Random reboots during games

By Exonimus · 15 replies
Jan 6, 2008
  1. ok guys, my pc seems to be rebooting randomly during games. I know it can have lots of causes, that's why I'll try to specify what I've done. The rebooting can be so random as to happening 1 minute after running a game, or after 4 hours, or even after running a whole day...

    First of all, my pc specs:

    amd 64 3000+
    1gig ram
    asus a8v deluxe mobo
    nvidia geforce 7600gs
    techsolo 500w PSU
    160GB harddrive(seagate if I remember correctly)

    Now, what I've done so far:
    -check for viruses,spyware, etc. nothing
    -reinstalling windows -to no avail
    -checking for overheating, not a probable cause. I've got nice airflow and good CPU and GPU coolers(both zalman-> CNPS9500CU and for GPU zalmanvf700) speedfan reports normal temperatures (about 30C idle) stays under 40C full load, The GPU is a bit hotter of course. But since the reboots can also happen after one minute, it's not really likely to be heat.
    -run memtest for an hour. No single error. I might need to run it for a longer time. Do I need to?
    -blow out all dust, you never know.. but it didnt help.
    -tried to run the pc with the case open

    I really have no clue to what the solution might be. I thought there might be something with the PSU.. I really don't know. Hope you guys can help.

    Also, when I reboot, I dont get BSOD's, even with auto reboot turned off. I also checked the event viewer, and there were no system errors at all(just an application error, but that had to do with a missing dll, a totally different subject). Last thing I'd like to add, is that my pc has been running since 2005. I've reinstalled windows a few times during the years, but never had this before. I really think this is a hardware related problem....
  2. Frostmonkey

    Frostmonkey TS Rookie Posts: 25

    I have had this issue before and fixed it by reconnecting all of my components in my case. It seemed to be that when I had installed my new motherboard i had not seated everything firmly. Hope that helps :)
  3. Exonimus

    Exonimus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    but did it happen this long after assembling that pc? that seems kind of odd to me.. no? it's been more than three years ago... what do other people think about this? anyway, I am going to give it a shot soon.. in the meantime, any other suggestions?
  4. Frostmonkey

    Frostmonkey TS Rookie Posts: 25

    Just was hoping that may solve it for you, ya never know. Another likely culprit would be that your PSU is on its way out. Given that games draw the most power for those pretty visuals, the peak power consumption may be getting to be too much for your PSU.

    If you have a spare PSU to test with your system I would suggest that to see if that solves your problem, if you don't however than I'm not sure how best to go about diagnosing a PSU fault - perhaps a more knowledgeable tech guru could offer advice on that end.
  5. Exonimus

    Exonimus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    mmmh, I dont have a spare one around, but I might be able to use the one from my brothers computer. Might take a few days though(he is really actively using his computer :p) but it's 400w. would that matter?
  6. Frostmonkey

    Frostmonkey TS Rookie Posts: 25

    It would be a cutting it a bit close but would probably work.
  7. Robin997

    Robin997 TS Rookie Posts: 121

    i had a very similar problem not so long ago with my 9600pro, i came to the conclusion that the card was overhaeting, however with me it only did this with certain games, does this problem happen with every game u play?
  8. Grafficks

    Grafficks TS Rookie Posts: 302

    The most common causes for BSOD/crashes is heat, bad (or outdated) drivers, bad memory, and bad PSU.

    What brand is your RAM?
    Running memtest for an hour is not enough. You should let memtest run for at least 7 passes.
    However, faulty RAM can still pass memtest, no matter how long you test it for. Consider trying with a different memory module.

    Since you said that you cleaned the dust from your computer and have been monitoring the temperatures reporting no problem, then heat management should be okay.

    Your power supply is a generic brand, and has a chance of not being reliable. One thing you should definitely try is another PSU and see how that goes.

    Since it crashes when you game, try updating your video card driver.
    The latest Forceware driver is 169.21

    Good luck! :)
  9. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    a PSU will be under more stress during gaming than any other time because of the stress the video card is put in so a bad PSU is the likely case here. and a bad PSU will hurt performance of the entire computer, plus cause other parts to not last as long as they should.
  10. Exonimus

    Exonimus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    so let's see. I need to replace the power supply to test, and I need to run memtest for seven passes. I've got one module of generic brand RAM and one module of Kingston hyperx (pc3200) both 512mb. I'll have my pc run memtest today while I'm at school. Also, I already tried downloading the newest video drivers. To no avail whatsoever. I'll also remove 1 stick of RAM and see if that affects the rebooting in any way soon. About certain games: I don't know. I only tested it with two and they both crashed(Archlord and CS:S) I'll install another game soon and have a go.
  11. Exonimus

    Exonimus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    Small update: I just came home today, my pc ran memtest for 19 passes without a single error. However, I'm still going to remove one stick of ram and see if it helps. It might take a while to update this topic, since I need to leave my pc on almost all day to see if it reboots..
  12. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    doubt the mem. is it with it running that long with no errors. still think it is the PSU.
  13. Exonimus

    Exonimus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    my thoughts exactly. However: removed 1 stick of mem last evening, left it running all evening and night, came back to watch in the morning, and it was still in game. Could have been coincidence, but this was a long time without reboot. That's for sure. Anyway, I'm going to do some more testing this afternoon, since I've got school right away..
  14. Exonimus

    Exonimus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    well, after switching the RAM, it went well for a couple of days, but still, somehow, it rebooted again. So I guess it might be the PSU after all :/

    can anyone give me some good PSU brands?
  15. Frostmonkey

    Frostmonkey TS Rookie Posts: 25

  16. Exonimus

    Exonimus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    Ok, I found the seasonic one. Looks nice(but its a bit expensive..) ít's 94 euro's over here.
    Is coolermaster any good as a PSU brand? It would save me almost 20 euro's..
    Also, I'll have a better look this afternoon
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