Originally Posted by EAWFAN
update your graphics card!!!
Um, let me expand slightly on the above post. The most common causes of CPU lockup during games are:
a) Overheating of the graphics card or CPU. This is usually due to poor ventilation and is a notorious issue with laptops in particular. You have to remember that video cards and CPUs process graphics by shuttling electrons through microcircuitry. Since this is not a 100% efficient process, you create heat. The more instructions the CPU/GC are processing, the more heat generated. If you're playing on a laptop there are a few suggestions: a) ventilate the laptop--nothing behind, underneath, or around the laptop that inhibits air flow, b) buy a commercially available laptop cooler built specifically to cool the computer (Targus makes one that's sold at Best Buy, but I bet there are others). If you have a desktop, go to a computer store and ask how to install an additional fan for your graphics card or at least a better fan than the one you have now. These are relatively cheap and work effectively (if you install it, it could cost around $20 or less through eBay...but if you've never cracked your CPU case, don't do this without someone who has--you could fry your hard drive or the whole computer if you don't know how to avoid doing so...which is more than just making sure you're grounded before touching the electronics).
b) Your graphics card and/or the driver are out of date. Check with the manufacturer of your graphics card (or your laptop manufacturer if it's a laptop) for out of date drivers. If you have a laptop and your computer software is us to date, then your computer is unlikely to be able to tolerate the rigorous demands of the game. Which, as the above poster seemed to intimate, means you need a new computer. Almost exclusively, unless you built it yourself, laptop graphics cards CANNOT be updated without also updating the whole thing: mother board, sound card, etc. In other words, you need to play the game on a new system. You can try other things like lowest graphic modes (makes it very blocky but playable) and using a program like EndItAll to close every other available process you can to make your computer less likely to lock up. If you have a desktop, it MAY be easy enough to update the GC. Same caveats as above.
c) Spyware and other background processes. As above, you need to nix all background processes if your CPU and GC are dated. EndItAll used to be free, but if you hunt on the web you should be able to find multiple sites that mirror it for free and will help. You also should download shareware to remove all spyware which can tie up your CPU with harmful software tasks (try Spybot S&D which is "free", but if you use it, please give a donation to the developer--he created what is uniformly considered one of the best programs out there). And, run virus scans. If you have the $s, also invest in a program like Norton Utilities that has a program WinDoctor that can really improve your computer's performance.
Hope this helps. Good luck
...It's not good news for ya, but it's news.