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Please help me eliminate my frustrating game freezes!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 5, 2007 10:58:51 PM

Greetings all,

My family is known to have horrible luck with PCs, but this problem is so far the most elusive and annoying problem, and nobody seems to know what's going on! I've posted on several different forums, including this one at an earlier date, to no success.

Here's the problem...I recently got a brand new PC, and it's locking up while playing games, ANY games, oblivion, WoW, 3 year old games, doesn't matter.
Sometimes it will lock up then come back from the lockup with a "VPU Recovery has reset your Graphics Accelerator as it was no longer responding to graphics driver commands", other times it will just flat out restart the computer.

Nothing is overheating, it sometimes does it when the gpu temps are as low as mid 50c. I have un-installed and reinstalled drivers, completely wiped my computer and reinstalled everything.

I called the company I ordered the PC from and they thought it might be a faulty RAM, ran mem-test and it was all normal.

I have tried everything I can think of, the only thing i can think of now is to completely return the computer for a refund, and I really don't want to have to do that.

So please help me locate this annoyance.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo e6400
Mobo: Asus P5N-SLI
PSU: Antec Truepower 500w
GPU: ATI 1950xt
RAM: 2gb DDR2 800 dual channel memory
January 5, 2007 11:14:17 PM

:lol:  :lol: 
Hey, why continue your streak of bad luck? just return it :lol: 

seriously. heat, if its a prefab (although with decent specs) check too see if you have sufficient air moving.

tbh sounds like someone you paid to build it for you?

start with heat.... stay's cool..... move onto driver conflictions.
with most of the games your saying though, ranging from intensive to quite easy, it's possible to be a multitude of issues.

computers are all about trial and error. start with what you think might be the cause, if thats not it....move onto the next. process of elimination.
January 5, 2007 11:38:47 PM

Just a guess here, but corrupted video ram may be your problem, try to check for that somehow.
Related resources
January 5, 2007 11:58:13 PM

Is this an ATI Radeon 'x' series graphics card?

If it is, try updating to the latest drivers, www.ati.com and reset all the graphics drivers to the default settings.

Sounds like a buggy driver to me. Also, update directx to the latest SDK.

www.microsoft.com/directx

You don't get the latest through windows update, gotta get it manually. :) 
January 6, 2007 12:25:03 AM

I had the exact same problem with my old fx-55, SLI 7900gtx's. Problem was the first batch or so of cards from BFG were overclocked from the factory a little to high. Sounds with a reasonable degree of probability that it is a defective graphic card. You can test for this by running your graphic card in a friends or computer shop's system, and see if it causes a freeze up. If so, you have solved the mystery(however, the test system must be sufficently fast as to stress the video card). Good luck.
a b U Graphics card
January 6, 2007 12:34:13 AM

only things i can think of are,
heat like raven said
ram?
psu?

a component can pass a test but still wont work quite right.

though this probably doesnt help much :?
Anonymous
January 6, 2007 12:36:12 AM

I definitely think its a video card issue. See if you can borrow a vid card from a friend or an old used card from your local computer shop. Also there was a problem with ATI and the vpu recovery service. Try turning OFF the VPU recovery option and running your PC for a test.
January 6, 2007 12:42:33 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions, hopefully one of them will work.
January 6, 2007 1:25:24 AM

Quote:
Thanks for all the suggestions, hopefully one of them will work.


The reason I asked if it was an ATI card, before my 8800GTS I had a Radeon x1600Pro. That card worked FLAWLESSLY in all games until one of the Catylst releases this past summer. Once I installed it, I got those VPU recovers....EVERY TIME I played WOW or Black and White 2. The next revision it went back to working flawlessly again.

If it's an ATI, try a dffferent driver, even an OLDER driver and check it. It's not always a hardware problem when it comes to ATI. They put out some really flakey drivers every third moon or so. :p 
January 6, 2007 2:21:21 AM

Yea it's an ATI card, and I've tried a lot of different drivers.

