New computer restarting or crashing while playing games

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I am new to these forums and really just trying to find help with what might be wrong with my new computer. I'm sure that questions like this have been asked before and I tried searching before posting but didn't come up with much, so my apologies if I'm rehashing old problems. I'm hoping if I'm specific enough someone might have something to advise...

My new computer build is causing me problems while playing games. Here are the system specs - I am new to this so if you need anything else just ask.

Windows XP Home Edition SP2
AMD AthlonXP 3200+
AOpen AK77-600 Max Mobo
Samsung 120GB HD
NVidia GeForce 6600 256MB

My husband and I just bought and built the computer about 3 weeks ago. Here's the problem: while playing games the games either crash to desktop with no error, crash to desktop with an error, or the computer reboots. Here is the list of particular games I have installed and tried playing so far along with the particular problem I've experience with each:

- The Sims 2 (plays fine for hours at a time sometimes, then sometimes it crashes to desktop with no error message, sometimes the computer reboots; it did this once just as I was starting the game)
- Zoo Tycoon (again, plays fine for hours sometimes, but sometimes it crashes to desktop with an error message after playing for some time)
- Neverwinter Nights (game crashes to desktop with an error message every time I play; sometimes I get an hour out of it before it crashes, sometimes only a few minutes; occasionally the computer will restart instead of/right after crashing; have had problems with sound looping right before crash with this occasionally)
- Age of Empires 3 demo (game crashes to desktop with no error; again, sometimes I get 20 minutes, sometimes it crashes almost immediately)

Odd thing is my old computer ran all of these games just fine (with the exception of the AOE3 which it didn't like). It was a AMD 1.1 Gig Compaq with a 32MB Nvidia GeForce 384MB RAM, 60GB HD. I can't remember all the exact specs. Even with the ancient video card Neverwinter Nights ran surprisingly well. I had to turn down graphics options on The Sims 2 but even that held its own. I didn't have SP2 on my old computer, don't know if that might make a difference.

I have, of course, already updated every driver I can, so don't bother with that suggestion. I've tried reseating the memory, making sure everything was plugged in tight, made sure the mobo wasn't stressed by being screwed in too tight, and I've checked the CPU temp. It runs 45-50C idle, and I've seen it anywhere from 50-60C just after a game crashes. The computer *never* crashes when it's idle or just doing easy things like surfing the web or word processing, only when playing games. It did reboot randomly once when I was initially installing Microsoft Office.

The temperature doesn't seem to be astronomical and the thread I read here about overheating says 60C is a general rule of thumb. The CPU has the heatsync/fan combo that came bundled with the computer set we purchased. The video card itself has a fan as well. I don't have any fans on the chassis.

At first I thought it might be video card drivers, even sound card, but I've updated all those. I've searched forums for the individual games and come up with squat. It seems too much of a coincidence that every game I try to play has a problem for it to be a problem with the individual game due to my new hardware vs. my old.

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
ok so i think you either have a nasty virus or a directx problem...try unistalling your video drivers and let windows install them for you(they should come with service pack 2) or you can try finding a program called directx eradicator and using it and reinstallind the most current version of directx from the windows website(dx9.0c) or off of your sims 2 install disk(it has a copy of dx9.0b on it)
I am having the same problem,it's been going on for a while. The more options people tell me to try the better it get's, but still from time to time this happens when playing games. Mostly on newer high graphic games. Even on the demo of AOI III like in the previous post. Now older games like Pac-Man and Tetris run great, all day long LoL. Here is my computer specs and what I have tried. If any can help be my guest. :)

Self bulit PC
Windows XP Home service pack 2
AMD Atholon XP2600 over clocked to 2.29 GHz
1 GB PC3200 RAM
MSI K7N2 Dlta Mobo
NVidia GeForce 5900 XLT grapics card
Seagate 120 GB hard drive

I have have replaced my RAM, my Power supply, my video card, even switched brands of video cards, I have added thermal paste, replaced my monitor, went from XP Pro to XP home, forammted and reinstalled windows, ram memtest on my ram, removed all spy ware once a week, virus scan once a week, defraged my pc as needed, got all the windows updates, got the latest vido card driver, got all new drivers for BIOS and everthing else, computer temp run about 45-50 C idle.

