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New computer crashes during game

By shane_dav71 · 17 replies
Jul 20, 2005
  1. Hello all, I'm new to these forums hoping to use your expertise to help me with a problem I'm having with my new computer.

    The specs of my computer are as follows

    CPU MODEL: PC Pentium IV
    CPU SPEED: 3000+

    MEMORY: 512+MB
    OS: Windows XP Service Pack 2
    SOUNDCARD: Acer Labs Magic Series (On board motherboard)
    VIDEOCARD: Gigabyte 256 Mb Gigabyte Radeon 9600 Pro

    Ok here’s the problem/s:

    I recently bought the new computer box while using the same LG CRT 775N monitor which is approximately 5 years old. When I first bought the computer, I initially had only the original windows XP without the service pack 2 installed and I was initially using the onboard VGA on the motherboard as opposed to the current radeon video card which I later bought.

    After first purchasing the computer I wanted to play games such as Warcraft 3, Starcraft and Sims 2, but my hopes and dreams were cut short on the day I bought the computer. Without having the video card installed, when opening up the games, the whole computer would crash on the start-up screen or just after starting the game. There were basically two types of crashes: 1) the monitor would either turn completely black and turn off, and the sound would stop or 2) The game screen would freeze in the same frame and the sound would stop. In either case pressing alt-tab or ctrl-alt-del does nothing; the computer is essentially dead forcing me to reset the computer. However different things happen depending on how long after the initial crash I turn off and reset the computer:

    If, once the game freezes, I turn off and restart the computer straight away, the computer re-crashes on the first black screen where it shows your hard drives and the f8 to enter the bios. However, the only things usually showing on this screen are the yellow energy star in the top right hand corner, and the ie symbol in the top left corner, however it has turned yellow? Alternatively some of the writing which is usually shown on this screen (ie primary and secondary drives) are shown but the writing may stop mid sentence and the rest of the screen be black. If I wait approximately 2 mins before restarting the computer after the crash, the computer will load up until the windows xp screen loads up with the blue loading bar at the bottom, and then the screen will freeze (ie blue loading bar stops moving) and the whole computer will crash here. If I wait approximately 5 mins or greater until after the initial crash, the computer will be fine and load up successfully. Also, recently if I attempt to restart the computer at any time during use it will freeze up similar to the afore mentioned.

    After encountering these problems on my brand new computer and talking to different people and reading forums with similar problems I decided that action was required to be taken. I first installed service pack 2, with no success in stopping errors and then decided to buy the radeon video card mentioned above. At first I thought that this had solved the problem. I could actually play the games for a given period of time (ie 10mins – 30 mins) without any lock ups, as opposed to the game locking up on the title screen. However after the time period, the same problem would occur, the computer would crash in a very similar manner mentioned in the previous paragraphs. Yet the games were more prone to crashing if I pressed alt-tab to get back to windows during the game, or clicked on the menu of the game. I think with all games, if u press alt-tab during a game the screen turns black while it gets back to windows, well my screen just stays black and dies. Also, only recently, the monitor has been flashing black for 2 secs here and there during windows use. And before I attached the new video card I sometimes got the message following message after restarting the computer before windows loads up

    Out of frequency
    HF: 27.8 khz
    VF: 53.0 Hz

    Operating freq
    HF: 30-70khz
    VF: 50-160 HZ

    This hasn’t appeared since I bought the video card and the manufacturer of the monitor says this is video card related

    I’ve tried different things to rectify the game crashes and I’ll mention the things I can remember I’ve checked.

    -The main thing is that I thought the computer/video card was overheating. If I put a desk fan next to the computer it seems to relieve the problem, in that the games can be played for a longer period of time without crashing. This prompted me to put arctic silver grease on the cpu and buy a zalman vf700 alcu fan for the video card. However using these and removing the desk fan does not solve the problem to any extent. Even so, all along the temperatures in the video cards and cpu are not that large. I can touch the chips during gameplay which are only warm, and the measured temps have never been more than 50 deg celcius during gameplay (besides games like starcraft shouldn’t be punishing my machine).