I'm looking for all the stuff that came with it so i can return it for replacement, maybe it was just a faulty card :?
January 6, 2007 3:37:56 AM

very good point. disable VPU recover and (god willing) hopefully it might just be a software issue. Possibly even use a 3rd party driver (Omega has good stuff)

PSU: nah, it seems sufficient enough for that system. unless there's massive flux on the rails (highly unlikely)

update us the second you get some results.
January 6, 2007 3:58:04 AM

I've tried disabled VPU recovery, it still does the freezes so it's a legitimate problem.

And I've tried the omega drivers, same problem.
January 6, 2007 4:08:21 AM

and the heat?
January 6, 2007 4:13:06 AM

Nothing is even close to overheating when it freezes.
January 6, 2007 5:46:59 AM

hmm. by chance do you have any off hand parts you could swap in and out?
even something cheap, that would easily narrow this down.
January 6, 2007 6:18:32 AM

unfortunately not, I upgraded from a 5 year old PC, so none of the old parts like the video card, which is an AGP, will work in the new one.
January 6, 2007 6:35:17 AM

Hey Dude if you tried the new driver and the problem is still there then plz and i am saying it again plz change the graphics card and get a new one ... or if you can then..plz try to install the grapgics card on another pc..if it stutter again then you can be sure of it...whrs the problem..
January 6, 2007 8:17:28 AM

Some Antec TruePowers have caused similar problems to what you describe.

I still use them, but tend to lean towards Antec TruePower 2.0 - 550+ watt PSUs now, they 'age' better.


With PSUs - You only need to ask yourself one question:

Are they on the nVidia SLI Certified:
http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html#ce...
; and / or the ATI/AMD Certified:
http://ati.amd.com/technology/crossfire/buildyourown2.h...
; PSUs lists ?

Links:
- http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html#ce...
- http://ati.amd.com/technology/crossfire/buildyourown2.h...
- http://users.on.net/~darkpeace/psu/List_of_Recommended_...

Stick to the certified lists above, and you'll make the perfect choice, first time, every time.
If not go one level (+41.43%) higher wattage than you think you need, it'll last you through more upgrades and reduce chances of problems when the PSU is 3+ years old.

Q3 2007: Personal estimates are around 880 watts for high end configurations, and beyond that we'll get more efficient but hopefully not need more than 880 watts per PSU. (Environmental factors, most outlets only let you use 1600 - 2400 watts max, and you want to share that by 3+ devices, etc)

See Also Thread: http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...
January 6, 2007 3:39:28 PM

the problem is its a freeze/lockup. PSU would usually result in reboot, restart or shutdown.
January 6, 2007 5:24:34 PM

Oh,

If it locks up totally, and numlock/capslock/etc don't work, and the mouse cursor (or crosshair) doesn't move, then it means the OS is having trouble paging to/from the swapfile.

If the OS can not page it simply freezes everything until the op completes.

If the HDD is having trouble, or failing, then the OS will just sit there forever.

Quite common on older, failing, HDDs.

Could still be caused by an underlying PSU problem though, once a high end Radeon kicks in it draws a fair bit of juice, if the PSU is over 6+ months old could be a contributing factor.


(1) Try another HDD
(2) Try another PSU
(3) Try another Video Card
January 6, 2007 5:53:10 PM

I'm with ya on the HDD, I'm not sure if its the GPU itself causing the issue. then again I've been wrong before. I honestly wish this kid had some scrap parts to switch in and out.

As for the PSU, the rig isnt that old, and its sufficient for the build. So unless its a really bad unit, I think we can scratch that one off.
January 6, 2007 9:38:21 PM

It's not the PSU, as i have tried swapping out one that i already had ( Which was better quality then the one that came with the PC ).

And I'm fairly certain it's not the HDD , because i used two different ones as my boot disk at different times when i was trying to find the problem.
January 6, 2007 10:00:09 PM

Hmm I just noticed something after running 3Dmark06.

On the analysis page where it lists your system and the fastest system as comparison, and a little graph at the top, this is what it said next to Graphics Card :

Graphics Card: Generic VGA, 499 MHz / 594 MHz
($74.52+)

Not sure if it means anything but it SHOULD say something like ATI Radeon 1950xt.
!