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syberspunk
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Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« on: 2007 December 28, 20:05:52 »
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I wasn't sure if I should post this in the Oops section or RL Tongue  But, I figured the Podium might get more exposure and I may get more advice this way, despite me being all Retardo about PC hardware. Cheesy


So, I am thinking of possibly reformatting/rebuilding my computer this weekend.

Ever since I put it together, it had been stable for some time, but then... and I'm not sure exactly when, I started to get random BSODs.  I suspected that it may have been video card related... but I have never been able to exactly pinpoint the cause.  I used to get that dreaded IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL driver error.  But, I am pretty sure I hadn't installed any new hardware.  The only actual hardware connected was the graphics card and the DVD-ROM.  Hardly anything new or remarkably funky.  *shrugs*  I have plugged in various USB type external drives and my iPod... but that's about it.

I would also get reboots whenever I was using roxio software to convert TiVO files to iPod format.  I would also get BSODs while playing The Sims 2... but only sometimes, and it was never really consistent.  The game is supposedly CPU intensive rather than graphic card intensive anyways.  Still, this coupled with the roxio issue also seemed to indicate that it might be video card related... but still, haven't figured out a way to truly test for that.

I did run a ram test.  I let it go overnight, and I'm pretty sure it went through like 17 cycles or so, with no errors/complaints.

For the past few months, it kinda behaved ok... but I would still get the odd BSOD or two (I stopped using roxio on that machine though And I stopped playing the Sims 2 just because it annoyed me that I would have to save so often, for fear that I would lose a lot of playtime if it BSODed in the middle of a play session :rolleyes:).


Anyhew... the past couple of days, I have also been getting CPU temp overheat issues.  So... here comes my request for advice to any PC experts out there:


Would it be worth it to get:

1) a separate cooling fan?  One that attaches internally and I can just point it to the CPU/RAM or whatever else might be potentially overheating.

2) a totally new/bigger/stronger/better CPU fan, and just chuck the "old" one that came with my processor?

3) a better case that is like cooling specific or whatever.

Or a combo?  Or... is overheating not even really an issue at all.  Is there any way to test if it is a bad mobo or processor?  Short of buying a completely new one and comparing? Tongue

I am also wondering if it might possibly be related to the fact that I use Avast.  I find that sometimes, my PC freezes or BSODs, and when I reboot, I get a msg saying that Avast's virus database has been updated.  Mind you, again, this doesn't always consistently occur when Avast updates.  I have had plenty occasions where it updated fine.  And it is probably crazy for me to attribute BSODs to an anti virus program, but teh hubby also built his PC with essentially the same parts.  He also had a few BSODs, but had since reformatted and no longer uses Avast.  I know this is spurious evidence at best... but I'm wondering if it might be possible...

If that is the case, can anyone recommend an alternative, but free antivirus program?


Finally, one sort of problem is... my PC is kind of close to the radiator in my room.  Due to the layout of my room, I'm unfortunately kinda stuck with where it is atm.  But... the odd thing is, I've had moments in my room where it is has been crazy hot, and I was using my PC extensively, and it didn't reboot... so I really don't think the CPU has been overheating because of that.  Plus... I recently turned the valve off anyways, so my radiator hasn't actually been on at all this week.  So really, I don't know why the CPU has been overheating.  This has been happening while I had left the PC idle overnight, the past two times it froze/BSODed.


FYI - I pretty much stuck to the specs/parts I posted in this thread, in case you were wondering.


As always, I'd appreciate some expert advice.  Thanks. Smiley


Ste
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Baroness
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #1 on: 2007 December 28, 20:30:00 »
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I was getting random BSoD. I reinstalled my video drivers and cleaned my CPU fan - which was disgustingly dusty. This seems to have worked for me.

Have you tried a reformat, in case the Roxio bizzo has corrupted files?
Upgraded your video drivers?
Swopped power boxes with your hubby?

Did you get a RAID array? I find they're a bit touchy. My whole PC went spacko a couple of days ago after I installed some HP printer drivers, it refused to boot into Windoze.

Hopefully someone with some more technical nous will be along shortly.  Undecided
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KellyQ
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #2 on: 2007 December 28, 20:34:00 »
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Well I don't have any expert advice because I'm far from it  Cheesy but I use AVG for free anti-virus software and it has caught things that Norton didn't even pick up on, so I'm pretty well sold on it. I also turn it off when I'm playing TS2 so I don't know if it updating while you're playing would cause a problem. I know it would for mine because my computer just wouldn't be able to handle that much going on at once if I left it on, which is why I don't.

On my old computer when I was getting continual BSODs and the horrible, dreadful IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL error, it turned out that my computer was overheating due to a not very large amount of cat hair and dust in between the card and the fan. Once it was removed, the BSODs stopped.

