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View Full Version : Computer Keeps Crashing



mrmoo232
09-07-2009, 09:07 AM
First, i'd just like to say in advance, thankyou to anyone who helps me correct this problem.
I have done alot of testing so this might get long.

Heres my problem
About 8 months ago my computer started crashing randomly whilst playing videos (mainly AVI, MPEG, MKV) after a few weeks it got more frequent and was really starting to annoy me. When i say it crashes, i mean it just freezes and i have to press the reset button (no BSOD or anythin). I reinstalled windows vista and installed all my programs and latest drivers, this didnt fix the problem at all, so i disconneted all my HDDs except the windows drive, formatted the drive and installed XP on it. Again, my PC would still crash mostly when watching vids.
Because the crashes were so random it was hard for me to find where the problem was comming from but i then got some MKV videos, which always crashed after about 10 mins of watching. I installed Windows 7 RC1 and the problem was still there, so i deleted all my codecs and chose each codec carefully, after trying different codecs i found out that ffd show, vob sub and an MKV codec were causing the computer to crash, so i found replacements for them all - Xvid, Divx, haali and AC3 filter. With only these codecs installed, i can play all my videos without the frequent crashing.
However, the PC still crashes when playing games for a long time (after about 3 hours) and very rarely when im watching a video (maybe once a week). I have just re-assessed my windows experience index in win 7 and when it got to the "assessing media decoding" section, the computer crashed again.

If anyone knows what could be causing the problem i would appreciate it very much.
Id like to add that i'v tried removing RAM and memory tests and got no errors.
Also, Iv checked temperatures:
CPU - 40C idle, upto 50C load
GPU - 62C idle, 70C load
At first i thought my GPU was overheating, but it turns out its supposed to run that hot, plus the fan speeds up when it gets hot and is very loud when on full, i would have noticed if it was overheating

Below is my spec:
Intel core2 quad Q9450
Nvidia Geforce 9800GTX
2GB corsair ram 1333MHz
XFX 790i ultra motherboard
Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty champion
700W coolermaster PSU
2 x 500GB maxtor HDD sata2
2 x 400GB seagate HDD IDE
1 x 250GB maxtor HDD sata 2
optiarc DVDRW sata

pctek
09-07-2009, 09:49 AM
Mmm, codecs. I've found you need to be careful with codecs as they often contain trojans.
Why not just use a viewer that doesn't whinge about codecs?

As for the gaming, have you tried an earlier or later graphics driver? Direct X is functioning OK?
Done a malware scan - probably not relevant but you never know......

AFter all that I'd start I'd then try another graphics card and see if the gaming problem goes away.

Have you run 3DMArk? If you have a hardware problem with the card, that should crash or hang too.

mrmoo232
09-07-2009, 10:23 AM
Thanks for the speedy reply, much appreciated.
I tried VLC player, this doesnt crash mkv files after 10mins but they do crash on rare occations. I have used the same codecs on my old computer and other peoples computers too, they seem to work fine, even ffd show which crashes my pc quite frequently.
BTW I dont use VLC because it doesnt send the AC3 dolby signal to my reciever through s/pdif when playing MKV files

I am pretty sure it isnt a malware or virus problem due to the amount of times iv reinstalled windows on different hard drives to try and resolve this problem. Also, i had mcafee enterprize installed before i installed win7.

I have tried nearly every nvidia graphics driver since i bought the card about 12 months ago. Are there any tests out there for direct X? The only confirmation i have of direct X working properly is that it runs DX games for at least a few hours.

I dont have another PCI-e graphics card so i cant test that right now, i will buy a cheap one if i must.

Didnt even think about 3DMark will give that a try now.

linw
09-07-2009, 10:33 AM
After everything you have switched you have to look at what hasn't been changed. The problem sounds like hardware to me. I would seriously consider swapping the graphics card. You just have to do this to eliminate the device that is handling the stuff that is going wrong.

You can't borrow another card from a mate can you?

Good luck - these problems are so frustrating and time consuming.

mrmoo232
09-07-2009, 11:59 AM
I thought it was a hardware problem too but when the codecs stopped it from crashing as much, it made me think otherwise.
Most of my mates arnt interested in computers, they just use their PCs for accessing the net, they wouldnt want me opening their computers incase somethin goes wrong.

