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Old 09-15-2018, 05:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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SL is killing my computer!

So I'm starting in the last couple of days to have this problem where I'll be playing SL - well, via FS - and suddenly my computer shuts off. Not CTD, or freezing so badly I have to restart, or warnings or noises - I mean straight up noping the heck out, like somebody is just unplugging the cable from the wall (I checked; nobody is doing that). Usually after this happens once, subsequent attempts to restart SL shut down my computer as soon as the 3D view starts to load.

Usually I have to cycle the power switch on the back of my PSU to even be able to get my computer to turn on again after one of these shutdowns.

It definitely is not an overheating problem. My machine is as cool as I am. These shutdowns can happen if the computer has been off for an hour and I've just turned it on and done literally nothing else but login to my desktop and start Firestorm.

My computer is clean inside.

GPU-Z does put my GPU load at 99-100% during FS startup when this shutdown happens; but when I do manage to get SL loaded up and halfway stable, there are frequent spikes of 100% GPU load and they do not shut down my computer every time they happen.

This shutdown only happens with SL, nothing else. It happens with the official viewer too, not just Firestorm.

I just downloaded and installed the newest video-card stuffs.

Fiddling with computer guts seems to randomly make the problem stop for a little while. No particular thing has a predictable effect. ATM I'm in FS after having turned graphics settings down considerably, and I'm in an area with 22 other avatars all standing around together and it hasn't shutdown (yet).

Memtest64 doesn't seem to show anything wrong with my RAM.

I'm thinking that my PSU might be going bad and quitting when the GPU tries to draw too heavy a load. I don't think it's my GPU, because I would expect freezes, glitches, and other problems if that were the case, and not just a "if you happen to hit 100% load while using this one particular program it kills your whole system instantly" - aside from the fact that it doesn't happen every time I hit 100% load, even in SL. Also, a PSU would be a heck of a lot cheaper to replace since I'm kinda perpetually skin't.

What does anyone else think?
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Old 09-15-2018, 05:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If it only happens when using Firestorm or the official viewer, then that don't seem like a PSU issue. What GPU? At first glance it looks like a case of DLL hell snowballing into total shutdown arising from the latest viewer builds. What about FPS-heavy games?
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ah shoot - Tomb Raider causes the shutdown too.

Card is an R9 270. I really don't have the money for anything comparable right now, so I really hope that's not it.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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uninstall and re-install graphics card driver?
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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uninstall and re-install graphics card driver?
Nah, tried that. : /

SL still hasn't crashed on these reduced settings. I've turned off advanced lighting, turned down post process, turned off everything in the hardware tab except OpenGL VBOs. I guess I'll have to use SL like this until I can save up enough for a new video card.
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Run Furmark. It is an OpenGL stress test, so it will give a better indication of SL performance than most. Possibly roll back your video driver to a point before the problem started.

https://geeks3d.com/furmark/
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How old is the PSU?
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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How old is the PSU?
Only like 2015 or so. But it might've been ruined by the several-times-weekly power flickers we experience where I live. My UPS used to protect against those quite well, but its battery has been dead for like a year and I haven't replaced it yet.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Only like 2015 or so. But it might've been ruined by the several-times-weekly power flickers we experience where I live. My UPS used to protect against those quite well, but its battery has been dead for like a year and I haven't replaced it yet.
Are you on Cleco or City? City power was always better than Cleco. Faster service, fewer down times and way fewer spikes. My sister in law has worked for both. I think she still works at Cleco but I'm not sure.

Anyway, if you're on city, you need to start climbing on their asses if you're getting more than one or two spikes in a year. Either that or the wiring in the building you live in needs attention. Probably the latter.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, combine both of those factors and it may very well be the PSU ....
Back before XP was EOL'ed and while I still lived in Columbus I used a wholly different shared unit than the one I am on right now - wholly different primary user/owner at that.

