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PC Crash/Freeze

  • Crash
  • Components
Last response: in Components
May 29, 2010 11:43:39 AM

Sorry this is going to be a bit off a long post but this problem has been stressing me out for quite awhile now. I don't know if I've posted this in the correct section, I couldn't find anywhere for this sort of problem so apologies if it's in the wrong place.

I have a Packard Bell iXtreme X9610 which I purchased just over a year ago for £530.

I’ve been suffering a PC freeze/crash for some months now and it’s driving me mad now, I’m throwing money at the problem on new parts but it hasn’t helped. The PC pretty much worked fine for a year and has now started giving me trouble just outside the warranty period.
The freeze is very nasty; if a sound is playing it will get stuck in to a loop, the only way out is holding the power button in and turning the machine off and on again.

Specs when purchased were:
Core 2 Quad Q8200, 4GB DDR2 800MHZ (2x 2GB), 768mb GeForce 9600GS, 250watt PSU.
New parts:
1GB GTS 250, OCZ StealthXtream 600watt

These crashes are mainly just happening in games, but I do also get them watching video files in XBMC very occasionally now with the GTS250 but quite frequent on the 9600GS, I have also had one freeze while just surfing webpages when I had around 10 tabs open in IE at one time.

At first I thought maybe the 250watt PSU was starting to buckle under the pressure of newer games like the new Call Of Duty MW2 which might have been pulling more from the GPU, so I bought a OCZ StealthXtream 600watt PSU which should be more than enough power. I thought I had fixed the problem as I didn’t get a freeze up for some days, then they started again.

I found a game that would cause the crash almost instantly; the new Aliens vs Predator game, when I try to play this game on my 9600GS card I would get a freeze within 30 seconds usually. I borrowed an 8600GS from my sons PC and I left AVP running for 10 minutes with no freeze what so ever, I was sure at this point my 9600GS must have been faulty because the 9600GS would crash in seconds and the 8600GS didn’t seem to crash on this game, so I gave his card back and I went ahead and ordered a 1GB GTS250. I installed the new GTS250 and I played for a couple of hours thinking I’d found the problem then the freezes came again. The freezes come a lot less often with this new card compared to the 9600GS. I can play AVP for maybe 30 minutes to an hour before a crash on this new card.

I have given my 9600GS to my son and it works perfectly for him, no crashes what so ever.

These crashes happen on many different games including Bf2, Borderlands, C&C4.

I do notice that the 9600GS did get quite hot to the touch compared to the newer card so I think perhaps the newer card is giving off less heat and this could be why I crash/freeze less.

I thought perhaps it could be temperature related so I monitored the temperatures in speed fan and they didn’t seem too excessive to me, what do you think? These are the temps at the point of freeze up.
GPU - Temp1 - Temp2 -Temp3 - HD1 - HD0 - Core 1 - Core 2 - Core 3 - Core 4
60.0 - 33.0 -----42.0 --- 22.0 --- 40.0 - 44.0 - 57.0 ---- 53.0 ---- 58.0 ---- 53.0

I have been running with no side on the PC for a month now and it hasn’t stopped the crashes.

I’ve ran my ram through memtest to 100% completion with no problems. I’ve swapped out sticks of ram, tried one at a time, and I still get the freeze on each stick separately.
I did run Prime95 for 15 mins or so without a crash and the CPU did get hotter than it had ever been on a game.

I think I can rule out graphic cards as the problem, I think I can rule out ram too because I get the crash on each stick. I can rule out PSU because I’ve replaced that. It doesn’t seem like a software problem to me or something I’ll be able to fix with a format because the problem is not random and it does seem related to system load, I could leave this pc on all week and it will not freeze until I put it under load.

At this point I don’t know what to do, and after spending £100 on a new Graphics Card and £60 on a new PSU and it seems I didn’t need either of these things, I don’t want to continue wasting money on this machine. I am considering buying a new motherboard to see if that will help, or a new case for better air flow as this case is rubbish for airflow, no fans what so ever on the case and no space to mount one either, the only fan for airflow is that of the PSU, and now the side is removed too.

Could it be possible that the motherboard is not coping well with the heat of the GPU + CPU when gaming?

More about : crash freeze

May 29, 2010 12:37:24 PM

Could be a DMA/IRQ resource problem with for instance a soundcard. Try placing it in different slot or temperarely removing it.
May 29, 2010 12:59:59 PM

Sorry I forgot to mention; I did put my old Audigy 2 ZS soundcard in this machine when I purchased it because it sounded much better than the onboard sound.

I did suspect it could be the reason for the crashes at one point so I removed it from the PC for testing and the machine still crashed without the card in, and at this point with no PCI cards what so ever.
May 29, 2010 1:07:52 PM

Well only thing that realy comes to mind and which has plagued me in a similar fashion in the past is a faulty motherboard.