I did the 3DMark06 benchtest, the computer didnt crash once. I will try 3DMark vantage tomorrow.

kennie
09-07-2009, 12:24 PM
how about trying the games without the fancy soundcard?

Blam
09-07-2009, 02:56 PM
How about we pin point the problem first.

Open run and type in eventvwr then hit enter.

Enter the System section then look for Critical or Warning events that have happend when it crashes.

Previously I had to fix a customers machien where everytime it booted up explorer just keeped not responding and restarting in a loop. After looking in the event log, it traced to a pesty codec in the K-Lite codec pack named mpegsplitter.ax. Renaming it with a .old extension fixed it.

Cheers
Blam

linw
09-07-2009, 04:47 PM
Excellent idea, blam! Should be written along the top of my monitor!!

mrmoo232
10-07-2009, 08:06 AM
Ok, in event viewer, i went to administrative events where i found a critical error, the souce is kernal-power and it occured at 19:16:42 yesterday (when my computer crashed doing the windows experience index test). I then went to "windows logs" and opened the "system" page, i scrolled down to 19:16:42 where i found the critical error and 4 information events.

The critical error says this:
"The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly"

The 4 info events say this:
"Processor 0 in group 0 exposes the following:

1 idle state(s)
0 performance state(s)
8 throttle state(s)"

"Processor 1 in group 0 exposes the following:

1 idle state(s)
0 performance state(s)
0 throttle state(s)"

"Processor 2 in group 0 exposes the following:

1 idle state(s)
0 performance state(s)
0 throttle state(s)"

"Processor 3 in group 0 exposes the following:

1 idle state(s)
0 performance state(s)
0 throttle state(s)"

To me, this means that once the computer crashed, each processing core (4 cores) was set to idle and core 0 was set to throttle state 8 (not sure what that means).

I have done a CPU stress test for 10 mins, the CPU went no higher than 60C and the computer didnt crash (CPU ran at 100% all the time). I have done 3DMark06 without crashing and i have completed the following suites in PC Mark vantage - TV and movie, Gaming, Music and memories. I will do a full Vantage benchmark when i go to sleep tonight.

I will remove the soundcard and use onboard sound and will report back tomorrow or during the weekend depending on if it crashes. I think there is a good chance it could be the soundcard because, literally, a second before the computer crashes, the sound pops. When the computer has frozen, i get a continuous loop of the sounds i heard over the past couple of seconds before it crashed.

pctek
10-07-2009, 08:27 AM
I have done a CPU stress test for 10 mins, the CPU went no higher than 60C and the computer didnt crash (CPU ran at 100% all the time). I have done 3DMark06 without crashing

I think there is a good chance it could be the soundcard because, literally, a second before the computer crashes, the sound pops. When the computer has frozen, i get a continuous loop of the sounds i heard over the past couple of seconds before it crashed.

You've eliminated CPU and graphics. Its 99.9999% never CPU anyway.
Well, there you go, good chance its sound.

mrmoo232
14-07-2009, 12:24 PM
OK, it was the sound causing the crashes. I started playing a game (with X-Fi) and after about 2 hours, my PC crashed. I removed the soundcard and plugged my speakers into my motherboards s/pdif usin a coax cable, so far i havnt had any crashes and iv been playing for about another 2 hours. Usually once its crashed it will almost certainly crash again within 10 mins if i try to play a game or video, but since i removed the soundcard it hasnt crashed at all.

I read somewhere that powerful graphics cards can create inteference on X-Fi soundcards causing a whole load of problems, this is why the titanium X-Fi has a shield around it. Is there anything i can do to try and stop this interference?
I will get in contact with creative and try to get a new card out of them but im not sure how long my warrenty lasts.

I will do some more testing tomorrow just to make sure.
Thanks to everyone who helped with this problem, much appreciated.

mrmoo232
14-07-2009, 12:39 PM
Srry double post... pls delete

SolMiester
14-07-2009, 01:23 PM
Could you try another PCI slot for the sound card, did you have the onboard sound disabled when you had the sound card in before?