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Hard/Fatal System Crash in TMI 5

posted by freddicus on - last edited - Viewed by 1K users
I'm having some serious problems with TMI 5. Intermittently after either 5 minutes to 50 minutes of play, the game will bring my system to its knees and freeze everything. Only a hard reset will get me out of it. The game runs smoothly and awesome otherwise. I've had no problem with Chapters 1-4, so this behavior is odd to me.

I'm on Windows 7, but I've also tried it on Windows XP - same problem. I've got a P4 3.0 GHz, 2 GB RAM. ATI RADEON X800 GTO. Playing in windowed mode at 720p resolution (1280x720). Graphics quality 6. Runs very smoothly, but sometimes suddenly it just crashes freezing everything! This makes me sad.

Please help!
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  • *sigh*

    I realized only now that I use my computer for just about nothing other than playing Monkey Island. I started surfing the web and watching some YouTube videos, when the same crash happened... :(

    I'm running a memory diagnostic on it overnight. I don't know what else it could be since it's happening in both operating systems. If it's not the RAM, maybe it's the video card? Maybe the processor has given up?

    Oh well. This is no longer a TMI issue. Sorry for jumping the gun. Wish me luck...
  • Try running SpeedFan to find out if your computer is overheating; you might also want to clear out the fans in your case and on your CPU and GPU if that is the case...
  • I'll give it a shot. Thanks!
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    DjNDB Moderator
    freddicus;241263 said:
    I'm running a memory diagnostic on it overnight. I don't know what else it could be since it's happening in both operating systems. If it's not the RAM, maybe it's the video card? Maybe the processor has given up?
    Which one did you run, Memtest86+?

    Here are some things you can do.
    - Upload a dxdiag log
    - Stress test your Processor
    - Stress test your Graphics Card

    Windows XP: Go to your start menu and click on run. Type in "dxdiag" and hit enter
    Windows Vista / 7: Press the windows key on your keyboard or click on the start menu. Type in "dxdiag" and hit enter.

    Now click on the button that says "save all information".
    It will prompt you to save a file. Save it where you can find it.

    Then zip the file and attach it to a message.

    Testing your processor:
    You should monitor your processors temperature while running the processor test, just as a safety measure to prevent hardware damage by overheating. Download and start core temp. It will show you the CPU Temperature.
    Also activate logging in the menu under "Tools/Logging on".

    Now download prime95 for 32-bit or 64-bit Windows and run it. If you see a "welcome to gimps" window choose "just stress testing".
    In the "run a torture Test" window just press ok.
    Let the Test run for at least 5 minutes. If the temperature reaches 70°C before that, abort it. To stop it use "Test/Stop" in the Menu, but keep the window open because you need the results. Just closing the window would keep it running in the systray.

    If you didn't have to abort prematurely and there are no Errors listed, your processor should be okay.
    Errors would look like the red worker thread in the Picture below.

    Upload the core temp log file for us.

    The log file created is called similar to "CT-Log*.csv".
    Zip the file and attach it to a message.


    Testing your graphics card:

    Download FurMark to stress test your graphics card. Start it, select "Stability Test", "Xtreme Burning Mode" and "Log GPU Temperature". Now start the test by pressing "Go!".
    While running you should be able to monitor the temperature at the bottom of the screen. Run it for 10 minutes or until the temperature seems to be stable for some minutes. If the temperature exceeds 80°C, abort with Escape.

    The log file created is called "gpu-temperature.xml".
    Zip the file and attach it to a message.
  • Thanks for the super long/helpful post. I quite frankly didn't expect that, and I'm very grateful for the help. I'm quite the tech-head myself, so I've been busy. What I ended up doing was creating the Ultimate Boot CD and running some tests.

    I ran the Memtest86+ and Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. I did two full passes with Memtest and six overnight (Friday) with Windows. Neither found any problems.

