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Windows 7: BSOD --> Starcraft 2, "IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL"


31 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
BSOD --> Starcraft 2, "IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL"

Just when I thought my last BSOD error was corrected, another one arises. Anyhow, like my previous problem, I'll give whoever is available to help me all the information below is the most organized manner I know how, and a thank you in advance for the assistance

I've attached the Minidump (And a .txt of the bugcheck), and the System Diagnostic

Computer Specifications
- OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
- CPU: Intel i7-2600k
- GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6950
- PSU: OCZ 850W (Gold Certified)
- Motherboard: P8Z68-V Pro
- HardDrive: 1TB (Black) Western Digital HDD
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB
- Average Temp (In Celsius when Idle): 30 (Motherboard) ... 35 (CPU) ... 60 (Graphics Card)


What I'm doing when it crashes
- To generate the crash, I start up my PC, start up "Starcraft 2". When I log in to the menu, and browse my profile looking at all my losses (Q_Q), my computer will occasionally just black screen, then the fans seem to be working overtime for a few seconds, then everything settles down and the computer restarts. Though, there are some times when I can actually play a full game of Starcraft 2, for a good hour, and then BAM, same scenario as above.

- Also, just recently I had a similar crash when I -wasn't- on Starcraft 2. I had visual Studio 2010 open and was doing some work, when the exact same thing happened, though this -rarely- happens. It's much faster to generate the crash on Starcraft 2.

My Theory and things I've already tried
NOTE: I'm open minded, and willing to try any of these again if necessary

Theory
I think this -may- be related to my graphics card overheating, as it's at 60 degrees Celsius when idle, and can go up to 79-81 when gaming (I believe the threshold for my card is 82 anyway...). So ... I've ordered a fan for the card and am waiting for it to come in (The Arctic Accelero Xtreme Plus II), I'm hoping that'll solve the issue. But lately it seems as though it's taking less effort to crash, making me think it's something a little more...

Things I've Tried
- Changed settings around in my BIOS so that I wouldn't be over-clocking, but I still get crashes (If you need the specifics of what I changed let me know, because I still don't fully understand what or why everything does what it does in the BIOS)
- Updated -all- drivers to their latest version (BIOS, Graphics, etc...-everything-)
- Ran sfc /scannow which returned "Did not find any integrity violations"


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

31 Oct 2011   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Chaospudding View Post
Just when I thought my last BSOD error was corrected, another one arises. Anyhow, like my previous problem, I'll give whoever is available to help me all the information below is the most organized manner I know how, and a thank you in advance for the assistance

I've attached the Minidump (And a .txt of the bugcheck), and the System Diagnostic

Computer Specifications
- OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
- CPU: Intel i7-2600k
- GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6950
- PSU: OCZ 850W (Gold Certified)
- Motherboard: P8Z68-V Pro
- HardDrive: 1TB (Black) Western Digital HDD
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB
- Average Temp (In Celsius when Idle): 30 (Motherboard) ... 35 (CPU) ... 60 (Graphics Card)


What I'm doing when it crashes
- To generate the crash, I start up my PC, start up "Starcraft 2". When I log in to the menu, and browse my profile looking at all my losses (Q_Q), my computer will occasionally just black screen, then the fans seem to be working overtime for a few seconds, then everything settles down and the computer restarts. Though, there are some times when I can actually play a full game of Starcraft 2, for a good hour, and then BAM, same scenario as above.

- Also, just recently I had a similar crash when I -wasn't- on Starcraft 2. I had visual Studio 2010 open and was doing some work, when the exact same thing happened, though this -rarely- happens. It's much faster to generate the crash on Starcraft 2.

My Theory and things I've already tried
NOTE: I'm open minded, and willing to try any of these again if necessary

Theory
I think this -may- be related to my graphics card overheating, as it's at 60 degrees Celsius when idle, and can go up to 79-81 when gaming (I believe the threshold for my card is 82 anyway...). So ... I've ordered a fan for the card and am waiting for it to come in (The Arctic Accelero Xtreme Plus II), I'm hoping that'll solve the issue. But lately it seems as though it's taking less effort to crash, making me think it's something a little more...

Things I've Tried
- Changed settings around in my BIOS so that I wouldn't be over-clocking, but I still get crashes (If you need the specifics of what I changed let me know, because I still don't fully understand what or why everything does what it does in the BIOS)
- Updated -all- drivers to their latest version (BIOS, Graphics, etc...-everything-)
- Ran sfc /scannow which returned "Did not find any integrity violations"


We do need all the DMP files as they contain the only record of the sequence of events leading up to the crash, what drivers were loaded, and what was responsible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Sorry, I had recently used CCleaner to see if it would fix any registry problems. It had erased by other Minidump files, and that was the only one left (I managed to generate the crash again afterwards).

Though, the only thing I can tell you about the other I had was that they all related to the "atikmdag" file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


01 Nov 2011   #4

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Chaospudding View Post
Sorry, I had recently used CCleaner to see if it would fix any registry problems. It had erased by other Minidump files, and that was the only one left (I managed to generate the crash again afterwards).

