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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is worth mentioning that this is my first post so please be gentle LOL.
Ok here is what is happening. My computer is locking up every time I am playing a game or watching video.

System specs
Windows Xp home edition service pack 2
Emachines with intel celeron 2.66 ghz
.99 GB of ram

Here is what I have done. I thought originally that there was just too much junk on my computer for it to run properly so I reformatted. That was after running Norton of course. I have had this computer for quite awhile so this is something I have done in the past for various things successfully, maybe not the best way but it worked. This time around I thought it fixed the problem so I continued to update windows and norton. Then watched a movie streamed from my netflix account. It worked fine then when trying to play a game again it locked up. With the video after that was the same story. With advice and a little guidance from a friend (who knows much more about computers than I ever will) we swapped out the RAM with some other he just happened to have. He assured me that they were good and I have no reason to doubt him. Also I am fairly certain that it is not overheating. Nothing feels hot to the touch and is clean. I also tried running a game with the panel off and a big box fan blowing inside just to be certain. With each step I have taken the problem seems to get better, but ultimately still locks up after about ten minutes or so.

I have not installed any new hardware or video/sound cards since this problem started occurring.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide.:4-dontkno
 

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Hi Rarnwi and welcome to TSF !

What's the exact model of the emachine and the complete system specs (video card, number and type of drives, additional pci cards, ...) ? What's the brand, model and wattage of the power supply (look on the sticker on the side of the power supply box) ?

Enter the BIOS at startup (look for some "press xx to enter setup" message) and see if there's some hardware monitor screen or pc health status screen. If so report your temps, fan speeds and voltages. Since it's an Emachine it's possible there's no such screen.

Make sure all the fans are spinning properly and aren't clogged by dust, check the CPU, video card and power supply.

A computer shutting down after some time when playing or watching videos usually points to overheating (either the CPU or the video card) or a failing/underpowered power supply. See if you can borrow a friend's power supply to try your computer with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The model is a w2925. The power supply is made by Delta electronics Inc. The model is DPS-300PB-1 A with a max power of 300w. All fans are spinning and no clogs to be found. Also there was nothing on the setup screen referring to a hardware monitor screen or pc health status screen. Embarrassingly I do not know how to see what kind of video card, number and type of drives, or additional pci cards I have. But I can tell you that I have not added anything new other than additional RAM.

Thanks again
 

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Here are your specs :

http://www.emachines.com/support/product_support.html?cat=Desktops&subcat=W Series&model=W2925

CPU: Intel® Celeron® D Processor 330
(2.66GHz, 533MHz FSB, 256KB L2 Cache)
Operating System: Genuine Microsoft® Windows® XP Home
Monitor: eView™ 17F3 CRT Monitor
(16" Viewable, 0.27mm dot pitch)
Chipset: Intel® 845GV chipset
Memory: 256MB DDR
Hard Drive: 120GB HDD
Optical Drive: 8x Max DVD±RW Drive
Media Reader: 8-in-1 digital media manager (Secure Digital™ (SD), Smart Media, Compact Flash, Micro Drive, Memory Stick®, Memory Stick PRO, Multimedia Card, USB 2.0)
Video: Intel® Extreme Graphics integrated
Sound: AC '97 audio
Network: 10/100Mbps built-in Ethernet
Modem: 56K ITU v.92-ready Fax/Modem
Peripherals: Standard keyboard, 2-button wheel mouse, amplified stereo speakers
Dimensions: 7.25"W x 14.125"H x 16"D
Weight: 22.5 lbs (PC only, no packaging)
Without sensors readings in the BIOS we can't know for sure whether it's overheating or underpowered (unless you have a multimeter or an infrared thermometer and know how to use it). My guess is the power supply needs to be replaced. More ram sticks require a little more power and cheap manufacturers like eMachines go with the minimum power supplies to cut down their prices. See if you have some friend with a good quality 350W PSU that'd be willing to lend it to you to test your computer with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the input. Actually the site told me my video card was lacking. To be honest I was surprised since it was an older game, and the graphics never seemed to be that great on a friends computer. I removed one of my RAM sticks since it was suggested that I was underpowered with both, and the video problem seemed to solve itself. Although the the game I was testing with was still locking up. Hopefully this is the reason why the game was crashing on me. I believe I will spring for a PSU and video card upgrade in the very near future.

My thanks to you both again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I have tried running another game (one I knew my video card would handle) and the computer locked up again. This leads me to believe that the PSU is the more pressing issue, and I am considering an immediate purchase. Any advice on this would be great.

Thank You
 

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If you plan to upgrade the video card later on tell us what model you consider buying so we can advise the right power supply. Note that you don't need a top notch video card since your current CPU and RAM will be the bottleneck (Your motherboard uses an old socket (478) and caps at 533Mhz FSB so you can't upgrade to a modern CPU like a core 2 duo). You'll need a PCI-E or an AGP slot on the motherboard though and I'm not sure you have one (PCI video cards exist but won't be much better than the integrated chipset).

Start a new thread in the building section to get the hardware tech's advices about possible upgrades (give them the brand and model of your computer and your current system specs).

If you don't plan to upgrade the video nor add any new hardwre then a quality 350W supply will do. The hardware techs will tell you more but you can already read this : http://www.techsupportforum.com/f210/power-supply-information-and-selection-192217.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
So back again with a new 400w PSU. It is working great, or at least I think it is. But the problem of locking up while gaming still remains. The game I have tried to play since the PSU install is Starcraft. For one thing I have been slightly addicted to it for years, and two, I knew my PC would handle it. About 15 minutes into the game it locked up again.

So my question I have is this. Do I have a video card problem, or is it something else entirely.

Thank you for all the advice and any future advice is equally appreciated.

By the way I made sure I had the latest drivers for my video card from the manufacturer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No I did not install a video card. It is a Intel® Extreme Graphics integrated card that came with the system. I only mention it now because someone mentioned it earlier.
 

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If it's starcraft 1, the old (and great) game that used to work on Windows 95 and Windows 98, it's possible that the lock up is caused by the game itself. Right-click its shortcut, go to the compatibility tab and run it in win98 or win2000 compatibility mode and in 640x480. Are there any other programs that cause the computer to lock up ? Does it still hang when you watch a video ?

Those old 2D games can easily use 100% of the CPU which may cause overheating issues, I've had the case with icewind dale when many spells/characters were to be displayed on the screen. Blowing on the cpu fan won't be enough to take all the dust out, you need to buy a can of compressed air and blow the dust out of the cpu heatsink (under the fan).

Give speedfan a try to monitor your temps. If your motherboard lacks the proper sensors you may get misreadings but we can't know without trying. The CPU (usually temp2 in speedfan) should stay under 50°C at all times.

If the old power supply was indeed failing your ram could have been damaged. Download, unzip and burn memtest86+'s pre-compiled bootable .iso (.zip) using ImgBurn (select "write image file to disc" and browse for the memtest .iso file). Leave the CD in the drive, restart the computer, enter the BIOS at startup and set the boot order priority to CD-rom first. Leave memtest run overnight and report if it shows any errors.

What's the brand and model of the new 400W PSU ?
 

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