Computer keeps on crashing (usually when i play games/watch movies)

By Ploppy
Jul 1, 2006
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  1. Summary:
    A few months ago i bought a new motherboard for my PC as well as a new processor chip and new memory. Since i installed them my computer has been crashing alot randomly. Most of the times it crashes when i'm playing Warcraft 3 or other video games or when i watch a online movie that uses the flash player in the browser, for example at www.youtube.com. If i choose to use it in fullscreen mode and i close the other browser that had the windowed mode one it rarely crashes while the movies playing. A few months before this when i had my old computer parts i had bought a new graphics card, i'm fairly confident that isn't at fault becasue i don't think i recall it ever crashing before i bought the new motherboard/processor and memory chip.

    The specs of my new computer is:
    AMD Sempron 2800 - 2.0GHz
    Memory: 512MB Ram
    Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200
    Sound: SoundMAX Digital Audio (i think this was the default sound card i got with my original computer, not sure, i've never really touched the sound part before).
    System Model (i beleive this is the processor chip?): A7S8X-MX
    OS: Windows 2000 package 4 i think.


    Detail about the crashes:
    They vary alot. Sometimes the whole computer completely freezes up and just stops functioning and i have to hit the reset button, other times it does a memory dump. I can't remember all of the different types of memory dumps i've seen, but some of them were:
    1. kmode_exception_not_handled
    2. IRQL_not_less_or_equal

    I'm going to run a memory scan later on today with memcheck or whatever it's called. I'll post the results here, but i don't think it's going to be that as i've already let it scan for an hour or so before and everything was fine up to that point (i had to stop it but next time i do it i'll let it completely finish).

    If my hunch is right and it's not the memory, can anyone suggest any other problems that could be causing it? My friend said he had a similar problem when his computer kept on memory dumping and he said it was becasue of his hard disk. My hard disk is really old, could that also be the case for me?

    Anyway, thanks for your time, hope someones got an answer to this ;(
  2. Ploppy

    Ploppy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Also, 1 last thing:

    I took a note of the temperature of my computer when it crashed once, the power temp was at 41c and cpu temp was at 49c. Is that to hot and could this be an over heating issue?
  3. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,646

    Check your System event log , see if there are any patterns to your crashes.
    Your vid card is a little old , you may need to try a different version of drivers for it.
    You can post any Crash dumps, instructions are at the top of this forum's main list.

    Welcome to Techspot.
  4. Ploppy

    Ploppy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Well i just learnt to use my eyes and saw the thread at the top about crashes. I looked through the steps in that thread and the thread that it links to at the start. The only two things i'm not sure of/haven't done is the voltage one and the memcheck one. I'm gonna leave my comp on to do a memcheck tonight, but i have a question about the voltage one. I don't understand how i know if my computer isn't supplying enough power, i've downloaded the "Speed Fan" program and all it says in the thread is:

    I don't understand what it means by it shouldn't go over more than 5-6%. 5-6% of what? Of the actual rail numbers or what? @@;;

    This is a reading from my comp right now when it's not doing much:

    VCORE: 1.65V
    +3.3V: 3.17V
    +5V: 4.8V
    +12V: 11.43V
    -12V: 1.13V
    -5V: 2.39V
    +5VSB: 5:30V
    VBAT: 3.26

    I'm not really sure how to tell if it's a power supply issue or not, so could someone tell me if these readings are okay or if it is a power supply issue.

    If it isn't a power supply issue and my memory turns out to be fine i'll post some mem dumps later since i would've exausted all the ideas. :(
  5. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    The rails shouldn't deviate more than 5-6% of the rated voltage (some would say up to a 10% variance is acceptable). So the +12v rail should not show a reading that is off by 5-6% of 12v. Yours is showing a variance of about 5% (11.43v). Not too bad. (Note that this 5-6% variance rule only applies to the +3.3v, +5v and +12v rails, not the negative rails.

    But also be aware that software readings of voltages are not very reliable at all. It is best to get a voltmeter to test. Software readings are still useful though.

