System regularly crashes when using 3D graphics

  Dan 22:20 31 Aug 03
Locked

My brother is using an Athlon 550 machine running WinXPhome with 256 ram, a 60gb hard drive, Geforce2 ti card (with up to date Detonator drivers) and a Sblaster audio card.

For sometime now (ever since he got the pc as a 2nd hand gift) the pc has been prone to crash as in freeze up with no system error message - just a whole screen freeze, usually when running somekind of 3d related game.

He has tried reinstalling the system (full reformat of drive and a move from Win98se to WinXP), and he has tried replacing the video card with an alternative just to see if it was at fault but neither helped.

Can anyone suggest some avenues he could look down. It sounds to me like an overheating matter but more than that I don't know.

Cheers

Dan

  sil_ver 22:38 31 Aug 03

Firstly, is the PSU up to the loads you are putting on it? try running games at lower resolution and 16bit colour and shut down any other progs before running games. Try leaving the side off the tower (if that is what you have) and if it is in a restricted environment move it out into the open. Sometimes you may need to remove the heatsink on the CPU and clean the die and reapply some heatsink compound. A 550Mhz processor is a bit low for todays games.

  Steve N 22:46 31 Aug 03

Good call. The CPU maybe overheating, but for todays games 550Mhz is nowhere near enough.

  Dan 22:48 31 Aug 03

I'm pretty sure he's running older games - Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Dungeon Siege etc which though relatively recent and pretty are not so cutting edge as to be beyond a 550 I'd have thought.

I would have thought also that the system psu should be able to support the hardware as the only peice of the interior changed from the original manufacture build is the video card which was upped from a Geforce 256 to the current Geforce 2 ti. Oh and the memory which went up from 128 to 256 or possibly 512 - I can't remember.

I had wondered about psu, overheating, m/b and memory...but I've no idea for sure if these could be the culprits with this partcular symptoms.

  Steve Mat 22:57 31 Aug 03

Had a similar problem, turned out to be the extra memory I bought. Although of the same kind, was not 100% compatable and when ever I had a number of windows open or played high detailed games - it froze.

Try taking the extra memory out or, if it is of a higher capacity, take the old memory out

  Ironman556 23:06 31 Aug 03

What power rating is the PSU? Graphics cards can be power hungry, but I think you should be ok on a GF2 Ti. If leaving the side off works then try a fan to extract some air and pull some cool through.

  Dan 23:23 31 Aug 03

Cheers for the feedback folks.

The PSU was a 300 or 350 - will enquire which tomorrow.

  Dan 17:40 02 Sep 03

that the PSU is a lowly 250w unit which according to the M/b manual is the minimum for the Asus K7M although a 300w was recommended for it.

This may well be the source of the evil and he's going to borrow and try out an alternative psu tonight.

  Dan 13:30 04 Sep 03

Ok he's tried changing the psu to a 330 unit and it went in fine and the system worked, but it didn't solve the crashes.

Tonight he's going to try changing the memory (I would add that each of these tries are with borrowed kit and if it doesn't work he just changes it all back again).

Anyhow tonight he's going to swap out the Simms which are either PC100 or PC133 in the form of 2x128mb chips and swap them for 2x512mb chips and see if that helps.

Does anyone have any other ideas?

Cheers

Dan

  Barrie_G 14:21 04 Sep 03

Look in the services to see what, if anything is reported there.

To get to services go Start / Run / eventvwr.msc

  Barrie_G 14:26 04 Sep 03

sorry that should read event viewer not services though the run part is correct.

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