TechSpot

PC restarts during certain games

By lilithn
Feb 13, 2006
  1. PC restarts during certain games without BSOD

    Hi!

    I'm new to the forum, I very much hope someone could help me among you kind and helpful folks.

    I've just built a new pc, specs:

    Asus A8N-SLI Delux (on-board Realtek850 soundcard)
    (boxed) 3200 Athlon XP CPU
    Asus PCI-E 6600GT 256 Mybte video card

    Used old Kingmax DDR400Mhz RAM for it and old 400W psu.

    XP Professional SP2, downloaded newest drivers from the manufacturers (video, mboard, soundcard) etc, the usual.

    My problem is that the pc restarts during certain games. I'm going crazy.
    For example it had no problem with Half-Life 2, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, POP:Sands of Time, F.E.A.R all during an approximately 6-10 hours of continous gameplay. (yes, I should get a real life, I know, thank you :stickout: )

    But it restarted within an hour - half an hour during Gothic 2 :mad: , Conan and after a longer gameplay (3-4 hours) during Rome:Total War :mad: and Dungeon Siege 2.(latter is not a big loss at that...) Not at specific points in the games, but at random places and times.

    It shows No BSOD (I've unchecked the autorestart, still no BSOD)
    Says nothing useful in DrWatson (dump) either.

    I've checked the rams with memorycheck. No fault! Though I still suspect the memory card, I guess I should get another one if I had some money left after I spent a smaller fortune on the new mobo and vidcard.
    No overheating (not in Bios, not in XP - Asus monitoring softw.) No overheating for videocard either in Nvidia monitor.
    The psu must be working, since it had no problems with the previous machine and 400W must be enough according to several sites.

    I've reinstalled everything from scratch a few times. (both XP and games) Tried older video drivers too. Same problem.

    Sometimes when the game restarts right before this happens the sound is still playing or looping for a few seconds. I think maybe the on-board sound is the guilty one. I still have to check if it solves the problem if I disable it in Bios, :suspiciou I have no other soundcard installed.
    Anybody had similar problem?

    The pc did not generate this problem during DVD watching, burning, installing or anytime else, only during games. (I've not tested yet with other games, though)

    Please help me. I'm on the verge of nervous breakdown. Never had this problem with any of my previous machines. And I'm really hoping that not the motherboard or the videocard is the faulty one on hardware level, because here in this goddamned country the hardware dealers are nightmares, I don't even think they would replace any component, since I built the machine, and it would take months for them to do anything even if they did.

    Thank you for your kind help or suggestions or bullet-it-in-my-head :unch: in advance.
     
  2. TitusRX100

    TitusRX100 TS Rookie Posts: 22

    Relax first of all. Look around forums to see if you have a good enough power supply. Make sure you ahve all updated drivers for everything (even mobo etc). Also make sure your fan is working on everything. check comp temps because shutoffs suually are overheating reasons, and thats bad ;) So, check all of that, monitor everythting and figure out the problem. Could simply be the power supply though or a device not working correctly. hope that helps
     
  3. lilithn

    lilithn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    First, thank you for your answer. And I don't want to be rude, I do not intend to, but I'm not so sure you've read my whole post. I said I checked the power supply, also I made sure that my temps are ok, my drivers are up to date, etc. That is the reason why my post was so long.
    I have read approximately 100 posts of the same problem at different sites in the last month. That's why I posted this, because I've depleted all possibilities, not because I'm lazy to read before I post. Thank you for taking your time to reply nonetheless.
     
  4. N3051M

    N3051M TS Rookie Posts: 2,800

    i dont think he ment to insult your intelligence but he was talking about the quality of the PSU, there are cheapy 400w's out there made by unknowns that are actualy runnign at lower watts eg 380w.. just post us the make and we can tell if its your ps or not.. i'd suggest downloading everest to check your fanspeed and power and your temps (although using the acer's sw as a good reference point) to give an idea whats happening..

    however it does seem like tehre is something bottlenecking the system which is causing the problems.. have you checked the processes runnign via task manager to see whats eating up the cpu? (google things you dont know) and run with minimal startup processes after you reboot your comp (you can do this through msconfig)

    one more thing.. tryout different settings (vid/audio/play) ingame and outgame and see what happens also worthwile to update all drivers and directx and scan for the 4 nasties (virus, ad/spy/malware) while you're at it..
     
  5. lilithn

    lilithn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    You are really kind to reply me, and trying to help me, I really appreciate it.

    I've already done these things, as I have written in my very first post:

    * I've been running the bundle Asus software which checks temperatures, voltage, etc. ingame, outgame, all time. It didn't alarm me to anything wrong

    * I've installed the OS and the games several times on reformatted partitions, it should have no adware, spyware, virus.

