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Random Restart/BSOD/Lockups when gaming

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 14, 2011 8:14:04 PM

Hey guys. I'm stumped as to where to post this as I didn't seem to find a BSOD-particular forum section, and since I don't know the cause of my issues, I'm not sure if this is in the right place.

Anyways, I tried posting on the Windows 7 forums, but I seemed to have gone nowhere fast with them over there. Lots of page views, but not a single piece of help or advice and quickly buried under tons of other BSOD threads. So I'm hoping someone here could point me in a direction and help narrow down what's going on and what needs to be done.

I've grown prone to random system complete lock-up's that cause my screen to go black, system completely unresponsive needing to be forced to restart, and most times this really weird and annoying sound in my headset. It's rather difficult to try and explain the sound, but when you hear it, you just know your system locked up. IT's a weird stuttering/buzzing sound. Well as I've said--it's pretty difficult to try and put into words really.

I try and keep my video card and stuff up to date. I also try to do the same with the BIOS. Unfortunately, the last BIOS update for my ASROCK motherboard was from late 2010 and is the one I am running.

I seem to suffer this fate moreso when doing gaming. I play Minecraft, ArmA 2, Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Dead Island, etc. ArmA seems to play nice. It's just the other games I play that is prone to just black screen me and lock up, or even just randomly restart itself. My gpu fans are forced to around 80-85% constant to help with any heat issues that I may not be aware of, but from observations off and on, the temps seem rather good. And last night trying to play Minecraft--I've now begun experiencing where the computer just restarts itself. Never happened before. :ouch: 

I followed the posting instructions on the sevenforums.com guidelines--I downloaded and ran the BSOD Dump & System File Collection app as well as ran a System Health Report and zipped them. I'm not sure if anyone here is able to then view them as well. If so, please let me know. I can upload/link to it so you guys can go through and see if you see anything that can be causing these issues.

I'm pretty much hitting a brick wall here ATM and feel like jumping out of a high window. So any help would be greatly appreciated. Below is some of my specs as well:

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-Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1

- HYUNDAI W220d Black 22" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 10000:1

- ASRock X58 Supercomputer LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX

- Silverstone OP1000-E 1000W ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V SLI & CrossFire Ready

- older Intel Core i7 920 2.66Ghz (HT turned off)

- 6GB (6 x 1GB) OCZ DDR3 SDRAM (1333MHz DDR3-1333/PC3-10600)

-GIGABYTE GV-N570OC-13I GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card [running the latest driver from Nvidia]

Disk Drives:
- WDC WD5001AALS-00L3B2 ATA Device (465 GB, IDE)
- WDC WD1001FALS-00J7B1 ATA Device (931 GB, IDE)
- WDC WD4000AAJS-00TKA0 ATA Device (372 GB, IDE)
[basically a 500GB (I think?) and a 1TB HDD partitioned up]

Optical Drive:
- Optiarc DVD RW AD-7240S ATA Device
-------------------------------------

Once again, I thank you all for your time and any help or advice would be greatly appreciated in advance. Thanks again and hope to get to the bottom of this mystery. :hello: 
a b $ Windows 7
November 14, 2011 11:10:45 PM

Because you have allot of games/data on the one unit its possible that your hdd needs a defrag... After deleting/installing software over and over your hdd will start to work harder than it has to...

I would complete 2-5 defrag's and a full windows update (Including Windows Optional Updates) and see if that fix's the issue...
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November 15, 2011 12:26:03 AM

I cannot help other than to commisserate.

I am getting BSOD during gaming and ONLY during gaming. No other application is causing trouble, not even other games. The game giving me fits is Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO).

I do not overclock anything. CPU temperature is reportedly running at 44 *C.

I tried running DirectX9, DirectX10 and DirectX11 and got the BSOD for all of them.

I run two Radeon HD6870's in Crossfire mode. I have the latest drivers, even the beta W7 drivers.

I tried running just one card, instead of two, to no avail. Yes, I tried each of the two cards in solo mode.

I tried reducing my RAM speed down as low as 1333 MHz and 1033 MHz, instead of the 1600 MHz it should be running at.

The LOTRO application was runnning just fine until a month ago when TURBINE released a major expansion/update to the game. Ever since then, I am getting BSOD failures. It happens all the time, several times per day. It happens when the game is shifting from one location to another (within the game's "world").

