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Old 11-17-2008, 03:10 PM   #1
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Default A Head Scratcher

Hey I hope you guys can help me out here. This is my first post.

So here's the problem. Lately whenever I start up a game, including Team Fortress 2, a demo of Left 4 Dead, a pirated copy of COD4 and Spore, all the title screens and menus load up fine, but once I get to the actual game part, where 3d graphics are rendered, my computer loops the last stuttering fraction of a second worth of sound for about 10 seconds and simply goes blank. It doesn't shut off, it doesn't restart, there are no error messages or blue screens, my monitor just displays the "no signal input" and goes to sleep mode. My keyboard basically has no response; num lock and caps lock no longer cause the indicator lights to toggle, and my mouse no longer responds. As I said, it doesn't actually shut off, it will just stick in this state until I hold down the power button. Also, this so far has only happened with games that display 3d graphics. For a control I've tried worms world party and it plays fine. =P I want to download some kind of non-game program that requires rendering of 3d stuff like google earth and see what happens.

So I start it back up and it happens again. There's nothing obviously indicative of a software crash in the event logs. I can leave it on and do other tasks for hours with no problems, so I'd imagine its not overheating or anything but I plan on giving it a good dusting as a part of my troubleshooting. I just updated my graphics driver. I just ran a full virus scan with avg and spybot. I'm pretty sure I have all my important updates and drivers installed. I'm actually at the university right now but when I get home I'll post my specific tech setup. Also, I haven't tried rolling it back to a restore point but I figure I'll give that a try next.

Any suggestions? If I left something out that may be relevant let me know and I'll post it. Thanks!

Edit: Sorry, I just realized this totally violates the guidelines for new posts. I'll add all my tech specs asap.

Alright, here's the system summary straight from Everest:

--------[ Summary ]-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Computer:
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
OS Service Pack Service Pack 3
DirectX 4.09.00.0904 (DirectX 9.0c)
Computer Name ALEX-A49D36A3CC
User Name Alex

Motherboard:
CPU Type AMD Athlon 64, 2400 MHz (12 x 200) 4000+
Motherboard Name Unknown
Motherboard Chipset nVIDIA nForce4, AMD Hammer
System Memory 2048 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)
BIOS Type Award (09/30/05)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM2)
Communication Port Printer Port (LPT1)

Display:
Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX (256 MB)
3D Accelerator nVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX
Monitor Plug and Play Monitor [NoDB] (PU3053402492)

Multimedia:
Audio Adapter nVIDIA MCP04 - Audio Codec Interface

Storage:
IDE Controller NVIDIA nForce4 Serial ATA Controller
IDE Controller NVIDIA nForce4 Serial ATA Controller
IDE Controller Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
SCSI/RAID Controller Virtual CloneDrive
Disk Drive ST380817AS (80 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA)
Optical Drive _NEC DVD_RW ND-3540A (DVD+R9:8x, DVD-R9:4x, DVD+RW:16x/8x, DVD-RW:16x/6x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:48x/32x/48x DVD+RW/DVD-RW)
Optical Drive ELBY CLONEDRIVE SCSI CdRom Device (Virtual CD-ROM)
Optical Drive HL-DT-ST DVD-ROM GDR8163B (16x/52x DVD-ROM)
SMART Hard Disks Status OK

Partitions:
C: (NTFS) 76308 MB (38467 MB free)

~~~

I'm running the 178.24 nVidia driver. I installed the new driver after getting the crashing and it didn't fix anything. For whatever reason, Everest didn't recognize the name of my mobo. It's an EVGA. Also, my power supply is a Raidmax 450w.

I was running speedfan for a bit and it looked like my GPU ran right at about 55-60 degrees c just typing this post. I'm not sure how high it gets during gaming as I can't game right now and didn't take note of the temp when I could. =/

So I started up tf2 with the case open after dusting things off and I didn't get past the valve load screen.
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: A Head Scratcher

Yup, post up the specs for your computer. We need to know things like motherboard, memory, CPU, video card, power supply, OS, etc. That will make it much easier to help you.

Just off the top of my head, it sounds like you are using an onboard graphics chip. Most of them are unable to properly display todays high powered games.
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: A Head Scratcher

yer specs will help

also i would say dont use pirated games as a start lol

but i would check all drivers are up to date for the gpu
all lates patches from game makers site
all windows updates and patches installed
thats a few things that first come to mind without knowing much else about your problem
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: A Head Scratcher

Here's a bump / update.

I tried restoring the system to about a month ago, before the problem started and it didn't fix anything. As long as I can still check email and write papers and such I guess it's not super urgent but this kind of stuff really weighs on my psyche, I wish I could figure it out. O.o
I hope my damn video card isn't toast... I spent way too much on it a few years ago and it's still not obsolete. My girlfriend's uncle works at intel and can get me processors at or under cost, so I was planning on a system upgrade soon but yuck.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: A Head Scratcher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drybones View Post
I hope my damn video card isn't toast....
Unfortunately that is the most likely scenario, as the problem only seems to occur with graphics intense programmes.

You could d/load Cinebench or 3DMark05 and run them but from the sounds of it you'll get the same result.

Can you try a different card or your card in a different pc?

What brand of 7800? some have a life time warranty though "life time" would be debatable now as most have reached "end of life", hell even some 88xx series cards have reached EOL
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: A Head Scratcher

Well it's an nVidia 7800 GTX... is that what you mean by brand? Maybe I should shoot their support staff an email and see if there's some kind of warranty. It would be nice if they could fix it or replace it with a comparable model.
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: A Head Scratcher

Your probably out of luck with the warranty. That card is around 2 years old.

You will most likly have to upgrade your video card, but it could be other problems.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: A Head Scratcher

Is there some kind of program that would record exactly how and why my computer crashes each time it does? Maybe something that would give me a clue as to exactly which part or program caused it to do so. Like the black box on an airplane.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: A Head Scratcher

Look in your error logs, right click My Computer > Manage > Event Viewer, then either Application for a software error or System for a hardware error.
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