Hello. I follow the BSOD protocol as instructed and hope someone can help.
HP Pavilion p6522f PC
AMD Athlon II X4 635 Processor 2.90 GHz
RAM: 6.00 GB DDR3
Windows 7 64-bit SP1 (came pre-installed from brick'n'mortar retailer w/o disc)
Nvidia Geforce GT 240 1G DDR5 GPU
1 TB Hard Drive (~ half full)
Date of Purchase: August 2010
Date of First Occurrence of Issues Described Below: October 2011
Back on 9/30 I installed the latest version of EVGA precision and decided to toy around with overclocking. I watched a bunch of youtube tutorials to see what I was getting into, looked at rivatuner but didn't end up downloading anything. I tried jacking up all the dials on my EVGA tuner and my PC basically rejected it, froze for a little bit and reset to the original (default) settings. Hadn't touched it since then. Between then and now, I continued to do my normal volume of gaming (i.e. 4+ hours a day). Even did a staight playthrough of Portal 2 on high settings for 7 hours without the slightest stutter.
On 10/5, I was playing ESIV: Oblivion (which I hadn't had any trouble running before) and after about an hour of play my computer froze and started rebooting. I tried Oblivion again and this occurred again after 30 minutes-1 hours of gaming - when it froze, I got this BSOD that would vanish too quickly for me to read much of it - looked a lot like this BSOD image
Hadn't played Oblivion in a while, figured it might be a problem with that game or maybe Steam - upon a 3rd try, this happened again. I opened up my pc and cleaned out a lot of dust from the fans - the one in the lower central part of my desktop was particularly clogged. I let the computer sit for an hour and booted it back up - seemed fine. I played a bunch of minecraft and more Oblivion without any problems - later I turned on GTAIV and it gave me the same BSOD crash. I turned the computer off and let it sit for several hours and later tried playing Left 4 Dead 2, on which I have logged over 500 hours with this card without issues. About 2 minutes into a game, I'd get the BSOD crash/reboot. I kept my computer off all day while I was at work today and came home, powered it on, tried Left 4 Dead 2 after about an hour or two of steady performance and it crashed within 2 minutes once again. This last time, I turned on the in-game GPU temperature monitor, the GPU temp in degrees Celsius rose from the steady 40-50 it had been maintaining on the desktop to about 76 degrees Celsius, and promptly crashed.
I have had this computer (and the nvidia GPU) for 13 months, the only other problems I have had with it was the motherboard - back in June out of the blue the system would activate but display nothing, took it in under HP's 1 year warranty and they told me the motherboard had died, they replaced it at no charge and it has been running fine since then (I have been gaming a lot, and often graphics intensive games like The Witcher 2 at high settings) My PC has never been overclocked in any way in that time (don't have the knowhow). Looking at the Administrative Events Log, I see Critical Errors around the times I've rebooted from these crashes and they provide the following info:
"The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly."
Log Name: System
Event ID: 41
Logged: 10/11/2011 6:46:23 PM
Task Category: (63)
Any tips for resolving this issue? I tried doing a system restore but for some reason the restore function was off so I have no restore points before the BSODs began (although there doesn't seem to be any software that's caused this issue). I read that it's a good idea to buy a can of compressed air and clean out dust with that, although I don't see much dust left inside my machine (especially not on my GPU). If there is a hardware problem, I hope it's isolated to the GPU since I was planning on buying a more powerful card anyways...