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System freezes when gaming

Last response: in Windows XP
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August 17, 2010 3:34:11 PM

Hello everyone!

This afternoon, I was playing Dragon Age when the game freezed horribly. It displayed flickering green dots all across my screen and I had to manually restart my pc. When I came back into windows XP, the only thing I saw were large black and white rectangulars all across my screen. So I decided to let it rest for 30 min before trying again.
When I did that, the black & white rectangulars were gone and I could do everything normal again. Except for gaming. When I tried Dragon Age, it crashed again the same way. After another 30 min, I tried another game (a hl2 mod, which doesn't tax the system that hard) and it froze again after a while (say 2 minutes), but my screen didn't display the strange rectangulars anymore.

I tried testing my system with Prime95 and when I did the torture test which mixes a bit of everything, both of the workers gave an error after 20 seconds :

[Tue Aug 17 17:22:21 2010]
FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.46875, expected less than 0.4
Hardware failure detected, consult stress.txt file.
FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.5, expected less than 0.4
Hardware failure detected, consult stress.txt file.
FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.5, expected less than 0.4
Hardware failure detected, consult stress.txt file.

I presume this is somewhat the problem? I don't know what to do with it, though...

Specs:

(Windows XP Service Pack 3)
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (rev 1.0)
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6700 @ 2.66GHz ---> Overclocked to 3.5GHz
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
4gig RAM (2x1 gig of Kingston RAM DDR2 667 & 1x2 gig of Kingstam RAM DDR2 800)


I opened my case and everything seemed OK, I tried downclocking my PC but it didn't work, tried lowering the voltages, didn't work...

I could really use some help with this, really a strange problem.

More about : system freezes gaming

Best solution

August 17, 2010 4:34:32 PM

Looks like your video card probably fried, but since you are overclocking the CPU like crazy, stop that and test it then.
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August 17, 2010 5:07:23 PM

Prime95 is for testing the CPU and RAM stability.
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August 17, 2010 5:49:59 PM

Hrm, I downclocked my CPU back to 3.0GHz and Prime95 stress testing doesn't give any problems now. Gaming seems to work fine too, although I haven't tested thoroughly yet ;) .

I was happy with my 3.5GHz and since it didn't give any problems for 1.5 week, I thought my system was stable.
I hope my video card isn't fried, but if it was, wouldn't the results be worse? Everything seems to work fine now.
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August 17, 2010 5:54:31 PM

If you're getting a display, it's not fried.

If you're using the stock CPU cooler, you may want to get an aftermarket one. Then you may be able to get a more stable 3.5Ghz. You may also need to bump up the CPU voltages in the BIOS. Bump them up in small incriments though.
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August 17, 2010 6:01:03 PM

Yeah, my cooling is quite decent. I've got a HAF932 case(same as you have!) and bought a new cpu cooler, the Hyper N520. Temperature of both cores is 45-45 idle to ┬▒62-62 when stress-testing with prime95.
But my RAM isn't too fast, I think I've pushed those a bit too far. Guess I'll have to stick between 3.0 and 3.4 or something like that.
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August 17, 2010 6:05:00 PM

Gotcha. Yep, your temps look decent for the OC that you have.

Sometimes you just have to play to see how far you can go.
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August 17, 2010 6:06:53 PM

As I've noticed. I really thought I fried something, whew.

Thanks, both of you!
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August 17, 2010 6:12:19 PM

You're welcome
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August 17, 2010 6:51:25 PM

Hrm, seems the problem isn't solved after all.

After 30min of playing, it crashed again (cpu 3.0GHz). When I restarted the pc, downclocked to 2.6GHz (which is the standard) and immediately tried the game again, it crashed faster than I could say "Please don't crash now".

Sometimes I can go to my desktop using ctrl alt del, sometimes I can't and have to reboot manually. The time I can play before my pc freaks out seems to depend on the time I have my computer off. The longer it is off, the longer I can play before it crashes...

Alas, I think something has nonetheless fried or is broke, I only don't know what. At first, I thought my RAM was the problem, but now I'm not that sure anymore...

Any help? I'm sorry to have let you think the problem was gone.
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August 17, 2010 6:54:41 PM

Check the event viewer to see if it's logging some errors.

Also, check NVidia's website to make sure you have the newest driver.
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August 17, 2010 7:44:53 PM

In my 'system' logbook, it showed a warning (today) from tcpip :
TCP/IP has reached the security limit of the amount of simultaneous connection tries via TCP.
Doesn't seem to be what causes the problem, imho.


