Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 PC Random Shutdowns
09-18-2010, 05:43 PM
Hello all. Thought that this would be the appropriate place to ask this question, even though it doesn't necessarily have to do with STO. Although, I will ask away. I bought a PNY Geforce GTS 250 around the end of May of this year [2010]. It was working fine, beautifully in fact, on highest setting and max res...all up til the last weekend of August. Literally out of nowhere, I was playing STO, got to a loading screen...and my PC shutdown. I replaced the power source (I WAS using a 250W source, surprisingly supported the card for 4 months) for a 440W power source. The problem persisted. I ended up guessing it was a problem with the graphics card, so I filled out an RMA request, it was reviewed, issued, and I shipped the faulty card back. Yesterday, the replacement they issued me arrived, and I installed it today. It worked fine...until I had another random shutdown after roughly 15-30 minutes. So, I am not quite sure what the problem is anymore. Without the card, while it was being processed at PNY for the RMA, i resorted to using my on board graphics settings, and the PC worked fine. No shutdowns, everything worked as it should. Which brings me once again a point of utter frustration because I have no clue what is wrong. I will post my system specs and dxdiag in the next post. If someone could please offer help, I would be very grateful.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
09-18-2010, 05:51 PM
------------------
System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 9/18/2010, 20:46:23
Machine name: ******************
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Premium (6.0, Build 6001) Service Pack 1 (6001.vistasp1_gdr.100608-0458)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: HP-Pavilion
System Model: GG056AA-ABA a6157c
BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 4400 @ 2.00GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.0GHz
Memory: 2046MB RAM
Page File: 1242MB used, 3081MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 10
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 6.00.6001.18000 32bit Unicode

------------
DxDiag Notes
------------
Display Tab 1: No problems found.
Sound Tab 1: No problems found.
Sound Tab 2: The file vrtaucbl.sys is not digitally signed, which means that it has not been tested by Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL). You may be able to get a WHQL logo'd driver from the hardware manufacturer.
Sound Tab 3: No problems found.
Input Tab: No problems found.

--------------------
DirectX Debug Levels
--------------------
Direct3D: 0/4 (retail)
DirectDraw: 0/4 (retail)
DirectInput: 0/5 (retail)
DirectMusic: 0/5 (retail)
DirectPlay: 0/9 (retail)
DirectSound: 0/5 (retail)
DirectShow: 0/6 (retail)


---------------
Display Devices
---------------
Card name: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip type: GeForce GTS 250
DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0615&SUBSYS_0593196E&REV_A2
Display Memory: 1775 MB
Dedicated Memory: 1009 MB
Shared Memory: 766 MB
Current Mode: 1680 x 1050 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor: HP w2207 Wide LCD Monitor
Driver Name: nvd3dum.dll,nvwgf2um.dll,nvwgf2um.dll
Driver Version: 8.17.0012.5896 (English)
DDI Version: 10
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Driver Date/Size: 7/9/2010 18:37:00, 9818728 bytes
WHQL Logo'd: Yes

If you all need any more info, just ask
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
09-18-2010, 06:43 PM
How is the airflow in your case? Are the fans dusty?

Problems like this are often heat related and often can be solved by simply cleaning the inside of the computer.

It is a little odd that you did not experience the shutdowns with onboard video but I would bet the Nvidia card runs much hotter then your onboard which will raise the overall temp inside the case so it's not inconceivable.

Get yourself a can of compressed air and blow out any dust on any fans or heatsinks. Make sure you power down and unplug when you do this.

I would also recommend getting some software to monitor temps. There are several nice sidebar gadgets that work with Vista. They are easy to loacate via the built in sidebar dialog or with google.

I use GPU Observer to monitor my Nvidia card and another called IntelCoreSeries to monitor the CPU.

Not sure if this will help but it's a good starting point.

Also wanted to add - make sure you have the most recent Nvidia drivers. There were some issues with the fan speed settings a few versions ago.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
09-18-2010, 06:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvord View Post
How is the airflow in your case? Are the fans dusty?

Problems like this are often heat related and often can be solved by simply cleaning the inside of the computer.

