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Windows 7: BSOD and crashing while gaming. A real nuisance


23 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 64 Bit
 
 
BSOD and crashing while gaming. A real nuisance

Hi guys,

I built a rig roughly three years ago, which has had a constant and nightmarish issue that re-occurs randomly to haunt me. Briefly, my computer has always run fine in windows mode but when I'm gaming (e.g. Team Fortress 2, Empire: Total War) it either goes to a BSOD that varies in content (though I have attached an .jpg of the last one) or a mass of colours and distorted pixellation appear coupled with a system crash. I am inept when it comes to computer problem solving, though this is not for want of trying. When this problem doesn't occur (and sometimes it doesn't for months), it is probably more down to luck than anything else; possibly I fix it unbeknownst to me.

I am not knowledgeable enough to make judgements, but one of my mates insists it's a GPU issue, but I have my doubts: I have had two cards in my rig (my first was a GTX 260) and the problem has always been there. Furthermore, this problem has the annoying habit of vanishing and reappearing, suggesting that it's a software issue. However, after having cleaned my computer for dust the other day, this issue came back with a vengeance.

I would really appreciate some advice, and I thank anyone who takes the time to help me.

Wraith Lord

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

23 Feb 2012   #2

Windows 7 64 Bit
 
 

PS A couple of details I forgot to mention:

1. It is a genuine and purchased copy of Windows 7 from a licensed retailer.
2. I appear to have all the latest software drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Antivirus Software
Code:
avgnt.exe	c:\program files (x86)\avira\antivir desktop\avgnt.exe	2880	8	200	1380	24/02/2012 01:08	12.1.0.17	252.45 KB (258,512 bytes)	14/12/2011 19:09
avguard.exe	c:\program files (x86)\avira\antivir desktop\avguard.exe	1864	8	200	1380	24/02/2012 01:07	12.1.0.18	107.45 KB (110,032 bytes)	14/12/2011 19:09
avshadow.exe	c:\program files (x86)\avira\antivir desktop\avshadow.exe	2428	8	200	1380	24/02/2012 01:08	12.1.0.10	242.95 KB (248,784 bytes)	14/12/2011 19:09
sched.exe	c:\program files (x86)\avira\antivir desktop\sched.exe	1524	8	200	1380	24/02/2012 01:07	12.1.0.18	84.20 KB (86,224 bytes)	14/12/2011 19:09

msmpeng.exe	c:\program files\microsoft security client\antimalware\msmpeng.exe	880	8	200	1380	24/02/2012 01:07	3.0.8402.0	12.48 KB (12,784 bytes)	27/04/2011 18:21
nissrv.exe	c:\program files\microsoft security client\antimalware\nissrv.exe	2904	8	200	1380	24/02/2012 01:08	3.0.8402.0	281.52 KB (288,272 bytes)	27/04/2011 18:21
msseces.exe	c:\program files\microsoft security client\msseces.exe	2664	8	200	1380	24/02/2012 01:08	2.1.1116.0	1.37 MB (1,436,736 bytes)	15/06/2011 15:35
Having multiple antivirus programs that accomplish the same task is a known cause of system conflicts and crashes. Please remove avira through Start Menu -> Control Panel -> Uninstall a program and run Avira RegistryCleaner - Download to clean up the remnants. Then run Microsoft Security Essentials - Free Antivirus for Windows with Windows firewall by itself.



There were no .dmp files attached. Is the blue screen freezing resulting in a required hard shut down (you have to physically hold the power button down for 5-10 seconds)?

Bug Check 0x7E: SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED should give some information on the crash.



We will start with the common problems first. Do the following steps and test by doing your normal routine after each step to see if stability increases (the memory tests you can run concurrently as they will not increase stability unless you are forced to move modules around). Post back your results after each step, and if you get a blue screen crash, upload the files again and await further instructions after we are able to analyze the crash.

If you can do your normal routine for a few weeks without a crash, and your crashes are usually more frequent than that, then the problem is likely solved.
  • If you are overclocking any hardware, please stop.


  • Follow the steps for Diagnosing basic problems with DirectX. To re-install your display card drivers as outlined in the DirectX link, use the following steps.
    1. Download the latest drivers for your display card(s)
    2. Click Start Menu
    3. Right Click My Computer/Computer
    4. Click Manage
    5. Click Device Manager from the list on the left
    6. Expand Display adapters
    7. Do the following for each adapter (in case you have multiple display cards)
      • Right click the adapter
      • Click Uninstall (do not click OK in the dialog box that pops up after hitting Uninstall)
      • Put a tick in Delete driver software for this device (if this option is available, otherwise just hit OK) and hit OK
    8. Restart your computer after uninstalling drivers for all display cards
    9. Install the latest driver for the display cards once Windows starts

    Alternatively:
    1. Login as an adminstrative user
    2. Download the latest drivers for your display card(s)
    3. Click Start Menu
    4. Click Control Panel
    5. Click Hardware and Sound
    6. Click Device Manager (the last link under Devices and Printers)
    7. Expand Display adapters
    8. Do the following for each adapter (in case you have multiple display cards)
      • Right click the adapter
      • Click Uninstall (do not click OK in the dialog box that pops up after hitting Uninstall)
      • Put a tick in Delete driver software for this device (if this option is available, otherwise just hit OK) and hit OK
    9. Restart your computer after uninstalling drivers for all display cards
    10. Install the latest driver for the display cards once Windows starts


  • Monitor temperatures during the following tests Use the following programs to monitor the temperature.

  • I see a lot of crashing application problems. These can be due to the software itself being corrupted, so re-install Steam. I also see a lot of crashes with explorer.exe which could mean Windows files are corrupted.

    Run SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker up to three times to fix all errors. Post back if it continues to show errors after a fourth run or if the first run comes back with no integrity violations.


  • Run the boot version of Memtest86+ paying close attention to Parts 2 and 3 of the tutorial. Also, in case Memtest86+ misses anything and comes up with no errors, run the extended version of the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool for at least five passes. These you may want to run overnight since they take a long time to complete (run them an hour before bed each of the next two nights and check before going to sleep that they are still running).

    If you swap any memory components, follow these steps for ESD safety:
    1. Shut down and turn off your computer.
    2. Unplug all power supplies to the computer (AC Power then battery for laptops, AC power for desktops)
    3. Hold down the power button for 30 seconds to close the circuit and ensure all power drains from components.
    4. Make sure you are grounded by using proper grounding techniques, i.e. work on an anti-static workbench, anti-static desk, or an anti-static pad. Hold something metallic while touching it to the anti-static surface, or use an anti-static wristband to attach to the anti-static material while working.
    Once these steps have been followed, it is safe to remove and replace components within your computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


27 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 64 Bit
 
 

Mate,

Many thanks for your helpful feedback. I have just finished a long run of work so I will attempt your instructions tomorrow and report back with what happens. Or doesn't happen...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7 64 Bit
 
 

Ok. My idle GPU temperature, for certain, is 82C. Thats far too hot isn't it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

For idle, that is very hot. It should idle between 30 and 50 depending on how many monitors you have. If you only have one, anything over 45 C is too hot. Have you tried blowing the dust out of the system?


Were you able to get the card/GPU running cooler?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BSOD and crashing while gaming. A real nuisance




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