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Computer crashes randomly with no apparent reason


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#1
wjclements

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So this is how it started. I recently got Call of Duty 4 and 2 Gigs of RAM (2 1-gig sticks).

Previously, I had a stick of 512 megs and a stick of 128. Also, previously, I could run games like Medieval 2 Total War, F.E.A.R., and counter-strike source no problem.

Now I have been having some serious issues. Call of Duty started crashing. Sometimes I could play only a few minutes (the single player mode) and sometimes I could play about twenty. But always it would crash. Sometimes it would crash to windows, sometimes my PC would reboot. Only once or twice did I get the BSOD.

So I thought it was a CoD problem. I reinstalled to no avail. Then I tried tweaking my graphics card. I updated my gpu drivers to no avail. I reinstalled the hardware with the drivers it came with to no avail.

So I thought maybe it was something else. I updated my drivers for everything I could, specifically my GPU, my chipset, my BIOS, my monitor (Dell Flat Panel), and my sound card. Still no fix.

Then I tried reinstalling windows (my previous version wasn't exactly legit and had a lot of mods and such). I did a clean and full reinstall with a legit version of windows XP pro SP 2. I redownloaded and reupdated all my drivers. Nothing at all. I tried reinstalling my graphics card with its original drivers. Nothing.

Windows has also been quitting just randomly when I have different programs running such as Firefox, Steam (no games running, but I was downloading one or two), etc. Nothing too memory-consuming.

I set my Virtual Memory to a stable, custom setting (3070 MB for the initial and maximum, which is the recomennded paging file size).

Also, sometimes before my computer shuts down, I'll get an error...something about DrWatson PostMortem Debugger having to quit. And then windows will shut down.

Every time I restart after one of these random crashes, windows will load and say it has recovered from a serious error and whether or not to send an error report.

Oh, also. I thought maybe it was a heat issue so I tried adjusting the airflow in my case. I don't think that's the problem becasue my GPU, which is by far the hottest thing in my case, stays in normal ranges. And it also wouldn't explain the random crashes when I'm just sitting in Windows, browsing the internet and such.

I could just leave my computer sitting there all day, doing nothing on it, and it would be fine (I left on all night last night). It's just when I start doing stuff, multi-tasking or running games, does it give me problems.

Just what the heck is going on here? Please tell me someone out there knows!

Anyways, thanks in advance guys. I've gone to other board but no one has given me the answers I seek, I just keep running into problems.

P.S. Almost forgot something. When installing XP, it couldn't, for some reason, install some sort of .jpg file. I don't remember that name of it, only that it had a jpg extension. I figured it wasn't anything big since it was a picture file but I feel I should mention every little thing just in case.
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#2
Ztruker

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Hi wjclements, welcome to G2G.

and 2 Gigs of RAM (2 1-gig sticks).

Sounds to me like you already identified the problem :) Remove one stick of the new ram and try it. If better then that stick is defective. If the same, swap it with the one still in the computer and try it again.
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#3
wjclements

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Well I've fixed the problem.

Steam support had a great trouble-shooting page with a list of different steps to help pinpoint the problem. One of two things were causing my computer to constantly crash, maybe both: my onboard sound might have been conflicting with my sound card (turned off the onboard one) or AVG was using up too many system resources or simply conflicting my programs so I close it down when I'm running games and such. Either way, it's all fixed.

Thanks everyone for your help.
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#4
The Skeptic

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Could you write down a link to this trouble-shooting page, please?
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#5
wjclements

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Sure. https://support.stea...=7169-TIAV-5361
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#6
The Skeptic

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Thanks.
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