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Starcraft 2 & Diablo 3 Freezes

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August 3, 2012 10:17:51 PM

Hello,

After looking through numerous threads with people claiming exact or almost exact same problem only with Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, and spending 2 weeks with Blizzard Customer Support, which literally gave up one me, I would like to ask you to help me with the problem. (The other threads either have no solution found or the person does not reply and does not tell what solved it)

The problem is that after unspecified period of time playing actual Starcraft 2 match or Diablo 3 in game (not in menu), the screen will suddenly go black or rarely have blue or coffee pattern stripes. The sounds gets cut off after 10 sec but even while the sound is still running, the computer does not respond to keyboard or mouse. Hard reset is required.
It happens on any resolution/details – I play on lowest.

The issue began after I changed my video card from GeForce 210 to Radeon HD 6570. The old graphic card died which resulted in black screen with “no signal detected” that would also occur in the windows or while browsing through webpage. After I changed the card, the “no signal” does not occur and other GPU intensive games like Witcher 2 (on high details) ran for 20 hrs and still showed no black screen.

The change in video card occurred in the same day as the patches for both games. The people with these problem date back to 2009 but recently they claimed it was caused by the patch (most did not change their hardware). There seems to be multiple people with that problem but the rest which is 98% or more enjoys the game with no problems.

When I looked at Catalyst, the temperature goes max to 45-46C. The Power Supply is 500W and Witcher 2 on high details runs fine.

The drivers are up to date. Display driver kept showing 2011 but after using Driver Sweeper in Safe Mode I was able to update it to 2012.

Motherboard has only 1 PCI Express so I can't check in another one. I have installed hardware before and I'm confident that inserting Video Card was smooth without forcing it into slot.


Example of "pattern" - http://i.imgur.com/hCQ4Y.jpg


Solutions Tried that did not help:

Uninstalling/Reinstalling with Driver Sweeper in Safe Mode
Cleaning my interior PC from Dust – it was not dusty and was dust was removed before
installing the graphic card
Furmark testing – Passed, no issues, even let it run for 1hr
CCCleaner – Suggested by Blizzard
Memtest – no problem found
Defragmentation
Scandisk
Capping Frame Rate to 60 then to 45

Reinstalling Game
Using Repair.exe in Starcraft2 folder
Selective Startup
Changing back to Catalyst 12.4



System:

Win XP Professional 32bit

Athlon II X3 455 3.31 GHZ (not Overclocked)
3 GB DDR 2
Radeon HD 6570
ASUS M2N68-AM PLUS
500W Power supply Mad Dog


Thanks for the help :) 
August 4, 2012 10:28:32 PM

Tried underclocking my graphics card ( was not overclocked)
It does extend ability to play but froze after 9 hours.
August 5, 2012 2:11:53 AM

Those hours of playing is really long and I would suggest to you to make less time on the PC before it caues health problems. After 20 hours then it freezes up? or even 9 hours.

Even though you say in the CCC your temps are 46c on load then that tells me you have a temp problem. You should try a program like MSI Afterburner where you can watch your temps with the overlay.

Which displayes at the same time as your game playes. Even your PSU could over heat on those kind of hours. Bottom line is something is overheating or causing something to quit working in your rig.

The only way to find out it to play swap out of hardwear with a friends rig or have them bring over there stuff. Other than that I don't know what else to tell you. Good luck to you.
Related resources
August 5, 2012 2:19:04 AM

Hahaha :D 

MSI Afterburner ? I'll give it a try since I relied on ATI catalyst temp.

The hours I was talking is in total not continuously.
So compared to 20 hours on Witcher over couple of days with 0 problems
I had literally 5 min with Starcraft 2 before underclocking.
August 6, 2012 5:22:01 AM

If Starcraft is Steam game then try the verify integrity of game cache. If it is just one or two games that have the problem it could be a patch problem and I don't think it is your drivers.

You said you have updated your drivers and you have tried other drivers and still the same problem. Anyway the the MSI Afterburner and see if that helps in anyway for the temps monitoring and other cool stuff it can do. Good luck.
August 6, 2012 9:36:37 AM

It could be unstable ram on the GPU especially if underclocking helps.
August 7, 2012 5:01:35 AM

DM186 - It is not a Steam game so it won't work. Reinstalling it did not help :D 

Simon12 - I do believe you are right. Unfortunately it is too late to return Vcard
and since I can't be 100% sure (there was person to build 2 exact same pc, one for himself and 2nd for his wife and only one pc would have that problem with D3 - he had GeForce card so it was not just ATI) I don't feel like spending on another card when I have "Temporary" fix, until I choose to upgrade pc to a modern one.

I do have a question:

Could it potentially be a PSU problem ? Since it blackscreens and freezes but physically the computer is running, shouldn't it turn off if it was a PSU problem ?
August 7, 2012 10:45:22 PM

Power supply problem is not impossible as the graphics card may just get slightly underpowered and cause the crash. Try running a stress test like Intel Burn test or Prime 95, this will stress the CPU and in turn the power supply, if this runs OK then its likely a GPU problem. You could also test your system RAM with Memtest just to rule that out.
August 8, 2012 9:38:57 PM

Simon,

I wish that was a problem (other people said that too after patch(es) with no hardware changes)
but 98-99% of players plays with no problem :( 

Crash "was" random (since after underclocking it did not happen for last 5 days)
Most of the time however it would happen right when I start the game.
Diablo3 / Starcraft 2 only.
Starcraft is CPU/memory intensive game but the test as I will write show no problem on that part.

