i have this random freezing problem for a year now. I'm pretty sure it's related to graphics card. Though, hard to pinpoint a description or search for solution.

about ~2 times a week, my Windows Vista would froze. Meaning, the screen freeze and mouse and keyboard have no effect. The only way to get out i know of is holding down the Power key on the PC to force a shutdown. (Ctrl+Alt+Delete does not help)

When this happens, there's a random goggling sound for about 1 second.

The freezing happens usually when i'm in Second Life (which is a 3D game), but not always.

There's a very high chance of freezing when Windows just woke up from sleep, or the PC just powered on from power off. (so, everytime i restart my computer due to freezing, there's a high chance that it'll freeze again immediately, sometimes before the Windows login screen shows up. More rarely, the LCD won't even show. When this happens, i force poweroff, unplug the power and wait for 30 seconds, then power on the pc again. Always worked.)

This freezing happens ever since i bought my PC last year.

I'm pretty sure it's not a gpu temperature problem, because i've install nvidia's system monitor. Also, i don't think it is a cpu ram problem, because i used Windows Memory Diagnostic to check and it didn't report problem. I'm a unix sys admin and web app programer. I don't know much about hardware.

my graphics card is: “BFG Tech NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 512 MB”

my graphics card driver has always up-to-date from nvidia. Right now it is version 257.21 (

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, 64-bit Service Pack 2, Build 6002 DirectX 10.0 (6.0.6000.16386) AMD Phenom(tm) 9650 Quad-Core Processor my PC is: http://xahlee.org/mswin/HP_Pavilion_A6750F_spec.txt

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    Are the temperatures enough below the maximum temperatures listed in the specifications of your graphics cards? Have you checked those temperatures while you were playing Second Life for a time? Does the power supply have enough watt to power everything? – Tamara Wijsman Aug 12 '10 at 12:00
  • yeah shouldn't be a prob with temp. I checked and looked the web it's well within normal range. Often i'm in sl for 8+ hours no problem. The freeze often happens when i just wake from sleep. I think powersupply isn't a prob neither. It's 300W. – Xah Lee Aug 12 '10 at 12:32
  • have you performed the usual first step of downloading and installing latest drivers? – Jonathan Aug 12 '10 at 13:03

The minimum recommended PSU for that card is somewhere around 400W. The card can draw over 100W by itself, and when you consider the CPU, HDDs, optical drives, and other components, you can easily over tax the 300W PSU, especially considering that 300W is only the peak wattage, and probably can't sustain more than 250W for any length of time. Considering that this is a pre-built machine, I'd be especially wary of your current PSU. If you have access to a 450W or 500W PSU, test your system with that and see if your problem disappears.

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    +1 I'll second this - It was probably a good 10yrs ago now, but I once had a machine I kept upgrading, but negleted the PSU. One day it powers down unexpectedly with a loud pop and unpleasant smell - the PSU had blown a few capacitors and fried several components in the process - morale of the story is don't neglect your power supply! – DMA57361 Aug 12 '10 at 13:35
  • Also, taken from the BFG Tech website listing of system requirements (with my added emphasis) - 350W PCI Express®-compliant system power supply with a combined 12V current rating of 22A or more (Minimum system power requirement based on a PC configured with an Intel Core®2 Extreme X6800 processor). - Check your PSU's outputs, if they're not up to scratch seriously consider replacing it before it fails from overloading. – DMA57361 Aug 12 '10 at 13:36
  • Oh wow, that's a recommendation of over 250W on the main rail itself. There is no way that 300W PSU will do the trick. – MBraedley Aug 12 '10 at 13:49
  • humm... thanks a lot for this info. Very useful. Indeed i failed to check my PSU. – Xah Lee Aug 12 '10 at 13:57

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