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Computer crashing to reboot during skyrim

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  • PC gaming
  • Skyrim
  • Video Games
  • Product
Last response: in Video Games
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November 15, 2011 5:48:02 PM

Hi everyone,
I recently got skyrim and it worked fine for the first 7 hours or so. Now i cant seem to play it for more than two hours with out it crashing but it will usually crash every 30 min or so. When it crashes my comp completely turns off and reboots, also the screen become pixelated, remains that way during the reboot, and then finally usually reboots on its own one more time before making it to windows and working properly.

So, my question, any advice on why this might be happening? my graphics card is older but still meets min specs. Is my graphics card over heating? should i just buy a new card if thats the issue? (if so i was looking at this card and was wondering if that would get the game working well on higher settings.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, my build is below:


Thermaltake T2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.Skill 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100225L Radeon HD 3870 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : computer crashing reboot skyrim

November 15, 2011 6:30:34 PM

sounds like you're overheating. get speedfan or hwinfo to confirm.

technically if you're content with how the game is running before you crash, you just need to solve that problem and you won't really need to upgrade. (if it's thermal problems solution could be as easy as open the case up and point a fan at it while gaming)

but if you want to go for an upgrade I think it can be a decent idea in your case. I'd double check on that card because 6570 vs 3870 you might be looking at marginal improvement (6570 will put you only at about 30fps on high @ 1080p) I'd advise to look at least for 6770

also you might want to look into overclocking your CPU a bit (check if it's recommended with that CPU, I'm not sure) because Skyrim is dependent on cpu speed rather than number of cores. [link]
November 15, 2011 6:59:09 PM

Thanks for the reply, i downloaded hwinfo. Im not really sure what all the info means. Should i leave that running while playing and wait for it to crash? how do i save the info if the computer shuts down while playing the game?

is there any other way to lower temperature other than opening up the case while gaming? ive never had this issue before even while playing other games like SC2 and dawn of war although those dont seem to be as intense graphics wise.

here is a screen shot of the stats from hwinfo too:

Related resources
November 15, 2011 7:20:31 PM

oh you loaded the summary page, when you open the program tell it to run sensors only or if you already have it open right click the icon in the tray and select sensors

it will give you a table with all the temps clocks loads voltages etc.

you should be able to find your gpu temp there, then you can hit start logging, it will ask where you want to save the file. then you can minimize it and play the game. if you crash you can go back to the file and check what the final temps were.

as far decreasing the temperature, there's various methods, if you can explain what the fan arrangement is in your machine you can help the issue with installing extra fans, making sure airflow isn't impeded by anything. In case with cpu you could install aftermarket coolers but GPU is not as easy, so your options are to increase airflow and make sure that GPU fan is working properly.

But before you get to that make sure it's the temperatures that are the problem.
November 15, 2011 10:28:31 PM

So i cleaned the fans on the motherboard and graphics card with some compressed air. Looks like it helped as i was able to play for about 2 hours without crashing once. I did run the log in the background while playing and it looks like the average was around 110-114 and fan running 100%. id post the full log somewhere but its giant.

this is the case i have: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It has the one fan built into the back and then two vents on side panel that i think i can add more fans to. is 114ish hotter than it should be running?

here is the summary log too:
November 16, 2011 11:44:07 AM

yeah that's definitely hot, you generally don't want to be above 90 if you don't have to. I'm surprised it didn't reboot at 115C.

Anyhow, the link doesn't work but I think I get the idea what you have. Have you tried running with the side panel open? if you can add a fan to lower side opening it could help somewhat. It also looks like there's a vent on the front, I'm not sure on space availability, but maybe you can squeeze a fan in there as well.

It's hard to say how much that will bring the temp down, I think you might be better off with getting an upgrade. that gpu has to work hard, your cpu is also stressed up to 96% load
November 17, 2011 12:46:16 AM

i ended up replacing the outtake fan on the back, looking in bios it was only doing around 400 rpm before replacing. Also looks like the one in front of my case got knocked loose and was off so replugged that and now the gpu is staying around 100c and the cpu never went above mid 60s while playing. Id try leaving the case open but there are cats in the apt i live in so im worried one will break something when im not paying attention/all the hair getting blown in.

is hovering around 100 degrees while gaming going to damage the gpu or any other components in the comp? or just affect performance. if its just lowering performance somewhat im allright with it but if the motherboard or cpu are going to get damaged then ill probably upgrade
November 17, 2011 1:30:44 AM

playing at high temps normally doesn't cause any direct dmg, because if you get to overheating point the pc just shuts down to prevent severe dmg (like you had before)

but, running hardware at high temps does lower its lifetime and you might eventually see deterioration over time.

I think you will be fine, check if keeping the side open affects the temps much, if it doesn't then there's no point to it. If it does, then you might consider drilling some holes in it small enough so cats can't get in ;)  And then run it as long as it lasts you, you'll probably be ok for a while and by the time you see any significant deterioration you'll be looking at new build anyway.
November 17, 2011 1:52:31 AM

great ill check that out. thanks for your help
November 18, 2011 10:19:26 AM

danbur2 said:
Hi everyone,
I recently got skyrim and it worked fine for the first 7 hours or so. Now i cant seem to play it for more than two hours with out it crashing but it will usually crash every 30 min or so. When it crashes my comp completely turns off and reboots, also the screen become pixelated, remains that way during the reboot, and then finally usually reboots on its own one more time before making it to windows and working properly.

So, my question, any advice on why this might be happening? my graphics card is older but still meets min specs. Is my graphics card over heating? should i just buy a new card if thats the issue? (if so i was looking at this card and was wondering if that would get the game working well on higher settings.


Been looking around for people with the same problem as this and I havent found many, it's good to see this one. I have nearly the same graphics card as you and having this EXACT problem, screen will go to a quick 'hash' cpu will BlueScreenOfDeath then reboot (good thing the game has a great saving system atleast). So far the only thing that has 'slowed' down reboots is when I opened my window, but it blue screened eventually. So I have a strong feeling that yes its due to overheating of the graphics card, such a bummer for me as I'm unable to get a new graphics card for about a month. :/  goodluck on fixing yours but please reply if you find a fix to this.
November 20, 2011 8:53:03 PM

Have you tried going into your catalyst control panel, and turning on ovedrive mode and then clock down your core by about 35-50mhz and memory clock down by 25 or so. uncheck where it says "manual" fan" and put the fan to 100% To see these settings, you need to go into the menu and change to advanced. give that a try. make sure to click apply after changing those.
November 26, 2011 9:16:25 AM

stop listening to people that say YOUR COMPUTER IS OVER HEATING!!! they can not tell that from the info they got. we need a crash log. the game can run on an X-box do you think a computer can not run it ?? its skyrim I have seen it all over the net
it could be your grafx driver. I see you have an ATI Radeon HD 3870 ATI is haveing more problems then invda, but both are having problem it could be any thing from a cd emulator to boot software to bios not being up dated or a hard drive problem.

YOU can not tell till you have a crash log. get some thing like "WhoCrashed" google it next time a crash happens look at the log.

I had problems and I have an i5 2500k with X8 gig of ram and a gtx 260 I can run it on full blast (ultra settings).
for me it was a couple of things. one thing that can help is windowed mode.

but you need the log. all so some of the over clocking programs are being reported to crash skyrim to.
January 29, 2012 10:16:34 PM

Lol, I had this exact problem, a crash every 30 mins, and fixed it by throttling my fans up and putting in a new case fan to blow air across the GPU. Now it NEVER crashes.

Definately sounds like overheating might be your problem....
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