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Computer crashing/freezing, possibly video card

By The7ruth
Dec 3, 2009
  1. First off, here's some specs on my machine:
    I pulled this info directly from dxdiag, since it's not too verbose.

    Time of this report: 12/2/2009, 22:19:51
    Machine name: PC117
    Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.090804-1435)
    Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
    System Manufacturer: System manufacturer
    System Model: System Product Name
    BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
    Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+, MMX, 3DNow (2 CPUs), ~2.2GHz
    Memory: 2046MB RAM
    Page File: 615MB used, 3323MB available
    Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
    DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
    DX Setup Parameters: Not found
    DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.5512 32bit Unicode

    Card name: NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT
    Manufacturer: NVIDIA
    Chip type: GeForce 7900 GT
    DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
    Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0291&SUBSYS_22111682&REV_A1
    Display Memory: 256.0 MB
    Current Mode: 1024 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)
    Monitor: Default Monitor

    First off, I apologize for any random typos; I'm peering to my left to see my 'monitor' while typing in front of me.

    I'll start from the top. I built this computer about three and a half years ago, so the AM2 socket was still relatively fresh. The RAM is Corsair, and my mobo is an Asus. Pretty sound picks. Anywho, after about a year and half later, my machine started freezing/crashing on me. The first occasion was while playing the F.E.A.R. expansion. It didn't concern me a whole lot, since it froze up at the same spot in the game every time, until I turned down some of the graphic settings. The game only got more graphically intense from there, though. Eventually, I decided I was sacrificing too much and stopped playing altogether.

    A few months later, it started crashing for no apparent reason. While playing games, after sitting idle for anywhere from 4 hours to 4 days, while browsing the web for a long time. Far more consistently, it will crash while making a large data transfer to or from my external hard drive. About one in ten times, it will completely freeze, as opposed to shutting down.

    Over the last 6 months, I've looked into some of the more obvious causes, such as power supply failure, blown capacitors on my mobo, RAM failures and such. Nothing has turned up.

    A few days ago, my monitor (connected via DVI) went out on me, but I was able to get it working. It failed a second time, and has not functioned since. I'm working on my TV now via S-Video, and I've actually had less problems this way. First off, no more dead.dying.miscolored pixels. It's obvious now that was just the monitor dying. I haven't had any crashes so far, and only one freeze (while running a CPU torture test overnight), and even WoW is playing better. It was very common for random in-game textures to fly off their intended surfaces towards seemingly random vectors. I've only had one texture do that since I hooked the tv.

    That, however, was after running a video stress test that failed in one minute. I've run that stability test two other times, both of which failed. Aside from that test, I've run the CPU test mentioned above, another CPU stability test, as well as a general motherboard stability test (not of a good quality).

    At this point, I'm looking at one of three things. My motherboard, CPU, and graphics card. While it seems far more likely that the video is the issue, I can't rule out the freeze during CPU test (Prime95), nor can I have a definitive answer without testing my mobo more.

    If anyone can recommend a good motherboard tester, I would greatly appreciate it, along with any insight you can offer me. Keep in mind, I know most of the basics of computer operation and function, but I am by no means an expert.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    Motherboard tester? A motherboard test will always be testing the CPU, memory and video too. I would start by swapping out the video card, then going after the power supply
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