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GeForce GTX 260 comp freezes, help!

Hello, Just recently I have been playing Starcraft 2 and League of Legends on my desktop. For about a month or so I was playing without any problems. Yesterday, however, while playing a campaign mission in SC2, my screen just randomly goes black, the audio starts looping, and I'm forced to restart. This now happens every time I try to play any game.

It's weird though because I can open the game and start playing them and everything looks just fine. My high graphics settings are still present, the game doesn't lag, cinematics run fine, etc. And then just randomly, whenever the comp feels like it I guess, it just shuts down.

I'm not super great with these technical problems, so I figured I'd present it to you guys who obviously are.

GPU: GeForce GTX 260
Driver: 258.96
Resolution: 1280x1024
OS: Windows XP (x32?)
Processor: Intel core duo E8400 @ 3.00GHZ
2.00GB of ram
Service Pack 3

So yeah, if there's any other specs you need please just ask. This is a huge problem for me as my friends and I just bought SC2 so that we could play together... and now I can't.


Thanks in advance.
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  1. I've had my XFX brand GTX 260 for a year now with no issues.
    First. make sure it's not a heat issue by using a GPU temp monitor that records your temps on a log while you game. Try Real Temp.

    If it is crashing due to heat, 80c or above, blow out the dish from the fan. Then try EVGA Precision to manually set your GPU fan to 90 percent right before you start gaming.

    Hope that helps.
  2. *** just got real.

    I installed Real Temp and ran it while playing SC2. On queue, the comp froze. Instead of a black screen though, this time there was multicolored checkering artifacts. I had to restart the computer. Unfortunately, because of the forced reboot, I don't think Real Temp recorded the min/max temp because it only says it went to 43c. I alt tabbed before I got into the game, but while the SC2 menu was open, and it was 47c.

    Soooo yeah. When windows started my resoultion was reset to 800x600 and now I'm getting lag from just scrolling up and down in my browser. What do?
  3. Best answer
    Sounds like a heat issue, my first GTX 260 did this after about 5 months of being used in the same case. I had to take it apart and clean it out from dust and what not, wasn't a big deal.

    Make sure it is a fan/heat problem. Use MSI Afterburner to monitor fan speeds and card temps. Report back to us.

    To see what the card is like under load benchmark while watching MSI Afterburner.

    Don't alt+tab out to check your tempuratues either, you would be suprised how fast a GPU can cool down. When I alt+tab out of a game I immediatly lose 5-7c.
  4. Wow. Perhaps I asked for help a little too late. My GPU is apparently dead... at least I think it is. Burned out maybe? God I hope not.

    EVGA Precision and MSI afterburner "do not detect any supported hardware". It is also rather clear that my GPU is not working because I'm getting lag and graphics errors when doing basic tasks, like surfing the web.

    I took the GPU out and got all the dust out of the fan and reinstalled it. Still no dice. Is this game over for my GTX 260?
  5. Your videocard driver might have got corrupted. remove and reinstall.

    Don't tinker with the global settings in the Nvidia control panel until your games are stable.

    If that doesn't help, I suspect your card is damaged especially if the artifacts don't go away.

    One last trick is to underclock the videocard's core and memory speeds. If you don't have issues after that, the it might confirm that your card suffered damaged and no longer functions at the factory's specs.
  6. Alright, first I want to thank you two guys who have been helping me. I really appreciate it.

    After reinstalling the drivers, I was able to get MSI afterburner to recognize the GPU. I then downloaded and installed Furmark 3D and set it to benchmark mode. Here are the results:

    Furmark 3D:

    SCORE:4947 points (60000 ms)
    Max GPU Temp: 71°C
    Resolution: 1274x992 (W) - MSAA: 0X
    FPS: min=47 max=151 avg=83

    When running the Furmark, MSI afterburner recorded these stats:

    Max GPU temp: 71c
    GPU Usage range : 94-99% shot up from 5 when nothing was running.
    Fan Speed: min 40, max 70

    Core Clock and Shader Clock are 576 and 1242 respectively.

    So, yeah. My card is getting rather hot rather quickly. I bet if I had run a longer Furmark that the GPU would have peaked 80c.

    What's next guys?
  7. Ok, I just ran the Furmark 3D stability test and the GPU temp climbed up to 85c. It was climbing at a consistent pace. about 1c per second. I shut the test off prematurely cause I didn't want it to run any hotter.
  8. MY GTX 260's get to 90c in Furmark.

    Stupid question, but now that you have correct drivers and your hardware is being detected correctly is it possible your issue is resolved? Have you tried gaming?
  9. I had the correct drivers and my GPU was being detected when the freezing happened. I will try SC2 again though. I'll let you know.

    So all of those furmark results are pretty normal then?
  10. How long was it running for? Secondly being as the fan only ramped up to 70 percent I'd say so, I run my fans at 100 percent when I benchmark/game.
  11. Oh snap... ok. That's good to know, I'll def run my fans harder from now on.

    It was running for a solid month without any problems.

    UPDATE** I just played SC2 for about 20 mins without any problems. This is a good sign :). I am running my fan at 80%. I'll keep you all updated. Thanks again so much for the help Helltech and islandsboy.
  12. No, I mean how long did you have Furmark running.

    If bumping up the fans manually is helping I'm think you were having an overheating issue/the fans weren't ramping themselves up.
  13. Oh, furmark for like 2 minutes. Nothing major. And yeah I think I found the problem. Even though my fan was on "auto" it was always stuck at 40%. It never ramped up under stress. I'm manually controlling my fans now and keeping them between 70%-100%.
  14. My fans never ramped up for me once I went SLI with my GTX 260s, not sure why, even when it auto ramped up when I had one card it still didn't go up high enough and I was uphappy with it, setting fan profile with MSI is quite easy so I just use that now.
  15. Best answer selected by MacTavish.
  16. And I'm back to square one. The problem is persisting despite manually turning my GPU fan up to 100%. It is now clear that this is not an overheating issue. Something is either damaged in the GPU, something is corrupted, or it's not the graphics card at all and its something else. Could it be my OS? XP is pretty old. Could it be my processor or motherboard? Any suggestions?
  17. ahh... I see that my issue is now "Solved". Starting a new thread.
  18. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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