PC Hangs While Gaming

  Petrocelli 10:43 07 Oct 2005

Please help!!
I'm having problems launching any 3d games on my system at the moment. I have an xp3000+ with 1.5gb RAM and an XFX 6800GT AGP.

Everything had been running fine and i was able to play Battlefield 2, Far Cry, HL2/CSS at full detail with no problems.

Last week i downloaded Day of Defeat Source and as soon as i tried to run the game, it would get to the splash screen and my whole system would just shut down. No blue screen, no error message, nothing. I'd have to hold in the power button for 5 seconds and then reboot. There's nothing of note in the event log under application or system and i couldn't work out why it was happening.

Initially, I let it go and assumed it was just a steam problem. However, it soon spread to Battlefield 2 and would crash in the same way at the menu screen.

I figured the drivers may have been corrupted (forceware 77.77) so, as it had been a while, i decided on a format and reinstall of windows.

I loaded the latest 78.05 drivers, latest mobo drivers etc and loaded up DOD. Crash! Same problem. Doom 3 - i get 5 minutes of play and then a crash.

I tried changing the drivers to omega 66.93 and the problem still persists. I've checked my temps and it doesn't appear to be an overheating issue - cpu temp 48/49 idle 55-56 under load. gpu temp 45 idle 60-65 under load.

I opened up the tower, reseated the vid card and checked all connections, including the power supply to card. Everything looks fine. The cpu heatsink/fan are pretty dusty but that's all.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  gudgulf 10:58 07 Oct 2005

I take it you have fully updated windows.

The download of CSS could be a coincidence.....is it possible the GF6800GT has broken?

If you have the same problem even after a full reinstall then it points to a hardware issue.

Try reseating all the RAM modules and try running one module at once.If there is a fault in one that would identify the rogue module.

Run Memtest click here to be doubley sure about your RAM.

If you can get your hands on an alternative graphics card or try yours in a different pc that will make sure the graphics card is ok.

Go to Start>Run and type dxdiag.Check through all the tabs to see if any Directx errors show up and to make sure all your graphics hardware acceleration is working ok.

  Petrocelli 12:48 07 Oct 2005

Thanks for the reply. I'm also starting to think that the steam download must have been a coincidence.

The card is only a couple of months old and has never been OC'd. I get no colour corruption or artefacting, normally associated with a faulty card.

I'll have a fiddle about with the RAM tonight. It is cheap generic 2700 RAM so it could well be a problem. Also, do you think updating the mobo bios could help? Is that a risky procedure?

Thanks for the reply.

  gudgulf 13:48 07 Oct 2005

I doubt if updating the BIOS is necessary.It is not difficult to do but should it go wrong there is a chance of you ending up with a dead motherboard!.Use it as a last resort.

I don't think it is necessary anyway because everything was working ok up until now.If there was a BIOS issue I think you would have had problems from day one.

If you can browse the web ok and use the pc for other applications other than games it appears the problem is with 3D rendering (in games).

You could try backing down from AGP8x to AGP4x in the settings for your graphics card and see if that helps........but it doesn't get round the fact that it worked fine at first.

Also try disabling fast writes(if they set enabled that is).

  Petrocelli 14:13 07 Oct 2005

Gudgulf, thanks for the reply. I won't mess with the bios.

I have already disabled fastwrites (in the bios) and it hasn't helped at all. Will dropping from 8x agp to 4x agp give me a big performance drop (should the games start working again)?

The only time the crash has occurred outside of a 3d game was when in shutdown whilst watching an avi file on divx. That has only happened once and not at all since the windows reinstall.

  citadel 19:47 07 Oct 2005

a faulty psu would cause the problems you are having. I had a similar problem with crashing with no error messages and it was the psu.

  gudgulf 20:15 07 Oct 2005

Dropping to AGP4x wont affect the performance at all.......I've benchmarhed my p4 3.6GHz/x800xt at both 8x and 4x and there is no difference whatsoever.

It was just a thought to take a bit of strain from the card.......citadel has made a good point,as a fading psu might well drop it's voltage when pushed by a 3D application.

I would really try to test your card in another machine,or borrow a different one from a friend or relatives pc.If the card has gone faulty you can get it replaced under warranty.

If it proves to be ok then,and the memory checks out try a new psu.

  flyingbrit 22:48 07 Oct 2005

my mate had the same problem with his system almost the same spec as yours including the 6800gt(ok his was overclocked but by BFG not him) it worked fine for a couple of months then everything went haywire,first thing we tested was ram but it all worked ok in mine....we tested everything by swapping into my pc 1 item at a time and it turned out to be his psu(you didn't say what yours was)his has ended up with 550watter in and all is now hunky dory....hope this helps........britsdad

  Petrocelli 15:52 08 Oct 2005

OK, i decided to do a few more tests. Asus probe reports the voltages as follows:

+12v = 12.288

+5 = 4.784

+3.3 = 3.2

Vcore = 1.664

I ran Sisoft Sandra and it reported a warning about the Vcore value. Could this be a problem?

Also, i noticed on the asus probe voltage monitor graph that i'd see small fluctuations on the 12v and 5v power lines and the vcore line briefly dropped out completely leaving a gap in the graph. Is this normal?

My monitor has also been acting strangely. When i started the machine a few minutes ago, the resolution looked different. It still says it's 1024x768 in the gpu settings but it doesn't fit the screen - it's too small and leaving a black border around the screen. Also 85HZ has disappeared from the refresh rate options and i can now only choose upt to 70Hz.

  flyingbrit 19:42 08 Oct 2005

from what i've loooked at by typing in Vcore value into google you have got a problem with power similar to my mate,i would try another psu of a higher rating.

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