Also, if you are using an ASUS mb and the hard disk is Maxtor, make sure you have flashed your BIOS to the latest version. A couple of BIOS versions ago this was a continual issue between ASUS and Vista.
I'm thinking it is memory resource - leaving hard disk swap, RAM or something loading into a memory space that is failing (like GPU driver failing). However, you have elimated the various suspects. It's funny it is only occuring in games - like some GPU feature that is not supported correctly (which I hope could be eliminated as a suspect, but not in this case) or a faulty RAM chip.
Its been 2 weeks since i fixed it, so it seems. Figure I should post my resolution for this.
First, I installed nForce drivers for my chipset, and also made the nVidia drivers also become my SATA controller over the old one. That fixed the Bsod, but I still would lag out in games and such for over 1 minute at a time (thought it would crash, but then it came back running fine, 1 problem down)
Next, I was able to google the error on the event log and got an entire 2 hits,but it linked me to a forum post on evga forums that helped. In the SATA drivers for my main SATA drive, I had command queueing on ( NCQ, native command queueing), which the poster said fixed his lag outs. Once I disabeled that for good, I have not froze at all, so im happy it finally got fixed!
I know that nothing works like success but in theory, ncq should give you significantly higher throughput on your sata drive.
The thing is, for ncq to be effective, you need to have OS, mobo and drive support for it. I'm pretty sure your drive supports it and I believe elitegoup supports it (it could be a newer feater). I looked at the board a while back and I remember them 'claiming' that ncq was a big deal and they were proud that they support for it. Have you checked their faqs for any info on ncq? And, I'll just go with the assumption (since you've been banging this thread around for quite awhile) that you have the latest bios.
You said earlier that it had a setting for sata 1, non, and all, what exactly does all give you, is that sata 2? One more question around this, do you have a bios setting for anything that says AHCI? Normally to get ncq support, you would either have sata (2?) or ahci enabled. I'm just curious, you should have good ncq support in your system so why does it work better if it is turned off?
I found some AHCI and ncq issues for SATA under Vista for some mobos. If you did not have AHCI activated and activated it under Vista, Vista would not recognize it until you actually reinstalled the OS - some kind of Vista driver had to running for it to recognize that it had to use AHCI mode. NCQ, with some manufacturer drivers - in my case ASUS - will also cause similar problems with dumps, etc., due to controller memory issues. I actually had a few Dell tickets open as well on those types of issues. Unless if you are in a RAID configuration, AHCI and ncq should have very minimal impact on your actual SATA performance and can actually cause Vista to perform poorly. However, with the proper drivers, configs and hardware, Vista does fully support those techs.