    *I've checked the processes, nothing but M$ processes according to procexp and one nvidia driver helper, which is a must, as well as I know

    *it should have nothing to do with the PSU since the same games played for several long hours without problem, and other games switched off my computer within an hour, and the latter was the much less system hogging

    * all my drivers are up to date: motherboard, videocard, soundcard, usb, directx is 9.c, what else? I could update the bios from 1014 to 1016 I guess, but I don't think it would help much.

    *nothing is hogging the system, as I've played both F.E.A.R and HL2 full-screen AA, 1028x768, max detail, and they were running like a creamy dream. You see. I don't think Gothic 2 wants more then a HL2 or a F.E.A.R.

    And my pc switches off within a half-an hour during Gothic 2, but I was able to play HL2 for 12 hours in one run without a glitch on several occasions.

    My guess is that my brand new pc does not like RPGs only shooters. (kidding)Which is a nightmare, since I'm a fing big RPG fan and I bought the machine to play Oblivion in March.

    My question is, if anybody had similar problem because of on-board sound card? also if a bad memory stick could make a pc shut off without BSOD.

    Well, what could cause windows to switch off without BSOD??? I still don't think of the PSU, because of the aforementioned reasons. But maybe you are right. I'll check it's brand tonight. Thank you both for trying to help me. You are very cool guys.
     
  6. N3051M

    N3051M TS Rookie Posts: 2,800

    well.. if it is a bad memory module you could run memtest86 (if you havent done it already :)) and usualy memory probs would turn out BSODs

    maybe just for the fun of it update your bios, so we can cross that off the list..

    the shut off would be caused most likely by the cpu's failsafe, so maybe run the game for a few minutes and then check the temps by alt+tabing (so you can see it under load) and before replying that you did, read below first... not trying to be rude =)

    regardless of what system requirements a game needs (and yes i do realise that HL2 requires more grunt than any other game) all games are not created equal, and so there are different coding for it when programers decide to make it.. so maybe update your game with any patches/bug fixes that came out from the game websites (could be a certain code line thats running in circles and causeing the crash)

    and you can by all means try another sound card to see if its the problem
     
  7. Neowizard

    Neowizard TS Rookie Posts: 23

    this may strick u as completely *****ic idea, but what have u got to loss (other then 6-10 H of test-gameplay)
    I had a similer problem with a friend's PC...and after a few weeks of working (it was really odd), we tried something really dumb, we switched off the AGP settings in the card driver (I havn't seen nvidia driver settings in a long time, but I guess that they, like ATI, do give this option)...I know it sux to turn them off (with all the speed loss an' all), but give it a go, like I said, what have u got to loss?

    I really hope it'll do some good
    Neowizard
     
  8. lilithn

    lilithn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, since it's a PCI-E motherboard and video card I assume I wouldn't find the option "turn AGP off" anywhere. :p
    Thanks for the reply anyway! :wave:

    However I found the latest bios update 1016 which addresses some problem with single channel usage of motherboard. That is "single channel instability", which could be the devil of all of my problems, since I use only one memory stick at the moment. Heh. Will get back to you, if I succeeded or not. Once again, thanks everybody who tried to help! I'm not worthy.. :D
     
  9. Neowizard

    Neowizard TS Rookie Posts: 23

    holy blind mother of all that is pink...I was sure it's AGP (for some reason)
    well, in this case there still is an option it's system settings regarding the PCI-E (maybe a long look and some careful guess work could do some good). I never had that problem on a PCI-E, but from what u say, I don't think it's hardware or software related, that leaves me with only system settings to blame (kind'a)

    I never even tried that idea, but maybe u can try and throttle back the V.card...it might be bottle nacking
     
  10. lilithn

    lilithn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, the bios update didn't help. I'll try to get my hands on another psu, and memory card, and will try with them. Until then, thanks everybody who tried to help.

    Neowizard: maybe yours is a good idea, maybe not. But I'm certain I will not stupefy my vcard. I didn't spend that much of a money to get back to the same perfomance I had. Thank you. :dead:
     
  11. Neowizard

    Neowizard TS Rookie Posts: 23

    Heh...I'm sure u're right, I wouldn't do that myself, but I ment just as chacking tool (trace the problem down, u know)
    I wasn't drunk while posting so I have no reason to tell u "buy a gr8 pc and make it work like a calculator to fix a gaming problem"...
    ;)

    sorry I can't give u another suggestion, that's all I can think of right now
    Neowizard
     
     
  12. lilithn

    lilithn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be mean... :eek: I'm just a "bit" annoyed with my machine.
    Thank you for your suggestion anyway, you are absolutely right, for checking it would be wise to try what you suggested.

