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PC Lockup

Last response: in Video Games
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December 21, 2007 11:34:43 AM

THE PROBLEM

When I am playing the following games for any amount of time the games will eventually lock up my entire PC: Unreal Tournament 3, World of Warcraft, Bioshock, and Crysis.

These games will NOT lockup my PC: Warcraft 3, HL1 Engine games, Call of Duty 4.


You can see video documentation of the crash here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=5QS-iiqM-cg


THE SPECS
NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT Superclocked http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?...N82E16814130303
Intel Core 2 Quad Q600 2.40ghz http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?...N82E16819115017
Corsair 520w PSU http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?...N82E16817139001
Creative Soundblaster X-FI XTREMEGAMER (this doesn't make a difference. Crashes with Audigy SE too)
4GB G-Skill RAM (2x2gb sticks) http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?...N82E16820231122
Intel BLKD975XBX2KR LGA 775 Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16813121060
ATX Mid Tower case 2 fans http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?...N82E16811119068
Windows XP Pro SP2



WHAT I'VE DONE SO FAR

* I have run memtest86 on the RAM and it comes out clean.
* Installed the latest sound and video drivers from the respective companies.
* Reset my BIOS to its default settings
* Set my video cards fan speed to manual and set to 100% (NOTE: This makes games lockup the PC faster!)
* Checked how much power I am suppose to have from here: http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.js... It said 472w. My PSU is 520w and the video card is overclocked (not sure if that adds much)
* Cried
* Cried again
* Run a check for card temperature (Card was @ 56c 1 minute before system lockup)
* Ran a high stress test on my card for about 45 minutes. Card temperature was 74c and did not crash the system.
* Installed the latest BIOS for my card
* Tried taking the side of the case off and getting air circulating in the room

Right now my biggest thought is my soundcard. I have tried uninstalling and reinstall the card and its drivers.e
EDIT: i have tried disabling my sound card and the sound ingame at the same time and it still freezes.

If you like, you can see all of the things that I have tried in full w/ results on this forum http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/PC-Lockup-t180538.html

He was nice enough to spend a lot of time trying to get me through the problem but we still can't seem to diagnose the issue.

More about : lockup

December 21, 2007 1:44:54 PM

The clocks you have for your Videocard...are they the original clocks or have your overclocked your card manually. Some games are not very receptive to overclocking and will crash after a while. It would explain why some games crash your system and others don't.

Also, make sure you clean your PC of any malware. Use "CCleaner" to clean windows, Lavasoft ad-aware or similar to delete any spyware and an anti-virus to check for viruses.

Have you checked the temperature for your CPU? If you could then it would either show you its the problem or not.

Also, if you think it might be your soundcard, then try to uninstall drivers and physically take the card out of your system (while PC is off of course).

Like you said, RAM looks allright with that test, videotemperatures look allright. If you want to see if its a driver issue for both your soundcard or videocard then go in START-RUN (In XP) and type dxdiag. It gives you a report of potential errors.

There might be other things causing it but again, it could be anything. Try these first.
December 21, 2007 2:23:39 PM

Alex The PC Gamer said:
The clocks you have for your Videocard...are they the original clocks or have your overclocked your card manually. Some games are not very receptive to overclocking and will crash after a while. It would explain why some games crash your system and others don't.
That is how it came, factory clocked to 950mhz. I've tried bringing it down to 900mhz.


Also, make sure you clean your PC of any malware. Use "CCleaner" to clean windows, Lavasoft ad-aware or similar to delete any spyware and an anti-virus to check for viruses
Brand new PC I built, nothing on it

Have you checked the temperature for your CPU? If you could then it would either show you its the problem or not.
How can I check the temp of my CPU? I've checked my GPU


Also, if you think it might be your soundcard, then try to uninstall drivers and physically take the card out of your system (while PC is off of course).
Tried this. Still crashed.

Like you said, RAM looks allright with that test, videotemperatures look allright. If you want to see if its a driver issue for both your soundcard or videocard then go in START-RUN (In XP) and type dxdiag. It gives you a report of potential errors.
I just did EVERY test I could find in dxdiag and it passed them all
There might be other things causing it but again, it could be anything. Try these first.

Would a PSU failing cause this?




Also there are the speedfan temps. I think the CPU temp is fine. I tried taking the side of the case off and turning a fan on in my room (I didn't put it directly on my PC) and the games still lockup my PC randomly.

