Games freeze after hours of smooth play

By Bishop1138 ยท 37 replies
Feb 17, 2010
  1. For some time now i've had a problem where after playing games for an extended period of time with no issue, they will freeze and lock up my PC requiring a reboot.

    The game will freeze, sometimes loop the last sound playing and then cut to a solid screen of colour that seems to be mostly random what colour it is.

    Some information on my setup:
    - Core 2 Duo E6300 (overclocked from 1.8Ghz to 2.8Ghz with 1.4vcore)
    - 4GB DDR2 800Mhz at 4-4-4-12
    - ATI 4890 (1GB vram and stock settings with latest drivers)
    - Asus P5B Deluxe (ver.1233 Bios)
    - 700W OCZ StealthxStream PSU
    - Windows 7 32-bit ultimate

    1) I've ruled out overheating, at least in any detetable way. When gaming all temps report back green across the board.
    2) I've stress tested with Prime95 showing no errors.
    3) It appears that the more graphically demmanding the game is, the faster it freezes up. I can run something like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat (high settings) or the Bad Company 2 Beta (med settings) on high for several hours, but Bioshock 2 (high settings) has frozen up within 5 minutes of play.

    I'm really stumped by this problem, it shows every indication of being a graphics overheat or if not that then an insufficient PSU, but temps report fine and the PSU is rated for running an SLI setup without problems so a single high-end card shouldn't have it breaking a sweat.

    Any help would be much appreciated, I am open to any suggestions on how to pin this problem down. Thanks in advance.
  2. Bishop1138

    Bishop1138 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I'm going to explore some other options in the meantime:
    - Until now my motherboard voltages have been set to "Auto". This setting shortchanging on voltage could lead to instability but its difficult to believe that after years of using these settings without problems that something could be caused by it now.
    - Run Memtest (though seems kind of useless after passing Prime95)
    - Check for failing hard drives. This has caused issues in my system before and was fixed with replacement. Unfortunately high HDD wear is a continuing problem for a heavy user such as myself :(
  3. Bishop1138

    Bishop1138 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Right well now I've officially ruled out everything I can think of :(
    1) upped the motherboard voltages
    2) Passed Memtest sucessfully
    3) Moved games over to another HDD

    ...and it's still freezing up T-T

    Though it does seems like I'm able to play for longer now between freezes, but that may mean nothing as the lockups are for the most part pretty random. I have observed Bad Company 2 freezing but not completely locking up the system once or twice and I was able to ctrl+alt+del out of it but again, this may just be the game being buggy since it's a new release.

    I'm at the end of my rope with this guys, please speak up even if it's just a passing suggestion.
  4. amrdesigns

    amrdesigns TS Rookie

    well i have the exact same problem as you....i googled it but nothing till now fixes the problem

    my specs:

    asrock a780fullhd
    athlonIIx2 250
    gigabyte ati 4670 1gb ddr3 zalman
    4gb hyperx 1066 ram
    500w powersupply

    all parts are less than 6 months old

    th ati card is just one month

    it's driving me craaaaaaaaazzzzyyyyyy

    i want to know at least where that issue come from

    i tried everything
  5. Bishop1138

    Bishop1138 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry to hear you're having the same problem as me, it sucks :(
  6. Bishop1138

    Bishop1138 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I need to know some more stuff about your setup:
    - have you got an overclock?
    - what brand is your power supply?
    - when did the problem start?
  7. Bishop1138

    Bishop1138 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    There's a thread with a guy that had the same problem as us

    His problem turned out to be the graphics card and was fixed with a replacement. One thing in common with all our setups is that we are all using an ATI 4000 series card so it could be an inherent flaw with the architecture that only appears in rare cases or bad batches.

    The next test I'm planning is to swap out my card with a mates and see if that solves the issue, i'd recommend you do the same if possible.

    (sorry about the triple post, forum rules required me to have 5 posts before being able to use links -__-)
  8. amrdesigns

    amrdesigns TS Rookie

    well i will tell u everything i've done till now and what i plan to do:

    first i am not an mb, the problem started after i bought my graphics card gigabyte 4670...

    some games freeze with sound loop and weird colors but the PC didn't reboot the caps and num-lock are working but the rest completely not responding

    my powersupply brand is digital touch...not so famous but it's good

    what i tried to do:

    unplug the gpu and use the ati 3200 built in card .... it worked

    so maybe it's the graphics card...

    so i tried to check warranty abnd they tested it and said the card is ok... i tried the card at one of my friend's pc ... it worked

    so it's not the graphic card

    maybe it's the windows version or any other software issue...i tried vista win7 and xp on my pac all have the same probb.. didn"t work

    what i will do tomorrow

    i will take my case to one of my friends and i will try to work with his 8500gt card and then i will try his hec 300w psu on my pc...

    if what i will do tommorrow didn't work then it's the motherboard...hehe...

    i will keep you updated after i do this things
  9. Bishop1138

    Bishop1138 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I wouldn't recommend running your setup off a 300W psu, you need at least 450W for hardware like that to be run safely. I'd still keep my money on it being the graphics card though so let me know how the test with your mates 8500 turns out. Good luck :)
  10. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Have you taken time to look at your event viewer logs, it may give you some leads at what may be causing the freezes (I'm assuming you are not getting BSODs hence no minidumps)
  11. Bishop1138

    Bishop1138 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah it gives me a critical error log whenever it freezes
    source: Kernel-Power
    event id: 41
    task category: (63)

    I've looked around and it seems some others are having the same error but I haven't come across a fix yet.
  12. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    That Event ID refers to this error:

    The last sleep transition was unsuccessful. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding failed or lost power during the sleep transition.


    The file system structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable. Please run the chkdsk utility on the device <device> with label "<label>".


