System: Athlon XP 2400+ Jetway V600DA/DAP Mobo Various sticks of PC3200 RAM (all tested OK) BFG GeForce 6600GT OC 128Mb AGP Maxtor 40Gb 7200rpm HDD (Master) Western Digital 7200rpm 80Gb HDD LG CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive LG DVD-RW/+RW/-RAM Drive Hercules Gamesurround Muse Lt Audio Tornado 56k Modem Windows XP Media Centre 2002 (+ all hotfixes/patches) Jeantech 480W PSU
A friend’s PC has developed a fault, which seems to cause lock-ups particularly during games. He claims not to have altered anything before it happened, but I only have his word… Interestingly, on restarting, the system seems to hang (no monitor, beeps etc.) for the first few efforts, before eventually kicking in. Every time I have turned it on, in fact, whether it locked or was shut down properly, it hangs once on the GPU initialisation screen, then a reboot is successful.
This sounded to me like a cooling problem, probably the graphics card, as his PC is in a warm room, and case airflow was not great. Things he has done include: install a Scythe Samurai CPU cooler, a couple of case fans and a small fan on the northbridge, whose heatsink was getting very hot. There are 3 empty slots below the graphics card, so airflow is no real issue. System/CPU temps are normal (20-30 C/40-50 C) all the time.
I’ve tried unplugging everything unnecessary both in and outside the case (such as USB connectors, drives etc.) to no avail. I’ve had a go at almost everything I can, but I have no old AGP cards lying around (I’m on PCI-e personally) to test the graphics card as the problem. I still suspect this is the problem, as there is a separate heatsink next to the main fan, which seems to get extremely hot during games such as Far Cry etc. Since the card had a huge warranty (it comes overclocked), should he just return it and hope this solves the problem? Or would you try a driver downgrade? The system is stable in Windows for days on end.
Any ideas will be appreciated; I’ll be back in the forum this evening to check what you all think!