My 'application' logbook of today only showed 7 bonjour service errors :
external host disrupted connection
Doesn't seem to be what causes the problem either, me thinks.


But, yesterday, my application logbook showed these 4 errors :

Stuck application: ctcmsu.exe, version : 5.2.32.0, stuck module :
msvcp60.dll, version : 6.2.3104.0, stuck at : 0x00002b80

I had 4 of these and don't know what to make of it.
Otherwise, no errors.

(I translated the error messages from dutch to english, that's why it probably reads kinda weird)
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August 18, 2010 3:49:26 AM

will it run ok at stock speeds?
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August 18, 2010 3:55:01 AM

do a mem test and a cpu test also check nb and sb temps!
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August 18, 2010 3:56:47 AM

also did you check your cap's
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August 18, 2010 9:22:55 AM

It crashed again 2 hours ago and it seems I can't start my pc normal anymore. My screen is filled with gray lines when it starts and when xp loads, it only shows big black & white rectangulars. The only thing I can do is start it in safe mode (which I am doing now), screen is normal that way. (btw, could that mean it is a driver problem? I have all the latest drivers installed though)

So I ran a hijackthis scan (in safe mode, though!) and these are the results :

Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.4
Scan saved at 11:11:06, on 18/08/2010
Platform: Windows XP SP3 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v8.00 (8.00.6001.18702)
Boot mode: Safe mode with network support

Running processes:
C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe
C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE
C:\Documents and Settings\Thomas De Moor\Mijn documenten\HijackThis.exe

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://www.google.be/
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=69157
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Search_URL = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=54896
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=54896
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=69157
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar,LinksFolderName = Koppelingen
O2 - BHO: AcroIEHelperStub - {18DF081C-E8AD-4283-A596-FA578C2EBDC3} - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX\AcroIEHelperShim.dll
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {5C255C8A-E604-49b4-9D64-90988571CECB} - (no file)
O2 - BHO: Windows Live Sign-in Helper - {9030D464-4C02-4ABF-8ECC-5164760863C6} - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live\WindowsLiveLogin.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [JMB36X IDE Setup] C:\WINDOWS\RaidTool\xInsIDE.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [36X Raid Configurer] C:\WINDOWS\system32\xRaidSetup.exe boot
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [nwiz] C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\nView\nwiz.exe /installquiet
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NvCplDaemon] RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvCpl.dll,NvStartup
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NvMediaCenter] RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvMcTray.dll,NvTaskbarInit
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CTHelper] CTHELPER.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [UpdReg] C:\WINDOWS\UpdReg.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [avast5] C:\PROGRA~1\ALWILS~1\Avast5\avastUI.exe /nogui
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CTxfiHlp] CTXFIHLP.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [KernelFaultCheck] %systemroot%\system32\dumprep 0 -k
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [QuickTime Task] "C:\Program Files\QuickTime\qttask.exe" -atboottime
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [iTunesHelper] "C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunesHelper.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Adobe Reader Speed Launcher] "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\Reader_sl.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Adobe ARM] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\ARM\1.0\AdobeARM.exe"
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MtdAcqu] "C:\Program Files\Creative\MediaSource5\MtdAcqu.exe" /s
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [msnmsgr] "C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger\msnmsgr.exe" /background
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Steam] "C:\Program Files\Steam\Steam.exe" -silent
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [ctfmon.exe] C:\WINDOWS\system32\ctfmon.exe
O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-19\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] C:\WINDOWS\system32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'Lokale service')
O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-20\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] C:\WINDOWS\system32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'Netwerkservice')
O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-18\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] C:\WINDOWS\system32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'SYSTEM')
O4 - HKUS\.DEFAULT\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] C:\WINDOWS\system32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'Default user')
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - C:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: @xpsp3res.dll,-20001 - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - C:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O16 - DPF: {6414512B-B978-451D-A0D8-FCFDF33E833C} (WUWebControl Class) - http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/V5Controls...
O16 - DPF: {6E32070A-766D-4EE6-879C-DC1FA91D2FC3} (MUWebControl Class) - http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/V5Co...
O16 - DPF: {D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000} (Shockwave Flash Object) - http://fpdownload2.macromedia.com/get/shockwave/cabs/fl...
O16 - DPF: {E2883E8F-472F-4FB0-9522-AC9BF37916A7} - http://platformdl.adobe.com/NOS/getPlusPlus/1.6/gp.cab
O16 - DPF: {F6ACF75C-C32C-447B-9BEF-46B766368D29} (Creative Software AutoUpdate Support Package) - http://ccfiles.creative.com/Web/softwareupdate/su2/ocx/...
O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: Preloader van browseui - {438755C2-A8BA-11D1-B96B-00A0C90312E1} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\browseui.dll
O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: Cache-daemon voor onderdeelcategorie├źn - {8C7461EF-2B13-11d2-BE35-3078302C2030} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\browseui.dll
O23 - Service: Mobiel Apple apparaat (Apple Mobile Device) - Apple Inc. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe
O23 - Service: avast! Antivirus - AVAST Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5\AvastSvc.exe
O23 - Service: avast! Mail Scanner - AVAST Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5\AvastSvc.exe
O23 - Service: avast! Web Scanner - AVAST Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5\AvastSvc.exe
O23 - Service: Bonjour-service (Bonjour Service) - Apple Inc. - C:\Program Files\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe
O23 - Service: Creative Audio Engine Licensing Service - Creative Labs - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Creative Labs Shared\Service\CTAELicensing.exe
O23 - Service: Creative Service for CDROM Access - Creative Technology Ltd - C:\WINDOWS\system32\CTsvcCDA.exe
O23 - Service: Creative Audio Service (CTAudSvcService) - Creative Technology Ltd - C:\Program Files\Creative\Shared Files\CTAudSvc.exe
O23 - Service: Dragon Age: Origins - Content Updater (DAUpdaterSvc) - BioWare - C:\Program Files\Dragon Age\bin_ship\DAUpdaterSvc.Service.exe
O23 - Service: iPod-service (iPod Service) - Apple Inc. - C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe
O23 - Service: NVIDIA Display Driver Service (NVSvc) - NVIDIA Corporation - C:\WINDOWS\system32\nvsvc32.exe

