TechSpot

3d games crashing > 3d games cause random rebooting

By Japhir
Dec 27, 2008
  1. Hey guys/girls,

    I'm new here, heard about this place from a couple of guys over at polycount (can't post links because I'm a new member). I'm a game artist looking for some help with my computer.

    Here's the deal:
    Every time i start a computer game, any 3d computer game, it crashes after a while.
    For example: recently I purchased Beyond Good and Evil on Steam. Installed it, and everything works fine. When I run the game, it crashes right after I beat the first boss. (in the very beginning). The screen turns into green+dark green vertical lines and the sound stops. No response whatsoever until I just press the on button to kill it.
    Also: Half life 2, works perfectly all the time, but every now and then, after about 2 hours of playing the screen freezes; the sound jitters and either it reboots automatically or I have to do so by hand.
    Spore crashes as soon as I enter the creature stage (=3d).
    Every MMORPG I tried crashed either in the character creation screen, or after half an hour of playing. (same style as half life 2).
    Once I reboot, my monitor doesn't respond. The light that indicates that it works blinks but it can't be turned on. If I pull the plug, literally, several times, then try it again it works again.
    I have made sure I have all the appropriate system requirements, and setting everything to the lowest specs doesn't change anything.

    Specs:
    AMD Sempron 3000 + (~2,0 GHz)
    ATI Radeon X1650 PRO (256 MB)
    2048 MB RAM
    Direct X 9.0c
    basically it's a Spirit 3300 (again, no linking possible, google => first link) with a new video card and some memory.

    Very old monitor (samsung syncmaster 550s).

    I tried updating my video card drivers several times and I also cleaned the computer on the inside to make sure it wasn't overheating. (It could still be that, but I don't have a thermometer in there).

    This all seems pretty weird to me, since I work in 3d programs like 3d studio Max and zbrush all the time, and they are capable of handling many many more triangles on-screen than any of the games I play.

    Well anyways, I was really hoping somebody could help me out here, since this has been annoying me since the day I got this pc. I heard some great things about these forums so I'm very hopeful.
     
  2. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Any ideas? Anyone? :D
     
  3. poteljito

    poteljito TS Rookie Posts: 42

    Yeah i had a similar problem. I would play games like GTA4, NFS:MW, Hitman:BM... and the screen would go black with those horizontal green lines for a millisecond. And the sound would start to loop. And then i would have to restart it manually. I got no response on the forum :D and I did my best at googling but there was never a really good answer. Only saw something about faulty RAM. So when i get the time I'll run memtest and i recommend you do the same. Try updating all your drivers and then see what happens. Good luck.;)
     
  4. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 23

    thanks a lot! I tried running memtest but that didn't turn up anything. any other thoughts?
    my father (not very much into computers) said that it might have something to do with the system overheating and shutting itself down for protection or something like that... could that be true?
     
  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,913   +92

    Hi Japhir,
    That 'green' that you are seeing is often caused by overclocked or memory that is getting too hot. you said you didnt know if it was getting hot because you dont have any sensors. try this, download HWmonitor from here http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php and check out your Gpu temps. you can leave it running in the backround while you game and it will log the session for you. if you have your card memory overclocked, return it to stock settings and see if it helps. it can be alot of things, but this is a good place to start as green showing up on the screen at crash is very often vram related. let me know how it goes.
    oh yeah, welcome to techspot
     
  6. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 23

    thanks!
    I ran it, saved out some sort of .txt file before starting Beyond Good and Evil. Then played the game. This time it crashed during the first fight, while I was in the middle of some kickass move. (after having to watch ALL of the movies... no skipping :( ) The screen froze, music continued and then my monitor turned off (with the little light flashing). Had to manually shut it down and restart.
    So where is the data that the little tool created? the text file doesn't make any sense to me.
    oh, and I don't have my computer overclocked. I once considered it, but it turned out that you need to buy new coolers etc. and i didn't think it was worth it.
    thanks again for the help so far guys!
     
  7. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,913   +92

    hey Japhir,
    all you have to do is open the program and let it run whileyou play your games, when your done,or when it crashes, it will retain the max temp it hit while you were playing. im interested to know how hot its getting, and if thats the reason for the "green" and the crashes.
     
  8. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 23

    ah ok. Here are the results of it in an image:
    *will post images in next post, so i will have 5 posts > can post images*

    I don't know what is hot and what's not for a computer so is this bad?
    thanks again for the help!
     
