Freezes/hangs in games

I can usually play most games fine for maybe an hour or so before the controls start to get sluggish (in some games like Portal 2) or the game will just freeze, quit, or the whole system will hang/freeze/lockup and I will have to reboot. Sometimes there will be some scattered multicolored dots (Portal 2 and Oblivion). Temperature seems fine and the power supply has 18 amps on all 3 +12V rails so I don't think it's a power supply issue (video card box says it needs 24 amps on the +12V rail but I don't know about 18 amps on all 3 +12V rails). Memory tests (system and video card) seem OK too. Not overclocking and CPU/GPU fans at full speed. System RAM has no heatsinks but doesn't seem to get that hot. Case is always open.

Pentium D 2.8GHz
4GB DDR2 PC2-6400 (400MHz running at 333MHz--not sure why) Micron RAM
Gigabyte 8I945P-G
EVGA GeForce GTS 250 1GB
5 hard drives: 120, 500, 160, 300, 300 GB
Antec TruePower Trio 550W

I know my system isn't bleeding edge but it's sufficient for my needs--except that I would like to be able to play 3D games longer. I recently finally got WinXP upgraded to SP3 after not having luck with it for years (turns out it was a registry permission issue or whatever) but I was having this problem before the SP3 upgrade too. I had another issue with an old version of SpySweeper causing excessive open handles that was slowing my system down and even causing Direct3D to fail, but that's been fixed finally too after several years of just living with it since I had no idea what the problem was.
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More about freezes hangs games
  1. What is the CPU temp?
  2. CPU and GPU temps are fine. It's not an overheating issue.
  3. Pixellation during gaming points to GPU or temps and that is why the question was asked...jsut trying to help, but we need all the info to be able to help. If your temps are good, then the first thing I would do is make sure you have the most up to date drivers. If you already have the most up to date, then completely uninstall/reinstall the drivers and test.

    Have you checked your system event log to see what errors you're getting prior to lockup/freeze? If not, then do that and let us now the exact error codes you're getting. Which version of Windows? Is your Windows OS completely up to date?

    Have you run Prime95 to stress the system while not stressing the GPU? If not, then stress the system running an instance of Prime95 for a couple of hours and see if you get the same lockup. If you don't get errors then run a stress test with Furmark alone? If no errors then run Prime95/Furmark at the same time.

    Let us know the answers to the above questions and how the stress testing goes.
  4. You might want to try a general clean up of your system to get rid of resource wasting garbage and registry errors. Run CCleaner and do both the Clean and Registry both.

    If that and the above suggestions doesn't bring the system back to life, you may want to uninstall the graphics driver, run Driver Sweeper in Safe Mode, and have it remove any remnants of old Nvidia, AMD, and ATI graphics drivers it finds.

    Re-boot and fresh install the correct graphics driver for your system.
  5. I upgraded the video driver to the latest but it made no effect. Oddly, I can play some games like Crysis 1 and The Sims 3 fine without problems. I'm getting a consistent quit-to-desktop (QTD, not a crash, per se) in Portal 2 in the sp_a4_finale2 map (where you have to use blue blobs to take out a bunch of turrets--I've gotten it down to like 2 or 3 turrets left but the QTD happens consistently if I try to take out the last few turrets with the blobs).

    As for my system, I already stated it in the original post, WinXP SP3 with all current updates. Nothing in the event logs and even Portal 2's console log dump is no help. I haven't run Prime95 recently (or Furmark ever) but have run it in the past, as well as Folding@Home, with no problems.

    I also unplugged one of my hard drives to see if it was a power supply issue but no effect.

    Just tried Prime95 and my temps raised to around 95C for CPU and motherboard, and PSU 77C but when I quit Prime95 the temps didn't go back down (even blowing a desktop fan on high on the open computer case). I don't understand why the temps wouldn't go back down when CPU usage is minimal and Prime95 isn't even loaded anymore. Will reboot and try again but I suspect the same result.

