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Windows 7: Complete lock up (No BSOD) while playing games

19 Dec 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Complete lock up (No BSOD) while playing games

Ive been playing Final Fantasy 11 for many years, and for ~2 years on my current laptop (Dell XPS15; Windows 7 Home Premium 64x)

I never get a full BSOD, (so no dumps), but it does freeze completely. By completely I mean that the display stays on, the mouse stops moving, no response to any keyboard combination, if sound is playing the note hangs but keeps going. This happens within 5ish minutes of actually doing anything in game, or ~20min of standing around doing nothing in the game.

This doesn't happen while streaming videos or regular internet browsing.

I've downloaded recent drivers for my laptop and video card, disc defrag, ran some antivirus scans, and did Dell's diagnostic tests. The diagnostic test did come up with something about a PCI Express error, but I ran it again today so I could tell you exactly what it said, but if found no error today (sigh).

Any thoughts on the issue? Tests I could run?

Thank you

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Dec 2012   #2

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)
 
 

You say you updated your drivers? Uninstall/Restart/Install fresh copy or just install over old one? Also, did you get the drivers from Manufacturer or Windows Update?

Another thing, there is no mentioned of you doing Audio Drivers Update as well... you should.

Last I heard (couple to few years ago and I do it all the time now so don't hold me to it and your miles may vary )... the best way to update drivers is to remove the old one, restart and install fresh from Manufacturer. Windows 7 will install std drivers as soon as you are back to the desktop, this is ok, then you install the dedicated version and you do another restart that for good measure!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I hadn't tried doing the audio driver, but I will do that now. As for re-installing a fresh copy, that will be one of my last ditch efforts, but I have to wait for Dell to send me my CD which is currently in the mail.

Ive been getting my drivers directly from Dell's website and Nvidia's website, not through a windows update (I think this is what I was supposed to be doing).

When I uninstall the old drivers, they start re installing themselves, is this ok?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Dec 2012   #4

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Hi Jfonta3,

You may also try flashing BIOS to see if that works for you.

To update BIOS, please find the steps listed below:
Note: Battery should have 10% or greater charge; Adapter should be connected; No external devices should be connected; All other programs should be closed and documents saved.

- Click Support for Home Users | Dell US and enter the system 'Service Tag' to access the pertinent drivers for download
- Filter 'Search Results' by selecting the 'Operating system' from the 'drop down menu'
- Expand and download latest available BIOS firmware
- Double click the file to begin the update; and follow the on-screen instructions to complete it
- Laptop may produce 'beep sounds' and will restart

Hope this helps. Do reply if you have any further questions. I would be glad to assist.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2012   #5

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)
 
 

Flashing your Bios is a last ditch effort IMHO, if you do something wrong you can really do some damage to your rig and then be w/o for a long time... if you are PC friendly then go ahead and try.

If you have an Nvidia card or chipset as you primary video, I would go directly to Nvidia as they usually have the latest updates. Same thing with Audio, it usually belongs to Realtek but you want to make sure of this first.

Download and save on a Temp folder if you want.

Yes, as soon as you uninstall and restart Windows 7 will install a Generic Driver (it may even do it immediately after you unistall), this is ok as stated before, let it run and once is done... then you go to your temp folder and use the downloaded file to install the new updated version.

Oh, before I forget, after you uninstall the Nvidia driver, don't forget to also uninstall the PhysX driver, it is part of the Nvidia package and sometimes, at least for me, it has given me problems when I don't uninstall it as well. Don't worry about it, it will install with the new downloaded file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I decided not to flash the BIOS just because Im not the most tech savvy person, but Im not the least either.

I downloaded the latest Nvidia driver after I uninstalled the current one, but when I went to get the PhysX driver, it says "A network error occurred while attempting to read from the file: (location). So, not sure what to do about that.

A potential problem Ive come across is that when I go into dxdiag it shows that my display is running off of the Intell HD graphics 3000 instead of my Nvidia GeForce 540M. Does this seem strange to you?

By the way, thanks for the responses, I really appreciate it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2012   #7

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)
 
 

Yes it is... you have to get on the BIOS and DISABLE the Onboard Chip (HD 3000) and or make sure you find an option that will take the PCIe as your primary video, you may be able to leave the HD3000 for PhysX but I don't think so... others more knowledgeable will come hit me over the head for sure and tell you it can not be done. Listen to them!

Oh, you may be able to get to Safe mode and uninstall PhysX from there... make sure you uninstall the video drivers first, then PhysX then you restart, otherwise, you may get the problem if you are trying to uninstall PhysX after you have restarted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AstaLaVista View Post
Yes it is... you have to get on the BIOS and DISABLE the Onboard Chip (HD 3000) and or make sure you find an option that will take the PCIe as your primary video...
I was unable to find any sort of options resembling this in my BIOS Not sure where to go from here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #9

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Hi Jfonta3,

If I am correct, your system model is 'XPS 15 / L521' (Please share the exact system model if I am incorrect). This system supports the 'nVidia Optimus technology; and its BIOS may not give you an option to select the 'discrete GPU' as the preferred graphics.

You may want to set 'discrete GPU' as the default graphics card for all applications, you may use the 'nVidia Control Panel'.
- Right-click on the desktop and select 'nVidia Control Panel'
- Expand 3D Settings and select Manage 3D settings
- On the right-side window, click Global Settings tab
- Under Preferred graphics processor: option, choose the desired graphics option (High performance nVidia processor)

You may also assign a 'default GPU' for each application:
- Launch
'nVidia Control Panel'
- Expand '3D Settings' and select 'Manage 3D settings'
- On the right-side window, click 'Program Settings' tab
- Under 'Select a program to customize' option, select the desired application
- Under 'Select the preferred graphics processor' for this program, choose the desired graphics option

Hope this helps. Do reply if you have any further questions. I would be glad to assist.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

My exact model is Dell XPS 15 L502X

I just did a fresh install of Windows 7 back onto my laptop, reinstalled my game, played for about 30 min and the same problem happened again

I did all the GPU settings that Saurabh A suggested and still the same issue. Im at a total loss, I was hoping a reinstall would have solved the situation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Complete lock up (No BSOD) while playing games




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