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Games will lock up for a few seconds and I'll lose complete control.

Hello.  I've had this computer for about 2 years and have been using it quite constantly.  I built the computer myself and use it primarily for gaming.  I've played Final Fantasy 11 for 8 months on it, Doom 3, City of Heroes, Everquest 2, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War, Half-Life 2 among many other games.  I've never really had any problems until now.  I currently use a Sapphire Radeon 9700 XT.

About half a month ago, however, I installed World of Warcraft.  Since then I've been having occasional issues with controlling my character.  About every 10 minutes or so (it was very spuratic), my character would just move on his own for about 5 seconds in the direction I was pressing and I'd be unable to control or stop it.  If I try to press any buttons my hard drive starts beeping.  It would only happen on times when I was actually moving forward around.  I would lift my hands up from the computer and he'd still be moving around.

Anyway, I thought this was just some kind of problem with World of Warcraft, however, today I just realized this was not the case.  I tried playing Half-Life 2 again today after having no problems with it before.  I hadn't played this since I installed World of Warcraft.  Well, the same problem occured but now in this game.  I would tell my guy to move forward then to strafe left and right but I would lose control over him for a brief period every now and then.  And once again my computer would beep if I tried pressing any buttons during this period.

Does anyone know what's going on?  This is really annoying.  Formatting is out of the picture so what other suggestions do you guys have?
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Kronikle66
Asked:
Kronikle66
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10 Solutions
 
MalicUKCommented:
Are you running low on HD space? And if so have you got less available HD space than the size of your virtual memory/page file?

I can't remember of the top of my head, but WoW is a hefty install (a couple of gig I think), and this may have eaten up your HD space which was being used virtually when you were playing games.

Also, if your HD speed is low, and/or your HD is fragmented then it will be having to work overtime to scan all the small separated blocks which it is using for your vmem.

So first of all free up a bit of HD space, then do a defrag. See if this helps your problem at all.
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Kronikle66Author Commented:
Defragging takes a LONG time so I'm probably going to get that started tonight before I goto sleep but thanks for the suggestion.  I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow.
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phileocaCommented:
I have WOW too and sometimes i have the same issues too, even after upgrading my RAM

1) 1 thing i've noticed is the LAG (what server are you on)?
2) also, you might want to lower the in game video settings
3) how often do u reboot? (system resources eat away)
4) i had an issue with a keyboard that was dying started doing things on it's own, u may want to test a different keyboard.

<><
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MalicUKCommented:
If Defragging takes such a long time, you don't do it enough! A fragmented hard disk is going to cause all sorts of problems if it is combined with low disk space and a large page file. You are at lest going to see some performance increase from doing a defrag.

The WoW lag problems are only partly a server issue. I suffer from only minor lag when entering the IF main plaza, everything else if fine, and I only have 512MB of RAM. My system setup is:

2.8Ghz P4 HT 800FSB 512K cache
512MB DDR RAM
120GB 7200RPM
256KB ATI Raedon 9600 Pro
2Mbit DL/375Kbit UL Cable Broadband

So as you can see, not exactly a top of the range system. I'm located about 1000 miles from the servers, so it's not like I'm sat on their doorstep.

I believe that WoW just needs an optimised system, with everything kept clean and clutter free, and no standing bugs with anything. Once you have this the game becomes a world more playable.
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Kronikle66Author Commented:
I cleaned up my hard drive (deleted 12 gb) and defragged my computer.  I test Half-Life 2 this morning and it seemed to run pretty smoothly with no movement errors to be seen.  However, after work when I went to play WoW, I saw the problem arise again.  It didn't go away.  Still once in like every 10 minutes or so my character would just move in the direction I last pressed for about 5 seconds.  It's not my keyboard because after I get control back, the whole screen kinda adjusts as if there were lag.  But I know for a fact it's not server lag!

Ugh, this is so frustrating.
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MalicUKCommented:
Well, we're half way there if HL2 is running ok now.

The improvement in performance in HL2 due to cleaning up indicates that the problem is def a shardware problem.

WoW uses up an insane amount of system resources. So we now want to start looking at changing the WoW settings.

In the Video setup in-game, set all your sliders to minimum "performance" settings (the main one I find increases performance is "Terrain Distance"), and check every box which says "checking this will [may] improve performance", and uncheck every box which says "un-checking this....". I play with my settings like this (for fluidity in raids) and the gameplay difference is minimal.

See if that improves the problem. If it does, then gradually add back in the settings you have changed, until the problem appears. When it does you know that your system has either reached it's capacity, or there is a specific problem with that setting.

Cheers,
MUK.
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Kronikle66Author Commented:
Nothing's changed :(  Graphics are on minumum all the way and I still get this locking up.
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DavidBirch2dotComCommented:
What are your system tempuratures like? If they are too high, it may be that on such a high spec game your computer is overheating, and automaticaly slowing down in order to cool down.  PC Wizard 2005 is a free program you could use to checkout your system tempuratures... www.cpuid.org

Thinking about this, I had a very similar problem a while back this time with win 98 and a different game... I never got to the bottom of what was causing this even with changing keyboards many times and trying various other things.. The problem went away when I upgraded to XP ... one thing to do would be to check all the wires (eg keyboard & mouse) are securely attached.

David
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Kronikle66Author Commented:
Hm... I tried turning off all external programs, shutting down my firewall, my anti-virus, etc. and I can't remember seeing that problem anymore on that particular day.  I wonder if the case may be that I use too much system resources on other apps.
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TronstekCommented:
If the machine is randomly lagging the first things I would look for is virus and spyware infections.  When was the last time you did any preventive maintenance on the machine?  Open it up, clean the dust out, reseat your cards and cables, and check the operation of all your fans.  All your drivers up to date?  Sound/Video/dierctx?  You've already defragmented the HD.  

The computer is getting a little age on it so you may be seeing the beginnings of a component failure.  Go with the easy checks first though.  Many large problems have been fixed just by reseating an already well seated board.
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CarlPritchardCommented:
If all the above fail try testing the RAM (download http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp)

It may be that the increased resource use has exposed bad memory.
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YSFMCommented:
This might be the greatest soloution but i had a similiar problem .The cause was that i had not updated my graphics card drivers to the latest version .After updating the drivers it seemed to have cleared up but hten started happening again it turned out that my graphics card was seriously overheating altough it did not show any warnings in windows or my external cooler. After putting a external fan (desk fan is ok) it sorted out the problem.Hope this helps.  
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Kronikle66Author Commented:
Well, I no longer have this problem.  My hard drive died on me and I was forced to get another one.  This problem is not evident in my new hard drive so I guess that was my problem all along.  How do I have this closed?
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YSFMCommented:
You have to accept someones answer?
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MalicUKCommented:
Kronikle,

In this situation I would suggest that you split the points between all the participants. Even though a solution couldn't be reached all the suggestions above could have pointed at a "duff hard drive", because it wasn't actually a physical problem with the drive, rather how it was setup.

However, if you feel different you can make a post in the Community Support area asking for the points refunded and this question moved to the PAQ.

Cheers,
MalicUK.
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