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Novice needs experienced gamers help

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 25, 2011 4:16:05 PM

I built my rig with the help of a friend, which i sort of regret. anyway. I run nvidia gts 250. It is overclocked, which I am not even sure I need to do. I have 4 gigs of RAM and when playing games it freezes up. Everything is about a year old, but it has never really run well. I am really new at all of this and need some help. My BIOS is set to things that I didn't have a say in, he just did it because it is all greek to me. I understand a little of it now but really need help. This sucks. Please help me out.
a b Î Nvidia
October 25, 2011 4:24:22 PM

Did you install all the latest drivers for your video card etc and updated windows. If so did you remove the old drivers with driversweeper ?
If you can tell more about your system it would be helpfull. Like your motherboard, processor, powersupply etc.
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a b Î Nvidia
October 25, 2011 4:25:27 PM

Oh, and did you oc the card yourself or is it factory overclocked ?
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October 25, 2011 4:34:04 PM

overclocked it myself in BIOS. motherboard-770t-usb3
processor-amd athlon II x2 240 processor 2.8 gig
replaced the power supply that came with the case, which was given to me. can't remember what kind but bought the most expensive one i could.
Is the video card any good?
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a b Î Nvidia
October 25, 2011 4:39:14 PM

It's old but not bad.
What did you overclock the video card or the processor ?
Anyway, when you set everything on stock settings, does it still crash ?
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October 25, 2011 4:49:30 PM

how do i set them all back to stock settings? is there a single button i can push to take them back or do i have to do all of them manually? i wouldn't know what to put them on. I have dialed back the cpu freq trying to get it to act right, to no avail.
i don't really know if it is the cpu or the video card?
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a b Î Nvidia
October 25, 2011 4:58:09 PM

I think, but not sure, you can't oc a gpu with bios settings so it's probably the cpu.
Do you have temperature readings when it crashes ? ( you can download msi afterburner and monitor the temp from the gpu with that )
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October 25, 2011 5:00:43 PM

I have more heat sinc and fans in this thing than is really necessary. should i try changing back to defaults in BIOS? How would I do that?
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October 25, 2011 5:05:44 PM

the easiest way to reset bios to default is the "clear cmos" jumper. but without a manual you may have troubles. so i suggest you open the case, look for the "watch battery" carefully remove it. wait a few secs, then replace it. when you start up, your bios will be reset.


btw.....this is just opinion....but you can never have too many fans :) 
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October 25, 2011 5:07:27 PM

That sounds really scary. You think the overclocking is what's causing the problem?
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October 25, 2011 5:11:04 PM

nothing scarey about removing the battery at all, just take your time. the clip that holds it in place just slides out of the way. the other way, with the jumper, would require you to download a copy of the manual, then follow the directions. the jumper is tiny and i hate doing (i have huge hands)


i dont know if it is the OC doing it. building a machine with someone elses spare parts is always risky, really. but without knowledge of what bios settings were changed.......you might look in the bios to see if there is a way to reset to default. it seems like i remember there being something in amt bios
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a b Î Nvidia
October 25, 2011 5:51:54 PM

Overclocking could be the problem specially when everything get's to hot from it ; the system will shut down than. That's why we need temps.
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October 25, 2011 5:53:59 PM

What games are you running - did they run ok before?
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October 25, 2011 6:16:25 PM

nothing has ever run smoothly. temps are high. tj max-72c
cpu 28 c.
gonna reset cmos and go back to default settings in bios.
ill let you know how it works.
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October 25, 2011 8:23:13 PM

tedbprice said:
I built my rig with the help of a friend, which i sort of regret. anyway. I run nvidia gts 250. It is overclocked, which I am not even sure I need to do. I have 4 gigs of RAM and when playing games it freezes up. Everything is about a year old, but it has never really run well. I am really new at all of this and need some help. My BIOS is set to things that I didn't have a say in, he just did it because it is all greek to me. I understand a little of it now but really need help. This sucks. Please help me out.



Hey Ted:

I have had a similar system including 4 gigs of RAM, and 2 x GTS 250's SLI-bridged for ~ 2 years now. My system also used to freeze up on me - it was very frustrating since I knew how many different problems it could be. After buying a huge heatsink for the CPU and other fans it still froze up. Opened up the case one day - put my trusty old desk fan blowing straight at the video cards - hasn't frozen on me since.

Unfortunately - sometimes you just can't cool things well enough with internal components, no matter how awesome the case / fans / heatsink might be. Try something drastic and literally hose the entire inside with a fan just outside the case - play your game(s) and cross your fingers.

Hope it works out. Post back and we'll get it fixed up.

- 0bi
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October 25, 2011 8:38:46 PM

You just leave the case open? it freezes up at the same place in the game every time. wtf?
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October 25, 2011 8:50:06 PM

Yep, the left side of my case is wide open. Little deskfan point-blank at the video cards.

