Spontaneous computer jamming while gaming.

I have had the problem for about a year and have just become tired of it now and after plently of trying suggestions I've decided to actually ask myself. Before any suggestions are made, I would rather not have to re-format my harddrives unless it completely neccasary.


Description of Problem:

My computer runs absoloutley fine when I'm not running any game. When I play a game, I can run most games full spec and so I do and have tried my problem playing with lowest spec too. After a completely random amount of time, could be less or more than one, two or three + hours, and my computer just freezes completely. I can't control alt delete, can't alt f4, alt tab any of it. I have to restart with my power button held down. This only occurs when I'm playing a game like counter-strike and the original call of duty all the way up to the newish Bad Company 2, Modern Warfare 2. I have over 140 games which span over 17 years and I find that for most I play on for prolonged amounts of time, they jam eventually.


Solutions tried:

-I have tried looking at the temperature of my computer and its parts. My GPU runs at about 60C when playing a game and about 42C idle. Seemed ok to me.
-My CPU cores being a quad run 0 and 1 at 40C and 2 and 3 at 50C when idle. The max I have seen while playing is 70C (60 on cores 0 and 1). Seemed ok to me.
-I downloaded a CPU Stab test and ran it for 12 hours! My computer didn't jam once...
-I downloaded Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool and it said my CPU was fine.
-I have re-applied thermal paste using a recomended technique.
-I have re-seated all of my RAM in their slots.
-I have ran defrag, virus scan, spyware scans.
-I ran check disk on my harddrives.
-Updated all drivers for my sound, gpu and cpu.
-Completely air dusted my machine making sure every spec of dust was gone.

My Computer Specification:
Windows XP 32-bit SP3
Intel Quad Core Q9300 2.5Ghz
MSI P7N Diamond Motherboard
4x1GB RAM DDR2 800Mhz
Nvidia GTX 260 896mb Maxcore
500GB SATA Harddrive (2x250GB)
600W Power Supply


If anyone has any clue on what it could be, please let me know. If I get rid of this problem I will finally be able to play a computer without jamming, crashing and overheating problems for the first time in 2 years and will be eternally grateful.
Thanks.
23 answers Last reply
More about spontaneous computer jamming gaming
  1. Well, "600W Power Supply" seems a bit suspicious. Do you by any chance now the name of this power supply? Did it came with the case or is it a third parter? Anyway, the powersupply is the one of these suspects (yes, I'm a detective ;) that I would bet is the thief in this drama.

    A quality power supply is A-O in order to have a stabile computer. If the link to the 12V is too weak, well, I certainly don't need to tell you the rest, do I? ;D

    Anyway, have a peak at that, and if you want to be sure; go do yourself a favour and get a Corsair WhatEverWatt you want ;)

    Edit* grammar ^^
  2. Does the sound loop when your system locks up? Have you gotten any BSODs?

    Run the blend test on Prime 95 to stress both CPU and memory to see if they are both good. Also run memtest for a couple passes to verify that your memory is good.
  3. Quote:
    Well, "600W Power Supply" seems a bit suspicious. Do you by any chance now the name of this power supply? Did it came with the case or is it a third parter? Anyway, the powersupply is the one of these suspects (yes, I'm a detective ;) that I would bet is the thief in this drama.


    A quality power supply is A-O in order to have a stabile computer. If the link to the 12V is too weak, well, I certainly don't need to tell you the rest, do I? ;D


    Anyway, have a peak at that, and if you want to be sure; go do yourself a favour and get a Corsair WhatEverWatt you want ;)


    Urm, I hadn't actually thought of that as being the problem. But come to think of it since getting the computer I had to turn up my fans to cope with the heat, especially on my graphics card which will sap lots of power. I don't actually know the name of my power supply (but I'll try find out) because it did indeed come with my case (as part of the whole computer which i bought premade and have made modifications to since) which is an Antec ATX 900.


    hunter315 said:
    Does the sound loop when your system locks up? Have you gotten any BSODs?

    Run the blend test on Prime 95 to stress both CPU and memory to see if they are both good. Also run memtest for a couple passes to verify that your memory is good.


    The sound just stops and doesn't loop and I have never had a BSOD with this computer. I'll take a look at your suggestion and see if it comes up with anything.
  4. That is the EA650W PSU that comes with the case, right? If it is, then it's OK.
    Check your CPU and GPU temps.
  5. unknown_13 said:
    That is the EA650W PSU that comes with the case, right? If it is, then it's OK.
    Check your CPU and GPU temps.


    Running Prime95 and any other Stab test my cpu only gets up to 68 - 70 degrees C which is fine for a quad, no? I have suspected my GPU but that doesn't even touch 60 degrees C...

    As far as the PSU is concerned the PC was prebuilt so the power supply may have been changed. I highly doubt it so thanks for the help.
  6. vulcanspirit said:
    Running Prime95 and any other Stab test my cpu only gets up to 68 - 70 degrees C which is fine for a quad, no? I have suspected my GPU but that doesn't even touch 60 degrees C...

    As far as the PSU is concerned the PC was prebuilt so the power supply may have been changed. I highly doubt it so thanks for the help.


    Hmm, that CPU temp is close to abnormal.... GPU temp is good (if not very good, it's a GTX260)
  7. unknown_13 said:
    Hmm, that CPU temp is close to abnormal.... GPU temp is good (if not very good, it's a GTX260)


    Well, I literally just ran a Video Card Stability Test and the highest temp came out at 73 degrees C. Does that make any difference?
  8. vulcanspirit said:
    Well, I literally just ran a Video Card Stability Test and the highest temp came out at 73 degrees C. Does that make any difference?


