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New computer locking up during games

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March 27, 2006 6:01:33 PM

I just recently built my own machine and I'm having problems the computer crashing and locking up during games. I have installed all the latest drivers, the latest version of DirectX 9, and the latest patches for the games. What happens is, during a game (usually at a random time, it could be 5 minutes into the game or 45 minutes into the game) it starts to skip really bad (just like bad server lag) and than a few seconds later I will see lots of green, pink, and blue colors flashing on the textures in the game. Than, another few seconds later, it all crashes and locks up my computer. And another thing, I can run Call Of Duty 2 just fine when it is in DirectX7 mode, but when I bump it up to DirectX9, it will crash. And alot of my other games don't give me the option to switch to DirectX7, making the games unplayable. Please help me out. I have no idea what is causing this and the manufacturer's support has been less than helpful. Thanks in advance.

The specs are:
Antec 500W Smart Power power supply
AMD Athalon 64 3700+
1 GB Corsair RAM + 1 GB Kingston RAM
EVGA nForce4 SLI Mainboard
EVGA e-GeForce 7800GT
160 GB SeaGate HD

More about : computer locking games

March 27, 2006 6:41:22 PM

Quote:
1 GB Corsair RAM + 1 GB Kingston RAM

I am curious if you can run a memtest for at least 8hours w/o any issue, that may be a good first start. You can get it here along w/ many other goodies.

I assume these are both 2 x 512M, with the same brand in the same color slot? If so, try forcing the timings to 3-3-3 and see if it locks up. then try each pair in the yellow slots with auto SPD. if all is well maybe they don't like to play together in dual-dual channel. If you have 1 stick of each in dual-channel (same color) that may also be an issue all the same.

I have the same mobo / gpu w/ an x2 3800 and I am running Patriot / PDP 2-3-2-5 2gb pair (2 x 1gb) and it is flawless - well I have only played Battlefield2, FEAR, CoD2 and Battlefront2 for hours on end w/o any problems.

Also check to see if you have hooked up the PCIE connector on the GPU (I think is mandatory or it will not fire up?), and the EZ-Plug power (a hdd-type molex power connector) that is located just above the PCIE slots...
March 27, 2006 7:13:55 PM

Yes, check the memory first. Also if you are running 4 x 512MB try dropping your RAM speed down to DDR333 (PC2700) if you haven't already.
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March 27, 2006 7:14:23 PM

it could possibly be a heat issue :?:
March 27, 2006 10:33:19 PM

Thanks for your input. However, I don't know very much about this stuff (I'm surprised I actually put it all together myself). And I didn't know you could decrease the speed of RAM. Is it pretty simple to drop it down to PC2700?

And I did have my 4 sticks of 512 RAM in different colored slots (1 Kingston in blue, and 1 in yellow). However, I just switched them so that they were in the same colored slot. And it still froze and locked up my computer.

And I looked up Memtest, but I don't have a floppy drive. And I'll have to go research on how to run a burnt image disc. I have it burnt on the disc, but now what?

The PCI cable is plugged into the graphics card and into the power supply. I'm pretty sure that's where it goes. But that EZ-Plug power thing I've never heard of. I do see a molex connector on my motherboard, but my main case fan is plugged into it.

And I don't think it's a heat problem. Although, I'm pretty clueless on the what the problem actually is at this point. So I guess it could be anything. But my temperature readings are always saying something between 30 and 40 degrees celcius.
March 28, 2006 2:56:14 AM

I had problems similar to what you are describing when I built my new system 3 months ago.

It turned out to be a crapped out (brand new) hard drive. I was getting random crashes that sometimes occured during gaming and sometimes during boot up or after windows started. It confused me because I was installing Windows XP X64 and thought that I might be having software or RAID driver compatibility issues. I finally concluded it might be a hard drive problem as the config.sys file kept getting corrupted. I swapped out the HD for the backup disc in my other computer reloaded the OS and it worked perfectly (and has done ever since).

You could test the memory by running one stick at a time and seeing what happens - be sure to switch your computer power off, disconnect form the mains and and earth the machine before removing the memory modules as static discharge can damage them.

Good Luck
March 28, 2006 3:12:09 AM

Quote:
I do see a molex connector on my motherboard, but my main case fan is plugged into it.

Take out the fan from that plug, and plug in the power supply directly there (like a hdd), that may help greatly since it supplies power directly to the PCIE bus!
The UBCD (ultimate boot CD) I mentioned previously has memtest and the HDD diag of most manufacturers, just burn the iso image to a disk (not create a cd w/ the image file on it) then boot from it - you may need to change the BIOS boot order.
March 28, 2006 5:21:03 AM

I really appreciate your guys' advice. I wanna try everything before I have to send something back.

Alright, about that molex connecter. I have a cord with three molex connectors on it and a connection to the power supply on one end. So I have the first molex connector in the DVD drive, the second in the hard drive, and the third one I added an extension and connected into that molex slot on the motherboard where my fan was. Is this what you meant by plugging my power supply to that molex connector on the motherboard?

And I tried taking the two 512 sticks of the Kingston RAM out and just left the two 512 sticks of Corsair. Same thing, locked up.

I'll put all 4 sticks back in and run that memtest tonight and see if it tells me anything.
March 28, 2006 1:48:10 PM

Quote:
I have the first molex connector in the DVD drive, the second in the hard drive, and the third one I added an extension and connected into that molex slot on the motherboard where my fan was. Is this what you meant by plugging my power supply to that molex connector on the motherboard?

Good enough, my PS had a lead w/ a single HDD type connector and a floppy so that one was perfect to run parallel with the ATX & CPU power leads so I used that one. Looks nice and neat since it is zip-tied to the rear case fan along w/ the cpu & gpu heat sensor leads.

You can also try a bootable linux distro like knoppix, sometimes I use that to boot a fresh system, d/l and run prime95... is useful to test outside windows envrionment completely.
March 28, 2006 8:25:05 PM

Nothings working. I'll just RMA the video card. Even though I'm not sure if that's the problem. But we'll see.
!