TechSpot

XPS 700 Randomly Crashing

By Electrocuuute
Aug 31, 2009
  1. I've owned my XPS 700 (running XP) for I think two years now, and lately I crash randomly when I'm in a game. What happens is my screen goes blank (monitor even pops up the no signal square in the middle) and my computer fans start going really hard and everything just locks up. If I had audio, it's looping.

    When I try to boot up after the crash, there's a high chance my screen won't come back. For some reason when it doesn't come back, my computer turns off very quickly as opposed to having to hold the button for 5+ seconds.

    I've talked to a friend about this and he suspects a problem with my video cards or motherboard. I updated my drivers and I still have the same problem.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    I've encountered a similar problem before with my last motherboard. It turned out that the northbridge chip (which is responsible for controlling the video card and ram) was overheating and causing the computer to lock up; the monitor displayed a no signal message. I think that maybe the reason the video isn't coming back right away is because the northbridge is still hot (computer is protecting itself from damage).

    Gaming is taxing on computer hardware, especially if the computer is dusty on the inside or the cooling is inadequate. The good news is that many companies manufacture aftermarket coolers, even for northbrige chips. If this is a heat issue, you will most likely be able to fix it with a new cooler and a tube of high-performance thermal compound, like Arctic Silver 5 or Tuniq TX-2.
     
  3. Electrocuuute

    Electrocuuute TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alright, I'll see if cleaning it out helps, since I've got two shedding cats and dust builds easily in my room. If it doesn't, I'll look into an alternative cooling method.

    Where is/what does the northbridge chip look like?
     
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    It will be the largest chip on the motherboard, and usually has it's own cooler. On most boards, it is located directly under the main socket for the CPU. There could be some kind of label on the PCB itself as well... like NB or something. You can also monitor the temps in BIOS or software such as SpeedFan.
     
  5. jakgra

    jakgra TS Rookie

    While u at it, add a big fan on the backside of your case. Will help to decrease the temp in the case. Don't forget to update your BIOS and chipset drivers and GFX drivers. And if this doesn't help, remove any overclock setting in the BIOS.
     
  6. Etarip

    Etarip TS Rookie

    I own an XPS 700 and it keeps crashing by freezing up during games such as Age of Empires III, Company of Heroes, and GRAW2. Usually when it crashing there is a continuous high-pitched sound out of the speakers but sometimes the game music loops. I am running Vista and I have the following specs:

    Intel Core Duo Extreme 2.93 GHz
    8 GB RAM (800 MHz) DDR2
    Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX (512 MB)

    THis is really frustrating. I installed the games on my lap top and they work fine with the following specs (also running Vista)

    Sony VAIO FZ280E
    Intel Core Duo 2 GHz
    2 GB RAM (667 MHz)
    GeForce 8400M GT (1023 MB)

    Where am I going wrong with the XPS??
     
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