My latest theory is this - the data rate from the solid state drive is incompatible with the data needs of the game. It's too fast (or too slow). It generates an error the game software is not programmed to handle, so the system crashes.


i7 2600K at 3.4 GHz
8GB Kingston RAM at 1600 MHz
Kingston 128 GB SSD
2X Radeon HD6870
22" LCD display
1200 W power supply (by Cooler Master?)
Zalman heat pipe CPU cooler (the good one, per Tom's recommendation)
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Related resources
November 15, 2011 1:17:15 AM

Quote:
the data rate from the solid state drive is incompatible with the data needs of the game. It's too fast (or too slow).


That's not possible, it just doesn't make sense.

What I would recommend is just a complete reinstall of Windows for both of you because it's the only way to prove that you have a hardware and not a software problem. As far as your situation Mike, it's not good if you have a 1200 W power supply and don't know the brand. For a PSU pushing that much power, you should have dropped about $250-$300. If you spent less than that, I would go out on a limb and say that's probably where your problem lies. Also you are only getting BSODs during gaming when power draw is highest. As far as your situation Yokhanan, I would try to get everything as close to out of the box condition as possible for example: reformating hard drives and removing partitions, enabling HT and doing a fresh install of Windows. For both of you, just check the cables and make sure everything is snug- can't hurt. And if there is a loose cable, that would explain your BSODs.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 15, 2011 2:08:17 AM

"That's not possible"

There is no such thing as data being incompatible due to speeds,

Correct

I think 11796pcs is onto it.
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November 15, 2011 6:46:26 AM

You are waaaay out there on a limb with that one, 11796pcs. I am sorry my priorities do not include keeping track of trivia such as who made the power supply.

Yes, it was expensive. That was then. Now, I have a decent supply and don't have to worry about running out of power.

Good glad to hear it. That's one less thing to worry about. I'm also happy about that because it would be unfixable (by me). What I was really getting at it an issue of timing. It always happens during a transition from place to place when (presumably) the SSD is being read, hence the source of my concern with the data handoff.

My W7 install is fresh one. So is the game software.

Maybe when I get some time off work I can disassemble and reassemble my PC.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 15, 2011 8:42:47 AM

I don't see minidump anywhere. Did you try updating all of the drivers?
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November 15, 2011 5:19:38 PM

Thanks guys. I ran a check disk this morning just out of curiosity and everything looked fine. So I'm prepping my system to eventually be wiped clean and install Win 7 again. Like you said, at least it's a clean slate to work from and make sure my issues aren't software based.

About partitions...I have I believe a 500GB HDD and a 1TB HDD. Basically what I would do is partition the 500GB down to C: @200GB for the OS and any programs that for whatever reason won't let me change the drive letter, and then split the rest into 1-2 other partitions for programs and the other partiton just for games. Then split the 1TB up for multimedia (movies, music) and then another partition for my graphic design portfolio and stuff and then what's left I have set as a Backup.

My question then is--before reinstalling again--is this even wise? Should I really partition both drives? And if so what would be the wiser way to do it, if the way I did is a bit "off"

[Edit] As I'm typing this I actually found the paper I wrote down the drive partition setup and size. Basically it's:

C: (OS) 200 GB
D: Apps 265 GB
G: Graphics (all my portfolio, photoshop stuff) 180GB
H: Games 200 GB
I: Multimedia 180 GB
J: Backup (extra leftover space) 200 GB

So again, my above question about partitioning and setup still stands. I just want to make sure I do it wisely this time around if I've been doing something stupid all along up until now. :D 

Pyree: Is there a preferred method of getting and uploading the minidumps? Like I said in my original post--I tried posting on the windows 7 forum in their BSOD section. They had me generate a System Health file as well as run some BSOD File Collection app and zip the resulting data folder and health file together and upload it. If this would be useful as well here, I can upload it for you guys to look at? Just let me know the preferred way and I'll get right on it. :) 
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a b $ Windows 7
November 15, 2011 9:50:29 PM

I am not sure which partition goes to which drive (my guess was 2 partition foe 500GB and 4 partition for 1TB). So I just have to remind you that you can't have more than 4 partition on MBR.

Yeah. I mean the minidump.
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November 15, 2011 9:58:23 PM

What timings are your ram-sticks running and how much power are they given?

If you're below 2Volts, crank it up. (sorry didn't see that it was DDR3 memory, don't know the exact voltage on those babies - I'm an oldschool DDR2 kinda guy).

