Crashes to Desktop or Reboots when playing games

Help! I'm an avid gamer. I know a little about computers. I bought a partial system (soyo dragon+ motherboard with an athelon 1900+ processor, 40gig western digital 7200 speed hard drive)
I bought 3 512mb ddr sdram chips from ussa.com. I bought a Visiontek Gforce3 Xtacy. I took my old SBLive Value! from my Gateway and put it in computer. I'm using a viewsonic 19" a90f monitor.

In the Bios I set the ram to spd(should I have manually set to 133?), and the bus to 133.

I installed Windows XP on this computer(FAT32 format on HD). I used windows update, which told me there was an updated K7 processor driver. (didn't know those things used drivers, i think it wasn't a driver at all, but something to optimize windows, but they call it a driver anyway). I ran the Via 4in1 driver install, which for WinXP only includes a .inf. I udpated to the latest video and sound drivers from the manufacturers websites.

Then I installed my games.

Europa Universalis 2. Low graphics game, very low. Memory hog maybe, but not a high-performance game. Problems: Crash to desktop or reboot the PC randomly, no messages of any kind, from the moment I startup to as long as 4 hours later.

Everquest. This game runs for 2 minutes to 50 minutes before crashing to desktop or rebooting the PC.

Dark Age of Camelot. This game crashes for 2 minutes to 120 minutes before crashing to desktop or rebooting the PC. The only time it lasted 120 minutes is when I was using a very old ATI Rage video card I had laying around. The game was unplayable on that card though, I had to stand still, the frame rate was painful to observe.

What did I check for?
I tried swapping out my video card to my old Gforce DDR, and to an ATI Rage, the problem persisted, leading me to believe that it is not a video card problem. The Rage was a PCI card, so that "should" rule out an AGP issue.

I tried older drivers for the video cards, but no luck. I tried it without a sound card, no luck. I tried it with my network card disabled(onboard), no luck--and I hated using a modem, was glad to pull it out when done.

My current theory is that there may be a problem with my RAM. I did get it from a bargain-basement online store, ussa.com. I could really use some ideas though.

I know lots of uber techies hang out here, this is where I got the ideas for my system. Anyone able to help me out? Post or email me valkie@hotmail.com
7 answers Last reply
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  1. i suppose that you dont have any other ram that you can try?
    also, it might be a problem with xp running the older games.
    i think that there is a setting to run the game as windows 98...not sure, since i havent made the "leap" to xp yet.
    but i think that there is a setting for this because windows 98 handles things a bit different than xp...ie, the k7 driver......
    but then again.... thought that the xp wasnt a k7...but might be confused there...i am tired...need to go to bed...maybe someone else can give you more ideas.
    also, what are your temps, and voltage readings...
    the bios should have a hardware monitor that will reveal these tidbits of information..... :smile:
    other than that, my lack of windows xp knowledge is holding me back.


    -DAvid

    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  2. The CPU temp after a reboot is 44 degrees C, the system temp is 32-34 degrees C.
    Voltage readings
    Vcore 1.74v
    VCC 2.5vc 2.48v
    3.3v 3.28v
    =5V 4.89v
    +12V 12.41v
    5VSB 4.89v

    Win 98/ME or Win2k compatability mode does not solve the problem. Some games wont even load under Win98/ME compatability mode.

    I dont have any ddr ram laying around, other then what is in my PC. When I am all out of ideas, I will buy a 256mb chip from bestbuy or compusa and try it out that way.

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by valkie on 12/08/01 11:40 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  3. hmm..yeah, i cant think of anything...
    i am thinking it is something with windows xp, but i am not sure...
    i hope that it can be fixed...
    good luck!

    -DAvid

    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  4. what is your power supply???
    i think you are running low on voltage.
  5. What wattage are you using for your powersupply?

    If you take the case cover off does it still have problems? I realize your temps aren't high, but I just had a system crash constantly and it was only at 49C. At 47C it was fine.

    Reinstall one driver at a time. Especially the videodriver.

    <font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
  6. Check two main things, AGP make sure it is in snugly so the card isn't out a bit. Also run your game with the side off the case and feel the chips on the graphics card while doing say....Mad Onion tests......do the chips get hot? If it runs all the way through those bench tests then it is software like XP.....if not first reinstall drivers for North and Southbridge....definitely update graphics drivers or revert to a older set you know of. Radeon for example using XP drivers has some issues without the most recent drivers. Otherwise if u don't have another pc to check the card on remove memory sticks one at a time and see if you have a bad one. OR even this can happen.....XP is really funny about memory issues.....if you have different brands and there is a conflict that worked under ME.....XP won't work under the exact same games.

    Proof is from personal experience with a pc just given back to the guy...We all thought it was a bad card because before shutdown to desktop the chips on the card would get HOT...tried another the same kind and it did it also....
    Removed a stick of memory and it worked......swapped and the other worked. Problem was XP didn't like Samsung and Crucial memory together.....have two Samsung's in there and it's perfect.

    In rare instances BIOS can be needing flashing....I would put that way last on the list. Sounds more of a hardware conflict than anything.


    Bob


    ****"computer pc work on the net is like appraising a car on the phone....Sir, back her up to the phone so I can appraise her" Quote from a car dealer I spoke with on the internet....geezzzzz
  7. I'd like to thank everyone for their input and assistance. Exhaustive memory tests (OMG, 512mb chips take a long time to test), one of my chips was bad. I'm currently running with just 2 512mb chips, while i wait on exchange for the third chip. Problem solved. Yay.
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