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Computer randomly restarts when playing games - is this a gpu issue?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 23, 2013 11:40:19 AM

So I had this asked in another thread but it was deleted and I was unable to get help. I did a google search and noticed several other people with this same problem, but none were able to get an answer.

So I just bought an open box gigabyte gtx 660 OC from microcenter about 3 days ago and when I play graphically demanding games my computer will restart, I get the kernel power error in my events viewer too. Before this card, I had a crappy card that could only run minecraft (which never restarted my computer).

Today I tried starting a game up and my PC restarted immediately. So after that I put in my friend's video card and I have been running a game for about an hour with no restarts.

Also I have heard that this could be a PSU problem. I'm not sure if it's related but very rarely my computer will not turn off when i hit shut down, though the monitors do shut off and it goes blank, forcing me to hold down the computer's power button.

I was told that this could be a driver issue, how likely is this?

I just built my PC back in July so it's fairly new. Here are my specs:
Biostar TA970
-Crucial ballistix sport 8gb
-corsair CX600 600W
-GV-N660OC-2GD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 OC 2048MB

Best solution

December 23, 2013 11:50:53 AM

makoenergy said:

I was told that this could be a driver issue, how likely is this?


Driver issues are quite frequent actually. Especially with new hardware. Over time the drivers become more stable. Not saying it's a driver issue in your case, but don't rule that out too quick or say it's impossible just because you got a new PC.

Did you try to monitor your temps? It could be the card that is overheating. HWMonitor is a good software for that. You need to run it in admin mode to get all the readings.

Did you try to flash your BIOS to latest version? Then reset BIOS to default settings. Just in case this is something the card doesn't like from your BIOS.

Could be a defective card. But could be a driver problem too. Maybe you could use Driver Sweeper and reinstall drivers again.

What card did your friend lend you? It could be something related to the PSU. Like if your friend card is weaker, they might not draw the same amount of power.

Another good test you could do: Do the opposite. Try your 660 in your friend's computer. If it crashes when playing games it will be a good indication you got a defective card.

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December 23, 2013 12:14:17 PM

MC_K7 said:
makoenergy said:

I was told that this could be a driver issue, how likely is this?


Driver issues are quite frequent actually. Especially with new hardware. Over time the drivers become more stable. Not saying it's a driver issue in your case, but don't rule that out too quick or say it's impossible just because you got a new PC.

Did you try to monitor your temps? It could be the card that is overheating. HWMonitor is a good software for that. You need to run it in admin mode to get all the readings.

Did you try to flash your BIOS to latest version? Then reset BIOS to default settings. Just in case this is something the card doesn't like from your BIOS.

Could be a defective card. But could be a driver problem too. Maybe you could use Driver Sweeper and reinstall drivers again.

What card did your friend lend you? It could be something related to the PSU. Like if your friend card is weaker, they might not draw the same amount of power.

Another good test you could do: Do the opposite. Try your 660 in your friend's computer. If it crashes when playing games it will be a good indication you got a defective card.



Yeah I've been monitoring my temps and they are all stay pretty low. The card I'm borrowing from my friend is a GTX 460 so it's definitely weaker. I'll try my card in my friend's computer next and see what it does there. I'll update you after trying!
*EDIT* Actually I looked it up online, and apparently his GTX 460 uses MORE power than my 660. Also his card has been running fine on my computer now for about 2 hours.
Also, I put my card in his computer, and he's been playing games on it for about 10 minutes with no problems. If my card doesn't crash on his computer what could that mean considering his old card should technically be putting more strain on my PSU, but is working fine.
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December 23, 2013 4:19:35 PM

Okay so here's an update. I have been using my friends GTX 460 (which supposedly uses more power) and have had no issues. This leads me to believe that it's not a PSU issue. He has been using my card in his computer and has not had any issues either. He hasn't used it in his computer as extensively as I have, but I feel like it was long enough. My friend's computer is running windows 7, and I'm running windows 8. All of this leads me to believe that it is a driver issue. I'm going to put the card back into my PC, use driver sweeper, than use an older driver for my card and see if that solves the issue. I'll update once again with the results!
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December 23, 2013 6:21:31 PM

Yeah good idea to try an older driver.

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December 23, 2013 6:43:05 PM

makoenergy said:
So I had this asked in another thread but it was deleted and I was unable to get help. I did a google search and noticed several other people with this same problem, but none were able to get an answer.

So I just bought an open box gigabyte gtx 660 OC from microcenter about 3 days ago and when I play graphically demanding games my computer will restart, I get the kernel power error in my events viewer too. Before this card, I had a crappy card that could only run minecraft (which never restarted my computer).

Today I tried starting a game up and my PC restarted immediately. So after that I put in my friend's video card and I have been running a game for about an hour with no restarts.

