I am having a stressy night here trying to work this one out:
I got a new SATA hard drive (Seagate Barracuda 80GB 7200rpm) and a "new" second-hand video card (XFX Geforce 5700) today, and tried to install both earlier this evening, simultaneously.
The HDD was intended for a boot/system drive, so I disconnected all my existing drives, which were all IDE, and my existing video card. I attached the new HDD and video card and booted up, hoping to just install a new OS on the new drive, using the new video card straight off the bat.
Initially I just got a scrambled screen of coloured pixels, then the machine shut down unannounced. I tried this several times but while I eventually got an image on the screen on the 3rd attempt, it kept shutting down after a couple of minutes. Of course I figured it must be something to do with one of the new devices, so removed one then the other, but the same thing kept happening.
I have now removed both new components, and have gone back to exactly the same config as before (see below). Only the problem is persisting, even with all the old components back in there.
DFI NFII Ultra Infinity mobo
2 x 256 Corsair VS DDR running in dual channel
40gb Maxtor IDE boot drive
160GB Seagate Barracuda IDE data drive
Matrox 550 32MB dualhead video card
Q-tec 500W silent PSU
Coolermaster Aero7 CPU fan
3 x case fans
Coolermaster Wavemaster case
Some things which I can rule out:
OS problem - this is happening while just playing in the bios etc
HDD problem - occurs when either drive is connected
CPU overheat - I thought this was a prime culprit, but I've sat watching the temp and seen it shut down at 31c
Direct problem with either new component - problem persists when both are removed
I have a feeling it's something to do with the PSU or the Ram, although both have been working perfectly up until now, so could it be a complete coincidence that one of them fails at the exact moment I try to install some new components?! I doubt it.
PSU: surely 500W should be enough to power the setup listed above?? Maybe it's just died, I guess it's not out of the question.
RAM: but I think it's the ram, either the chips or the slots. The reason I think this is that, when they PC shuts down, it will not let you restart it however long you wait. You have to physically remove the power cable, then reinsert it after a few seconds. I have noticed that that time period is exactly the time between the power cable being removed, and the little red LED going out above the RAM slots. Coincidence?
Anyway, as luck would have it I am due to get a couple of new OCZ 512mb chips delivered tomorrow! So that should rule in/out the chips.
Does anyone else have any ideas????