The rest of the Hardware was doing just fine but .... It ended up being the PSU going out that finally killed that unit. Partially due to the way Second Life taxes a system, partially due to power fluctuations and not having a UPS to allow for graceful shut downs.

If everything else checks out on the system, find a way to test/replace your PSU. Even babying it as you are now will not save it if that is the problem.
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Are you on Cleco or City? City power was always better than Cleco. Faster service, fewer down times and way fewer spikes. My sister in law has worked for both. I think she still works at Cleco but I'm not sure.
It's CLECO
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It does sound like a failing PSU. I was going to suggest re-pasting the CPU heatsink, but when you mentioned how dirty your power is, I'm definitely thinking PSU.

And get that UPS fixed.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:19 AM   #13 (permalink)
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In advanced graphics settings, try disabling 'Enable OpenGL Vertex Buffer Objects', while it won't solve the hardware issue, it will remove some pressure on the gfx card, so it's worth trying.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dakota Tebaldi View Post
It's CLECO
If you are outside the official city limits you may not be able to get on city but it's worth a try for the stability alone.

https://www.cityofalexandriala.com/utility-department
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If you are outside the official city limits you may not be able to get on city but it's worth a try for the stability alone.

https://www.cityofalexandriala.com/utility-department
I wish I could, but I live in an apartment so I think I'm pretty much stuck with what they got.

The UPS worked well to protect me from the little power burps. It's just me being lazy and not replacing the battery once it went bad that's the problem. I'll be fixing that, though.
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I wish I could, but I live in an apartment so I think I'm pretty much stuck with what they got.
Maybe. Have you asked?

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The UPS worked well to protect me from the little power burps. It's just me being lazy and not replacing the battery once it went bad that's the problem. I'll be fixing that, though.
I'm still biting my tongue on that one.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Is it switchable graphics? And have you tried running OpenGL on anything else such as the link above? If it is a laptop - who is the manufacturer? And do you have Windows and enabled updates (as in not have them off manually)?



Essentially, around March, AMD fed Microsoft new drivers into their updates which rolled out in various stuff over time (since people got them at different times). The issue was that AMD wanted to throttle bitcoin miners and ... somehow incorporated a BIOS change into their update. What it did was breaking dedicated cards in switchable graphics laptops - card still appeared and looked like it functioned properly but it crashed (yep, whole system) when it was meant to be in use. SL worked but choppily and on integrated graphics when left to drivers but crashed when changed to dedicated.


Now, if manufacturer was HP - they do not allow rolling back BIOS thus fault ended up unfixable as no system re-installs in various configurations worked, same as no various inventive fixes for modifying BIOS. The machine in question ended up bricked and it had R7 260, also from 2015. So.... check BIOS version if it changed but if it is the case - let someone else fix it as awfully easy to bugger anything related to architecture.



Otherwise - try 3D Mark as it had OpenGL tests or used to in early 2000s if I recall. Blender render might use it? Not sure but you could see if it also crashes. PSU is most likely in case of components but could also be motherboard but it would give errors on other things as well. Try maybe some older games that would work similar to SL?



I generally put the waffling in as a warning as spent months on figuring wtf even was wrong and at first it shown up in SL as refreshing issues with horizontal tears which evolved to crashing.
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It is a desktop, and I'm the manufacturer!

It has an ASUS Sabertooth 990FX (revision 2) board with an AMD FX-6300 chip, and an R9 270 video card, also by ASUS. I forget what brand the PSU is, but I believe it's 600w-ish. The PSU I'm eyeing for a replacement is going to be 750w.

I am in the Insider ring so I've been getting new Windows builds almost weekly since Win10 was in development.

FurMark kills my system the instant I start the test. I can't get any meaningful information from it. So far in addition to SL, Tomb Raider (which on my machine is set to basically all settings ultra, because I was able to do that previously) also kills the machine as soon as the main menu loads. The main menu of TR is graphically intensive, of course.

