Computer freezing in games

Problem description:
This began to happen about a month ago.  My computer would freeze regularly after I've been playing certain games for about half an hour to an hour (counter-strike 1.5 and 1.6, SimCity 4), but would never happen when I'm playing other games (Diablo 2 for example), or when I'm not playing games.  I suspected this was because my video card was failing under intensive 3-D situations, so I replaced my GF2 MX 200 with a FX 5200, unfortunately that did not solve the problem at all.  When my computer freezes, the screen will freeze, the sound will freeze (looping what was playing right before it froze over and over again), and my hard drive activity light would go off.   My computer won't response to any keyboard/mouse input until I do a hard reset.

Computer Specs:
AMD XP1600+
256MB RAM
40G Maxtor HD
GF2 MX 200 64MB (before) / FX 5200 128MB (now), both using detonator 45.23 driver
Windows XP Pro + SP1 + all major patches and updates

This has become quite annoying to me, so any help/ideas would be greatly appreciated.  I will check for responses frequently.
MackyMackAsked:
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Adrian DobrotaNetworking EngineerCommented:
Use memtest86 from www.memtest86.com to test your RAM.
Also, check the CPU temp in BIOS immediately after a crash occurs, and reinstall the AGP drivers for your motherboard.
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philby11Commented:
Try to fully remove your old detonator driver files.
Download detonator deleter from
http://www.pchardware.ro/Download/index.php?catid=8 or
http://www.voodoofiles.com/4342
then reinstall the graphics card, you may have corrupted drivers causing this problem.
Also make sure you have the latest direct X
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.aspx
cheers
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qfrenCommented:
hi:
if still no luck,
slave ur HD to another pc and,

try using the free diagnostic utility from the vendor of your disk to check for problems with the disk


Maxtor/Quantum
http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/products/index.htm

fujitsu
http://www.fcpa.fujitsu.com/download/hard-drives/#diagnostic

Samsung
http://www.samsungelectronics.com/hdd/support/utilities/utilities_index.html

Seagate
http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/index.html

Western Digital
http://support.wdc.com/download/
www.westerndigital.com 

IBM and Hitachi
http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT 



q
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philby11Commented:
to monitor your system temp yoiu can use AIDA32 from
http://www.aida32.hu/aida32.php
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prabinchamlingCommented:
change your "power management properties" setting
system standby "never"
trun off moniter "never"
trun off hard disks "never"

2. if it's doesn't work then increast your ram capacity, i mean 256mb.
 3. check your processor heat sink and fan.



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MackyMackAuthor Commented:
First of all, thanks to everyone that replied.  I have yet to try a lot of the suggestions but here's what I've already done:

probinchamling:
All my power management settings were already set to "never" before I've had this problem.  I will look into getting more RAM if all else fails.

philby11:
According to AIDA32, my CPU temperature is 51 degrees Celsius, and motherboard temperature is 33 degrees Celsius (this is when the CPU is mostly idle, NOT after a crash).  Is that higher than normal or still acceptable?

qfren:
I have tried installing the games that I crash in on another hard drive before (80G 7200RPM Western Digital), and the problem was still the same.  So I figured I could rule out the hard drive factor.

I will try memtest86 and detonator deleter, and see how that goes.

BTW, my motherboard is PC-Chips M830LR.
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Adrian DobrotaNetworking EngineerCommented:
Don't forget the motherboard AGP drivers dude  ;>)  
and no, the temp is not too high
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MackyMackAuthor Commented:
I just ran memtest86, and passed all the tests.

I also reinstalled the AGP drivers and updated to DirectX 9.0b (newest).

I'll run the games once I have a chance and see if they still freeze.
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Adrian DobrotaNetworking EngineerCommented:
I advise running memtest86 for at least 4 or 5 hours for the result to be considered accurate. anyway, even though memtest doesn't find any problems, that doesn't mean it's 100% ok , but it's a much smaller chance for a memory failure to be the cause of your problems.
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CallandorCommented:
It's possible your video card is getting too hot while playing 3D intensive games.  Try it with your case cover off and a fan blowing air in.  If that does the trick, you need a video card heatsink and fan.
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JoeMentholCommented:
 You know, I had a very similar problem about a year ago.  I tested my ram with some free diagnostic tools (including memtest), and it passed all the tests...

  However, the ram actually WAS bad.  It was failing under the demands of my most resource intensive games, but not under regular applications and other games.  At anyrate, I got some new ram, stuck it in there, everything worked fine.

  Try swapping out your ram with a friend's ram and see if that helps at all.

  And not to beat you over the head with the obvious stuff, but it never hurts to:
  Double check that all your drivers are updated, you have the latest DirectX, your system temps are acceptable, do a good virus scan, scandisk, get the latest patches for your game (and see if there are any know video issues with your game), Windows Update, make sure you haven't installed any new hardware or software recently (besides your new vid card) that might be causing problems, check for IRQ conflicts, and make sure your power supply is buff enough to handle all your power needs.

  Whew!  Hope some of that helps :)
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sgermeinCommented:
Hi

I have had a very similar problem recently. I bought a AMD 2500 and had a GForce4 4200 card in it, however it would always lock up when I was playing games or watching DVDs. I fiqured it was my Video Card so i tried it in a friends however it worked fine. So i tried his in mine and i locked up. I ended up taking it to a store and they put a new mainboard in it and it worked fine. Turns out the motherboard wasnt working properly but it could still be used under low stress situations.

Also one thing I did to make sure it wasnt over heating was run the computer with the side panel off and put a reqular house fan next to it.

Hope this helps
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MackyMackAuthor Commented:
It's been several days and my comp hasn't frozen up yet.  Therefore I consider this problem solved and will split up the points.  Again, thanks for everyone that has responded.
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