Out of the blue…it came…
The dreaded black screen of death, sudden system resets and system hangs, amidst times of good operation. Even boot up GPU POST errors (Error Code 39, 1 long + 2 short beeps)!
The immediate cause wasn’t too obvious. Was it dust? Was it a faulty driver? Was it a bad Windows update? Was it the summer?!
Probably summer…So I opened up the case and pointed a fan at the insides. It worked…for a few days. So it is something else.
Perhaps it was a bad Windows update or a bad driver or software? So I went and uninstalled all the unnecessary stuff from my system…No go.
Then I opened up CPU-Z. Odd…my 3.3v rail is down to almost 3.0v!! Is my PSU failing or is there a bad component leaking current?
Dismayed, I considered options of replacing the parts. But first, I decided to give my PC a clean out. I grabbed my air filter, mask and moved it outside when it was windy. Then I took my system apart and used a small air blower to remove the dust from it.
And what a lot of dust there was. I am lazy, so I was contented to let my PC sit in the corner for over a year.
Such a mistake that was. As it turned out, the PSU air went was almost completely blocked by a thick layer of caked dust. This caused the power supply to go unstable, which in turn caused the 3.3v rail to drop out of tolerable ranges. Then the GPU went gaga because it wasn’t getting fed enough juice.
So ALL THE GRAPHICS ISSUES I was seeing, was just due to the dust clogging my PSU. The 3.3v rail went back to 3.25-3.3V immediately and all is good again.
So sometimes the best solution is just the simplest…
Keep your PC clean and make it great again.