1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Computer crashes when playing games

By Trautman ยท 10 replies
Jul 6, 2006
  1. I am sorely afriad I already know what the problem is, but I am hoping it is somwthing different so I ask your help.

    First and foremost let me say that my computer has worked perfectly fine for about 9 months without any problems. Previous to that I had to learn the hard way that gigabytes bargain mobos arent ment to be trusted.

    My system now is...
    AMD athlon 64 3000 1.8 ghz
    abit KN8 v1.1 mobo
    PCIe ati X600 pro
    1 gb of ddr 400 ram
    430 watt antec PSU

    Then for some reason a couple weeks ago games on steam would start glitching then about 30 min later my computer would crash. Sometimes the screen would turn black or the game would freeze with looping sounds forcing me to reboot. At first I thought it was just steam as this is not the first time STEAM has messed something up and had to be reinstalled. So I followed the STEAM tech support forums and reinstalled drivers for damn near everything. I am not a real big game player eaither so the only games I really ever play anymore are on STEAM. So I reinstall STEAM but the problem continues and actaully begins to get worse. To the point that it is Glitching then crashing after about 2 min. So then I figured something is deathly wrong with STEAM so I try a different game. Samething happens to that game. Thats when I realize I have a big Uh Oh on my hands.

    So I do the google thing looking for the same problem on the net and a potential solution. I have come to the conclusion that it could be damn near anything. So I began to rule things out.

    First, I reinstalled windows. Got the newest drivers for all my hardware. Still doesnt work. I even tried back issue drivers for my vid card, mobo, .NET framework, audio drivers... everything I could think of.

    Second, I checked my cooling. I am not an overclocker and I have 5 fans on my case so my CPU runs at an average of 30 C and the SYS is around 35 C. So I would play game, crash, then immiediatly reboot to bios and check temps... It showed things being a little hotter about CPU 35 C and sys 40 C. Which I believe would be considered cold to other systems when playing games. But to be on the safe side I took the side off my case and got a house fan. SYS droped to about 30 C and CPU stayed at about 30-35 C when it would crash.

    Third, I thought maybe some 1 in a million chance that dust bunnies have clogged something or done something wrong. So I take the sides off my tower and give it a nice compressed air cleaning. Lots of dust. I then take my video card out and look for blown circuits and the likes. I then put it all back together and tried again... still notta.

    Forth, I read somewhere that it might be my memory. So I did the memtest for a solid 24+ hours strait... No problems there but problem still exists.

    Fifth, I thought it might be a power problem. The x600 is not a beefy card at all and I have 430 watt PSU but you never know. So I hooked the house fan up again, diconnected all case fans and tried again. Nope. Still crashes.

    I have almost come to the point were I just except the fact that my video card has retired and refuses to do anything remotely stressfull. So I am hoping you guys have some other ideas I havent thought of yet. And if you have actaully read all of this I know your dedicated and thank you.

  2. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Posts: 420

    Wow. I really have to congratulate you on everything you've done so far... and your patience. I suppose one of the only options remaining is to test the video card in another pc if you can. Also, I don't know if you can but if you could find out how hot the card itself is running that might help too. You've tried almost everything else... I'm thinking the same thing as you at the moment
    but get back to us with that info and someone can make sure.
  3. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    What memtest did you use exactly? I've found many memtest programs will happily run all day/night without a single logged problem on flakey memory.

    Be sure to get memtest86, which requires making a boot floppy or cdrom. This is the one test that seems to identify flakey memory (vs. flat out bad memory) with the highest degree of certainty.

    This isn't a very good test for checking for PSU problems. Abit should have a Hardware Monitor that you can run while in windows that will log all voltage rails and report/error on a spike or nosedive.

    I'd also say it would be a good idea to flash the latest BIOS if you haven't already. That motherboard is up to Bios 19 which you can download at:

    Abit FlashMenu is at:

    If you're using the on-board sound, this can be problematic with certain combinations of hardware/settings. The 6.70 chipset/audio drivers should be tried if you haven't already:

    Also, what version of ATI drivers have you tried? Are you running .NET 2.0 with the Catalyst 6.6's from ATI? Have you ever used any 3rd party/omega drivers or tweakers (rivatuner, ati tray tools, etc.etc.)?
  4. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Posts: 716

    First, let me say that this must be one of the best posts I have read - period. Glad to see someone can spell and provide plenty of information at the same time. Congratulations, keep it up;)

    Secondly, are you absolutely sure you updated all your video card drivers? There may be up to 10 drivers to be downloaded for the one card. I hope you will find a quik and speedy solution. Also well done to youre patience:)

    Good luck.


  5. Trautman

    Trautman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok... I will answer everyones question in the order that they are.

    I actaully have another computer that I have had for over 3 years. Its a nice pentium workhorse. But silly me I believe in trying out competitors by buying the opposite of everything I like so I can have first hand knowlegde and say with confidence which brands I like better and why. So for my second computer I built everything different from my first. A bit of a tangent but the bottom line is my first computer is Pentium, AGP, Rambus RAM (and as a side note I have never had any problems with this computer), so I build my second computer AMD, PCIe, ect... and it has been nothing but problems.

