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Crashing issue: The most CONFUSING COMPUTER ISSUE EVER!!

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July 17, 2006 11:44:01 PM

This is a problem that has existed for 1 year now, and I am at my wit’s end. If anyone has any ideas..please respond. If not, it is understandable. I’m not quite sure if anyone could possibly think of anything else, but I have been surprised before. I apologize for the length of this, but after a year's worth of troubleshooting, I don't want someone to reply with "Have you tried reformatting?"

Without further delay, here is my issue.

I built a system for my brother last year for his graduation. This system is as follows:

AMD 64 3500+
DFI LanParty SLI UT
2G (2x1G) OCZ Platinum
BFG Geforce 6800GT OC
2x 250G Maxtor SATA
Sony DVDRW 16x Dual layer
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
Antec NeoPower 480W
Onboard Gigabit NIC
XP-90 HSF
2 Cold-Cathode UV
Thermaltake Tsunami w/ 2 120mm fans
Samsung 930B w/ DVI cable

Ok.now when I first built the computer, after I installed Windows XP Pro and the games he plays, I ran a game and it crashed on me after about 10 minutes of play. I could make it through a round of 3dmark 2003 with no problems. The game in question is Battlefield 2. first thing I thought was.. I must be experiencing that BF2 issue. I loaded a few other games. Let them run for about 15-20 minutes but did not have any problems, but did not want to sit there for hours making sure it was 100% stable. The next day my brother was able to get in some gaming. He called me up telling me his computer is crashing. It didn’t have much of a pattern, but it could last in a game for 30 minutes then crash, or last for less than 5 minutes then crash. So, I went back to my parents house to start troubleshooting. I first thought it may be a heat issue even though everything is stock and I am running a XP-90 on the proc. The temps were fine, during load it got up to 48 but from what I could tell is no more than that. I then started searching around and people were saying the new Athlon 64’s were having issues running 2G of ram because of the memory controller. So I decided to run with half the RAM (1G stick in single channel mode.) It appeared that made the computer more stable. I was able to play Battlefield 2 and COD2 for about 45 minutes, but then it crashed. So then I decided to take my ram (OCZ Gold VX 512x2) in his computer and run it in dual channel. This was slightly more stable, and yielded the same results as running 1G in single channel) It was stable for anywhere from 30-45 but it was still crashing. Then people were saying the DFI LanParty mobo combined with the ram was possibly the problem. I put his 3500+ in my motherboard (at the time a MSI Neo2 Platinum), and my motherboard ran it fine with my OCZ Gold VX running dual channel. Then I decided to take my ram out, and put his 2G of OCZ platinum in my setup. I ran this with no problems either. I ran both of these setups for a day while I was gaming. No crashes with either HIS processor, or HIS ram. When I put MY AMD 64 3000+ in his computer, it was still crashing. So I just assumed..maybe it IS this DFI mobo. I contacted New Egg, and had them RMA the mobo, and get me a different mobo. I had them send me a MSI Neo4 SLI Platinum. Since my memory was getting close to the expiration of the warranty, I decided to trade in the 2G for 1G due to the better timings. I figured might as well kill 2 birds with 1 stone, and games of that day really didn’t call for that much RAM. So I had them send me a Gig kit of OCZ Platinum (TCCD chips). Once the parts came in, I set it all up once again. Went through the exact same ordeal, only to find out the computer was STILL crashing. So I figured..ok..it’s not the ram, it’s not the processor, and it’s not the mobo. A month or two of troubleshooting and waiting on RMA’s down the drain. So I went on and on trying to troubleshoot timings, underclocking the CPU..increasing voltages on ram and processor. I was running Prime 95 stable for days, and not ONE error in memtest86 after 24 hours of testing. I was underclocking the videocard, but the one main issue was..I did NOT have a PCI-E video card I could test as an alternative. Finally, a few months later, and a million crashes later, I built a system for a buddy of mine. His computer is almost identical to my brother’s system. Same mobo, same ram, same sound, same optical drive, same power supply, even the same case. The only thing that is different is he bought a 7800GTX. His computer ran fine, and was rock stable, so I asked him if I could come over to his place with my brother’s video card. So I popped in my brother’s video card into his mobo. Within 5 minutes of playing Battlefield 2, it crashed.