    -The refresh rate on the monitor and computer are 60Hz and I’m running at the lowest resolution 800x600 L
    -I’ve disabled the sound card
    -Ive done memtest86
    -I’ve got all latest drivers
    -Reinstalling the games and patches
    -graphics tests in dxdiag
    -ive done virus checks

    I think that’s all I have to say. Ppl say I crap on too much but anyways…any guidance would be much appreciated…I’m a student and can’t afford to pay anyone AU$50 and hour so I am thankful to you all J
  2. nucleardreams

    nucleardreams TS Rookie Posts: 68

    A couple of small questions. Which mainboard are you using? How much wattage on your power supply?
  3. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Hello! Welcome to TechSpot

    First get a copy of EVERST home edition this will help getting the details of your system.
    I'm not aware of intel naming any cpu's 3000+ so I assume you mean
    Also, what version of ati drivers have you installed?
  4. shane_dav71

    shane_dav71 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm Back

    Hello again

    A lil more info...

    My power supply is 350W
    My Motherboard is the gigabyte rz series 8S661FXMP-RZ sis 661Fx chipset
    And the processor is a pentium 4 3 ghz

    I just had a friend over and he has the same suspicion that the computer is overheating, but I'm not sure what. I just ran the test program prime 95 and the test did not complete. At 56 deg, the computer froze similar to as it does during the game and I was forced to manually reset the comp. My friend said that this puts the video card in the clear, so does this mean the cpu or motherboard is overheating? As I said previously, whenever I have a desk fan next to the computer, things usually run as normal, except its very annoying to have it there due to noise, sound and my mum asking what the hell it is doing there!!!
  5. es84

    es84 TS Rookie Posts: 48

    hi shane
    there are 2 issues here , one the system is freeing, 2 the monitor

    As u say that the monitor is giving out of scan range fr 2 seconds, thats happeningg on sart up , this is nothing to worry abiout, it is the video card is intizaling ( sorry aout the spelling)
    I believe the system has a heating issuse, we can isolate this , havee u tried leaving the system running and not running any program ha requires cpu or graphics usage ?
    and since the issue is started after installing a video card , there are many
    options avalible to fix this, you can install cooling tubes , they work thee best and there is no noise, only catch is that the cooling fluid has to be changed after a year oor so .
  6. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    you probably do have an overheating isue what kind of fan setup do ou have on the case?

    the other issue is having a SIS chipset. Ditch it and get an Asus P4P800SE Mobo.
  7. Danascus

    Danascus TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Would the SiS chipset on my ASUS P4S800D-X mobo cause my PC to lock up during games like Oblivion with a high pitched noise coming out of speakers?
  8. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    In my opinon SIS chipsets are likely to cause just about anything. including premature baldness. they are very buggy chipsets. are you running the latest chipset drivers and bios?
  9. Danascus

    Danascus TS Rookie Posts: 21

    yup, even threw an Arctic Cooling Silencer on my 6800gt, thinking heat was the issue.
  10. Archonprimeone

    Archonprimeone TS Rookie

    Me Too

    I have the exact same problem. Guild wars, Marvel ultimate alliance and Black and white 2 all lock up and make the high pitched noise from my speakers. Games like Half life 2 w/ep 1, Archlord, Battlefield 2142 and Prey all run fine for as long as I want to play them.
    I've run memtest 86, burn in test and 3dmark05 with no errors reported or system freezes. My Video card and cpu don't seem to be over heated. I've tried a different video card all together. I have tried useing only one stick or RAM and use both sticks in dual and single channel. All with no change to the problem.
    Asus tech support finally gave up and now insists its a software problem, even though the games that lock up my system are widely popular and played by many people, yet only people with this piticular mother board seem to have the same problem consistently.
    I don't know what to try next, so any help would be great.
    system specs:
    Pentium 4 3.0Ghz w/ht
    2 Gigs of PNY DDR400 RAM
    Geforce 7600GS AGP video card
    Asus P4S800D-X Motherboard
  11. Preacher1985

    Preacher1985 TS Rookie

    Problems as well....

