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HELP BEFORE I SMASH IT

Last response: in Components
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January 7, 2006 10:46:51 AM

Mine is a long, sad, and from looking round the web an all too familiar story:

This is the best forum I’ve found so far, you lot actually seem to know what you’re talking about so here is my tale:

I’ve built my own computer, my specs are as follows:

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name HOME
System Manufacturer 75V80
System Model 775VM800
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 3 GenuineIntel ~2999 Mhz
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 3 GenuineIntel ~2999 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. P1.30, 14/10/2005
SMBIOS Version 2.3
Windows Directory C:WINDOWS
System Directory C:WINDOWSsystem32
Boot Device DeviceHarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)"
User Name HOMEGareth
Time Zone GMT Standard Time
Total Physical Memory 1,024.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 697.02 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 2.31 GB
Page File C:p agefile.sys


My problem is that every time I play a 3d game (call of duty 1 & 2 , farcry, SOF2 etc.) is that about 10 minutes into playing my computer crashes.

Normally this is just to desktop, with an error report that doesn’t offer a solution. Occasionally, but not for a while, I get the old BSOD, followed by a reboot and ‘recovered from serious error’ message, which leads to a more than useless Microsoft site telling me it may or may not be a driver conflict (I’ll tell you more about that in a minute).

My computer is totally stable otherwise: I’ll list all the things I’ve tried so far:

1. I’ve ran 2 different types of mem test for over 12 hours: no problems
2. I’ve tried 2 different motherboards and 2 sticks of ram and 2 processors: (the shop I bought them from was very helpful)
3. I’ve tried 2 different graphics cards (a radeon 980xt and now my geforce 6600)
4. I have reseated all the components and checked the connections
5. I have replaced the hard drive
6. I have tried repairing windows, I have reinstalled a raw copy of windows.
7. I have used windows update.
8. All my drivers are up to date: I have used a driver uninstall utility to remove old drivers (in its latest incarnation my I did a raw install and only installed the latest drivers (no conflicts))
9. I did have a creative sound card, but I have since removed that and uninstalled its drivers
10. I have installed motherboard monitor and watched the temperatures before, during and after a crash: my cpu and gpu never get above 50. Just to make sure I have both sides of the case removed and a large fan blowing into it. (Believe me im freezing)
11. My bios is flashed and up to date
12. I have followed the bios set up thingy on this site and have disabled all the bollocks like game ports etc.
13. I have no IRQ sharing or conflicts
14. I am running Norton internet security, but any time I install anything I have used the ‘msconfig’ thing to boot without startup items.
15. I have tried playing games in this mode as well; the results are the same
16. I am about ready to throw it form the window.
17. I have also used gamexp to tweak my ram settings as well, but have since returned everything to it windows default.


I’ve probably done other stuff as well but I cant remember.

I really am at a loose end, the reason im posting here is that I have read somewhere that it could be a faulty PSU. I wanted to see what you guys think before I go splashing anymore money on this god forsaken typewriter:

My PSU is a Jeantech (bought from PC World here in the UK for £45 ($80))

It is rated at 425.5 Watts; here are its particulars:

+3.3v = 30amps
+5v = 28amps
+12v1 = 14amps
+12v2 = 15amps
-12v = 1amp
+5v = 2.5amps

I might be answering my own question, but the 14/15amps on the 12vlt rail seems a bit low to me??? Especially as both graphics cards I tried have had separate power inputs. Is this the cause of my problems???

Also the motherboard monitor shows the following results for my voltages:

+3.3 is averaging at 3.3
+5 is averaging at 5.08
+12 is averaging at 11.46 (with a low of 11.37)
The graphics card is on the 12v isn’t it??? Is this my problem?????

If you need any more info or copies of my minidump files (from Dr Watson) etc. please ask (they don’t mean anything to me.

I think it’s the power supply, but I would really value your opinions before I go and splash the cash. This is the single most infuriating PC problem I’ve ever ever had.

What worries me is that there are loads of people on various forums with similar problems and I cat find a comprehensive solution: some people claim to have tried new PSU’s without any joy.

