Frozen black screen with stuttering sound. Overheating?

I've been getting this problem lately in the middle of GWJ Team Fortress 2 sessions. The game runs fine for an hour or two and then occasionally the game will freeze up. The screen goes black and the in game audio and voice chat will repeat the same one second phrase for a while.

I can recover from the error by hitting Ctrl-Alt-Delete and killing the game from Task Manager. The game runs fine for a while and sometimes the problem happens again and sometimes it doesn't. My hunch is that something might be overheating, but does someone have a more informed opinion?

If it were overheating you wouldn't be able to recover by pressing ctrl-alt-del.

Sounds more like a driver incompatibility (rare occasion) or bad memory on the graphics card problem...

You're not seeing any artifacting are you?

garion333 wrote:

You're not seeing any artifacting are you?

If you're referring to the corrupted textures in TF2, no, I haven't seen anything like that. All the textures look normal.

Thanks for the tips though, I'll try updating my graphics drivers and/or *gah* reinstalling Windows at some later date.

Well, I asked because if your video card's RAM is failing you tend to see artifcating.

We really are missing Malor in this forum at the moment. Can't wait until he's back. Until then I'll take some shots in the dark.

Is this only happening in TF2? Is this only happening in long sessions of TF2/gaming? Is it getting worse?

First and foremost you should probably verify the integrity of your TF2 cache. If that doesn't help, reinstall TF2.

It also might be a memory leak in TF2 (doubtful). How much RAM do you have installed?

Upgrade your video drivers and sound drivers. Couldn't hurt to do a clean install of them both, but just try updating them first.

That definitely sounds like a driver issue. Good luck with the updates. I hope that works. I doubt a Windows reinstall would fix it, but you never know. At least use driver fusion to do a clean driver install before taking that drastic of a measure.

Are you using an AMD or Nvidia card? There is an option in Catalyst Control Center to "Restore Factory Defaults". If you click the preferences button in the upper right of the UI, you'll see it. It doesn't actually change your settings. It just works some mysterious voodoo magic and resets some stuff.

I had a flickering issue for a very long time (years) that I couldn't figure out. Turns out, all I needed to do was click that. Everything was fixed instantly.

I don't use AMD cards anymore.

I'm using a Nvidia GTX 460. The weird thing is that I didn't get this error yesterday even after 2-3 hours of TF2. So it seems to happen unpredictably, it seems to crop up once a week or once every other week and then go away. I'll verify the cache though and see if that helps.

Edit: Verified the cache and there were no problems. However there was a TF2 update this week, so it's possible that Steam automatically verified the game cache after applying the update. Maybe that's why the game was stable yesterday.

So it's been almost a week and the problem hasn't recurred. I'm guessing this is either because the temperatures are lower this week but it's also possible that an update fixed the problem. Weird.

It's always nice when computer problems just mysteriously disappear for good. Sure, we'd all like to know what the cause of the problem was out of curiosity, but there's no need to be unhappy since it seems to be solved. Glad to see it went away.

Stuttering audio was one of the telltale problems of the Half-life 2 engine and the games that licensed it when it was new. Maybe a patch reintroduced it or your sound drivers got reverted or corrupted.

I would definitely make sure the drivers are up to date.