Trying all of this has helped, but not totally fixed it for good. Now my PC is known as the family Monster :evil: LoL! This one is about to end my computer building hobby or drive me nuts :knock: LoL!


Posts: 120   +0
Both of you have nVidia gfx cards.. I have one too, when this happened to me (or something similar) I just updated the graphics card driver and reinstalled DirectX 9.0c (google the exact version.)

If that doesnt work, I might have rolled back my graphics card drivers, since nVidia has like 10 versions, so there should be an earlier working version to roll back to.

If that doesn't work, I'm sorry, try to google the problem, I can't remember exactly what I did.


Posts: 100   +0
Hi eliana

It sounds like the problem lies in the games or software. It's probably not the hardware.

I've had similar problems with games in the past and the most likely culprit is an outdated video driver or DirectX driver.

Go to to download and install the latest DirectX drivers. Also update your video card drivers - I'm sure it will help. :)
Low and be hold there was an update for my video card just on the 14th of this month and an update for my sound as well. Who can keep up with these updates these days LoL! :haha: Now with both these updates installed, my monster (computer) seems to be doing better. ::crossing fingers:: I actually got an hour of game play of AOE III and just decided not to push my luck to much. :) I guess time will tell for sure though, hopes it's fixed. ::still crossing fingers:: Thanks everyone!!! I will keep ya posted.....
Ugh.... :mad: my computer just rebooted again, after I thought it was fixed. I had been playing Venture Africia Tycoon for probably almost an hour when this happened. Here is some information I copied from event viewer. I don't know if this will help anyone or not, it pretty means nothing to me LoL :haha:

Event Type: Information
Event Source: Save Dump
Event Category: None
Event ID: 1001
Date: 11/19/2005
Time: 6:57:35 PM
User: N/A
Computer: APRIL
The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x10000050 (0xffabc2c3, 0x00000000, 0xbf8011d3, 0x00000000). A dump was saved in: C:\WINDOWS\Minidump\Mini111905-01.dmp.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at

Thanks in advance,
Same problem here, are we all using AMD?

Hi all, I have the same problem with looping sounds and games crashing on high end games. I had tried all possible solutions except for one, disabling my onboard sound. Half-life 2(legal, completely updated version) kept crashing and Steam suggested I disable my onboard sound. Well, the game ran smoothly and did not crash, but of course playing without sound is not an option. I will be purchasing a pci sound card so that the cpu will no longer have to carry the load of the sound. I hope this will end my problems. If this does not work, my only option is to buy a new motherboard and a amd 4000+! Trouble seems to lie in the 3200+ or below.


Posts: 87   +0
I once had an Athon XP 2200+ be the the cause of similar problems. It would load Windows 98 fine, but since Windows XP is sure to exploit even the most minor of errors, it would not install. I worked around this, but once installed, it would restart all the time due to blue screen errors. I never expected it to be the processor. I switched every component out, except for the processor. I even tried mobos (which can cause the same thing, and is the other possibility). When I was finally able to switch out my cpu, everything ran smooth. I then put my order in for a 2800+ barton core and the rest is history. Unfortunately, these two parts are the most challenging too obtain and test/replace. Well, look on the bright side, some of these other guys might be right about it not being a hardware problem. :D


Posts: 18   +0
In situations like this I always look to the basics of the the computer itself. One thing to look at in this situation is your power supply. I had similar issues awhile back when using a stock PSU from a cheap case. I replaced the PSU with a decent ANTEC 400watt PSU and the prolem was ssolved. Power supplies are very important to a system especially when playing newer games. It's always best to not skimp on a PSU. Another thing you can look at is the RAM. If you have any extra Ram available try switching out sticks. If you still experience crashes, it is something else. Tech support is, more often than not, a trial and error process.