HELP before I turn to the xbox for ever more……

More about : smash

January 7, 2006 11:16:14 AM

The psu is dual rail so add the 2 12v up so its 29amps

Seems the only thing you havent tried is a new psu, it may well be the problem.
Im sure the others wll be able to offer more advice but as they all seem to be in america they will be asleep.

General gaming CTD is normaly caused by graphics card drivers in my experience.

PSU problem would probably result in a total reboot normaly, but i guess with maximum draw on it the graphics card may just be cutting out through power issues.
January 7, 2006 11:36:27 AM

Thanks for reply; my first assumption was drivers related, but i have uninstalled all drivers and reinstalled the latest nvidia, tried older versions etc. etc., the same with my previous radeon card. I would think it highly unlikely that both cards have driver conflict issues.

Ther fact tht the game will run fot about 10 minutes would also suggest to me that its not a driver issue as well.

Oh and by the way i have unistalled and reinstalled directx 9c several times; all to no avail.

Thanks for your help though, if you can think of anything else please post it, im going out of my mind.
Related resources
January 7, 2006 11:42:00 AM

Quote:

My PSU is a Jeantech (bought from PC World here in the UK for £45 ($80))


Aha I see your problem - PC World! I've had nothing but problems from there.

j/k PC World probably isnt your problem.

Is anything OC'ed?
January 7, 2006 11:45:39 AM

LOL i was being to polite to say that, and I wouldnt touch em with a barge pole.
On the other hand it is easy to return things than using an online retailer.

What motherboard and p4 are you using Jubble?
January 7, 2006 12:47:38 PM

My Guess is that its a power problem also, try running the game at a lower resolution and without anti aliasing.

see if the game exits that way.
maybe the vga card is overheating or could be requiring more power then your psu can provide.

do your leds on the case flash or dim before the game exists? as this could mean that your psu cant provide enough power, your psu should b suitable for your specs but it could be faulty.

i also once had a similar problem which i solved by changing the memory slots, is your ram workin at dual channel?
January 7, 2006 1:30:10 PM

Hmmm, your story sounds just like a very strange set of occurrances I had after building a friend a computer. However, the crash to desktop happened with only one (1) game, Dark Ages of Camelot.

The problem we isolated?

The game didn't like the monitor.

Crazy, huh? We tried four different monitors, it ran PERFECTLY with two of them, no glitches or crashes whatsoever. On the other two, the game would crash and freeze and refuse to run, BSOD, the whole works. NO OTHER CHANGES WERE MADE TO THE SYSTEM THAN SWITCHING MONITORS.

Absolutely insane, but true.

Give it a try maybe? Try a different monitor?
January 7, 2006 1:42:15 PM

Thanks for all your help and interest.

In reply to your questions:

I have not overclocked anything; i have infact tried underclocking components in an effort to improve stability; all to no avail.

The ram is a single stick of unbranded 1gig ddr400, i have tried running at different speeds (slower) to see if that helps: no joy. As i said before i have tried 2 different sticks of ram, both of which tested fine on two different emtests over a 12 hour period.

The motherboard is an asrock 775vm800; it is more than capable of handling the components im using. The processor and ram came shipped with the motherboard, and as i said i have tried 2 different lots now (in various combinations).

The processor is a 3gig p4 with hyperthreading and all that stuff, my moptherboard supports this chip and its features entirely.

As a side note i forgot to mention i have antispyware as well: the microsoft one and the one from lavasoft, so i dont think its a spyware issue. I also dont have any viruses or trojans.

I would be surprized if its the monitor: I have kept the same monitor fomr my old system (amd2600xp, 2X512ram333, geforce 4200ti) which used to run all these games fine (all be it at a lower resolution).

I have tried running all the games at low resolutions and even in safe mode: wih the same result everytime (about 10-15minutes into the game the crash).

I am about 99% sure it is not a heat issue as i have monitored temperatures of case, mb, processor and gpu (although if anyone has knows of any alterative gpu tempertature monitors i could give them a try.)

The LED's do not dim at all, but they are only small anyway; its been a long time since ive had the BSOD; almost every crash now just goes to the desktop, i can then restart the game straight away and play for another 10 minutes (ish).

Oh and BTW I have tried increasing the voltage to the graphics card and ram both seperately and together (in bios), all to no avail.

