Random crash, has never happened before

Hey guys, new subscriber to the channel and even newer member on the website here. Loving this website and the videos. 

Since my computer crashed on me while I was watching the latest The Tek, I thought it would make sense to post here. 

So I'm waching The Tek on youtube, when all of a sudden my desktop switches from Windows Aero to basic, then I start to hear a weird squealing noise coming from my PC. So I restart it, but when it turns back on I get no video. Keyboard and mouse light up, no video. As soon as I press the power button it turns right off (which indicates that it wasn't booting into Windows). I left it on for a few minutes and the video still wouldn't come back on. So I turned it off, fliped the power switch on the power supply to off, waited a couple of minutes, flipped it back on, turned on the computer, and it booted normally (with the startup repair screen, I selected boot to windows normally and it did).

Any idea what this could mean? I am afraid it might have to do something with my power supply, a Corsair HX850. During gaming sometimes it will start to make an audible buzzing noise, definitely not normal and it just started doing this about a month ago. That buzzing sound and the sound I heard just before were two different noises though.

Appreciate the help. Thanks so much!

My specs:

i5 2500k @ 4.5GHz with Cooler Master 212 EVO


16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz

EVGA GTX 780 SC w/ ACX cooler 

Samsung 830 256GB SSD + Samsung 1TB 7200 rpm 

Sound Blaster ZxR Sound Card

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Running the latest Nvidia beta drivers.

If you've isolated that sound to the psu itself and the system has had moments of instability then you are well within the realms of looking into RMA'ing the unit. It should be under warranty still.

I didn't get to listen to it long enough to see where it's coming from. I had a hunch it was the gpu though, since Windows Aero did change to basic for no reason. The buzzing sound that comes on every now and again is definitely coming from the power supply though, although whether it is dying or not I can't really tell. Corsairs says maybe not:


The buzz is quite loud, far past acceptable levels. It started happening about a month or two ago (I've been using this power supply since December 2011). I have really good hearing, so I'm positive I first started hearing it recently. Another thing I left out was that the buzz still persisted even after the system was turned off. Same noise level. If I flipped the switch on the power supply the buzz was still there, only much quieter. Only unplugging the power cable completely got rid of the buzz. Then I'd leave it for a little while and turn it back on, and it would be fine again until it randomly happens every now and again when I'm gaming.

But like I said earlier, the buzz and the squealing sound I heard earlier for the first time are two different sounds. 

I had an old HX unit that had a nasty whine, once I replaced all the caps, it all went away. If you can, just run the system via the onboard graphics for a bit. If the whine goes away then its down to the psu having a hard time supplying reliable power to your gpu. In this case rma it. Corsair can go take a long walk off a short bridge if they ignore you return.

By whine you mean the buzzing noise, or the squealing noise I had before I shut my computer down and the screen wouldn' come on?

The buzzing noise I get on and off. I haven't gotten it too much lately, but when I do I shut my computer off and leave it be for a few hours. And as for the squel/chirp sound I got earlier, that's the first tiem I've ever heard it.

Because the buzzing sound comes and goes, there's not reallly a way to tell if it's struggling. Every now and again I'll hear it during gaming, then I drown it out. By using only onboard, do you mean that I pull my 780 out of my system? Or is there a software related way to disable my 780 and use just integrated? I don't know what I can do to truly test my power supply.

Onboard meaning - take gpu out and run display off the motherboard.

A buzzing sound could even be that there is a problem with the psu's fan, there may be remedy in switching the orientation of it (turning it over provided there is ventilation for it). Or perhaps giving it a good blow out with a can of compressed air to dislodge anything nasty. Or just give it a good smack.

Without special equipment and or taking the unit apart it can be difficult to diagnose what is exactly wrong with the unit if there is a fault with on of the rails. The only real software utility that is worth looking at in terms of measuring the output of each rail _ 3.3, 5v ,12v is HWMonitor, OCCT and a couple of others. If say you see the 12v rail slip below 12 or go real high like 12.7 then there is an issue. Likewise with the other rails.

Corsair units are 9 times out of 10 really good, there are the exceptions like the one you obviously have in which there may well be something wrong for which you have every right to a replacement and or repair.

HWMonitor or OCCT doesn't list the readings we're looking for, perhaps it isn't supported?


Besides, software readings are pretty inaccurate I hear. I can probably get a multimeter, I just never have tested a power supply before so I don't know what I'm looking to do.

So do you think that it was my graphics card that was the issue during this event right? No other component would turn aero to basic and not display video after I restarted the computer? Is it possible that the Gpu is bad, or is it more likely in this situation that my power supply is the issue here?

I guess the biggest question is, after discussing all of this, is it safe to use my computer? I don't want it damaging my other parts!

It may just be a driver glitch, ideally if you could test the gpu in another machine to rule that out would be ideal.

There is always the possibility that the card is a dud, in that case you are in good hands with EVGA, they're the best when it comes to customer support.

This is the first time something like this has ever happened. Never had a single problem with my gpu since I got it, and even after last night it's been running fine in games. 


Could it just have been a harmless hiccup? Or is this more of a warning that something is amiss? 


Thank you for all of your help by the way.

I've heard that alot of the GTX 780s could do with a slight boost on their voltages to run smoother, I would watch it very carefully or even throw the system under Prime95 for a while, and watch and listen. Maybe download MSI afterburner and Kombustor and run that for a little and do the same thing. Pull the side panel off the pc and set it up so you can listen into it easily if the noise starts up. If its the PSU I'd RMA that quickly. If the Graphics start acting up while in Kombustor, unlock the voltage control and boost it just slightly and see if its any better.

Just an update, it happened again tonight.

Only had Chrome open, then all of a sudden my theme changed to basic and I started hearing sounds coming from my computer. I couldn't isolate the sound (as it sits in a drawer I couldnt really pull it out) but it sounded like a squealing mouse, a high pitch grind sound, or maybe even similar to a (soft) tea kettle whistle. Instead of turning my computer off I kept it on, and about a minute later the sound stopped, and maybe 10 seconds later Windows Aero came back.

Well, it is infrequent, but now that it has happened again I cannot ignore this. Any idea where this is coming from? I'm going to blow the dust out of my computer, I haven't in a couple months. Do you think it's just dust getting stuck in something, or something else?