I got SL stable with OpenGL VBO's still on....turning them off doesn't appear to make a difference, stability-wise. However, whether VBO's are on or not, there is one effect in SL that instantly kills the system regardless of my graphics settings - walking through a "dark fader" effect prim, of the kind commonly used at the entrances of tunnels and caves. I can walk past them, and right up to them; but if I walk through them I die.

This is a brand new problem; it started last week. First with one isolated shut down last weekend, and then a few days ago it started shutting down whenever I loaded SL with my normal (high) graphics settings.

The consensus here, and most internet pages I've found where people discuss similar problems, seems to be that it is most likely the PSU. I'm going to try and replace that first, next month.
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Just for shits and giggles, check to make sure the 6-pin power connections on the card are secure. Maybe try reseating them. Though usually if a graphics card is power-starved, the card itself will crash, not take the entire system down with it. But it's easy to check and doesn't cost anything, and maybe you might get lucky.
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:05 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Just for shits and giggles, check to make sure the 6-pin power connections on the card are secure. Maybe try reseating them. Though usually if a graphics card is power-starved, the card itself will crash, not take the entire system down with it. But it's easy to check and doesn't cost anything, and maybe you might get lucky.
That was one of the first things I did, when I was initially troubleshooting at the start. I removed all the fans in the case and cleaned them, and that included I taking the card completely out of the computer so I could clean its fans too (though the card's fans in particular turned out not to have any dirt on them).
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:46 AM   #21 (permalink)
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If you're in the USA, follow the buildapcsales subreddit for deals on PSUs.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:07 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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That was one of the first things I did, when I was initially troubleshooting at the start. I removed all the fans in the case and cleaned them, and that included I taking the card completely out of the computer so I could clean its fans too (though the card's fans in particular turned out not to have any dirt on them).
The graphics card's fans are usually blowing over cooling fins and it is those that require cleaning more than do the fans. It's surprising how much dust accumulates on partly enclosed cooling fins. Try some blasts of canned "air" on those fins. To blow on the fins, gently touch the fans to keep them from turning and then aim the cleaning "air" to flow over the fins. Gently stopping the fans from rotating will keep them from possible damage due to eccentric loads while spinning at high speed due to the cleaning "air" flow.

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Old 09-17-2018, 07:12 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota Tebaldi View Post
So I'm starting in the last couple of days to have this problem where I'll be playing SL - well, via FS - and suddenly my computer shuts off.
Somewhere back about a year, you'll find a thread in which I describe this exact same problem. It basically drove me out of SL for close to two years.

Upgrading my graphics card seemed to resolve the problem for me.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:11 AM   #24 (permalink)
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If it does turn out to be the graphics card, nvidia's b-stock goes on sale every Wednesday morning (if I recall) at midnight Pacific time. You can usually get a 1050 ti for $120. It would be a small upgrade for you. You can also find 1060's and above, naturally. A good place to find a used 1060 is the hardwareswap subreddit. Those go for $180-ish.

https://www.evga.com/products/produc...et=GTX+1050+Ti

For PSU you don't need more than 550W, 650W if you're going to put a hot graphics card in there. Watch for bargains in that range. You can pick up a bronze 550 for $30 on occasion, gold for $50-ish. Watch the buildapcsales subreddit.

None of these options are useful if you aren't in the USA.
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:53 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I have a file server in my living room that doubles as a Kodi media player. One day, our power went out for about a minute. When it came back on, the server didn't, so I hit the power button and watched as the computer's lights came on and it started booting. About ten minutes later, I notice it's off again, so again I hit the power button and, nothing. Thing refused to power up. I tested the power supply, and it was fine. On a hunch, I pulled the video card, and the computer powered right up. Thankfully, the motherboard has on-board graphics that works quite well with Kodi, so I left it like that.

Tl;dr: Like what happened to Beebs' and my computers, your graphics card could possibly be the problem after all.
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