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Frequent reboots while browsing in XP and playing WoW

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Fascion, Aug 1, 2006.

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  1. Fascion

    Fascion Thread Starter

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    Howdy all, first post...
    This might be better suited for games, but the core issue happens while just browsing the internet and just generaly sitting around in XP, just not as much as if the computer is playing World of Warcraft.



    About 5 months ago, while playing World of Warcraft, my computer started locking up for minutes at a time before finally forcing a reboot. Not long after I figured out that sticking a small box fan on medium speed next to the side of the opened PC would prevent the computer from locking up... at least when I remembered to turn it on.

    Well, about 3 months ago I actualy replaced the old thing and giving it to my brother to replace his last computer, since he was complaining about WoW performance so much. Knowing the issues I had with that computer, he chose to just take out the video card and stick it into another comp we had just aquired, very similar, only it didnt have a video card capable of playing games on.

    ...long story short... ever since that day, no matter what computer he seems to have, it winds up with this same issue.
    I had originaly thought this issue to be related to that video card and a power supply that just couldnt hack it... but that doesnt explain why it worked flawlessly for 4 years.

    What we have tried:
    -Removed video card from Alienware PC (the original problem PC) and put it into a compaq of similar stats. Same issue.
    -Replaced video card, tried in both PCs. Same issue.
    -Replaced power supply in Alienware PC and tried new video card. Same issue.
    -Replaced EVERYTHING but the case, 3 stock fans, cd and 3.5 drives in the Alienware case. Same issue.
    -Used an extension cord to try other sockets in the house, thinking it might have had something to do with that. Same issue.
    -All of the above, with and without the boxfan. Fan only seemed to reduce the frequency on a few tests.

    So, basicly... 3 computers... same problem.

    Just testing it now, it has been freezing within 10 minutes of boot up just screwing around in windows. Considerably less if playing WoW.

    However! For some reason, he has been able to play 'Prey' without a single reboot for over 30 minutes now... with the box fan off.

    Current hardware:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813157081
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103562
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145575
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144309
    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16817153007
    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16814130232
    The case is the old alienware one from about 4-5 years ago, similar to:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811144131
    but without all the flashy windows and other useless stuff.


    Thanks in advance for anything you guys have to offer!
     
  2. Fascion

    Fascion Thread Starter

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    (bump)
     
  3. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    My understanding is that it is basically just rebooting?

    Do these problems ever occur in playing games offline?

    You should be getting a Blue Screen Stop message, if you are not, run sysdm.cpl and select Advanced > Startup and Recovery and make sure there is no check in "automatically restart"

    If dump files have been created I can run a debugger on them:

    1 > create a new folder on the desktop and call it "dumpcheck" or whatever you like
    2 > navigate to c:\windows\minidump and copy the last 2 or 3 minidump files to that folder. They are numbered by date.
    3 > close the folder and right click on it and select "Send to (folder name).zip"
    4 > use the "manage attachments" in the "advanced" reply window to upload that zip file here as an attachment.

    This might point us to a 3rd party driver causing the error, if one exists for it.

    Also:

    Download and install HijackThis using the "self extractor". Run it and select "do a system scan and save the log file". Then copy/paste the contents of the log to a reply

    http://www.thespykiller.co.uk/files/hijackthis_sfx.exe



    Since almost all bugchecks can be caused by faulty ram, I would recommend you perform memory tests.

    Beginners Guides: Diagnosing Bad Memory

    Windows Memory Diagnostic
    Memtest86 - A Stand-alone Memory Diagnostic
     
  4. Fascion

    Fascion Thread Starter

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    To my knowledge, yes, it is just rebooting.
    As far as ram goes, this issue has occured with 3 different motherboards each with thier own ram in them, 2 of which I can attest to them working flawlessly until he took over the PCs, the last being brand new mobo and ram.

    I have checked log files in run/eventvwr the day of the original post but found nothing out of line.

    I belive auto-restart is still on right now, so Ill turn that off and have a go or two at it and see what I can stir up.

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Let me see the dump files, they should be there even with autorestart.

    Maybe you have a router problem (not wireless is it?) -- or if the issue is just with this one game, it may be you are connecting to bad servers -- WoW, as I understand it, has had issues due to overload, I don't know whether they have fully corrected them.
     
  6. Fascion

    Fascion Thread Starter

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    There doesnt appear to be any /minidump/, hidden or otherwise.

