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Suspected video card crashing computer

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 9, 2013 10:13:40 PM

Hi All,

First time I've posted here, I hope I'm in the right place! My rig has been running for about 2 years now and I've just started having a somewhat serious problem a few days ago. It seems whenever I try and play a 3D game, the screen goes black (monitor loses input from PC), the sound locks up (plays on loop for a bit), then after about 10-20 seconds the PC reboots. This happens whenever I try and play Sim City (doesn't even get to a menu), The Witcher (straight after I load my save game), and sometimes in WoW.

After my PC reboots, it says Windows has recovered from a serious problem. In the 'System' event log I have the following critical error straight after the PC reboots from the crash:

Source: Kernel-Power
Event ID: 41
Level: Critical
The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.

Directly before this is this error:

Source: BugCheck
Event ID: 1001
Level: Error
The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x00000116 (0xfffffa80132614e0, 0xfffff88008e0e6c4, 0xffffffffc000009a, 0x0000000000000004). A dump was saved in: C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP. Report Id: 030913-20373-01.

Here are my specs:

Mainboard : ASUS P8Z68-M PRO
BIOS : AMI (OEM) 0502 08/31/2011
Total Memory : 16GB DIMM DDR3

Processor : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz (4C 3.71GHz, 3.7GHz IMC, 2x 256kB L2, 6MB L3)
Socket/Slot : FC LGA1155

Chipset
Memory Controller : ASUS Core (Sandy Bridge) DRAM Controller 100MHz, 2x 8GB DIMM DDR3 1.6GHz/1.33GHz 128-bit

Memory Module(s)
Memory Module : G.Skill F3-12800CL9-4GBZL 4GB DIMM DDR3 PC3-12800U DDR3-1600 (11-11-11-29 5-40-13-6)
Memory Module : G.Skill F3-12800CL9-4GBZL 4GB DIMM DDR3 PC3-12800U DDR3-1600 (11-11-11-29 5-40-13-6)
Memory Module : G.Skill F3-12800CL9-4GBZL 4GB DIMM DDR3 PC3-12800U DDR3-1600 (11-11-11-29 5-40-13-6)
Memory Module : G.Skill F3-12800CL9-4GBZL 4GB DIMM DDR3 PC3-12800U DDR3-1600 (11-11-11-29 5-40-13-6)

Video Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 (15CU 480SP SM5.0 1.56GHz, 640kB L2, 1.3GB 3.8GHz 320-bit, PCIe 2.00 x16)

Graphics Processor
OpenCL GP Processor : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 (480SP 15C 1.56GHz, 640kB L2, 1.3GB 3.8GHz 320-bit)
Compute Shader Processor : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 (480SP 1.56GHz, 640kB L2, 1.3GB 3.8GHz 320-bit)
CUDA GP Processor : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 (480SP 15C 1.56GHz, 640kB L2, 1.3GB 3.8GHz 320-bit)

Storage Devices
2x SAMSUNG HD501LJ (1TB, RAID0/SATA300, SCSI-4, 3.5", 7200rpm, 16MB Cache) : 932GB (C:)  (D:)  (E:) 
Seagate ST3320620AS (320.1GB, SATA150, 3.5", 16MB Cache) : 298GB (Z:) 
Optiarc DVD RW AD-7280S (666MB, SATA150, DVD+-RW, CD-RW, 1MB Cache) : 635MB (F:) 

Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower XT 875 watt

Operating System
Windows System : Microsoft Windows 7 Home 6.01.7601 (Service Pack 1)
Platform Compliance : x64


As I said, the issue only happens when I try to start a 3D game. I can do everything else in Windows with no problem, and I can also play Warcraft 2 BNE with no problem.

I suspected it might be the PSU, as the PSU was the oldest part of my PC and thought maybe it was under-powering the video card in 3D games, so I replaced it but the problem persists. I've run Prime95 and that came up with no problems. I ran 3DMark11 and it did the same crash at the beginning of Test 2. In SiSoft Sandra I've run the 'Video Shader Compute' and 'Video Memory Bandwidth' burn tests, and they came up fine.

The only system change between when it was working and when it started crashing was I installed the new Sim City.

I don't have another video card to test, but the problem is definitely leaning towards the video card. I would like to be certain tho given that the video card is the most expensive part of the PC. Are there any more tests I can do to try and determine this?
March 9, 2013 11:20:06 PM

Try using furmark because it will test you gpu intensively. Also use memtest to test your ram. It doesn't sound like PSU failure because it would probably just restart your system with out any loops.
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March 9, 2013 11:57:42 PM

Ok I just ran furmark. I did the option 'Burn in benchmark 1920 x 1080 15min'. It completed the test without crashing. GPU temp rose steadily to 72 degrees celsius then hovered at 72-73 degrees for the rest of the test. Here's the information it gave me at the end:

