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Crash to Desktop with Certain Games on Homebuilt PC (c0000005)

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July 1, 2009 3:08:39 PM

Hi,

Sorry, this is quite a long post because I spent months trawling the forums and tech-support peeps trying to fix this. I have tried a lot of stuff already and wanted to tell you what so I'm not wasting your time.

I would greatly appreciate some help with this issue. It's like bashing my head off a brick wall.

About 10 months ago I built a new PC:

Intel Core 2 Duo 8600
Asrock Penryn 1600SLI mobo (with Nforce 650i northbridge chip)
4gig dual channel kit of kingston 800mhz DDR2 RAM
Nvidia 9600GT GPU
Samsung 320 gig HDD
750 watt PSU
Usually the Vista 32bit OS but currently Windows 7 beta

The Problem:

I have been getting a CTD with Medieval II with the appcrash error code c0000005. The crash seemed to happen at roughly the 20 minute mark, during the 3D battles. The exact timing of the crash seems random: on a few rare occasions i was able to get th came to go for hours before it crashed (just leaving it to idle on the deployment sequence). After trying all the usual stuff, I figured the game was just poorly coded.

I recently bought Dawn of War II, and the same problem has emmerged. I also noticed the problem on Frontlines Fuel of War and Warhammer Online, again, usually at the 20 minute mark (although since I formatted and installed windows seven DOWII has been working without a crash - I left it running 8 hours, but I've not tested FFOW or Warhammer online yet.) These crashes, like the Medieval II crashes come up on the event viewer as c0000005 appcrashes.

My other games seem to be fine. I've only had one crash on Farcry 2 with the above error, although I've played it a lot. I've not had any crashes with Mass Effect, Stronghold 2 or Doom 3.


Here's what I've tried:

-Monitored the temperatures - the highest I've ever seen my temps go are CPU:47C; MOBO:35C; GPU:67C. Medieval II, however, usually crashes before they reach those temperatures.
-Reinstalling the game
-Formatting hard drive and reinstalling OS
-Running with old Nvidia Drivers/Beta Drivers/Newest Drivers
-Updated BIOS
-Updated Mobo and Soundcard Drivers
-Tried various edditions of DX9, and tried DX10 and the beta for DX11
-Tried running on Windows XP 32bit, Vista Business 32 bit, and Windows 7 32bit Beta
-Tried running without any software installed except Medieval II
-Swapped out the HDD, the GPU and the RAM with known good components
-Tried underclocking the ram
-Tried increasing DRAM voltage
-Tried running the RAM at a 1:1 ratio with CPU frequency (333Mhz)
-Played with and without patches and expansion pack
-Stresstested GPU and CPU (no errors)
-Ran memtest and spinrite (no errors)
-Ran in compatiblilty mode
-Ran in administrator mode
-Ran with the lowest settings and resolution possible
-Ran with the highest settings and resolution possible

None of this has stopped Medieval II from crashing.


My Hypotheses:

c0000005 reffers to a Buffer Overflow does it not? Could it therefore have been Medieval II which was causing the errors in DOWII and FFOW by corrupting the C++ libraries? (not one hundred percent sure what I'm talking about here). When I formatted and installed Windows 7, I installed DOWII before Medieval and now it works without crashing.

In this case is it just poor programming in Medieval II - A memory leak or something getting shut down when it overflows (which would explain why it shuts down roughly at the 20 minute mark but isn't an exact time)?

The only componnents I've not switched out are the CPU and the Mobo. I suspect the northbridge might not be reading the ram properly, causing the c0000005 errors, although I have no idea how to confirm this! Is this possible?

Any sugggestions would be hugely appreciated. I'm already way beyond my computing knowledge here.....

Cheers
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2009 3:26:00 PM

Nvidia chipset OR chipset drivers OR bad MB, the three kinda go together anyway.

The only other thing, that you haven't specifically stated you checked, is that the RAM voltage has been checked and confirmed to be running at the required spec.

As long as it's not RAM voltage (probably not) your problems should go away if you switch to an Intel chipset.

Here are a few good choices:

GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

P5QL Pro
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2009 3:53:12 PM

Is there a reason you're sticking with 32-bit operating systems even though you have 4GB of RAM? A 32-bit OS doesn't fully use all 4Gb of RAM and limits applications to a 2GB limit. It's possible that you're reaching the 2GB application limit. I would try the 64-bit Windows 7 RC.
Related resources
July 1, 2009 5:13:06 PM

Thanks for the input guys.

