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New Computer Freezes

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October 4, 2002 3:30:32 AM

I just recently bought a new computer with the following Specs:

WinXP Home Edition (just installed SP1)
AMD Athlon 2100+ XP
Gigabyte GA-7VRXP Motherboard
Maxtor 40GB 7200Rpm HD
MSI Geforce 4 TI4400 Video Card
NEC Accusync 95F Monitor
@ 1280x 768 @85Hz

My problem is that when i run any video related program, either a game, Movie Trailer, or what have you, It freezes after a while (I'd say after about 2mins) and I have to reset the computer everytime. I just recently ran 3D Mark to Benchmark my computer and it froze during the Max Payne Demo, it just froze and i couldn't do anything but reset. And i tried playing NOLF and watching the LOTR Trailer, and it happened to both those things as well.

It makes it impossible to play games or watch movies. Now I was thinking that there is a "problem" with my Vid Card drivers or DirectX 8.1. Should i reinstall DirectX and see if that fixes the problem, or is it a more serious "incompatibility"? Everything else runs smoothly, like music, its just with video related programs or media.

Any suggestions, Links, or clues to my problems? Once again it is a brand spanking new computer.



<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Burst on 10/03/02 11:48 PM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : computer freezes

October 4, 2002 3:58:59 AM

Drivers should ALWAYS be your first suspect on instances like this. If you are using MSI's drivers, try Nvidia reference drivers such as Detonator XP.... if you are using Nvidia's drivers, try and older version. No point in trying determine if it's a hardware problem until you have eliminated the common software issues.

On another note... I too have a MSI geforce 4.... and I am using Detonator drivers.. not the newest ones that were just released but one step back from those.... and my system is running flawlessly.

After you have tested the driver route, if your problem is not solved (which I bet it is) then you can start looking at hardware problems.

EDIT: Don't be so quick to hurry up and install the newest drivers for everything... often times the newest drivers actually have more bugs than older ones. Wait until drivers have been out a while before you upgrade, to give the manufacturers time to work out the final kinks they didn't catch in interal testing.... that's my recommendation anyway.

BAH EDIT AGAIN: Also, do NOT... i repeat do NOT assume that just because Windows XP found and installed driver's for your devices that they actually used GOOD driver's.... many of the drivers used when XP was released were actually very poor in quality.... always best to re-install them.. at least on critical system components such as a video card.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by tastim on 10/04/02 00:06 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 4, 2002 4:40:20 AM

Ok, so your suggesting that i Download the Detonator Drivers from the Nvidia website, but wouldn't a card like a Geforce 4 already have Detonator drivers already, meaning there is no need to download such drivers? It's just that all these drivers are getting me confused -.-
Which ones work and which don't, gives me a headache.

But another thing. This might sound like a stupid question but on the Windows Update page there is no Download for directx 8.1 for Windows XP, only for 95/98/NT/2000. I know that 8.1 came with Windows XP, but what if one of the drivers got corrupt, how would you reinstall.

Plus, I get a little "iffy" when it comes to installing new drivers, it could do my system more harm than good. I've ruined more than 1 system installing so called "driver fixes", i don't want to do it with my new computer as well.
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October 4, 2002 4:53:35 AM

No your card would not come with Detonator drivers.... Nvidia makes the chipset for the Geforce cards.. the cards are produced by each individual manufacturer, and manufacturers provide their own drivers. Detonator drivers are reference drivers.. meaning they work for all cards that use Nvidia chipsets, they are produced straight from Nvidia. Not only are they much more optimized for getting the most performance out of your card, they are more often then not, more stable.