Now let me also describe the type of crash that happens (and this is on ANY game..specific ones are Battlefield 2, Doom III, Call of Duty UO, Call of Duty , Counter Strike Source, Half Life 2, and the list goes on..hell even Rogue Spear which is a 6 year old game.) the game will be playing fine, and then, the monitor looses it’s signal, and the sounds continue to loop. It is not a crash to desktop. It doesn’t really “reboot” either, you have to do that manually to get the computer to respond again.

So now, with the realization that his video card, pulled out of his system, and put into a stable system, is making that perfectly stable system crash, I was definitely dealing with a video card issue. I RMA’d the video card with New Egg. The RMA took a little while to come back, but once it did, I put it in his system, and expected the best, but got the worse. My brother does not have a bunch of time to dedicate to hours of gaming. He is typically able to play 1 round of Battlefield at a time. Typically about 30 minutes of gaming. The crashes are sooooo random. They can happen within 5 minutes, or they can last 45 minutes. So for a while, I was assuming his computer was running fine, until he mentioned to me that it was still doing the same thing. He was hesitant to tell me because the crashes were about 30 minutes apart, and he just dealt with it because he did not want to be out of a computer for another week or two. I continued to troubleshoot. Checking event viewer, reformatting a million times, only reformatting and then installing the essentials to run the game. Tried running iintegrated sound and took the SB Audigy out. Still crashing. Due to the fact that it takes 30-45 minutes for me to drive to my parents house, I cannot continue to troubleshoot. I have to make one change, and if I do not have the ability to sit down for 1-2 hours to test, I will not know it is running flaky still. Well, a year passes of me troubleshooting in the same fashion.

Let’s skip to a few weeks ago. Since we have the same mobo now, and identical hardware, I figured I would take his 2 SATA drives out and put them in my computer. When I did that..I formatted, and ran Windows with 1G of ram, and it ran fine. No crashes for over 1 ½ hours. So I figured out it wasn’t the HD. So I decided to do the same troubleshooting step I did over a half year ago. I took MY 7900GT out of my computer, and put it in his. It ran for almost an hour. Then I took his video card, and put it in MY computer. It crashed within 3 minutes of playing. My computer hasn’t crashed in AGES. I can game for days with no problems, but the second his BFG 6800GT went in my computer, my computer started crashing. It crashes with the exact same crash..no monitor signal..have to manually restart the machine.

SO ONCE AGAIN.. if my years of doing this has taught me anything is that Linear troubleshooting is ALWAYS a must, and if Computer “A” crashes all the time, and Computer “B” does not, and you take the video card (which you think may be the culprit) out of computer A, and put in computer B, and it makes Computer B crash. And Conversely, if you take the video card out of Computer B, and put it in Computer A, and it solves the problem..wouldn’t you assume it’s the video card?

So I RMA’d the video card once again but this time with BFG. I received it last week, and put it in my brother’s computer, but it still continues to crash. I reformatted and reinstalled but it did not solve the problem.

So what do YOU think? Do I have a poltergeist in my parents house hell bent on screwing me over? Should I light it all on fire, and buy him a whole new rig on the CC?

I can safely say I have put together over 50 computers since the year 2000. My first build was my 486SX 25MHz 4M of ram with Windows 3.1. I have been doing this a while (not as long as some of you) but I have NEVER had a problem I didn’t solve. This is the most frustrating thing in the world to me. I have spent more money in gas to my parents house to afford a whole new rig possibly.

His computer specs CURRENTLY
is as follows:

AMD 64 3500+
MSI Neo4 SLI Platinum
1G (2x512M) OCZ Platinum
BFG Geforce 6800GT OC
2x 250G Maxtor SATA
Sony DVDRW 16x Dual layer
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
Antec NeoPower 480W
Onboard Gigabit NIC
XP-90 HSF
2 Cold-Cathode UV
Thermaltake Tsunami w/ 2 120mm fans
Samsung 930B w/ DVI cable


Parts I have swapped out with the parts above:
CPU: AMD 64 3000+
MOBO: Same exact mobo, and a DFI LAnParty UT SLI
RAM: 2G of OCZ plat, & 1G (512x2) of Patriot TCCD
Video: 7900GT, and 2 other 6800GT’s
HD: 160G Seagate

PLEASE HELP!!
July 18, 2006 5:44:59 AM

have you tried a bigger, or RMA'd power supply?
July 18, 2006 7:57:38 AM

Quote:
This is a problem that has existed for 1 year now, and I am at my wit’s end. If anyone has any ideas..please respond. If not, it is understandable. I’m not quite sure if anyone could possibly think of anything else, but I have been surprised before. I apologize for the length of this, but after a year's worth of troubleshooting, I don't want someone to reply with "Have you tried reformatting?"

