I hate my pc


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#1 uriaheep

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 02:55 PM

Okay - so it's Christmas and I am sat here thinking 'plenty of serious time for gaming'.  Not so because although it's winter I shouldn't be freezing as much as my pc thinks I should.

No matter what game I play it locks up within a couple of minutes.  Nothing else - just games.

Latest, drivers for everything loaded and yet I still can't use it.

The odd thing is, it seems to have got steadily worse so that it locks up almost imedietely I begin.

If anyone has any ideas please let me know.  Other than that there will be an electronic death in the family.   ;)


Oh, and have a good Christmas everyone.



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#2 FullAuto

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 03:46 PM

Season's commiserations.

I hate this sort of thing, it really puts me off PC gaming.

Hope you get it sorted out soon!

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#3 Gimli

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 07:18 PM

Well, I don't see anything suspicious per se, but it won't hurt to do an anti-spyware and anti-virus scan as well as defragmentation. Perhaps you're running low on disk space?

#4 FullAuto

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 07:48 PM

Graphics card problems?  Update/check the drivers?  If it's only games then that strikes me as being the most obvious suspect.

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#5 Matri

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 10:00 PM

I agree. Something's starting to go really wrong with your graphics cards if this happens. The last time this happened to me, turns out the video drivers had disabled (or at least reduced) the graphics cards fans. It overheated.

Although, you might still want to check your DirectX. The latest is version 9.0c November 2008 update.
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#6 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 07:12 AM

My computer also freezes if I let it get too hot. See, computers warm up if you give them a bit of a work out; games tend to use a lot more horsepower then... just about anything else. The only reason I haven't thrown out all the defective parts in my case is because I'm not much of a PC gamer.

So yeah, I reckon Matri's on the money. Check your cooling fans are all doing their jobs.

Sometimes your system temperature monitors will fry, meaning they no longer report anything and the computer decides that means it's at absolute zero. It takes this as an excuse to turn the cooling fans off completely... If you reckon this applies to you, go into your CMOS settings page and disable the "smart" fan control system (or whatever it's called).

Another possibility is that the power supply unit is on the way out. This can also cause the cooling fans to underperform.
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#7 Kizmiaz

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 10:44 AM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 27th December 2008, 8:12am, said:

Another possibility is that the power supply unit is on the way out.

That would be my 2 cents. A couple of years back I built a new rig. Then it turned out that I could only play 2D games. Whenever I tried a 3D game my computer froze. Almost drove me nuts before I found out what was wrong.
So nowadays I never skimp on the PS.
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#8 uriaheep

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 11:52 AM

Thanks for all that - I had done most of the things you said anyway, and the machine isn't all that old so I discounted the power supply.   I may have tracked the problem down though.  I tried the onboard VGA (with the graphics turned down a bit) and ran the hungriest game I could find and had no problems with it albeit a little jumpy due to frame rates so I'm thinking the graphics card has gone down.
Geforce 8600 GT - and I thought they were fairly reliable.   I wonder if the fan on the card has gone down?

Oh well, I look like shelling out some cash to find out for sure.

Thanks again everyone.  Have a good New Year.
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#9 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 01:02 PM

Cash to find out "for sure"? Just take the side off your case and look at the fans. ;)
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#10 uriaheep

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 12:03 PM

I did that BB and the fan runs - I found a few other problems which I sorted out last night and I will give it another try later.
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#11 Matri

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 01:06 PM

Yeah the fans may be running, but they could be underperforming. Powersaving and all that. Monitor the temperatures. nVidia cards with the latest drivers allow third-party software to poll the temperature. Check The Hobby Lounge for a Vista sidebar gadget.

It's all down the game you play. Mass Effect on mine pushes it to 100 degress Celsius, then Company of Heroes on DX9 barely gets it past 80. Wierd stuff.
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#12 uriaheep

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 06:25 PM

You may be right on this one Matri, I just ran the machine with the on board graphics and bingo, the damn thing froze so I refitted the GeForce and ran the same game with very low graphics within the game.  It ran for a good 40 mins so I upped the graphics and it lasted about 3 mins.

