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Pc problems (crashes when playing games)

kit kat

OSNN One Post Wonder
Hi all newbie here!!

Ok i am at my wits end here & i need help!

Pc runs fine when on windows/downloading/surfing the web even if i leave running for days!!! BUT when i play a game i.e Doom 3 it will crash/freeze after 10 mins or so of playing!! seems to happen quicker when playing doom 3 though even though it has crahes/freezed with delta force black hawk down!

now this is only started happing in the past couple of weeks & i have run out of ideas!!

1st time it happened i renstalled new video/graphics drivers no change
then i borrowed another graphics card Gforce ti 300 still crashed/freezed
then i tried another power supply Mercury 300w (same as the one that was in it) thinking it was this at fault as it was maybe needing more juice just to run games & the power supply might have been on it's way out! BUT still crashed/freezes!

ok my last option was to reformat Drive C: (op drive)
reinstalled Xp & service pk1 & thought i may as well try service pk 2 reinstalled all my drivers video/mouse/sound ect then installed doom 3 tried game crashed/freezed again!!

now it's not just doom but other games also & when it crashes i cant get back to desk top or do anything!!! before this was happing the pc was playing games fine!


Windows Xp pro service pk 2
Amd 19+
Jetway V33Da
768MB Pc 2700 333mhz
60gb Maxtor 8mb cache 7200rpm
200gb Western digital 8mbcache 7200rpm
GeForce 4TI 4400 128mb
Detonator 61.77
Soundblaster Audigy2

i know this is a shot in the dark as there is that much that can go wrong with these but i am thinking it could be hard ware related now!! system is 2 years old & was built by my older bro & he cant understand why!!

could it be heat related due to it only happing in games?
Checked pc temp in bios

current system temp 29*c/84*F
current cpu temp 55*c/131*f
current cpu fan speed 5818rpm

& the pc has been running for the last 6hrs!
p.s nothing over clocked everything standard!

Electronic Punk

Staff member
Political User
My first guess would have been overheating, but it all looks about ok.
Perhaps grab those new nvidia drivers from the frontpage.


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
You didn't post your mobo or mention BIOS... is it up to date? Just a little thing, not likely cause, but I am going on a hunch from the "vintage" of your spec. (Have to say I am wondering how well Doom 3 plays on that rig?!)

I suppose there is no point asking if you can consider any form of upgrading, cash-wise? There are a lot of bargain systems you could build to at LEAST double performance from what you have there presently, and it may well solve your crashes.

Finall question -do you get any diagnostics on the crash or (I assume) you are simply locked out and nothing is shown on the admin tools system log event viewer?


Blame me for the RAZR's
ok i will give this a shot. this is only happening in games?

how many games is this happening in?
my advice is for the first thing you do is open your pc and buy a can of compressed air and clean everything out. this includes
@trays hardives are in dust gets under them
@heat sink to cpu if you feel comfortable some new thermal grease would problay help as well (artic silver)
@ all fans and intake spots.
@graphics card. and any other dusty spot.

ok next thing to do is make sure you have the latest drivers for your
@vid card

instead of using doom 3 to test your theory (doom 3 would crawl on this rig anyways i think) try using a video benchmark like

Code creatures---> http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=1256

3dmark (id recomend 2001 SE) ---> http://www.futuremark.com/download/

see if it crashes with these.

ok to test memory use (memtest 86--> www.memtest86.com/ ) this is a very good Diagnostic tool for any memory related things. this is more of being on the safe side since i doubt this is your problem.

defrag your hardrive and if you are good at it and feel comfortabel id even recommend putting a clean install of Xp on with sp1-sp2.

any others things you guys reccomend> ?


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
take all latest Doom 3 patches?! Obvious I know, but you never know....

All the other things Sray says - but since you swapped out stuff like PSUs I was assumign most of those were covered - although I did wonder about memory...

Still like to hear if there is any diagnostic thing to work with...

American Zombie

Staff member
Political User
May want to test the memory with memtest as games use addresses in memory that just being in Windows websurfing, checking mail, etc. will not.

Games also heat things up (CPU,GPU) so spraying out with air like sraycoz said may solve this.