Without further delay, here is my issue.

I built a system for my brother last year for his graduation. This system is as follows:

AMD 64 3500+
DFI LanParty SLI UT
2G (2x1G) OCZ Platinum
BFG Geforce 6800GT OC
2x 250G Maxtor SATA
Sony DVDRW 16x Dual layer
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
Antec NeoPower 480W
Onboard Gigabit NIC
XP-90 HSF
2 Cold-Cathode UV
Thermaltake Tsunami w/ 2 120mm fans
Samsung 930B w/ DVI cable

Ok.now when I first built the computer, after I installed Windows XP Pro and the games he plays, I ran a game and it crashed on me after about 10 minutes of play. I could make it through a round of 3dmark 2003 with no problems. The game in question is Battlefield 2. first thing I thought was.. I must be experiencing that BF2 issue. I loaded a few other games. Let them run for about 15-20 minutes but did not have any problems, but did not want to sit there for hours making sure it was 100% stable. The next day my brother was able to get in some gaming. He called me up telling me his computer is crashing. It didn’t have much of a pattern, but it could last in a game for 30 minutes then crash, or last for less than 5 minutes then crash. So, I went back to my parents house to start troubleshooting. I first thought it may be a heat issue even though everything is stock and I am running a XP-90 on the proc. The temps were fine, during load it got up to 48 but from what I could tell is no more than that. I then started searching around and people were saying the new Athlon 64’s were having issues running 2G of ram because of the memory controller. So I decided to run with half the RAM (1G stick in single channel mode.) It appeared that made the computer more stable. I was able to play Battlefield 2 and COD2 for about 45 minutes, but then it crashed. So then I decided to take my ram (OCZ Gold VX 512x2) in his computer and run it in dual channel. This was slightly more stable, and yielded the same results as running 1G in single channel) It was stable for anywhere from 30-45 but it was still crashing. Then people were saying the DFI LanParty mobo combined with the ram was possibly the problem. I put his 3500+ in my motherboard (at the time a MSI Neo2 Platinum), and my motherboard ran it fine with my OCZ Gold VX running dual channel. Then I decided to take my ram out, and put his 2G of OCZ platinum in my setup. I ran this with no problems either. I ran both of these setups for a day while I was gaming. No crashes with either HIS processor, or HIS ram. When I put MY AMD 64 3000+ in his computer, it was still crashing. So I just assumed..maybe it IS this DFI mobo. I contacted New Egg, and had them RMA the mobo, and get me a different mobo. I had them send me a MSI Neo4 SLI Platinum. Since my memory was getting close to the expiration of the warranty, I decided to trade in the 2G for 1G due to the better timings. I figured might as well kill 2 birds with 1 stone, and games of that day really didn’t call for that much RAM. So I had them send me a Gig kit of OCZ Platinum (TCCD chips). Once the parts came in, I set it all up once again. Went through the exact same ordeal, only to find out the computer was STILL crashing. So I figured..ok..it’s not the ram, it’s not the processor, and it’s not the mobo. A month or two of troubleshooting and waiting on RMA’s down the drain. So I went on and on trying to troubleshoot timings, underclocking the CPU..increasing voltages on ram and processor. I was running Prime 95 stable for days, and not ONE error in memtest86 after 24 hours of testing. I was underclocking the videocard, but the one main issue was..I did NOT have a PCI-E video card I could test as an alternative. Finally, a few months later, and a million crashes later, I built a system for a buddy of mine. His computer is almost identical to my brother’s system. Same mobo, same ram, same sound, same optical drive, same power supply, even the same case. The only thing that is different is he bought a 7800GTX. His computer ran fine, and was rock stable, so I asked him if I could come over to his place with my brother’s video card. So I popped in my brother’s video card into his mobo. Within 5 minutes of playing Battlefield 2, it crashed.

