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Please help! PC freezing for no apparant reason...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 11, 2007 9:55:47 AM

When I play games (even games like Warcraft 3 which my system should handle with ease), I think :D  ) my PC would just freeze for 10-15 sec or so, and then be fine for a while and then do this again. It's seriously frustrating, since I have no idea what the cause might be.

My specs:

AMD Athlon 64 3700+
Jetway GeForce 7600GT
1 gig cheap memory
500w PSU

BTW I thought my gfx card might be overheating or something, so I bought a Zalman VF900-cu gpu cooler as well as a Vantec VCool, and my gpu temperature idles at 37 degrees, so I'm running out of ideas...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
March 11, 2007 6:50:55 PM

Yip, my drivers are fine, Aopen PSU, so not best of brands. I was a bit of a noob when I built this pc, thought brands didn't matter. Idiot. *swears at himself*
March 11, 2007 7:41:44 PM

Has it always behaved this way, or is it something that started happening recently?
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March 12, 2007 6:46:52 PM

I'm pretty sure it's been like this from the beginning. I'm also convinced it's heat related, because I live in South Africa, and it's seriously hot during the day at the moment, and the problem tends to lessen at night when it's cooler.
March 12, 2007 7:30:13 PM

You said your gfx card idles at 37, how hot does it get under load?

And what are your CPU temps like?
March 12, 2007 7:34:52 PM

YOU NEED TO CHANGE FROM DSL TO CABLE!!!

how many times i gotta tell ya bro?

DSL is intermittent!! and limited to 1/10 the spead of CABLE!
March 12, 2007 7:39:36 PM

You'll need watercooling! Anyway don't you guys have AC down in SA? Usually if it overheats it'll freeze and won't come back. If your graphics card overheat, you'll start seeing artifacts and glitches before it freezes out. Maybe you didn't apply enough thermal paste/grease to your HSF, if even? You might need to lap it.
March 12, 2007 7:53:31 PM

Quote:
YOU NEED TO CHANGE FROM DSL TO CABLE!!!

how many times i gotta tell ya bro?

DSL is intermittent!! and limited to 1/10 the spead of CABLE!


I can't believe this guy hasn't been banned yet.
March 12, 2007 8:17:38 PM

Fedor, help the guy out with ideas!

Tell the author that he needs to shutdown all his background programs plus firewalls if any to maximize his online bandwidth.

Most players have antivirus or music programs running in the back which can constantly check for updates. This then cause huge slow downs.

Furthermore, use lower resolution settings for the desktop and the game.

1024x768 x 32 bit for both desktop and game is the best.

Fedor, prove that u have a brain?
March 12, 2007 9:05:54 PM

Quote:
Fedor, help the guy out with ideas!

Tell the author that he needs to shutdown all his background programs plus firewalls if any to maximize his online bandwidth.

Most players have antivirus or music programs running in the back which can constantly check for updates. This then cause huge slow downs.

Furthermore, use lower resolution settings for the desktop and the game.

1024x768 x 32 bit for both desktop and game is the best.

Fedor, prove that u have a brain?


Wow the guy actually speaks! Mostly his posts are the same rubbish just copy-pasted.

As for ideas, I'm waiting for him to tell me the CPU temps. Giving uninformed irrelevant advice is what you do, remember?
March 13, 2007 1:23:50 AM

wow, that dude is retarded.

internet speed doesnt matter, i haev dial up, i dont get TOO many hang ups.

tsk tsk.
March 13, 2007 1:11:51 PM

Don't pay attention to PC_side_line's posts. If you want an idea, search for his posts and you'll realize he has a pretty strange behavior. Check out his "egg before chicken" post in one thread, and another about "Sadam Hussein and computers" where he makes no sense at all.

He keeps posting that 1024x768 irrelevant advice (he has done so in 5+ posts). A ton of people have proved him wrong, but he never replies back.
March 13, 2007 2:38:51 PM

Unfortunately he has derailed this thread somewhat, so I'll repeat my question to the OP - what are your load GPU temps like, and what are your CPU idle/load temps?
March 13, 2007 3:48:23 PM

CPU temps average about 35 degrees. Not sure about GPU under load, will post a bit later as I can't test right now
March 13, 2007 3:54:21 PM

Also, can someone please help me out:
Can little power surges or something have this type of effect?
March 13, 2007 3:57:13 PM

That sounds like a software issue to me. Scan for spyware and viruses.
March 13, 2007 4:00:29 PM

OK will do. Any recommendations for a good spyware remover? BTW I'm only using AVG free, is that sufficient?
March 13, 2007 4:35:28 PM

Kewl, I'll give that a go and let you.

Thanks.
March 13, 2007 4:36:30 PM

To me this sounds like some other process is kicking off that is interfering.

It could be AV scheduled scanning, download of signature updates, or any other process that is schedule to run on your PC.

I don't think it's a physical problem because if it was, it is very unlikely the PC would be able to resume. It would hang and stay hung.

