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Random Gaming Crashes


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#1 Skeksis

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 11:08 AM

Gentlemen

 

A tech savvy buddy of mine built me this computer about a year ago or so, and every so often I get this REALLY annoying problem.

 

I'll be playing a game (both high end, and low end (both offline and online) ), and in the span of 30 - 45 mins, my computer will lock up completely. I am using a flatscreen television as my monitor through an HDMI cable. When the PC crashes, my TV will go blue, and give me a 'Lost or Weak Signal' message. My speakers then emit a constant buzzing sound akin to a small chainsaw, and I will be forced to manually reboot the system.

 

There are some games, that this has never happened on; Most recently, Payday 2 crashed like this on a menu screen after 3 hours of gaming (not the biggest fan of the fact that game sports no Autosave :S )

 

This is my first PC Help forum, so I'm not exactly sure what Info you gentlemen need, but am fully willing to share all information.

 

I can tell you I'm using:

 

WIndows 7 64

AMD Radeon 7800 HD

AMD FX 8150 Eight Core Proccessor

16 GB of Ram

I'm POSITIVE you'll need more information, but right now, I'm not too sure how to GET at it. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

 



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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:38 PM

This sounds like a video card problem - either drivers or over-heating. The easier one to deal with is drivers !  You can get drivers for your card from here :

 

http://www.amd.com/uk/products/desktop/graphics/7000/7850/Pages/radeon-7850.aspx

 

Toward the top right corner of the page there is a button 'Download drivers' - white text on a gray background - click on this and select 'Autodetect'. This will sense your existing drivers and tell you if there is an update available. If there, is you can go ahead and download and install the update.

 

Playing games puts a serious load on graphics cards, which means they generate a lot of heat. It is amazing how dust and muck builds up inside a computer !  You need to take the side panel off and have a look inside. Places to concentrate on are the cooling fans and heatsinks. The reccomended tools are a soft brush and a can of compressed air, just make sure the fans aren't allowed to spin when you hit them with compressed air, this can generate harmful voltages. You may have to remove the video card to get at its fan and heatsinks. When you have finished cleaning, a gentle application of a vacuum cleaner to gather up the dust and dirt you may have dislodged.

 

Other things to look out for are cables which are blocking the airflow around the heatsinks, re-route them; and you may have another internal card mounted too close to the video card, this will also obstruct the airflow. Whether or not you can do anything about this depends on having a free slot to move it to.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 Skeksis

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 09:32 PM

Big ol' update

so, during the past 3-4 weeks I've been systematically going through the major compnants of my rig to try and isolate the problem. I also discovered that my video card was part of a re-call about a year back, and was able to get it swapped for no cost...
 

Reformated/ Fresh Install - same problem
Updated all my drivers - same problem
Tried a different power supply - same problem
Got my video card RMA'd from the distributor - same problem

could the motherboard itself be the culprit? or a faulty HDMI cable? i'm getting to my wits end.

 

The weird part is, it's not ALL graphically intense games that will trigger the shutdown. I got through an entire playthrough of the new Bioshock on max settings with ZERO issues.

the following is a small rundown of whats been happening on some particular Games.

Bioshock Infinite - Just fine / max settings
Max Payne 3 - Just fine / max settings

Arkham City - Just Fine / max settings
CS:GO - Shutdown after 10 mins
PAYDAY 2 - Shutdown after 20-40 mins
BF3 - Wont shutdown, but once a minute, my framerate will decrease to that of a slideshow for about 5 seconds
ARMA3 - Same as Battlefield

 

Here's an interesting timbit though - My audio device also feeds through my videocard via HDMI - with the previouse card, when I'd watch/play anything FLASH based (Binding of Issac, Netflix, Youtube) I'd lose audio for less then a second once every (average) 2-3 mins, like a small audio hiccup. This new card seems to have fixed that, but not the shut down issue.


Edited by Skeksis, 20 September 2013 - 09:49 PM.


#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 04:09 PM

I'm sorry, but I am running out of ideas on this one. It is odd that you should have these shutdowns occurring with some of your less demanding games but not with some of the more demanding ones. This, and the fact that you say you tried a different PSU suggest that it is not a PSU related problem since high demands on the graphics card equate to high demands on the PSU.

 

However, you say it freezes rather than crashes. It might be worth your while to run chkdsk /r on your main drive. 'Start / App programs / Accessories / Command prompt'. Right click on 'Command prompt' and select 'Run as administrator'. This brings up a small black screen with white text on it. type 'chkdsk /r' (no commas, and it is not case sensitive) and press 'Enter'. This should bring up a message saying it can't run because the disk is in use, but would you like it to run at next start-up ? Y or N. Type 'Y' and press 'Enter', then re-boot.

 

At this point you might as well go out for a drink as it can take between 45 minutes and an hour to run, depending on the size of your hard drive. When it is finished, it will re-boot your computer as though nothing has happened but there will be a log file somewhere giving you the results.

 

If this doesn't sort your problem, I just hope someone else comes up with more ideas !

 

Chris Cosgrove



#5 Skeksis

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 10:58 AM

Thanks gents, but i think i finally got this licked.

Get this... it was the RAM all along.

 

I spent an afternoon with Memtest, testing each stick in each slot - 2 of my sticks wouldnt even hit the 2min mark before shutting down my computer. Also noticed my Processor and heat sink were getting real hot.

SO, took off the heat sink - cleaned it - reapplied compound - reinstalled - and put in my two GOOD sticked of Ram
This is currently day 3 of testing with apps and games that use to shut down my rig... nno shutdowns as of yet.

Thanks for the help fellas



#6 wing987

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:56 PM

Well, if that didnt actually resolve the problem, or to HELP prevent it from happening again I have one small fix that is off the wall and most people dont think about.  Especially useful for towers.

 

Where the tower sits is normally on a carpet, or a plastic tray. As we all know these build up static electricity. A simple fix is liquid fabric softener sprayed on the carpet or plastic (and in the case of plastic wiped down).  Reapply every month or so.  In areas with high static it prevents the charges from frying your equipment, especially your RAM. Had this issue a while back and this was the fix provided by an old school computer guy I worked with (note, he was NOT IT, just as I said, old school computer guy).  Worked like a charm, no longer buying new RAM avery 3 months.

 

edit: spelling correction


Edited by wing987, 23 September 2013 - 12:57 PM.

-- Windows 7 Ultimate on custom built system, Windows 10 on under powered laptop. Sophos UTM 9, Ubuntu Server and Windows Server 2008 R2. HyperV Virtualization --

 

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