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Windows 7: Constant BSOD while "Verifying game files" in Steam


21 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Constant BSOD while "Verifying game files" in Steam

Problem:
I BSOD'd during level loading in TF2 and now every time I try to load TF2 it wants to reverify the files. That's fine. Problem is, it will get to 100%, sit there for about 3 minutes, and then BSOD with a 0x124 error. Reading up on these forums it appears to be a hardware issue (most likely).

History of my computer:
This hardware setup ran perfectly fine for over a year (i7, homebuilt) and literally never bluescreened. I decided to repurpose it as my new gaming rig as it was a little over the top for an HTPC. I popped in a newly bought 560 Ti video card and now I get the weird crashes. So I'm suspecting some issue revolving around the video card.

x64 Home Premium OEM
Hardware is 1-2 years old except video card which is brandy new (red flag)
OS install, less than 1 week.

Thank you to anyone who can determine what exactly is the culprit so I can replace/fix it and stop worrying! Sincerely appreciate any help you can provide!

System Components
GA-P55M-UD2 v1.0 Motherboard (flashed to latest released BIOS: F11)
Intel i7 860 (No OverClocking) (Aftermarket Cooler, idles ~30C, load ~52C)
Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1600C9 Memory (8GB) (Placed in slots 1,3 for Dual Channel Mode.)
N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II Video Card
WD10EADS HDD
Onboard Sound
Onboard LAN

-Attempted Fixes-

Fully reproducible crash: Run "Verify Integrity of Game Cache" in Steam on TF2 Installation. Will frequently BSOD with a 0x124 error.

-Windows Memory Checker Passes.
-Prime95 can chug along just fine with no issues.

Tried:
-Fresh install of Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - Still BSODs
-Swapping PCIE Power Plugs on Video Card - Passed a few times. Sat Cold overnight, then started to BSOD again.
-Enabling XMP memory profile - Still BSOD
-Disabling AHCI mode on my HDD (WD10EADS) - Tested & Convinced this is the issue!
  • PRE-DISABLING of AHCI Mode. BSOD 2x in a row this morning after cold boot!
    Passed 0 of 2 in AHCI Mode (0% Pass)
  • Disable AHCI in BIOS (Set to IDE Mode)
  • Passed 2x
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 5x
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 3x
    Passed 10 of 10 in IDE Mode (100% Pass)
    Appears AHCI is the culprit, will now re-enable AHCI and test to verify hypothesis...
  • Enable AHCI in BIOS
  • Passed 2x
  • Cold Boot
  • BSOD 2x
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 2x
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 2x
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 2x
    Passed 8 of 10 in AHCI Mode (80% Pass)
    Inconclusive. Seems to me that AHCI _might_ be an issue. Will switch back to IDE mode and see if the problem comes up again.
  • Disable AHCI in BIOS (Set to IDE Mode)
  • Passed 2x
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 2x
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 2x
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 2x
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 2x
    Passed 10 of 10 in IDE Mode (100% Pass)
    Appears I can't get it to BSOD in IDE mode...
  • Cold Boot
  • Enable AHCI in BIOS
  • Passed 2x
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 1x
    I think I'm noticing a pattern. It seems Cold Booting has a chance of "spawning" the problem. Seems to be random whether or not booting from fully off will produce the problem or not. However, once powered on either it will work 100% of the time, or fail 100% of the time. At least until another cold boot where the dice are rolled again. Rebooting appears to have no effect. It seems to need to be cold booted to clear the issue. Sounds like a potential BIOS issue? Rebooting should clear any windows drivers that are loaded, correct?
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 1x
  • Cold Boot
  • BSOD 1x (will reboot _not_ cold boot and see if my hunch is correct that it will continually BSOD until cold booting again!)
  • BSOD 1x (again! did not cold boot, will reboot and try again, expecting 3rd BSOD in a row!)
  • BSOD 1x (Woohoo! That makes three and I was able to predict it. Seems I'm hot on the trail of the issue now!)
    Curiosity... What happens if I don't cold boot but reboot and change the SATA mode to IDE now? Will it BSOD? Lets find out!
  • Disable AHCI in BIOS (Set to IDE Mode)
  • Passed 1x (very interesting, will reboot _not_ cold boot, and set to AHCI and repeat)
  • Enable AHCI in BIOS
  • BSOD 1x (Beautiful! Will reboot and set to IDE, predicting PASS!)
  • Disable AHCI in BIOS (Set to IDE Mode)
  • Passed 1x (Super Awesome!)
  • Enable AHCI in BIOS
  • BSOD 1x (I'm confident I know this is a BIOS issue. However, I will try a few Gigabye drivers first then I will try to flash a beta bios if these two drivers don't resolve it.)
  • Installed Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver from Gigabyte.us
  • Crashed 1x (to be fair, it didn't BSOD, but the screen went black and it rebooted, crashed either way. The IRST driver didn't help.)
  • Installed Gigabyte SATA 2 driver from Gigabyte.us
  • BSOD 1x (OK, seems drivers aren't going to solve this, but I was in fact suspecting a BIOS issue. Downloaded Beta Bios F12a and will Flash.)
  • Flashed BIOS to F12a (Beta)
  • BSOD 1x
    Well, that sucks...
  • Cold Boot
  • Passed 1x (Appears the BIOS bug didn't bite me this time on this cold boot... yay.. but sigh in general)

