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okonomiyaki

Computer restarting whenever playing a game

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okonomiyaki    548
It doesn''t matter if it''s DX or OpenGL or whatever, my computer randomly restarts at various times while dealing with 3d graphics. If a moderator thinks there is a better forum for this, please feel free to move it. I didn''t really see one that pertained with hardware.. I used to use Direct3d, and sometimes right on my game startup my computer would literally crash and restart immediately. Sometimes it would happen 45 seconds after running my game. It also happens whenever playing any other game, and it''s been increasing in frequency. I can''t even play Diablo II for more than 5 minutes before it restarts. VERY rarely does it restart when not playing a game, ie just at the desktop and doing file manipulation or such. At first I thought it was my RAM, but the frequency of it occuring while initializing/running graphics makes me wonder if it''s my graphics chip. I have a Geforce 4 Ti 4200. I have 512 megs of crucial ram. Is there any program or any way I can test what is going on with my hardware? I have not debugged hardware very often and I''m not sure how to go about it. Thanks a lot.

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Deyja    920
Have you checked the temperature inside your case?

Incidentally, crucial is the cheap stuff, aint it?

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I had a stick of RAM go bad at work a month ago. The WinXP report error dialog thingy noticed it (I was impressed with that), and pointed me to this RAM test utility. You''ll need a spare formatted floppy lying around to install it. Also, run ALL the tests. My dead RAM worked on all tests except for one.

If you''re at all suspicious of your RAM you might as well test it. There are two sets of tests. There is a key to turn on the advanced tests (basic is 6 or 7 tests, advanced is more, and longer tests) The tests runs over and over, so if it''s a problem that only shows up after a while, it can still catch it.

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Greatwolf    125
The random restarting and instability you're experiencing could be caused by any number of things: poor quality psu not supplying enough juice, low quality ram(crucial isn't bad quality though;got one stick in mines and no probs here), overclocking, irq conflicts between your expansion slots, etc. and the list goes on really.

It'll help if you could give us a little background about your machine. Like did you recently put it together yourself? When did it start happen; was it always like this etc.?

What you can probably start doing is try and lower the clock freq of your cpu and relax the timings a bit on your ram and see if stability improves. You can get a program called prime95 and 3dmarks and have them both run on your machine at the sametime. That's a sure way to tell whether your computer's stable or not. You can also do a search for memtest which subjects your ram to various pattern test to check for any kind of errors also. If all else fails, you can start stripping down your computer of all non-essentials and see if you still get lockups with the most basic setup. It'll help isolate where the problem lies.

You can post this problem over at the HardOCP forums also. That forum's geared more towards hardware and they'll have some good suggestions on troubleshooting these kinds of problems.





--{You fight like a dairy farmer!}

[edited by - Greatwolf on January 17, 2004 12:10:02 AM]

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okonomiyaki    548
quote:
Original post by Deyja
Have you checked the temperature inside your case?

Incidentally, crucial is the cheap stuff, aint it?


Yeah, the temperature is fine. I have more than enough fans, and I don''t do any overclocking or such.
Crucial memory has a very good reputation, and it is fine quality.

quote:

I had a stick of RAM go bad at work a month ago. The WinXP report error dialog thingy noticed it (I was impressed with that), and pointed me to this RAM test utility.


Thanks a lot! That''s exactly what I was looking for. I ran the program for 5 hours and it found nothing (ran advanced tests too). So now I''m not sure if it''s the RAM.


quote:

The random restarting and instability you''re experiencing could be caused by any number of things: poor quality psu not supplying enough juice, low quality ram(crucial isn''t bad quality though;got one stick in mines and no probs here), overclocking, irq conflicts between your expansion slots, etc. and the list goes on really.



PSU is 400 and I don''t even have much on my computer, so I''m sure it''s giving enough juice. No overclocking here either.
The IRQ list doesn''t look bad, but I''ll keep it in mind. it could be a number of things, and I''m trying to limit the possibilities..

I built this machine a year and a half ago, didn''t have any problems until about 4 or 5 months ago. It happened rarely at first, then more and more.. Now I''ve realized that it only happens frequently while playing games or using the graphics card to render. I started playing a lot of game back then so that''s when I might have started to notice it.
Thanks for the forum link. I''ll head over there. Thanks for the help overall too

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Greatwolf    125
I''m currently using a T-bred 1.4ghz(1700+xp) I bought back in January of last year from newegg for 47 bucks. I''ve been running it at 1972mhz(2457+xp) ever since and it seems to be running fine even now. Back then everyone was jumping in on buying this particular cpu because it was so overclockable; giving a very nice performance/price ratio. Seems almost everyone that got that chip reported they were able to at least clock and run their chip up to 2.0ghz stably. I couldn''t hit 2.0ghz with mines probably because of the PC2100 ram I was using but it was still a very good deal back then.

Anyway back on topic, if your board supports it (most modern boards should) check the voltage readings you''re getting on the various 3.3, 5, and 12 rails. Make sure that your psu is really supplying the correct amount of juice to each rail. I can''t recall exactly but you don''t want the voltages deviating more then 0.15+/- for each rail or wierd stuff could start happening. (like the random restarts for example )





--{You fight like a dairy farmer!}

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Shannon Barber    1681
Are you running XP?
IIRC, the default BSOD behavior is to to reboot; turn this off so you can see if the kernel is crashing (e.g. bad drivers and/or corrupted installation).

That last set of "WHQL" nVidia drivers off the MS update site totally shat my system.


I know it''s been said, but seemingly random crashes only while playing a game points directly to a heat problem. Clear out any dust from the heat sinks & fans (on both the CPU & GPU), remove the side of the case, and blow a fan across it (not into it). Open a window and put the case near it (assuming it''s winter wherever you are).

I guess this doesn''t belong in this forum either...

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