    OK, I don't get why the CPU, motherboard, and PSU temps would be around the same results after a complete shutdown, unplug, and dust blowout (not much on the CPU heatsink). All the fans are working fine too so I don't know what Prime95 did to screw up my system but SpeedFan and Hardware sensors monitor both give the same temps (and Speccy gives the same motherboard temp).
  6. What were you reading that high temp with? Run Core Temp and see what it says for comparison. (download the standalone pgm if you don't want the crapware)

    I remember all those kind of issues I had too back in the WinXP days. A great O/S for gaming in its time, but Win7 is so much less crash prone. I don't know if your system would be able to run Win7, but you could check.

    Byw, did you clean your system with CC and drivers with DS?
  7. I don't think yet another temperature monitoring program will matter when I have already used 3 (as previously stated) and all give the same result. I didn't use CCleaner or DriverSweeper as I don't believe it's a driver issue. Now I have to deal with the stupid temperature issue. Damn computers...such a hassle.

    OK, in playing with Hardware Sensors Monitor's (HSM) sensor types, if I change sensors 1 or 2 to diode or transistor the temps are around 95C. If I change sensor 3 to diode the temp is 36C but with thermistor it's 76C. But what's odd is SpeedFan's temps are immediately affected, which I wouldn't think would even be related since both separate programs have their own separate sensor settings. I don't know what the temps pertain to either since, in HSM anyway, I can choose from different labels (CPU, CPU1, CPU2, M/B, PSU, Power, Chassis, Mainboard) for each sensor and the temp doesn't change when I choose a different label. (Some of the labels also seem redundant like M/B and Mainboard, and PSU and Power.) Anyway, I don't know what the temps are relating to but I can get the sensor back to what they were saying before I started dorking with them around the same time I ran Prime95. I may still have an overheating issue but it's hard to tell now since I can't even trust the damn temp monitoring programs!
  8. EepSquared said:
    I didn't use CCleaner or DriverSweeper as I don't believe it's a driver issue. Now I have to deal with the stupid temperature issue. Damn computers...such a hassle.

    Just trying to help
  9. Oddly, in Portal 2's video options, I set "available memory pool" to low and didn't experience another crash and completed the game. I don't know why that would matter but perhaps I have some bad video RAM but I don't know how to test that. I'll try Oblivion and Tropico 4 again and see if I still hang with the multi-colored dots and lines.
  10. Eepsquared wrote :
    I didn't use CCleaner or DriverSweeper as I don't believe it's a driver issue. Now I have to deal with the stupid temperature issue. Damn computers...such a hassle.

    Well, u are asking for advice here because u can't get it fixed. And when u get very relevant advice, like the one from clutchc, u choose not to follow.

    If its not the PSU issue, its most likely the video driver, in most cases.
  11. Not getting an error in any file (let alone a video driver related file) would imply it's not the video driver--especially with 2 different driver versions. I just tested the video memory with Video Memory Stress Test ( ) and, after 8+ hours later (why it takes that long to test a mere 1GB of video RAM when 4GB of system RAM takes like an hour with memtest is beyond me), no errors were found with DirectX. I will try OpenGL before I go to sleep next.
  12. Just tried Crysis 2 on "advanced" (medium) graphics options and it played fine with no freeze/crash/hang.
  13. Oblivion and Tropico 4 lasted longer (hours) but then either just quit (Tropico 4) or froze/hung with a big black (or gray/grey) box and some multicolored lines in one of the corners (if I remember correctly) and I had to reboot.
  14. i would clean out the dust well. And CLOSE YOUR CASE. airflow will improve across all components because your fans will not just be blowing into nothing, they will work together to create airflow.
  15. Dust is clean and case is staying open because it runs cooler.
  16. Closed case runs cooler. If not, than something is blocking the flow through the case.

    Can u post a pic of your open case?
  17. This kind of view is fine....

  18. Have you at least run CCleaner to eliminate registry corruption or resource conflicts? Or done a Safe Mode driver cleaning w/Driver Sweeper?
  19. There are no resource conflicts and the registry is fine. Also, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim runs 99% fine most of the time, except for the occasional quit to desktop (not a crash, per se, since no error--and no freeze/hang with or without a grey box or multicolored dots/lines either). And my case is hardly that bare with *5* hard drives. Even with a desktop fan (not oscillating) on high blowing into the open case, it doesn't matter so I seriously doubt it's a heat issue either.
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