    As far as hijackThis goes:
    Code:
    Logfile of HijackThis v1.99.1
    Scan saved at 5:20:17 PM, on 8/8/2006
    Platform: Windows XP SP2 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
    MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP2 (6.00.2900.2180)
    
    Running processes:
    C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\spoolsv.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\nvsvc32.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\wuauclt.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE
    C:\WINDOWS\SOUNDMAN.EXE
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\RUNDLL32.EXE
    C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
    C:\Program Files\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe
    
    R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://wow.allakhazam.com/
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SoundMan] SOUNDMAN.EXE
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NvCplDaemon] RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvCpl.dll,NvStartup
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [nwiz] nwiz.exe /install
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NvMediaCenter] RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvMcTray.dll,NvTaskbarInit
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MSMSGS] "C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe" /background
    O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
    O16 - DPF: {6414512B-B978-451D-A0D8-FCFDF33E833C} (WUWebControl Class) - http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/V5Controls/en/x86/client/wuweb_site.cab?1154194437812
    O20 - Winlogon Notify: WgaLogon - C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\WgaLogon.dll
    O23 - Service: NVIDIA Display Driver Service (NVSvc) - NVIDIA Corporation - C:\WINDOWS\system32\nvsvc32.exe
    Our router is Netgear, not wireless... I did have some problems a while back reguarding WoW's patcher system, which is torrent based. I ended up updating the firmware not to long ago, which seems to have solved that issue. If it helps, model number is RP614
    http://www.netgear.com/Products/RoutersandGateways/WiredRouters/RP614.aspx?detail=Specifications
     
  7. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Try bypassing the router directly to the modem.

    It has to be something independent of these machines, something they have in common.

    Sometimes router updates can cause problems. I recently had to "downgrade" my Linksys firmware upgrade to resolve a peculiar problem.

    If you do get a BSOD, be sure to copy the bugcheck parameters and pay special attention to any driver file listed.

    There is nothing enlightening in the Scanlog -- that's about as trim as they come.

    I hope you have the XP firewall enabled!
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Fascion

    Fascion Thread Starter

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    Sounds good, will update if/when I ever catch a BSOD.

    Thanks for the help, Rollin!
     
  9. Fascion

    Fascion Thread Starter

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    Brother is finally back and testing it... about 10 minutes in, restart.
    What would you make of the computer still restarting itself, but never giving a BSOD?
    I have just reconfirmed that even after said reboot, that the auto-restart is still off, its just not showing BSOD ever.

    Still no Minidump, either.
     
  10. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    What doesn't make sense here is you say the same thing has happened on more than one computer.

    Otherwise I would say its a ram or power supply issue -- or possibly even overheating.

    Are you monitoring temps? Also check the power supply voltages.

    You can do both with Speedfan on many computers:

    http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
     
  11. Fascion

    Fascion Thread Starter

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    Doesnt seem to be WoW related only, thats for sure. I was just typing this reply on that computer and had it lock up on me before rebooting... this, while having a box fan basicly replacing the side door of the case :p

    As of this post, the computer has actualy yet to restart, its just locked up this time. It currently has been going for 10 minutes now, letting it run to see if I catch a BSOD, since its not just flat out rebooting.

    Power supply was something shared by two of the PCs for at least a short period of time, but the issue was lingering long before that was purchased and added to the old PC. Before we decided to upgrade anything, I thought I tracked power supply down to the cause of it, being a conflicting issue with that and the video card it had, but having upgraded both of those, one at a time, that seemed not the case.

    On to Speedfan!
    On this, my working computer I am getting some funky readings, and my lack of any luck with Motherboard Monitor for either computer had me feeling a bit sceptical... on the problem computer, however, it seems to be getting some seemingly normal readings. Nothing seemed too far from what I would expect.
    If you would like I can jot them all down if/when I finish waiting of the BSOD.

    Overheating seemed to be the issue for the longest time... sticking the box fan on it would stop it right then and there. Sometimes even after it had started to lock up I could put the fan on high and it would clear up before the reboot happened.
     
  12. bbearren

    bbearren

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    Are you by any chance running the PC(s) with the cover(s) open/off? This really sounds like a heat issue. A heat induced failure won't necessarily give a BSOD--no time!
     
  13. Fascion

    Fascion Thread Starter

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    Currently it is being run with the side door off, with a box fan less than 1 foot away. That fixed the problem for as long as I was using it, but now that he has it, same conditions, only now it is randomly rebooting, WoW or otherwise.
    The last freeze occured when I was typing a reply with only 1 instance of IE open and Speedfan, and the above programs from the hijackthis log.

    If in fact it is an overheating issue, I just dont know how the box fan solution could have worked for me for about 3 months and then all of a sudden it stops after we move it to another room in the house. Especialy when I ran the fan on medium and never had the issue and he runs it on high and still does.
     
  14. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Fascion,

    Given the current configuration, you are correct in that it is not likely heat related. I have about half dozen computers around the house with the side case off and no problems at all. And they don't even have a box fan like you do a foot away.

    If your BIOS has the option, you can always reboot and see what the temperature of the CPU is.

    But it can also be due to a faulty power supply or motherboard. Obviously the power supply is a bit less expensive to replace.
     
  15. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Well the fact that you had to use an external fan was not a good sign, and it's possible there is some damage. If the CPU is not properly heatsinked it only takes seconds to overheat and an external fan might not cool it quick enough, especially if it is turned on after the computer is booted.

    Have a look for bulging or leaking capacitors on the motherboard.

    http://www.badcaps.net/ident/

    You can try a screenshot of the Speedfan readings, if you know how to do that easily.

    You have tested connected directly to the modem, bypassing the router, right?
     
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