Advice needed

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2016/08/22 01:05:27 (permalink)

Advice needed

Tonight I was recording some cover song music to play along with using my new electronic drum kit I recently purchased and suddenly my eight year old PC was doing weird things .
My monitor screen started looking sort fuzzy looking and suddenly I had no sound at all so I restarted my computer and logged onto my second hard drive to see if maybe it could be a hard drive issue but the second hard drive had the same thing going on so now I'm thinking ok it's my motherboard starting to go on me so I decided to turn off my computer for thirty minutes or so to see if maybe my motherboard was overheating .
I did that and then turned it back on and sure enough everything was working , my screen look normal again and I had sound .
Maybe it's getting hot after all it's an eight year old PC with XP Pro still running on it .
I'm thinking about buying a new computer as soon as I can afford one hopefully by the end of this year if things go right here at home but my question is would I be better off buying a Laptop PC or stick with the tower type PC like I have now .
How many of you are using a Laptop to record your music with and if so what type would work best for all around recording using Sonar software ?
I need to start looking into all of this now so I can figure in cost , do I need a seven hundred dollar Laptop if that will work or do I need to spend more then seven hundred dollars .
I built the one I use now , have had it for eight years and never had running issues with it untill tonight .
Not sure if this old computer is going to crap out on me again or what but tonight's running issues makes me think I better start looking into buying a new PC soon or else !
Hope I can get some good advice on buying a decent PC for recording music , I really wanted my next PC to be a Laptop .

Thanks !

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    Re: Advice needed 2016/08/22 02:16:50 (permalink)
    I think you'll find all your answers in one of our other forums (this one tends to be where all the riff-raff congregate - albeit knowledgeable, well-meaning, but silly riff-raff).
    There are three forums that should check out here: 
    I'm guessing all you need is in the first one (Computers).

    Time for all of you to head over to Beyond My DAW!
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    Re: Advice needed 2016/08/22 08:02:53 (permalink)
    moving this to the computer forum so you'll get better assistance.
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    Re: Advice needed 2016/08/22 20:36:24 (permalink)
    I'd check the fans and filters for proper operation and air flow, just in case your computer inhaled a cat's worth of fur over the years.  That literally DID happen to my son's laptop - it would run for about 10 minutes and then just die.  Opening it up, I discovered that the two intakes for the fans were clogged by fur from all 4 cats.
    Even if no clogs, fan bearings can wear out and the spin rate would drop drastically to eventually just quit working.
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    Re: Advice needed 2016/08/23 00:15:35 (permalink)
    Hi Bob , I have two cats of my own in my room all day long but I clean and blowout the inside of my PC to remove dust so it might just be my fans need replacing .
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    Re: Advice needed 2016/08/23 11:03:14 (permalink)
    If a replacement PC is needed, then I'd suggest a laptop only if you need mobility.

    Desktops almost always have more of everything, be that cpu, disk or RAM, per buck than laptops. HDDs also tend to be the 5400rpm variety.

    When you buy a laptop you are also buying a screen, which is often the most expensive component in a cheaper laptop, a battery and a keyboard/touchpad. And laptops are (mostly) designed with a view to keeping power usage down to improve battery life so use lower power drain components, which means cpus in particular are usually not as fast as the ones in a similarly priced tower/desktop.

    Laptops also have the disadvantage of often needing even more bloatware removing than desktops, possible issues obtaining proprietary drivers from the manufacturer in years to come and can have "tuning" difficulties for DAW use, especially if the full BIOS settings aren't accessible.

    If you think something in your PC might be overheating it's worthwhile downloading one of the many free temperature monitoring applications to see what the various temperature sensors are reporting. Sometimes the BIOS screen lets you see at least cpu temperature, though that needs a reboot and entering the BIOS, and the cpu etc. will cool off a bit during the reboot.

    Modern Intel cpus shouldn't be overheating to the point of failure anyway, they're designed to throttle their speed if temperatures get too high to the point they can almost shut down to protect themselves. Though one that's gone faulty might not be doing that of course.

    The symptoms being reported could be down to the cpu, motherboard, psu, RAM, drive controller, graphics processor.... One of those things that's horribly difficult to diagnose. Personally I'd suspect the gpu or faulty RAM as the first place to start looking but that's only a guess...

    It might be worth looking to see what the system logs say in case there's something relevant in there.

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    Re: Advice needed 2016/08/23 14:38:08 (permalink)
    At 8 years old,  I would bet there is a lot of dust just sitting on top of all the boards inside the box, so taking the lid off, blowing away the dust with some compressed air (the tinned stuff, not from a huge compressor), also checking that all cards are properly seated in their slots, including memory and cpu, same with all cables both internal and external.  I would also power it back up without the lid on to test and to check operation of any internal fans.  Its unlikely after 8 year that something could come loose, that would normally happen much sooner, but its possible and if you take the lid of a box, its a standard sort of check.
    As was posted above, those symptoms are pretty generic.  Lets hope it just some dust causing some overheating either by restricting air flow through fans or by smothering/suffocating some components and trapping heat.
    Oh, after clearing the dust, do a visual inspection, what can happen over time in cheap or badly designed PCB's, is electron tunneling, which is basically a short, shows up as dark discoloration on circuit board, sometimes with a little blistering.
    post edited by Siluroo - 2016/08/23 15:00:30

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