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Computer Freezes at Random while playing games - Help

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November 9, 2008 4:32:47 PM

System setup:

Mobo: ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
Ram: OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
Video:ASUS EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported
HD: Seagate 640gb
PSU: Corsair HX1000W
I/O: Logitech G-15 keyboard and G5 mouse.

WindowsXP Professional (and also tried Windows Vista 64)


The problem is that while playing a game, (Fallout 3, Half-Life 2, WoW) the computer locks up hard seemingly at random. The lights stay on on the mouse and keyboard, but the video freezes and doesn't respond to normal Alt-F4 or Alt-Ctrl-Del type commands. Sometimes I get to play a few hours without problems, and other times it barely makes it into the game before freezing.

Originally, I had this machine set up with Vista and 2 identical Asus 4850's in a crossfire configuration, but it was causing some additional problems (not what I'm looking to solve right now), so I changed to just one card. When this problem persisted, I tried re-installing Vista a few times, I tried different video drivers, I switched between the two cards a number of times, and now I've installed XP, and I'm still having this freezing problem.


Diagnostics so far:
Memtest found no errors.
SeaTools (for the HD) found no errors.
3DMark06 returns normal scores with both cards.
Tried switching PSU's--no change.
Re-sat CPU and re-applied Arctic-Silver and heatsink. (CPU temps are within normal range)
BIOS is the newest version.


I've been trying everything I can think of, but after more than 3 weeks or this I'm out of ideas. What else can I do other than RMA the motherboard?
November 9, 2008 5:58:40 PM

shot in the dark here, but probably the vid cards getting hot. what version of catylist do you run?

the new versions have much more dynamic fan controles and actualy keep the fan reasonably cool. the first couple of versions just set the fan speed to 20%. you can also look up on how to change the fanspeed by modding the performance profile. its pretty easy and should take care of your problems. up to about 45% is completly silent on a refernce board. 65% is louder than I'd want. 85% can be heard from the next room.

I know my 4850 gets too hot and freezes up. I had it freeze up on me 3 times in the first half hour while watching a DVD (10,000BC)before I upped the fanspeed a few percent and had the rest play flawlessly. before upping the fanspeed I even tried underclocking it to no avail.
November 9, 2008 6:15:25 PM

My wife's computer does this some times when playing City of Heroes and she has a 8800GS and I know for a fact that it is not a temperature problem. Also I have a 4850 and have never had then problem even when my card gets hot.

The only thing I can say is that I scanned my wife's computer with spy boy search and destroy (she downloads a lot of crap) and there was a ton of malware and spyware crap on her computer. After doing that and then removing the crap off of her system it seems to run a lot smoother and so far no freeze ups.
Related resources
November 9, 2008 6:19:35 PM

Is this only during gaming?

How about video playback or streaming video?

Only during Heavy CPU load? GPU load?

Have you defragmented your harddrive(s) lately? I recommend that first. I had trouble with Crysis when I first installed......now it works perfect after a good old defrag.

Cheers,

-PM
November 9, 2008 6:46:44 PM

This does sound like a heat issue.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 9, 2008 7:28:32 PM

I'd lay money down and say heat too. Blow the dust of all the heat sinks. Clean the intake and exaust fans. Pull your video card and blow air through it. Perhaps you need to pull the heat sink and fan off the processor and apply new compound and re seat it. Try running the computer with the side off. As things sit I almost would have to include not enough power but that 1000 watter shouldn't be a problem. You may want to try different drivers for your card also. Been to windows update lately ? Something may pop up there. Let us know what you find. Any way to swap out mobo's ? All connections are firm ?
November 9, 2008 8:17:38 PM

Thanks all for the suggestions. I went ahead and manually changed the fan speed to 65% on the GPU. I was able to play Fallout 3 for an hour, and then suddenly my monitor went black, along with the keyboard and mouse. I had to do a hard reboot to get everything back. During my hour playing Fallout 3 I was playing in windowed mode so I could keep an eye on my GPU temp. The temperature never went above 62 degrees (from what I saw). Is this still too hot? What is the normal temperature range for this type of card?
November 9, 2008 9:55:44 PM

62 is plenty cool.
up to 80 is fine in my optinion.
the fact that the keyboard loses power too would point to the PSU or mobo. you tried another PSU, so it sounds like the mobo is the problem.

the fact that it only happens while gaming makes me think power or heat.

another oddball idea; wall power instability?

try prime 95. I'm guessing it'll be fine because that only stresses the CPU.
November 9, 2008 11:31:57 PM

I was thinking the same thing about the mobo...but I can't figure out a way to test it.

