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Please help. Something dying?

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October 15, 2009 3:46:00 AM

Hi everyone, sorry to bother you all..

I've been having a frequent and disgusting problem recently.. During certain games, my computer will freeze to the point of no return. The screen will flicker, and all the colors will distort... Sort of like if you were to shoot the screen with a BB gun, if you understand what I mean....

This problem only happens with certain games... Such as World in Conflict, Killing floor, Left 4 Dead.... but never occurs in games like Bioshock and Operation Flashpoint.

This occured with the current version of Forceware, and with beta drivers. A friend recommended rolling back to 180 series of forceware, but I'd like to ask here before doing that. I've asked this question on the Steam forums, and received no help whatsoever.

The problem started occuring when I went to Dual monitors, but I just disconnected my 2nd monitor today, and the problem still happens.

My theory is that the Power Supply unit is dying, i've had it for years now. does anyone have ANY idea what to do? I'm stuck here... My favourite games are practically worthless because I cant play them for longer than 5 minutes anymore....

Intel Core 2 Quad - Q6600
Windows XP 32 bit
4 gb ram (yes I know, I only get 3.3 gb of real memory....)
Nvidia GTX 260
Ultra 600 Watt PSU.

More about : dying

October 15, 2009 3:50:06 AM

Well you can always run safe mode with networking to see if it still happens.

Are you possibly suffering a bad overclock?

Virus scan? etc
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 15, 2009 4:25:02 AM

Download speedfan and check your temps.

Make sure you have the newest drivers from Nvidia.

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Related resources
October 15, 2009 4:32:39 AM

Well, i noted earlier that my problems were faced starting when I got my new monitor... in a fit of desperation, I switched the DVI cable from the one that came with my monitor to my old one... And I just got back from a 40 minute session in WiC...

Could a faulty cable have been the problem?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 15, 2009 4:39:36 AM

I don't think the monitor cable would be the problem. It only transmits the signal to the monitor. Since you say the PC is freezing, it would likely rule out the cable or monitor.
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October 15, 2009 4:44:22 AM

i would say it is either the psu (your suggestion), or the gpu. try stress testing your gpu, using ati tool.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 15, 2009 5:16:51 AM

PC Power & Cooling is one of the best PSUs you could get. It's not out of the realm of possibility, but I doubt it's the PSU.
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October 15, 2009 10:22:54 PM

I just ran a Furmark test. Everything ran fine at 1920 x 1080. I'm seriously considering the possibility that my PSU is to blame. If it is my GPU, however, i THANK GOD that BFG has a lifetime warranty...

Results are here:
http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/4076/furmark.png
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October 16, 2009 2:00:34 PM

Update:

I bought a Kilowatt PSU last night. I figure if it doesnt solve my problem, I'll at least be ready for a major upgrade down the line.

RIP current PSU. you served me well for these past 6 years.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 16, 2009 3:27:27 PM

Unless you're planning to SLI that gtx 260, the 1000w PSU is serious overkill.
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October 16, 2009 7:55:33 PM

Agreed, sir. I just got it in case i plan to get an i7 in the future. At any rate, the new PSU didn't Help. I'm going to have to get BFG to replace my card <_<. is there anything else that might be killing the games?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 16, 2009 8:00:30 PM

As I said in my first post, it's likely video drivers or temps.

Getting an i7 down the line isn't going to require a 1000w PSU. It's the graphics cards that you slap in it. They are what suck the power.
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October 16, 2009 8:01:41 PM

lol whatever. i like overkill.
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October 16, 2009 8:02:16 PM

temps shouldn't be that bad anyway. max was about 75 at full load.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 16, 2009 8:10:33 PM

CPU or GPU?
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October 16, 2009 8:11:46 PM

GPU. cpus at about 70 at full full... 50% load = 55
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 16, 2009 8:13:57 PM

Which program are you using?

If that's the case, try reinstalling the newest drivers from Nvidia's website.
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October 16, 2009 8:14:51 PM

i just updated the drivers yesterday. gpu temps using furmark, cpu using coretemp
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 16, 2009 8:21:07 PM

It seems suspicious that it only happens on a few games. If it was the card, it should be flaking out more. But, I guess there's no harm in using that warranty to find out.
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October 16, 2009 8:23:02 PM

i agree. I dont understand it at all... Should I try using 180 series drivers?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 16, 2009 8:31:11 PM

Are they the ones that were working before the freezing started?

What version are you on now?
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October 16, 2009 8:32:11 PM

im on the current version, before, i was on the last version, and the beta version.... 180 series always worked fine.
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October 16, 2009 10:53:47 PM

Yeah Those are what im using right now. I'm just about to roll back to 186.
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October 17, 2009 11:33:50 PM

K... It was going well... Until the problem happened outside of a game, when i was listening to music....

