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Video playback freezes and causes a total system freeze.


soel's Avatar
soel soel is offline
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11-Mar-2007, 03:04 PM #1
Video playback freezes and causes a total system freeze.
I've been having a problem with playing back video files recently. The issue has seemed to appeared randomly for my whole computer system has worked fine for months before. My issue is this...

When I watch a video file, I usually use Windows Media Player, but the same problem has occurred with WinAmp as well, during the course of the movie the video will suddenly freeze and the audio will cut out. While the video is frozen the audio will stay muted for a few seconds and then come back with a constant stuttering sound like a badly skipping CD. The even bigger problem here is that when this freeze occurs it locks up the entire operating system. I cannot move my mouse, no keyboard commands respond, nothing. Everything hangs. I have to reboot by using my computer's reset button or turning off the power and then back on.

As I mentioned this has been a recent issue in the last two months or so and prior to the onset of the problem I never had any troubles watching videos. Usually I can solve any problem I come across, but this one fails me and I haven't found anyone else with the same issue.

For more technical information I have Windows XP Professional, all current Windows updates, an ASUS A8V motherboard, an AMD Athalon 3200 processor, a NVIDIA 5200FX 256mb graphics card, a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 24 bit sound card, 1GB RAM, a DVD-R/RW burner, another CD burner, one 160GB SATA drive, two IDE drives 250GB and 80GB. I also run dual monitors with my Sceptre LCD television.

During the course of this problem I have been sure to update my drivers for every piece of hardware I have to the most current versions. I'm sure I have all video and audio codecs needed. I have run MemTest86 for hours and not found any issues. I have swept my system for adware, spyware, viruses etc. and am entirely clean. I have run a Registry Mechanic to make sure my registry is always organized and cleaned. I have monitored my RAM usage levels and CPU usage levels during video playback and my RAM is always stable at whichever percentage is current as well as my CPU usage remaining stable between 40-50% with no spikes. My voltages for hardware components remain stable as well. I have also cut out my second monitor use and still have problems. Windows event logs never seem to record any issues at the time of hanging.

To add to the confusion, the freezing problem doesn't always occur at a set time. It varies, sometimes I can watch only a few minutes of a video and other times I can get over halfway through it. Two or three times, including once yesterday, I managed to watch an entire 2 hour movie without a hitch. So the video playback freeze and consequent entire system freeze is not consistent, but happens at least 95% of the time.

As I said, I used to be able to run videos with no problems. I have also found that this issue will sometimes occur when playing the Gameboy Emulator I have. The video will freeze, audio will cut out then come back stuttering and the whole system will freeze requiring a hard reboot. Now on the other hand I can listen to music for literally days on end and never have a complication. This leads me to think it must be some sort of video problem, but I have run out of ideas.

To wrap this up, for the time being I must resort to burning DVD's and watching them elsewhere or transferring video files to my iPod and watch them elsewhere as well. If anyone has any ideas on how to either solve, treat or find more telling clues for this issue I would greatly appreciate any comments. If more detailed information about my software and hardware specifications is needed I can provide them. Thanks for your help.

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julzee julzee is offline
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12-Mar-2007, 05:00 AM #2
Unhappy I have a similar problem!!
I'm curious as to if you have found a solution to this? I just posted my problem too.

soel's Avatar
soel soel is offline
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18-Apr-2007, 08:22 PM #3
Still periodically having this issue. Bumping this post back into the limelight hoping someone might have an idea about what's going on. If anyone does, please reply. Thanks.
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larry84 larry84 is offline
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04-May-2007, 02:17 PM #4
Hi there

Had a exactly the same problem to you a while ago and interestingly my setup was pretty similar. I solved the problem by disabling the Audidgy 2 sound card in device manager and enabling the onboard AC'97 which unfortunately is inferior to the Audigy 2 Value. Seing as this solved the issue I suspected that some drivers were conflicting (perhaps as a result of an update to either graphics, audio, direct x or even via drivers Ifor example)? My only other feeling was some IRQ issue or PCI latency issue which I couldn't be arsed to investigate, but you could try fiddling with the PCI latency values if you don't have a backup soundcard?? E.g. PCI Latency Tool and set all values to the same e.g. 32 or 64 etc