Does anyone know if Asus has some sort of motherboard diagnostic tool I can download to try and identify what the problem is? I have searched their website with no luck.
November 10, 2008 12:44:26 AM

your getting the same problem with both machines vista and xp,tells us that you did something wrong twice,perhaps installed a driver or a program in such a way that snafued whatever followed,as you are not getting any error messages,we can see that it is not a hardware problem,and seemingly not software either,no error mess..,,this indicates that it maybe a protocol problem...
the only common item that comes to mind offhand is directX,@,,,,,,
,,,,,,, C:/windows/system32/dxdiag.exe,make a shortcut to your desktop,and run it,,of all the games you have listed fallout 3 is the newest,did you let it install the directX that it came with,,one more thing,,is that memory actually supported by that mobo,,,,AND YOU ,,, could reinstall windoze right over itself as a last resort,,must be the same as what is already installed..:) 
November 10, 2008 6:55:06 PM

I had a similar problems recently on my machine, in my case I went into the BIOS and loaded the default settings just to test.

I also upgraded the SATA controller drivers with the latest ones I could find.

I also adjusted the settings for my graphics card's shutdown temp and increased the fan speed.

Since then the problem hasn't returned.

So my lock up issue was either BIOS/SATA Controller/GPU Heat related.

I am unsure which because I did all 3 at the same time and didn't test stability after each change.

I have a strong suspision that the problem was more heat related though.
I think my G-card's GPU recover feature might've been trying to reboot the card and wasn't able to, causing the hang.

Unfortuantely event viewer did not log any of the lock ups.

I have since tweaked the BIOS back to roughly where is was and it's still running fine.

November 13, 2008 4:27:49 AM

Ok.. I spent a while a few days ago talking to an ASUS rep and they decided I should RMA the motherboard. I got the new one today, put it in, loaded things back up the same way I had them and.. same thing still. I think at this point I can rule out every piece of hardware (as you suggested).

I'll try those software fixes shortly. Thanks for the help so far.
November 13, 2008 6:07:49 AM

Also, to catch up on suggestions from earlier that I haven't said anything about:

Everything has been re-seated a few times now with consistent temperatures. I've tried a few different versions of Catalyst, and right now I'm back to using the newest one.

I tried the fan speed trick and although it said the speed was higher, it certainly didn't sound any faster.

The HD shouldn't need defragging, because all that's on it is a fresh coat of windows, drivers and a couple games.

Everything is clean still, so dust isn't an issue.

Hopefully that narrows it down a bit. This is the most frustrating experience ever. Thanks ton for all your suggestions so far.
December 2, 2008 8:09:38 PM

Dustmann,

I am having the exact smae issues as you are. My system is not as beefy as yours, but still having the problems. If you figure it out please toss it down here I would really like to know whats go ing on. It would be much appreciated.
December 2, 2008 9:06:11 PM

So....after almost 2 months of troubleshooting that included RMA'ing every major component of my system (Motherboard, GPU, PSU, RAM, CPU) the problem has finally been resolved.

I originally had a 750w PSU that obviously wasn't sufficient to run my rig. I figured this out a week after I purchased the system at which time, I purchased the Corsair 1000w PSU. Being that I replaced the PSU early on due to insufficient wattage, it never crossed my mind that the new PSU could actually be defective (especially since all voltages in the BIOS were completely normal)...

Seeing as my symptoms kept pointing to a power supply issue, I bit the bullet and purchased a completely new PSU (different brand, slightly different wattage, completely new unit). Since connecting everything to the new PSU, my computer has run perfectly. It still frustrates me to no end that there was no real way for me to troubleshoot this issue and by dumb luck (and a lot of RMA shipping costs later) I was able to figure it out.

