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Blue Screens won't go away (Vista, 7900 GS)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 15, 2007 3:59:19 PM

When it's not one problem with me, it's another. I just fixed my computer from not being able to boot, and now it gives me blue screens constantly. I've gotten it from being a huge expensive paperweight to being a huge expensive piece of crap. :)  Half the time it locks up on the vista startup screen. The other half of the time it will work fine for up to an hour and then spaz out on me. I get a blue screen with this error message.

Quote:
This issue might occur if the display driver is caught in an infinite loop while it waits for the video hardware to become idle. This issue typically indicates a problem with the video hardware or that the display driver cannot program the hardware correctly.


This is very annoying because everything in my system is brand new, and I took great pains to ensure that everything would work together correctly.

I have a XFX GeForce 7900 GS. I have gotten the most recent and correct drivers and tried several different ones. I have a 500W PSU with a total of 29A on the +12V rails. The system worked for about 10 hours yesterday before the blue screens started. I thought it might have been an issue with my TV Tuner (Hauppauge WinTV PVR-500), but I disabled it to check and I still got the same blue screen.

Help! :cry:  I was just starting to have fun with Vista, and now all I can get is crappy Safe Mode.
March 15, 2007 4:33:15 PM

what driver version are you using, i have been having the same issue with my XFX 7600 GT, and im not sure if its an XFX issue or a nvidia issue.
March 15, 2007 4:46:27 PM

Seems like a classic case of CPU overheating.

If it randomly crashes often and bring you to safe mode each time - most likely the CPU is overheating.

If its a driver issue that causes the BSOD, it will crash when you do something specific (like play a certain game, or perform a specific task).

Some checklist to troubleshoot:

Check your heatsink/fan, it might not be in good contact with your CPU.

Check to see if you remember to plug in the 3/4 pin plug to your motherboard.

Check to see if the fan is spinning when you do plug in 3/4 pin plug to the MB. Also check bios setting for CPU Fans.

Check if you apply enough thermal paste to the heatsink and the CPU.

Check if it is not loose.

Check if the 4 pin on your MB is not defective.

Check CPU temp in bios.

But anyway, I could be wrong. Just because it tells you that it's your video card, it might not be! Have you tried another video card?

Edit: Oh yeah it might be your video card that is overheating too!
Related resources
March 15, 2007 4:55:34 PM

Download Knoppix or another Linux LiveCD. Load Linux off of the CD.
If it runs fine, then Windows is the problem.
March 15, 2007 5:01:21 PM

Thanks for your response. Sounds like you know more about this than me, but I doubt it is the CPU overheating. I have not overclocked it and I have it set to warn me if it gets too hot (it has never gone off). Everytime I check CPU temp in BIOS it says 31C or something low. It blue screens when I'm doing nothing and also when I'm doing something, so I doubt it's due to me doing something specific. I suppose it wouldn't do any harm to check the heatsink; I haven't checked that since I set it up. Why would it say video problem if it's not? Is it really likely that it would say it's a video problem every time?

To the other poster: I've used both versions (Vista32 WHQL and Vista32 International) of the driver available from XFX here (er, product code is PV-T71P-UDP3). At one point I think i downloaded a vista update that said something about a driver for the 7900 gs. Anyway I have about 4 versions total of the driver (I did not load the driver from the CD included).
March 15, 2007 5:12:57 PM

I'll try updating with this nVidia driver, instead of the XFX stuff. It was released very recently (February 20; after I ordered my card I think). Maybe it will help.
March 15, 2007 5:31:27 PM

Hmm what are your other components? What's your CPU? I'm assumming it's either a Conroe or an Allendale if the temps are hovering around 28-29C @ idle and stock HSF, and CPU speed. My experience with random shutdowns usually is related to overheating components, most likely the CPU or GPU. And sometime it is because of defective product.
March 15, 2007 6:45:43 PM

I've seen screen lock while playing games before, but I believe it was due to insufficient cooling on the GPU (and the GPU's RAM). If you want to rule out GPU cooling you can try running the machine in an open place with the side panel(s) removed.

I'm also curious as to what problem you originally had with booting the machine, and how you fixed it.
March 15, 2007 8:12:07 PM

Quote:
Hmm what are your other components? What's your CPU? I'm assumming it's either a Conroe or an Allendale if the temps are hovering around 28-29C @ idle and stock HSF, and CPU speed. My experience with random shutdowns usually is related to overheating components, most likely the CPU or GPU. And sometime it is because of defective product.


