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  #1  
Old 06-11-09, 22:51
Elite Jackson Elite Jackson is offline
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Default Computer Freezing during games

Any help anyone can offer would be most appreciated, I feel I have no options left. I've just completely re-installed Vista Ultimate X64 again and re-installed 2 games once all the necessary drivers were installed. World of Warcraft and Left 4 Dead.

The game still freezes, completely, within a couple hours of play, usually inside of 30 minutes. I can discern no pattern to the freezing. CTL+ALT+DEL does nothing, the computer must be rebooted at the tower. I have tried absolutely everything anyone could suggest before I re-installed windows. Now even my last resort has failed.

I did not, however, re-format my hard drive. I never got the option during the windows install like I normally would with an XP install. I don't know if that would matter or not, seems unlikely to me at this point. Any suggestions, directions, help of any kind would be very appreciated. I'm about to give up completely.

The computer has run flawlessly for two years and started acting up a couple of months back, just after WoW's 3.1 patch. I don't know if it was before or after the patch and I don't know if there is any correlation. I use this machine primarily for gaming, Warcraft in particular.

I did check several other threads that had some suggestions.

Run Hard Drive Diagnostic: I have a Seagate hard drive and the diagnostic says I have no compatible drive installed. There are no drivers from the seagate website, it states they are not necessary to use their drives with Vista.

Memory diagnostic: I ran the windows memory tool and it came up with zero errors after two passes. I don't really know what that means, but that's what it said.

Heat: I have literally 11 fans inside a monster case plus the 3 individual RAM fans on the machine. As the problems cropped up after 2 years of solid performance I'm inclined to believe it's not a heat issue.

Please, suggest anything, I'll give it a go. This thing is a paperweight at the moment. Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 06-12-09, 10:34
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

Hi

Do any other games freeze apart from those two? if not playing games does your PC freeze in normal use?

Only things off hand I can think of trying are, to let us know what the temps are of your CPU, motherboard and GFX Card, I know you have 11 fans but even with that many its not always the case that you haev good system temps, the fans maybe aiming in wrong direction and creating dead air, which will warm up (caused by fans working against each other) plus let us know what your case is and the fans airflow directions.

If you can give us idle temps and then the temps at playing one of those games for say 15mins could be helpful

What security applications do you have installed? disable them to see if thy could be causeing this.

Do you have any yellow ! marks in device manager? if so what?

You already have latest Nvidia driver so I wont suggest that, but will suggest checking the WOW official support to see if latest Detonator drivers are causing issue for some.
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Old 06-12-09, 11:05
Elite Jackson Elite Jackson is offline
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

Do any other games freeze apart from those two? Yes. It's frozen with some old games I tried, like Jedi Academy. It also froze during COD4. The only game it actually did not freeze during was good old Starcraft. Though the play times on starcraft matches tended to be short.

if not playing games does your PC freeze in normal use? Normal use IS playing games, heh. But yes, it has. Right after a lockup it will semi-frequently freeze again while re-booting at the password screen, or just after I enter the password. Typically a second boot will work.

Quote:
Only things off hand I can think of trying are, to let us know what the temps are of your CPU, motherboard and GFX Card, I know you have 11 fans but even with that many its not always the case that you haev good system temps, the fans maybe aiming in wrong direction and creating dead air, which will warm up (caused by fans working against each other) plus let us know what your case is and the fans airflow directions.
I'll need to figure out how to get that info. I'll poke around this site and post that info when I get home. I did do a back-to-back test last night. Ran WoW for 1.5 hours, it froze, then I immediately re-booted and went back to the busiest zones to put the system to work. Worked for about 40 minutes, then I had to crash myself.

If you can give us idle temps and then the temps at playing one of those games for say 15mins could be helpful
- Will do.

What security applications do you have installed? disable them to see if thy could be causeing this. I didn't install any on the latest vista clean install. Normally I use Malwarebytes, AGV, and CCleaner.

Do you have any yellow ! marks in device manager? if so what?
None

You already have latest Nvidia driver so I wont suggest that, but will suggest checking the WOW official support to see if latest Detonator drivers are causing issue for some. I will check.

One more note: I found I didn't have the proper SATA drivers installed. The Seagate tool now finds the drive, but fails to run any of the tests on the tool. In the results column it simply says "Unable to test" or something very close to that. I didn't think to write down the actual message. I'm starting to believe it's a dying hard drive, but that's just because I can't actually check the thing out and my more tech savvy friends are suggesting that's the cuplrit. I don't know how to confirm this. I was planning on picking up a cheap drive today and copying over to it to see if anything changed. Is this worth trying? Also, if it is, should I just copy the OS and all straight over and boot from that new drive? Or install windows clean on the new hard drive?