--
End of file - 6252 bytes



As for the other questions :

It crashes at stock speed, same problem.
I can't measure the nb & sb temps due to the safe mode (though I think they're fine, since my cpu heat is fine)
What are cap's? :) 
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August 18, 2010 12:55:23 PM

Your hijackthis log looks clean.

Since it's still working in safe mode, I'm thinking it's a driver problem. You should check for an updated driver on NVidia's website.
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August 18, 2010 1:53:25 PM

Weird. I went to the Nvidia site and used that program that automatically finds the latest driver for your system.
Worked fine, gave me version 258.96, which I know is the good one. This is what I saw :

Product Current
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX

Current Installed Driver
--

Latest Driver Update
GeForce/ION Release 256
Version: 258.96 WHQL
Release Date: July 19, 2010

It didn't say anything underneath 'installed driver latest driver'. So I downloaded and installed the 258.96 (all in safe mode) and restarted the system. Same problem with the screen. Went back to safe mode and tried the nvidia site again, and it gave me the same result...

My computer (or the program) doesn't recognize installed drivers? Is there some way to see more accurately what drivers I have installed on my system? This may perhaps help.


EDIT :

I tried system restore point (from the 15th of August) . Didn't work.
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August 18, 2010 2:52:17 PM

Go into the device manager-->expand the display adapters-->right click on the 8800gtx-->properties-->driver tab-->your version will be listed there.
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August 18, 2010 3:11:29 PM

Drivers are fine, geforce at 258.96. Any other suggestions? If nothing works, I'll try formatting my pc, because I think (and hope) it's a software problem.
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August 18, 2010 3:30:51 PM

Right click, and uninstall the graphics driver from the device manager. Then you should be able to boot back into normal windows. You'll need to reinstall the driver. Hopefully it's some corruption that is fixed by reinstalling it.

Though, to clear up the windows errors, you should try doing a windows repair by using the XP disc.
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August 18, 2010 4:33:38 PM

From the image defects you are seeing, it looks like the hardware is having issues. This usually happens when the chips overheat, and sometimes that can cause permanent damage. I had a Radeon 800 that I forgot to plug the secondary power into after a PC dust cleaning, it crashed soon as I ran a game, and after that even with power connected never ran right.

From the large overclock you did, could be that the CPU is at fault more than the video card.