And that's really all I know. Grin
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ZiggyDoodle
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #3 on: 2007 December 28, 21:50:17 »
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SpeedFan has gotten some good reviews for CPU temp monitoring.

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Shivani
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #4 on: 2007 December 29, 04:23:05 »
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I recently killed a CPU, inadvertently.  And I probably could have saved the sucker if I'd done one simple thing.  Reapply the heat sink compound.
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Lord Darcy
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #5 on: 2007 December 29, 06:54:48 »
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I used to get a constant crash after 30 or 40 minutes of gameplay. Not Blue or Black Screen of Death, just straight crash to the desktop. Turned out that my CPU fan was not properly attached to the CPU. After I reapplied thermal grease and attached the CPU fan securely, the crash went away. It was lucky that I nailed down the culprit quickly, otherwise my CPU would have been burnt to death.
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cyperangel
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #6 on: 2007 December 29, 08:05:19 »
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Sorry in advance for derailing the thread a little, but perhaps the good folks can help me out as well...

I havent been suffering from BSOD, but from freezes. A. k. a. where the entire comp just suddenly decides to not do anything at all anymore. Mouse wont move, the clock in the lower right corner stops changing etc. I have had my comp in for repairs twice, as its under warranty, and they have changed the RAM, CPU, MB and the GFX card. The comp still freezes tho. Like this morning, where i got up, went to the comp, and the clock said it was 03.58, while my alarm clock kept insisting it was well past 8 am...  It does not happen at any specific times, it happens both in the AM, and the PM, and it happens without any clear cause when it comes to programs active, as it can do it while i got a browser open, while im playing the sims, or while nothing is opened at all.

Any good ideas? Besides chucking the comp out a 3'rd story window....
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #7 on: 2007 December 29, 14:40:35 »
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Sorry in advance for derailing the thread a little, but perhaps the good folks can help me out as well...

I havent been suffering from BSOD, but from freezes. A. k. a. where the entire comp just suddenly decides to not do anything at all anymore. Mouse wont move, the clock in the lower right corner stops changing etc. I have had my comp in for repairs twice, as its under warranty, and they have changed the RAM, CPU, MB and the GFX card. The comp still freezes tho. Like this morning, where i got up, went to the comp, and the clock said it was 03.58, while my alarm clock kept insisting it was well past 8 am...  It does not happen at any specific times, it happens both in the AM, and the PM, and it happens without any clear cause when it comes to programs active, as it can do it while i got a browser open, while im playing the sims, or while nothing is opened at all.

Any good ideas? Besides chucking the comp out a 3'rd story window....

Have you tried replacing the battery?
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cyperangel
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #8 on: 2007 December 29, 16:06:15 »
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No i havent, as the warranty is void if I fiddle around with the innards of it. But a battery in a stationary computer?
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LK: I think the closest thing to a "soft heart" you'll find in JM's possession is the one he ripped out of some hapless fool's chest.
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #9 on: 2007 December 29, 20:02:27 »
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CMOS battery on the motherboard. It remembers the date and time and bios settings and stuff when your computer is switched off. They can eventually need replacing too, although generally they last the life of the board.

I had an old laptop which used to lose the info if it wasn't booted every few weeks.

Has your PC been asking you to enter the date and time?
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cyperangel
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #10 on: 2007 December 29, 20:50:11 »
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Erm, can't cay it has. Also, the Motherboard in its entirety has been replaced when I last had the comp in for repairs. That would be a month ago, give or take a few days.

So, based on the assumption that they arent such cheapskates that they reuse the old battery, there really should be no problem there.

It behaves nicely, although the sound in sims 2 have taken to stuttering after a long playsession. The odd thing about it all, is that it seems the freezes happens mostly when I am not in front of the computer. I leave it for 5 minutes to go raid the fridge, or I head to bed or to work, and when I come back, Wham! Its dead. Once in a blue moon, it will do it while I am actually sitting there, trying to do stuff, but most of the occurances has been when I werent around. Ive noted dates and times on the last 10 times it has happened. None of the times match each other, some happen at 1 pm, some at 3 pm, some at just after midnight, some at 5 am, and once at 7 pm... I've tried changing my mouse, keyboard and monitors, I've reformatted the dang thing like 20 times now, including deleting the partition on the harddrive (I only have 1 partition, covering the whole drive), and then re-partitioning the drive, formatting and reinstalling XP.
     I have used 5 different drivers for my monitor, tested with antivirus and antispyware installed, and without, and with different programs  installed. Same net result all the fracking time. Heck, out of desperation, I have arrrred 2 other versions of XP, and tried those on for change, and still the same result. I've scanned and rescanned my harddrive for faulty sections, stresstested the RAM, got it swapped for new RAM, got a new MB, CPU and GFX card, in case that was the culprits. No result.

