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Solved: Intermittant shutdown problem

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by PhilatCranny, Dec 7, 2009.

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  1. PhilatCranny

    PhilatCranny Thread Starter

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    Hello
    I have an intermittant problem. Specifically - whilst playing graphic intensive games, occasionally the system shuts down - (after a random amount of time from 10 mins to an hour!). This has just recentlly started occuring and happens on 2 games at present - Grid & Dragon Age Origins.

    With Grid, I have played the game previously (about 6 months ago) on several occasions without problem.

    I have tried the following:
    1) Full reinstall of windows - transferred from vista to windows 7.
    2) Update all drivers as part of the reinstall
    3) Reformat hard drive as part of reinstall (this was making strange noises under Vista! and became partially corrupt following one of the crashes! - Now seems ok)
    4) Run 3dmark 06 - ran ok!
    5) Checked ram - ran memtest-86 v3.5 all ok
    6) Checked vltages on power supply (I think I used CPU-z) It reported -
    - VCORE - 1.208
    - 3.3V - 3.168
    - 5V - 5.016
    - 12V -11.872
    7) I have run the games with the side of the case off (to give better cooling) - still crashed - the cpu & main case fans were turning ok.
    8) The system works fine on other games (e.g. Call of Duty 4 works without problem).

    I am guessing that this is either a PSU problem or a graphics card problem. I do not want to throw money at it without having a good idea that it might cure the problem.

    Thanks in aniticipation of any guidance you can provide.
    Phil

    My System:
    Windows 7 Home Premium
    Intel Core 2 Quad [email protected] 2.40 Ghz
    2 Gb Ram
    Hard Drive 500GB Maxtor
    Sound - Creative X-Fi Extreme
    GPU - Nvidia 8800 GTS
     
  2. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Power supply model please... Look at the side of the unit, there should be a sticker..
     
  3. BG-0

    BG-0

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    I would mostly suspect the previously mentioned power supply, as a faulty graphics card would most probably result in crashing of the games, not the whole system powering down... You could try stress testing both the CPU and graphics card, first on their own, if neither crashes the system, both at the same time... Prime95 for CPU testing (Small FFTs test inside the program), Furmark or similar for the graphics.
     
  4. PhilatCranny

    PhilatCranny Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the response

    PSU = Antec Earthwatts EA-500. (Max 500 W)
    Purchased a couple of years ago - same time as the system build.
     
  5. PhilatCranny

    PhilatCranny Thread Starter

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    Will try Prime95. ALready tried Futuremark 3d mark 06 - is this what you meant? though will try both at same time.

    Thanks again.
    Phil
     
  6. PhilatCranny

    PhilatCranny Thread Starter

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    Ok..
    3dmark o6 worked fine.
    Prime95.... replicated the problem. 1st time it took about 10 minutes. I then tried it again another two times and on each occasion it took approx 30 seconds to kill the computer.
    I hope that this helps to get closer to the problem.
    What would you like me to try next?

    Thanks
    Phil
     
  7. PhilatCranny

    PhilatCranny Thread Starter

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    ok - also found out about Furmark. Have run it without problem for an hour on Frame based stability test - xtreme burning mode. GPU temp went up to 89 degrees then settled down to 85 degrees.
    Phil
     
  8. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Sounds seriously like CPU overheating... Power supply issue is another possible reason...
    Download HWMonitor and let it run in the background and make it save a log file, run Prime95... Keep an eye on the temps yourself while the test runs, as well as the final temp before the crash. If they're not insane, I would say replace the power supply.
     
  9. PhilatCranny

    PhilatCranny Thread Starter

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    Thanks

    I have run HWMonitor....
    The CPUs started to increase to 100 degrees C (!) -and one by one (there are 4 on the quad core) - they changed to between -21 & -24. Presumably this temp is beyond the levels of the program?? I stopped Prime 95 before it crashed and a few mins later the cpus are back to temps of about 95 degrees.
    My guess is that your comment re CPU overheating is accurate.....Please let me know what I can do to resolve it the issue.

    Phil
     
  10. PhilatCranny

    PhilatCranny Thread Starter

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    Idle temp = 77 to 81 degrees.
     
  11. BG-0

    BG-0

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    It's not beyond the program but beyond the sensors' limit...
    Reseat your CPU heatsink... Take it off, clean both the CPU and the heatsink base with high-concentrate alcohol (91% or more), apply a small drop (the size of a BB?) of thermal paste onto the CPU (or if you get something like Zalman stuff, which comes in a bottle and a brush for applying, the thinnest somewhat consistent layer you can make), then gently place the heatsink on the drop, do a light back and forth twist, lock it down.
    About the cleaning, do not apply the alcohol to the parts, but moisten a cotton pad or those little stick with it and then sweep it clean.. Use a dry one to wipe the leftover residue of the thermal paste, if present. The alcohol will kinda melt the thermal paste, most will get stuck to the cotton pad you're using to apply the alcohol, but some may stay... You'll usually need about two to three moistened pads to get it cleaned, depends a bit. A few more sticks.
     
  12. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    What is the processor temp in BIOS? I can't believe the HW Monitor temps are correct.
     
  13. PhilatCranny

    PhilatCranny Thread Starter

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    Thanks for all your help & assistance. Thankfully the problem has now been resolved.

    As per your suggestion, I removed the cooler & reapplied thermal paste etc. What was apparent however was the fact that a thick layer of dust had built up (this wasnt obvious without dismantling eveything). This meant that whilst the CPU fan was working, no actual air was getting to the cpu!!!.

    Now eveything is clean & the idle temp is 33 degrees. With P95 it only goes up to 60 degrees.

    PS The Bios showed the high temp as well!!

    Once again - thanks for your help. Very much appreciated.
    Phil
     
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