Totally Bizarre

I finally put together this PC and everything was good the first few weeks. Then Bad Company 2 comes along. During the first campaign mission an explosion completely crashed the game, my speakers screeched, and upon exiting I'd notice that some game menu screens were slightly discolored. Possibly a dying GPU, I thought. But the plot thickens.

At this point I attempt to restart the game to no avail. It simply won't start. Go to start Mass Effect 3, get no sound and game crashes during initial splash screens. I do a hard reset and voila, everything's up and running again. No visual coloration, game's start, sound works fine.

But games are beginning to crash. Far Cry 2 I chalk up to poor luck. Then RAGE. Then Battlefield 3. Then Assassin's Creed: Revelations. The strangest thing is there seems to be no pattern with these crashes. Some happen almost instantly. Some happen after an hour. Some at 20 minutes. Skyrim has never crashed on me, nor Crysis 2 at Ultra with DirectX 11 and hi-res textures, and neither has The Witcher 2 on Ultra settings.

But there is one constant with these crashes. The game crashes to desktop, "Has stopped working...", attempt to load another game, refuses to load, and sound going out. Reset the PC, everything's fine. I have no artifacts, no display driver resets, no BSODs, memtest has checked out fine, CPU and GPU temps are well within normal range, monitor doesn't distort or lose signal, PC doesn't shut down/restart on its own, fast boot and loading, and the list goes on. This thing is 100% stable outside of games. And even then, not all crash. But the ones that do exhibit the same systems. I've even replaced the PSU. No luck there, either.

If there's any help anyone can offer me, I'm all for it. This has got me completely stumped.
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  1. Have you updated your drivers for the gpu? You should also stress test your cpu with prime95 or another cpu stressing program if you've eliminated your gpu.
  2. Yes, I have. I'm using the current 296.10 Nvidia drivers, completely uninstalled them, and reverted back to the 295.73 drivers thinking maybe my PC was being finnicky with the drivers as that set worked great prior to all of this. No dice. No difference whatsoever.

    I've used Prime95 and let it do it's thing overnight. It wasn't able to produce any errors.
  3. i would check gpu fans make sure are running at 100 or like 95 % at least n check cpu temps
    ..Sounds like bad temps
  4. Oh ya could be malware, or could be aero interface try disable it.
  5. For Gpu, try running furmark.
    If furmark and as you stated prime95 fine, then I'd look at driver/software issue.
  6. Fans are running fine. My CPU under heavy load stays right around the mid 40s. Sometimes less. It can idle anywhere between the high 20s, low 30s depending on ambient temperatures. The max safe temp for this CPU is 62 degrees celsius. This thing has never even hit 50.
  7. Used FurMark as well. No crashes, artifacts, etc...
  8. Sound card/drivers maybe? Try disabling the sound card in BIOS (assuming it is on-board) and see if the games still crash. Also use msconfig to disable everything not needed. It could be something loading at start up causing issues. Beyond that, I'd bet on a defective video card, like flaky memory or something.
  9. You'd think, right? My first thought was the GPU, but the interesting thing is that even when being pushed with high-end games that utilize the GPU to nearly 100%, I get no crashes, artifacting, loss of video, temps are sitting at about 55 degrees so I've ruled out overheating. The card could be faulty, but it should be noted that pushing with high-end games doesn't necessarily cause anything to happen.

    Witcher 2 really stresses my GPU but I get no crashes. RAGE uses between 30-40% of it, but I get crashes. Battlefield 3 stresses my GPU as hard as The Witcher 2, but crashes. Skyrim uses about 50%, but no crashes. Heavy GPU usage, light usage, high CPU, low CPU - it doesn't matter. I haven't been able to detect any pattern in any of this.

    I should also note that if a game crashed, the first I'd do is try to duplicate it. Even then, an area which caused a crash simply doesn't do it again.
  10. sounds to me like you have something running in the background that at some point creates a conflict over resources. find a guide you like to go into services and turn off things you dont actually use. like all the crap for remote access.....if you never remotely access your computer why have all that garbage sitting there running, know what i mean?

    here is an example of a guide from pc magazine
  11. I was able to re-format the hard drive this morning and re-install Windows 7. Been using a fresh install all morning, took your advice though humphreybot and disabled Remote Access. Downloaded Far Cry 2 again from Steam, went through a solid 20 or so minutes and got zero crashes. So far so good. I'm wondering is maybe there was some kind of conflict with drivers or applications or even malware as robustus suggested. Would seem likely at this point.

    Don't know if this helps with the situation, but before I decided to go for a fresh install, my PC refused to connect to the internet. While all of this was occuring, if I had to restart my PC or shut it down, more times than not my internet wouldn't be detected and after a few more restarts would finally connect again. At some point last night it refused altogether. After wiping the hard drive this morning my connection issues are also solved.
  12. Great to hear thanks for using the forum!
  13. Does your mobo have a built in Realtech network interface?

    I recently built a Sandy Bridge system (2700k) with an Asus z68 mobo. This has a Realtech interface (in addition to an Intel one). I used my twin 560 Tis from my old system.

    I had multiple issues. Random BSODs, SLI refusing to engage, games crashing to desktop, all on a clean install of w7. A bit of research revealed that there's a driver conflict between Realtech and nVidia graphics, and the only surefire way to solve the problem is to disable the Realtech device in the BIOS. One of those idiotic problems that we all thought went out with Windows ME, in other words. The mobo manual states that if you need just one Ethernet port, use the Intel one. No kidding.

    After disabling the Realtech interface, my problems were solved.

    Just thought it was worth mentioning in case your issue is the same.
  14. You know, I'm starting to think that the Bad Company 2/Realtek issue that's been cropping up for us Windows 7 users is the culprit. Everything ran great before that game. When that one crashed in the way I've been describing, games that had worked beautifully before that all exhibited the same exact symptoms. Just read through a few forum posts on the game and apparently I'm not alone. Others have reported a visual freeze, screeching audio, visual distortion, and then a hard reset to get things working again. After the Bad Company 2 crash, nearly every other game crashes in the exact same way.
  15. Thanks for the help everyone, but I seem to have solved the problem. I don't know if Bad Company 2 crashing as violently as it did corrupted some files, had iffy registry values, or maybe if just the mandatory game patches completely screwed various files on the hard drive. But after doing a clean re-install of Windows 7 and NOT installing Bad Company 2 everything is as good as gold. No crashes whatsoever.
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