Vista Sidebar gadget??  Er, oh right.  Not sure what you mean there but I'm guessing I need to find some software to monitor the temp. of the card.
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#13 Matri

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 10:14 PM

This one: NVIDIA GPU Temp. Once I found that extremely useful gadget, I could finally stop using that nVidia System Monitor resource hog. It even identified my GX2 and SLI mode.
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#14 uriaheep

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 01:34 PM

What does this run in?  Does it need the sidebar to go with it?

On a side note I found the Riva fan tweeking programme that is probably very good but I have no clue how to use it.  ;)
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#15 Matri

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 11:58 PM

View Posturiaheep, on 29th December 2008, 9:34pm, said:

What does this run in?  Does it need the sidebar to go with it?
Seeing as it's a Vista Sidebar gadget, I'd say the answer is a "yes".
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#16 uriaheep

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 02:19 PM

Okay, okay, I see.  I just saw the Vista and thought 'I'm on XP' but I'm sure you read that on my first post and this sidebar runs on XP too.  ;)
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#17 uriaheep

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 04:00 PM

It seems it isn't the card that is at fault which is strange as turning up the graphics speeds up the failure time.

Tried two other cards and the same thing happens.

Problem is I have no idea where to look now.   I thought it could be the power but I have been told that 600w should run this card easily, so I have to consider that the motherboard is coshed.  Personally I doubt that.

Oh well.
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#18 FullAuto

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 04:40 PM

I take it you've tried upgrading/rolling back the drivers, did the spybot/ad-aware/virus check dance etc?  Could always try popping the battery out of your motherboard, resets the BIOS.  Or something.  TBH, I haven't got a clue what it does but it worked for me.

Perhaps best to wait for someone else to offer an opinion on that one...

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#19 Slaughter

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 10:45 PM

Likely heat related as the others says. If it's not the graphics card, you have to look elsewhere. PSU (Power supply) fan, motherboard fan, cabinet fan etc. are things to check (the ones you got out of the list).

Anyway, steps to take:
- Download diagnostics (I suggest the Dell one even if you're on a non-Dell system): http://ftp.us.dell.c...gs/cdd_1291.iso (then burn it to a CD with a CD writing program that supports ISO, boot from the CD and start the diagnostics)
- Download Ubuntu Linux and boot it from the CD. Test some demanding applications. If they do not crash the system, it's likely software related): http://www.ubuntu.co...ubuntu/download
- Check for fan statistics in BIOS (or with a program like the kitty suggests ;))
- Reset CMOS (CMOS being the memory storage for BIOS, witch is the basic hardware settings etc. for your computer). Clearing CMOS will set your system back to what it was when you bought it (so if processor speed or something has been set too high for some reason, it's set back to "safe settings"). This may cause slower performance however (setting the system back to "safe settings"), so do it at your own risk :)

Those are some of the diagnostics / software steps. For hardware:
- Check all fans as suggested (that they spin fast and that there are no dust or other obstacles in their blades)
- Check the capacitors in the PSU and motherboard (faulty capacitors will cause all sorts of errors, freeze / hang being one of the more common): http://home.earthlin...eli/index27.htm
- Reseat all components (video card, cables, other cards etc.). You'd be surprised how often that can solve problems (having worked for support myself, I know!)
- Test your system with various components disconnected (DVD, video card etc.)

If none of this gets you closer to solving the problem, let me know.


#20 Matri

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 10:57 PM

View PostSlaughter, on 2nd January 2009, 6:45am, said:

- Reseat all components (video card, cables, other cards etc.). You'd be surprised how often that can solve problems (having worked for support myself, I know!)

This shouldn't be an issue unless your PC has been moving around a lot more than you do.

And if that's the case, may I suggest a laptop instead? ;)
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