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Ahhh, the joy of PC gaming...(help!)


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Alright, so after a somewhat lengthy time away, I'm trying to do some gaming on my PC. Unfortunately, I'm remembering what a joy it can be when PCs start giving trouble and why I sometimes get frustrated with PC gaming. I'm getting some pretty random lockups and I don't know why.


I have a Dell Dimension 4600 w/ 2.6GHz processor, Radeon 9800 Pro, etc. Pretty standard stuff. I re-installed XP from scratch (fresh install, formatted the drive) hoping that would take care of it, but it did not. XP is patched completely with the latest service packs and updates, I have the latest Catalyst drivers for the ATI card, and the games I'm trying to play have been patched up to the latest versions.


Where should I start trying to troubleshoot the lockups? Another bit of information is I have not installed or uninstalled any new hardware lately.

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Excellent suggestion. The types of lockups I'm getting would seem to suggest a corrupt RAM chip either on the motherboard or video card. I'm going to give the Memtest a go. As for the power supply, well, it's the stock one that came with the system when I bought it, but I honestly haven't added any additional drives of any kind and I'm not overclocking or anything. It should be okay.

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Hmmm...so I used the Microsoft memory checker, I forgot to mention I'm a freak and I don't have a floppy drive directly connected to this machine, so I needed an app that would be on a bootable CD. I'm hoping it's comparable, it ran a whole battery of tests.


Nothing, no RAM problems detected, and I left it running test passes for two hours. I doubt it tested the video card RAM though, is there a way to make Memtest bootable from a CD instead of a floppy?


Along with the random lockups, I've also been getting the occasional BSOD with page fault errors and a few random shutdowns by Firefox and other apps. It sure would seem like a RAM problem based on that, but...I dunno.


Hmmmm, and how should I test if it's the power supply?

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Could be that old nemesis, heat.


What temps are you reading in BIOS for your CPU, etc?


Heat...I was thinking that as well, my friend is a thermal engineer in Dell's server division, so I've been well educated in that area. :) However, I checked my BIOS and it seems pretty weak, I can't seem to find any temperature indicators which really sucks. So I can't be sure.

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