Now let me also describe the type of crash that happens (and this is on ANY game..specific ones are Battlefield 2, Doom III, Call of Duty UO, Call of Duty , Counter Strike Source, Half Life 2, and the list goes on..hell even Rogue Spear which is a 6 year old game.) the game will be playing fine, and then, the monitor looses it’s signal, and the sounds continue to loop. It is not a crash to desktop. It doesn’t really “reboot” either, you have to do that manually to get the computer to respond again.

So now, with the realization that his video card, pulled out of his system, and put into a stable system, is making that perfectly stable system crash, I was definitely dealing with a video card issue. I RMA’d the video card with New Egg. The RMA took a little while to come back, but once it did, I put it in his system, and expected the best, but got the worse. My brother does not have a bunch of time to dedicate to hours of gaming. He is typically able to play 1 round of Battlefield at a time. Typically about 30 minutes of gaming. The crashes are sooooo random. They can happen within 5 minutes, or they can last 45 minutes. So for a while, I was assuming his computer was running fine, until he mentioned to me that it was still doing the same thing. He was hesitant to tell me because the crashes were about 30 minutes apart, and he just dealt with it because he did not want to be out of a computer for another week or two. I continued to troubleshoot. Checking event viewer, reformatting a million times, only reformatting and then installing the essentials to run the game. Tried running iintegrated sound and took the SB Audigy out. Still crashing. Due to the fact that it takes 30-45 minutes for me to drive to my parents house, I cannot continue to troubleshoot. I have to make one change, and if I do not have the ability to sit down for 1-2 hours to test, I will not know it is running flaky still. Well, a year passes of me troubleshooting in the same fashion.

Let’s skip to a few weeks ago. Since we have the same mobo now, and identical hardware, I figured I would take his 2 SATA drives out and put them in my computer. When I did that..I formatted, and ran Windows with 1G of ram, and it ran fine. No crashes for over 1 ½ hours. So I figured out it wasn’t the HD. So I decided to do the same troubleshooting step I did over a half year ago. I took MY 7900GT out of my computer, and put it in his. It ran for almost an hour. Then I took his video card, and put it in MY computer. It crashed within 3 minutes of playing. My computer hasn’t crashed in AGES. I can game for days with no problems, but the second his BFG 6800GT went in my computer, my computer started crashing. It crashes with the exact same crash..no monitor signal..have to manually restart the machine.

SO ONCE AGAIN.. if my years of doing this has taught me anything is that Linear troubleshooting is ALWAYS a must, and if Computer “A” crashes all the time, and Computer “B” does not, and you take the video card (which you think may be the culprit) out of computer A, and put in computer B, and it makes Computer B crash. And Conversely, if you take the video card out of Computer B, and put it in Computer A, and it solves the problem..wouldn’t you assume it’s the video card?

So I RMA’d the video card once again but this time with BFG. I received it last week, and put it in my brother’s computer, but it still continues to crash. I reformatted and reinstalled but it did not solve the problem.

So what do YOU think? Do I have a poltergeist in my parents house hell bent on screwing me over? Should I light it all on fire, and buy him a whole new rig on the CC?

I can safely say I have put together over 50 computers since the year 2000. My first build was my 486SX 25MHz 4M of ram with Windows 3.1. I have been doing this a while (not as long as some of you) but I have NEVER had a problem I didn’t solve. This is the most frustrating thing in the world to me. I have spent more money in gas to my parents house to afford a whole new rig possibly.

His computer specs CURRENTLY
is as follows:

AMD 64 3500+
MSI Neo4 SLI Platinum
1G (2x512M) OCZ Platinum
BFG Geforce 6800GT OC
2x 250G Maxtor SATA
Sony DVDRW 16x Dual layer
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
Antec NeoPower 480W
Onboard Gigabit NIC
XP-90 HSF
2 Cold-Cathode UV
Thermaltake Tsunami w/ 2 120mm fans
Samsung 930B w/ DVI cable


Parts I have swapped out with the parts above:
CPU: AMD 64 3000+
MOBO: Same exact mobo, and a DFI LAnParty UT SLI
RAM: 2G of OCZ plat, & 1G (512x2) of Patriot TCCD
Video: 7900GT, and 2 other 6800GT’s
HD: 160G Seagate

PLEASE HELP!!


