Greg (gregstoll) wrote,
Greg
gregstoll

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why is my laptop crashing?

Executive summary: my laptop is now nigh-unusable for playing WoW.

Background: A while ago, I was having weird crashing problems with WoW where it would just quit to the desktop, no error indication or anything. I tried fixing it by reverting from Mac OS X 10.5.3 to 10.5.0 and that sorta seemed to help. Then, my account got hacked so I figured it was a good time to reinstall the OS and WoW completely, which I did.

Now the problem is somewhat different - when I crash, I get an error message (SFile2-Core.cpp line 1002: Failure to read data). It's mostly the same in that it only ever happens when I'm in the Outlands, and it usually happens after 30 minutes or so of play the first time, and then in rapid succession thereafter. If I quit for a while and come back later, it goes back to 30 minutesish before the first crash. Running in windowed mode as opposed to full screen seemed to help but that is no longer the case, it crashes about as quickly.

This was less of a problem before our alts hit 58 last week, but now that we're trying to quest in Hellfire it's pretty showstopping.

So my first thought, based on a google search and the particular message was that some memory was bad. Remember, this is the same laptop that I spilled a mug of tea on (although it seemed to mostly get better especially after I replaced the keyboard) so anything is potentially suspect.

It came with two sticks of 1GB memory, so first I tried taking stick B out of slot #2. It seemed to work better for a while, then CRASH! So I took stick A out and put stick B in slot #1. About the same CRASH! Then I tried putting stick A in slot #2 for completeness's sake...CRASH!

So, then djedi was suspicious of heat issues, since that would make sense with the diminishing time to extra crashes and my temperature monitor was showing CPU temperatures of 86 Celsius around crashes, which seemed awfully hot. So he rigged up something to cool the bottom of my laptop (involving two cookie sheets, a lot of ice, and a bag of frozen carrots), but that didn't make a whole lot of difference in temperature at the CPU. (although the bottom was much cooler than usual!) Then I remembered the WoW command /console maxFPS 30 which dramatically lowered the CPU temperature to the 50s while playing...and then it CRASHed. So I don't think it's heat.

Now I'm running a memtest on the stick that's in there, but it hasn't turned up anything yet. I really wish it would find just one error...at least then we'd have narrowed down the cause.


I'm getting to the point where I'd like to take it in for repair, but without knowing what needs to be repaired I doubt it would be fixed. And the laptop was quite expensive, and I only bought it a year ago so I really really really don't want to replace it or anything crazy like that. For now I patched WoW on my Linux box so that's at least a possibility.

It's frustrating because yes I'm aware that it's just a game, and a (gasp!) video one at that, but this is something djedi and I like to do together, and play and socialize with friends and such.
Tags: computer, worldofwarcraft
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  • 13 comments

  • motley links

    IBM's been working on a system that can play Jeopardy! called Watson. It had its first practice match against champions Ken Jennings and Brad…

  • other odds and ends

    As a wedding present from djedi I got a new monitor! Whereas my old one could fit 4 xterms without overlapping, the new one can fit 9…

  • days go by and still I think of you

    Had a nice relaxing week, apart from being sick Tuesday and Wednesday. Oh, and we downed a few new bosses in Ulduar-10 last night ( Kologarn and…