  9. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 23

  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,913   +92

    soooooo....your computer is gonna give us a hard time!:), HWmonitor isnt picking up your graphics card, could be your mobo. try downloading this :
    http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1304/TechPowerUp_GPU-Z_v0.3.1.html
    check the 'log to file' box on the sensors tab and it will give the option of putting it where you want. I know im being a pain in the *** about the temp thing, but I really think theres a good chance that it is temp/memory related from what you have said. just to be safe,i would recommend that you remove the card and re-seat it first to make sure its in there properly. then save the log to your desktop and fire up your game. attach the log and send it.
    other than that your other temps look good, although your HDD temp might not be accurate,thats awfully low. and your case fan is sure screaming along @ 4k, anywho i'll post back when i get the log.
     
  11. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Thanks!
    My computer is very good at that! :p.
    While I was putting in my graphics card again (well actually i couldn't get it out right, but i made sure it was in there correctly) I also cleaned my fan. I did so before, but this time I unscrewed it to see if that would work better. damn there was a hell of a lot of dust in there :O.
    I downloaded the program and here are the results:
    First I tried running Beyond Good and Evil in 1024x768 at 72 Hz. During the intro movies it jittered a lot already, and then after a while the screen froze. (no sound).
    So I wanted to run it again at 640x480 at 60 Hz (it's default settings) but somehow the settings thingie didn't pop up this time, and it crashed while playing the ubisoft intro. (screen froze, then flickered some, then turned off with the LED flickering).

    here are the files, i put some code tags around it to keep you from having to scroll.
    file 1:
    Code:
            Date        , GPU Core Clock [MHz] , GPU Memory Clock [MHz] ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:20:24 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:20:25 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:20:26 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:21:21 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:21:22 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:21:23 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:21:24 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:21:25 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:21:26 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:21:27 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:21:28 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:21:29 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
            Date        , GPU Core Clock [MHz] , GPU Memory Clock [MHz] ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:36:55 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:36:58 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:36:59 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:00 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:01 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:02 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:03 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:04 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:05 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:06 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:07 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:08 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:09 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:10 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:11 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:12 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:35 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:37 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:38 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:39 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:40 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:41 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:42 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:43 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:44 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:45 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:46 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:47 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:48 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:49 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:50 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:51 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:52 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:53 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:54 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:37:55 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
            Date        , GPU Core Clock [MHz] , GPU Memory Clock [MHz] ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:46:21 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:46:25 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    
    
    try 2:
    Code:
            Date        , GPU Core Clock [MHz] , GPU Memory Clock [MHz] ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:46:34 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:46:35 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:46:36 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    2009-01-05 17:46:37 ,              594.0   ,                648.0   ,
    
    
    I set another file for the second time.

    Thanks again! I really hope this is going to work out :D.
     
     
  12. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,913   +92

    hey Japhir,
    almost got it! LOL make sure you click on the temperature drop down menu and check 'log to file' do this for any of the other sensors you would like to log, THEN click the 'log to file @ the bottom. then play your game and lets have a look.
     
  13. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 23

    waah what am i doing wrong :O.
    no "temperature" dropdown :(
    [​IMG]

    In the Sensors tab there is a log checkbutton, which i clicked and got what is posted above.
    haha, so now the problem is to get the problem solving program to work without any problems :p.
     
  14. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,913   +92

    :haha: LOL ...we'll get it. here Japhir, look at the attached screen shot. see the arrow to the right of all the sensors? click the one next to GPU temerature, that will drop down a box that has 'log to file', then make sure the box at the bottom 'log to file' is checked.
     
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,913   +92

    opps, forgot the screen shot...here it is
     
  16. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 23

    ahhh therein lies the problem :p.
    somehow the temperature sensors aren't showing up for me, probably because i don't have any.
    [​IMG]

    thanks again for looking into this!
     
  17. swilllx2p

    swilllx2p TS Rookie Posts: 133

    This problem is caused by a bad/failing video card. You can try uninstalling and reinstalling drivers, or modded drivers, doubt it'll work though. Your best bet is replacing the video card and being done with it...especially as its not the greatest of cards anyways.
     
  18. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,913   +92

    no you dont lol,
    thats true,it can be a failing card to be sure, i wanted to check some other common causes of these symtoms before trashing the card.
     
  19. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 23

    hmm ok point taken :(.
    but i'm not gonna spend money on this thing anymore, soon (in about half a year) i'll buy me a new pc altogether anyways. (will spend about 700 euros, with a little help by my brother (and www.tweakers.net that should turn out sweet :D)
    i tried reinstalling the drivers several times and that didn't do anything. but it's pretty weird since it has all of the minimum requirements...
    thanks again for the help though.
     
  20. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,913   +92

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