General Question

Rickover's avatar

Why does my computer crash?

Asked by Rickover (110 points ) January 16th, 2012

My computer is fine until I try to play a graphics intensive game, even Mine-craft . Suddenly, there are lots of red dots and lines on the screen and the computer turns itself off. When I try to turn it back on, there are many white dots on the screen and the resolution is set to minimum. But if I leave it alone for an hour or so, it gets back to normal. E-set Nod 32 doesn’t find any virus and I strongly believe the problem is hardware related. What is happening?
I have a two years old computer with a core 2 duo and 2gb RAM and running Windows 7 64bit. The problem occured just recently.

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7 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

Is this a laptop or a desktop computer?

It seems that there are two possible culprits.
1 Heat! Your computer has probably built up a ton of dust inside and needs to be cleaned out. When the processor gets to kickin while you play graphically intensive games it can be made worse by the dust and buildup in inside the machine. Computer shutdowns like this are almost always heat related. What is the ambient temperature of the room you are in, does your cpu fan work? Examine all the heat related variables.

2 Your graphics card could be going kaput. Do you receive a blue screen of any kind? Any information at all? Or is it a straight power down.
Examine your event viewer to learn more about what your computer was doing at the time of the crash.

CWOTUS's avatar

You’re running your computer with the minimum RAM recommended by Microsoft for a 64-bit version of Windows 7. I would recommend purchasing and installing more RAM, for starters.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I would put some money on the heat sink on the GPU isn’t making good contact with the chip. The moment you start doing anything graphics intensive the chip over heats and you start getting errors. As it cools it starts to function correctly again.

jrpowell's avatar

I agree with @digitalimpression. The most likely culprit is heat. I would open the case and check the fans. I clean mine about every three months with a toothbrush and then use compressed air on them. Computers get very nasty very fast.

A few years ago i cleaned out my moms and there was so much gunk the fan on the CPU stopped working.

Check the power supply too. Those get nasty.

Charles's avatar

You’re running your computer with the minimum RAM recommended by Microsoft for a 64-bit version of Windows 7. I would recommend purchasing and installing more RAM, for starters.

A good resource is Crucial System Scanner. It has a simple downloadable app which examines your computer and provides recommendations on what memory can go in what existing slots.

jerv's avatar

Well, @digitalimpression beat me to it. I had an old Radeon that did that; that is how I found out it’s fan seized, causing the card to overheat before causing the entire computer to go into thermal shutdown.

If it’s fine after cooling off and only does it on 3d stuff like gaming, you need to check your cooling. You’d be amazed what cleaning the heatsinks can do ;)

DeanV's avatar

Minecraft runs hotter than any DX11 game I have on my computer, so I’m gonna go ahead and say heat is the problem as well. I’ve got a aftermarket CPU cooler that keeps Battlefield 3 from getting my CPU above 35c in 2 hours of play, but Minecraft always seems to push it up to 37 or 40 in the first 20 or 30 minutes after launch.

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