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Old 03-09-2010, 05:17 AM   #1
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Hello all.

This is a more general tech question about my comptuer, so I'm not sure if anyone is tech-saavy enough to help me. I'll be playing a game, and the game will freeze for a few seconds, then my comptuer will shut itself down and restart.

I thought at first that it was the game (The Sims), and that it was just too taxing, until it happened while I was playing a very less taxing game; The Lost Crown.

When it reboots, it says my system has recovered from a serious error, and then gives me the following information, which I've included.

I have a Windows XP, Intel Core 2 Processor, with a Geforce 7600. At first I thought it was because it was really dusty, but even after dusting it out pretty thoroughly with a can or air (and the supervision of tech-saavy friends), and doing a disk defragment and a CCleaner, it still does it. Any ideas?
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:03 AM   #2
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It look like you may have a problem with the driver for your graphics card. Similar errors seem to point to an ATI card.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:19 PM   #3
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Thanks Collector! I don't know if it worked, but I downloaded the driver for my Geforce, so hopefully that helped the problem.
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Currently Playing-Trine 2
Games I Want-Kings Bounty: Warriors of the North!!!, Asylum, Last Crown, Braken Tor, Testament of Sherlock Holmes
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:52 AM   #4
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In my experience, when a computer reboots by itself it's usually due to overheating. If the trick suggested by Collector doesn't work, I suggest considering this angle.

Dusting was an excellent idea, an important part to remove dust from is the space between the fins of any heatsink you may see (mainly CPU and GPU, but why not, get rid of any dust from the Northbridge heatsink too). The only way I could clean the Graphics Card heatsink was to disconnect it, blow some canned air through one air vent and witness a whole civilization of dust bunnies coming through the other end, as I didn't have the heart of performing surgery on it.

Also, if a fan is malfunctioning, removing dust alone won't be enough, you'll have to check that they're all working properly.

A hint: when installing new GeForce drivers, remember to uninstall the old ones first. You can do it through the Add/Remove Programs function of the Control Panel. Then reboot the computer and install the new driver. I'm pretty sure the procedure is explained in these terms on the Nvidia website, too.
Btw, before you install the new drivers, having uninstalled the old ones, no drivers will probably mean a very low resolution, so if you have a cluttered desktop be sure to put the driver's installer elsewhere (I usually save it in the C:\ root), otherwise you may not be able to see it on a low-res desktop.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:05 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tip! The fan on the graphics card, even though we dusted it, is still making sounds, so I'm thinking that's the problem. I didn't uninstall the old driver before I installed the new one...should I go back and redo it?
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Currently Playing-Trine 2
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasysci5 View Post
Thanks for the tip! The fan on the graphics card, even though we dusted it, is still making sounds, so I'm thinking that's the problem. I didn't uninstall the old driver before I installed the new one...should I go back and redo it?
Drivers shouldn't be a problem. You would've been able to tell right away if the procedure had not gone the right way. I'm ready to bet Nvidia changed policies and will now let you install new drivers on top of the old ones.

Noisy fans are never a good sign. Download a program like SpeedFan to check the temperature of the GPU. My GF8800 runs at 70-80°C without problems. Open the program, then open The Sims (or TLC) for a few minutes. Don't let it sit there idly, play actively in order to put the nominal load on the GPU. Close the game and see what temperature the GPU and CPU will have reached, if they moved from the starting temperature at all.
A better program than SpeedFan is Lavalys Everest, but it's not freeware. They offer a trial version, but I'm not sure if it's time-limited or if it has limited functions.

Have you cleaned the CPU heatsink fins? Dust has the bad habit of accumulating between them.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:59 AM   #7
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I really have no idea what the heat sink fans are. We dusted out everything we could, without taking anything out (besides the main CPU fan over the processor).
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Favorite Other Games-King's Bounty, Sims 2, Fable, Disciples 2 Gold
Currently Playing-Trine 2
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasysci5 View Post
I really have no idea what the heat sink fans are. We dusted out everything we could, without taking anything out (besides the main CPU fan over the processor).
Sorry, my bad, should've been clearer. Did I understand correctly you managed to remove the fan assembly above the CPU heatsink? Kudos to you, it's tricky. Immediately below the fan, you will notice a set of f ins (ie. blades) trought which the air is forced downwards by the fan and let escape sideways. This set of fins is known as a heatsink.
The fan does not blow air directly on the CPU. Instead, the CPU itself is hidden under the heatsink and is in contact with it through thermal paste. In this way that heat can be conducted from the CPU to the sink, and the air flowing through the fins convects the heat away from the whole assembly. Dust settling between the fins can seriously impair the heat convection properties of the assembly, which is why care should be taken to remove any dust (which eventually settles and becomes dirt/grime proper) from between the fins.
Goes without saying that all this must be done taking proper care not to bend and/or damage the fins themselves, or alter their layout and distance one from the other!

Last edited by ZeframCochrane; 03-10-2010 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:11 AM   #9
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Yes, we removed the main CPU fan that I believe you are talking about, and removed any dust from the blades. I haven't seen the problem reoccur yet, so that's a good sign for teh time being.
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"And everyone's favourite anglophile, Fantasy!"-Intense
Favorite Adventure Games-Lost Crown/Dark Fall 1&2, Longest Journey games, Myst games, Barrow Hill
Favorite Other Games-King's Bounty, Sims 2, Fable, Disciples 2 Gold
Currently Playing-Trine 2
Games I Want-Kings Bounty: Warriors of the North!!!, Asylum, Last Crown, Braken Tor, Testament of Sherlock Holmes
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:06 AM   #10
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Here's me keeping my fingers crossed
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:53 AM   #11
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Spontaneous reboots and/or blue screens are almost always caused by either bad drivers or hardware issues, of which overheating is only one of many potential problems. Hardware can fail in many other ways. However, the error code points more to a driver issue than a hardware issue. Fantasy, did you remove just the fan off of the CPU or the whole heatsink? If you removed the heatsink, please be careful reinstalling it. Do not place uneven pressure when reattaching it or you may crack the core and also don't use too much thermal paste between the sink and the CPU.
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