In case it's helpful I have the following setup

Windows XP SP2
AGP XFX Geforce 6800XT (Also had a Geforce Ti4400 previously which had the same problem, but they run on the same drivers)
Had an SB Audigy 2 Value now AC'97 internal
AMD Athlon XP3200
1024mb PC3200 Ram
MSI K6 Delta mobo
160GB Samsung spinpoint SATA drive
2 IDE Optical drives
PCI LAN card
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kiranfromcse kiranfromcse is offline
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04-May-2007, 03:12 PM #5
please try to solve.
i too have problem of strucking videos when watching videos.
in earlier days i didnt have this problem .in recent days it was started.i am unable to watch videos and listen to music .i can hear music for sufficient time.i am frequently getting stucks.
my system configuration is
p4 3.00ghz
intel845gl motherboard
512 mb ram
default soundcard from motherboard(realtech AC'97)
..PLEASE TRY TO SOLVE MY PROBLEM.i am unable to do anything.if anybody knows how to solve please send mail to
i will be THANKFUL TO ALL OF U...
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malcum malcum is offline
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05-May-2007, 04:37 PM #6
I found this forum looking for a solution to the locking video and subsequent whole computer. I uninstalled diskkeeper and problem solved. I uninstalled a couple other unused programs-one a media player bundled with my version of XP- but I suspect diskkeeper.
soel's Avatar
soel soel is offline
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06-May-2007, 09:35 PM #7
Larry84: Thanks for the information and advice. I don't yet have the desire to switch to my motherboard audio, so I downloaded a PCI Latency Tool and made sure my graphics card and sound card were at the same latency value. The graphics card was initially around 256 and the sound card at 64. I have lowered the video card and so far is has been working without a hitch. However, I won't be satisfied until I have run extensive video test because in the past it would occasionally let me watch a whole movie without freezing. May this work! Otherwise I shall try disabling my sound card.

Malcum: Good to hear your similar problem was resolved with the uninstalling of diskkeeper etc. I don't have that program and so couldn't obtain the same results. Thanks for the information regardless. It's good to know I wasn't the only one with this problem.

Kiranfromcse: It would be good to have a more detailed description of how your computer's problem occurs. I had no issues with only audio running. If it sounds quite similar to the issue the rest of us had, (see my original post), then I would suggest to start with, make sure all your hardware drivers are updated, that all PCI/AGP cards have separate IRQ assignments, that you have the latest version of DirectX, and try using the PCI Latency Tool that Larry84 suggested to be sure your video and audio cards have the same latency values. I'm no expert, but so far it seems to help and those are all common things I have run across to fix that may solve your problem. If not post again with more information. Thank you for your input and good luck. If I find out anymore information I will post again.
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rick_deckard rick_deckard is offline
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19-May-2007, 07:38 AM #8
I have the same problem, when I start a video playback (every kind of video format with most common players) the system freezes after a few seconds.
I tried the PCI latency tool I lowered the video card value from 256 to 64 and all peripherals to 64 (then I tried 48 and 32) but nothing changed.
I don't have diskeeper installed.

I would appreciate if any suggestion will come

my setup is:
Athlon 64 - 3000+
1024 Mb RAM
GeForce 5200 FX - 128MB
Sound Max integrated
2xSata drives
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ptroost ptroost is offline
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28-Aug-2007, 05:12 PM #9
I have the same problem -- at first I thought it was my SATA Raid as the problem started occuring when I changed my RAID configuration, so I eliminated RAID altogether. Then I thought it was RAM so I replaced my RAM, then I thought it was an NVIDIA video driver issue so I bought an ATI card -- at this point I could have bought a new PC! Any advice would be helpful, I don't have diskkeeper and the PCI latency tool said that my video latency and audio latency were both 032.

Athlon 64 3200
1024 MB RAM
ATI Radeon 9550 256 MB
AC'97 Integrated Sound
soel's Avatar
soel soel is offline
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28-Aug-2007, 05:39 PM #10
New Conclusion
Alright, so a while ago I thought I had this issue whipped, but it came back. It isn't as frequent now and usually only freezes when I play more graphically intense games.

After consulting with a friend of mine who had the same problems and a similar hardware setup we have decided that for us at least the problem lies with the motherboard being incompatible with some other part of the system.

The motherboard I have is an ASUS A8V. He had one that was in the same A8V series. Now this seems to be the most logical explanation as the last motherboard I had was an ASUS A8S-X and it never gave me any problems. Unfortunately I had to replace it when my power supply shorted and took the mobo with it. So now I have the evil mobo that won't let me play games and sometimes won't let me watch movies.

If you happen to have a similar motherboard I would suggest trying to test a different model to see if that solves the problem. I have resigned myself to having an evil computer since I don't want to spring more money to replace a motherboard when I just replaced a graphics card thinking it might have been the issue. (It wasn't. Anyone want a nVIDIA GeForce 5200FX w/256MB RAM? Heatsink only, no fan. Dual VGA and S-Video.)
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MissssToad MissssToad is offline
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18-Sep-2007, 01:31 PM #11
Smile system freezes on video playback
i added another windows account and made it administator, then (logged off) from my current account, then i deleted my old account i was using, it asks you if ya wanna delete all the files from your old account, I love to gamble so i chose yes when i logged on to my newly made account i had a fresh start all my pics and stuff were still on my computer so i was happy. then i went to my favorite site to try to view a video and WA-La it played without freezing my computer...
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