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Strange lockups and other happenings

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Last response: in Systems
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February 9, 2011 8:59:38 PM

Hello, I've been having a problem with my PC the last couple of weeks that I just can't figure out. Hopefully someone has some advice.

From the beginning: I was happily playing some Civ 5 when suddenly the game froze. It appeared to be a video card problem because the screen was just frozen with distorted colors and sound was still playing, not on a loop.

I assumed my video card was overheating so I just restarted and let it cool down. Later I tried playing again and the same thing happened after a very short time of playing. After this I reapplied some thermal paste to the GPU and tried again. It didn't work. In fact the problem got worse. It started doing the same thing when I would try and watch videos, then later it got to the point where I couldn't even be in Windows without it locking up after 5-10 mins.

So, I decided it was the video card and ordered a new one. After the the new one got to me the computer was fine for about a week, then the same problem started happening, getting progressively worse like before. Still assuming it was the video card, I RMA'd it and after a week of it working fine, the same thing started happening.

Now it gets worse. I went to a local PC repair shop and they lent me a video card to use. It was a Geforce 6 something. I was able to get into Windows and even watch videos. Then I wanted to test something on the latest crapped out video card, after which I put the Geforce 6 back in. Now I can't even access my non-system hard drive that I was just using.

The guy at the PC repair shop said it might be the motherboard or the power supply. One of my friends thinks it's a virus. What does the internet think?

My PC:

CPU: Intel core2 quad q6600
Mobo: Gigabyte ga-p31-ds3
RAM: 4g DDR2 800mhz
Video Card 1: EVGA Geforce 8800 GT
Video Card 2 and 3: Sparkle Geforce 8800 GTS
OS: Windows 7
February 9, 2011 9:17:01 PM

Sounds like a dying power supply to me. Also could be memory errors . Run Memtest for a few hours to rule out bad RAM then try with a different PSU if you can.
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February 9, 2011 9:20:36 PM

If this is only happening with Civ 5, then Civ 5 is probably the issue. I own Civ 5 and I know that that game is extremely buggy. Not as buggy as when it first came out, but still has issues. It especially has issues when playing on the world maps. The game does eat up a lot of ram and GPU usage so make sure you have the power supply and proper gpu. Try playing the game on an extremely smaller map will lower video settings and see if you have the same issues.


Mugiwarakaizoku said:
Hello, I've been having a problem with my PC the last couple of weeks that I just can't figure out. Hopefully someone has some advice.

From the beginning: I was happily playing some Civ 5 when suddenly the game froze. It appeared to be a video card problem because the screen was just frozen with distorted colors and sound was still playing, not on a loop.

I assumed my video card was overheating so I just restarted and let it cool down. Later I tried playing again and the same thing happened after a very short time of playing. After this I reapplied some thermal paste to the GPU and tried again. It didn't work. In fact the problem got worse. It started doing the same thing when I would try and watch videos, then later it got to the point where I couldn't even be in Windows without it locking up after 5-10 mins.

So, I decided it was the video card and ordered a new one. After the the new one got to me the computer was fine for about a week, then the same problem started happening, getting progressively worse like before. Still assuming it was the video card, I RMA'd it and after a week of it working fine, the same thing started happening.

Now it gets worse. I went to a local PC repair shop and they lent me a video card to use. It was a Geforce 6 something. I was able to get into Windows and even watch videos. Then I wanted to test something on the latest crapped out video card, after which I put the Geforce 6 back in. Now I can't even access my non-system hard drive that I was just using.

The guy at the PC repair shop said it might be the motherboard or the power supply. One of my friends thinks it's a virus. What does the internet think?

My PC:

CPU: Intel core2 quad q6600
Mobo: Gigabyte ga-p31-ds3
RAM: 4g DDR2 800mhz
Video Card 1: EVGA Geforce 8800 GT
Video Card 2 and 3: Sparkle Geforce 8800 GTS
OS: Windows 7

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February 9, 2011 9:21:27 PM

Yes either a dying or inadequate psu , after all 3 8800's would need a lot of umpha at full draw, heavy gaming etc, hell just for one card you would need at least 550w psu...:) 
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February 9, 2011 10:19:32 PM

I'm not running 3 8800's at the same time (is that even possible?). I currently have a 850W power supply.

It happened in Fallout 3 also and League of Legends, so I think we can rule out that it's just a certain game that makes it happen.

Thanks for the replies though. I'm going to try a new power supply tomorrow and if that doesn't work I guess it's time to upgrade my motherboard because I really have no idea what else it could be.
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February 9, 2011 10:25:31 PM

Try Memtest as well. Could be RAM errors although I doubt it since it only happens in games. More likely a dying PSU.
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February 9, 2011 10:32:17 PM

I will try that, thanks for the tips. I'll be back when I have updates or the problem is fixed. Also I'll pick the best answer :) 
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