Longshot, but have you always used the same nvidia driver version? Otherwise, from what you have expanded on regarding the pecularity of the random crashes, I would say the situation is just that...peculiar. Have you contacted a fortune teller?
Related resources
July 18, 2006 8:06:36 AM

I had an issue with a particular video card at one point. When set on high the Zalman fan would cause vibration to the card an cause it to loose the SLI configuration. I would open the case and feel the card and I could feel it was 'off balance' due to the high RPM of the attached heatsink/fan. I set the fan on low speed and my problem ceased. Could the BFG card(s) have an off balance fan causing vibration which in turn causes the card to become 'unseated' after an extended period of run time? You might check to see if your card vibrates a lot when running.
July 18, 2006 8:33:39 AM

You never said you tried any other card except the BFG 6800Gt when the crashing occured. It was the 6800GT being used in any system that crashed, yours or your brothers. Granted, even with the replacement card. Don't know. I'd try a different card.
July 18, 2006 8:50:48 AM

Personally I'd try a new mobo BIOS andor buy a new vid card.

Vibration unsetting the card would be an explanation, but then, how could the computer reboot without error?

Since you said you were using a PCI-E card, it's not a problem of unstable AGP 8X signal... The driver revision could indeed be the problem, as would be a slightly faulty PCI-E line...
July 18, 2006 8:59:17 AM

>>Personally I'd try a new mobo BIOS andor buy a new vid card. <<

I agree. He did say he put the video card in another computer and that computer crashed too. Video card problem is obvious. But He rma'd the video card to BFG. That card did the same thing, crash. I have the same MB as the second one He used, the MSI Neo4 Platinum SLI. I had the problem of the card jumping out of SLI in this board until I lowered the Zalman fan speed. The problem ceased to exist after I stopped the vibration. My MB does not have the 'back lock mechanism' on the video card. His first MB crashed too. The BFG 6800GT card is the problem.
July 18, 2006 9:06:25 AM

a bad BIOS or damaged motherboard could damage plugged in vidcards - it could also be that its present video card doesn't like BFG 6800GT for a reason, but that this problem would have been fixed in a new BIOS release - which would explain why a more recent version of the same mobo doesn't have the problem (more recent BIOS revision).

Steps:
- Flash BIOS and test
- if above failed, get another brand/model of vidcard
July 18, 2006 9:14:41 AM

Yeah. Video card, BIOS, Vid card driver version.
July 18, 2006 9:16:49 AM

Quote:
a bad BIOS or damaged motherboard could damage plugged in vidcards - it could also be that its present video card doesn't like BFG 6800GT for a reason, but that this problem would have been fixed in a new BIOS release - which would explain why a more recent version of the same mobo doesn't have the problem (more recent BIOS revision).

Steps:
- Flash BIOS and test
- if above failed, get another brand/model of vidcard


He could have just said, "hey, I put this BFG 6800GT in two different computers and I crashed, even after I RMA'd it."
July 18, 2006 9:29:44 AM

I would imagine its the BFG Geforce 6800GT OC.

Try this forum http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=1029&hl=ge...

My 6600GT was really unstable until I fould my southbridge can't cope with GFx cards changing their clockspeed, and just stopped sending the card data, resulting in exactly what you describe. Having said that, my chipsets are crappy SiS ones.

I would go through the forum and try everything they list.
July 18, 2006 10:15:19 AM

Sell the card and buy a used ATI
July 18, 2006 10:39:04 AM

my sympathy is with you, it is this sort of thing that worries me when building pcs lucky(fingers crossed) i havnt had an issue yet
personally i would change the model of the vid card or flash the bios on the current one and if that doesnt solve it give him your vid card when you get yourself an upgrade.

sorry couldnt have been any more help
July 18, 2006 10:43:28 AM

I've had exactly the same problem as you describe. And the problem was with my soundblaster drivers, and I can't help noticing that this computer also has a soundblaster card installed...

The fix for me was the following:
Go to the control panel->Sound and audio properties.
at the bottom of the "Volume" tab, in the speaker properties group press "Advanced properties".
now switch to the "performance" tab and turn the "Hardware acceleration" slider to "none".

That fixed my problem, and as I said, it was exactly the same as yours, and I followed pretty much the same troubleshooting procedure as you did (including changing the RAM etc...).

Tell me if this works...
July 18, 2006 11:05:55 AM

Quote:
I've had exactly the same problem as you describe. And the problem was with my soundblaster drivers, and I can't help noticing that this computer also has a soundblaster card installed...