Rather Windows is continuing to operate normally, with the exception it's probably doing stuff that its not supposed too.

(Yes, Spyware could be kicking off as well - its just that I've seen AV bring a moderate powered PC to it's knees while scanning.)
March 13, 2007 4:41:33 PM

No, I've already investigated this 8)
March 13, 2007 4:44:33 PM

Quote:
Also, can someone please help me out:
Can little power surges or something have this type of effect?

Yes, it can. Some time ago I had a similar issue, where my computer would just freeze at random times. Sometimes it would come back and sometimes it wouldn't. I noticed that I would hear my hard drive spin back up when it came back. Replacing the hard drive fixed it until a later upgrade, when it started happening again. Eventually, I discovered that I could make it happen just by touching the power connector on the hard drive--yep, it was just a loose connection in the power connector. The drive would loose power briefly, and the computer would freeze while waiting for it to come back online.

Sorry for the long story, but the point is that you might want to carefully check all your power connections. If it is a power issue, you may be able to make it happen on demand by wiggling wires. You may also want to temporarily unplug whatever devices you can to reduce the load on the PSU. It may be that your PSU has a hard time keeping up with the demand and when everything gets hot and is working hard, it can't supply enough power and devices start stalling (like the hard drive).
March 13, 2007 4:46:46 PM

Awesome, I'll definitely look into this. 500w should be ok though?
March 13, 2007 4:51:37 PM

Unreputable power supply brands claim wattages that are peak output at cool temperatures. Once the PSU gets warm/hot, that falls, and that measurement is still over-rated since its only a peak output, rather than a continuous capability of supply.

What is your main HD, SATA or IDE? And where is it connected to, motherboard or addon card?

Edit - I just saw your updated signature, SATAII, where is connected to though?
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2007 4:59:42 PM

Please look at the label and reply back with the amount of amps on the 12v rails. Power supplies can be very different even with the same amount of wattage.
Another thing I suggest you do is to test the memory with memtest86+.
March 13, 2007 5:00:54 PM

Really? I'm learning a great deal with this problem :)  . I'm afraid I'm not sure what you mean?

Quote:
Unreputable power supply brands claim wattages that are peak output at cool temperatures. Once the PSU gets warm/hot, that falls, and that measurement is still over-rated since its only a peak output, rather than a continuous capability of supply.

What is your main HD, SATA or IDE? And where is it connected to, motherboard or addon card?

Edit - I just saw your updated signature, SATAII, where is connected to though?


My main and only HD is a Western Digital 320gb 7200rpm SATAII. Connected to my motherboard. I think?[/quote]
March 13, 2007 5:03:20 PM

Quote:
Please look at the label and reply back with the amount of amps on the 12v rails. Power supplies can be very different even with the same amount of wattage.
Another thing I suggest you do is to test the memory with memtest86+.


Sorry my label is inside my case and I can't open it now, my mom would kill me. I'm doing "homework".

Hehe I'm still at school lol :D 

I'll try memtest though thanks
March 13, 2007 5:10:07 PM

Yeah in short power supply wattages are often exaggerated/bent truth/downright false :p  This is useful knowledge in general, not necessarily related to your problem, next time you get a power supply (or a PC), get a good brand like Seasonic, Tagan, PC&C (USA only afaik - not available in UK anyway), Antec, Enermax just to name a few.

As evongugg suggests, there are also other factors at play such as the amount of amps on the 12v rails, and so on. It's actually nowhere near as straight forward as one might think.

Reason I was asking about the harddrive was that someone mentioned a good point about the fact that if the system was waiting for the HD (cause it was losing power or failing in some other way), then such stalling could make sense, it once happened to me. However, in my case it was cause the HD wasn't connected to the mobo but an addon card, and the card was having IRQ conflicts with another device. Basically, it was pretty complicated, and if yours is plugged into your motherboard then things are simpler. However, it might not be a bad idea to change the power cable plugged into your HD for another spare one if possible, and also check the data cable is secure (and even swap it out for a spare if you have one just in case).

I realise it might seem like we are tackling the issue from all kinds of different approaches, ie, software, hardware, etc, but unfortunately your problem isn't very clear cut, and the best thing to do is to first try the easiest possible fixes. Have you tried that Spybot Search and Destroy program yet? I use it myself, its free, and its effective.
March 13, 2007 5:15:14 PM

Yes I just ran them both, got like 61 and 72 errors respectively, so that might make a difference. It's pretty tricky though, cause I can't be sure it's fixed... As I mentioned I can't rip my pc apart right now, but I'll re-do the hard drive power cables and so forth. Sorry, I'm a noob, but how do you run that memtest program?
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2007 5:24:02 PM

Make a bootable floppy. Run the program and insert a floppy in the drive. Then boot from the floppy disk. You may need to change the boot order in the Bios.
If you don't have a floppy drive, you can create a bootable CD and boot from the CD drive. You need to download the bootable CD option.
March 13, 2007 5:43:33 PM

Ok. Thanks a lot everyone.
!