Try your video card in another system, for a while, run some 3DMARK stuff or something. If that is fine, try another video card in your system. I'm betting one of the 2 tests will fail, unless you have some odd issue specifically with your video card and your computer that does not show up elsewhere.
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August 18, 2010 7:07:23 PM

Alright, I uninstalled my videocard driver and tried again. The BIOS still displayed those strange lines, but when I got into XP, everything was fine again! I felt all fuzzy and warm inside and decided to reinstall the latest driver again (258.96). Guess what, the problem was back there again. Gray lines during start-up and black&white rectangulars when going into XP.

We're getting closer. I don't think it's the driver, because I never had a problem with that driver before.

Any further suggestions? I'll try your suggestion when we've decided it really can't be the software, hang-the-9.
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August 18, 2010 7:12:31 PM

If you're seeing distortions while the BIOS is loading, it's a hardware issue. At that point, the NVidia driver isn't even loaded.
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August 18, 2010 7:38:32 PM

Blast!
If it's a hardware problem, that means something is broke, isn't it? Because all the cables are in correctly and videocard is inserted good too. I tried installing a previous driver, but it gave the same result.
I'll try what hang-the-9 said tomorrow to know if it's my CPU or GPU (out of curiosity).
Because if I have to buy another GPU, I'll buy a new CPU too (and vice versa). Wouldn't want to create an unbalanced gaming PC. (I'll probably need a new PSU and motherboard too, and perhaps some faster RAM, wooh...)
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August 18, 2010 7:59:57 PM

Yes, that would mean hardware is damaged/broke.

:lol:  Sounds like someone wants to go on a shopping spree. It's likely the video card. If it is, you could just replace it with a similar performing card. Just putting that out there.....
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August 18, 2010 9:12:41 PM

Heluris said:
Blast!
If it's a hardware problem, that means something is broke, isn't it? Because all the cables are in correctly and videocard is inserted good too. I tried installing a previous driver, but it gave the same result.
I'll try what hang-the-9 said tomorrow to know if it's my CPU or GPU (out of curiosity).
Because if I have to buy another GPU, I'll buy a new CPU too (and vice versa). Wouldn't want to create an unbalanced gaming PC. (I'll probably need a new PSU and motherboard too, and perhaps some faster RAM, wooh...)


If you have had some chip damage, things would seem to work OK under some limited usage. The issue is that once you load up the drivers, more features of the card and enabled, it starts to work at higher resolutions, generating more heat and using more areas of the chips, and BAM! you have your issue again.

I am really leaning towards the card being bad rather than the CPU with how you describe things work.
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August 19, 2010 12:56:53 PM

Yep, GPU is broke and needs replacement.


This leaves me with 2 options (and a dilemma) :

Just replace the GPU with a similar one or do some more upgrades (not an entire new build, but close to).

If I'd do a new build, I have a few questions :

(I want a PC that can run games at highest detail, but only at a resolution of 1280x1024)

I would buy a new GPU, CPU, PSU and perhaps new RAM. I'm unsure about my mobo though (GA-965P-DSP3), how up-to-date is mine right now? Would I benefit from a new one or should I stick with what I have now?

A new PSU, mine is old and does make quite a bit of noise. What's a good price for a decent one though? I've read thing about PSU's of 300 dollars, which I find quite expensive. I don't think I'll go SLI or Crossfire and my resolution is at 1280x1024, so I don't need that much watt.

And the big question : Is a big upgrade worth it? Or should I stick with what I have now?

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August 19, 2010 2:27:39 PM

Your CPU, especially overclocked, should be able to handle games at high settings at that resolution.

I'd spend an extra $100 on a faster video card with your system specs than using that money on a new CPU or motherboard or more RAM. Ease up on the overclock a bit too :-) Then when you really want a quad core or something, your video card won't be 3 generations old, maybe only 1 or 2.

Pat on the back for me :-) 1st post got the right issue :-)
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August 19, 2010 5:05:33 PM

Yeah, you're right. Spot on from the first reply :D .

But I think I'll go for a big upgrade anyway, so I can brace myself for another four year or something without upgrading. I'll post a new thread when I'm done building and ready for purchasing.

I consider this case solved, thank you!!

Edit : How can I select 'the best answer'? I can't seem to find it :p 
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August 19, 2010 5:36:12 PM

It has to be opened as a 'question' thread, not a discussion one, to have the best answer. I've changed it to a question thread, so you should see the option now.
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August 19, 2010 5:47:07 PM

Best answer selected by Heluris.
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!