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Computer Freezes & Graphics Card Crashes! What’s Wrong?

Posted By Tim On June 15, 2013 @ 9:00 AM In Hardware & Peripherals,System Tune-Up Help | 3 Comments

Crys from West Indies writes:

I have an HP a6700f Desktop and while using it, the computer freezes for a couple seconds with an irritating sound. Sometimes a pop-up says the graphics card recovered from a crash and this happens every 10 minutes or so. I’m guessing its the graphics card….but i opened it up an found none. Can you provide any suggestions? Thanks.

Answer:

It sounds like you’ve got quite the mystery to uncover, so it will take a bit of detective work to determine the true problem. I can answer one mystery, the missing video card. It looks like your computer has an integrated on-board NVidia video card. This type of built-in video card provides better performance than on-cpu video cards, (at the time your PC was made) but not as good as a dedicated PCI-e slot graphics card.

To give you a quick rundown of possible causes: corrupt graphic drivers, corrupt system memory, GPU/graphics hardware failure or the dreaded all encompassing “other.” Since there isn’t a simple utility to run that will tell you exactly what is wrong, I can give you the instructions for the easiest of the problems to fix.

Graphics Card Drivers Corrupt

This is the easiest of the problems to fix. Start by downloading the latest drivers for your video card from NVidia.com. You can determine your video card by looking in device manager under display adapters. Do not run the installation program yet, start by installing your existing drivers. Go to Add/Remove programs, then locate the driver installation program (Ex: NVidia Display Drivers) and selecting uninstall.

Reboot your computer, then run the installer for the new display drivers you downloaded. Once the installer has finished, reboot your computer one more time and see if that has resolved the problem. If it has, you’re set.  If it hasn’t, you may want to bring your computer to a PC technician to see if you have a hardware issue causing the crashes.

-Tim

P.S. If you feel comfortable burning an ISO to CD, you can download MemTest86 to test your system memory. This utility won’t rule out dedicated graphics memory errors, but it will rule out shared system memory errors. You can download it by clicking here [1].


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[1] clicking here: http://www.memtest86.com/download.htm