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Crashing Syberia game + virtual low memory

Posted on 2006-04-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I am using my daughter's computer and we were playing a game.
First, we received a virtual low memory, so I changed it to let Microsoft Windows XP choose my paging file size.  At about the same time, I let the automatic updates to XP, update her computer to service pack 2.
Since then, our game has crashed continually.  I loaded the latest drivers for the video card.
I checked in Event viewer (eventvwr) log and I have several errors.

In the system log I get IPSEC and mrtRate errors, every day.  
In the application log, I am getting the Syberia errors: faulting module ntdll.dll error, version 5.1.2600.2180, fault address 0x00011e58.  

The beginning of the game lasted for several days and we didn't have a problem.  Now we can't go but a couple of screens without the screen freezing or sending us back to the desktop.

I have a new AGP card coming.  Her current one is 32mb and the new one will be 256mb.

She has a compaq Presario:
AMD Athlon XP 2400, 2ghz
640 mb Ram
Windows XP Home edition



Any help appreciated!
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Question by:hayley3
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Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16373594
have you checked for malware?  malware can hog your system resources.
i suggest running a scan with hijackthis.  you can then put the hijackthis log through the analyzer here:
http://www.hijackthis.de

at the bottom of the analyzer there is an option to save your report.  save the report and then post a link to the saved report here.
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Author Comment

by:hayley3
ID: 16373863
Okay, I hope this works.  ActionTec is my modem, by the way.

http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php#anl
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Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 16374254
You may well have a virus.    Suggest you download and install the free version of Ewido anti-malware.   Update first then scan in Safe mode.

http://www.ewido.net/en/download/
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 16374338
Brief comments on your HijackThis log while we wait for zephyr_hex to return -->  
your HijackThis log looks fairly clean although if you don't recognise the items marked as "Possibly nasty" you could 'Fix' them, as long as you feel comfortable about using HijackThis.  It's an excellent but powerful utility.
Ideally you should create a folder where you would like the HijackThis file to reside, and run it from there, not from the Desktop or a temp folder. It is important that you download this file to its own folder as this folder will be used when HijackThis makes backups. Temp folders get deleted, taking with them HJT's 'backups' of items that were 'fixed'.
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by:Jonvee
ID: 16374435
Additionally this BHO could be fixed:
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {FDD3B846-8D59-4ffb-8758-209B6AD74ACC} - (no file)
 
Do you recognise the "Unknown" exe file ?    If no, you can fix it.  Using the HijackThis folder method in the previous post you can virtually guarantee a safe recovery of an item, if it was 'fixed' accidently.

Can't see the suspected virus in your log, but no matter, it's still very wise to run Ewido anti-malware which should take care of Malware and viruses.
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by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16374549
the item reported at 017 HKLM may not be bad... depends.
do you have AOL?  i dont see any AOL programs installed, but the IP is registered to AOL
also... did you intentionally set a netscape homepage to iwon.com?  the items listed as N3 - Netscape may need to be removed.  also, the 017 HKLM looks suspicious...unless you recognize the IP...  it could be Lop.com malware.

i am also not recognizing an antivirus.  what AV do you have?

i am not 100% convinced your issue is malware... but it is possible.
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by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16374562
by the way... ewido won't take care of viruses.  you would need to run an antivirus to do that...
ewido handles spyware...  (lop.com is a form of spyware... not sure if ewido removes it effectively.  spybot s&d does remove it)
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Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 16374632
zephyr_hex .. thanks, you're right about ewido.

hayley3,
Here are two, free, virus scanners to try:

http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php
http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/com/activescan_principal.htm
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Jonvee earned 2000 total points
ID: 16374809
Further thoughts if your system does prove to be clean and between us we're contemplating the next move ..  
You could download and try Process Explorer version 10.0    It will show a list of your currently active processes, and show CPU activity (preferably before and during the game your daughter is playing). If this is high, then suggest you take a look at the ideas in the second link below":

http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/freeware/procexp.shtml

High CPU Usage Problems:

http://kadaitcha.cx/high_cpu.html
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Author Comment

by:hayley3
ID: 16375189
I don't use AOL and I don't have a virus checker.  I'm using her computer to get on the internet temporarily because mine is waiting to be fixed.

I fixed the
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {FDD3B846-8D59-4ffb-8758-209B6AD74ACC} - (no file)
and
the 017 HKLM looks suspicious...unless you recognize the IP...  it could be Lop.com malware.
and the results are here:

http://www.hijackthis.de/logfiles/989eb3665e0586e3862c4e020a88b57d.html

I'm going to go and try your next suggestions.

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 16375303
Ok, thanks.   Personally i would fix the two entries marked "Unknown" and named "dpcm_monitor.exe" with HJThis.    Cannot find any information about these two entries, as yet.  You could always 'recover' them both later, if you really wished to.
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Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16375374
i dont think dpcm_monitor.exe is malware.   it is Dual Monitor.  do you have a dual monitor video card?
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Author Comment

by:hayley3
ID: 16375400
Jonvee,
I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing here.
I checked the Task Manager for CPU usage.  Which is kind of hard during the game seeing that the screen freezes. Anyway under "Processes", it showed  System at 5% and System Idle at 95%.  When I went to Task Manager, I could seen part of the game screen all jumbled behind Task Manager.  I was locked up there for a bit, but it finally let me go.


Also the Memory usage was 49,888k.  