I've had issues with Kingston ram before, and every issue I've had has been resolved with more voltage on the memory sticks.
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November 16, 2011 2:59:29 PM

Yeah to be honest I'm not really sure of voltages and all that. I'm pretty moronic when it comes to that stuff. I'm trying to learn as I go on and build more, but some things still escape me and fly over my head, lol. Pretty much dropped them in and that was the end of it. I guess one can only run and hide for so long before technology forces you to sit down and have to learn the more advanced stuff.

Pyree--yeah pretty much right on the nose. 2 for the smaller, and then sliced up the 1TB. I also forgot I had an external WD that one of the pin's for the power bent and broke so instead of buying a new power supply, I figured I had room in my Thermaltake, so I popped it out of the enclosure and dropped it in. I haven't touched or modified it as it had all my emergency backups, and unlike the other HDD's it's FAT32. So pretty much 2 HDD's partitioned and all NTFS and 1 external FAT32 (now mounted into the case because I was too lazy to just by a new PS for it, lol :p  )

You mentioned something about a 4 partition limit. Does this mean I shouldn't partition then? Just keep the 500 and 1 TB whole? Or if I can partition, is there a wiser way of doing it than what I have now? (i.e. any suggestions on partitions)

I rar'ed the minidump folder and uploaded it to my mediafire account--hope that will suffice. The link to download the minidumps .rar is:

http://www.mediafire.com/?476fzv6c0knoiv5
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a b $ Windows 7
November 16, 2011 10:48:13 PM

No, you can partition the HDD. It is just that you can't have more than 4 partition on an HDD in MBR.

I will have a look at the minidump.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 16, 2011 10:55:07 PM

MBR is the Master Boot Record... it's the Windows HDD format.. encase you were wondering...

"that for whatever reason won't let me change the drive letter"

I use partition magic/EaSe under and conditions when experiencing partition issues..

http://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-Partition-Master-Home-E...;2


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November 17, 2011 6:35:01 PM

Hey guys. The night before I was able to play Skyrim for a few hours without a crash. Tried last night, and my PC just wouldn't run any games. BF3, Skyrim, etc just did the usual black screen crash with the weird "oh crap I just crashed!" sound in my headset.

Here's the new minidump for that as well:

http://www.mediafire.com/?b5gy1wykc36zen2
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a b $ Windows 7
November 17, 2011 6:58:21 PM

I am still looking at the old minidumps.

I will say it is not good.

Almost everyone crash is due to a different or slightly different problem.
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November 17, 2011 8:57:48 PM

Pyree said:
I am still looking at the old minidumps.

I will say it is not good.

Almost everyone crash is due to a different or slightly different problem.


Agreed (I ran 'em too), but did you notice that the memory addresses seem to within a similar range (i.e. fffff68000*****)?
That combined with all the PCIE errors makes me think bad memory, or PS. Is it linpack stable?

The last time I saw a sytem act like this, the problem turned out to be a bad stick of RAM that only glitched when warm.
Stupid thing was P95/MT86+ stable; took a max 10 loop run via Burntest to realize that one part of one chip was toast.
The system would be rock stable until it tried to use the bad address.

I've also seem similar symptoms when a PS with low rails has sagged to the point where it can no longer meet the max power draw when the system rapms up.
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November 17, 2011 11:44:30 PM

sbogus, so one test could be to remove one of the two RAM sticks and run it for a while. Do the things that usually cause a crash.

Then, swap the two sticks and do it again. To see if it crashes.

This would highlight whether it is one stick or the other.

If it crashes at the same memory address on both sticks, then it's likely to be a Mobo problem.

Does that sound correct?
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November 25, 2011 8:21:29 PM

Hey guys, I've been sick for most of week. I finally was able to do a clean install of my OS. Ran the windows updates, made sure the video card driver installed was the newest, etc. Installed ArmA 2 for a test run. Tried running ArmA 2 and while it launched, within moments my monitor light went from blue (on and signal received) to red (no display but still getting power) and pretty much crashed. Did notice the fans I'm assuming on the gpu did go faster, but that's weird. Normally I have the fans forced to around 80% constantly. So since this was a clean install, the fan's were defaulted at the moment.

It's not looking good. By the looks of it, I might be forced to start updating components earlier than desired at this rate.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 6, 2011 9:11:54 PM

hmmm, what psu you using?
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