    Oh well... buttom line is I don't have another computer I can test my video card in. Ingenious having 2 computers that are not cross compatiable. Having another computer the test parts in would solve alot of my problems.

    Next... mem test I used. Mem86 I believe. I have taken this and copied and paisted it right out of the read me file.
    = MemTest-86 v3.2 =
    = Nov 11, 2004 =
    = Chris Brady =
    If there is another memory testor that you guys recommend I will give it a try too while I am at work.

    About my methods of testing the integrity of my PSU... well I agree. I don't really know how else to test my power supply other than taking everything none essientail off it. I dont know how to test current or volts or what ever it is that is measured to determine positively if there is a problem. So if anyone know how to physically do that I would appreicaite a walk through. As for a program that reads voltage I am 2 steps ahead of you there. I use ABIT EQ to read tempatures and power when the computer is powered on. As of right now my power measurements are...
    VCORE 1.42
    DDRV 2.62
    3.3V 3.39
    5V 5.2
    12v 12.2
    Now I am no expert but I think those fall under acceptable ranges.

    Now as for flashing the bios. That is something I havent done yet. I have award bios version 14. I really dont know how to flash my bios as thats a pretty serious adventure to flash it. So unless I have an indepth walkthrough and it HAS to be done then I would prefer not to.

    As for sound... I read that onboard sound sometimes creates a problem. So I went in to my bios and desabled the onboard sound as if I were installing a brand new space age audigy z-7-9er pro. Except I dont have one... So I tried playing games with onboard sound dissabled... still no nachos... crashes just like if there was sound.

    I have tried several drivers for my video card. First when I repartitioned my hard drive and reinstalled windows I went with the latest and greatest ATI had to offer which is 6.6 which also requires Framework 2.0. Still crashed. So reverted back to 5.5 with no framework, framework 1.1, and framwork 2.0, all three still crashed.

    If my video card requires 10 different drivers that I have to find seperated I am going to flip then sit down and google every single one of them. I only aware of wat the ATI website tell me. So if someone is more knowledgeable and would like to inform me if a 3rd party driver is better or in my case just make my card work that would be appreciated.

    I understand that I do indeed ramble alittle in this post but it is not my fault... My computer has compelled me to drink... it has been the best idea so far in this huge debacle.

    again... THANK YOU.

  6. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Posts: 420

    I'm no expert either but 12.2 amps on the 12v rail for a 430w psu is bad. Especially if it's an antec psu. However, I don't think it's bad enough to be freezing up your whole system, but if I'm wrong, someone (Sharkfood) will correct me. The thing is, that x600pro isn't the most power hungry card in the world, wheread with any newer card the psu would not be good enough. Is the psu in your other pc better by any chance? Could you swap the psu's around?
  7. Trautman

    Trautman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Unfortantly I cant even swap power supplies as they are different. This one is a 430 antec 24 pin connector while my other on is a 350 watt something or other with a 20 pin connector.
  8. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Posts: 420

    I'm not sure enough to tell you "yes that psu is your problem" and I can't google the answer, all I keep getting is that you need a 300w or more psu, nothing about amps. Did you ever manage to find out how hot the card was running?
  9. Trautman

    Trautman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How do I measure the temp of my video card?


    I found out.
    Right now its 44 C
  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +422

    Regarding testing your power supply, I checked the manual for your motherboard and you can use a 20 pin power supply on your Abit motherboard. According to the manual, you just leave pins 11, 12, 23 and 24 unconnected. Alternately, you can buy a 20 pin to 24 pin adapter. But for purposes of testing you shouldn't need the adapter. If you are concerned about the lower wattage, temporarily disconnect some case fans, second optical drive and whatever else you don't need during the test.
  11. cmhmp10sd

    cmhmp10sd TS Rookie

    Ok I'm having the same problems let me tell the story....

    I bought a new gigabyte mobo, intel e8400 cpu, 2 gigs of OCZ ram, a 600w OCZ power supply and a evga geforce 9800 gt i believe. Everything is new except the hard drives. Everything went together great and I couldn't believe that the new processors have no pins.

    I only formatted my C drive I always use for windows and reinstalled on that partition. I continued playing world or warcraft as usual with cranked out graphics(looks great). Then it started crashing just as described. No blue screen, a looping noise, with the last rendered image solid on the monitor. I immediately thought it was a power problem so I disconnected everything from the mobo. No hard drives, 1 stick of ram, and no dvd drives. It posted. Great.

    I reconnected everything one by one and everything worked. The only old hardware I have are the hard drives. So maybe my hard drives are done. I bought a new seagate 250gig sata hard drive.

    After the first part of the windows install on the new hard drive I get an error booting up after the initial restart about the MBR. I followed microsofts tutorial about rebuilding the master boot record in the windows disc repair mode. No dice. The last option I had was to run the CHKMEM command or something similar. After running for about 2 hours the scan banned about 10 gigs of bad memory. Wow.
    So I reinstalled windows with 10 less gigs of memory, installed all drivers and World of Warcraft. It works!!

    For two weeks not a single crash. So ok its fixed! Until tonight it crashed again in the same fashion...solid screen, looping music.

    The only things I have left to try is not using onboard sound, flashing the bios, and maybe even get a new hard drive again.

    Hope some of this helps.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...