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Computer freezing whilst playing Video Games

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December 24, 2010 9:48:01 PM

Hello There

I posted a while back in the vista forum (not knowing the source of the problem) a problem i was having. The problem is while i am playing a game, The computer will freeze and repeat the last 0.01 second of audio that was playing before the computer froze. The only way of regaining control is to hold the Power Button for 5 seconds and reboot.

I recently have discovered some evidence that my CPU may be the culprit. I ran a Prime95 test with RealTemp running s the main window and left it on while i went downstairs to watch some TV. When i came back up, I found the computer had frozen, But the temperature was on around 56oc. Obviously, this is'nt an overheating problem but something else. I hope it's not a faulty CPU as i am strapped for cash ATM :( 

System Specs:
Manufacturer: PACKARD BELL BV
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.3GHz
Memory: 4GB RAM
Hard Drive: 627 GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280
Sound Card: Realtek High Definition Audio
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Premium 32bit
Motherboard: Chipset - ID07C7, Model - MCP73, Manu - Packard Bell BV
Computer Case: Stock iXtreme X9601

Thanks in Advance

And Merry Christmas ;) 
December 24, 2010 10:00:09 PM

Sorry, Almost forgot. I have a 600w power supply but i have already tried to replace it with an 850w PSU, But i need to say it was from an unknown brand called Alpha Power so i'm not sure if they have a bad rep for faking wattages or not :p 
December 25, 2010 6:47:22 AM

Hi Sakotius,

There isn't much we can tell you but I would first say as a general answer: check your entire system's on newest drivers, possibly change your OS cus Vista isn't well renowned for stability (BTW do you know that you only have a 32 Bit OS while you have more than 3GB of RAM, the maximum supported by this OS architecture?)...

However, I would strongly suggest upgrading your PSU (sry, I know you're low on cash ha) because the GTX 280 itself requires 550W so I'm pretty sure u were low with 600W...

Otherwise is your entire system pre-built Packard Bell?
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December 25, 2010 9:14:34 AM

well i think the same ur PSU can be a prob since GTX 280 is a power hungry card.
my advice remove ur gfx card and then try running prime95 and other tests.
if it still hangs then it can be ur CPU.try changing ur OS to win7 64bit :) 
December 25, 2010 12:10:45 PM

Hey Guys, Thanks for Replying :D 

The thing is, This computer was running fine on this 600w PSU for about 6 months but the last 2 months it has been doing this, I've tried updating GFX drivers, Audio Drivers and a whole lot more but this problem does'nt seem to vanish.

I also tried replacing the GFX card with my old 9600GS and it still did it. So i think it all leads to the CPU. I think i know the verdict but i just want to be sure. The CPU has been in it since i got the system. It just bugs me because i have heard CPU faults are rare. Looks like i'm really unlucky :L

So final question. Do you think my CPU has kicked the bucket? And if it's not the CPU, Could it be the Motherboard?

Thanks in Advance
Sakotius

(P.S - I hope you are all having a good christmas :D )
December 25, 2010 12:58:39 PM

try putting load on your CPU and check the temps when it is over 90% load if they r high then its most likely reason for freeze. If ur mobo was at fault then i guess ur PC wudn't even start at all. if u have 2 or more RAM module then try removing one of them to check if it RAMs are at fault and u can try putting ur CPU on any other PC if it works there then its ur RAM or mobo. Most probably its ur RAM coz chances of CPU faulty is pretty low. I hope u didn't overclocked ur pc too much
December 25, 2010 1:55:29 PM

hitec16 said:
try putting load on your CPU and check the temps when it is over 90% load if they r high then its most likely reason for freeze. If ur mobo was at fault then i guess ur PC wudn't even start at all. if u have 2 or more RAM module then try removing one of them to check if it RAMs are at fault and u can try putting ur CPU on any other PC if it works there then its ur RAM or mobo. Most probably its ur RAM coz chances of CPU faulty is pretty low. I hope u didn't overclocked ur pc too much


Hi There hitec1

I have previously checked the ram for loosness and such, But i have never ran a stress test for the ram only. Can you reccomend a good program to stress test the RAM? (CD Boot or Windows, I don't have a floppy drive)

Thanks in Advance

(P.S I used the In Place Large FFT's as the setting in Prime95 so i don't know if that helps in the verdict)
December 27, 2010 1:06:39 PM

Ok, I have ran Memtest82+ overnight and it said 14 passes no errors. But i have heard this can be an unreliable test.

I also ran Prime95 again, but in blend mode this time. The computer did'nt crash, But i did get 2 workers that stopped due to hardware failure. Not sure if there is an error code from Prime95 i can send you all, If there is please let me know and i'll paste it onto here

In help is Greatly Appreciated. Thanks in Advance

Sakotius

December 27, 2010 3:57:17 PM

Another Update

I ran Intel Burn Test and it popped up with a CRITICAL ERROR after completing test 4. I only set it for 5 tests and it still failed. My max temp on my CPU (measured by RealTemp) was 65oc, So it did'nt stray over 80oc so is the CPU at fault here or should i still look at the possibility of the RAM?