(Glad I am not posting this on grammar day Tongue )
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LK: I think the closest thing to a "soft heart" you'll find in JM's possession is the one he ripped out of some hapless fool's chest.
If you google "More Awesome Than You" - you'll find it. Please read the FAQs carefully before posting - their motto is MOAR FIGHT!They are not a snuggly bunc
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #11 on: 2007 December 31, 15:40:35 »
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Well I don't have any expert advice because I'm far from it  Cheesy but I use AVG for free anti-virus software and it has caught things that Norton didn't even pick up on, so I'm pretty well sold on it.

Sorry for the aside... KellyQ, what is AVG and where can I get it?  I have great fears that things are getting through my Norton.  Thanks.
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cyperangel
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #12 on: 2007 December 31, 16:05:44 »
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Well I don't have any expert advice because I'm far from it  Cheesy but I use AVG for free anti-virus software and it has caught things that Norton didn't even pick up on, so I'm pretty well sold on it.

Sorry for the aside... KellyQ, what is AVG and where can I get it?  I have great fears that things are getting through my Norton.  Thanks.


http://free.grisoft.com/doc/downloads-products/us/frt/0?prd=aff
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LK: I think the closest thing to a "soft heart" you'll find in JM's possession is the one he ripped out of some hapless fool's chest.
If you google "More Awesome Than You" - you'll find it. Please read the FAQs carefully before posting - their motto is MOAR FIGHT!They are not a snuggly bunc
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #13 on: 2008 January 02, 00:23:26 »
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Hmmmm.  Has the PC always done that?  Random freezes are the most difficult things to solve.  Have you looked in the event logs for clues?.

Usually a problem like this is either hardware related or a driver issue.  It's something pretty low level, otherwise OS would have simply trapped the error.  Have you tried playing with the video driver.  Try updating the driver, or if it's up to date, try to rollback to a different older version.  Try finding a different driver.  Usually there is a manufacturer specific driver and a more generic one made for the chipset. Like Nvidia for example. Try changing it.  Make sure that you have the latest drivers installed for your MOB chipset.  Reinstall them even if you do.  Make sure you got the most current drivers for all the components in your machine.

Google your various components and see if anyone complains of random freezes. 

Trying booting to safe mode and leave it running to see if it freezes again.  (no point in using as there isn't much you can do in safe mode).  If it doesn't freeze again, try launching msconfig and exclude all your startup items and run with that for a bit.

Try disabling various non essential components in the hardware manager and run with it for a while.  Disable soundcard, network card, anything non essential. 

Lastly, try unplugging non critical components like your DVD drive and running with only the basics.  If you have an add-on soundcard and video card, and your motherboard has an on board equivalent, remove the cards and run only with the on board stuff as a test.

That's all I can think of for the moment.  The idea behind all this is to isolate the component that is creating the problem.

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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #14 on: 2008 January 02, 04:56:29 »
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Syberspunk - I recommend trying a new heatsink and fan, something from thermaltake, and don't forget the arctic silver 3 thermal grease. It will be cheap component to replace, and you can still use it even if you rebuild. Roxio wouldn't have been using your video gpu to do tvio processing - it would have been all cpu, which makes me think that overheating is an issue, at higher cpu cycles. From what you said, there seems to be an issue only when the load on the cpu is high.

Cyperangel - Do you have a screensaver or anything that runs when the computer is idle? It seems like something starts during idle time and that is what freezes it. It could be software related, or it could be that the computer is trying to use something with faulty drivers / bad component at that time. 
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cyperangel
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #15 on: 2008 January 02, 07:37:49 »
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SKadi: Nope, no screensaver, that was one of the first things to get chucked out. As was the windows automatic updates, i do em manually now, cause I thought maybe they were the culprit while downloading or something along that line. I actually disabled the screensaver so I could get a look at the clock in the lower right corner, to see when it had given up.

Angelyne: Well, ive tried with 5 different versions of my video driver, and swapped just about anything my comp and the warranty on the comp will allow me to swap. I cant fiddle with the interior of the comp due to the warranty. And no, It havent always been doing this, it started out around 4 months ago, so whatever it was worked like a charm the first year i had the comp. Ive googled all i could about hardware from my comp, and tracked down the updated drivers for everything inside. No help there tho. Darn thing still dies on me. As for reinstalling drivers.... is 20 odd times enough? Thats about how many the comp has been completely reinstalled now during the last couple of months. Safe mode... Ill try that again.
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LK: I think the closest thing to a "soft heart" you'll find in JM's possession is the one he ripped out of some hapless fool's chest.
If you google "More Awesome Than You" - you'll find it. Please read the FAQs carefully before posting - their motto is MOAR FIGHT!They are not a snuggly bunc
lauraglenn
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Re: Help Wanted: BSODs and CPU Overheating
« Reply #16 on: 2008 January 02, 18:06:02 »
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Thanks!
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