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Old 12-12-2009, 12:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PC gaming lockups and crashes

I've been having trouble playing games on my PC as of late. I changed my CPU, motherboard and RAM about 5 months ago but hadn't tried gaming since then. I installed Borderlands about a month ago and kept having this issue where the game would lock up on the screen after about 2 minutes of play. The sound would still play, but the image would stand still. By doing an alt-tab and coming back in the game, I could usually keep playing, but after 3-4 occurances the game would either crash or reboot my machine.

I thought at first it could be an issue with my crappy video card (Radeon X1600) so I changed it for a BFG GeForce GTX260 with a corresponding power supply, but the problem still occurs.

I tried an older game (WAY older, baldur's gate 2) and got the same issue as with Borderlands. I tried updating my video card drivers, chipset software, flashed the BIOS to the latest version, ran a chkdsk, tried uninstalling my mobo's built in power saving software (EPU-6 engine), tried shutting down my antivirus, looked at the CPU and mobo temperature in the BIOS after a crash, nothing worked so far.



Here is my hardware setup as of now:

Motherboard: ASUS P5QC, socket 775
Processor: Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q9300 @ 2.5GHz
RAM: 4GB Kingston DDR3 (Not sure on the frequency)
Video card: BFG GeForce GTX 260
550W Power supply

Note: I installed all of that myself, so there is a possibility of a slight problem with the hardware installation, but I doubt it considering the system runs fine by itself as long as I don't launch a game.



I will try to format and reinstall Windows today, but other than that I'm running out of ideas
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC gaming lockups and crashes

Reformatted, reinstalled a legit XP Pro 32 bits
Updated to SP3, added all major updates
Installed antivirus, drivers, then Borderland

The problem persists
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC gaming lockups and crashes

Have you tried:

Patching all games to newest version.

Decreases amount of running processes through msconfig.

Increases fan speed to video card, trying older and or newer video card drivers.

Setting page file to a static number.

Played around with game settings, such as decreasing or turning off AA/AF.

Do you have sufficient cooling in your case and for your processor? Make sure they are not overheating?

Tried overclocking video card and or processor?
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC gaming lockups and crashes

Have you tried:

Patching all games to newest version.
Yup

Decreases amount of running processes through msconfig.
Since I just reinstalled Windows, the processes running are minimal

Increases fan speed to video card, trying older and or newer video card drivers.
I have the latest video card driver, and tried the previous one. I haven't changed the fan speed since I don't know how, but the problem was occurring before I got a new video card

Setting page file to a static number.
How would I go about doing that?

Played around with game settings, such as decreasing or turning off AA/AF.
Tried min and max settings and a bunch in between, to no end. I tried a very old game (Baldur's gate 2) and saw that problem occur as well

Do you have sufficient cooling in your case and for your processor? Make sure they are not overheating?
When the game reboots my machine, I check the BIOS and so far I've never seen my CPU over 33C

Tried overclocking video card and or processor?
Not so far, but I don't see why I would need to considering very old games show the same issue
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC gaming lockups and crashes

Considering your answers its probably a bad power supply, bad RAM or bad hard drive.

Checking the CPU temp at idle isn't really relevant, we need to know its temp under load. This can be done with speedfan, hardware monitor or coretemp.

You can increase video fan speed in nvidia control panel or using a free tool such as eVGA precision tool, also many others.

You can set page file to static this way.
Control panel>System>Advanced>Performance(Settings)>Advanc ed>
Under virtual memory>Change.

Click circle that says custom size, then set initial and max size to 1512, then hit apply and restart.

Disabling system restore should also speed things up a little bit.

What power supply do you have?

If nothing works we will look at testing psu and ram next.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC gaming lockups and crashes

Set the pagefile size with no apparent change
Installed coretemp, checked max temp while ingame with the problem occuring, got max temp of 64C
Power supply is a BFG GX series 550W
Haven't managed to find the video card fan settings in the NVidia control panel, despite looking everywhere in it :/
Considering the behavior of the game before crashing or rebooting( see Glitch.png picture by Annihilator_ - Photobucket ) I was leaning towards a memory corruption issue, although it seems more like a video card memory corruption, even though I tested two cards so far... odd
It would be pretty weird if it was a video card issue, considering an old 10 years old game gives me the same problem as a 2 months old game, and I had the same problem with my old video card as I do with my current one
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC gaming lockups and crashes

Just did a quick memory test this morning

Tried removing one of the RAM sticks, played Borderlands for about 20 minutes before graphical glitches started, as opposed to 3-4 minutes usually
After 30 minutes the game froze

Tried the second memory stick, managed to play for 30 minutes without any graphical glitches, but then the PC rebooted without any sort of warning
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC gaming lockups and crashes

Its most likely the power supply.

I would suggest replacing it, refer to the guide linked in my signature for suggestions.
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC gaming lockups and crashes

That would be slightly surprising considering it's brand new, and I had the problem before I changed it to support my new video card
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC gaming lockups and crashes

ohhh ok,

Its time to run memtest.

google, download and burn to disk memtest86+

Boot off the disk and allow it to run for at least 4 hours.
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