    My HD 4850 tops @ 78C sometimes but i had 0 problems for more than a year so.... no it doesn't make any difference.....

    The mobo is high end it shouldn't cause freezing.... i recommend that you reapply thermal paste and re-seat the CPU heatsink.
  9. unknown_13 said:

    The mobo is high end it shouldn't cause freezing.... i recommend that you reapply thermal paste and re-seat the CPU heatsink.


    I only re-applied thermal paste about a month ago, checking plenty of tutorials to make sure I was doing it right (ie not putting too much or too little on and making sure it was spread properly). I've always had a problem with my CPU fan/heatsink though cuz I have trouble clipping it in however I made sure it was stable and giving enough pressure.
  10. Check all the power cables inside the case.
  11. unknown_13 said:
    Check all the power cables inside the case.


    Using Prime95 I managed to push my CPU up to a max of 83 degrees C now (17 degrees C from max), however no jams, and in games my cpu has never ran that high.

    As far as power cables are concerned, I know that 1 cable does have a loose peg on the end black wire that connects one of the 6 pin connectors to the power cable but I pushed it back in and it seemed to stick. Maybe that could be the problem, however, why would that cause random jams when its not being pushed and pulled? I might be able to get some pics, of what i mean.

    I'll take a look at the rest and see what I find.
  12. vulcanspirit said:
    Using Prime95 I managed to push my CPU up to a max of 83 degrees C now (17 degrees C from max), however no jams, and in games my cpu has never ran that high.

    As far as power cables are concerned, I know that 1 cable does have a loose peg on the end black wire that connects one of the 6 pin connectors to the power cable but I pushed it back in and it seemed to stick. Maybe that could be the problem, however, why would that cause random jams when its not being pushed and pulled? I might be able to get some pics, of what i mean.

    I'll take a look at the rest and see what I find.


    Yeah you do that :D
  13. Sounds to me like a PSU issue... if possible pick up a good PSU, say a Corsair 650TX or something, and give it a try. If it still freezes then you know that's not the issue and can return the PSU (get it at a local store with a return policy lol)
  14. wolfram23 said:
    Sounds to me like a PSU issue... if possible pick up a good PSU, say a Corsair 650TX or something, and give it a try. If it still freezes then you know that's not the issue and can return the PSU (get it at a local store with a return policy lol)


    I have had my power cables to my computer plugged into a 5 way gang extension lead. Now I have decided to plug it directly into the wall socket. Maybe if everyone is saying it is a power problem then maybe it was because of some interferance caused by the extension lead?
  15. It's possible, if a lot of appliances are plugged into one socket the voltage can drop which means the PSU won't get full power. If possibly try plugging the PSU into a house circuit with as little drain as possible.
  16. unknown_13 said:
    Yeah you do that :D


    I've now taken all my power cables out of my pc, and re-arranged them, checking each individually. I found that the 2 cables from the GPU to the power lead both has a loose connection and I have tried to ammend them. Furthermore I have changed my main power lead to the PSU so it goes directly into the wall socket. I will now spend tomorrow testing and see what happens.

    Thanks for all the help today everyone. :D
  17. vulcanspirit said:
    I've now taken all my power cables out of my pc, and re-arranged them, checking each individually. I found that the 2 cables from the GPU to the power lead both has a loose connection and I have tried to ammend them. Furthermore I have changed my main power lead to the PSU so it goes directly into the wall socket. I will now spend tomorrow testing and see what happens.

    Thanks for all the help today everyone. :D


    Nice one:D:D
  18. vulcanspirit said:
    Using Prime95 I managed to push my CPU up to a max of 83 degrees C now (17 degrees C from max), however no jams, and in games my cpu has never ran that high.

    As far as power cables are concerned, I know that 1 cable does have a loose peg on the end black wire that connects one of the 6 pin connectors to the power cable but I pushed it back in and it seemed to stick. Maybe that could be the problem, however, why would that cause random jams when its not being pushed and pulled? I might be able to get some pics, of what i mean.

    I'll take a look at the rest and see what I find.


    Actually you're 12c past the limit, and 17c from the shutoff limit.

    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=33922
  19. Raidur said:
    Actually you're 12c past the limit, and 17c from the shutoff limit.

    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=33922


    Oh blimey, well I have never suffered from a BSOD. Do you know if Prime 95 allows the cpu to go over its limit? This is because I noticed in the first few torture tests it only gets up to 70 ish which is the limit, then a later test pushes it over.

    Anyway, still testing, no jams yet (touchwood) but I havnt been able to play properly yet and probably won't be able to until monday.
  20. Prime 95 will definitely 'allow' the CPU to pass the limit.

    CPUs often throttle down performance in high heat situations. However if you aren't getting too hot while gaming then this may not be the issue.
  21. Raidur said:
    Prime 95 will definitely 'allow' the CPU to pass the limit.

    CPUs often throttle down performance in high heat situations. However if you aren't getting too hot while gaming then this may not be the issue.


    If that was the problem could it cause my CPU to shut down/lock up? Surely it would just make the performance of the games worse, i.e. less fps.
  22. Yes, an overheating CPU can cause you PC to completely shutdown/restart.
  23. I think I've solved the issue, for now.. I did change a lot of things so I don't know exactly what it was that stopped the jamming but heres a list of the things I tried:

    - I re-seated my graphics card, RAM and my sound card.
    - Removed my power cable from the extension lead and plugged it directly into the wall to avoid any power interferance.
    - Took all of my wires out of my case, checked for loose connections and plugged them back in making sure they weren't blocking any of my fans.

    Thanks for all the help from everyone and I think for now the problem is solved. :D
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