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Games feeze and unfreeze in regular intervals

By Jericho · 21 replies
Nov 7, 2006
  1. Hi everyone, I'm having some trouble with a number of games that I hope you can help me with.

    The problem is that in multiple games (Dark Messiah of M&M, Max Payne 2, BF2142 demo and some more that I can't recall right now) I'm getting complete freezes out of the blue. The freezing usually occurs after around 3-5 minutes of gameplay. The freezes themselves usually last between 5 and 7 seconds, after which I can play for another 5 to 7 seconds before the game freezes again.

    The fact that the freezing did not occur until I played the games for a while made me think it was a heat-related issue, and probaply with my graphics card. However, my nVidia temperature logger doesn't read temperatures any higher than 55°C during gameplay. It could possibly be another piece of hardware that's overheating, but I'm not sure how to measure that. I've tried using RivaTuner to measure the heat, but I'm not sure if it shows me everything I need to know. The temperatures that it does display, however, are well within safe range.

    The freezing/unfreezing does not occur while on desktop - only in games. I've performed multiple virus and adware scans, updated all my drivers (even tried older ones for my gfx card), but nothing helped.

    The problem, by the way, just came out of nowhere. Earlier, I could play at least Max Payne 2 without problems on the exact same system without problems. If anyone has a suggestion it would be most welcome, so thanks in advance!
  2. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 394

    What are your system specs?? Are your graphics drivers up to date??
  3. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

    have you installed any new hardware?
    check the task bar and close down all non-essential background processes and try again.
    your drivers and directx up to date?
    any game patches available?
    pc specs would be nice..
  4. Jericho

    Jericho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh I'm sorry, forgot the specs, of course. Here they are:

    Windows XP Home SP2
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+
    2GB Ram, Dual Corsair
    Nvidia XFX Geforce 7900GTX
    Creative SB Audigy LS
    Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe motherboard
    2x Maxtor 6L250R0 233 GB Hard Drives

    Gfx card is updated to the newest drivers . As I said previously, I've tried older drivers aswell, but it didn't help.

    As for new hardware installed, I recently installed a new printer (HP PhotoSmart 7762), but I'm not sure if I installed it before of after the problem started arising.
    My DirectX is up to date (9.0c), and have even tried reinstalling it yesterday -> no effect.
    I'm almost 100% sure it has nothing to do with the games, since the problem started occuring with games that previously ran perfectly. Besides, the same issue happened with several, different games. The chance of it being a reoccuring bug in all those games is close to zero.

    I'll try unplugging my printer and turning off most things in my taskbar aswell as any background programs I don't need, and see where it gets me.
    Thanks for the replies so far, and sorry for not posting the specs earlier.
  5. Gars

    Gars TS Booster Posts: 240

    the latest DirectX is:
    from M$
  6. Jericho

    Jericho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I already have that version of DirectX installed. At least that's what it says the installation tells me.
  7. Gars

    Gars TS Booster Posts: 240

    its looks like a spikes coming from graphic drivers settings
    did you(or some1) change it by mistake?
    or another process is involved and eat cpu..
    don't know, the possible causes are many
    you can attempt a reinstall(completely uninstall and install) the graphic adapter
    i mention DirectX cos:
    and the actual version is 10(sorry if im wrong), but its not the problem i think
  8. Jericho

    Jericho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't think anyone tampered with the graphic card's settings, but I won't rule it out as a possibility.
    If I wanted to reset those settings to their defaults, how would I do that?

    Also, with "a reinstall(completely uninstall and install) the graphic adapter", I assume you mean removing the gfx drivers, removing the gfx card, installing the gfx card and reinstalling the gfx drivers again, right?
  9. Gars

    Gars TS Booster Posts: 240

    First uninstall drivers, then remove the card from Device manager (not from the motherboard). Then in Safe mode use Driver Cleaner to remove the rest of the drivers, services and registry entires.
    When you are sure that all is clean, perform a installation of the gfx.
    that is :)


    here is the link for Driver Cleaner http://www.drivercleaner.net
  10. Jericho

    Jericho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    K I've just tried doing that entire procedure, and it didn't work :(

    It's really funny how the game hangs up no matter where I am in the game. When I unfreeze, the game runs very smoothly, no lag at all. This makes me think it's really not a graphics related issue. Maybe the harddrives or the CPU, but even then I doubt either of those is overheating. I'm still planning a full reinstallation of Windows, but I'd rather find out the cause of this problem first, or it might be in vain.