And you can NOT break your computer by installing drivers for add-on cards :) ... if worse comes to worst, a clean format would solve that problem. You can trust Nvidia though man... they know their [-peep-].
October 4, 2002 6:07:40 AM

well i tried installing those detonator drivers, and it still freezes. Pretty annoying that a brand spankin new system does this >.<

But maybe, just maybe. My computer freezes because the temperature in the Case is getting too high, therefore it will freeze when playing high graphic games, making me reboot my computer. That means i gotta install a heatsink maybe? *grumbles*

Is there any way to find what temperature the CPU is running at?<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Burst on 10/04/02 02:16 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 4, 2002 7:08:07 AM

Uhhhh... you don't have a heatsink/fan on your CPU? Not possible.... however, you could have a poor quality HS/FAN and this could definately cause your system to overheat and lock up. I would recommend you download a motherboard monitor program before you go and mess with the Heatsink you have on now though.... I'm sorry I don't know a URL to one, but perhaps someone else would be so kind as to post one?


In the meantime, what you can do.. although not as accurate, is right after your system crashes in one of these games, IMMEDIATELY do a hard reboot and go into your BIOS and check the tempurature on your CPU. If you are running upwards of 60 degrees Celsius, it is very likely that heat is in fact your problem.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by tastim on 10/04/02 03:10 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 4, 2002 3:18:33 PM

another common culprit is the power supply. what wattage and brand is it? this does not applly if you got a manufactured computer. you could also try changing drivers for your mother board chipset. it would also help if you posted your system specs, again just let us know if its a manufactured computer (dell, gateway, compaq...)

im an idiot, you did post your specs. its too freaking early.

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by jihiggs on 10/04/02 08:23 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 4, 2002 7:17:57 PM

Aha! I figured out the problem, it was the temperature in the CPU! Well I'll be....

This morning I decided to test my theory about the heat problem, So I took the Case grates off and turned my Case around so the hot air could circulate better. I originally had it set up so the back end of the case was facing the wall, and therefore, the hot air was being continously circulated, causing over-heating.

So once i took off the case grates and turned my Case around so the air could be better circulated. I tried a 3dMark test. Now when i ran the benchmark the first few times it would freeze during one of the Matrix Demos which frustrated me. But when i ran the Benchmark with the case grates off it ran fine! To my extreme relief, of course. I held my breath during that test. Turned out I scored 9840, is that good? But, I further tested this by playing my games that would freeze originally, and they worked fine as well.

So it turned out to be a simple heat problem, if you can call it that. Thanks for your input though guys, case solved. :) 
October 5, 2002 2:23:50 AM

I believe the case is not solved.

Commit to figuring it out over the long term.

Computers are not easy.

Grasshopper

John A
October 5, 2002 8:15:14 AM

Your CPU should not be overheating based on the position of your case. There is a bigger problem here. I suggest you get a high quality heatsink/fan, and some good thermal paste such as Arctic Silver 3 and REALLY solve the problem. Just because your system is not crashing, does not mean you are in the clear.... heat plays a long term role in the life of your processor.
October 5, 2002 8:46:45 AM

As I recently found out with my Athlon 2200+, heat is a HUGE factor in your system's stability. Get yourself a nice heatsink... something like a Thermaltake Volcano 7+ or Thermalright SLK800... or even go for the coolermaster heatpipe heatsink if your mobo has the space for such a large heatsink.

I found my cpu running at 43c idle and 47c at load with the Volcano 7+ with 5 fans in the case (2 intake 3 exhaust) as the best choice.. but my fan died during the first 3 days.. [see my recent post about Athlon 2200+ cooling].. Don't bother with Volcano 9 or anything else..

Make sure you remove the mobo to mount the heatsink or else you'll risk scratching your mobo with that damned flathead screwdriver ... I nearly ruined my a7v333 trying to mount my volcano 7+ still in the case...

Don't forget the rounded IDE cables so that you don't block airflow...
October 6, 2002 3:30:13 AM

Oh, you guys have all read my mind, thanks for the tips. :) 
Yes, heat WAS the problem. But i have already invested in 2 fans and mounted them in my case. My computer has been purring like a cat the last 2 days, meaning its been running smooth with NO crashes or freezes whatsoever since i installed my fans. :) 
Once again, thanks guys.
!