Freezing at the same place is key however. If this changes when you try the fan then we know that heat may indeed be the issue.

If it continues to freeze at the same exact place, then we are probably talking about a software issue - bug / glitch / driver...something.
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October 25, 2011 8:56:12 PM

it went a little further this time then it usually does with the fan on it. then froze again. gonna try again. see what happens. just updated my video card driver. which other ones could it be?
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October 25, 2011 9:03:45 PM

I would consider resetting your Overclock to default settings until the problem is fixed.

I've had issues where the CPU would overheat and it would freeze almost the same exact place. If this is the case the heatsink may not be seated properly.

A friend had issues with his RAM - however, this was a freeze upon starting his PC. Yours only freezes during a game. Have you tried playing other games? Gotta do a lot of trial / error unfortunately, but the more you can find out about it - the better.
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October 25, 2011 9:10:32 PM

the fan certainly seems to be working. wow.
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October 25, 2011 9:36:45 PM

28c for the cpu is great.....72 for the video card sucks. it shouldnt be doing that, it sounds like your friend tried too hard to pump it up. i have never owned nvida, but i do know that to overclock a vid card you first go into the software/control center that came with it. has anyone suggested that you reset the cards to factory default in the control center. you will lose a little raw power, but i know it will be more stable. anyone out there have experience with that card?
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October 25, 2011 10:52:03 PM

Yeah - probably as surprised as I was when this "fixed" the problem. Like - "really... a fan...!?!?"

But computers hate heat, lol. The irony is - Your 'freezing' issues was caused by 'heat', nice!
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October 26, 2011 2:12:16 PM

Okay, so maybe not fixed. It worked for a while, and then went right back to what it was doing. Someone told me to replace my cpu, that the OC may have damaged it. IT has been OC'd, possibly too hot for over a year. What do you guys think?
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October 26, 2011 2:32:36 PM

It's interesting that the fan seemed to work. If you can experiment with a few things and see how it reacts that could help a lot:

If you run it without the fan on it does it still freeze in the same "exact" place? I mean - to the point where it's completely predictable.

With the fan on it - does the freezing point change? And does it always last much longer than without the fan?

I had issues with my CPU heatsink not being seated properly once - however - this led to the computer freezing just after BIOS since the CPU get's hot and any small overheat will cause an auto shutdown.

One step at a time though.
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October 26, 2011 2:57:20 PM

The fan seems to help, but eventually it always freezes up. This is really annoying.
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October 26, 2011 3:15:16 PM

Yeah it's very frustrating.

Have you reset the card so it is no longer overclocked?

Also - is it all games or just a single game? and which one / ones?

Will it ever freeze outside of graphically intense applications? - i.e. on desktop... web browser, etc.
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October 26, 2011 5:36:57 PM

It never freezes except in games. arkham asylum, space marine, It used to crash all the time, I have never really been happy. Spent a lot of money with the help of a computer savvy friend. I myself know little, but am learning. Reset cmos and put BIOS back to defaults. I was really hoping that would fix it. It didn't. Worried I may have damaged my CPU
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a b Î Nvidia
October 26, 2011 5:52:19 PM

Did you change anything on the nvidea panel and if so can you set everything back to default and then see what happens.
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October 26, 2011 5:59:12 PM

Just wondering - did you install the CPU / heatsink yourself? or did you buy the mobo with the CPU seated, installed, etc.?

I would also say to go through your entire system and make sure everything is in tight. RAM, graphics card(s), power cables all seated nicely, all pins in as they should be.

Hoped you could try another PCI-e slot, but looks like your mobo only has one :-\

Part of the problem is in order to diagnose this you may have to start swapping parts out for new ones - one part at a time. If there's a way you can get a hold of another card and try that, that'd be a good start.

In my experience, it ended up being my heatsink not seated properly and I had to even out the layers of silver compound. Then after all that troubleshooting it ended up being my video cards were overheating.

Is your video card fan functioning properly?

Are the games up to date also? Have you tried to dumb down the graphics settings? crank them down to bare minimum and see if they still freeze.

It's a very tedious, facepalm-ing business, lol... but you will learn ALOT about this stuff by your mistakes, trial and error, etc.
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October 26, 2011 7:08:53 PM

Yeah, I am beginning to come to grips with the fact that I may be just replacing parts soon. I am worried that I could have damaged the graphics card when it was overclocked. Or the CPU.
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October 27, 2011 12:29:02 AM

Sadly it could really be anything. Do you have access to another card you can use to test? If you swap the card out and try the games and it still freezes then it's (probably) not your card.

You can always do the same with the CPU, or at the very least - try to reseat the heatsink.

If it's the CPU then you got a whole bag of questions to answer, lol

Let's just keep ruling things out and prioritizing the potential "bad-guy"
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October 27, 2011 12:47:17 AM

First do a clean boot. Go to start enter msconfig then at the services tab. Hide ms services then disable all. Reboot your pc.

Test it.
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