    I've read in another thread, btw, that it might be the motherboard itself that is overheating. If so, how can I monitor this? Does everest do this? or maybe RivaTuner? I'd like some pointers on that.
  11. Gars

    Gars TS Booster Posts: 240

    if you are planing a fresh install of win - do it (it helps anyway :) )
    When the problem appear again, you'll need to reinstall again (maybe it will never appear, but...)
    if its not hardware issue(and i believe its not) then more precise diagnose of the system is necessary. Of course, it will cost a lot of time and nerves. And your all most out of patient ;) Right?
  12. Jericho

    Jericho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'd really like to perform a more precise diagnose of the problem, but I have no idea how to do it. If there's a program or anything that does that, I'd be glad to hear about it. Maybe some kind of benchmarking program, I don't know.

    I'm almost sure a reinstallation of windows will fix the problem. There's probaply something ingrained deep in the software which causes all these problems or something, but I don't know what it is. I just hope that the problem won't really come back after the reinstall...
  13. Gars

    Gars TS Booster Posts: 240

  14. Jericho

    Jericho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    k, well, first things first.
    Registry Mechanic found... 528 errors :|

    I'm about to repair those registry errors, and I'll test out a game right after that to see what it did. Who knows, this could be it lol. I'm not getting my hopes up again, though.

    Still a brilliant program btw, thx a lot for the tip!

    Edit: I just played the game, ran fine for about 5 minutes. Then the freezing in regular intervals began again. Guess it wasn't a registry problem :(
  15. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

    try the game at a different settings?

    go open up device manager and see if there's any yellow question marks or disabled stuff there.

    go to c:\windows\minidumps and see if there's any new ones. (unlikely but hey..)

    check any recent errors that look just about the times you have the lag.

    If there's nothing wrong with any of the above, you can try

    -Select diagnostic startup
    -reboot the PC and play the game, see if it lags.

    ->If it does, you can go back to normal startup because of no effect

    ->If it doesn't, that means some of the process or startup app is conflicting with your game. Go to Selective Startup and tick one of the boxes, restart the PC and test again untill you find the culprit, then go deeper into the tab and find the individual process(es). Repeat.

    hope that helps you somehow :)
  16. Jericho

    Jericho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for those suggestions; I haven't heard of any of those procedures ever before.

    Unfortunately, none of them showed up any results. The closest I got to a result was a minidump that was created more or less recently, namely yesterday.

    The eventwvr, on the other hand, seems to show up something, maybe.
    More or less around the time I tried the game, an error seemed to have occurred with something called PerfNet. More specifically, "perfnet.dll".

    One thing I haven't actually tried yet, btw, is the sfc /scannow command. I'll try that right after this, I think.

    Oh and btw N3051M, you could have told me that running windows in diagnostic mode would force me to activate windows again, 'cause it's telling me I got 3 days left to do exactly that :p
  17. Gars

    Gars TS Booster Posts: 240

    PerfNet you say..
    here is a possible soliution
    in (not so) short:
    in short - disable(or enable) Server service in Start - Control panel - Admin. Tools - Services
    then reboot and play
    i hope its help
  18. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

    diagnostic mode should only emulate a safe mode situation, minus the restrictions you get when you actualy boot into safe mode.

    The activation issue could be caused by something else, maybe partly caused by something you've disabled during diagnostic mode..

    It should go back to normal once you reselect Normal startup. Otherwise, i think a quick connect to the net shouldn't hurt to reactivate it..
  19. Jericho

    Jericho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah I got it to activate itself pretty quickly, after all.

    Still, the fact that the problem with the game continued despite the diagnostic mode...
    what does this tell us?
  20. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

    it would mean that its either something thats effected the core of the OS or a hardware based fault.

    did the sfc /scannow work?
  21. Jericho

    Jericho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The thing about the sfc /scannow...

    Well, I entered my windows cd like it asked me to, but soon thereafter it asked me for the cd again. Possible reasons for this, as it stated, where that the windows on my system and the windows on the cd-rom were not the same version. Could this have something to do with me having installed Service Pack 2 afterwards, manually? It does recognise the cd as being a windows cd, btw. I know this because I also tried inserting a random other cd, which it outright refused.

    sfc /scannow is actually my best bet now, since you agree that it the problem must be related to the windows core being somehow contaminated. I wish I could make the cd work somehow...
  22. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

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