View Full Version : Random Crashes - a real puzzler

28-12-2006, 11:43 AM
Hi team!

Heres the problem:
My computer randomly crashes. By random, I mean without warning and seemingly unrelated to what I am doing. The first time it occurred was when I was playing the now-oldish RTS Emperor: Battle for Dune. While doing nothing in particular, the system did this:
put my CRT monitor into standby
stopped all audio
made the disk-read light on my case stay on red (usually this just flashes)
made the disk-read light on my CD/DVD drive light up (no disk inserted)
the fans were definately still running, and I got the impression that maybe the computer was still actually working somehow based on the noises.

Of course, I went for the reset button, and much to my horror it didn't work. I held down the power button for 5 seconds, and it turned off the system. I waited a few more seconds, then powered on again. Things whirred inside and continued to whir. The monitor went on and into standby over and over, with that horrible noise CRT monitors make when they do that. I turned off again with power button, and unplugged at wall. Waited for about 20 seconds, and powered on again, COMPLETELY NORMALLY! The only thing wrong was that the mouse had to be replugged in for windows to recognise it. Windows showed no sign of a incorrect turn-off.

I wrote this off to a fluke, and tried again. Same game, happened again. I gave up on it for a while, played Unreal Tournament 2004 no problem.

I also played the Battlefield 2142 demo quite a bit, as well as just general internet-ing.

Today, happened again while doing nothing in particular in America's Army. Same kind of crash, same procedure required to resurrect. The funny thing is, I had left the computer on all night downloading the game!

I started searching the net, and got motherboard monitor. Apparently, the CPU temp is 37 degrees, and the case 25, which seems fine to me.

I am suspecting the graphics card, but, can't say for sure. The thing is, I have been away for 9 months, and in that time the computer experienced other problems, and got a basically complete refit, until the problem was identified. I got this graphics card. Its the only changed component.

I can't measure my GPU temp because its disabled on the graphics card BIOS (google showed me how to enable, but want to avoid flashing bios if possible!)

My setup:
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ XP
1 GB of ram
Gigabyte GA-K8VNXP
Nvidia Geforce 6600 GT
Windows XP fully up to date
DirectX 9 fully up to date

Speedy Gonzales
28-12-2006, 06:49 PM
I would go to control panel / admin tools / event viewer..

And go thru here (under app or system) and see where it crashed (with a X or other). And see what it points to (if it gives the name of a file or driver/s).

You could have faulty hardware/drivers or spyware/malware.

Altho the latest Nvidia drivers are pretty crappy. And everytime a new version comes out they seem to get worse.

28-12-2006, 10:19 PM
Nothing happens in the event viewer to correspond to this, all clear there

Doubt spyware very much, keep a pretty tight ship

faulty hardware is my biggest worry, followed by drivers.

29-12-2006, 03:52 PM
We have tried the latest nVidia drivers with no luck the game crashed in minutes. I think the fact that we have to power off at the wall before we can then power on and restart is telling us something but not sure what, tho I believe a 'cold boot' as described ensures all the adapters are reset and everything on the motherboard is dead ???

his dad

29-12-2006, 04:34 PM
I'd be suspicious of the PSU.