Odd Computer Problem of the Week: Crashing Games

Last week, I was out a a client’s place, and they had a problem with one of their games refusing to launch, so I packed it up, brought it back, and started running diagnostics, wondering if it might be a hardware problem. Hardware came back clean, and after running a virus scan an removing a few toolbars, I started up the game to see if it would work, and, oddly enough, it did.

Skeptical, since I hadn’t really *done* anything, I took the computer back to the customer’s place and hooked it up, and of course, the game didn’t work again. This led to the usual process of elimination, unhooking everything and plugging things back in until the game stopped working

After everything, it didn’t turn out to be blocking activity from the customer’s backup system, or trouble with their firewall – it was their printer, of all things. When I unplugged it or turned it off, everything worked.

Going into in-depth troubleshooting would not have been worth the money for them, as it was just one game, so I was left with advising them to “turn off the printer when you’re not using it.” Not the most satisfying conclusion, but, hey, it works.

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