Computer rebooting while playing certain games

I am having a very frustrating problem lately with my computer rebooting itself when playing graphic intensive games, such as UT2K3, Army Ops and NOLF. Other games, such as Civ 3, and SIMS Online, do not have this problem.

This is a fairly recent problem that is getting worse. It used to happen maybe once every few days, but now it happens as soon as the actual game loads up(the menus all work fine, but when I actually start playing the game, the PC reboots).

Here are my computer specifications:

-EPOX EP-8K7A motherboard clocked at 133MHz CPU/266MHz DDR; AMD-761 Chipset
-AMD T-Bird 1200MHz processor
-2x 256 PC2100 DDR RAM
-MSI GeForce4 Ti4200 128MB
-Creative Soundblaster Live! Value
-D-Link DFE-530TX PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter
-40GB Maxtor(7200RPM)
-40GB Quantum Fireball(7200RPM)
-52x CDROM
-ATX-300W power supply
-PS/2 keyboard and mouse
-Samsung SyncMaster 950p 19" monitor
-floppy drive
-4 speakers + sub
-printer hooked up to serial port
-no USB devices
-Windows 2000 Pro. SP3
-DX 8.1
-sound card and ethernet card are plugged into PCI slots 2 and 3 respectively.
-running at 4x AGP, and 256MB aperature size.

Here is a list of what I have tried doing so far, and other important notes:

-formatted computer and did a clean install of Windows 2000 Pro.
-flashed mobo BIOS to the most current version(v2.32 Beta).
-flashed MSI video BIOS to most vurrent version(v4.
-Lowered CPU Clock speed to 100MHz CPU/200MHz DDR (making the processer run at a lower speed of 900MHz).
-installed latest VIA 4in1 drivers(VIA Service Pack 4.43)
-tried different video drivers, including nvidia's v.30.82 drivers and MSI's v.3100 drivers.
-tried lowering the Memory Clock and Core Clock speeds for the video card(current settings are 446MHz Memory Clock and 246MHz Core Clock).
-unplugged some unnessary devices thinking it was a power supply problem. Unplugged one hard drive, and both CDROMs.
-CPU Temperature was running high(I thought) at about 75C, and System Tempurature at about 30C. Installed a new fan, CPU Temperature is now 51C and System Temperature is now 27C.
-combined wattage is for my 3.3 and 5v lines is 130.8W (I got this by using the formula ((5VxAMP's+3.3VxAMP's)/3)x2=Combined Wattage; that was obtained from another post on these boards)
-my 3.3V line stays around 3.38V, my 5V line stays around 4.88V, and my 12V line stays around 12.24V.
-my power source fan seems a bit low, staying near the 1000RPM mark.
-have cleaned out all dust off the CPU and power source fans.
-some capacitors on the mother board are slightly rounded at the top.
-I have tried the MSI GeForce4 Ti4200 card in a different machine with no problems.
-I have tried putting in an old GeForce2 MX 400 in this machine, and the problem still persisted.

All the above troubleshooting that I have tried has not solved this problem. There are some other things that are worth mentioning that may or may not be related:

-When my system has been off for more than 5 minutes or so, and I turn it on, it will not go into the boot sequence for at least few minutes. The power will be on, but it seems to get stuck in some sort of loop, and for reasons I cannot explain, will finally start booting up(hear the beep, bios, drive, etc. infos start coming up). Nothing will be displayed on my monitor when this happens until it actually starts booting up. My monitor is on, but is idle(ie. no signal from the computer). This has been an ongoing problem much longer than this rebooting problem, but I do not know if they are related.

All I can think of doing now is replacing the motherboard and/or the power source. Does anyone have any other suggestions that I may have missed, or any input on what the problem actually is? Anything would be much appreciated, as I have been putting in a lot of time to fix this :)

6 answers Last reply
More about computer rebooting playing games
  1. Download Motherboard monitor and set it to record a log file.

    Now run your games. After a crash look in the log file at the voltages. If they flunctuate and drop just as you start your game then you need a better power supply.

    The swolen capicators could also be the problem. These control the voltage. If too much voltage is sent through them they could be sending the incorrect voltage through.

    Try logging MBM first. It will tell you if it is a voltage problem or not.

    I aint signing nothing!!!
  2. Maybe, to start in order you could try:

    1) Open the case and point a home fan to the system to discard any (mobo, cpu, graphics card, RAM) overheated component.

    2) To rule out a power supply problem you could do what Rick Criswell told you and uninstalling the most of the component such as:

    One of the HDD if you are not in RAID
    LAN Card
    One of the RAM sticks
    Sound card if your mobo has integrated sound

    Then just play your game as usual.

    If points 1 and 2 don’t make any difference I would think in some failed part.

    Good luck

    <b>(<font color=yellow>as good as it looks</font color=yellow>)</b>
  3. BTW, what brand is your PSU?
    Those 130W combined looks like really low and the same for the 4.88V in the 5.0V line.
    I've seen many PC's crashing at 4.82V.

    <b>(<font color=yellow>as good as it looks</font color=yellow>)</b>
  4. Thanks for the suggestions Rick Criswell and CMRvet. The brand of the PSU is E-Data. So far I have put in a home fan to the system, and ran some logs with Motherboard Monitor for the voltages. I ran 5 different logs for starting up 5 different games. 3 of the games caused a reboot when actually loading up the game graphics(UT2K3 was an exception, PC rebooted when displaying the nvidia logo). The other two ran fine, no PC reboot.

    <b>The Logs</b>
    The three that made the computer reboot were <A HREF=" 5 Interval Log UT2K3.html" target="_new">UT2K3 Demo</A>, <A HREF=" 5 Interval Log NOLF.html" target="_new">NOLF</A>, and <A HREF=" 5 Interval Log ARMY OPS.html" target="_new">ARMY OPS</A>.
    The two games that ran fine were <A HREF=" 5 Interval Log SIMS ONLINE.html" target="_new">The SIMS Online</A>, and <A HREF=" 5 Interval Log CIV3.html" target="_new">Civilization 3</A>.

    They all follow a similar pattern for when the computer reboots, and for when it doesn't; 3.3V line stays at 3.39V; 12.0V line alternates between 12.25V and 12.31V; and the 5.0V line alternates between 4.88V, 4.86V, and 4.83V.

    I have tested the system with only one hard drive, and no CDROMs plugged into the power source: same results. However, I will test it with more things uninstalled and unplugged like you suggested CMRvet.

    To me it seems to be a bad motherboard, but I want to be sure before buying a new one.


    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by slap on 11/02/02 06:54 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  5. You should be running about a 400W power supply with everything you're running, 300W is the range of PS which usually was shipped with standard cases, but when you add 7200Rpm hardrives and high quality graphics cards and other such goodys you well exceed what the PS is capable of handling. Get yourself at least a 400W quality PS and your problems more than likely will disappear. Ryan

    Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.
  6. I had some time to test some more things today. I removed/unplugged, one stick of RAM, the network card, sound card, both CDROMs, one hard drive, and the floppy drive from my PC. All that was left in the case was the power supply, motherboard, video card, one hard drive, and one stick of RAM(I even tried different slots for the RAM too, and tried both sticks one at a time). The results were exactly the same as before, as soon as I entered UT2K3 for example, my PC rebooted.

    Is there anything else I should try? As it stands now, I'll probably just get a new motherboard, as it looks like that's the problem.

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