs :) – Kurru Dec 11 '10 at 21:04

Resocketed the graphics cards and it started to work again.

Thanks for all your suggestions

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