    I too am having the same problem with my new computer. I have been running Vanguard, EQ2, and most Steam related games no problem. However yesterday my order of parts came in and so I stuck an additional 2gigs of ram, plus a 480watt power supply in my computer. Now I am having crashes and freezing, but ONLY while Im playing a game. A high pitched screaming comes from my speakers and the computer locks up. Ive checked heating issues, and everything is normal and cool, Im not overclocked, and physcially there is nothing wrong with my install or parts. Can someone give some insight into this, its getting really really annoying. (oh I also tried changing the ram from dual-channel to single, didnt help)

    My computer specs are....

    Athlon 64 3800+ (2.4ghz clock speed of 200mhzX12)
    Foxconn NF4UK8AA-8EKRS (mobo)
    7600 Geforce 512mb (PCI-E NOT overclocked)
    3gigs of ram
    Sound Blaster Audigy 2
    480w power supply
  12. Archonprimeone

    Archonprimeone TS Rookie

    I'm going to try A mobo W/a different chipset as the only other thing I can think to do is replace the CPU (which I think would be a waste of time, thermal paste and money)
    Going from P4S800D-X asus mobo(SIS chipset) to P4V800D-X asus mobo(VIA chipset).
    I'll post again once I recieve and install the new mobo to let you know what the result is. <fingers crossed>
  13. Mark_530

    Mark_530 TS Rookie

    Im having similar prob, with similar spec machine. I just upgraded my graphics card, although mine is agp... The new card requires a power supply where the old one didnt. I have 400w power supply but theres a pci-ide adapter with 4 hard drives and a few extra cd drives. So the machine needs extra power as is. The computer never crashed during games until the new card went in... the games are far better, but 5 minutes into them, full crash... no signal to the monitor, no keyboard function (caps lock not working) tells me the whole thing has had a cardiac. I am assuming its a power issue before heat.. I am borrowing an external power supply to run the graphics card independently to eliminate the problem... if its supply it should work fine, if its heat, it will still crash. I am assuming its not drivers or software as the game starts and runs great for first few mins, obviously until it gathers enough heat in either the graphics card or the power supply. Will let you know about my findings.
  14. data19

    data19 TS Rookie

    Believe it or not i had problems with starcraft and after playing around,i worked with a reputable firm for somew time.

    When a pc locks up it's caused by software that won't execute because of windows DEP( data execution protection)

    Before doing this make sure you have all driver issues and or video issues checked first,just in case.

    Go to device manager>Advanced Tab> performance> data execution tab> click add and add the program or game you are having issues with.
  15. Mark_530

    Mark_530 TS Rookie

    I replaced the ATI X1650 agp card with an Nvidia equivalent. My problem was software. One of the windows xp update hotfixes installed and from that, the system crashed when under any kind of graphical pressure. Had formatted the computer and tried trial and error on everything from scatch. When changing the graphics card the system has not crashed since. With the ATI it worked fine until the windows updates were installed. I tried updating graphics card drivers too and it didnt work, changing away from ATI was the only way. I assume there is a conflict yet to be sorted between windows and ATI graphics drivers.
  16. InfiniteLOOP

    InfiniteLOOP TS Rookie

    I use the ATI x1650 also, and i have a similar problem. So i can't wait for some genius to tell us what were we doing wrong (You can't suggest nothing that i haven't tried already). Well.... hope dies last.
  17. norbe09

    norbe09 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    yeh had same probelm with my friends pc
  18. Mark_530

    Mark_530 TS Rookie

    Actually the windows updates had nothing to do with it, i wiped the copmuter and started again from scratch and it was the same. So I bought a Geforce 7600 GS It was similar kind of money and I think slightly better.... it cured the problem.... BUT... the DVI port became faulty after about a month... I now have to use the standard vga monitor port... the computer will not start if anything is plugged into the DVI port.... At least now I can play my games etc... but seems these cheaper cards are cheaper for a reason.
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