Posts: 20   +0
Sims rebooting

I'm having the same problem on a computer build for a friend. I built for him a P4 Celeron-D with 512mb of RAM and a dedicated 64mb ATI Radeon Rex 9200SE graphics card. (The Sims expansion packs indicated you must have at least 8mb of graphics memory).

When you select the game to start the screen blanks out then it reboots. When it was running the onboard VIA video chipset on a Biostar mobo it ran for about six hours before rebooting. Now with a dedicated graphics card it reboots immediately when you engage into the game.

I've upgraded the PSU to 430-watts and still the same problem. I'm leaning towards the graphics card needing a driver update as well.
when you installed your "dedicated graphics card" and drivers, did you remove the old drivers of the onboard card.

and when you help built your friends pc did you use the motherboard supplied cd to install all drivers?


Posts: 22   +0
I agree with some the users above in that i feel its hardware related and not software. Since its happen over time with intense usage (ie gaming) it could be heat related.

---Loose Cable and Motherboard Bios Update -----
1. Reseat all power cables on the motherboard. Espeically the one from the power supple and video card.
2. Reseat the ram. (often the problem)
3. Reseat the CPU.
4. Update bios on the motherboard.
** Test and see if it still crashes***

--- Over heating -------
1. Make sure your computer is not running hot. Try looking at temperature and cpu fan monitoring software that came with your mother board. Or try this one...
2. Make sure video card fan is running and cpu fan.
3. Re-applyy the fans from the video card and cpu and pun a good thermal grease such as artic silver.
4. Add new bigger fan / heatsinks to your CPU, RAM, Video Card, and South Bridge of your motherboard.
** Test and see if it still crashes***

--- other things to try ---
1. replace the power supply with good brand name.
2. If you are overclocking turn it off and see what happens.
3. Try slightly increasing the cpu voltage. - Can be Dangerous.
4. RAM - If you have more than one ram chip take it out and see if it still crashes. Also try taking our all of your ram and switch it with another and test it to see if it still crashes.

Hope one of these helps.


Posts: 20   +0
Uninstalling drivers

Replying to philop88's response:

I'm not exactly sure how to remove the onboard video chipset drivers. Can you do it thru the device manager?

And yes I installed the mobo's drivers thru the supplied CD that came with it.

Regarding overheating, that may have been the problem after a six hour run as it was in a smaller P3 case running a 220-watt PSU. I updated the build by reinstalling the mobo into a larger ATX Midtower design with two case fans (one taking in fresh air from the back and the other exhausting the CPU heat from a ducted port directly over the CPU fan. The intake fan has a higher CFM rate than the exhaust fan creating positive pressure inside the case. This forces more hot air out and assists the exhaust fan.

The case temperature is low enough so in my case (no pun intended) I think I've overcome the heat issue.

Now however the issue seems more a driver conflict but I'm not sure how to remove the integrated video drivers. After removing some files the wrong way once before, I'm a bit gun shy on deleting files nowdays.


removing them from the device manager won't help, because your pc will just redetect them, because of the "hidden" installed onboard video drivers. but you can try removing them from the add/remove option if there is any sign of the video drivers there

but if all fails, please tell me your onboard graphic model, and i will try and post a solution as soon as possible on how to remove them manual.

but if you feel kinda lazy just reformat your harddrive, and when installing drivers, do not use the motherboard's manufacture cd drivers because they are sometime known to be faulty. Instead go to your motherboard's website and download the latest drivers. and if you plan on not using the integrated graphic's, don't download and install drivers for it. only install drivers for the dedicated graphic card

and also never forget to uninstall old drivers if upgrading, or replacing old hardware if you don't want any more driver conflict


Posts: 20   +0
It's a Biostar mobo

I can't remember the exact model number but it's uses a Via Chipset, PVM4 sounds familiar to me.

Can you remove the integrated video drivers thru the device manager?