The fix for me was the following:
Go to the control panel->Sound and audio properties.
at the bottom of the "Volume" tab, in the speaker properties group press "Advanced properties".
now switch to the "performance" tab and turn the "Hardware acceleration" slider to "none".

That fixed my problem, and as I said, it was exactly the same as yours, and I followed pretty much the same troubleshooting procedure as you did (including changing the RAM etc...).

Tell me if this works...


copy that! i have/had the same problem and audiocard too and my random crashes stopped after taking out the audigy 2 zs.... now i'm gaming with onboard sound which actually also does the trick.

try disabling hardware acceleration or removing the soundcard and let us know if that helps
July 18, 2006 11:16:26 AM

It is a problem with the BIOS on the videocard.
My guess is that you got two BFG video cards with the same BIOS revison.

I had the exact same problem with my 6800 Ultra, when i upgraded my videocard BIOS it worked like a charm, no craches what-so-ever.

Hope this sovles it.

P.S. Be a little careful when updating the BIOS, if the power is unpluged while the upgrade is in proress your card is a goner.
July 18, 2006 1:04:40 PM

failed video BIOS update: no, the card can be reflashed, provided:
- you have a PCI or integrated video card
- you're lucky enough to know your way on a command line

I once screwed up a video card's BIOS update; I booted using an old PCI S3 card, ran the BIOS updater from a command line, and recovered the card.

However, I must say that the Soundblaster thread is worth investigating: Creative has released a few VERY crappy drivers they almost never updated, and the PCI resources they make their hardware use is often misconfigured.

Increasing PCI latency in BIOS (from 32/64 to 128 for example) could improve matters a bit, and so would disabling ACPI => making the card use real IRQs instead of virtual ones.

Doing those will require you to configure the system by hand from top to bottom, but may solve your problem.
July 18, 2006 3:08:55 PM

nice story, well written too :) 


Here is a rephrase see if it sounds right;

known good video card from your system works ok in his, correct? (although only 1 hour test probably not conclusive but let's assume it works)

his identical bfgs (3 of them) fail in his sytem and fail in others (sometimes yours and sometimes in your other friend's (and at different locations? to rule out his house electrical) and all of you have beefy/quality PSU. correct?

but here is the kicker all 3 of you have same hardware (except the vid card) at this point, correct? I know he had a DFI and different ram at first however. So prolly not a conflict with this identical configuration you all have but still. it could be, I'd try the bfg in yet another system very disimmilar, if it works you'll know its good and that there is a hardware incompatability. Perhaps a bios flash of bfg will fix this. (the card should have a recent, but known stable bios in any event at this point! they come from the store usually with old bios, as I'm sure you know.)



back to our test, if bfg fails in that disimmilar system then let's assume vid card is bad

but how could you get 3 bad cards in a row? if bfg had a bad batch I think we would probably have heard, but maybe not, this is long shot.

so maybe the cards are coming good from the store but his system is killing them, not likely but your problem is so odd this has to be tested

Try this, or he can try it without your having to travel - get a new BFG from a new store, maybe retail with liberal return policy or from some place other than newegg, put it in someone elses system system first, if it works then try it in his, if it fails in his retry it in first sytem and if it fails in the first then his system killed it

possibly corrupetd the bios or damaged hardware specific to 3d

PS: prolly not the Audigy since you did say you removed that in 1 test, correct?

that's all I got
July 18, 2006 3:50:58 PM

Quote:
You never said you tried any other card except the BFG 6800Gt when the crashing occured. It was the 6800GT being used in any system that crashed, yours or your brothers. Granted, even with the replacement card. Don't know. I'd try a different card.


To be honest they probably got his card in the shop plugged it in to see if it worked for like 15 minutes on the windows desktop and stuffed it back in a different box and mailed it back (They may also have ran some sort of diagnostic software) Next time you RMA something it might be worth your time to use a marker on the hardware just to see if they sent you the same one back lol The sound card could be an issue but I think it would crash alot sooner then 10-30 minutes of game time... if it was the driver ? But its also worth a try as its something you could call and have your brother try over the phone.
July 18, 2006 4:11:04 PM

OMG, I had like the exact problem, but I was too lazy to do all what you did. It was PSU in my case. How are the rails?

Removing the stupid Sound Blaster card also fixed another similar issue in another machine.