Proximon:

The DRAM voltage is currently set to 1.85 which is stock for those modules. I've tried various voltages, as I heard increasing the voltage could stablise the RAM, but even at higher (or lower) voltages the error persists. I've tried various versions of the Nvidia chipset drivers without any success too.

A new mobo may be the only option at this point....

Also, out of curiosity, why do you suggest an Intel chipset over Nforce? CPU compatibility?

Shortstuff_mt:

I thought that the 64 bit OSs have compatibility problems with games (Dawn of War II and Warhammer Online for example), which is why I chose to go with Windows 7 32bit. Although Windows 7 only recognises 3025MB of my ram, and XP only recognised 3GB, Vista 32-bit seemed to recognise the full 4GB. I have also tried running the system with one stick of ram, but recieved the same errors.

Probably a good idea to experiment with the 64-bit OS. I'll try that next time I feel like I have to format the HDD (which is about every three days at this point!)

Cheers
a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2009 6:31:57 PM

I don't like recommending just throwing parts at something, but I've read about enough stability grief with nVidia chipsets that Proximon's mobo replacement idea may just be it.
(Clutching for a straw...) What PSU do you have? If it is some cheap brand, all bets are off. In case something hard to measure is overheating, take the side of your case off and aim a common fan into it and see if there's any change.

a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2009 6:38:37 PM

No 32-bit OS can fully utilize 4GB of RAM. Microsoft was sneaky with SP1 for Vista. They changed it to show the amount of RAM installed, not the amount that the OS can actually use/reference. It seems a little dishonest to me, but I guess they got sick of all the people thinking there was something wrong with their OS when they installed 4GB of RAM and it only showed up as around 3GB.

I'd try the 64-bit OS. I currently run 64-bit Windows 7 on my main computer and haven't had any hardware/software compatibility issues with it at all. The same goes for 64-bit Vista which is still installed in a dual-boot situation with Windows 7.
July 1, 2009 9:07:42 PM

jtt283:

It is a cheap PSU (), but I'm not convinced that it's the problem, wouldn't I be getting much more trouble with my system if it was a PSU issue? Is there any way I can test it and check?

Many thanks
a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2009 9:12:21 PM

The unstable power from a cheap PSU can cause all sorts of system stability issues. The PSU is a very complex piece of hardware and a lot of people don't understand how vitally important it is to get a good PSU for your system. A cheap PSU can cause problems ranging from instability to a completely fried system.
July 1, 2009 9:21:54 PM

(http://www.eclipsecomputers.com/product.aspx?code=PS-X750)

Hmmmn... That sounds plausible... Which do you think is more likely - PSU or Mobo? Are there no good cheap PSUs? Is there an easy way to test the PSU, or would i need to buy a multimetre!?

Personally I'm still leaning towards the mobo, but that could be my ignorance talking!
a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2009 9:29:04 PM

PSU vs. motherboard is a tough one. Neither one are really quality components. NForce motherboards are famous for causing stability issues, but so are cheap PSU's. I'm not sure what to tell you, really. There's not really a good, cheap way to test a PSU. The fact that a PSU is producing any power at all doesn't mean that the power is clean enough to effectively power a computer without stability issues.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2009 9:42:56 PM

That's why we don't let people buy bad PSUs around here. It's completely impossible for anyone without very expensive equipment to tell how well your PSU is staying within voltage specs. It could be that as the PSU warms up while gaming, it throws out voltage with greater ripple, or the voltage drops below the minimum.

So regardless, my advice would be to replace the cheap PSU first. If it fails to resolve your issue, at least you'll have the peace of mind knowing your PSU isn't going to damage any components and that it's performing within spec.

Antec EA500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair 550VX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seasonic modular 500W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

All those are top notch and more than enough wattage for you.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2009 9:50:46 PM

Good advice. It's not the size, it's the quality. A 500W PSU such as one of the ones Proximon linked would be nice, because it would also allow a future GPU upgrade.
July 1, 2009 10:38:47 PM

I have had the same problem with that game on socket 939/4000+/2gigs ram etc. I think it's the game myself.Crashes would happen at random usually during or at the end of a battle.Rebooting would allow me to continue past that point and it might be fine for a few minutes or a few hours.Now I can't get past a certain battle without a crash at the end.Love the game but it is very frustrating.
July 1, 2009 10:53:40 PM