Apart from the screen going 'blank', it also made that... choppy loud noise, and with headphones on... that wasn't cool.

Ok, i dont understand, all the temps were fine.
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October 17, 2009 11:57:52 PM

It COULD be a bsod. I just looked in the event log and found something maybe thisll help me out

DCOM got error "The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it. " attempting to start the service upnphost with arguments "" in order to run the server:
{204810B9-73B2-11D4-BF42-00B0D0118B56}

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2009 12:23:43 AM

Try running in safe mode to see if it happens there. If it doesn't happen in safe mode, it's likely a driver. If it does happen in safe mode, it's likely hardware.
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October 18, 2009 12:30:46 AM

I wish it were that simple. It's not easy to recreate the error... you just have to kinda wait for it..

Btw, Aford... Thank you very much for all your help, I really appreciate it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2009 12:38:35 AM

It's no problem...I'm as curious as you are now.
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October 18, 2009 1:22:29 AM

Christ... it happens every time i try to open CSS... I'm pretty convinced its a windows problem now... So im going to get into windows 7 as soon as possible..
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October 19, 2009 3:50:31 PM

Well I took the 'easy' way out. Reformatted... The error was software related, and my conclusion was a virus attack caused a registry error.

Thanks for all your help.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 19, 2009 8:44:45 PM

Alright, we can go with that. Good that it's fixed.

Sometimes it is easier to wipe the slate clean.
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October 20, 2009 2:03:04 AM

Sigh... The problem is still happening, although this time.. I believe it's the CPU overheating. I replaced the CPU with a Q9550, cause i had the money, and its reaching temps of 90 - 100 degrees. Im going to assume thats bad, Im about to install a new heatsink.
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October 20, 2009 4:10:31 AM

Also not overheating. Just replaced the heatsink, temp never exceeds 55 according to coretemp.

Why god, why... Guess i need a new motherboard
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 20, 2009 5:34:57 AM

If you just did the fresh install and you're still having the issues, start testing the hardware. You can run memtest to test the RAM. Boot into the repair console and run chkdsk /r to clean up the hard drive. Also, go to your motherboard manufacturer's website and download their utility to test the hard drive.
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October 21, 2009 12:55:29 AM

Just ran Memtest, no errors...

Western Digital Diagnostic found no errors...

Ran Furmark Stability test, ran for 1200 seconds, 1920 x 1080, 16 x AA, Max temperature = 78 degrees.

I don't think this is a GPU or CPU error. I believe it is motherboard related, as the computer once crashed while listening to music. Hardly computer intensive.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2009 1:26:06 AM

You could try putting a fan on your northbridge. It could be overheating.

If you're pretty sure it's the board, you could bite the bullet and go shopping :) 
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October 21, 2009 1:32:28 AM

Thats the problem though... whether or not it's the motherboard... I've tested everything extensively.....

My dad said he would give me a loan for the mobo if thats the problem, and i work... but I still dont want to buy something if thats not the problem. As far as im concerned, its down to the motherboard or the GPU..... ive tested the gpu using furmark.. but still.. is there another way to test the gpu?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2009 1:42:52 AM

You know that you're supposed to run stability tests for a long time right? By that I mean overnight at least - for each kind. 20 minutes hardly qualifies.
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October 21, 2009 7:36:51 PM

Ok I ran te test in xtreme burn mode for 3 hours, which is about the longest i can do. I cant run it overnight because the computer is in my room, and it is comparatively loud, and I do need my sleep...

At any rate, for the whole of 3 hours, the temp never exceeded 78, and the computer did not crash.

I'm kind of hoping its JUST the motherboard, because swapping it out shouldnt be too hard for me.
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October 24, 2009 5:16:03 PM

Ok, now I'm just completely confused. COMPLETELY.

I went and bought a crappy 9500 GT (with the intention of returning it to best buy lol) and the computer functioned PERFECTLY, no crashes, nothing. So I figured it was a GPU issue, seems pretty obvious.

So I went out and bought a GTX 275 to replace the GTX 260, and the CRASH IS STILL OCCURING!!! OVER AND OVER!!! and this time it actually gives me a driver_irql BSOD.

I'm so confused!!!
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October 24, 2009 5:57:24 PM

it almost sounds like not enough current is reaching the more demanding video cards but you did say you had tried a different power supply.

have you updated the BIOS?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2009 6:21:28 PM

Did you get rid of the old video drivers? Try uninstalling all your video drivers. Use something like revo uninstaller. Then install your new video drivers.
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October 24, 2009 8:13:43 PM

I used driver cleaner to uninstall everything, no avail.

I have updated the BIOS to the most recent revision.

My PSU is 1000 Watts... current BETTER be reaching the damned thing.
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