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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 869
# 11
06-08-2013, 10:40 AM
STO could be a proximate cause, but the issue itself is very likely to be due to a hardware failure. STO, like many video games, taxes some of your hardware, such as your graphics card. If, for instance, the GPU is faulty, that can cause your system to halt and shutdown or reboot without any sort of error message. If it were actually a programming error in STO (such as a memory overflow error or bad data sent to Direct X), the OS would likely shut down STO or halt itself (known as the BSOD).

On the other hand, if the problem were with your hardware, the system would be likely to get a BSOD or simply shut down. Now, you claim that your hardware is within thermal limits, but faulty hardware can be within thermal limits and still malfunction.

The problem, in decending order of liklihood is:

1) Your GPU: Try temporarily replacing it and seeing if that stops the system halts.

2) Your PSU: A dying or overheated PSU often causes the GPU, CPU, or motherboard to behave erratically as they try to draw more power than can be supplied.

3) Your motherboard: Motherboard malfunctions can be difficult to detect but something as simple as a bad capacitor or slightly damaged IC can cause the system to halt unexpectedly with no explanation.

4) Some other peripheral such as a RAID controller: These usually are connected directly to the bus and cause BSOD rather than resets, but they can also cause system halts.

5) Your CPU: CPU's rarely fail but occasionally they do and unlike the other components, you can test them out without removing them.

You have to start replacing these items one at a time to test to see if they are at fault. If you do not have spares, try to borrow someone else's. Occasionally, more than one may be faulty.

Case in point, I unwisely restricted air flow around my PSU, causing it to start failing. This ended up damaging all three GPU's as well as the motherboard. Luckily, the GPU and PSU had lifetime warranties (always try to buy something with a lifetime warranty) and the MB was under a 5 year warranty.

But tracking down the failure was difficult, since there are no simple tests for a faulty GPU, PSU, or motherboard.