Any sort of videos end up completely halting the system after a random amount of time. Sometimes it takes a minute , sometimes it takes 5,10 or even more.
When it happens : it mostly happened while watching videos on the web, but it also happened with DVD movies and .avi files.
How it happens: There is a very brief repeat of the last sound in the video (0.25s), then the image instantly freezes and the computer won't accept any sort of input (mouse won't move , there is no hard drive activity , not even Num Lock would turn on and off), and I have to hard reboot it.
What I tried: Installing and changing the codecs ; Reinstalling the drivers ; Switching to XP from 7 ; Using different browsers / players ; Used the Microsoft FixIt tool ; Keeping the video minimized (it still freezed) ; .
The only way I could fix it was booting in safe mode , so it means that hardware acceleration somehow makes it happen.
That is quite an old system. Check your PSU to make sure that is providing the correct and adequate voltage to the Graphics Card. If the Voltage is dropping then it will cause random hanging when the Graphics Memory suffers errors as a result.
The system isn't overheating , I have recently cleaned / reapplied thermal compound. I've set the CPU fan to lower RPM , so that it stays quiet. The CPU reaches about 75-80 C on full load , and that shouldn't be much of a troublemaker. The PSU is rather new , and voltage readings seem to be OK. Wouldn't there be artifacts or some other sort of effects happening because of the voltage while I am in a game , too ?
By the way , now that I think of it better , it might be the graphics driver update I made about a month ago. Can you give me a good , and deffinitely working driver version? (The one automatically picked by Windows 7 wouldn't work fine either).