Any help would be Great
Thanks in Advance
Sakotius
December 27, 2010 4:47:13 PM

Just ran Prime95 again and i got an error.
I'll paste what it says from the results.txt

FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.5, expected less than 0.4
Hardware failure detected, consult stress.txt file.

Temp readings from RealTemp were around 55oc

Hope this helps the Verdict
a c 126 à CPUs
December 27, 2010 4:53:22 PM

I would say memory. But it mught not even be bad RAM. It could be timings or memory voltge. Or the PSU might not be pushing enough power to supply the memory with the correct voltage.

I would test the PSU and if you have any access to the BIOS, check the memory timings and voltages to make sure they are set properly.

Then again its a Packard Bell so its OEM that normally limits your access in the BIOS.

Wait.... I thought Packard Bell went bye bye.....
December 27, 2010 8:01:05 PM

jimmysmitty said:
I would say memory. But it mught not even be bad RAM. It could be timings or memory voltge. Or the PSU might not be pushing enough power to supply the memory with the correct voltage.

I would test the PSU and if you have any access to the BIOS, check the memory timings and voltages to make sure they are set properly.

Then again its a Packard Bell so its OEM that normally limits your access in the BIOS.

Wait.... I thought Packard Bell went bye bye.....


Unfotunately yes, I cannot change voltages in the BIOs due to it being a pre-built packard bell. And i think if PB went down the toilet, I would re-flush just to make sure it's completely gone, They are absolutely terrible :p 

But it does'nt make any sense that it has been running fine on this GTX 280 for some time now and now all of a sudden, Poof. I was thinking earlier that maybe i touched the ram when i had static in me and discharged it upon it?

I also have tried using another PSU and it does the same thing. I have replaced the GTX 280 with the 9600GS i originally had and no changes. So that wittled it down to the CPU, RAM or Mobo. Everyone on this forum seems to be adament it is the RAM. So i might take it into a local repair shop and get a full diagnostics report done on it. Hopefully they will list what is at fault

Another thing i have read about online is BIOs updates. Unfortunately, My mobo is no longer being produced and Phoenix Technologies seem to have stopped distributing Updates for there BIOs's for the Award BIOs. Checked the Award site and it seems that the domain has been taken by a company that finds driver and BIOs updates :( 

The test of taking out a RAM stick and going about your normal buisness seems like a good idea. I think i will try this and if i find out that one of my ram stick are faulty, I'll buy 2 new 2gb sticks (@ 800mhz as opposed to 400mhz *I'm on DDR2 NOOOO*)

Thanks guys
December 27, 2010 8:03:43 PM

Quote:
That cpu needs to be pushed past 3Ghz to keep the gpu happy.

What you can do is to download Nhancer and try tweaking the profiles. Try maxing you settings out more with Nhancer give the gpu more work to do


Trust me, There is nothing i want more than to OC this Hunk of Junk to make it at least half decent :lol: 

Unfortunately, My BIOs is limited due to my machine being a Pre-Built Packard Bell. Never again will i go retail. Next time, I'll build my own out of high quality items and not the utter S**t PB seem to love filling it with ;) 
a c 126 à CPUs
December 28, 2010 5:20:32 PM

Since it is a OEM, lets try to rule out the mobo (I have had a lot of OEM PCs come in with bad capacitors on the mobo which was actually the problem when people thought it was a virus). Look at this picture:



Now on your PB machine, open it up and look at all the capacitors on your mobo. Since its OEM, I doubt its going to be using solid state capacitors and will use the standard ones (the ones in the picture above). The ones with a flat top (I would feel the top but normally you can see it) are good. Ones that are crowning (bulging up) or that have a weird looking residue would be bad. IF you happen to have any bad capacitors it could be that thats causing the crashing.

Capacitors are mainly there to provide and stabilize the power to the components. If one goes bad, say one responsable for memory voltage, then it could cause the OS to crash when gaming since when you are gaming it requires more power to the components and as well it needs to be good power.

If none look bad then it could be memory. I would try one stick at a time and if one still crashes while the other doesn't then its possible that one stick is bad. Considering its OEM, they do tend to use really crappy memory that dies a lot. I had a 12"x24"x6" box filled with bad laptop memory. Mainly Hynix (not sure on the spelling) memory.
December 31, 2010 8:13:57 AM

srry for late reply i was busy with my xams :( 

well the best thing u can do is put ur CPU in someone elses PC and run p95 test to rule out that its ur CPU.
try getting new RAM or try ur RAM on another PC
if ur RAM is fine then its definitely ur mobo most probably the capacitor prob as p95 error u get is due to unstable vcore voltage
January 5, 2011 12:56:21 PM

Sorry for the late reply, Xmas took me by storm and i have been sorting stuff out

I'm going to put my computer into a computer shop and hopefully they will tell me the problem. I think after everything you guys have told me to do, It's either the Mobo or the CPU. They only charge £5 for a diagnostics testing session but i'll be without a computer for a day or 2 now :L

Thanks for all the help guys!! :D 
!