Lastly, thanks very much for taking the time to look into my issue. Really great site you guys run. I appreciate the help you all offer.
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  #4  
Old 06-12-09, 12:20
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

Hi

If you need to get the CPU temps then Everest Untimate Trial will do for this, Download Here (mentioned the demo over the old defunct free one as it supports more systems) then once installed and run click Computer > Sensor and all temps will be listed.

as for fans direction, not so easy as once installed you dont tend to see the direction arrow they have for airflow, but maybe pop hand closeish and feel for the direction.


I would not see that the SATA driver would cause this but anythings possible and I always do install SATA drivers during the install of Windows, causes less issues, and in Vista, you at least do not need to pop them on floppy but they can go on USB pen.


Good on the security apps as at least we know now they are not at fault.


NO you have latest Nvidia drivers as far as I know as they same as mine installed for a 8800GTS so no real need to check this area again.


With your DXDiag looking ok, what you describe even with amount of fans, sounds temp related, could be hardware is missing from default install SATA drivers but to rule that out a new clean install and during the install the SATA driver would need to be installed to rule this out, but lets rule out temp first.
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  #5  
Old 06-12-09, 20:46
Elite Jackson Elite Jackson is offline
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

Ok, here are my idle temperatures. I'll try to get a sensor run after running a game for 15 minutes and edit that into this post in a bit.

Sensor Properties
Sensor Type ITE IT8716F + Winbond W83791D (ISA 290h, SMB 2Dh)
GPU Sensor Type Analog Devices ADT7473 (NV-I2C 2Eh)
Motherboard Name Asus Crosshair
Chassis Intrusion Detected No

Temperatures
Motherboard 44 C (111 F)
CPU 39 C (102 F)
CPU #1 / Core #1 43 C (109 F)
CPU #1 / Core #2 37 C (99 F)
GPU [ TRIAL VERSION ]
GPU Memory 47 C (117 F)
GPU Ambient 44 C (111 F)
Seagate ST3400620AS [ TRIAL VERSION ]

Cooling Fans
CPU 3068 RPM
Front 1350 RPM
Rear 1471 RPM
Fan #5 6027 RPM
GPU 2499 RPM (70%)

Voltage Values
CPU Core 1.42 V
+2.5 V 2.61 V
+3.3 V 3.30 V
+5 V 4.97 V
+12 V [ TRIAL VERSION ]
+5 V Standby 4.73 V
VBAT Battery 3.09 V
North Bridge Core 1.23 V
South Bridge Core 1.60 V
South Bridge PLL 1.60 V
HyperTransport 1.28 V
DIMM 1.90 V
DIMM VTT 0.94 V
Network Adapter 1.76 V
eSATA 1.81 V
GPU Vcc [ TRIAL VERSION ]
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  #6  
Old 06-12-09, 21:04
Elite Jackson Elite Jackson is offline
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

Unable to edit. Here are the temp readings after running WoW for 15 minutes in the highest traffic area I could find.

Field Value
Sensor Properties
Sensor Type ITE IT8716F + Winbond W83791D (ISA 290h, SMB 2Dh)
GPU Sensor Type Analog Devices ADT7473 (NV-I2C 2Eh)
Motherboard Name Asus Crosshair
Chassis Intrusion Detected No

Temperatures
Motherboard 47 C (117 F)
CPU 46 C (115 F)
CPU #1 / Core #1 50 C (122 F)
CPU #1 / Core #2 45 C (113 F)
GPU [ TRIAL VERSION ]
GPU Memory 56 C (133 F)
GPU Ambient 54 C (129 F)
Seagate ST3400620AS [ TRIAL VERSION ]

Cooling Fans
CPU 3068 RPM
Front 1347 RPM
Rear 1461 RPM
Fan #5 6250 RPM
GPU 2529 RPM (70%)

Voltage Values
CPU Core 1.44 V
+2.5 V 2.61 V
+3.3 V 3.30 V
+5 V 4.97 V
+12 V [ TRIAL VERSION ]
+5 V Standby 4.73 V
VBAT Battery 3.09 V
North Bridge Core 1.23 V
South Bridge Core 1.60 V
South Bridge PLL 1.60 V
HyperTransport 1.28 V
DIMM 1.90 V
DIMM VTT 0.94 V
Network Adapter 1.74 V
eSATA 1.81 V
GPU Vcc [ TRIAL VERSION ]
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  #7  
Old 06-12-09, 22:32
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Mimsy Mimsy is offline
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

I got bored so I did some digging. Here's your SATA driver: http://www.asus.com/Product.aspx?P_ID=9s5xj9DAuUWX35gT

Click around on the tabs on that page and you'll also find all your BIOS updates and other stuff. (Side note: very sexy motherboard! )

I know this might be a very basic question, but still: Do you turn off all background processes when you install a game? Such as all your security software, for example? I have noticed in the past that on my Vista 64-bit, installing a game with Avast Antivirus still active sometimes corrupts the installation.

