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BSOD whenever I play games

blue screen crash games

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#1
njay

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Hi guys,

 

About 4 years ago I bought a desktop computer which met my specs (nothing fancy), but after a year or two it developed the annoying habit of crashing whenever I'd play a game. At first, this only happened with pretty heavy games, and always after about 10 minutes.

 

Nowadays, though, even simpler games and even games I was able to play before cause the computer to crash after about 10 minutes. I'm not a huge gamer or anything, but when I do play a game it's because I've been working a lot and I just want to get away from everything for an hour or two. So the last thing I need is more frustration. 

 

It's even crashed using Spotify once or twice. 

 

Now, I know relatively little about computer hardware, but I thought it might have something to do with overheating. As the tower sits on the floor, it gets pretty dusty. I've cleaned it with compressed air before until everything looked dust-free, but that didn't really have an impact (though maybe I'm skipping something essential).

 

Could any of you think of any reasons? I'm prepared to test any of your suggestions if you tell me how to (I'm not computer illiterate, so no need to provide step-by-step guides, but when it comes to hardware I'm a little clueless). The only other alternative is buying a new one, but my budget is pretty much non-existent at the moment.

 

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

-nj


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#2
phillpower2

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Hello njay

 

You have made a good start with cleaning out the dust but can I ask if you also removed the Ram sticks and any add on cards and blew out the slots before reseating the items securely.

 

A weak or failing power supply can also cause such issues so we will check this first.

 

Please provide information about your computer, this includes is it a custom build or brand name such as Dell or HP, if it is a brand name provide the model name or series number (not serial) if a custom build post the brand and model name or number for the MB, add on video card if one is used and the PSU (power supply unit) providing these details will enable us to better assist you.

 

 
Download Speedfan and install it.  Once it's installed, run the program and post here the information it shows.  The information I want you to post is the stuff that is circled in the example picture I have attached.
If you are running on a vista machine, please go to where you installed the program and run the program as administrator.
 
speedfan.png
 
(this is a screenshot from a vista machine)
 
 Download then run HWMonitor and post a screenshot so that we have a comparison to the Speedfan results, details from here
 
To capture and post a screenshot;
 
Click on the ALT key + PRT SCR key..its on the top row..right hand side..now click on start...all programs...accessories...paint....left click in the white area ...press CTRL + V...click on file...click on save...save it to your desktop...name it something related to the screen your capturing... BE SURE TO SAVE IT AS A .JPG ...otherwise it may be to big to upload... then after typing in any response you have... click on browse...desktop...find the screenshot..select it and click on the upload button...then on the lower left...after it says upload successful...click on add reply like you normally would. 
 
Screenshot instructions are provided to assist those that may read this topic but are not yet aware of the “how to”.
 

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#3
njay

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Hi Phill,

 

Thanks for your quick reply!

 

To be honest, I haven't dared to remove any of the components when cleaning out the dust, but I'll take a look at that tonight when I have more time. 

 

As for my computer: I own a Packard Bell ixtreme M3720 with 4 GB RAM and a Pentium Dual Core E5300 Processor (2.6 GHz). The graphics card is a NVIDIA GForce GT 220 I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium (SP1).

 

The HWMonitor and SpeedFan readings are below.

 

On the left of each screenshot is the computer in a 'normal state' (i.e. several programs running but nothing heavy, several hours after start up). On the right is the screenshot I took when I launched a game. I hadn't started playing yet; it was just showing the start menu. But it's a game that loads a lot of content (the Sims 3).

 

To my untrained eye it looks like I could fry an egg on my graphics card. Might this be the cause of my issue, and if so, what could I do to remedy the situation? And if these high temperatures are an issue, could they have damaged my system beyond repair?

 

 

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • hwmon.png
  • speedfan.png

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#4
phillpower2

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Hello njay and thanks for the update  :thumbsup:

 

All the information that I am finding state that the Packard Bell ixtreme M3720 is shipped with a stock 250W PSU, this would explain your original problem and the way that the problem appears to have been compounded, the GT 220 requires a PSU with a minimum output of 300W source when you do your checks can you please make a note of the PSU details which should be found on a sticker applied to the side of the PSU, see example attachment, the +3.3V rail on the PSU is showing a low reading, see tolerance table attached and this can affect the slots that your video card uses, see attachment #3.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Corsair spec sticker.jpg
  • PSU tolerance table..jpg
  • PSU Rails.jpg

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#5
njay

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Thanks for your reply!

 

I just opened the thing up again and gave it another clean (the last time I did it was a couple of months ago). I took a picture of the PSU sticker, and you seem to be right; it's 250W (see attachment). So would you say that this is the issue? If so, why the [bleep] did they include a PSU that's too weak for the standard components...? Pricing strategies?

 

 

I'm gonna keep an eye on the graphics card temperature while I launch a game, because the temperature is about 10°C lower now that I've cleaned it. Just to rule it out (because 90°C did seem rather hot to me).

 

 

If you have any more things I could try, test or show, let me know! Thanks for your help so far.

Attached Thumbnails

  • psu.jpg

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#6
phillpower2

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FSP is not a bad brand of PSU but it is underpowered, was the computer new when you obtained it, I ask in case the video card was upgraded without also upgrading the PSU.

 

105C is the maximum safe operating temperature of the video card but it should not exceed 60C too often either.

 

For now just see how the temps are and get back to us.


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#7
njay

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Yeah, I bought the computer like this (a standard Packard Bell package, nothing was added). So it's strange that they'd underpower it.

 

Since I've cleaned everything with compressed air again it hasn't crashed while playing games, but I have been monitoring the graphics card temperature, and it's usually around 65-70°C when I'm on the internet. While playing games it often reaches 105°C (which is the highest temperature I've had, and I've seen it several times). I'm a little worried. Maybe before I cleaned out the dust again it got even hotter.

 

Anyway, nothing conclusive yet. It could still be either the PSU or the overheated graphics card. I guess I'll report back once it starts crashing again...


Edited by njay, 16 May 2014 - 04:56 PM.

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#8
phillpower2

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Try increasing the fan speed of the GT 220 when you are gaming to see if it helps lower the temps, Riva Tuner is a good tool for this and is available free from here

 

Regarding the output of the PSU, as you are aware I provided the information direct from the card manufacturer which is the most reliable source.


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