The error is definitely Kernel-Power Event ID 41. Confirmed via Windows 7's Event Viewer.
The computer never actually restarts, but it seems to hang. Hitting Caps Lock gives no reaction (Caps Lock LED doesnt light up), plugging things into my USB ports (like my iPod) gives no reaction. BUT you can still hear the fans chugging, and the Power LED is still on. So I end up hitting the reset button.
Here's the things I've ruled out:
Monitor - not my monitor, since hitting Caps Lock gives no reaction
Overclocking - I'm not overclocking
Memory/RAM - not my RAM. Running Memtest gave 0 errors after 6 passes. I've left it running today, but I doubt I'll see any errors when I get back.
Overheating - Shouldn't be. I've run some Starcraft games and Rocksmith with HWMonitor on in the background. The maximum temps look normal (55C max temps on GPU, normal temps on CPU). Also, IIRC, when my laptop overheated back in the day, everything shut off (which isnt the case here, where i still hear my fans working and Power LED is still on)
Audio drivers - After googling the issue, some people said updating audio drivers/disabling audio drivers solved the issue for them. I've disabled my MOBO's on-board audio completely, so this isn't the issue.
IntelBurnTest - I've run it on Very High stress setting a couple of times before. No errors: the CPU setting/RAM settings should be fine.
After narrowing these down, it logically appears to me to be the Power Supply. I have a question about this, though.
Question: If a PSU is faulty, how often does it fail? Does it fail only when under high stress? This seems odd, because it runs perfectly fine in non-gaming situations, so I get the impression I wouldnt even know about this issue if I didn't play games. If a PSU is faulty, shouldnt it be faulty regardless of the stress/situation?
Please note: It's not that my PSU isn't strong enough. The rated 650w should give me around 100w overhead. So that confuses me, if it's a faulty PSU, shouldn't it always be faulty, regardless of my application? Instead, its giving out when there's high stress (which seems to indicated not enough wattage, not faulty PSU)?
Any ideas guys? Any troubleshooting? I obviously want to be more sure that it's actually the Power Supply before I go out and buy a new one.
i've updated my BIOS, used the new BIOS's default settings, and am running Windows' Driver Verifier on my system. i cant upgrade my SSD's firmware, because the latest Crucial firmware implies that there could be issues with UEFI mobos.
My RAM passed 12 passes of Memtest yesterday as well. No errors there.
Starting to keep a closer eye on my temps - through all my activity yesterday (Starcraft 2, Rocksmith, web-page browsing/Youtube watching), the hottest my GPU reached was 69 C during Starcraft 2. The CPU cores never touched anything higher than 47 or 48C
As you can tell, I'm trying to exhaust every single possibility before blaming the power supply (and buying a new one). So if you guys have any ideas, feel free to chime in and let me know what other steps I can take, thanks!
what's infuriating is that this problem happens on a monthly basis... just enough to keep me worried when using my computer, but not often enough to get a good diagonosis
Update on this: so while running Driver Verifier, my computer froze when i started up this morning. It was just a blank flat screen except for the white cursor in the middle of it (which wasn't responding to my mouse).
I think this is it. Based on this information, I'm now thinking that I have a Driver issue, rather than a PSU issue.
When I built this computer, I didn't download the driver of anything I thought I wasn't gonna use, just for the sake of being "lean" and avoiding unnecessary crap... that was probably the mistake. I'm gonna download all the drivers from my Mobo manufacturer, install them, and hopefully that solves everything. I'll run Driver Verifier for a couple of days after that to hopefully insure I'm all good on drivers.