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Blue Screen Frustration

Last response: in Windows 7
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September 15, 2012 3:35:10 PM

Hello all, I apologize if this is in the wrong section but I couldn't think of a better place. So here's the problem:

Just recently I got a new home-built gaming PC, the specifications of which were actually recommended to me by the nice folk over at Tom's Hardware. I say home-built, but really I just ordered the parts off of Newegg and payed a local store to put it together for me. Anyway, it has been working pretty good so far (a few days), except for one thing. I love to play a game called Minecraft, and since it is quick and easy to install I decided to try it first. It was fast, and got great frames, but after a couple minutes the game froze and my computer crashed with a blue screen telling me that it had shut down to prevent any problems. I was shocked by this because I've never experienced this kind of thing or even heard about it before. So it would restart my computer with the warnings about an error, etc. I would try to restart Minecraft and it would work for a minute or so and then blue screen me again. I tried to re-install java and Minecraft but neither proved to be successful. I googled the situation and found a couple solutions such as updating drivers. Well, all of the important drivers I can think of were up to date (GPU, Processor, Audio) when I checked. I honestly have no idea what to do. So I come to you, the geniuses of the era, to ask, How can I fix this?

Here is some basic information I was able to gather:

The blue screen sometimes says some error or something, "win32k.sys" when it is about to restart, along with several other different codes and numbers but none that I can read in time. And it seems that its a different error every time.
I have tried to do some things like re-installing drivers and removing antivirus, but to no avail.
This is extremely frustrating for me.

If anyone out there knows how to help me, I beg you to hear my plead. This has all been a very irritating process and I am very desperate. If more information needs to be added, notify me and I will do my best. I'm sure that I left out some things. Any and all feedback is welcome. Thank you.

Some PC specs (if needed): Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 FTW, Intel i5 processor, AS ROCK H77/MVP Motherboard.

Best solution

September 15, 2012 5:06:15 PM
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Sounds like possibly RAM issues, possibly heat problems.

Run Memtest and see if you get errors. Monitor temps with Speedfan and run prime95 and tell me how hot it gets.

Possibly do the same with 3dmark and GPUtool to check GPU temps and post the results here.

If it only occurs during gaming it points to the GPU usually.

Cheers,
Brian
a b $ Windows 7
September 15, 2012 5:32:41 PM

+1 to americanbrian
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September 15, 2012 5:34:13 PM

-do you have this problem with minecraft only?
-have you tried to play other games?
-did you have any of BSOD in idle?

as americanbrian said, might be RAM or Heat problems, do the tests that he mentioned and feedback.
September 15, 2012 6:33:17 PM

First off, thanks for answering. I was just playing minecraft for over an hour with no problems and everything was going great. Then I paused the game and tried to watch a youtube video but I blue screened. I have only played Minecraft so far, but I was almost done installing Skyrim when the error happened. Again, "win32k.sys". I do not remember ever experiencing this when not playing the game. And Brian, I appreciate your detailed reply, but unfortunately I'm an amateur at this kind of stuff. How do I go about doing these tests?
September 15, 2012 8:26:06 PM

all the programs I mentioned are free to download and very small.

So Download and install:
Memtest86+
Prime95
Speedfan
3dmark05 (there are newer ones but this one is quite large and the others are even bigger)
GPUtool or msi afterburner

Then run memtest alone... you will see if it gives you errors
run speedfan, set the charts to record CPU CORE TEMPS (check all the core* labels)
Then run "torture tests" in prime 95. small and large ffts should both be run. 1 works the CPU the other the RAM more.

check the temperatures recorded on the chart.

If all is fine and well with these you have narrowed the problem down to the Graphics system.

open GPUtool and go to the sensors tab,

Run 3dmark.

Check the max temps that GPUtool reports...

Let us know what happens.
September 15, 2012 8:51:45 PM

Well, before I got your newest response, I ran the Windows Memory Check tool and it said that I had a hardware issue and that I needed to contact the computer's manufacturer. So what do I need to do now? Is this a RAM problem? I thought I had installed it correctly.
September 15, 2012 8:53:58 PM

Dumb down the video card!
September 15, 2012 9:15:30 PM

Stompinpangin said:
Well, before I got your newest response, I ran the Windows Memory Check tool and it said that I had a hardware issue and that I needed to contact the computer's manufacturer. So what do I need to do now? Is this a RAM problem? I thought I had installed it correctly.


the windows memory checker is memtest, if it says you have a hardware problem, it's probably one of your sticks of ram. remove one and run it again.
September 16, 2012 7:02:45 PM

Okay, so here's what happened. I removed one RAM stick, ran the memory thing and the same hardware error came up. So I put that one back in and took the other out. Then it worked fine. I was wondering if I was going to have to replace my RAM, when for some reason I decided to switch the sticks to see if that would by any chance fix it. When I ran the Memory checker again, this time it loaded through no problem with no errors. I have been playing minecraft. running a server, and using the internet for quite a while now and have had no problems. I'm going to assume that it is fixed and that this question is solved. Thank you all, especially you americanbrian, for your feedback. This forum so far has been very reliable. Thanks again.
September 16, 2012 7:03:02 PM