A really key part of this is that the lockups are random. Sometimes right away, othertimes not for an hour.
Related resources
December 21, 2007 2:31:03 PM

What brand is the power supply? Is it a no name cheapo, or a good one? Although you have the PSU quote....if your PSU is junk then it may be getting overloaded. I know from experience that running a decent 400 watt PSU is better than running a junky 500 watt.

One more thing, have you run any tests on your hard drives? I know it sounds stupid, but have you tested your hard drives for any errors swapped your sata/ide cables for new ones? Reason I ask is because I had a mobo go bad on me and it would lock up like you said for about a week, every once in a while after about an hour, bam, blue screen, lock, crash. Finally after a while when I didn't have time to mess with it, and hadn't started the pc for days, turned it on, bios didn't even recognize any drives etc. turns out the IDE channels on the board fried and went to mobo heaven. Had to RMA the board. So check your hard drives, worst case I see is RMAing a board.
December 21, 2007 4:37:09 PM

Agreed, poor PSUs are sometimes pretty shibby. From what I know (and not an expert) PSU will only give you a major FPS drop if your card runs out of juice. But you never know. If you have a "better" psu then you may want to give this a try. Swap 'em.

And as I said, this could be anything. Mobo, faulty hardware, etc. Try these one by one and eliminate problem by problem.
December 21, 2007 5:00:27 PM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
What brand is the power supply? Is it a no name cheapo, or a good one? Although you have the PSU quote....if your PSU is junk then it may be getting overloaded. I know from experience that running a decent 400 watt PSU is better than running a junky 500 watt.
I have a 520w Corsair - http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

One more thing, have you run any tests on your hard drives? I know it sounds stupid, but have you tested your hard drives for any errors swapped your sata/ide cables for new ones? Reason I ask is because I had a mobo go bad on me and it would lock up like you said for about a week, every once in a while after about an hour, bam, blue screen, lock, crash. Finally after a while when I didn't have time to mess with it, and hadn't started the pc for days, turned it on, bios didn't even recognize any drives etc. turns out the IDE channels on the board fried and went to mobo heaven. Had to RMA the board. So check your hard drives, worst case I see is RMAing a board.

I don't get a blue screen. It just locks up. The parts are all brand new. Also its only CERTAIN games that freeze it. World of Warcraft, UT3, Crysis, Bioshock. I can play Call of Duty 4 for hours on end without a problem. And the other thing is it never locks up when I'm doing other intense processes like video editing + rendering
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December 21, 2007 5:02:36 PM

Alex The PC Gamer said:
From what I know (and not an expert) PSU will only give you a major FPS drop if your card runs out of juice.

Actually, this card won't run without the PSU plugged into it. I just get POST beeps when I try to run it without PSU power.


And actually I was just looking at the reviews for the PSU I have and they talk about how a lot of them died after a few boots and that this PSU runs too hot (140F)
December 22, 2007 1:13:10 AM

Oh, what I ment was when your PSU overheats, and whenever your PSU overheats, the voltage lowers. So your PSU may provide 500W lets say on standby but as soon as you push it a little it overheats and will only provide 300-400W. This affects your hardware running out of juice and whenever this happens in games you would get a major FPS drop...and if your PSU is dropping way below the requirements, your MOBO would do an automatic reboot (and the beeping sound would come on). That's why I was saying that I've never heard of an overheated PSU causing a game crash on only certain games. I would have leaned more towards the overclocking as many games don't like overclocking and react strangely to them (crash, bugs, weird images).

But, you may want to invest in a good PSU. Given that Quad cores and today's videocards are pretty demanding, I would invest in a pretty good 700W PSU. That's what I have and never got any issues. If you plan to go CF or SLI then got for at least 800W.

Anyways, good luck.
December 22, 2007 4:02:54 AM

You know what's helped me on the overheating PSU issue. I have a power 80mm case fan that sits right underneath my PSU air intake, and it sucks hot air out the case while at the same time giving fresh air to my PSU. That system has served me well for years on a couple of different systems. So why don't you try that, or maybe even a 120 mm fan, and get the one that will move the most air you can get. See if that does not help you out. Yeah you may have a fan that came with your case, but believe me, sometimes those things are garbage!!!!!! The last one of those I had hardly cooled it. I'm telling you, I replaced it, big difference, and no lockups:) . Just seems like a waste to throw a nice PSU like that out.
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