BTW...Happy Holidays!!
Hi...I was wondering if my PC rebotting could be to a bad hard drive? I have a Seagate SATA 120 GB hard drive. I ran some Seagate hard drive tests off there site. Most everthing checked out other than this on thing and I'm not for sure what it even means. It did an acoustical spin down test and it said it failed. I have no idea what this means, I geuss the missed this part in college. I am guessing since it failed, that would be a bad thing. I do know sometimes when I shut my PC down and turn in back on something spins louder than usual. It could be my hard drive, CD burner or dural layer DVD burner. I can't really tell which one. It does this for several seconds and then it quiets down. It's only does when it's been turned off and then back on again, it doesn't do it all the time either. All my files seem ok, programs and files open quickly. Everthing seems to be ok other than this rebooting. It mostly happens on new PC games and sometime when surfing the web. Check disk results come out ok too. Any help would be great.

Thanks in advance,


Posts: 18   +0
Are your video card drivers up to date? Are you using a well known PSU? Have you tried pullling the power cords to your cd/disk drives and just using your hard drive? Tech support is more often than not a trial and error process.


Posts: 20   +0
How far into the reboot does your computer get?

To me an acoustical spin down test failure would mean a hard disk platter is warped or out of balance causing some sort of harmonic vibration to occur.

What can cause a warping or balance problem? Overheating or sudden temperature changes. Eventually this warping will cause the read/write head to physically crash onto the HD's platter itself and permanent damage to both will occur.

How close is the head to the platter? Well most newer hard drive platters spin at a rate of 7200 RPM. The analogy of closeness is like comparing a Boeing 747 Passenger Jet screaming along at 600 MPH at 2-inches off the ground. A skateboard would bring that jumbo jet down.

In the case of a hard drive a piece of dust would do the same. So if your HD is failing an acoustical spin down test, chances are your 747 is flying on bumpy terrain and pretty soon that skateboard will be just around the corner. I'd consider backing up your hard drive IMMEDIATELY.


Posts: 98   +0
All of the games you tried have memory leaks ... the PC will crash when it runs out of physical & swap memory.

Get updates (patches) for those games. Then buy another 512Meg stick. Defrag the drive and set swap to 2 x RAM.
I talked to one my freinds who works at a computer repair place. He doesn't think it's my hard drive. He said the noise is probably from one of the new fans I recently installed. He doesn't think I should worry much about it. I am trying a suggestion from a previous post on this thread. He said his problem was with onboard sound. He disabled his and tested it out. It worked for him so he went out and bought a sound card. So far I am runnig without sound and it hasn't rebooted on me. ::crossing fingers:: I hope this is finally my problem. I am tired of buying parts and I am sure my wallet is too LoL. I have another question. When is the temp to hot for an AMD Atholon processor or what is good temp to run at?

Ok it must not be a sound problem. I been running the system with the onboard sound (AC97) disabled and still reboots. I am no longer thinking it is a hardware problem since I have just about replaced the whole machine. The blue screen message last night from Microsoft said it was a device driver problem, but it couldn't tell which one to be exact. Of course such as my luck. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what it could be. I have updated ever obvious driver I can think of. Oh gheez this problem is really getting old, almost 2 years to be exact. Oh well. maybe the new 2006 will be a better year for my PC. I will keep researching and racking my brain on this.


Posts: 22   +0
What all have you replaced in your system? Have try replacing the power supply? HAve you tried taking out all of your ram and testing one stick at a time and seeing if it still crashes?
I did have 2 sticks of 128 RAM, replaced that with 2 512 sticks of a different brand. I have checked each stick, ram memtest way to many times, took the RAM out and reseated it. I replaced the video card. I did have a Radeon and replaced it with NVidia 5900XLT. I replaced the power supply and even got a bigger one. I think's it's like 450 watt. It's an Antec to match my Antec case. I had my monitor repaired. I have a LCD screen monitor that turned neon green. The cord messed up on it. It wasn't one that u can just remove and pop a new cord on. It was under warranty so the company fixed that. I did have Windows XP Pro, I formatted that and now I have XP Home. I took the processor out, reapplied thermal paste and reseated the processor. I replaced a CD burner and floppy that went bad. I have all the latest drivers to my knowledge, I virus scan, spyware remove often. I defrag only when needed. I have the windows updates and service packs.
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