Also I have heard that this could be a PSU problem. I'm not sure if it's related but very rarely my computer will not turn off when i hit shut down, though the monitors do shut off and it goes blank, forcing me to hold down the computer's power button.

I was told that this could be a driver issue, how likely is this?

I just built my PC back in July so it's fairly new. Here are my specs:
Biostar TA970
-Crucial ballistix sport 8gb
-corsair CX600 600W
-GV-N660OC-2GD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 OC 2048MB


First thing I would do is download BlueScreenView v1.52 you can find it

HERE

the link to download is at the bottom of the page.

once you get it open, hit f7, this will display all drivers involved in the crash in the lower panel.

This will give you some info on the crash, once you get it, post back here an we may be able to help more.
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December 23, 2013 7:19:05 PM

heyu29h said:
makoenergy said:
So I had this asked in another thread but it was deleted and I was unable to get help. I did a google search and noticed several other people with this same problem, but none were able to get an answer.

So I just bought an open box gigabyte gtx 660 OC from microcenter about 3 days ago and when I play graphically demanding games my computer will restart, I get the kernel power error in my events viewer too. Before this card, I had a crappy card that could only run minecraft (which never restarted my computer).

Today I tried starting a game up and my PC restarted immediately. So after that I put in my friend's video card and I have been running a game for about an hour with no restarts.

Also I have heard that this could be a PSU problem. I'm not sure if it's related but very rarely my computer will not turn off when i hit shut down, though the monitors do shut off and it goes blank, forcing me to hold down the computer's power button.

I was told that this could be a driver issue, how likely is this?

I just built my PC back in July so it's fairly new. Here are my specs:
Biostar TA970
-Crucial ballistix sport 8gb
-corsair CX600 600W
-GV-N660OC-2GD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 OC 2048MB


First thing I would do is download BlueScreenView v1.52 you can find it

HERE

the link to download is at the bottom of the page.

once you get it open, hit f7, this will display all drivers involved in the crash in the lower panel.

This will give you some info on the crash, once you get it, post back here an we may be able to help more.


Okay so I did this, but nothing shows up. It appears as though my minidump folder is empty as it says "0 crashes" at the bottom of the window. Would there be any other way to check the crashes besides the windows events viewer?
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December 26, 2013 3:10:09 PM

Okay so here's another update. My card seemed to work fine in my friend's computer, his card (460 which uses more power) worked fine in mine. I just put my card back into my computer and installed an older driver. Same thing happened. I started up a game and it restarted my computer after a few seconds.

At this point I don't know what to think. Is it possible that there is just something wrong with my video card and only my computer (with windows 8) triggers the malfunction? That's really what I'm thinking since it was open box when I bought it, so maybe the previous owner had the same problem. I really don't think it's my PSU since like I said, my friend's gtx 460 uses more power and ran fine.
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December 26, 2013 4:32:46 PM

A few things you could try in this order:

1- Did you try to flash your BIOS to latest version? And then reset it to default settings? Just in case it's either an incompatibility with the board (which could be fixed by a BIOS update) or just a setting that the card doesn't like (hence the reset to default).

2- Did you try with an older driver as previously suggested?

3- If it still doesn't work then you could temporarily install Windows 7 if you can in case this is something with the OS. Who knows, reinstalling Windows 8 from scratch (clean install) might fix it too.

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December 26, 2013 4:55:07 PM

MC_K7 said:
A few things you could try in this order:

1- Did you try to flash your BIOS to latest version? And then reset it to default settings? Just in case it's either an incompatibility with the board (which could be fixed by a BIOS update) or just a setting that the card doesn't like (hence the reset to default).

2- Did you try with an older driver as previously suggested?

3- If it still doesn't work then you could temporarily install Windows 7 if you can in case this is something with the OS. Who knows, reinstalling Windows 8 from scratch (clean install) might fix it too.



I tried using an older driver, that didn't help. As far as flashing the bios goes, how likely do you think it is that this could help? I've read that flashing a bios can be very risky, which makes me pretty nervous about doing that.
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December 26, 2013 8:48:01 PM

Alright. I just went out and exchanged my video card thinking that it could have been faulty. Like I said earlier, I was using a Gigabyte GTX 660, but now I am now using a EVGA Super clocked GTX 660 and am having the same problem. Started Final Fantasy 14 up, and it crashed after a couple seconds of gameplay. Now, my new GPU is also open box, but I highly doubt that it's faulty as well, giving me the exact same restart problem.