Does anything about the crash show up in event viewer?

kit kat

OSNN One Post Wonder

You didn't post your mobo or mention BIOS

Windows Xp pro service pk 2
Amd 19+
Jetway V333Da
768MB Pc 2700 333mhz
60gb Maxtor 8mb cache 7200rpm
200gb Western digital 8mbcache 7200rpm
GeForce 4TI 4400 128mb
Detonator 61.77
Soundblaster Audigy2
& the Bios is standard what ever that at!! (never changed b4 & has been ok with games so didnt see any reson to mess about with that!)

from the "vintage" of your spec.
for a 2 year old system i still feel it is more then enough to play games the now & yes Doom 3 looks awsome on it (i bet it wouldnt be that much diffrent from your system!)

how many games is this happening in?
ALL the games i have been playing the now i.e Doom 3/bhd/world champ snooker

i have stripped everything back out & cleaned all & opened up my graphics card & cleaned all dust/dirt from fan (was amazed of the amount) also noticed that both H/D were VERY warm to touch due to them almost sitting on top of each other (there is no room in the case)

i am sure it is heat related as for the past 6-7 months my rig has been on almost 24/7!!!!!!!! i have posted the same message in AMD forum & they seem to think 55*c is a bit high for idle

is it poss that the thermal grease on the cpu has burned/dryed up?

p.s also tried virus scans but nothing!

American Zombie

Staff member
Political User
55 degrees at idle is a bit high as when you load it up playing games the temps may be going too high. Thermal compound does sometimes dry up and if it has it would cause heat problems.
You may want to try taking off heatsink and blowing out the fins real good with air then get some Artic Silver 5 for when you put it back on.
Here are some good instructions about cleaning cpu/heatsink and applying compound in case you do not know how.

kit kat

OSNN One Post Wonder
Well i think i am getting somewere now :)

if i remove my sound card & play the game everything is fine BUT i have no sound of course!!!

found this fourm & i am not the only one having probs with doom 3


"I had the same problem - your playing Doom3 perfectly fine then suddenly the game freezes and after that the speakers repeat part of the last sound over and over. Occasionally the game and sound would return to normal after awhile but the screen would still be frozen on the last image and start flickering, or the game would return to normal except that all the light is gone except for the coronas/smoke/light panels. Sometimes I was able to Ctrl+Alt+Del my way out of Doom3 but most of the time I had to reset my machine.

This problem also effected all of the newer DirectX 9 games I had
installed - Max Payne 2/Farcry Demo/UT2004 Demo.

I tried almost everything to fix it - updated drivers, changed BIOS settings, disabled hardware/applications and changed a lot of other settings but nothing helped."

now he fixed with a reinstall of xp but that has not worked for me!

tried the latest sound drivers for my card & still no joy!!!!
any other ideas?
I don't want to rain on your parade here, but an AMD 1900+, 300w PW and a GeForce 4TI 4400 don't exactly add up to a very capable rig for running Doom3.

You mentioned you pulled the sound card out and all was well. That suggests to me two things, 1. your PW is indeed insuffienct, and 2. your are suffering some sort of heat issures.

You really need to up your PW to at the very leat 400 or higher. Make sure your case fans are blowing properly, air movement should be from front to back. Also consider buying some HDD fans, and RAM heat sinks.

Also since you have a AMD CPU and SP2 you may want to consider turning off DEP(Data Execution Prevention), you can go here and read about it: http://www.windows-help.net/WindowsXP/howto-25.html

Oh yeah one more thing, dunno about your other games, but Doom3 has a built-in feature that allows Doom3 to configure itself to your systems specs and optimize its settings accordingly.

Hope this helps :)


kit kat

OSNN One Post Wonder

borrowed my brother psu 550w & i played doom 3 for 20+mins ok & game was fine no crashes!! (only game i have installed)

with the 550w psu the cpu temp has dropped as well from 55*c to 46*c

turned pc back on after being off for a few hours & was browsing the web ect for 2-3hrs chuffed to bits thinking my pc was fixed!

went for the BIG test & played doom thinking it would be ok & was getting back into the game when after 15-20mins of playing it crashed again:eek:

now i am at a total loss here!
i have ran many pc health checks on
mother board
cash memory

& tested difrent graphics card & psu & soundcard!!

i am not 100% sure it could be a heat issue as i have a thermaltake m.i.t
fan & my brother says thats one of the best fans you can get!
(same as one in pic)

i am at a total loss here anyone know what else to try?