So super, check with your motherboard manufacture first to ensure that your PSU has sufficient wattage to run your system and that your voltages read normal in the BIOS. If you are still experiencing the same issues, I would try and obtaining and completely new power supply to see if that helps.

Thanks all for your help. My nightmare is officially over :) 
January 29, 2009 9:14:26 AM

I've stumbled upon this discussion in my troubleshooting of similar problems. My problems are a bit more severe by the sounds of things though. I built my system about half a year ago and experience lockups much like yours. Mine seem to come at different times though. While playing games, listening to music, watching a movie, multi tasking (transferring files while burning a cd)... Yet my system is more than capable of doing all of these things at the same time! So i'm lost... My system is always clean, meaning inside tower and on my main drive. No crap installed, only necessary programs, movies, music... I had Vista Ultimate to start with, when i first experienced the problem, then thought it was vista, so downgraded to XP pro (fully updated). All drivers are up to date. I dont believe it is a stress/ heat problem because it freezes during unstressful tasks, and overheating is just not possible in these situations (listening to music while nothing else is running)...

Specs:
-Intel QC Q9550
-Asus P5E3 Premium Wi-fi mobo
-Nvidia Gefore 9800gtx
-WD 150gb Raptor (OS)
-WD 500g
-4Gb Ram (2x 2Gb OCZ platinum 1600 Ram)
-1000w Antec TruePower PSU
-Creative X-fi elite pro sound card
-Well ventilated: 2 large rear fans, 2 front intakes, 1 small pci slot fan on lowest slot.
-Large Zalman CNPS9700 Heatsink

If anymore information is required, don't hesitate to ask. I would like to solve this problem asap...
September 28, 2010 10:42:11 PM

Hey
I got this problem recently and I'm getting really annoyed by always having to shut the computer of and on all the time.
My computer freezes during gaming (playing Maffia 2, mw2, The Settlers 7 and more...) and freeze during HD-videos.

Here is my story, like 3 weeks from now I went to the computer store and got my computer 3 more gig RAM-memory and a shiny new graphic card. I was all jumped about it cause I thought I would be playing without the laggings and *** like that.
Well, I come home, fix my computer and ready to start. Everything goes smoothly until I start playing mw2. In the beginning everything was so beautiful until 5 minutes in game... The computer starts freezing and goes for the same pich noise the sound was gonna give over and over again. Try hittin the Ctrl+Alt+Del buttons, nothin happens.

Anywho, I know I've got some good *** under this hood, maybe too good, and that's why I'm so darn confused...

I've tried these programs to fix it:
SpyBot-Search & Destroy
Registry Mechanic
Driver Genius Professional Edition

None will solve this issue I'm having. And if you'll give me a peace of mind about the CPU levels and stuff like that, please talk english cause I'm no whiseguy at computers... I know stuff, sure, but not the hightech stuff.

My Computer:
Win 7
ACER
Aspire M5640
BIOS ver: 08.00.15
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHz (2 CPUs), ~3.0GHz
4096MB RAM
1715 MB Used, 4425 MB not used
DirectX 11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Version: 8.17.12.5896
Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio) RTKVHDA.sys Version: 6.00.0001.6194 (English)

Hope you guys know what to do!
March 2, 2011 12:33:13 AM

I have been having the same freezing issue and have looked around on the web. These are the things I am going to try. Upping my power supply to 1000W, also incase mine is not working right, turning off my hardware acceleration by right clicking on the desktop, select properties,click settings tab, click advanced, click troubleshoot tab, move hardware acceleration tab to none, click OK, restart computer. I am also going to upgrade my drivers for my motherboard, especially the SATA controller drivers, I am making sure that my memory is supported by my mobo (mother board). I read the specs and x16 is not supported. One of my memory sticks was a 1 GB x16, the others x8. Look this info up on the right specs off the web. Lastly, I am improving the flow of air through my tower making sure my memory and hard drives stay cool too. I may reset the GPU on my graphics card, though I am pretty sure I did it right the first time. I will do one at a time and let you know if one worked. The problem is that the freezing is so random for me.