Would a bios flash at this point still be a good option? I know it's highly risky so I don't want to do it unless it's likely to fix the problem. Are all signs pointing to a PSU problem? If so, why did my friend's 460 (which uses more power, including 2 pci power cords) work fine in my PC?
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December 26, 2013 9:05:45 PM

Sorry to spam, but I just tried again. I didn't push any buttons this time and just let the game run. What happened this time was the screen started artifact, causing it to freeze, then my monitors shut off momentarily. After that my desktop came back on and it gave me a message saying the game encountered an error. Is it possible that I got 2 faulty open box cards?
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December 27, 2013 7:00:56 AM

Flashing a BIOS is not that risky come on. Or the risk is 1 chance out of 100,000 that something goes wrong, so please stop using the word "highly" risky. I've been flashing BIOS 15 years ago when it was a little more challenging to do. Nowadays, some BIOS can even be flashed directly from Windows, even a 5 year old kid could do it.

The main risk is that there's a power failure during the flash, but since the update process only last 30 seconds or so, what are the chances of that happening? Unless maybe electricity is highly unstable in your area and you constantly get blackouts... or don't flash your BIOS during a thunder storm and you should be ok.

But first, you need to verify if there's a newer version available, maybe you already got latest version. Just go to your motherboard manufacturer website, in the "Download / Support" section look at the list of drivers for your model, there should be a BIOS category. Just verify the latest version and compare with your current BIOS, if it's newer on the site just download it. It usually comes with instructions or a readme file. There are more than one way to flash it, pick the one you prefer.

Don't forget to reset it to default settings after too.

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December 27, 2013 10:24:08 AM

MC_K7 said:
Flashing a BIOS is not that risky come on. Or the risk is 1 chance out of 100,000 that something goes wrong, so please stop using the word "highly" risky. I've been flashing BIOS 15 years ago when it was a little more challenging to do. Nowadays, some BIOS can even be flashed directly from Windows, even a 5 year old kid could do it.

The main risk is that there's a power failure during the flash, but since the update process only last 30 seconds or so, what are the chances of that happening? Unless maybe electricity is highly unstable in your area and you constantly get blackouts... or don't flash your BIOS during a thunder storm and you should be ok.

But first, you need to verify if there's a newer version available, maybe you already got latest version. Just go to your motherboard manufacturer website, in the "Download / Support" section look at the list of drivers for your model, there should be a BIOS category. Just verify the latest version and compare with your current BIOS, if it's newer on the site just download it. It usually comes with instructions or a readme file. There are more than one way to flash it, pick the one you prefer.

Don't forget to reset it to default settings after too.



So if I'm reading this site correctly, is the BIOS update I'm looking for the "Update BIOS Code" uploaded on 2013-01-14, under the BIOS category the file I need? If so it's slightly newer than my old bios which says that it's 4.6.4 with a date of 11/5/2012.
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December 27, 2013 10:50:51 AM

makoenergy said:

So if I'm reading this site correctly, is the BIOS update I'm looking for the "Update BIOS Code" uploaded on 2013-01-14, under the BIOS category the file I need? If so it's slightly newer than my old bios which says that it's 4.6.4 with a date of 11/5/2012.


Before you do anything, did you verify what BIOS version you currently have? Just type "System information" in the search field of your start menu. Then look at "BIOS Version/Date" to check in case you already got it. If you can't find it in Windows, you can also reboot and enter BIOS to see what version you have.

It just sucks that Biostar doesn't list what this BIOS update is suppose to correct or improve. Usually other manufacturers include a list of fixes for each BIOS version.

But to answer your question, yes that would be it. Download the 97XAD114.BSS file, that's the latest. But you also need the BIOS update utility right underneath. Download that as well. There's also a PDF file right under called "How to update BIOS" so there are your instructions.

No matter if you need to flash it or not. It would be a good idea to reset it to default settings after. Just enter your BIOS and there should be an obvious option somewhere called "Reset to default settings" (or something like that). Just in case this is a settings somewhere in the BIOS that your card doesn't like.

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December 27, 2013 12:47:27 PM

I haven't flashed yet. Since my last update I put in my friend's PSU. My computer doesn't automatically reboot now, but the game still crashes and artifacts. The last time it happened it actually generated an error and then restarted. I also put my friend's RAM into my PC and my PC still crashes.

I got the blue screen viewer and the two drivers involved in the last crash are: dxgkrnl.sys and ntoskrnl.exe
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December 29, 2013 2:58:00 AM

makoenergy said:
heyu29h said:
makoenergy said:
So I had this asked in another thread but it was deleted and I was unable to get help. I did a google search and noticed several other people with this same problem, but none were able to get an answer.

So I just bought an open box gigabyte gtx 660 OC from microcenter about 3 days ago and when I play graphically demanding games my computer will restart, I get the kernel power error in my events viewer too. Before this card, I had a crappy card that could only run minecraft (which never restarted my computer).

Today I tried starting a game up and my PC restarted immediately. So after that I put in my friend's video card and I have been running a game for about an hour with no restarts.