only option i have left to try is use my graphics card & h/d on my brother system (he has the same m/b & cpu as me) & boot his rig up from my h/d & see if it runs ok on his!

i feel like giving up with this & buying a Xbox to play games!!!:mad:


There is no answer!
Political User
I think two things are going on here, your PSU 300w is too small to run a pc where games and Gaming graphics cards are involved, i'm suprised it didn't crash before now, i'd suggest buying a new psu at least 450w, also the thermal paste between your heatsink and cpu is probably burnt out they have a life of 1-3 yrs i'm told by a reliable source here. You can see this as your idle of 55c is way way too high, for your processor it should be about 42c at idle, so either new thermal paste of a new fan may be in order either options is very cheap so try it out.

kit kat

OSNN One Post Wonder
Cheers lancer

I will try the thermal paste next as i have already tried a difrent psu 550w & doom 3 still crashed!!!! all though it had dropped my cpu temp from 55*c to 46*c!!

on another note is there any probs/issue with DirectX 9.0c with amd processors?
i ask as i installed an old game of mine grand prix 4 & it uses DirectX 8.1 & i played this game over 2hrs with out any probs?

i had MBM5 dashboard running in the back ground & when i finshed playing the game i checked the cpu temp & it was 49*c

What you are saying about the thermal paste could be the problem as i have been leaving my rig on for 24/7 the past few months!!!

is it possible that the thermal paste has dryed/burn out?

kit kat

OSNN One Post Wonder
ok i have tried new thermal paste & bought new case fan (cold air) & new psu 650w BUT running with my Audigy card it will still crash! (have tried another audigy/sound blaster cards & still the same prob!)

i gave my rig to my mate & he also came to the same conclusion that its a conflict with DirectX 9.0c & my audigy sound card!!

i am running the mother board sound chip & everything is fine! i have tried searching directx/microsoft & creative for help but have found nothing!

think i will have to run like this untill there is a new DirectX released as the sound from the on board is very poor i.e bass & treble!

would like to thank everyone for there help & replys & hope my saga will help someone who has a prob like mine!

American Zombie

Staff member
Political User
Two other things you can try for Creative cards...

In the bios if you have PCI Delayed Transaction option and it is enabled then disable it.

Most PC's have the PCI Latency Timer set to 32 by default but Creative cards sometimes work better with a latency of 64.


The Voices Talk to Me
This really sounds to me like your GPU is overheating. I had these same problems when I was overclocking my graphics card. Now I know your not OC'in yours but the results are the same. 10-1 your graphics card is overheating causing a system crash.
You might want to try playing the game till it crashed then shut down the comp and quicky feel your graphics card. Is it too hot to touch? If so you have found another culprit. This may not be the only problem but it is deffinatly in the top 3.


Gojyone kawaiiiiiiii!
Well. Contrary to what others are saying here, I agree with you, if the only thing that works is removing your sound card, then its got to be that. Does your brother have the same sound card? put it in his and see if he gets this problem. Perhaps buy another sound card... try removing creative labs drivers (they always have problems, sigh) can you use native sound drivers?

kit kat

OSNN One Post Wonder
My 2 borthers almost have the same rig as i BUT they dont play as much games as me on mine!

i swaped s/c with my bro hes running mine the now as i have removed his from mine & its running ok as i say this hick up only came up half way through doom 3 then started to happen with every NEW game (DirectX 9)

but seems to be ok now that i am using the m/b sound chip!

native sound drivers? i havent tried them yet & to tell you the truth i dont notice any diffrence in the sound from the m/b


Gojyone kawaiiiiiiii!
kit kat said:
My 2 borthers almost have the same rig as i BUT they dont play as much games as me on mine!

i swaped s/c with my bro hes running mine the now as i have removed his from mine & its running ok as i say this hick up only came up half way through doom 3 then started to happen with every NEW game (DirectX 9)

but seems to be ok now that i am using the m/b sound chip!

native sound drivers? i havent tried them yet & to tell you the truth i dont notice any diffrence in the sound from the m/b
Good deal, if you're using your onboard sound chip, then you're probably using native drivers (these are the ones that come default with xp or your mobo as opposed to installed) not sure what its specs are but some onboard sound chips can be pretty good.

I'll bet you a million it has to do with audigy's drivers. I highly doubt they are WHQL...plus they typically bundle so much bloatware it makes me nauseaus :mad:

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