Now, wheres my playstation.........ggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :x
January 7, 2006 2:37:32 PM

Quote:
The psu is dual rail so add the 2 12v up so its 29amps


That is not how you find combined amps. It's impossible to get the maximum amount of amps on each 12v rail simultaneously, so you don't add them together. You need to take the total wattage that the 12V rails put out, and divide that by 12. That will give you your combined amps on those rails, which is going to be lower than 29.
January 7, 2006 2:45:14 PM

Ok, I'm assuming that this is the PSU you have?

http://www.jeantech.com/450.htm

I wouldn't be surprised at all if this is the source of the problems. I can't calculate how many amps the 12v rails do because they don't say the max wattage on those rails. (There might be another way to figure that out that I don't know of though).

The important thing to remember is that total PSU wattage is irrelevant. How many combined amps on the 12v rails is what's important. You could have a 350w PSU perform much better than a 500w one, if the 12v rails give you more power.
January 7, 2006 2:51:14 PM

good find slug!!! thats the one

Your confirming what i thinking mysef, i just want to get a second third and forth fiftth possibly 6th opinion before i go down the road of getting a new PSU. (i want to make sure im not being told what i want to hear, if you know what i mean.)

Give me a week to collect replies and i think i'll buy a new one, i'll let you know how i get on and if it fixes the problem. Also i'll give you an ebay link to where you can purchase my old jeantech; fantastic piece of kit, highly recommeneded :lol: 
January 7, 2006 5:04:22 PM

I agree with theslug - its the PSU. The problem as I see it is the split rail limits each rail to 14 or 15A. One rail goes to the mobo & CPU. The other goes everywhere else. I dont' know which rail is which, but I'm sure its possible for a mobo with high draw equipment to want 16A+ off one rail during a demanding game.

Still dont' know what graphics card you have so can't tell how much power that's drawing, but I'd get something with at least 17A on each rail - or a single large rail would work as well. Don't know what's available over there as I'm in the US but over here Fortron Source is great for a good price - more money than cheap ones but less than other similar quality brands. Tagan, Enermax, OCZ, umm, and others of course - oh, Antec too... All good brands.

Mike.
January 8, 2006 2:16:19 PM

thanks guys

If it makes any difference its a club3d geforce 6600 agp 8x
January 8, 2006 9:39:20 PM

IM running a programme called prime95 to strees my system and fault find, i've noticed my 12 volt rail is on about 11.4 permanantly now: is that too low?
January 9, 2006 1:33:49 AM

Was it closer to 12 before? If so, that would tell me its time for a new PSU. 11.4 is still within 5% (exactly) so it shouldn't cause problems, but if the 12v line sags under load - and Prime95 doesn't stress the video at all so video stress will probably make it sag more that may take it out of spec.

Mike.
January 9, 2006 5:12:42 PM

It normally runs 11.7 ish, when not stressed, but dipped to 11.4 when running p95

First time i ran p95 it crashed after about 10 minutes, im at work now so i haven't got the exact message but it found a '4' where it expected a '5' or something like that!!!

Second time i ran it for about 5 hours and it worked fine: I HATE PC's

On a side note becuase my processor is hyper threaded (and shows as a dual processor in windows) should i be running 2 copies of p95 at once???

How do you do this cos i don't understand the instructions on the website.

I've noticed that while running p95 the processor runs at about 50% usage (from task manager), if i do other stuff while running p95 it jumps up: it seems p95 is only using half my processor???

On a side note i've bit the bullet and bought this beast:

http://www.antec.com/uk/productDetails.php?ProdID=05481

Waiting for it to arrive at the moment (should be here wednesday), the store i bought it from has a no quibbles return policy, so if that don't fix it I can always get my money back.

I'll let you know how it goes, would be interested in still investigating with p95 though.

Once again thanks for help: i'll keep you 'posted'
January 11, 2006 7:37:52 PM

Dudes:

The latest.

I fitted an installed that antec beast (i must say it truly is a thing of beauty, nice cable management system etc.) +very quiet.

Upshot is my system appears to be more stable, i managed 3/4hr on COD without a glitch. Unfortuneately its my birds birthday so I cant play no more (pants).

Interestingly, while monitoring my voltages they appear no better than with the previous supply. 12v is still at 11.34-11.4 (lowest)., despite appearing to be more stable.

