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System Lockup Need Help

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 30, 2008 10:24:59 AM

I have a home built rig that I have been running since April 2007 with the following general specs:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Brisbane 2.5GHz Dual Core CPU
Wintec Ampo 2GB (2X1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 PC2 6400 Dual Channel Memory
EVGA GeForce 800 GTS 320 MB PCI Express 320-bit GDDR3 GPU
Seagate Barracuda 320GB 7200 RPM Sata 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Cooler Master Centurion 534 Mid Tower Case
Corsair 520W ATX 12V v2.2 SLI Certified PSU
Asus DVD+R
Gigabyte GA-M61P-S3 AM2 nVidia GeForce 6100/nForce 430 ATX AMD MB
Windows XP Home Version 2002 SP3

Everything ran fine with the system until yesterday when I started to get video corruption and system lockup after installing a game called Political Machine 2008. The game required installation of another program called Impulse by the developer in order to DL the game updates. That program required my system to have MS Net Framework 2.0 which was included with the DL for the updater.

Once in the game after playing less than 5 minutes I began to see vertical pink or purple lines on my monitor followed by wholesale texture smearing and system hang.

At this point I did not know if the game install and updater caused the issue or this was a mere coincidence to an underlying problem.

Where I am at now: I have uninstalled the previous drivers I had been using 175.19 without a problem, used Driver Cleaner Pro in safe mode and installed 180.48. At first I could take off the side panel from the case and put a desktop fan on my GPU and that did get rid of the artifacts, but the game play still caused a lockup.

Now I cannot start my computer as it boots the OS and I see the desktop for a brief second before I receive a black screen and the system is locked up.

If I boot into safe mode I can use the PC without issue for any length of time. Just when I try to boot without safe mode it is lockup city. When it was stable enough to run normally the nVidia monitor revealed GPU temps at 62-64C without gaming.

Could this be a dust issue inside the GPU, poor case ventilation (although it was fine for 19 months with heavy gaming and no issues) or a faulty power supply?

More about : system lockup

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December 30, 2008 10:38:04 AM

If you have a different PSU, install it. Check the video card in another system. A faulty PSU can certainly cause the lines, texture breakups and system crashes. I've had it happen changed the PSU and the system is still running fine problem free months later with the new PSU.
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December 30, 2008 10:44:41 AM

Sadly I do not have the capability to swap in another PSU without buying it and cannot test the GPU in another system as my only other PC is an AGP slot.

If it was a bad PSU how could I run fine in safe mode?
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December 30, 2008 11:14:38 AM

In safe mode the video driver is not installed. I suspect a problem with the cooling of the video card. If the video card allows temp monitoring download gpu-z and run a check. Could be coincidental with install. SInce it is fine in safe mode it is a driver problem, but the video is run as vga. Without proper driver the video can't use its advanced functions and doesn't overheat. Just my guess. But also check the power connection to the video card. If a rail goes bad supplying the card everrything else might be ok, but not likely. The fan leads me to a cooling problem.
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December 30, 2008 11:49:39 AM

im assuming it looks something like this -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?ISList=14-...

if you can have a look at the heat sink rails just next to the fan, any evidence of a build up of dust? in a dark room, shine a torch (as best you can) through the dual slot filter and see if any are blocked or if it illuminates any build ups of dust inside the cooler.

could also be worth getting a can of air and blowing it through.

is it possible to do a system restore to a point prior to your installation of the program?

is it possible for you to uninstall all drivers (plus drive sweeper) and then boot into windows using just the inbuilt vga driver?
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December 30, 2008 11:59:21 AM

Yes that is the exact card I purchased from NE.

I will check out the heat sink rails when I get home from work and pick up some compressed air along the way home. I am hoping this is it as the case itself was quite dusty when I cracked it.

I did do a restore point prior to the install of the game program and it did not cure the issue, the card still produced artifacts on the screen.

I can remove all drivers and boot into Windows in VGA (not using safe mode) but I still have artifacts that go away with a desktop fan blowing on the card and come back when I remove the fan if I remember correctly.

I did pull the card last night and blow it out as best I could but did not check the heat sink rails. Will need to check that later today.
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December 30, 2008 3:29:08 PM

How do I go about increasing fan speed? With the 8800 GTS and the nVidia drivers the option to do this through the nVidia control panel is grayed out. Is there a freeware tool available that I could use to control fan speed on the GPU?
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December 30, 2008 7:35:20 PM

OK I cleaned out the case fans and cards thoroughly and the system still hanged and crashed on startup using 180.48 drivers. I uninstalled them, came up in safe mode with Driver Cleaner and reinstalled (rolled back) to the 175.19 drivers. I am up and running right now with those (fingers crossed) at 60C just using the web.

Going to try Riva Tuner to increase fan speed to see if that helps lower the GPU temp at idle some.
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December 30, 2008 7:52:11 PM

OK I am running Riva Tunner and I adjusted the fan speed to 86% through direct control drop down and my stats are basically:

Fan Duty Cycle - 86.67
Fan Speed - 2487
Ambient Temp - 44C
Core Temp - 55C
Sensor Supply Voltage - 3.33

This is basically at idle only Riva and this web page up for several minutes. Setting it as such did drop the core temp from 61C to 55C.

Is this too high too low too much fan? Any pertienent responses regarding an 8800 GTS 320MB would be appreciated.
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December 30, 2008 8:38:32 PM

Well that was short lived. All was well and then I started playing the game and got a bit further into when the video corruption began again and the system locked up.

I even have screen corruption now when in safe mode and when Windows is booting up through the BIOS screen, etc.

I guess my video card is dead.
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December 31, 2008 2:29:38 PM

Card is trashed. I put in another card and the system works fine. I will try to get EVGA to fix the card or replace even though I failed to register it when it was purchased from NE in 2007. Live and maybe learn I guess.
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