Identifying PC Gaming Crash Cause

HenslerHensler Registered User regular
Hey guys, a while back people on this forum helped me identify the cause of my PC crashing when playing PC games, and I'm hoping you can do it again :D.

The problem before was when playing graphically intensive games, the screen would get covered in red pixels and lock-up. The way we fixed it was to install a program called RivaTuner and turn the fan speed on my system up to 60% when playing games. I haven't seen that crash since.

The new problem seems similar - after a random period of time, sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes of playing a game, the image on screen will lock on there and I'll get a random humming sound loop for the audio out. Only way to get the computer unlocked is to hit the power reset. It happens most often in Battlefield 3, but occasionally in other games as well. I'm not sure how to diagnose the problem, since it's a pretty general freeze issue. I did try turning the fan speed up even higher than 60%, and the crash is still happening. I also tried let RivaTuner automatically manage the fan settings, to no avail. Is there perhaps a way to log the error and see what caused it to crash once I restart? Last time I had issues, the windows error reporting service indicated it was the Nvidia driver that caused the crash, which is how we narrowed it down to the video card overheating.

Video card is a GeForce 8800 GTS 512 - a bit dated, but I'd like to wait a while longer before replacing it. All the drivers in the system are up to date, as is my Windows 7 64 Bit Ultimate. I've got a DXDiag file, but it's too many character to post here.

Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated :) . I'd love to be able to play a game for more than 30 minutes on my PC (other than Deus Ex: Human Revolution - that game never crashes for some reason).

Hensler on


  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    Also, I don't know if this is related, but Windows has been losing my USB Wireless Adapter lately after I restart the computer. It's a Netgear WNDA3100 adapter that looks like a flash drive. Only way to get Windows to "see" it after restarting the computer is to pull it out, wait a few seconds, plug it back in and it works normally.

  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    The crash sounds like a video card error. You can use hardware monitor to log your video card temps and then look at the log after you have a crash.

    Take your video card out and see how dusty the heatsink is and blow it out with some compressed air.

  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    Thanks for the link, but it's not logging anything after the crash. And I've cleaned everything out with air, too.

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