It is a little odd that you did not experience the shutdowns with onboard video but I would bet the Nvidia card runs much hotter then your onboard which will raise the overall temp inside the case so it's not inconceivable.

Get yourself a can of compressed air and blow out any dust on any fans or heatsinks. Make sure you power down and unplug when you do this.

I would also recommend getting some software to monitor temps. There are several nice sidebar gadgets that work with Vista. They are easy to loacate via the built in sidebar dialog or with google.

I use GPU Observer to monitor my Nvidia card and another called IntelCoreSeries to monitor the CPU.

Not sure if this will help but it's a good starting point.

Also wanted to add - make sure you have the most recent Nvidia drivers. There were some issues with the fan speed settings a few versions ago.
i will try dusting it out...when the prob first occurred i downloaded the temp monitors from nvidias site. the highest temp the card would get before shutdown was 65 degs. C. i should also add that i do believe i reinstalled the newest drivers when i installed the new card today...ill check again and reinstall tomorrow. im working with the case opened up, windows open so cold air can fill the room. i originally thought it could be a heating prob, but the card doesnt get that hot...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
09-18-2010, 06:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkikij View Post
i will try dusting it out...when the prob first occurred i downloaded the temp monitors from nvidias site. the highest temp the card would get before shutdown was 65 degs. C.
Nvidia cards are able to run hot with no issue and 65 is not too bad at all. I would be more interested to see what the CPU temp is when the card is really cooking though. What can happen is that the GPU heats up and it has no problem operating at those temps but it heats up the rest of the case and the CPU is not as tolerant to the heat as the GPU and it shuts down.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
09-18-2010, 06:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvord View Post
Nvidia cards are able to run hot with no issue and 65 is not too bad at all. I would be more interested to see what the CPU temp is when the card is really cooking though. What can happen is that the GPU heats up and it has no problem operating at those temps but it heats up the rest of the case and the CPU is not as tolerant to the heat as the GPU and it shuts down.
it seems like that could be the case. in my case the GPU is close to the CPU... I barely got the card to fit in the first place. ill run another test either later or tomorrow and post results here for the cpu temp. but what interest me is, would it just now act up, after 4 months of working fine? esp with a new card? or maybe has the damage been done, so now...?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
09-18-2010, 07:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkikij View Post
im working with the case opened up
This is a great idea when you suspect a problem might be heat related.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
09-18-2010, 07:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkikij View Post
it seems like that could be the case. in my case the GPU is close to the CPU... I barely got the card to fit in the first place. ill run another test either later or tomorrow and post results here for the cpu temp. but what interest me is, would it just now act up, after 4 months of working fine? esp with a new card? or maybe has the damage been done, so now...?
Most systems blow air out the back which has the side effect of sucking in air from the front which will coat the inside with dust over time. It might take years, months or weeks depending on how dusty your computer area is. I have wooden floors so I need to clean my gaming machine out once a year or so.

I wouldn't worry about permanent damage. In my experience , It will shut down way before you get to the point of permanent damage.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
09-18-2010, 07:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvord View Post
Most systems blow air out the back which has the side effect of sucking in air from the front which will coat the inside with dust over time. It might take years, months or weeks depending on how dusty your computer area is. I have wooden floors so I need to clean my gaming machine out once a year or so.
so if i was to take a bottle of compressed air, or a air compressor machine at that, and clean the dust out, if it was a dust build up problem, it should work up to par, as it had been before the problems first occurred?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
09-18-2010, 07:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkikij View Post
so if i was to take a bottle of compressed air, or a air compressor machine at that, and clean the dust out, if it was a dust build up problem, it should work up to par, as it had been before the problems first occurred?
Yes but DO NOT use a compressed air machine. Use a can of compressed air. Not sure where you are located but you can get them pretty easily these days. They even have them at the big chain grocery stores where I live.

If this is in fact the problem I would expect you would see dust caked on the CPU heatsink, on the edges of the CPU fan, possibly on the fan for your power supply. If it's not noticeable we are probably barking up the wrong tree.

the only way to really be sure is to monitor the temp with software. I would suggest you do this BEFORE you clean it out so you have something to compare it to after. Also if the temps are low without doing anything it will save you the trouble of doing all this.
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