    An error occurred while enabling the mouse to transmit information. The device has been reset in an attempt to make the device functional.


    TCPReadPacket: For Client <client> Computer Name <IP address> UserID SAL Socket Recv error <error>, socket closed.


    And lots of others including Intel's on-board networking solutions

    Have a look at this article. It applies to Win 7 just as well. Perhaps try turning off all power saving options.
  13. amrdesigns

    amrdesigns TS Rookie

    it's the graphics card after all

    i tried the 8500gt on my pc and it worked perfect

    the warranty guys keeps telling me the card is ok as all what they care about is that it just opens the desktop and opens the game...they dont care if it causes freeze after about 30 min....

    i am so pissed...hehe.. i bought my card for 450 egp about 80$ and after less than a month i will sell it as open box for just 375egp about 68$...13$ lost for nothing

    thanks ati thanks gigabyte thanks warranty guys for making me pissed....

  14. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    That sucks; if the thing is not working for what it was designed for, its faulty.

    I mean you can pretty much do all normal work with on-board vga solutions of Intel !! but how many of us (i.e. home users who also play games ;) ) stick with it?

    By the way 8500GT is nVidia's product not ATI's.

    You'll probably need to do some arm twisting to get them to RMA it. Goodluck and thanks
  15. Bishop1138

    Bishop1138 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well now I've ruled out the graphics card being faulty :(

    switched with my old 8800gtx and it still froze up.

    could using a surge protector cause this kind of issue?
  16. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    You've said in your first post that you've OCed the CPU (have you OCed the GPU as well?).

    I would advise you to restore your system to original ratings/speeds; and see what happens.
  17. Bishop1138

    Bishop1138 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've never been into overclocking graphics cards, and my cpu overclock has been rock solid for well over two years, including the recent Prime95 run. But as I can't think of anything else it could be at the moment, i'll do as you say and run it stock for a while.

    going back to 1.8Ghz is gonna be painful :<
  18. Bishop1138

    Bishop1138 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm starting to think more and more that this is an issue with drivers/software as I systematically rule out different hardware elements and come up with nothing.

    It can't be a video driver issue as i've changed cards from ati to nvidia and its still going on, so that leaves windows as a possible culprit. Could a recent update cause something like this?
  19. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 930   +31

    how about another mobo?
  20. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    It can happen sometimes ....... but very rarely a motherboard is the cause; do you think any of the components may be overheating? or on the edge of their designed thermal envelope?

    With regard to driver being a cause of this, please look at the following, kindly note that I have usually tried it with systems having BSOD issues but on a system where it is just freezing, however, I see no harm in trying it either.

    Important: Before proceeding on the following steps please ensure that you can boot your system in safe mode.

    1) Press Windows Key + R (or go to Start, then click on Run..)
    2) Type in 'verifier' and hit enter
    3) Make sure 'Create Standard Setting' is selected and hit next
    4) Click on 'Select all drivers installed on this computer' and hit Finish
    5) Reboot

    Your computer may possibly crash on reboot. If this occurs hit F8 when rebooting just before the windows logo screen and select the safe mode boot option. Follow the same steps above but on step 4 choose 'Select driver names from a list'; hit next; check the box next to any driver where the provider is not Microsoft; hit Finish; reboot.

    This will slow the performance of you computer a little while enabled but will hopefully catch the driver causing corruption. Next time you crash the blue screen will hopefully say something like "DRIVER_VERIFIER_DETECTED_VIOLATION". When this occurs please post your new minidump.

    Please note that Driver Verifier will continue to run on every boot up until you run (by going to Start, then to Run):

    verifier /reset
  21. amrdesigns

    amrdesigns TS Rookie


    it's been a while since that update ... sorry for that

    but i still have the same freeze

    i said before it was the gpu..well i was wrong...coz after replacing my card with a brand new one.. the freeze is still there..

    so i thought it might be my asrock mb..i replaced it with a brand new gigabyte m720-us3 and the same freeze happened

    so it might be my unbranded powersupply.. i replaced it with hec 450 watts and the same freeze happens

    the only change that differs as i try all this is the time interval of the freeze..hehe..though it's random

    i replaced almost all my pc exept for the proccessor and the hard disk and the hyperx ram..

    and it cant be the ram coz i tried it for 2 days at one of my friends pc and it cant be the proccessor as it passed 24hr prime test and the hard disk scanned and reformated and is ok

    after all of that.. i am not willing to change any more hardware parts..i won't spend any more nickle..

    and now i am sure it's a software relation to hardware...

    -the games that i tried and freezed "borderlands-batman aa-mohab-crysis-metro2033"
    -some games don't freeze like "re5-assassin creed-gta

  22. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    I guess you also reinstalled OS after motherboard replacement?

    I must say it is strange that 3-4 games you listed freeze and others do not. Also, do check what are the temperatures of GPU/CPU during these events. As far as I know metro and crysis really stress GPU with all that eyecandy. Perhaps you can lower the game's display details to see whether that helps in some way.
  23. amrdesigns

    amrdesigns TS Rookie

    i tried the driver verifier steps but it always gives me a blue screen and reboot on windows start

    what can i do now

    hope that solves it
  24. amrdesigns

    amrdesigns TS Rookie

    i tried to lower the game graphics and it didn't solve anything...

    note: when the asrock a780fullhd mb was there i tried to lower all the settings of batman and ran it on the integrated hd3200 built onboard it did'nt crach however it was only 15 frames...shitty play for about an hour...

    i hope that verifier thing works on finding what is the problem...

    and very thanks to your replies and help
  25. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    that in my opinion sounds like a driver problem have u tried uninstalling the current driver and then use a program like drier sweeper to uninstall any of the little left overs of the gfx driver and install the newest drivers for your card.
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