unexplained lockups and reboots

By NancyJ ยท 11 replies
Oct 31, 2006
  1. At the weekend I installed a new PSU, reformatted one of my drives and installed a new dvd drive since then my computer locks up playing games

    Sometimes I can play for hours, sometimes 10 - 15 minutes.
    Sometimes it just freezes and I have to manually reboot
    Sometimes it freezes with a high pitched scream and I have to reboot and tonight it just rebooted on its own

    Theres nothing in the system log, and no minidump. The system failure settings are set to write an event to system log, send and administrative alert and dont automatically restart but it seems to have just done the exact opposite.

    My GPU temp is 41c and all my drivers are up to date.

    I dont know what to do with it. It happens with the Sims and with World of Warcraft - I havent tried any others.
    It happens when I'm tabbed out of game just browsing and when I'm in game.
  2. NancyJ

    NancyJ TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    I've installed speedfan and all my voltages are correct and my temperatures look fine - max core temp of around 36C (though I wasnt playing at the time)
  3. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    Hello and Welcome to Techspot, NancyJ!

    I guess you havent checked how hot the hard drive is? Like you indicated, you HEARD a high pitched scream from your PC, it is your Hard drive overheating.

    Please check and tell us how hot the HDD is and you probably could go out and buy HDD cooler.

    What hard drive you had in there?
  4. NancyJ

    NancyJ TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    I got a screenshot of speedfan while I was gaming my HDD temp looks fine but the others are a little toasty.
    My HDDs are maxtor and WD Caviar 120Gb

    Attached Files:

  5. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    The program detected three hotter area, check it out by feelin around the heat (but no touching :) )
  6. NancyJ

    NancyJ TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Theres not a lot of room for poking (or feeling) around inside the case - the room its in is absolutely freezing (no heating in the house)
    I've taken the side off the case and propped it up so the fans are still blowing in.
    I dont know how I could cool it down anymore - I didnt have this problem before the new PSU but its a better PSU so I wouldnt have thought it would cause more heat, but maybe I'm wrong?
  7. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    Um... what PSU you using?

    And is any fan stopped working?
  8. NancyJ

    NancyJ TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    The high pitched scream comes from my speakers - I've removed my soundcard, now just using onboard sound and it doesnt scream when it locks up anymore.

    I've bought extra heatsinks for my graphics card and coolers for both my hard drives. I've taken my heatsink off, cleaned it, added fresh thermal pads and replaced it. I've put the old PSU back and I've opened up the case and have a desk fan blowing into the case.
    With the fan and the coolers my harddrives are practically ice cold.

    The time I get to play for seems to vary from less than an hour to over 5 hours. Once it has crashed the first time it crashes more frequently.

    I have tried everything I can tihnk of - aside from taking it to pieces and rebuilding it again
  9. tpfagan

    tpfagan TS Rookie Posts: 43

    I saw in an earlier post the picture with the core temp at 71C. Is that an accurate temp? Thats pretty darn hot for a CPU. Borderline thermal shutdown temp. for my Athlon XP.

    Assuming this temp is correct, I would check a few things. Make sure your CPU HSF is centered on the CPU. I know that I have personally put the HSF on a CPU backwards with an athlon XP chip and it ran very hot - to the point I could not understand until I took the HSF off and realized what I had done. The notched part of the HSF should be over the area of the socket where the cpu locking arm pivots/connects to the socket. Also make sure you are using decent thermal transfer compound. Sometimes the thermal sticker type stuff doesn't do a great job of transfering heat. I use arctic silver but have seen studys where the regular white grease works just as good.

    I would hope that you could get the core temp down to about 55-60C max under load.

    I forgot to ask, are you overclocking this CPU?
  10. NancyJ

    NancyJ TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    No overclocking, I've seen the temp get up to 116C and keep going but I dont know if thats accurate.
    I too have put fans on backwards - its about the only thing you can do wrong. But I dont believe this to be the case here as it was working fine before and I have not changed it.
  11. tpfagan

    tpfagan TS Rookie Posts: 43

    wow. 116C. Thats 240F. We'll assume that the temperature is wrong. I would expect one of two things to happen at that temp: the system go into thermal protection or the fine lingering smell of burnt electronics. I'll also assume that you don't have dark or brown spots around your cpu socket.

    And just to make sure I was clear or if I misunderstood your response, I meant the heat sink fan (HSF) assembly on top of your cpu could have been mounted 180 degrees from what it should be vs the fan on the cpu (or case for that matter) blowing in the wrong direction. The HSF for your processor can be mounted in two directions. If you got the wrong direction (i.e. notch part of HSF away from the pivotpoint of the cpu/socket locking arm), it will run hot becuase the thermal conductor of the cpu (small square) is not centered on the heat sink and won't disipate heat fast enough.

    I think you got what I was saying but wanted to make sure since you refered to fans only and not the heat sink fan assembly.
  12. NancyJ

    NancyJ TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Yes - I meant the Heat Sink & Fan unit.
    Other than the DVD drive and extra cooling equipment - I've now put the system back exactly as it was
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