Best answer selected by stompinpangin.
September 16, 2012 7:46:37 PM

Wait. IT HAPPENED AGAIN!! GAGHH! Do I need to replace my RAM?
September 16, 2012 7:50:12 PM

run the mem checker again, one ram stick at a time. It could be a bad ram slot or stick. let it run for a while. If it completes with no errors, put the other ram stick in the same slot and run that one until it passes or fails. If that one passes, put it in a different ram slot and run it again.
September 16, 2012 8:10:03 PM

The memory checker says that it is working properly, but it just crashed. Although I was running many programs. Could it that I just used too much RAM? I had the Internet Minecraft, Minecraft server, an skyrim open.
September 16, 2012 9:29:47 PM

Please tell me the make and specs of the ram and the model of CPU and motherboard you are using.

I wonder if the voltages are set correctly?
September 16, 2012 9:34:04 PM

Sure. Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard, RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) CPU: Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500
September 16, 2012 9:55:52 PM

ok so I have found this interesting article which MAY or may not be related to what you are experiencing....

http://communities.intel.com/thread/29667

It says that the intel H77 board can sometimes misread/apply voltage to memory. They have a step by step on how to correct it ON THAT MOBO.

It might be worth trying to check for the same with your board...
September 16, 2012 11:04:25 PM

Umm... I'm not sure I understand...
September 16, 2012 11:08:57 PM

Most ram sticks have a chip identified as SPD that has certain presets embedded in it that allows the BIOS to read it and set default paramaters such as voltages and timings. 1155 sockets like their ram to be run a 1.5 volts. Some DDR3 ram defaults to 1.65 volts and the BIOS will set it that way, even though it shouldn't. You can, most times, manually set ram voltages and timings in BIOS.
September 17, 2012 12:46:32 AM

Oh okay. Could anyone provide me with a step by step guide on what to do? I'm afraid I'm not familiar with BIOS settings.
September 17, 2012 8:34:36 AM

Here is the online manual for your motherboard:

ftp://europe.asrock.com/manual/H77%20Pro4MVP.pdf

go to page 47, see the picture at the top of the page. In the OC tweaker tab of the uefi bios towards the bottom it says DRAM configuration and just below is the title Voltage configuration.

Scroll down to that and you should see settings (I dont have this board so I can't tell you exactly what it says)

There should be an entry (the manual states) DRAM Voltage which is default "auto" change this to manual and adjust the voltage to 1.5V. DO NOT CHANGE ANY OTHER SETTINGS AT THIS TIME.

As the article states there is a bug in at least one intel H77 motherboard that even when manually set will apply the wrong values on the next boot.

TO CHECK, Download HW Monitor and run it when you are in windows. It should have a memory voltage monitor somewhere...

If the memory has been overvolted you should see a reading above 1.5V

Let me know what happens...
September 17, 2012 9:43:12 PM

Okay. So I did all the BIOS settings and changed the DRAM voltage to manual 1.50V. I got HW Monitor and it shows a voltages section but I can't tell which one is memory. Here are the Voltages listed: CPU VCORE, VIN1, AVCC, 3VCC, VIN4, VIN5, VIN6. There are other sections, but this is all that is listed in the Voltages section.
September 17, 2012 10:19:40 PM

If it is the VIN1 option, then it is volting over 15v according to HWMonitor. But regardless, I just blue- screened AGAIN. ARGH
September 18, 2012 8:39:19 AM

It doesn't read the RAM voltage off of all motherboards, sadly it doesn't read yours.

It would be labled DRAM...

OK, well it is hard to pin down whether it is applying the correct voltage, if you can find a motherboard diagnostic utility that reads the DRAM voltage from your board that would be nice, however as a more permanent solution I would recommend testing the RAM in a friends computer with memtest.

If it comes back ok then you can say that the fault is with the MOTHERBOARD, if the RAM is producing errors in another motherboard then you can say it is the sticks of RAM themselves.

September 19, 2012 9:08:47 PM

Well, unfortunately I do not have access to another computer that I could test this with. I guess I'm out of luck? :( 
September 20, 2012 5:34:08 PM

I am afraid I don't know what else to suggest that wouldn't cost you money and not be guarenteed to solve the problem....

It seems to be RAM related, whether it is a problem with the MOBO or the RAM modules is up in the air.

First things first, update to your most recent BIOS version for the motherboard. If it is a mobo bug it may have been fixed.

Failing that buy new RAM, if that works it is the cheapest of the two and would have needed done anyway. If it does not solve the problem you will most likely need a new motherboard. At least you will have lots of RAM to stick in there.
!