BGT3620 big problems :(

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by colin m, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. colin m

    colin m
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    Hi all,

    Thought I'd just drop a note in here warning others of the catastrophic problems I've had with the Blackgold BGT3620 TV tuner card.

    Basically I ordered one of these in May and couldn't get it to finish scanning for TV channels in WMC7. It would get about 70% through the scan and then the whole machine would restart (no BSOD, no diags - just a complete crash of the system).

    Anyway I re-installed Win 7 from scratch and managed to get it working - so put it down to a software issue.

    Then my OCZ SSD died a few weeks ago, which was a bit bizarre in itself, but the real fun started after re-building Win7 and trying to get the TV tuner working again. As before, it would get 70% through and crash the system...but the worrying thing was that just before each crash, I'd hear a distinct buzzing sound from the motherboard.

    I carried on, trying different combinations of all my drivers on or off Win7, each time failing to get the channels scanned in successfully. And then disaster...it crashed the system on about the 10th time but instead of just restarting, the whole PC was literally dead. No power, no nothing.

    As I'd heard the distinct buzzing sound I feared the worst - my motherboard had blown up...so I took it to a local PC shop to test and they confirmed it.
    So I returned the TV card back to Scan, who confirmed it was faulty.

    What became even worse was that when I fitted a new MB (hard to find as I'm running a socket AM2 system, now pretty out of date), I found one of my HDD's had died too - the one containing all my recorded TV and about 800GB of DVDs. The good news was that I did have a backup...the bad news was that it was 8 months old.

    So all in all it's been a bit of a nightmare. Waiting for a new BGT3620 to be delivered, but I'm dreading the install - if it even thinks of crashing my system it'll go back to Scan for a refund.

    I wish I had a way of proving conclusively that this little card blew up my MB and HDD as I'd try to get compensation from Blackgold...but as it is I've had to fork out for new components and have the inconvenience of losing all that data.

    On the plus side, I will take regular backups!

    Just be careful if and when you install things - don't assume like I did that problems are always software related!

    Cheers
    Colin
     
  2. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    how bizarre! OF all the issues with BGT cards, the 3620 has always seemed to be the most stable - its when they started adding the extra tuners that things seemed to slip.
     
  3. WheresMyArtisan

    WheresMyArtisan
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    I'd find it hard to understand how a TV card could fry a hard disk. If it's SATA then they have nothing in common. SATA just has two differential pairs that are well isolated at each end. The one common factor between your MB, HD and TV card is the power supply.

    It might be worth installing Speedfan, not for its intended purpose but because it also allows you to monitor and graph the power supply lines. I'm wondering if your power supply is outputting an over-voltage and basically frying everything.

    While graphing your power lines, try doing the channel scan. It could be that the power draw of the TV card and CPU when channel scanning is causing the power supply to do something very odd.
     
  4. colin m

    colin m
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    Yes I totally agree...and it could have all be a fluke...my assumption is that it caused a power surge or spike which fried the mobo and hdd...I have 2 SATA HDDs - one was fine, the other totally dead.

    However it did cross my mind that the PSU could have had a part to play, so I've taken the opp to change it to a new and larger power one.

    Thanks for your thoughts :)
     
  5. WheresMyArtisan

    WheresMyArtisan
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    I don't think a device could cause a supply voltage to rise, unless it was deliberately designed to be destructive!

    It would draw current, which could make the voltage drop. The power supply should compensate for this. Perhaps your faulty/overloaded power supply was over-compensating, causing a voltage surge above the normal level.

    It would still be interesting to see if it was the cause, but this could be at the expense of another new MB or HD.

    I don't think the TV card was at fault though - all it did was draw power. If this caused the voltage to rise above its limit then the power supply was faulty. No matter how much current something takes, it shouldn't cause the voltage to rise.
     
  6. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    The thing with the 3620 is it only draws power from the pcie bus. Only the ones with sat tuners need the extra power connection
     
  7. colin m

    colin m
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    Hmmm...interesting. So do you think that if my power supply was stretched or overloaded (it was only 350W - I've gone to 500W now) that this could have caused it?

    I agree that a peripheral shouldn't create power, only draw power, but it still doesn't make much sense.
     
  8. colin m

    colin m
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    ..and, no, I dare not try the experiment again with the old power supply and new MB, HDD and TV tuner!!
     
  9. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    it also depends on the age of the psu. Due to capacitor ageing, a PSU's power rating can drop by as much as 20% per year. So if the psu is two years old then it could only be giving 224w for example. 3 year old and it drops to 179 watts. Thats a pessimistic rating though. It could only be as low as 10%/year - it depends on the quality of ceramic capacitor used, if the machine is on 24/7, how heat it was exposed to etc etc
     
  10. WheresMyArtisan

    WheresMyArtisan
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    I would think that a faulty PSU could go overvoltage as a result of stress or ageing. I mentioned the rating as that could have been the source of the problem - i.e. it gets overloaded then some part of it gets burnt out and it goes overvoltage as a result.

    My HTPC has a 350W power supply and 6 tuners, 2 of which are HD. But the CPU and HD are very low power. It all depends on what load is on what rail, and how much the power supply can provide on each rail.
     

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