Good luck

Dreammaker
March 29, 2012 11:08:58 PM

I have been having the same exact problems as listed in this forum. After doing all suggested tweeks and upgrades the problem has definitely been reduced down to one problem, HEAT!.....keep your vid card COOL COOL COOL...tweeking your vid card to higher fan settings and higher cut off temp does help. But after all the frustration in trouble shooting and being at a complete loss, it was a temperature issue all along. Thanks to everyone with great suggestions in solving this problem. "Stay Frosty"
October 12, 2012 4:30:23 AM

I'm going to bump this thread.
I am having this same exact problem and after looking around online have not been able to find an answer that helps.

The problem is that when the computer goes under load, or at least when I try to play a game in 1920/1080, the screen freezes. Nothing I do changes anything.

-The Gpu is not overheating, I've been running msi afterburner and evga control panel and the screen freezes before the gpu heats up to 40C+.

-All the drivers are up to date as of yesterday.

-I cleaned out my case with compressed air yesterday, no change.

- The psu is 650W and I'm running a 670/i5, I'm pretty sure this should work

One thing that does seem odd is that the power button doesn't work when the computer is frozen, only the reset button (does this mean something is wrong with the mobo?)
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
December 29, 2012 4:01:13 PM

ajb2 said:
I'm going to bump this thread.
I am having this same exact problem and after looking around online have not been able to find an answer that helps.

The problem is that when the computer goes under load, or at least when I try to play a game in 1920/1080, the screen freezes. Nothing I do changes anything.

-The Gpu is not overheating, I've been running msi afterburner and evga control panel and the screen freezes before the gpu heats up to 40C+.

-All the drivers are up to date as of yesterday.

-I cleaned out my case with compressed air yesterday, no change.

- The psu is 650W and I'm running a 670/i5, I'm pretty sure this should work

One thing that does seem odd is that the power button doesn't work when the computer is frozen, only the reset button (does this mean something is wrong with the mobo?)


I have absolutely same problem... my power button isn't working, when my pc is frozen only the restart button works. I don't know what's the problem. My opinion is that it's a cooler... But when my pc freezes up the cooler is still working.. So I can't guess what's the problem. Anyway I'm going to buy a new cooler on these days let's see if it's going to work.
February 23, 2013 9:19:47 AM

hi everyone,

I just read some of comments here, I have same problem with, during I play Online Games ( Dragon nest) to be particular my screen keep freezing like 2 to 5 seconds and now more worst scenario that I experience while playing on my laptop, I reformat already but still same thing keep freezing my screen, but only when im playing OL games. but i try to movies its ok, what do u think is the problem of my laptop?

here is the specs:

ACEr , core i5, 4gb RAm, 500HDD, 1gb VC NVIDIA geforce 520 cuda,

im hoping for some advise u guys out there, whose experience much about computers, I do appreciate for some reply's

thanks alot... ^^



March 16, 2013 9:41:53 PM

ajb2 said:
I'm going to bump this thread.
I am having this same exact problem and after looking around online have not been able to find an answer that helps.

The problem is that when the computer goes under load, or at least when I try to play a game in 1920/1080, the screen freezes. Nothing I do changes anything.

-The Gpu is not overheating, I've been running msi afterburner and evga control panel and the screen freezes before the gpu heats up to 40C+.

-All the drivers are up to date as of yesterday.

-I cleaned out my case with compressed air yesterday, no change.

- The psu is 650W and I'm running a 670/i5, I'm pretty sure this should work

One thing that does seem odd is that the power button doesn't work when the computer is frozen, only the reset button (does this mean something is wrong with the mobo?)


Did you ever find a solution to this? I'm having the same issue. Reset works, but power fails, freeze in game, unable to use interrupt keys successfully or any keys for that matter. Mouse also freezes.