BURN-IN SCORE: 1515 points

14818 frames, 16 FPS, 73°C

Resolution: 1920x1080 (FS) - AA:0 samples

FPS: min:17, max:18, avg:16 - OPTIONS: DynBkg

Then a bunch of system information which I've already given above. So does this mean anything? Can anything be ruled out?
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Related resources
March 10, 2013 12:36:34 AM

Yes I'm using the latest geforce driver, sorry I forgot to mention that. I'll be doing a memtest soon.
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March 10, 2013 3:14:28 AM

I can't seem to get memtest to work. I'm trying to use a USB flash drive for it. First I tried to use Rufus (like it suggested on the memtest website) but Rufus said it was an unsupported image. So I used WinImage and wrote the image to the USB drive. But when I restart my computer and change the boot priority in the BIOS to boot from the USB drive, it doesn't do anything.... just loads Windows.
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a b Î Nvidia
March 10, 2013 3:22:55 AM

burn memtest to a bootable CD, that is the best way to do it if usb doesnt work. I would say its a problem with your RAID hard drives. Unless you get hard drives that are designed for RAID with the correct error checking and parity, they wont last long before you get data corruption. Probably best to format the drives and reinstall windows, and maybe disable raid when you do. If you have a spare HDD, install a clean copy of windows and a game on it just to test this first, but i bet thats your problem.
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March 10, 2013 10:14:36 PM

I'm going to do the painstaking task of re-installing Windows. I'll update this thread once I get around to it to let people know if it's fixed the problem.
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March 12, 2013 5:39:11 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
burn memtest to a bootable CD, that is the best way to do it if usb doesnt work. I would say its a problem with your RAID hard drives. Unless you get hard drives that are designed for RAID with the correct error checking and parity, they wont last long before you get data corruption. Probably best to format the drives and reinstall windows, and maybe disable raid when you do. If you have a spare HDD, install a clean copy of windows and a game on it just to test this first, but i bet thats your problem.


Ok I just did the following:

- Deleted RAID configuration
- Formatted drives
- Installed Windows
- Installed drivers (including latest nvidia driver)
- Installed Origin
- Downloaded and installed Sim City

Tried to play Sim City, exact same freeze + reboot. Same messages in the system event log. I think it's safe to rule out any software problem now. So attention turns to hardware, and I've already replaced the PSU. What further testing should I do?
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March 12, 2013 6:23:31 AM

I use it on my laptop and phone all the time.
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March 12, 2013 4:27:15 PM

@stewartj2 - use what? I don't know what you mean.

I've re-seated my video card and all memory modules but it still crashes whenever I try to play Sim City (currently the only game installed on this fresh Windows install).
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March 12, 2013 4:29:55 PM

Also, I've noticed now that after the PC reboots after it crashes, sometimes the monitor's input doesn't recover. The computer starts up and makes the Windows sound when it gets to the logon screen, but the monitor still has no input (orange light). I switched the monitor off and on again, the light goes green for a second then back to orange. I have to hard reset my computer for the input to come back.
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March 12, 2013 7:26:44 PM

for some reason your video is lagging during start up - have you tried installing the card in another PCIe slot?
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March 13, 2013 2:35:30 AM

dingo07 said:
for some reason your video is lagging during start up - have you tried installing the card in another PCIe slot?


When I got home from work I checked the PCIe slots. There's only one other one and I can't put the video card in it because it would block off the sata ports (great mboard design :sarcastic: )

So then I turned on my PC and for some reason the resolution was horrible, like the video drivers hadn't loaded. I checked Device Manager and there was a warning on the display adapter. Went to properties and it had this error:

"Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)"

I rebooted a couple of times, shut down, started back up, still had the same error. I uninstalled the Nvidia drivers, rebooted, reinstalled, rebooted, and it's started working again. No more error in device manager and resolution back to normal. As a test I tried to play Sim City. Of course, it still freezes and reboots my PC...
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March 13, 2013 5:51:32 AM

What's the model # of your video card?
I could be wrong... but I remember a video card having issues when it came out and the manufacturer claimed there was nothing wrong - for some reason I'm thinking it was the GTX 570...

does anyone recall this, and is it this card?
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March 13, 2013 3:59:04 PM

I'm at work now so I can't check the exact model.... but it's a Gigabyte GTX 570.

It's late night shopping tonight so I'm on the verge of giving up and buying a new video card.... but if I did and it didn't fix the problem, I would probably have to stab myself.
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March 13, 2013 9:37:39 PM

I found out the exact model of my video card but logging into my account where I get my parts :) 

Gigabyte GF GTX 570 OC PCI-E 2.0 1280MB DDR5 2x Dual-Link DVI 1x mini

The warranty expired 3 months ago.
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March 14, 2013 5:40:38 AM

I think that was the card that had issues - the processor would run hot unless you underclocked it or changed the fan.
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March 16, 2013 2:00:05 AM

I bit the bullet and bought a new video card today - GTX 670. Installed it and ran Sim City and The Witcher (both were crashing 100% before) - both games ran fine. Sucks that the most expensive part of the PC was the problem (3 months out of warranty), but I'm relieved that the problem is finally fixed.
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