    How many watts is that PSU rated at and who makes it? Take a look at the sticker on the PSU and see how many amps it is putting out on the 12v rail(s).

    P.S. I will edit the "random crashes" thread for clarity. Thanks for pointing this out.
  6. Ploppy

    Ploppy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Is that the sticker that says "230 VAC" on the back?

    My memory scan turned out to be fine btw :( was hoping there'd be errors so i atleast knew what it was, but i left it on for about 5hrs and it passed about 15 times with 0 errors =(.
  7. Ploppy

    Ploppy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Could someone look at these mini dumps please?
  8. Ploppy

    Ploppy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I just tried to re-install my OS, it wasn't picking up the CD even when i changed the boot sequence. I tried booting it up from the floppies but i got a kmode_exception_not_handled error at the end - which is 2/4 of the kind of errors i posted in the screen dumps.

    Soo, i'm at a complete lose. A friend checked over the power supply even after the software tests i did and confirmed it wasn't that which is the problem and it's not a memory issue or any of the other points in the sticky thread.

    I did a search on yahoo for the kmode_exception error and it said it was something to do with ASPI drivers or something, anyway, i went to adaptec website to download the latest drivers which is what was advised from the microsoft site to fix the kmode error and the newest blue screen of doom i got just had hex values and saying it was a memory dump. It was obvious it was the kmode error still becasue where the name usually is was completely blank and that was the most common blue screen i would get, and it just happens to vanish after i downloaded the drivers that were supposedly get rid of it. All it did was remove the kmode_exception_not_handled part from it.. also it seems that the drivers now are preventing me from even booting up my startup floppies, i get an error about a file being missing ever since i updated the aspi drivers.

    Please can someone help me. I've done everything in the thread. I don't care what it takes, weather it's a way for the damn thing to recognise my win2k CD so i can do a fresh reinstall or if it's a way to completely stop these errors. My memory dumps are in the above post.
  9. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    No, you have to open up your case, and look at the sticker attached to the side of the PSU.
    This is strange. When you are starting up your computer (with the OS cd in the drive) can you see your system trying to access the CD before it loads into windows?
  10. Ploppy

    Ploppy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Okay here's an update of the situation:

    I managed to re-install my OS, i now have windows XP. At first i kept getting a blue screen error (IRQL_NOT_EQUAL_OR_LESS) when i tried to re-install it. I took out my graph card, network card and disabled my A: Drive and tried again and it ended up working fine. I install all my stuff onto the computer and put my network and graphics card back and it starts crashing every 10-20mins like it used to do (sometimes blue screens sometimes just freezes). I figured it was my graphics card, but eventually it crashed again (not so much though). The new blue screen error i got referred to the file smwdm.sys, i looked that up and found out it was the sound card i had installed, so i uninstalled all the drivers for my sound card, checked the disable box in the bios and then disabled it in the hardware tab when you right click properties on my computer.

    So now, i'm back to my old built in Graphics card and i have all sound drivers uninstalled and sound disabled, the drivers from the CD i had before for my old graphics card wasn't installing them correctly. So i had to look long and hard on the net until i found some sis vga drivers that would install properly on my system. Eventually i found something so i could load up games and such, but it's STILL crashing. I haven't got a blue screen error, and it seems alot more stable that it was before (i've only had 1 crash so far where everything stopped completely), but the problem obviously hasn't been solved. I'm completely out of ideas here...


    What i've done:
    -Ran a memory test for 5+ hrs
    -Reinstalled a new OS
    -Changed back to old graphic card w/ new drivers (could it possibly be that i installed the wrong drivers?... but surely if they were wrong they wouldn't of installed properly in the first place).
    -Uninstalled sound drivers and disabled all my sound
    -Checked my voltage, it seems fine, my friend confirmed that it wasn't a power supply issue becasue it would be turning off all the time and just randomly restarting and stuff.
    -Checked the temperatures, i've never seen them go beyond 55 c so i assume it's not an over heating problem? (51c was probaly the max i saw)

    I'm completely outta ideas now, checked all over the net for something else. I have to admit it's alot more reliable now, but it shouldn't crash at all really.
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