System Crash Hardware failure - trying to track down the problem
Posted on 2006-11-29
I have a computer that I mostly use for 2 things, surfing the web, and playing World of Warcraft (game). Over the past few weeks I've been having issues where my computer freezes and I get a blue screen denoting a hardware failure and memory dump. This crash happens most often when I am playing world of warcraft, sometimes I will load up the game, wait 5 minutes, get the blue screen, restart, and load it up again for the same thing to happen frustrating me severely. Othertimes I will be able to run the game fine for hours and it won't happen at all. The blue screen is the main thing I see when my computer crashes although rarely once every week or two, my mouse just stops moving and my screen freezes like that, needing a restart. That crashing is less often and it is mainly the blue screen when I crash, it will happen randomly when I'm just using my computer but as I said, 80 percent of the time it is when I'm running the game.
As far as specifics about my computer, a few months ago I replaced the power supply with a new strong antec 550w one that has been running excellently since, so I don't think it is related to that. The harddrive had issues in the past so I replaced it and what I'm using now should be fine. I try to defrag when I can. I also downloaded a memory diagnostic tool that boots up in dos, and ran a 2-3 hour thorough memory test, it seems the 500MB of ram I'm using is fine. I'm inclined to believe I've narrowed down the problem to either the motherboard, video card, or sound card.
The motherboard I'm using is:
Albatron KX18D ProII
Creative sondblaster Audigy 2 ZS
ATI All In Wonder Radeon 9600
since the problem happens more in world of warcraft than anything else I am inclined to believe it is a video card problem. But in attempting to help narrow it down, this morning I removed my sound card from the computer, and so far, I have not seemed to crash at all yet. So I am even wondering if there is some type of conflict in the motherboard, if it could be the sound card, or if its simply easier for my computer to handle all this when the sound card is unplugged, or maybe even I may still crash but have not tried this long enough with the sound card out. Regardless I would like to narrow down and isolate the problem, as I am fine replacing the video card or sound card if I have to. I'd prefer not to replace the motherboard unless I truely knew it was the problem.. because then I may as well get a new computer. And the CPU is an athlon 2.09ghz. The computer itself is a few years old, but since it had issues, parts like the hard drive, case, power supply, have been replaced as I've gone along. I'd say the sound card, motherboard, cpu, and video card, are the most used parts of the computer.
Any help is appreciated, I have scheduled raids in a guild that I participate in for the game I play, so I will try to keep my sound card disconnected and main tain my schedule until I narrow down the problem and replace the part in the weekend.
Thanks for your time