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Computer crash - CPU overheating?

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December 29, 2007 11:54:44 PM

My computer is crashing in a way I haven't seen before -- it will randomly kill all functions (screen goes blank, sound dies, keyboard non-responsive) but does not shut down (the fans keep running) or reboot.

There is no information written to the event log nor any OS debugging information.

Is this a possible response to overheated CPU? Bios reports a temp of around 51C when I check after it freezes -- but this appears in normal range for an AMD X2 Dual Core 5600+ I'm going to install CoreTemp to see if I can get a better read. Any thoughts as to whether I am heading down the right path? Any other thing I should look at?

Note that I have played games for at least 45 minutes without any problems. Now it seems to freeze after just 10 or 15 minutes of non-game playing -- i.e. working on word doc or browsing.

Thanks in advance for any advice...

System specs as follow:

AMD X2 Dual Core 5600+
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
MSI K9MM-V mother board
2 Gigs Ram
December 30, 2007 1:35:30 AM

OK, I just got another crash - this time with CoreTemp running. According to the log, both CPU cores were at approx 44C at the time of crash. I'm assuming that rules out CPU overheating? This time around I played a game for about 30 minutes before dropping out and browsing some videos on youtube. Computer crashed during the latter...
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December 30, 2007 2:12:32 AM

Could be PSU, ram, ram timings, or ram voltage.
Check with memtest.
Could be drivers, but often you will get a bsod with driver issues.
You may just need to refresh your install of windows with a clean format and reinstall.
I have one system that seems to want a windows refresh once a year or so. But I beat the hell out of it with installing and uninstalling stuff all the time.
Don't rule out malware or a virus.
Game protection software will play havoc on some systems without any signs other than what you are describing.
Run sysinternals rootkit reveler to see if anything is hiding.
December 30, 2007 1:28:20 PM

Thanks for the responses. My PSU is 400W -- is that too low? I've tried googling for recommendations but can't find anything.

I doubt malware/virus because I just built the machine a month ago. I'll try the memtest next.
December 30, 2007 3:24:52 PM

If it is a 400 cheap no name brand then it probably is the problem.
December 30, 2007 5:52:06 PM

There could be so many things causing freeze ups, even a HD going bad can do that.

Its just going to be perhaps a long list of eliminating the cause. I kinda find it hard to believe it would be the PSU when your not running a game, but on just on window apps.

Before dimissing the PSU, I'd check:

RAM - Memtest86
HD - find a utility to check for problems
System Drivers - make sure you have the most updated drivers
Check Event Viewer - System log for anything unusual

Then I'd prolly put the system through a bunch of stress test to make it fail, concerning the PSU not keeping up.
December 30, 2007 9:18:56 PM

OK, I'm going to run through the laundry list. Quick question though -- are the symptoms of the "crash" familiar to everyone? I personally have never seen a crash where all the fans/lights for keyboard etc are still running but video/audio completely kicks out. Note that this is not a screen freeze. Also nothing in the event log...
December 30, 2007 9:42:03 PM

the ATI graphics drivers sometimes crash out like that. and could be your motherboard chipset driver that is not properly installed while u are using on-board sound etc.

a bad power supply unit does cause problems sometimes as what you described. but does your pc come back on after you have powered it off and powering it back up again or you have to unplug the plug for a while then plug it back in to turn it back on?

regards
December 30, 2007 11:51:47 PM

Quote:
a bad power supply unit does cause problems sometimes as what you described. but does your pc come back on after you have powered it off and powering it back up again or you have to unplug the plug for a while then plug it back in to turn it back on?


The computer will come back on immediately... does that mean anything?

btw - the PSU is a Antec. As I understand, that's a well regarded brand...

January 2, 2008 1:23:59 PM

For what its worth, I _think_ I know what the problem is. As noted above, I have a ATI 9800 Pro and was using the latest Catalyst drivers. Occasionally the screen would blank out and then the VPU recover would kick in & return me to the desktop. It occured to me that the full "crash" was probably due to the same underlying problem only in that case the VPU recover wasn't able to, um, recover.

I was running the 7.x version of Catalyst. After reading a number of threads on similiar issues with that version, I dropped back to version 6. So far so good.

