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78 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 57454 14-Feb-2010 11:30
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Hi all,


I'm really hoping someone could help me out here. I'm stumped and don't know what else to do. Bear with me, because it will be a slightly long read (to explain what I've done so far).


Ok so this problem only started 3 days ago (Thursday 11 February). Prior to this date, I was able to run games perfectly fine. I had not made any changes whatsoever in the system, I didn't install anything.


So I was playing Mass Effect 2 and it crashed. It just froze and I had to hard-reboot the PC cuz it just wouldn't respond. Then it happened again, so I tried different games. I tried Team Fortress 2 (running through Steam) and it crashed a few minutes into the game. I tried Dragon Age and the same thing happened.


So I thought it must be the video card (I'm running Geforce 9800GT). I updated the driver and it didn't fix it. But if you think about it, couldn't have been the driver since I had been playing all my games just fine previously. But anyways...


Oh the form of the crashes is a bit random by the way. Sometimes it locked up the PC. Sometimes I was able to Ctrl+Tab it to switch to a different application (or desktop). Sometimes it responded to the Ctrl+Alt+Del (Task Manager). Sometimes it rebooted itself without me touching anything. Sometimes it would display "nv4_disp display has stopped working normally etc etc" then it messed up the colours.


So I tried to do a system restore (to Wednesday 10 Feb) then I found that on Wednesday there was an installation called "Software Distribution Service 3.0". I wondered if this caused the whole problem. I googled it and found that it is a Windows update. I restored my pc anyway to the 9th Feb point but that didn't help either.


So now I am really confused. What happened and how do I fix this? I read loads of information online and I could see that a number of people have been having the same sort of issues but none could provide a solution.


My PC specs:
OS: Windows XP Pro SP 3
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz
RAM: 4GB RAM (not utilising all 4GB of course since it's a 32-bit system)
Video: Nvidia Geforce 9800GT 512MB, running directX 9.0c


So thanks very very much if you've managed to read up to this point and I'd appreciate any help.


Thanks!


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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 298821 14-Feb-2010 11:40
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Master Geek


  Reply # 298826 14-Feb-2010 11:47
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Thanks. How do I test all that? Especially power supply... some of the stuff that I read did suggest PSU, but I didn't think it could be that. So yeah is there a program to test all these or do I need to physically check them?

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 298828 14-Feb-2010 11:57
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sounds like you may have a faulty Video card , soon as you put it under a load and it heats up your pc shuts it down for safety, try this as a trial program http://www.lavalys.com/ and it will show you the temp of your gpu, cpu etc check what it is after it shuts down the game



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Master Geek


  Reply # 298830 14-Feb-2010 12:06
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Hey thanks. I actually ran RealTemp. Here is the screenshot: https://cdn.geekzone.co.nz/imagessubs/blogb0816e4fa91b1daeb904184f90f45d1e.jpg


So is there enough information there to say that my video card or CPU or whatever is overheating?





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  Reply # 298835 14-Feb-2010 12:17
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Is this temperature reading just after a game crash? It doesn't seem too bad.




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  Reply # 298843 14-Feb-2010 12:55
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  Reply # 298845 14-Feb-2010 13:18
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i thought 79c was high for a card, i panic if mine gets over 60c lol

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  Reply # 298852 14-Feb-2010 14:22
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Good advice so far you want to rule out the most common hardware/temperature issues so:

1: Test the CPU under 100% load to see if it crashes and check temps
- Use Prime95 for the load and RealTemp to check the temps

2: Test the GPU under 100% load to see if it crashes and check temps
- Use Furmark for the load and GPU-Z for checking the temp

3: Run a memory diagnostic from a bootable CD/DVD to check for a ram problem
- Windows memory diagnostic
- Memtest86



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Master Geek


  Reply # 298863 14-Feb-2010 15:16
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Thanks all for all the replies. I cleaned up the pc and sucked out the dust and left it running on the floor (as opposed to on my desk shelf that had this compartment (I figured it might've restricted the air flow or something).

And it helped. It didn't crash Dragon Age. I tried running Mass Effect 2 again, and it crashed at roughly the same point as when I initially had this problem. I'm starting to think that it might have something to do with the game as well.

Thanks again guys. Fingers crossed!


Edit: Oh and to answer your question, freitasm, that was the reading before any game crashes. When a game crashes, chances are I can't run RealTemp as PC would just freeze.

xpd

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  Reply # 298883 14-Feb-2010 16:59
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Corrupt DirectX files maybe ?

Otherwise, overheating could be the main thing..... my system crashes all the time at the moment due to the heat...might have to move it back into house to cool down :)




XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

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Master Geek


  Reply # 298905 14-Feb-2010 18:33
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I'd recomend running something like http://www.passmark.com/products/bit.htm for a matter of time and getting some results from that. You should be able to run the card up pretty hard until it crashes and the Passmark software will capture all the info leading up to the crash ... might show you if it's temp or not?



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Master Geek


  Reply # 298974 15-Feb-2010 08:40
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Ok well now the PC is completely stuffed lol...

I tried running the RealTemp and the games simultaneously and the strangest thing happened. Weird lines started popping up across the screen. When I restarted the PC, all characters in the POST check were screwed up.

Oh btw, I did run the AntiVirus after the initial crashes and no viruses were picked up.

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Master Geek


  Reply # 298987 15-Feb-2010 09:55
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Ouch! That sounds nasty. Sounds like hardware issue for sure.

If you're confident I'd shut everything down, unplug power and open up the PC.

1. Start by removing the graphics card, then re-seating the graphics card in the slot and restarting, if the problem still exists then,
2. Swap for another card, if you know anyone with a spare card you can try, try that one if that works okay you will have immediately located the fault i.e. the card
3. If that doesn't work I'd check all components i.e. reseat them and try a re-boot, if that doesn't work
4. Lower your head to your hands ... weep profusely

Good luck



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Master Geek


  Reply # 298995 15-Feb-2010 10:06
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Yeah it is nasty. I just don't wanna lose my files :( Hopefully I can still recover all the data before it's all wiped.

Ok I will try no. 1.

I have thought about no. 2 (I strongly believe it is the card that has caused this), but I have yet to find someone who has a spare PCI-E graphics card. I have an old one but it's AGP :(

I guess I'll try no. 3 as well.

I've done no. 4....

xpd

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  Reply # 299007 15-Feb-2010 10:32
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Weird lines etc on display can be a sign the video card memory is poked. So you may find your machine is fine except for the video card...

Where abouts are you located ?




XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

For Free Games, Geekiness and Reviews, visit :

 

Home Of The Overrated Raccoons

 

Battlenet : XPD#11535    Origin/Steam/Epic/Uplay : xpdnz

 

 


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