Next (basic) question: Have you checked your graphics card for dust in the heat sink? I had a similar issue with nearly every game I tried to play on my system about six months ago, and in my case the problem was a severely overheating GPU, due to gross amounts of dust clogging the GPU fan and making it more or less useless. Granted, your temps after 15 minutes of WoW don't support that theory, but there is never anything wrong with cleaning out your GPU fans.
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Old 06-13-09, 03:01
Elite Jackson Elite Jackson is offline
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

Thank you for the link. I had actually already installed all the utilities and drivers, I had just somehow gotten the wrong SATA drivers, I downloaded two different files for that by mistake.

I did take a canister of air to my entire comp today. I also checked the fan directions to make sure they were moving air in the proper direction. I'm currently keeping some games and Ventrilo running to see if it heats up prior to a lock.

So far the max for the CPU temp has been 55. That appears to be safe according to the windows site, but they mentioned that 60 was dangerous territory. I'm going to try to keep an eye on it while watching for the impending freeze. Hopefully the dusting took care of it though and it will never freeze again (delirious optimism is what I'm reduced to at this point).
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Old 06-13-09, 10:00
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

55 Celsius under heavy load is more than safe, it's very good Intel guarantees their CPU up to 80C, so logically, AMD would do the same (I'm an Intel girl, so my knowledge of anything AMD is a bit limited). Usually, if you can keep the CPU below 65-ish, you're good.

Let us know how it works out!
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Old 06-13-09, 10:47
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

Hi

Think your temps are well within spec (even GPU is on the lower end side) and should not cause issue, actually had much higer with a spare PC of mine that didnt cause any issues.

Yes do keep us informed as to this issue as we would like as usual to find a fix for any crashes.


If you do freeze again then try disabling many of the startup processes to see if one of them is causing this, could well be as Minsy mentions a security app.
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Old 06-13-09, 11:09
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

As I mentioned before, Avast has caused me some gaming problems...

An easy way of doing what Halo suggested is to turn off all your background processes, including all your security apps, and then start up a game. Then turn the processes back on, one by one, and keep gaming. The one you turned on just before the crash, is the bad one that has been causing your problems. May want to unplug your internet cable before doing it though... running a computer for any length of time with all security apps turned off and a live net connection is usually not a good idea.
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Old 06-13-09, 19:51
Elite Jackson Elite Jackson is offline
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

I've left the comp on over night during a de-frag, still chugging fine come morning. I'm gonna try to plunk down for a multi-hour game session to see if it still freezes but it's looking great so far.

I'm inclined to think the dusting is really what was needed. I wish I had run the temp sensor program prior to cleaning so I could pinpoint how much effect that had. But there was a significant amount of dust in there.

I still don't have my security apps installed. I was having lockups on this new Vista install even without them though, so I assume its safe to rule them out as the culprit. I plan on re-installing them all tonight.

I'll post here with the results of the game-a-thon, here's hoping that I've got nothing to report except a sore butt. Cheers!

Edit: I forgot to say the most important thing: Thank you Mimsy and Halo! I really appreciate you both assisting me with this and offering advice.
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Old 06-14-09, 12:09
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elite Jackson View Post
I still don't have my security apps installed. I was having lockups on this new Vista install even without them though, so I assume its safe to rule them out as the culprit. I plan on re-installing them all tonight.
I run Avast on my 64-bit Vista, CCleaner, Spybot, and then I use Windows Defender. As long as I remember to pause Avast when installing a new game that combination hasn't given me any lock-ups or other problems at all.
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Old 06-15-09, 03:42
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

Just wanted to pop in and say I have no problems to report. Ran a marathon of gaming for almost a solid six hours with no issues. Been putting up everything I could at the same time (vent, WoW, Youtube, background apps) and still no lockups.

I hate to jinx it or anything...but it seems the issue has been resolved. Thank you both for your help and advice, I learned quite a lot about maintaining my machine.

Thanks and good luck!
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Old 06-16-09, 13:50
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Default Re: Computer Freezing during games

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elite Jackson View Post
Just wanted to pop in and say I have no problems to report. Ran a marathon of gaming for almost a solid six hours with no issues. Been putting up everything I could at the same time (vent, WoW, Youtube, background apps) and still no lockups.
Wohoo!

Congratulations! Now go finish that quest and collect your money.
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