The unknown entries are my call waiting modem.
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Author Comment

by:hayley3
ID: 16375411
I'm going to try Process explorer next.  
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Author Comment

by:hayley3
ID: 16375540
zphyr-hex
Actually, that dpcm_monitor.exe is from where I tried to set up a network between my daughter and myself.  I did set it up, but we can only get dial up so it didn't work fast enough for her to play games online.  Would that affect anything?
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Author Comment

by:hayley3
ID: 16375681
Okay, I tried Process explorer but it said basically the same thing as Task Manager, but...........then
when I got out of Syberia, there was a scrolling graph at the top of Process explorer and it showed CPU usage of 100% for Syberia!!!!!!!!!!!  Not the whole time but intermittently.  
I've gotta run for now, but I'll check it out later and report back.

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 16375696
Thanks, will keep in touch.
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Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 16376132
After checking it out (and depending on what you find) maybe you could take another look at that "kadaitcha" site above, and consider your SCU (MSCONFIG).  Could it be that you've several Startup programs already running, and the effect on the CPU 'usage' by the game you were running, pushes it into crash!

Select Start > Run and type MSCONFIG.   From the System Configuration Utility, select Startup.  Look at the programs that start up and see which ones that maybe you no longer require.  These links below will help decide which 'Task List Programs' you can remove.  
Then untick the unwanted items and reboot.                      
http://netsquirrel.com/msconfig/

These articles describe the function of each program in MSCONFIG :
http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist.htm
http://www2.whidbey.net/djdenham/Uncheck.htm
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Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 16376226
Last shot tonight .. no one has mentioned a failing 640 mb of Ram as one possible reason for high CPU usage.   Here's a tester should you need it-->     memtest86+
http://www.memtest.org/
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Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16384068
jonvee, i was just thinking of that... memory could be failing.

hayley3 - i dont think the dual monitor process is an issue.  we were just trying to identify whether or not it was malware.  i dont think it is.

i would make a memory testing cd from the site jonvee posted.  then boot off that cd and run the test.
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Author Comment

by:hayley3
ID: 16386994
I just wanted to let you all know that I'm still around.
I did the memtest and it checked out okay.
I'm getting ready to try the game tonight.

msconfig is a little bit overwhelming for me.  I did get instructions to do a cold boot procedure and I tried the game for a bit and it didn't freeze.  We will do a long run tonight.
The computer still loads really slow though.  I don't use her machine alot so that may be normal.
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Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16387598
if your computer is booting slowly, the typical culprits are items in startup (msconfig) ... or perhaps you need to defrag.

you can disable all items in startup and see if that improves the speed.  if it does, then re-enable the items in small groups.  some programs have multiple entries in startup, so when you re-enable, make sure you get all components for that group (for example, norton antivirus will have several items in startup.  when you re-enable norton, you will want to do all of its components..otherwise it may give you an error).

by the way... if you are having issues figuring out what's what in msconfig->startup tab, look at the Command column.  you can usually identify what's what by looking at that column.  if you run into something that you just don't know, google the last item in the Command path.  for example, i have in my startup:
c:\windows\ehome\ehtray.exe

if i wanted to figure out what that is, i would google ehtray.exe which gives me http://www.liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/processlibrary/ehtray/  ... so now i know what it is.
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Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 16389394
haley3,
> msconfig is a little bit overwhelming <
If you'd still like us to talk you through anything, please ask.

 > The computer still loads really slow though <
Found this E-E thread which among other ideas discusses bootup times.  For example, when was your daughter's chkdisk and defrag last run?   And how fast does the PC take to reach Safe mode?
[Apologies for the minor slanging match taking place here, but there *are* some very useful comments]:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21241769.html

zephyr_hex,
We've already covered the SCU and MSCONFIG in detail above :)
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Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 16389426
> it showed CPU usage of 100% for Syberia < 
Another shot at the problem is to view this previous E-E thread Title: "100% cpu useage at startup".  There are also similarities here and it's worth viewing the various ideas:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Q_21752506.html

You may like to let us know later how the latest game attempt went.
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Author Comment

by:hayley3
ID: 16391494
Hi,
I didn't think my computer was going to let me get back here.  Whew!
Anyway, this is going to take a bit of research.
I've got a couple of clues to work on.  One is the updating to XP sp2.  The other is the CPU spikes and the Process Explorer is a big help there.  Now I know it's not just the game and what I need to work on.
I did a clean boot procedure which takes out everything but the Windows essentials.  
I played the game last night and it lasted 15 minutes before it completely locked up the computer.
I do defrag's regularly.

Thanks for your help!  I'm gonna check out all those links Jonvee, thanks!  At least I'm more knowledgeable than when I first asked the question, and I have something to work with.
Thank you too zephyr-hex.
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Expert Comment

by:Jonvee
ID: 16399671
That's good !   Have since been doing a bit of checking myself and came across a couple of  interesting urls.

Here, PSUs comes under suspicion. It's worth reading.
"Computer shuts down while playing games":
http://discussions.virtualdr.com/showthread.php?t=198424

Here's another where the video driver and/or DirectX driver come under scrutiny.  Scroll down halfway to see useful comments by "barfarf".
"New computer restarting or crashing while playing games":
http://www.techspot.com/vb/all/windows/t-36849-New-computer-restarting-or-crashing-while-playing-games.html

You could download and run Lavalys "EVEREST Free Edition 2.20" for this:
http://www.majorgeeks.com/EVEREST_Free_Edition_d4181.html
Then use it to find your Video driver, PSU parameters, and any other details you may require.
Hope that helps.        .. and thank you.
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