I have a brand new Alienware, hardware is probably not an issue. My laptop freezes about 5 minutes into playing Battlefield 3 campaign. Is there a known fix for this issue? Is this even a known issue ?
This is basically "how do I determine if my hardware is stable?"
Warning: Battlefield 3 is known to be extremely GPU intensive and may cause more heat than most games.
edit: apparently there might be a possible RealTek sound driver conflict, too. Apparently there's a history of Realtek issues with DICE engine games, so this is not new. A lot of people are saying "use USB audio" as a workaround. Can you try that?
This is a very common issue. On the official EA forums (via http://battlelog.battlefield.com), there is a technical support thread with over 500 people reporting the same issue (myself included).
Not to dampen your spirits of getting it fixed, but I reformatted my PC, and the problem remained.
Having contacted EA support, their suggestions were as follows;
All of these suggestions screamed "Generic troubleshooting attempts", not specifically directed towards the problem.
As mentioned by Jeff, a lot of people have resolved the problem through playing with their sound drivers;
(Obviously, playing without sound is a bit of a b$%^£.)
But there are still a huge percentage of people who cannot resolve the issue.
I had the exact same problem. In the menu, I could stay for 10 minutes and nothing bad happened. When I played the campagin, I had a black screen after a few minutes of gameplay for an unknown reason.
I have a Geforce GTX 560 Ti OC version (but You said You have a laptop, still I hope You have the same issue with the different gpu).
I fixed it by upgrading the bios of the graphics card. The problem disappeared and I am playing BF3 happily for hours straight without any issues.