system crash! need more power?

I have been experiencing system crashes for some time now. My system has been working ok for a few months but now weird thingsa start to happen.
If I have my computer switched on during the whole day with a few simple tasks up and running the computer might crash and reboot after 8-18 hours. Though if I boot my computer and then run a high end game like Far Cry or Half Life 2 the computer crashes and reboots after 10-50 minutes (and it does this always).
I am not a big gamer myself but if I only can play a game for 10-50 minutes at a time (normaly 15 minutes) then I would rather not play at all.

What I figured this has to be is a failing powersupply witch cant keep up with the high load.
My system devices that use power are:
2600+ Athlon XP
1Gb DDR400 RAM
Radeon 9600XT
Network card
Creative Sound Blaster
1 HDD at normal speed

And my Powersupply supplies 300 Watts, and is a cheap thing I got from my sisters old computer.

Could it be anything other than the powersupply? Should I try formating the computer or updating bios? Or could it be another hardware error?

Any help is much apreciated.
7 answers Last reply
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  1. No overclocking? Check the temperatures of everything? If so, then its very possible that your psu is not up to demands.

    <i>I pretend to know what I'm talking about.</i>
  2. Besides t33lo's suggestions, check the RAM. Run memtest86 ( and turn on S.M.A.R.T. in your BIOS, if available and assuming it's not turned on already. But the fact that it crashes in games suggests it's least likely a HDD issue.
  3. No I dont usually overclock my system. And my computer is quite cool.

    I have just gotten a new stick of memmory (now I have 2X 256 and 1X 512). I'll check with the program and see if there is something wrong. Though I managed to play through Medal of Honor Pacific assault without any problems.
    Though I just remembered that at the same time I have had strange memmory leakages in some programs (netlimiter and a few others).
  4. It's usually not a great idea to mix two different sizes of ram especially if they are not of the same brand. Try running the computer with just the 512mb stick and see if it gives you any problems.

    <i>I pretend to know what I'm talking about.</i>
  5. I tried running it all with the two sticks (no improvment) then I tried running it with the one stick and no change either.

    Guess it has to be the PSU now. btw should I try getting new bios?
  6. If the memory is okay (memtest86 is a good tool if the rig doesn't crash before tests are completed). Yes, give the PSU a shot. It's possible a bios update will alleviate problems. But I'd only update it if the vendor explicity states something like, "this bios update will fix intermediate crashing." It's still an option, but not first on the list, imo. Also, research if others with your board and cpu have had similar troubles. Check your mobo or vendor's website if there are any bulletins that correlate with your problem.
  7. Ok I'll try it all out. Hopefuly it will all help.
    Thanks allot for the help guys I do apreciate it.
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