Unexpected crashing

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Rush
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:46 am

Unexpected crashing

Post by Rush » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:27 am

Hey,

I'm having a crashing problem with my ASUS notebook. Whenever I go to play games on Steam (Alien Swarm, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Section 8: Prejudice, etc...) my screen will turn black, my keyboard's lights will shut off, and it will basically just shut down. This happens with any settings I use on the games -they aren't maxed out. I have to wait a couple minutes before I try to turn it back on or it simply won't let me. It first happened a couple months ago with Alien Swarm but I decided to just delete Alien Swarm and ignore it since I saw a lot of crash reports for the game and it never happened to me before. However, now it's happening with pretty much any 3d game.

Yesterday I did a torture test with BurnIt and everything seemed to be fine until I got to the 3d graphics test. It produced the same crash I get for the games I play on Steam. I also checked my temperatures with HWMonitor. The core temperatures are normally around 160°F (70°C), except for my air flow and assembly temperatures which are around 107°F (42°C). When I ran Battlefield: Bad Company 2 my core temperatures raised about 10 degrees and everything else stayed the same. I didn't run it for long though, in fear of crashing. I purchased a cooling pad and I made sure my air vents are not blocked. Temperature shouldn't really be a problem.

The warranty I had on my notebook recently expired and I would rather not have to send it in or purchase a new graphics card. Are there any other possible solutions that are relevantly cheap?

Thanks,

~Rush

Specs:

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1 (64-bit),
1 x Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU Q 720 @ 1.60GHz,
5.9GB RAM,
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870,
466GB HDD,
CD-RW/DVDRW

Motherboard Manufacturer: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.,
Motherboard Model: G73Jh,
Motherboard Version: 1.0,
BIOS Manufacturer: American Megatrends Inc.,
BIOS Version: _ASUS_-6222004,
BIOS Release Date: 2010/01/26

CPU manufacturer: GenuineIntel,
Socket: 989,
Cores per CPU: 4,
Hyperthreading: Enabled,
CPU features: MMX SSE SSE2 SSE3 SSSE3 SSE4.1 SSE4.2 DEP PAE Intel64 VMX SMX Turbo

Total Physical Memory: 6069MB,
Available Physical Memory: 3617MB,
Virtual Memory: C:\pagefile.sys (allocated base size 6068MB)

Chip Type: ATI displayer adapter (0x68A0),
DAC Type: Internal DAC (400MHz),
Memory: 1024MB,
BIOS: BR35992.001,
Driver provider: ATI Technologies Inc.,
Driver version: 8.683.0.0,
Driver date: 12-17-2009,
Monitor: 1600x900x32 60Hz (Primary monitor)

C: 446.23GB total, 341.07GB free

Plekto
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:08 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Unexpected crashing

Post by Plekto » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:21 am

I had this exact problem last week. The machine would be fine and then simply cycle its power like that.

The solution was to get a new power supply. The old one would not be able to supply enough current to the 6 pin aux connector on the video card and it would crash the entire system as a result of the power sag. But, this was a desktop. If your laptop is dying, then it's almost certainly something that is wrong with its power circuitry.

Q: does it do the same behavior when plugged directly into the wall adapter? Or the batteries? (ie - which one, or both?)

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7449
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: Monterey Bay, CA

Re: Unexpected crashing

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:48 am

Hi and Welcome to SPCR!

Highest priority: You looked at the CPU thermals...but what about the GPU temps? Try running Furmark. It logs temperature as part of the test.
See if it crashes at start or if it reaches a certain temp before crashing.

Next priority: Your ATI graphics driver is pretty darn old. This is probably NOT the problem as your games worked for over a year or 2 before the problem started. However, sometimes drivers get corrupted. Run Windows update and see if there is a newer graphics driver - or visit ASUS support and see if there is a newer download for the ATI card. Or, visit AMD's support site and look for the Radeon Mobility driver that fits your system. Be sure to follow the uninstall/install guidelines.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

HFat
Posts: 1753
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: Unexpected crashing

Post by HFat » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:27 pm

Laptop PSUs can cause trouble, sure. But the first thing I would have looked at would be this:
CA_Steve wrote:what about the GPU temps?
Most of the problems I've had with old laptops were GPU-related. Even if the GPU and its connection with the board is solid, the performance of the cooling system might be decreasing (maybe your laptop could use a good cleaning), which can lead to overheating.

It could also be a software issue or just about anything. But I'd say the GPU is the most likely culprit.

Abula
Posts: 3613
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Location: Guatemala

Re: Unexpected crashing

Post by Abula » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:44 pm

Asus was the first to rush the 5870m to the market with their own pcb design, this lead to a lot of issues and primary reason why no laptops of asus atm are coming with AMD/ATi mobile gpus anymore. The biggest issue was the 5870 became unstable with almost any driver aside from the original, but newer games will require new drivers maximized for them or even bug sorting on newer games. Asus manage to fix this by updating the bios, but this crippled a lot into what the gpu can be OC at, this lead Asus to simply move toward the GTX460m (even though slighly inferior to the 5870) and now the GTX560.

Threads that i recommend your reading before doing anything,

G73jh vBios update tutorial, for GSOD matter.
[GSOD Fix?] Beta vBIOS update for G73JH
G73jh Bios 209 (At Your Risk)

Go into Asus Support Webpage, then click the 3rd option, chose notebook, then G73, then G73JH and then confirm it, then Windows 7 64bit (im assuming that your OS), then you will see all the latest drivers there, go into bios you will find BIOS 213 to be the latest. Also update your ATI/AMD gpu drivers and test with newer releases, or read notebookreview to see whats best for your laptop. I would also use the latest Intel Chipset and RSTs, audio... depends, since there are creative drivers involve.... so idk if newer drivers from realtek would be advisible, probably i woudl go with the latest on Asus website. There are a lot of other drivers needed like ATKs whch will enable your keyboard and shortcuts.

Another good source for G73 drivers is Chasity post, G73 Series Driver and Application Reference, which is a good way to know what drivers might work the best.

Remember in any bios flashing there is always the risk of bricking your laptop, so before you do this be fully aware that this might happen. I never recommend flashing bios unless you are fixing something that isnt working correctly (like in your case), but still there is a chance that the flashing is unsuccessful thus bricking the laptop.
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