Also I have heard that this could be a PSU problem. I'm not sure if it's related but very rarely my computer will not turn off when i hit shut down, though the monitors do shut off and it goes blank, forcing me to hold down the computer's power button.

I was told that this could be a driver issue, how likely is this?

I just built my PC back in July so it's fairly new. Here are my specs:
Biostar TA970
-Crucial ballistix sport 8gb
-corsair CX600 600W
-GV-N660OC-2GD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 OC 2048MB


First thing I would do is download BlueScreenView v1.52 you can find it

HERE

the link to download is at the bottom of the page.

once you get it open, hit f7, this will display all drivers involved in the crash in the lower panel.

This will give you some info on the crash, once you get it, post back here an we may be able to help more.


Okay so I did this, but nothing shows up. It appears as though my minidump folder is empty as it says "0 crashes" at the bottom of the window. Would there be any other way to check the crashes besides the windows events viewer?



If nothing is showing up, and it says 0 crashes,
First thing to do is make sure you have your virtual memory turned on in windows, also make sure your virtual memory size is at least a big as the size ram you have, 1.5x your ram is best for trouble shooting. ( I personaly run with virtual mem disabled because I run 16 gigs of ram, but I turn it on when something like this happens) Without virtual memory, your computer has nothing to work with during a crash. If it is on and your crashing with a complete restart, You could be having a power supply issue, like its just completely failing under a load, or something in your pc is shorting out. (if the crash only happens during game play, first suspect would be video card, next would be motherboard). Also you could try opening your pc and completly dissassemble and reassemble, removing all connectors and parts. Could be you have a little minor corrosion on something, and usualy unplugging and repluging, will fix that. Just some ideas for ya.
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December 30, 2013 4:20:51 AM

just read ur post about using ur friends 460'
the 460 uses more power connectors, or a different pin like 8 instead of 6 don't it?


if so I think u have found ur problem, it's the psu.
psu's have different "rail"s power comes from, it sounds like u have a weak rail in ur power supply.

if u look at a schematic of a good psu you'll see it has different circuits that feed different wires coming out of it, most have more than 1 circuit for each voltage, and they tap the transformer in different spots. if only one of these circuits are going bad, then when u hooked up ur friends 460' u tapped a new circuit in ur psu, possible spreading the cards load between more of the rails, effectively drawing less from 1 circuit and a little more from another, so even tho the card draws more total, it draws less from each rail. this would make perfect sence considering ur shutdowns seem hardware based
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December 30, 2013 8:33:16 AM

makoenergy said:
I haven't flashed yet.


Did you at least verify what BIOS version you're currently using?

Did you try to reset your BIOS to default settings?


heyu29h: By the way the GTX-460 uses 2 x 6-pin connectors and the 660 is supposed to use only 1. So if the 460 is stable in his system I don't think it's the PSU.

makoenergy: Maybe it's time to reinstall Windows.

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December 30, 2013 4:02:44 PM

MC_K7 said:
makoenergy said:
I haven't flashed yet.


Did you at least verify what BIOS version you're currently using?

Did you try to reset your BIOS to default settings?


heyu29h: By the way the GTX-460 uses 2 x 6-pin connectors and the 660 is supposed to use only 1. So if the 460 is stable in his system I don't think it's the PSU.

makoenergy: Maybe it's time to reinstall Windows.



the 660 pulls 140w max, from 2 inputs, the pcie bus and 1, 6pin, thus pulling a total of 70watts from each rail from the psu,

the 460 on the other hand pulls 160w max from 3 inputs, thus pulling only 53.4 watts per rail (if connected correctly).

so if one rail of the psu was week, the extra draw of a little over 16 watts on one of the rails may be the straw that breaks the psu's back so to say.

also given that the pc reboots like the power has been lost points to the psu, most bios errors either prevent post, or instant failure upon accessing the device that causes it.
also I had a similar problem in a server once, one rail of the psu was weak, when the fans ramped up do to heat, the server when down exactly like his is doing, complete reboot, no blue screen, no errors ect..
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December 31, 2013 8:19:46 AM

heyu29h: In this case, then he could borrow a PSU from a friend and try it for a few hours to see if it's stable.

makoenergy: The CX series from Corsair isn't the best. Corsair make excellent PSUs but you have to get their TX or HX series (I have the HX650 myself). The CX series are a lot cheaper of course, but the internal components are weaker too, so you get what you pay for.

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December 31, 2013 7:09:27 PM

MC_K7 said:
heyu29h: In this case, then he could borrow a PSU from a friend and try it for a few hours to see if it's stable.

makoenergy: The CX series from Corsair isn't the best. Corsair make excellent PSUs but you have to get their TX or HX series (I have the HX650 myself). The CX series are a lot cheaper of course, but the internal components are weaker too, so you get what you pay for.


Good plan

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