    I've disabled the onboard Realtek audio from Bios, but that didn't help, so I guess it's not an audio related problem. Damn.

    Only 24 days till TES:Oblivion! Wheeeee!
     
  13. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    the thing that jumps out to me is that your PSU is too small.
     
  14. SuperKoopa

    SuperKoopa TS Rookie

    I've had this exact problem before with UT2004. It's due to either:

    Your PSU can't handle the game.
    Your RAM is defective/not working correctly.
    Your computer is overheating when playing the game.

    For me it got worse and it was defective RAM, but the other two suggestions are fairly common to happen. So make sure to let your computer get a lot of air, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to run a memory test with memtest86.
     
  15. lilithn

    lilithn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I did run memtest86. It said my rams are ok. And my goats too. Hee. Sorry. However I've read in some other posts, that memtest is not 100% reliable.
    I will try to get my hands on another PSU. And rams also.
    I've tried to run games with the case open. Also ran the ASUS temperature watcher during that time. No problems with overheating.
    I guess this thread will get locked soon, since we are repeating the same things over and over! :haha:
    Thank you guys for trying to help me! You are really cool! :blush:
     
  16. SuperKoopa

    SuperKoopa TS Rookie

    No, memtest86 isn't always reliable. Before I actually took out the RAM on my other system that had this same problem, it would pass memtest 100%, but was still defective. My best solution for you is to take every stick out and play the games. (or you're screwed if it's 1 stick).
     
  17. lilithn

    lilithn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, my friends, problem solved. I chucked the machine out the window.
    He. No, that's not true, but I did really solve my problem.
    Not the memory stick, not my motherboard, not my videocard, not my psu was the faulty one.
    I've returned to an older Nvidia Driver. From 81.98 to 7x.xx something. Whatever was included on the CD for the card.
    No crashes. No restarts. Everything runs like a dream. (knocking left hand on the bottom of table 3x.)

    Driver manufacturers have a reserved seat in hell, I'm sure.

    If anybody interested in driver number I'll check it properly tonight at home and will try to remember till I get here.

    I thank you all, who tried to help.
     
  18. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    Well did you ever update your mobo chipset drivers. Usually they are shipped with an old version and searching ASUS website/Downloads you can find the latest. I'm suggesting this because 81.98 should be the best driver for your 6600GT so the problem probably lies with mobo chipset drivers. They're at the right age release for 71.xx nVidia release, maybe? Does my reasoning make any logic sense?

    Just a suggestion. Cheers.
     
  19. lilithn

    lilithn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I did download the newest driver for the motherboard, 6.65 version. Since then only a beta version 6.67 is there, which I do not wish to install until it's not beta anymore.
    And I've seen posts (on other forums) that 81.89 vcard driver has the habit of restarting the machine. That's why I tried a 71.89, and that has worked for me perfectly.
    And probably 81.89 is best for my vcard, but certainly it's not the best for my games and my pc, since I do not think it's healthy for it to restart every half an hour.
     
  20. lilithn

    lilithn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Bye the way, your signature is very funny. :) Cheers!
     
  21. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    Your logic is sound, was just checking that you have the latest mobo chipset drivers which is important for compatibility with the latest vid drivers.

    Had more to write in sig but it's 200 characters limited. :) Thanks.
     
  22. lilithn

    lilithn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind for the future! And thanks for the reply, too. Have a nice day!
     
  23. espozito5

    espozito5 TS Rookie

    new card new probs

    i see this restart prob is going around and maby has been for a while but its new to me
    i just went up from a nv fx 5300 pcie to a radeon x1600 pro 512mb not a week later same old story start game play 4 a few boom restars no warning no error no blue screen all drivers current temps typical fan on vc cpu and psu all working panel is open
    i do have a stock 350 psu and have wanted to get new one but even still im not sure that is the prob
    it never restarts any other time when i use it non gaming that is except it mayonce and a while when using dvd decrypter "not that i rip dvds clear my throat!!"
     
  24. N3051M

    N3051M TS Rookie Posts: 2,800

    from a nvidia vid card to an ati vid card.. you can see your answer there.

    if you havent already uninstalled everything related to the old card:
    goto safe mode, then [right click my computer>properties>hardware>device manager]
    find your display adaptors. remove all of them.
    reboot your pc and have the drivers for your radeon ready with you. winxp will automaticaly pick them up, install drivers and you should be a happy camper.

    if you already done so then goto ati.com and downlaod the latest drivers and also run thier driver remover app before installing the new one.

    about psu, its all about brands and if the psu looks cheap enough or well presented.
    Tedster wrote out a little 'how to' article on psu's.. gimme a sec to find it..

    EDIT: here it is
    http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic48326.html
     
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