I've got a Core 2 Duo E6300 with stock HSF. I've got 2 sticks of OCZ RAM at 1 GB each. What would cause it to shut down if just the System temp as a whole is too high?
March 15, 2007 8:54:15 PM

Quote:
Hmm what are your other components? What's your CPU? I'm assumming it's either a Conroe or an Allendale if the temps are hovering around 28-29C @ idle and stock HSF, and CPU speed. My experience with random shutdowns usually is related to overheating components, most likely the CPU or GPU. And sometime it is because of defective product.


I've got a Core 2 Duo E6300 with stock HSF. I've got 2 sticks of OCZ RAM at 1 GB each. What would cause it to shut down if just the System temp as a whole is too high?

milk: is your motherboard compatible with these ram sticks?
I've heard bad stuff with certain brands of motherboards with special rams
such as OCZ, or Corsair DOMINATOR.

Also, try to stick only one and see if it happens.
sometimes random reboots, or bluescreen of deads when doing few things, could be triggered by faulty memory
its like everything boots ok, until your OS writes on the RAM, and once it reaches the faulty module, spooooooooof..!
March 15, 2007 10:49:08 PM

I have a Gigabyte DS3 motherboard. I really don't want to have to send anything back because it's faulty or incompatible. :(  I did some cosmetic surgery and moved my HDD since it was right in front of the intake fan. Maybe now my system will be a little cooler. I'm writing this on the problem computer; It's been running for like 5 minutes and hasn't crashed yet. *crosses fingers*
March 15, 2007 11:19:33 PM

I'd surmise it's a bad driver. Hopefully moving to that generic nVidia one did the trick for you. :D 
March 15, 2007 11:24:15 PM

im running vista rtm on my current system... and i have experienced blue screens before, BUT, that was only because i loaded non-certified/untested/beta drivers... ...but without those unreliable drivers being used, the system has remained 100% stable...

the same solution will be the case for you most likely, if you try just running your system in safe mode for a few hours, at least longer than it would normally take to crash (with networking enabled if you want to go online)... that way windows is only using the basic system essential drivers, and no unnecessary programs either (that could possibly induce stability problems)

i can also imagine instabilities if youre running an upgrade of your previous installation (which is definetly more difficult to troubleshoot on a software basis then)

this is the cheapest way to test too, as it wont cost you anything to find out

you may possibly have registry problems now too, after the constant crashing, but, if you can get a program to scan through and fix the registry, all the better
March 15, 2007 11:26:20 PM

i dont think its overheating, im having the same issue with a similiar card from XFX and my system is an opteron 170 with an idle temp of 31C and a load temp of 36C so i know my system isnt overheating and it does it, the problem is either the driver or an incompatibility with vista and XFX cards.
March 16, 2007 2:47:41 AM

Computer's been running for over 3 hours now without crashing, which is significantly longer than before. I haven't actually been using it, mostly just letting it run waiting for it crash again. Now I'll put it to the test. Now instead of that, when I start up it takes a little longer and then says that it couldn't find some DLLs. I'm not quite sure why, but I would much rather trade off the old problem for this one.
March 16, 2007 12:27:34 PM

Hmm interesting, can find some DLL files? May be a virus, or your HDD crapping.
March 16, 2007 12:52:00 PM

Quote:
Download Knoppix or another Linux LiveCD. Load Linux off of the CD.
If it runs fine, then Windows is the problem.

Amen to that.
March 16, 2007 4:59:27 PM

Quote:
Computer's been running for over 3 hours now without crashing, which is significantly longer than before. I haven't actually been using it, mostly just letting it run waiting for it crash again. Now I'll put it to the test. Now instead of that, when I start up it takes a little longer and then says that it couldn't find some DLLs. I'm not quite sure why, but I would much rather trade off the old problem for this one.


Disregard that. Had the same problem after a while. And I'm pretty sure killing those DLL files was my fault, I just don't remember exactly what I did. I don't think it's a virus.

Update: OK, now I've flashed my BIOS to the latest version (F10; I'm not sure what it was before) and upped the DDR2 voltage to a total of 2.0V. It crashed once after upping the voltage and before flashing the BIOS, but since then I haven't had any problems yet but that's not really saying anything since it hasn't been that long.

Update 2: No fewer than 2 minutes after Update 1, got same BSOD. Back to the drawing board.
!