My PC shuts down while playing games, but it is fine for any less demanding tasks- including viewing movies. Sometimes it make a repetitive clicking noise before freezing and requiring a manual shutdown; other times it will just reboot itself.

The PC is old, but so are the games being played. Example it shuts down when playing battlefield vietnam but not for battlefield 1942. It used to play oblivion, now it can't play morrowind.

Two Pentium D 2.8GHz, 2GB ram, NVIDIA 6200 SE Turbocache

I should clarify that I can't find software that lists my cpu as compatible to measure temperature with :-(
So I don't know what the first step I should take is- besides cleaning the computer which I have done.
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  1. Take off the PC cover, put your ear close to the drives and listen. I think that "clicking" is your hard drive failing.
  2. Hard drive very suspect, run Seatools to check...

    Try Speccy for temps

    It copes with most mobos
  3. I've now got both Seatools and Speccy installed, they were just what I wanted, thank you!


    Short Drive Self Test :Fail
    Short Generic Test: Pass

    Motherboard temp reading 40 C
    Hard drive temp reading 41 C
    Graphics Card is Reading 82 C Yikes!

    But nothing is going on? I've got barely any applications open...
    Anything I can do to fix this?

    While the hard drive may need replacing, it is the gpu temp that is worrying to me. Can the gpu temp cause a restart?
  4. Make sure your GPU's fan is running and doing so at a healthy RPM. If it is, I'd remove the card and clean it with some canned air. How's the airflow in your case? You could also look into throttling the card's RPM manually.
  5. WHOA! That GPU is DEFINITELY the suspect. Take off the case, and occasionally put your hand near it. If it had a plastic shroud, or cover, touch that. If it's hellish-hot, that is definitely the problem. To answer your question, maybe. Temp. restarting on GPUs depend on the GPU. It is generally 90-95c, and your really close...
  6. First, thank you all for the help so far and please keep helping!

    It's old enough that it doesn't have a dedicated fan; it has a finned heatsink (I don't know the proper name). Air is noticeably warmer around the card and the fins are hot (as expected given the temp readings)

    The fins point down (so they are not directly where I feel the most airflow with the case open). The card is situated below the main fan.

    What baffles me is that I have run Dragon Age (with low settings) on this computer and now it can't even run morrowind without breaking into a mess of purple and green graphic horror.

    There is not a specific time I noticed this behavior start, but I think it overheated while playing dragon age a year or two ago.

    I hadn't changed anything besides routine updates from the time it worked until when it didn't. Since then I have went to town updating drivers and software, but no hardware changes.

    I had cleaned out the inside before my first post with compressed air (it was really dusty but this didn't help the problem).

    I suspect there is little I can do to fix this besides replacing the card (which might not be a bad idea given it's age)?

    If so how do I find a card compatible with my old system?

    (Also, I don't understand why this would happen after years of working properly)
  7. Yea, it's fairly old. You may want to keep your computer well ventilated and possibly a fan nearby, I'd suggest on a flat top surface such as wood or glass.
  8. I know are you are more concerned about your GPU overheating, but your HD is a clicking ticking time bomb. If it dies, you will need to replace it and reinstall windows, which is a pain and your data is lost.
    I would buy an new internal drive and an external drive. Backup your data to the external drive, use cloning software to clone your internal drive and replace/restore the clone to the new internal drive.
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