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Computer randomly crashing/restarting when playing games

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by AcidicRage, Aug 5, 2005.

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  1. AcidicRage

    AcidicRage Thread Starter

    Feb 10, 2002
    This has been a problem of mine since 2 years ago. At first, I didn't want to "try" to fix it because I thought it was just the load of spyware + regular computer usage. Then about a month ago, I attempted to fix it by just reformatting my computer and reinstalling everything. At first I thought this would work, but I notice it didn't. My computer specs are:

    P4 2.2 GHz
    GF4 Ti4600 128MB
    1024 MB (2 x 512) PC2100 DDR RAM
    Windows XP Pro w/ SP2

    I know my computer is old and sucks. It's about 3.5 yrs old (at that time, it was top of the line!) and I don't plan to upgrade anytime soon... but maybe in the next 1-2 years. My problem is that whenever I play ANY video game (mostly 3D or graphics-intensive games), my computer will randomly restart SOMETIMES (not all of the time, but it happens frequently than coincidentally just a regular crash). It will usually do one of the following:

    - Crash to desktop without notice
    - Crash to desktop WITH notice (It is always a "memory corruption" type error)
    - Computer restarts randomly in the middle of the game (I'll be playing and soon I will be saying wtf?)

    After reformatting, the problem still exists. This restarting/crashing seems to happen more often with different games, too. The solutions I've tried include installing DIFFERENT graphics drivers to see if it's a driver problem, using a memory testing program to determine if my memory/RAM is failing, and last reinstalling the different games it crashes on. I've also have the latest updates including sound, chipset, BIOS, motherboard, game updates, etc... (since I just reformatted and did a clean install not too long ago)

    After doing all that, it still happens, but just randomly... sometimes 2 minutes into the game, sometimes 30, sometimes never.... But it's there, though.

    I think the only thing I haven't done is actually check the internal hardware myself like the graphics card. I suspect it could be overheating (since my card is quite old and I've maybe worn it out...the fan has died perhaps?) or my RAM is failing. I dunno... any suggestions or other diagnostics I should try? Thanks.
  2. buckfan1


    Jul 27, 2005
    Sounds like you have bad memory. Download memtest and run it.
  3. AcidicRage

    AcidicRage Thread Starter

    Feb 10, 2002
    Hmm.. okay, thanks. The only memory diagnostic thing I used (as mentioned above in my post) was Windiag. I ran it for a few hours and it stated no errors. I guess I should try MemTest then (?) and the others as stated.
  4. Scorpion


    Jun 13, 2005
    Since you've already determined that the memory is ok, at first though, I WOULD suspect overheating.....and the 'sometimes crashes' may well be due to the ambient room temperature affecting the internal temp of the pc.

    Check the fan on the CPU is clean, use a can of air (local PC store) to blow out all dust from everywhere. Actually, it would be a good idea to remove all the pci cards and the graphics card and memory and then blow out dust from the slots too. Check fan on graphics card is clean, then reinsert all cards. Boot up, and ensure that the g-card fan is spinning, and all other fan are functional. Any failures need to be replaced, and if the g-card is not turning, the only thing to do until you get a replacement is to open the case and aim a housfan at it, but DON'T play any games!!

    Try all that, see what happens. If it still crashes, come back, letting us know exactly what you did.

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