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Computer inexplicably shuts off while playing games

Discussion in 'Software' started by rushs_99, Sep 10, 2007.

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  1. rushs_99

    rushs_99 Private E-2


    I am having a weird problem that is driving me insane. My computer just shuts itself off in the middle of playing a game. It happens when I play Oblivion and when my son plays Command and Conquer. There is no warning....the computer just shuts off. It can happen after 2 minutes of gaming or an hour. Time does not seem to matter. The other weird thing is that it never happens doing other mundane tasks like word processing or surfing the Internet. It only shuts down while playing games. I am running the latest video card driver and my copy of Windows XP has all the latest updates. I also do not have any virus/malware. I do not think it is software related and would rather not have to reload XP. Please help!
  2. viper_boy403

    viper_boy403 MajorGeek

    what are the complete specs of the computer? including processor, RAM, video card, power supply, number of hard drives etc... It sounds like it could be either a heat related issue or an underpowered power supply. When was the last time you checked the dust inside you're computer? it has a habit of building up while not causing problems up until the point where lots of things start to go wrong.

    welcome to MGs :D
  3. rushs_99

    rushs_99 Private E-2

    My computer Specs are:

    P4 3.0 GHZ Processor
    ATI X1650 256MB Video Card (AGP)
    1 Gig RAM
    2 X HDD
    2X DVD
    On board audio card
    300 Watt Power Supply

    My case is pretty clean, and the computer does not have a heat issue. Could it be the power supply?

  4. Fannon

    Fannon Private E-2

    Sounds like a heat issue. Maybe your CPU fan isn't working properly.

    I recently had the fan on my vid card burn out, but it would shut down when loading the windows desktop.
  5. renegadeone8

    renegadeone8 Private E-2

    Definitely could be a heat issue, but I would say power supply is highly likely as well. 300 watts isn't very much these days. your hardware isn't horribly power hungry (as far as I know that video card shouldnt even have an external power connector.) However most power supplies run slightly (or cheap ones a much greater amount) below their rated spec. This could be your issue but check the fans first
  6. prometheos

    prometheos Staff Sergeant

    Power supplies degrade over time and with 2 DVD drives you may hit the limit as heat builds up in the box. As a test, start Compter Management=> Device Manager=> then navigate to one of the DVD drives and using right-click context menu: select disable for one of the drives. Use the other drive to play your game with. If you still have a problem, you could enable this drive and disable the other one. However, chances are good that with one drive shut down, that you'll be able to squeek by with an aging power supply.
  7. rushs_99

    rushs_99 Private E-2

    Thank you for the help. I have upgraded to a 500 watt power supply with plenty of amps available on the 12V rail. So far so good. Computer has not shut off yet.
  8. prometheos

    prometheos Staff Sergeant

    Thanks for the feedback, rushs_99. It's always nice to hear about a happy ending.:)
  9. Dominicneedshelp

    Dominicneedshelp Private E-2

    I am having the same problem as the person who started this thread.
    Heat is not an issue. My temps are barely over 100F' and I have tried using Ice, a large industrial fan to blast cold air on all my components everything.
    Reading this thread it was conlcuded that it was the PSU
    I have a 660W Enermax noisetaker 2 which is only a few months old so I am positive that the PSU isn't the problem.
    I am really just looking for any other advice on this problem and why my computer just shuts down during games.

    My specs are
    2.8ghz P4 northwood
    300gb sata
    300gb IDE
    no disk drives
    no lights

  10. dracdoc

    dracdoc Private E-2

    I can help.

    I was having the EXACT same problem. I still have the problem occasionally because im to lazy to apply a real permenant fix (im going to buy a new machine.)

    Its still very well that it could be heat. NOT your cpu though, but your VIDEO CARD. Be sure to get diagnostic software to check the heat that monitors the card.

    What I found out for mine was that it was only when playing games that relied heavily on the video card that it shut down when it got too hot. In particular it happened whenever I played WoW but not Warcraft III. There is a setting in windows that will allow you to see the error message it displays before your computer shut down. So that might be your first place to start.

    In anycase, I bought one of those cards that goes into a PCI slot and fans your video card directly and it stopped for the most part. Only when im not running the fan on full blast will the video card itself overheat.

    check your video cards heat.
  11. Bold Eagle

    Bold Eagle MajorGeek

    Goodness always a very good start is to DL, install and run EVEREST:


    Basically will give you tons of info about your PC and allow you to monitor during the running of the PC. A lot can be assessed from there and should be a starting point.
  12. aliceaod

    aliceaod Private E-2

    I had this happen to me with Battlefield 2. I had my computer case too close to the wall and I think it wasn't getting enough air flow to allow the fans to do their thing and was overheating. Once I moved it to the other side of my desk where the vent holes for the case weren't next to anything, it worked just fine.
  13. dracdoc

    dracdoc Private E-2

    an update on my problem.

    So the other day I found out I was STILL have the same problems and my machine ended up rebooting on me about 4 different times saying the video card has overheated.

    After checking my video cards monitoring tools, I saw it was running at an idle of about 90 degrees, which is pretty hot. When I would try and run anything but normal windows, it would heat up to about 110 degrees and then the system would shut itself down.

    I first took a look at my power supply since it was a 300w supply, and my card needed 350 (or so it said). So I changed that, and it worked for about a day, then it had the same problems. I then checked the settings for Overdrive to see if my card was defaulted to Overclock, I found out it was running at the slowest possible settings. I scoured the internet for possible solutions on the Radeon X850 (my card). When I stopped and Thought about it, I realized that my card had worked like a charm when I first got it, and I was able to jack up all the settings on every game I played to the extreme. The problem only started happening about 1 year and a half after I bought the card.

    One thing caught my eye though, and that was a suggestion that either I had a defective card, or physically something was wrong with the card. So I popped open my case to look at my video card. At first glance nothing seemed wrong with it. I unplugged the card and removed it from the system thinking maybe I could unscrew the fan and see if any dust was clogged in it. Thats when I looked at the very end of the fan where air was supposed to be coming out. I saw that a very thin lair of dust had collected and clogged the entire ventilation for the fan on the video card. I only saw it when I turned the video card on its side. After I removed it, I popped it back in the case, started up and ran temperature monitor

    VOILA:drool My Video card was running at an idle temperature of a cool 40 degrees. When I would play games, the max it would go up to now was 60. Problem solved.

    In some, physically check the card also.
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