As near as I can tell, the problem occurs when the driver switches display modes. That makes some sense given that I was most often seeing the issue shortly _after_ dropping out of a game (when the mode would have switched). I say "some sense" because it didn't always happen then -- sometimes it would be in the middle of work with in MS Word. Still I'm hopeful ...

Thanks for all the help.
June 17, 2009 8:15:19 PM

So i have the same crashing issue.. ill be in the middle of anything from gaming to browsing and randomly SNAP my whole system freezes in place and studders, like the sound coming out of my speakers, and it goes black and sits. Does nothing until i hold the power button down to shut it off. I then restart it, start normally and all seems fine except it does this more often than it initially did. first it was once a month then now multiple times a day. I have...done driver re-installs all latest versions, Ram tested and swapped, nada. Formated, nada. Installed From 64-bit to 32-bit (vista), nothing. Switched to Windows 7, again crash. Only things left on the list is that my Integrated Video could be overheating my mother board, Hard drives could be going, doubtful, or mother board is going. please give me any advice you can.

Amd quad core 2.4 Ghz 5 G ram 2 320 G hard drives
July 5, 2009 8:15:51 AM

I was experiencing the same issue.

I was playing battlefield2 and i think the cpu/or video card must have gotten to much heat because it shot down , couldnt use keyboard (capslock crash test :) ) and the screen just frooze, turned of the computer with holding in the key.
After that i rebooted, and the fan just kept going at full power(so thats why i think it's a heat problem).

I couldnt get anything on my screen after the reboot just a black screen, switched My video cable back to the onboard original entrance, and didnt work, switched it back to my old geforce 7300, still nothing.

Rebooted a few times more, thought my motherboard or cpu/ram got screwed over, and still nothing.

6 attempts later I ticked a little bit against the side where the HD is , and it booted, So im tinking it might be my harddrive.

Any checks/test/programs to check if its damaged?
September 16, 2009 10:12:58 PM

yeh ive jus started getting that problem where my graphics card jus stops sending signal to my monitor & sound sometimes either cuts off or does a short loop over and over then fans kick up a notch and just stays in that state til i hit restart button and it restarts fine n i thought it was either due to overheating which it isnt since everything is running cool temp on ave is 47 deg for processor and less in the actual case & i had a low watt psu, but bought a 700w n still doing it, even wondered if the ageia physx card was causing problems since that nvidia have incorperated it into their latest drivers so i removed the card & drivers for it, but no still does same, it just seems to happen with graphically intensive applications such as most games but not on anything else even high strain on cpu with things like cubase & nuendo decoding & re-encoding tracks it doesnt effect it so i dont have a clue unless its just the GPU that is overheating, also i though it could be xp service pack 3 so i installed windows 7 n still does same, think im going to try removing motherboard battery incase of a virus/worm & if not well im out ideas other thn trying a diff cpu & motherboard but my guess would be with the motherboard.

mines quite an old spec now but stil pretty alright
intel core 2 duo E6750 2.66GHz
2 GIG DDR2 Ram major brand one too cba looking tho
XFX Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT xxx edition
Asus P5B socket 775 motherboard (wish i still had my Abit =P)
a b à CPUs
September 17, 2009 12:39:51 AM

hmm..... i have to say check the capacitors on the motherboard. If the computer randomly restarts it could be a bulging and/or leaking capacitors .

I notice that my computer has been doing random restarts for a while and always thought it was the graphic card. That was until I notice a few of them were bulging when i was dusting the computer out.. Looked up them up to see what problems they can/will cause and found this.

(copied from wiki)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

" * Not turning on all the time; having to hit reset or try turning the computer on again
* Instabilities (hangs, BSODs, kernel panics, etc.), especially when symptoms get progressively more frequent over time
* CPU core voltage or other system voltages fluctuating or going out of range, possibly with an increase in CPU temperature as the core voltage rises
* Memory errors, especially ones that get more frequent with time
* Spontaneous reboots
* In case of on-board video cards, unstable image in some video modes
* Failing to complete the POST, or rebooting before it is completed
* Never starting the POST; fans spin but the system appears dead"

Heat does aggravate the problem.

Hope this helps.
a b à CPUs
September 17, 2009 12:46:13 AM

now im not sure that all the things that a bulging and/or leaking capacitors will do but those the most common ones.
!