    I ran many CPU stress tests. I've been running BOINC projects for years and years now. I thought that maybe my processor got tired of constantly crunching numbers. From the UBCD, I was able to run prime tests that ran for well over 10 minutes without any errors. BOINC continues to run fine.

    I didn't think anything would be wrong with my HDD, but I tried anyway. I ran Western Digital's tools (packaged in the UBCD) and performed both quick and complete surface scans. Both finished without a hitch; no errors.

    I ran this and all tests completed without any issue.

    This is where things get tricky. My video card is probably less than 2 years old. I had to replace my first one because I knew definitively that it was failing. When I opened the computer up, the thing still looked brand new. I removed it. Used my compressed air to blow all the dust out. Then I put it back in. I ran TMI5 for about 30 minutes in idle (not playing), with no freezes. Came back later that night and started playing for real. I got through another 30 minutes or so when it froze in its tracks. Sad.

    I tried ATITool to help induce errors/monitor temperature. I was able to get my computer to freeze in a similar way when running the "Find Max Core" option.

    I'm running that FurMark program now, but there's no animation. The temperature is not reporting above 76 ever. It ran for 10 minutes once without failure, but I'm running it again.

    *goes and checks on desktop*

    Looks like the computer hard stopped during the FurMark test.

    Conclusion (?)
    I guess I can be about 85% confident that it's the video card and not that motherboard (or anything else). I don't know if the AGP bus could be bad or something. I would hate to buy another video card and have the same problem.

    Any reliable/cheap AGP video cards out there with similar performance to my current one listed above? Also, if I chose to buy an nVidia card this time, would my computer barf since ATIs drivers are loaded?

    Thanks a million!
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    DjNDB Moderator
    Could you upload the dxdiag log so i can see your system specs?

    The "Find Max Core" crash does not necessarily imply a broken graphics card. Increasing the GPU frequency beyond specification is expected to crash the system at some point.
    If you find a different way to reliably crash your system you could test the graphics card in a different system.
    Does FurMark qualify for that?

    If you choose nvidia the next time, you just have to make sure to uninstall everything from ATI beforehand.

    There are some cheap and powerful ati cards available for AGP though. The few AGP Nvidia cards i see seem quite weak in comparison.
    The Radeon HD3450 AGP should be slightly faster than your X800GTO. The Radeon HD3650 however (with 128-bit Memory bus, not the 64-bit version) would be a much better choice performance wise while still being cheap.
  • I attached the dxdiag results.

    The fancy Windows 7 screen saver came on (which uses the video card, I assume) and it crashed/froze in the middle of it. I disabled the Aero themes and the screen saver, so I can keep my Win7 partition usable for now. If I can find a friend who still has an AGP system, I will ask them to test it. FurMark did crash it, too, so I could use that.

    Does Flash/YouTube use DirectDraw? Would that explain that crashing on WinXP?

    I saw that card that you mentioned on Newegg and am seriously considering it. If I can narrow it down to the video card, I will probably buy it. If it's the mobo, I pieced together a small system upgrade for just under $400. Obviously, I'd like to avoid that.

    Thanks for all your help!
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    DjNDB Moderator
    freddicus;243113 said:

    Does Flash/YouTube use DirectDraw? Would that explain that crashing on WinXP?
    I don't know what API Adobe Flash uses. Since you have these crashes on both Windows installations I still believe it's more likely a hardware issue.

    Did you run the DirectX Updater on XP?

    What Mainboard do you have (Manufacturer/Model)?

    How old are your Mainboard and your PSU?
  • Yes, I ran the updater during both installations.

    This is my motherboard. Six years old this month. I replaced my PSU (and case) 1 year and 3 months ago. I have this now.

    Thanks again!
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    DjNDB Moderator
    freddicus;243250 said:

    This is my motherboard. Six years old this month.
    Do you know what broken capacitors look like?
    You could visually check your mainboard for them. .

    There's also a BIOS update available you could try.
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