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Entire computer freezes while gaming


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#1
Wewtness

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Hello, I've been having a problem lately with my laptop. Sometimes while playing games my computer will simply start to hang, I won't be able to alt-tab out if it's running full-screen and if it isn't then whenever I try to open another window (firefox, windows live, etc) that window will freeze, any attempts to use my start menu will make my start menu freeze, and ctrl-alt-delete simply won't work.

What's even odder is that it only seems to be happening with specific programs: At first, I couldn't launch Team Fortress 2 without a freeze. After uninstalling and reinstalling both Steam and TF2, it worked fine, but then I started getting the same problem with Oblivion.

The only way to remedy the freeze is to manually reboot my laptop, and when I do the BIOS will run CHKDSK, and find no bad sectors.

In addition, once while playing Oblivion instead of a freeze I got a blue screen, followed again by a prompt during bootup to run CHKDSK.

Specs:
Core 2 Duo 2.26 ghz
GeForce 9800M GS
4GB of RAM
Windows Vista SP1
manufactured by MSI
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#2
Broni

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Any reason, why SP2 is not installed?

Download, and install SpeedFan: http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php
Post your computer temperatures:

Posted Image

Post two sets of numbers: while computer idle and while playing a game.
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#3
Wewtness

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There's no particular reason for why SP2 isn't installed, no. When these problems started cropping up I reformatted to see if it would help but it didn't, and since then I haven't upgraded to SP2.

Idle temps:
GPU: 50C
Core0: 48C
Core1: 48C

Gaming temps:
GPU: 66C
Core0: 64C
Core1: 64C
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#4
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Temperatures look fine.

When these problems started cropping up I reformatted to see if it would help but it didn't

You may have some hardware problem then...

***** Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287 (or http://www.bleepingc...opic28744.html)
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), and make the CD bootable.

NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, unfortunately, you're out of luck, because Toshiba doesn't provide any diagnostic tool.


***** A. If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-....iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-....iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-....iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.
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#5
Wewtness

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I'm gonna get to work on running hard drive diagnostics now.

Thing is, since this is a laptop, I don't think I'm able to remove one stick of memory at a time, so I'll have to run memtest overnight and report back on that front tomorrow.
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#6
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since this is a laptop, I don't think I'm able to remove one stick of memory at a time

It's surely possible, providing you have more than one RAM stick, but you can start with hard drive test and memtest.
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#7
Wewtness

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For real? I thought I couldn't. That's a load off my mind though, at least if I have faulty RAM I can replace it then. Thought I was going to have to junk this thing or pay out the ear for some crazy kind of proprietary repair.
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#8
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On the back of your laptop, you should have RAM bay.
You just remove the cover to get an access to RAM.
The best way, is to check your laptop manual on-line to make sure how to access RAM's bay.
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#9
Wewtness

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During the hard drive scan my computer has frozen twice on the same sector, the same freezes that have been happening while gaming. I'm unable to complete the scan.

I find it odd that this would happen when Windows' CHKDSK utility doesn't freeze or report a bad sector when scanning either of my partitions though. I'm not suggesting anything, just mentioning it incase it factors into your diagnosis.

Thank you for all the help by the way. :)
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#10
Wewtness

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Something else I'm just mentioning in case it helps you at all, when I recently reformatted to attempt to solve the problem, I only reformatted my C: partition, which has my OS Install and little else. I left my D: partition, with most of my data intact.
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#11
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What did you just use to scan your hard drive?
I don't know, who is the maker of your drive, but the best diagnostic program is, when you create bootable CD, not any scan from within Windows.
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#12
Wewtness

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My hard drive is a Western Digital WDC WD3200BEKT. http://www.tacktech....fm?ttid=287#wdc said: "If your computer system already has a hard drive installed with an operating system of Windows 98SE or greater, you should use the Windows version of Data Lifeguard for best results. The DOS version is required if installing a hard drive in a new system without existing operating system support. "

This was the program I used: http://support.wdc.c...s...703&lang=en

If you'd still prefer me to run a DOS scan from CD I can do that.

Edited by Wewtness, 01 May 2010 - 11:49 PM.

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#13
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Yeah, running the test from a CD is better, because you won't experience any freezes, in case something is wrong with hard drive, or Windows installation.
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#14
Wewtness

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Hello,

When I run the Hard Drive Diagnostic off a CD, my computer will idle with a black screen for a little while before the diagnostic gives me an error, code 120: "NO DRIVE FOUND."

I'm then taken to a DOS command prompt with A:\ as the command line and there's nothing I can do but hard reset since I can't find a way to exit the prompt.
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#15
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Are you booting from diagnostic CD?
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