Every time I open a game, after 10 minutes or less I will get an error that says "DRIVER_IRQL_NO_LESS_OR_EQUAL." Windows will restart and say that it has recovered from a serious error. I would have tried to do a system restore but I also get another error for that and windows restore closes. Is there any way I can fix this without having to resort to reformatting my hard drive? Oh, and if it's of any value, I have Windows XP Pro.
Sounds like overheating. Something in your machine is getting a little too hot and malfuntioning. That is the typical cause of the DRIVER_IRQL_NO_LESS_OR_EQUAL bsod. What temps are your cpu and chipset running at? Does your videocard have adequate cooling? Do you also get a bsod from running cpu intensive things like prime95?
Don't run systemrestore, that will likely break your machine more. lol.
Okay, well I have about 5 or 6 fans in my tower, so I think its getting enough cooling, but I don't know the temperature my CPU and chipset are running at, how can I check?
By the way, I dusted out my computer out and it seems to be running better, but it still runs slowly.
The easiest way would be to go into the bios, there will be something like "PC health status" in there. Reboot and go into it after your computer has been running for a while to get a slightly more acurate idle reading.
What motherboard do you have? There might be some software avaliable to read the temps when in windows (to get load temps). If some didn't come with your motherboard you might be able to use MBM5, it is compatible with lots of motherboards.