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Recently I'm having some problems with my PC. I I'm running applications that depends on 3D graphics card it freezes after some time or throws a blue screen (mostly it just freezes). It's hard to tell when this problems happens but it usually starts 10-30 minutes after starting the game.

It's not the matter of application because I have experienced that in almost every 3D application. I tried on this computer (and that was quite a few). I also checked if the processor it's not overheating but the temperature was normal (around 60 degrees Celsius), I don't have a thermal sensor on graphics card but touching it's radiators didn't make my hard burn as well.

I suspect that it can be the problem with graphics card but I don't want to spend 200 euros on new graphics just to make sure previous one was ok.

Does anyone have any thoughts how I could find what the problems is? How to check if specific parts of my system are working correctly and find the faulty one. Or maybe it's a software problem that I could solve somehow.

I might add that I had similar problems with Windows XP 32 bit that I was running before. I just thought it's a problem with one-year-old Windows with lots of unnecessary garbage on drive C. Now I'm running clean Windows 7 and am expieriencing the same issue. Also it never happend when browsing the internet or reading emails. It seems to be triggered by some 3d-graphics dependent thing.

As for my setup:

  • Core 2 Duo E8400 (3GHz)
  • ASUS P5QL-E, P43
  • 6GB RAM (2x2GB + 1x1GB, all same-series Kingston HyperX 1033MHz DDR2 modules)
  • no-name (or I don't remember the name) GeForce 9800 GT 512 MB
  • Windows 7 64-bit (system operates on RAID0 matrix)
  • latest drivers for all the software installed (I update graphics drivers frequently)

All parts of the computer still are on a warranty but I got them from several places so sending it to a service and having them to deal with it is not an option I'm afraid.

Update

This is what the BlueScreenView gives about crashes.

==================================================
Dump File         : 101209-21356-01.dmp
Crash Time        : 2009-10-12 14:42:17
Bug Check String  : SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION
Bug Check Code    : 0x0000003b
Parameter 1       : 00000000`c0000005
Parameter 2       : fffff800`02add105
Parameter 3       : fffff880`0b634cc0
Parameter 4       : 00000000`00000000
Caused By Driver  : ntoskrnl.exe
Caused By Address : ntoskrnl.exe+71f00
File Description  : NT Kernel & System
Product Name      : Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
Company           : Microsoft Corporation
File Version      : 6.1.7600.16385 (win7_rtm.090713-1255)
Processor         : x64
==================================================
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What driver are you currently running. Sometimes the newest is not the best... –  Aaaaaaaaaha ERLEBNIS Oct 13 '09 at 13:53
    
I updated it yesterday with the latest available from nvidia site. I can't check the exact version now, because I'm at work. I can check them in the evening. –  RaYell Oct 13 '09 at 14:05

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

One of the things many people think of as last resort is the power supply.

Your power supply has an output of say 550Watt, but thats only to handle peaks. At an average the output is usually a lot lower.

Having said this, my first guess would still be Graphics Card and second the power supply. I thought NVidia graphic cards show their temperature in Extended Graphics Settings (although I'm not sure they all do).

Usually RAM is also one of the main blue-screen trigger hardware parts. I had the behavior you described once when I bought a new module. This would be the easiest check. Try different settings (first 2x1GB, then 2x2GB, only 1x2GB).

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Good one, I was thinking power supply* when I wrote my answer but forget to write about it... was just going to add it and you beat me. +1... *it obviously may not be the power supply... but still should not be ruled out. –  William Hilsum Oct 13 '09 at 13:56
    
I have a 560W Yesico. If I remember correctly from the tests I read before I bought it this one was having very stable power lines. It also has a display showing actual power consumption and it rarely goes over 200W. I'm gonna check the graphics card temperature in the settings. As for the RAM I already tried removing some of the units (tried with only 1GB modules and with only 2GB modules), that didn't make any change. –  RaYell Oct 13 '09 at 14:02
    
Unfortunatelly I cannot find any temperature information in nVidia panel for my card. –  RaYell Oct 13 '09 at 17:02

Sounds like the graphics card is overheating. Most have a plastic cover over the heatsink/fan that you can unscrew and remove to clean out the dust that they often get bunged up with.

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Actually mine doesn't have any plastics over the fan, just the fan and radiator and I cleaned all the dust recently. Plus as I was saying. It's not very hot, I would say that processor's radiator is much hotter (I'm not using any fan on processor's cooling so I wasn't surprised with that) –  RaYell Oct 13 '09 at 13:56

Can you run Bluescreenview and tell us the details of what the crash actually says.

If it is directly related to graphics and as you said you had this on XP as well, I am going to say it could be a dodgy graphics card - could even be faulty memory on the graphics card.

It is also worth a try to do a standard memory test on your machine to rule that out, but if you are only having problems in 3d applications, I would say more likely to be graphics related.

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Sorry to contradict, but a memory test does not (completely) rule it out. Only many cases are ruled out. I had a similar behavior he described, and memtest did not show anything. New RAM fixed the issue though. It was an incompatibility between newer and older Infineon RAM pieces then - and also occured only in certain circumstances (i.e. games). –  StampedeXV Oct 13 '09 at 13:56
    
I will try that tool next time blue screen happens. But usually (like 9 out of 10 freezes) it just hangs with some still image from the game without showing the blue screen. –  RaYell Oct 13 '09 at 14:04
    
I added BlueScreenView output to my updated question. –  RaYell Oct 13 '09 at 17:10

I have ati radeon hd 3300 onboard..I've experienced the same issue for 2 days....1 bsod/day while playing prince of persia while playing with a gamepad and warcraft 3 tft. I believe there s a problem with the ati driver..or the cdd.dll windows 7 canonical driver that makes connection from the kernel with the ati driver. The main kernel executable that seemed to freeze was ntoskrnl.exe ... i also got the 03b error with the SYSTEM /SERVICE/EXCEPTION.

I ran memtest all night for 6 hours ...16 passes ..no errors. Also tried chkdsk and stressed cpu fpu hard ram with everest...

I should mention that i recently installed microsoft virtual pc and a gamepad controller. I usually have 40 degrees on cpu, 25 on hdd, 35 on mobo

Specs amd phenom 2 x2 be, mobo m4a78t-e asus, corsair ddr3 twin dual channel 2gb 1333mhz, samsung spinpoint f1 320 gb, video onboard ati hd3300, psu corsair vx 550, case monolize II, dual boto xp pro x 64 and windows 7 rc .7100, nod32 smart security 4, ati catalyst 9.1 driver

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