Games freezing - Directx?

First of all, sorry if this is in the wrong place, i didnt know where to put it so apologies in advance if its wrong :)

Ok, so when i open most games (ive tested WC3, BFME, POP to name a few), the game will intermittently lockup and freeze. After 5-6 seconds, the sound will cut out too then after a few more seconds, everything will go back to normal. this process repeats itself anywhere between every 5-60 seconds. (i cant seem to find anything specific that triggers it)

The only exceptions i have found is SPORE and a few games run in OpenGL eg. WOW (this is why i think it is DirectX, correct me if im wrong.) I have DX 9.0c if that helps

This has never happened to me before, it has only started since i reformatted a few months ago and i have just finished reformatting yet again in the hopes that it will be fixed.

My bro has a near identical PC right next to mine that never suffers from these issues and plays games like HL2, Fable and BF2. The ONLY difference (aside from software) is i have windows on a 120gb Hdd and games on a 750gb Hdd, while he runs windows on a 20gb Hdd and games on a 250gb Hdd. (all internals)

Here are my specs, i know its an old computer but it does run wow which is all i need (aside from the LANing games i want to run with my bro)

XP Prof (service pack 3) - validated and fully updated
Intel P4 1.8 Ghz
1.49 gig DDR2 RAM
NVIDIA FX5500 256Mb (yes, thats right, 5500, same as my brother's which DOES run WC3 so plz dont post saying its because of my lame Video card :O )

if theres more info u need please ask, but i hope ive gicen all the info needed to help solve the issue.
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about games freezing directx
  1. first I would try to max the memory.
    Second I would look at temps.
    Possibly some overclocking.
    Also after putting in the vid drivers goto the directx site and reinstall it to see if that helps.
    Have you defrafed the HDD? On one that small its crucial with a large game like wow
  2. OP Reformatted a 750GB HD that he uses for games only a few months back, doubt its due to defragmentation but you never know....spose if you do a LOT of shifting files / uninstalling and reinstalling etc it could get messy.
    If that is the case i would use Auslogics Boostspeed over the windows defrag, simply because it is more thorough - use the One Button checkup option.

    It is very easy to point to the CPU/GPU, but as you say your bro runs the same rig...he hasnt done a shifty overclock without you knowing has he?

    The temps could indeed vary between the 2 PC's, for example if he has his sitting with open air around it, and yours is locked in a cupboard or something, Speedfan can tell you the temps.
  3. thanks for the replys

    ill run a dfrag soon, but before i reformatted a couple of days ago i had tried defragging both drives, no help at all. Also, i run system mechanic 7 which atomatically defrags, cleans registry and eveything else to do with that stuff.

    besides which my bro does the stuff i want to with a 20 and 250 compared with my 120 and 750.

    the 2 computers sit side by side on a shelf (ie. the exact same cooling) and no, id be VERY surprised if my bro even has the slightest idea of how to overclock.

    i have the latest video cards from the NVIDIA site (175.19) and directx 9.0c
    I will reinstall them both to see if that helps.

    Lastly, can i please stress again that unless my graphics card, RAM or processor are corrupt, it is NOT their fault because the computer right next to mine has the exact same models and works fine.

    Thanks again :)
  4. Stumped tbh. I keep thinking its a dodgy HDD, lack of power or whatever but that doesnt really make sense as it boots well. Copy and paste it into the CPU forum, theyre smarter than me :(
  5. ok first i would check the memory, run this program: (get the bootable iso and burn onto disk, run at start up)

    then i would stress the GFX card using 3dmark for your card you probably want 3DMark 2005:

    then i would test your CPU and run a Prime95 torture test:

    run a chkdsk: goto start>run type 'cmd' > then type 'chkdsk c: /f' in the command prompt, let this run at startup if need be.

    1. if memtest shows ANY errors replace your RAM, let it run for about 2hours.

    2. if your computer crashes while running 3dmark or you see artifacts, then check your cards fans and temperatures.

    3. if Prime95 crashes it could be your processor or your PSU.

    4. if chkdsk reports any bad sectors, then replace your HDD... you will need to watch this test the results can pop up and dissapear in seconds.
  6. Thx Flake, ill run the tests on both PCs, hopefully if i find something wrong it will be reasonablly cheap to replace :D

    Ill repost once im done
  7. Ok, i finished the tests on my pc (i havnt had a chance to run them on my bros pc yet.) Here are the results:

    1.memtest - ran for 2 ours (worked out to 2 passes) NO problems found.

    2.PCMark- Basically, the system didnt crash and i managed a PCMark of 1556 (assuming this is very LOLable seeing as how the top is apparently 23000 or something)
    interestingly, during the test, particually the first part (with the cubes falling) the issues ive been having, (the freezing etc) still happened.... dont know if this helps?

    3.I ran prime95 for almost 8 hrs before turning it off when it started the process for the third time and realised it must be looping. (i ran one of the max temp ones) No crash or errors found at all....

    4. Chkdsked both my HDDs, no errors on either.

    OMG, what could it be?!?!?!?
    i am offically Stumped, i mean i had a few ideas when i got on here but no idea how to test them.

    Please help, just plaing wow and SPORE, while a fantastic combo is getting slightly boring......
  8. ooch 1556. Whats your bro get on PCMark05?
  9. lol, this is even more confusing (if possible)
    He got a 1447 :O
  10. Best answer
    ok well this leads me to believe that the problem lies with your GFX card or the PSU. however im leaning towards the graphics card.

    My next step that i would take is to swap out the graphics card with your brothers, then run 3dmark again and see if your score/performance improves.

    if it doesnt and you experience the same issue i would download a program that monitors your voltages on the PSU,

    tbh it is more than likely your GFX card that is causing the bother, if your not comfortable uninstalling/installing hardware get a tech savy friend to help out.

    sorry i should of said that Prime95 will run for aslong as you leave it on, 8 hours is a very good test for your CPU and PSU and thats why i imagine you will need a new graphics card.... atleast you know the rest of your system is stable.
  11. i missed your post about your brothers score lol.

    that is very strange, WOW should run fine on your card at medium-low settings. and spore i think your pushing it a bit maybe low settings at 1024x768.

    hmm when i think about it, it could be some software in the background causing your freeze ups... what have you got running?
  12. YAY!!!!!
    after swapping the gaphics cards, my computer works and now my brother's sucks!
    so i guess my gaphics card was corrupted or something.
    Next step is to save up some money to grab a new card

    Thanks everyone who worked on this, im glad ive found the source :D
  13. np happy to help.

    good look finding a new card you might have to look at second hand ones, there arnt that many retailers still selling AGP cards, although a quick look tells me that the ATI 3850 is still available.
  14. Oh, well done mygyth. Good job Flakes :D
  15. i was considering upgrading my M/B sometime soon anyway, so i might just do that at the same time
  16. hey man try reinstalling direct X that might be way
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