I know how frustrating it can be, believe me. I had the same problem, except I had BSOD + crashing games.

Going back a few Forceware driver updates on another machine with the same problem helped.

~Ibrahim~
July 18, 2006 4:43:52 PM

he makes a good point. if you RMA again mark the card.

check your PSU, but since the card is still crashing in other systems i would think that you have a short somewhere in your brothers computer. now im not addressing your computer building skills, but we all miss something sometimes.

a short in circutry (maybe bad mobo connection to case) could be affecting your video cards, damaging them to a point where they still work in 2d but not in 3d apps.

i would be looking for a short in the system, but its just a thought.
July 18, 2006 4:45:09 PM

or just get a whole new vid card altogether. its been a year.
July 18, 2006 4:46:03 PM

Quote:
You never said you tried any other card except the BFG 6800Gt when the crashing occured. It was the 6800GT being used in any system that crashed, yours or your brothers. Granted, even with the replacement card. Don't know. I'd try a different card.


To be honest they probably got his card in the shop plugged it in to see if it worked for like 15 minutes on the windows desktop and stuffed it back in a different box and mailed it back (They may also have ran some sort of diagnostic software) Next time you RMA something it might be worth your time to use a marker on the hardware just to see if they sent you the same one back lol The sound card could be an issue but I think it would crash alot sooner then 10-30 minutes of game time... if it was the driver ? But its also worth a try as its something you could call and have your brother try over the phone.

The second board He used was the same one as mine, MSI N4 SLI. It has a built in soundblaster 24 bit chip. If you read into what the guy said, he used a BFG 6800gt and built a computer. It crashed randomly. Finally he took the BFG 6800GT and put it in another compter and that computer suddenly started crashing. Granted He had rma's the card. But you explained that pretty well 8O Simple enough. It's the card. In reading his post I felt like I was reading a word problem out of my Jr. High math book a billion years ago. BTW. Which train got to point C the fastest?
July 18, 2006 5:04:47 PM

I myself have a 6800gt and have the same random crashes in BF2, but found that the patch can be a problem. However, the random crashes spread to other games and I found that the drivers for my card were changing the clock speed and actually cranked it up to 20% OC resulting in the system becomming unstable and thus crashing. The monitor would loose signal and the system would hang with the same repeting sound. Check your frequencies using riva tuner and see if they are changing incorrectly.
July 18, 2006 5:09:34 PM

Quote:
I myself have a 6800gt and have the same random crashes in BF2, but found that the patch can be a problem. However, the random crashes spread to other games and I found that the drivers for my card were changing the clock speed and actually cranked it up to 20% OC resulting in the system becomming unstable and thus crashing. The monitor would loose signal and the system would hang with the same repeting sound. Check your frequencies using riva tuner and see if they are changing incorrectly.


Well what the hey! :D  That's it!!! That's what I said! It's the card.
July 18, 2006 5:17:05 PM

Quote:
I myself have a 6800gt and have the same random crashes in BF2, but found that the patch can be a problem. However, the random crashes spread to other games and I found that the drivers for my card were changing the clock speed and actually cranked it up to 20% OC resulting in the system becomming unstable and thus crashing. The monitor would loose signal and the system would hang with the same repeting sound. Check your frequencies using riva tuner and see if they are changing incorrectly.


I just remembered I had an XFX 6800GT. The thing ran so hot. After seven months, my machine started crashing during game play. I did the same thing as this guy in suspecting the RAM, CPU, MB, etc., etc. It was the 6800GT causing all the crashes. RMA'd for refund from Newegg. My crashes ceased.
July 18, 2006 5:56:40 PM

Quote:
You never said you tried any other card except the BFG 6800Gt when the crashing occured. It was the 6800GT being used in any system that crashed, yours or your brothers. Granted, even with the replacement card. Don't know. I'd try a different card.


To be honest they probably got his card in the shop plugged it in to see if it worked for like 15 minutes on the windows desktop and stuffed it back in a different box and mailed it back (They may also have ran some sort of diagnostic software) Next time you RMA something it might be worth your time to use a marker on the hardware just to see if they sent you the same one back lol The sound card could be an issue but I think it would crash alot sooner then 10-30 minutes of game time... if it was the driver ? But its also worth a try as its something you could call and have your brother try over the phone.

that sounds like a real possibility, can you confirm you got a different card returned?
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