Anything you got would be helpful!
June 24, 2014 12:41:53 AM

Bump,im experiencing the same issue :( 
June 24, 2014 1:15:12 AM

sajitha wewegama said:
Bump,im experiencing the same issue :( 


I experienced this issue some years ago now and for my particular case I found that the mobo I had at the time was causing the issue. It was known to be unstable at factory conditions and I ended up finding a thread that suggested bumping up the dram and northbridge voltages in the bios.

The problem with freezes like these is that there's most definitely never a common solution for everyone due to differing systems.

Providing you've done all your research with respect to your internal hardware components already then the best advice I can provide is to just try eliminating possibilities one at a time.

Start with simple low cost/time solutions like checking and monitoring CPU, mobo and HDD temps. Try re-installing your OS to bare bones updated state. Try installing it on a different drive to eliminate the possibility your original drive is causing the issue.

Move on to other hardware, providing you have the resources and time, I would test, check and rearrange RAM, try swap out RAM with that from another computer you or a friend might have.

Remove graphics card and uninstall relevant graphics card drivers for your particular card. Run from integrated cpu graphics and see if problem persists.

Failing those, troubleshoot online with your particular mobo. See if others recommend tweaking voltages/bios level settings to increase stability (be careful here, make sure you're confident with any changes you make before executing them, you could potential kill your shit).

Try replacing your mobo if you have the coin to do so.

There's a lot that can be done. It all comes down to how much time and money you want to put into resolving it. Just be patient and take logical steps like the ones I have listed in order to eliminate potential causes one by one.

Failing all the above-mentioned, buy and/or build a modern, known-to-be-stable system based on advice from others/computer part retailers.

Goodluck!

June 24, 2014 2:07:54 AM

Kades126 said:
sajitha wewegama said:
Bump,im experiencing the same issue :( 


I experienced this issue some years ago now and for my particular case I found that the mobo I had at the time was causing the issue. It was known to be unstable at factory conditions and I ended up finding a thread that suggested bumping up the dram and northbridge voltages in the bios.

The problem with freezes like these is that there's most definitely never a common solution for everyone due to differing systems.

Providing you've done all your research with respect to your internal hardware components already then the best advice I can provide is to just try eliminating possibilities one at a time.

Start with simple low cost/time solutions like checking and monitoring CPU, mobo and HDD temps. Try re-installing your OS to bare bones updated state. Try installing it on a different drive to eliminate the possibility your original drive is causing the issue.

Move on to other hardware, providing you have the resources and time, I would test, check and rearrange RAM, try swap out RAM with that from another computer you or a friend might have.

Remove graphics card and uninstall relevant graphics card drivers for your particular card. Run from integrated cpu graphics and see if problem persists.

Failing those, troubleshoot online with your particular mobo. See if others recommend tweaking voltages/bios level settings to increase stability (be careful here, make sure you're confident with any changes you make before executing them, you could potential kill your shit).

Try replacing your mobo if you have the coin to do so.

There's a lot that can be done. It all comes down to how much time and money you want to put into resolving it. Just be patient and take logical steps like the ones I have listed in order to eliminate potential causes one by one.

Failing all the above-mentioned, buy and/or build a modern, known-to-be-stable system based on advice from others/computer part retailers.

Goodluck!



Thank you so much for this response,I will try back all these steps and report if they work.I just feel so frustrated my new gaming pc build doesn't work :/ , its good to know this issue is somewhat fixable.Thank you!
June 26, 2014 2:30:08 AM

No fix of as yet, replacing hardware will be my last option.Still trying to diagnose issue :/ 
June 27, 2014 5:13:43 AM

Guys I think I have found the solution!This is a solution for people who are experiencing them when connected to the internet.
I am 99% sure the problem is an outdated TP-link wireless driver for me.I did a bit of research and I found out my wireless adapter cards didn't support drivers for win 8.1 (OS I am running).Further proof of this is the problem does not occur when offline.
If none of the solutions above worked your wireless card might be the culprit.For example I have the tp link WN751ND where the latest os they support is windows 7.Windows 8.1 seems to have stability issues such as freezing when doing an activity related to the internet.
What do you guys think of my "diagnosis" of the freezing issue?
!