What kills me is a game comes out with bugs and after a patch or two, even though it still might have problems,the company decides to stiff the fans on support to come out with the new improved buggy game.
July 2, 2009 3:11:45 AM

you guys send me the games in question an I'll test 'em on here for ya...;)
July 2, 2009 3:28:00 AM

It could also be the CPU core voltage is too low. Some games are more demanding on the CPU than others. I had a similar problem with my system after 10 months GRID would crash to the desktop after running for about 15mins, but UT3 was fine for as long as I let it run. Prime95 and Memtest both passed also. Turns out it was CPU degradation and bumping up the core voltage solved it. I run my system virtually 24/7, so the CPU wear was rather accelerated. It could also be your power supply or motherboard. I'd try the core voltage first, then a new power supply.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
July 2, 2009 4:18:49 AM

I played around 40 hours of medieval II before giving up on it, and never had a crash.
July 2, 2009 1:20:48 PM

I tried increasing the CPU voltage to 1.3 but it didn't help. I think the Wolfdale can go up to 1.35 easy enough, might try that later

I ran memtest for 10 hours overnight and i didn;t get a single error, which is making me think the mobo might be okay... not sure how else to test it - gotta be able to prove it's faulty to RMA it.

I'm most confused by the fact that it can play Mass Effect, Farcry 2, Doom 3, Prey and HL2 flawlessly for hours, but 20 minutes of Medieval II makes it crash. If it is the PSU, could some games just be more suceptible to power fluctuations than others?

What's more, I can't get Dawn of War II to crash since I formatted my HDD on Saturday which makes things even more confusing! It was going every 20 minutes before - the only thing I did differently this time was I installed it before I installed Medieval II...


I installed Windows 7 64 bit this morning, but apparantly my old dvd drive is as messed up as my new one, so I'll have to get it replaced before I can do any more tests.
July 2, 2009 8:45:08 PM

Okay, DVD drive replaced, and Windows 7 64-bit is installed. Still getting crashes though. I'm going to grab a new PSU tommorrow and try that out.

One thing though - I've noticed that the opperating systems are taking ages to install, on both my SATA HDDs. doesn't matter which one. Every once in a whilie they install nice and fast but usually it's very sluggish for my system.... Mobo issues?
July 2, 2009 8:53:28 PM

Well, if you've already raised the CPU core voltage by maybe .05V then I doubt that's the problem. You shouldn't need to raise it to the max unless your highly overclocked. It's not temp related (as in temps too high), so I'd say it's either a power issue or a hardware failure problem with the motherboard. I had an issue once where games would pause for a second for no apparent reason and I tried everything with no luck. A few months later my mobo died. Turns out it was a problem with the chipset causing the graphics issues. Quite often things don't fail completely right away and leave you with those mysterious intermittent issues. Anyway, I'd replace the power supply to rule it out. I've seen some good deals on the Corsair power supplies lately with rebates.
August 2, 2009 5:59:32 PM

Hi guys,

Had a major breakthrough with this, but I could use some more advice...

I tried the new PSU and other suggestions above and unfortunately they didn't work, but last week I tried underclocking the CPU and it worked! I have been experimenting with different underclocks and they've all been able to run Medieval II (one of the worst games for CTDing on me) for over 12 hours without a single crash.

This is the first time I've seen any cause and effect with this CTD problem and I was hoping it would shed more light on the issue and help diagnose the source of the problem (as glad as I am that I can play these games again for longer than 20 minutes at a time I would really like to get any faulty hardware replaced before the warranty runs out in a couple of months!)

The PSU is underclocked only by droping the FSB frequency by 33Mhz (from 333Mhz) - the multiplier is unchanged (x10) as is the voltage - I've not tried running it at standard FSB and a lower multiplier yet (dunno if that would have the same effect). I'm going to try to creep the FSB freqency up as high as it will go without the crashes coming back.

So what do you think is wrong? manufacturing error in the CPU or North Bridge or both? CPU/MOBO incompatibility (they're listed as compatible by ASROCK)? Is there anything RMAable or am I just going to have to live with the underclock? Is the problem likely to get worse?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers for all the help thus far!
a b B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2009 6:28:42 PM

That's interesting information, but unfortunately doesn't really point to a solution. Either the CPU or mobo could be at fault; either could have been degraded by your former PSU. For it to only happen in one title also suggests a bug, but then underclocking shouldn't fix it. If nothing else ever has this problem, I'd be most inclined to attribute most of the problem to a bug, and abandon that particular game.
!