Appears there is a problem with the BIOS and/or Motherboard in General with regards to AHCI mode. Updating drivers and BIOS didn't solve the issue so I'm assuming it's something I have to live with or replace the motherboard.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

21 Oct 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1
 
 

Hi.

If you are overclocking anything stop.


You need to update your Intel Processor driver


http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Default.aspx


Then read very carefully this tutorial and run


Hardware - Stress Test With Prime95



Finish
with these steps and post back with any results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I appreciate the recommendation.

Downloading now........

While that's going.. since when did we start needing to update processor drivers!?!? I was a tech during the good ol' 95/98 days and I had honestly never heard of that.. I guess things have gotten quite complicated?

--Edit--

Not overclocking.. I just don't bother with that..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


21 Oct 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Wait.. I don't think I'm downloading the right drivers. Which type of driver are you suggesting I download? I have an i7 860 processor. It doesn't have integrated graphics and that seems to be the only driver available.

Product family
Processors
Product line Desktop
Product name Intel® Core™ i7 Desktop Processor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1
 
 

Have in mind this...

Your .dmp files shows a stop error of 0x124 which is a general hardware error .. A "stop 0x124" is fundamentally different to many other types of bluescreens because it stems from a hardware complaint. Stop 0x124 minidumps contain very little practical information, and it is therefore necessary to approach the problem as a case of hardware in an unknown state of distress. You can read more on this error and what to try here...

Stop 0x124 - what it means and what to try

Thats why i advice for first step to try update the intel driver then test the cpu with prime95.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Ok, again, I'm not sure which "intel driver" you're suggesting. Searching for a driver with the link you gave me only points me to a "Integrated Graphics" driver which isn't something my processor supports. Correct me if I'm wrong there.

-Edit-

I've been running prime95 per the tutorial you posted and it's on test 8 and going like a champ.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1
 
 

You can use the Intel Driver Update Utility.

Intel® Driver Update Utility

If you cannot find any newest driver for your cpu then just continue with prime95 test.

Also read the above post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Ok. Forgive me, but I went down another path. Correct me if I sound absolutely bat poo insane.

I had this odd epiphany... I've been going into my case and messing with my ram (didn't have it set to Dual Channel due to PEBKAC errors). And each time I was messing with the ram, I would unseat the video card as it was in the way of the retention clips on the dimm slots. Now, the 560 ti cards have _two_ 6 pin pcie power connectors and I realized that it seemed to be a crap shoot if I'd have BSOD issues after messing around in there. So, for giggles, I swapped the two power connectors.

I passed the Steam file Verification test with no issues (it would BSOD like clockwork before). As far as I understand it my PSU only has 1 40 AMP 12v rail. Could something, during the verification process, have caused the 12v rail to drop and cause the card to 0x124?

Obviously, I need to mess around with this a while longer to make sure it is actually working and I didn't just get lucky and have it randomly pass when it otherwise "shouldn't" have.

Am I crazy?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Very odd fix if you can call it that.

Still no issues! I'll continue to play/test and I'll update everyone if what I did seems to have resolved my issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1
 
 

No you are not crazy!


As you may know you can run
RAM - Test with Memtest86+


And of course http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...test-occt.html to test your gpu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Constant BSOD while "Verifying game files" in Steam




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