Though, the only thing I can tell you about the other I had was that they all related to the "atikmdag" file.
That is of course your video driver (Related to atikmdag.sys ATI Radeon Kernel Mode Driver.)

Without the dmps however we cant tell what is killing it. Could be the driver, heat, power, the gpu, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I've attached a .zip file of one .dmp file in my first post, though did you need more than that to confirm the problem? If so then I understand, and I will post a reply with any new dumps I get as soon as they happen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2011   #6

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

First post is from 10/31 and the cause is already listed. We cant get any trend from a single dmp nor confirm why it crashed from just one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Ok no problem. If I can get it to crash again, or more than once, I'll post the new dump(s) after this post. Thanks for the help so far though

PS: I just received my "Arctic Accelero Xtreme Plus II" VGA cooler and installed it. It seemed to have dropped my graphics temperature by about 15-20 degrees Celsius (with the fan speed at 25%), according to the Catalyst Control Center. So, I'll do some gaming for a while and see how everything turns out. If I don't get a crash within about a month or two, I'll mark this as solved
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2011   #8

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Chaospudding View Post
Ok no problem. If I can get it to crash again, or more than once, I'll post the new dump(s) after this post. Thanks for the help so far though

PS: I just received my "Arctic Accelero Xtreme Plus II" VGA cooler and installed it. It seemed to have dropped my graphics temperature by about 15-20 degrees Celsius (with the fan speed at 25%), according to the Catalyst Control Center. So, I'll do some gaming for a while and see how everything turns out. If I don't get a crash within about a month or two, I'll mark this as solved
My pleasure and if you dont crash in the next day or two you should be good to go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Problem Solved - Heating Issue

Many thanks for the help, and I managed to figure out the issue regarding my problem(s). It wasn't a driver issue, or anything software related. I hope the information that I share below will help people in the future, and the members of the Windows 7 community help others solve problems with more ease : )

-------------------- ORIGINAL PROBLEM --------------------

The issue was heat all along. The Radeon HD 6950 that I received (Not sure if everyone has this problem though) either didn't come with a good fan/heatsink, or the combo was not installed properly. Basically, when I played an intense game such as "Starcraft 2" or "Battlefield 3" on maximum settings, my cards temperature would increase from 60 idle, to 82, then it would crash (As 82 degrees Celsius is apparently its threshold).

After installing the Arctic Accelero Plus II VGA Cooler, the temperature of my card decreased from 60 idle, to 40-45 Celsius idle (Using 2 monitors), and I've seen a maximum of 62 Celsius playing Battlefield 3 on maximum settings. It was a good investment, and I highly recommend this VGA cooler to anyone running an intense card such as mine, and/or playing graphically intense games such as these.

-------------------- ON ANOTHER NOTE --------------------

After installing my VGA cooler, my Graphics card was cooled, but then I had another crash...to make a long story short, my CPU was overheating next (I knew this because my motherboard said "CPU Over-Temperature Error" when it restarted). Now, this problem can be remedied two different ways:

a) Stop overclocking please. Go into your BIOS settings, turn off anything related to "Turbo Mode" or any crazy custom settings you have. Loading the default settings -usually- works. The harder all those cores are working, the hotter that CPU is going to get. Specifically, my problem was that my 3.4GHz i7-2600k processor was trying to run at 4.4GHz. That's a massive increase in performance, and was cooking my CPU by pushing it up to about 72 degrees Celsius, after which it would crash.

(NOTE: Surprisingly, for me anyway, the "default" settings for my P8Z68-V Pro motherboard include overclocking capability. So, ensure that even after you load "fail-safe" settings, that you manually shut off any overclocking on your board before restarting)

b) Purchase a new CPU cooler (Fan/Heatsink). The cooling capacity of a CPU cooler is measured in terms of "Thermal Design Power", or basically how many watts of heat it can handle (Read more on wiki by Googling "Thermal Design Power"). So for example, my i7-2600k stock cooler can supposedly dissipate 95W of heat. After turning off my overclocking capabilities as I mentioned above, my core temperature decreased substantially, and I can run my games just fine now. Though, if you wanted to overclock your CPU, I would highly recommend a CPU cooler that has a cooling capacity of about 300 Watts, if you are into that kind of thing.

-------------------- FINAL NOTE --------------------

So, before I mark this as solved, I'd just like to say thanks again for the help, and I hope everything above will help people solve similar problems in the future. Though, I did have one question before I close this thread...

A System Diagnostic only tells me information related to my "current" temperature...(Am I correct?) Is there an easier way to get information regarding temperature either during the time of crash, or while doing certain things, such as gaming? (Basically, I used the program that came with my Graphics card, the Catalyst Control Center, to monitor my temperature while I gamed, as well as the ASUS AI Suite to monitor my CPU temperature, though I don't think they can generate reports...correct me if I'm wrong though...). The combination of doing that, and researching the temperature threshold of my parts, helped me find out temperature was my problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BSOD --> Starcraft 2, "IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL"




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