Computer freezes when running 3D programs.

Hello,

I've had a recurring problem for a long while now, and I've tried everything I can think of to fix it, but to no avail. So I thought I'd come here.

In short, when I play games with some kind of 3D component, I get random freezes. These come with no warning and no error message; the computer just locks up. The sound continues for a second or two afterwards, before stopping completely.

When playing World of Warcraft (since that's the game I play most often), I sometimes get freezes multiple times in an hour, or sometimes I can play for hours uninterrupted. I get freezes in just about any location, with no noticable similarities. Sometimes I can be standing in one place for a few minutes with no problem, and then it will suddenly freeze.

I have been able to replicate the freezes every time by doing the tests on pcpitstop. Every single time, the computer locks up within 2 seconds of starting the "3D test".

Here's my hardware setup (all drivers, etc, are to my knowledge up to date):
Windows Vista 32-bit.
Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 motherboard. With latest BIOS and drivers, and built-in sound.
Nvidia Geforce 7300-GS graphics card


Thanks in advance for your help.
thenell871Asked:
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authen-techConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Sounds like a problem with your video card.  I would try the following.

Upgrade to the latest version of DirectX software.  I believe it is here: http://www.gamesforwindows.com/en-US/AboutGFW/Pages/DirectX10-a.aspx

Uninstall and reinstall your video card.  Download the latest drivers from nvidia.   Uninstall from device manager.  Reboot.  install with newest driver pack.  

Test your pc using the pcpitstop again.  If this doesn't work...I would try to borrow/buy a new video card and see if you have the same problem.  a faulty video card can be the cause.  I would recommend http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127412

Can't beat the price on a great card!

Faction: Horde
Realm: Mug'thol
player name: Theran

Good luck!
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authen-techCommented:
Also check to see if your memory is causing the problem...tho unlikely.

http://www.memtest86.com/download.html

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thenell871Author Commented:
Well, I updated directx. There were a couple of small updates, but it didn't fix anything.

I also tried uninstalling and reinstalling the video card, again to no avail.

I'll have a hunt around and see if any local friends have a video card I can borrow.  Failing that, I could buy a new card, but I'm a bit reluctant to shell out without some kind of confirmation that it is the problem.
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nobusCommented:
try runnning dxdiag from the runbox - video test
it will test your card on 3d
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papuccino1Commented:
I had this exact same problem before. Turns out it was my video card full of dust and overheating.

Unplug your PC from your outlet completely and remove your video card. Dust it off with a far and a lint free cloth. Then place it back in your PC.

It should work fine now. It mostly goes unnoticed but dust can cause a lot of problems for PC's.
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