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When playing some games my computer will randomly have an error that I cannot fix without turning it off and back on again. The screen changes to one solid color, which varies (off the top of my head I can remember seeing solid green, magenta, etc..) and the sound blares a single tone. The sound sometimes briefly restores and I can still hear the game sounds and even hear and still be heard by people in my Mumble channel, but the screen doesn't right itself so I'm still blind.

What's more is this happens in some games but not in others. While the game is actually running, not while I'm still in the menu. However, it does happen if I'm afk or idle but the game world is still rendering.

Games where the error occurs:

  • League of Legends
  • World of Warcraft
  • Trine
  • The Sims 2
  • Dungeon Defenders

Safe games: games where it has never occurred:

  • Tribes: Ascend
  • Star Wars: the Old Republic
  • Battlefield 3

So relatively older games cause the problem while newer games do not?

I cannot predict when it will happen, it just seems random. However, if it happens and I try playing the same game further after restart it does appear to occur more frequently after the first time. But if I switch to a safe game it doesn't continue happening.

Both of my RAM sticks appear fine, flipped position or either one on their own and games still run, computer still boots.

I would think over-heating, but then why not all games? ALso, sometimes it happens immediately after I start playing, within seconds of the 3D world booting up.

I'm looking to upgrade very soon so I want to figure out what component or software is fubar and replace/repair it. Any suggestions or recommendations of tools would be helpful.

Below is some system information. Dxdiag does not detect any problems.

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.120305-1505)
  • System Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
  • System Model: EP45-UD3R
  • BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
  • Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8500 @ 3.16GHz (2 CPUs), ~3.2GHz
  • Memory: 4096MB RAM
  • DirectX Version: DirectX 11
  • DxDiag Version: 6.01.7601.17514 64bit Unicode
  • Graphics card name: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
  • Driver Version: 8.17.12.9610 (error has occurred w/several driver versions)
  • Sound: I do not have a sound card, been using motherboard's built in sound)
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1  
Could be a problem with your video card or your monitor, what monitor do you have? What monitor refresh rate is set while playing? –  Dejan Apr 15 '12 at 23:29
    
I have two monitors running. One is an OLD Dell (got it in 2001) 1503FP operating at 1024 x 768. The other is a Samsung P2770FH ToC 27" running at 1920 x 1080. Both are refreshing at 60 Hz. Both turn a single color when the error occurs... which is usually not the same color for both. –  Emlena.PhD Apr 17 '12 at 5:51
    
Could be a problem with your VGA or DVI monitor cable? –  Dejan Apr 17 '12 at 14:30
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