I'll do more extensive testing and let you know how i get on.
January 11, 2006 10:22:25 PM

Well bro I wish you the best on your little adventure there but if it starts doing again. Try zero'ing out the hard drive's, and do a fresh raw install. Because I've had a friend with something simular to your problem, thing is he had a Pc power & cooling 510 SLI PSU ( known for rock solid voltage's ) tested the PSU..again rock solid, come to find out after running 5 different virus and spyware scans it still did the same thing.
So we zeroed out the drives and did a fresh install, loaded lasted drivers..etc
and since then he hasn't had a single hicup so it was probably a virus. Also that if your OS disk has a lite scrach in it could cause a corrpted file within windows, that wont be found untill you start a program such has a game or App. This happened to me about 7mo ago, problem was solved as soon has I did a disk resurface after many failed reloads. :?

good luck
January 25, 2006 11:25:40 AM

dudes:

just to let you know that after extensive testing (ie cod for 3hours straight) that the new PSU seems to have solved all my problems. Cheers for your help.

Now I got to pursuade PC world to give me a refund for my old ****ty psu with no box, or receipt.

MU ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
January 25, 2006 9:24:34 PM

I got same problem as you. I get Random reboots after 30 minutes. (in a game.) and my voltages are:
VCOREA: 1,55 - 1,60V.
VINR0: 1.60V
+3.3V: 3,26V
+5V: 5,13V
+12V 11,43V
-12V: -12,10V
-5V: -4,53V

Notice the +12V is at 11,43.
Is this low or hign?
I got no GPU sensor so it can be the GPU overheat but i think its PSU.
January 25, 2006 9:54:34 PM

This has to be the funniest titled thread I've ever seen.
January 25, 2006 10:17:59 PM

calm down people. an expert is amongst you. here's what you do, listen carefully. you have three choices, 1. give me the pc. 2 smash the hell out it. or the secret option 3. GET DIFFERENT DRIVERS. install NOT the newest ones. try omega if you have an ati card With that what card do you have installed? sounds like a video error.
January 25, 2006 10:29:39 PM

i got a geforce 200 ti
January 26, 2006 11:01:12 AM

lol

an expert who cant read.

IT WAS THE CACK PSU THAT WAS AT FAULT
January 26, 2006 1:25:02 PM

I think he was referring to maypep_necro's post.
January 27, 2006 9:46:53 AM

in that case my appologies.

However in my (limited) experience if the drivers are conflicting or corrupted you tend to just either not be able to run the game or there are notable glitches in the graphics.

Looking at the fella's card he could probably do with a new one any way.
January 27, 2006 11:00:32 AM

Glad to hear it is now fixed with a new PSU. I can relate.

I too had that problem on a build and it was the freakin' weak PSU!

It turned out the mainboard components required at least 12V / 16 amp feed.
Add in some hungry highend video card and full throttle CPU and forget about it ... just not enough.

Result: Kept rebooting/BSOD.

General rule after much frustration it to feed the components what they need to keep working at that pace.

NOTES:
Crash to desktop= starving video card...

Reboot= starving CPU (and video)

Solution: Larger PSU 500 Watt+

I use now larger PSU (600W) and for the future, ie., adding more HDD's, video, etc.

The rule is: Avoid asking, "Why did the straw break the camel's back?" Ask instead, Why risk it all when a straw is added to the camel's back?

Headroom is the key!

After blowing out XP Pro with code coruption by weak PSU and spending a week rebuilding my rig with a new one and reconfiguring... you learn.

Enjoy your PC,

Del ;-)
------------------------------------------------
Dual CPU's (Opteron)
Dual Video (7800GT's SLi)
RAID 0 and 250 Data HDD
XP Pro and Windows Server 2003

3D Mark Scores: 2005-9143/ 2006-5953
January 27, 2006 12:28:15 PM

I would have guessed either a heat issue or a PSU....I have had both happen to me and it really sucks.
To rule out heat ....take off the side of the case to get more ventilation around the components and see if it solves it. If not its probably the PSU, when they go they do some pretty funky stuff.....mine screwed up the boot record on my hard drives so it always seemed like the HD were faulty.
This is in response to maypep_necro, its good to hear things are going well for you now Jubble.
!