I ran Memtest - had 300% with no errors.

I ran Prime95 Blend - no errors
It takes 1,454,510K Mem Usage - Starcraft takes 1/3 of that
Does that mean it can't be my PSU then ?

I ran Furmark (at the beginning of all this) - no error
I did the maximum settings, adding even 2xAA
I would get like 9-10 fps since it was extreme stress on V-card but it never crashed
August 8, 2012 9:40:49 PM

primetest running after underclocking.

I do not want to touch something that seems to fix the issue however my fps suffer in late game
to a GeForce 210 level which is f. sad.
August 8, 2012 9:50:13 PM

I think I go back to my original suggestion of unstable RAM on the CPU, I had this myself and the lines down the screen and freezing was what happened occasionally. I would find some games would run fine then I would get the sudden freeze with the lines down the screen. I would notice in fallout 3 it would happen in certain rooms and would always happen if I stayed in that place for long but 99.9% of the game ran fine. In Shogun 2 it would very rarely happen but when it did if I went back to that save and did the same thing it would always lock up with the lines again. Some games seemed totally unaffected and in no game it happened alot. To find out 100% you either need to get a new card or try your card in someone else's PC.
August 9, 2012 2:41:03 AM

the striped pattern blue/brown/green screen is cause by gfx driver failure... the 1 thing you needed to do when you swaped out the gfx but didnt is the cause...
you didnt refresh the HAL. which means your pc is still booting the nvidia base driver for a card that nolonger exists. and the system isnt booting the ati base driver at all...
the end result is system instability...
you can do 1 of 3 things to fix it.
1) fresh install the o.s.
2) repair install the o.s.
3) refresh the hal.
refreshing the hal sounds the easiest but its actualy the most complex.
repair install also sounds easy but theres often a few issues like taking ownership of old files to contend with.
a fresh install is the most time consuming as you have to reinatll the whole system and update it with m.s updates...
the choice is yours...
personally i would say do the repair install. it takes the least amount of time and the system will be as stable as a fresh install...
also make sure your using the latest 12.6 or 7 beta drivers.
August 9, 2012 3:33:52 AM

Hello,

Simon you mean Ram on GPU right ? I thought so too but there are more people reporting that problem
in which they play Skyrims etc on High details without changing their settings.


HEXiT, Your suggestion makes sense since there were vertical lines.
Yes, I believe it loaded also the nvidia drivers and showed incorrect drivers
I used DriverSweeper in Safe Mode and reinstalled the ATI , .Net Framework, and
deleted Nvidia drivers and it seemed to fix the display driver wrong info in MSinfo32.
(Blizz support pointed out that but after that fix it still did not fix the freeze)


Since I capped FPS at 40 + Underclocked (Cap itself would not help)
I have not experienced a single freeze for last 4-5 days with hours played daily.

The last few crashes before success were only Black Screen without vertical lines.
I believe the vertical lines (which happened in around 25% of freezes) stopped
appearing at all after the display driver was fixed.

1. I sent an email to AMD support
2. Waiting for Blizzard response
After I found more people who haven't switched their hardware, their CS said that they will
forward it to Quality Assurance. Whether they are Bsing or actually gonna look into it is
irrelevant since I can't really do much to prove they just said that to get rid off my continous
reopening of the ticket.
August 9, 2012 5:51:10 AM

im only suggesting the fix because i had the same issue when i built my current setup. i used a 88gt for a few days while i waited for my 5870 to arrive. i took out the old card and put in the new. within a couple of hours i got a gray screen with vertical lines the basic colour was the same with the lines being a lighter tone. after a few weeks of partially fixing it with different drivers, only for it to reappear, i finally decided to reformat and only then did the problem disappear for good... so i looked into it further and found out it was the HAL that was at the base of the whole thing. i hate it when i dont know why something breaks then is suddenly fixed...

you can remove the drivers with driver sweeper and clean the registry but thats still not deep enough... as it stands an admin level user only gets level 3 access
so generally you wont have the access to the level where the hal is created (level 0) with most windows programs and this is the reason why you only have 3 options for the fix... yes replacing the drivers may help but on the next update the system may become unstable again so its hit and miss. the best approach is the repair. because 1s its done, regardless of what drivers you then use it should always be stable as far as the hal goes.
Quote:
After looking through numerous threads with people claiming exact or almost exact same problem only with Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, and spending 2 weeks with Blizzard Customer Support, which literally gave up one me, I would like to ask you to help me with the problem. (The other threads either have no solution found or the person does not reply and does not tell what solved it)

so at least you know now if the problem comes back which it did for me you have an idea of what is wrong and how to fix it...
August 9, 2012 4:23:48 PM

Yeah. I'm going to try that after I receive response from AMD since now it is possible to email them. I just want to make sure they exclude the game itself since Blizzard released even newer patch and it dropped fps and made delays for people so it might just be their internal problem.


I do have yet another question about MSI Afterburner.

After few hours, the display graph sheet ends up showing 650 Core and 1000 Memory which is Stock Value. Both Catalyst and main MSI window show that the GPU is still underclocked. (If I click apply again it wont "fix" it. Normally I restart and this gets fixed but yesterday it "fixed" itself without that need. Does it mean that when I see this on display MSI stopped underclocking or the graph shows wrong values.

I believe I played when it showed 650 on graph and it did not crash so I'm not sure if the problem got fixed with the newest patch.
!