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Windows 7: BSOD when gaming (even after many fix attempts)

01 Apr 2014   #1
Eldiran

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
BSOD when gaming (even after many fix attempts)

Hey, I've got a longstanding BSOD issue that I just can't get rid of. I'm getting quite desperate.

Simply put, I get BSODs when playing any game that is remotely hard on the computer. Left 4 Dead 2, Skyrim, Chivalry, Terraria, Starbound (when hosting a Terraria/Starbound server on the same computer), and Titanfall all give me BSODs after 5 minutes - 2 hours of gameplay. (Generally the more intense the game, the sooner it crashes, but it varies wildly.) The BSODs occur even if all graphics settings are set to Low.

I never BSOD when not gaming.

The error is an "uncorrectable hardware error". WhoCrashed points to hal.dll and gives no other useful info. None of my temperatures exceed normal values (the highest is my core, which reaches 65 degrees). Memtest comes back with no errors. SeaTools tests all pass.

The problem has been going on for over a year now. Since it began I have reformatted the computer, replaced the power supply, replaced the motherboard, and replaced the graphics card. None of that affected the problem.

All drivers are up to date (I bought all these brand new parts very recently, to try to fix the problem).

I can accept that I need to replace more parts. However, I don't know what could possibly be causing it. I'd settle for a good lead on what to replace next.

Please help!

EDIT: forgot to mention, the computer is not overclocked.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Apr 2014   #2
Thedoctor44

 

Right, because you have bugchecks that consist of 0x124 errors (WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR) which stands for Windows Hardware Error Architecture. This means, as you can probably tell that it is a hardware error within the computer. I have encountered issues where drivers are the cause which in fact has happened to me but it is very unlikely.

we should begin with a few stress tests. How many passes has memtest passed for? You must run it for at least 8 passes.

Stress test your CPU by running prime95

Hardware - Stress Test With Prime95

Stress test your GPU with Furmark

Video Card - Stress Test with Furmark

Post the results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2014   #3
Eldiran

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for answering; I was afraid I wouldn't get any responses.

Memtest ran for more than 8 passes.

I've run Prime95 before with no results, but I ran it again for an hour to be sure. Didn't get any errors or crashing.

Ran Furmark for 9 minutes with no results. Temperature topped out at 90 degrees with no crashing (also, when gaming, I rarely exceed 65 degrees according to Speedfan). It shouldn't be possible that the GPU is a problem anyway, because I recently replaced my graphics card, and it didn't affect the BSODs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Apr 2014   #4
Thedoctor44

 

Hmm, on rare occasions, drivers can cause 0x124 errors. I've encountered them personally (unfortunately). Can you enable Driver Verifier to see if a faulty driver can be identified.
Follow these instructions.
Driver Verifier - Enable and Disable
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2014   #5
Eldiran

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Alright, followed the procedure, then got a crash. Attached are the dump files.

I shouldn't think it would be driver issues, unless I'm super unlucky, considering I've replaced most of the parts with drivers (Mobo/GPU)... but you never know.

I also caved and bought a new hard drive, so when that arrives in a few days I can find out if the HD was the cause. (At least it was an upgrade...)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2014   #6
Thedoctor44

 

The crash analysis is inconclusive, however it points to Atikmdag.sys which is the AMD GPU. The other bugchecks pointed to hardware so I'm pretty confident the cause is graphics card related.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2014   #7
Eldiran

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Really? I already replaced my GPU... : ( admittedly both of them are AMD.

As a test I ran AMD's driver cleanup, then installed the absolute latest (beta) AMD driver set. Still crashes.

I didn't always have this crash issue with my old graphics card. Do I need to get legacy drivers or something...? Or maybe I could get just the driver and not all the extra stuff like AMD Catalyst Control Center?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2014   #8
Thedoctor44

 

I'm afraid I can't vouch for AMD, I've never had any of their products. You could try installing a graphics driver without any extras.
But it does indicate a GPU hardware error.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2014   #9
Eldiran

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Yeah, removing all the extras, like CCC, did nothing.

This is ridiculous. It has to be something pre-existing (i.e. not a result of flaws in my brand new parts), or it wouldn't have persisted across all combinations of 2 mobos and 2 GPUs. The only unchanged parts are the CPU, RAM, and the HD.

Aaaaand now my BIOS is freezing up. So I can't even tweak the settings to see if they are the cause.

Thanks for the help, by the way. I might still not know anything about what is causing it, but this is narrowing down the possibilites, which will likely be very useful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2014   #10
Thedoctor44

 

Hmm right lets think. It's not software because Windows hasn't loaded up yet, so drivers and other processes can't be an issue.
Correct me if I'm wrong:
  • Prime95 ran for at least one hour with no errors or crashes whilst running the application.
  • Furmark ran for at least 30 minutes with no artifacts on screen or crashes whilst running.
  • Memtest86 ran for at least 8 passes with no errors.
  • SeaTools ran a test. (Note, you can try running a long generic test just to make sure).
The main thing I can think of now is a faulty motherboard. However it is a long shot and I'll ask for someone with more knowledge for this situation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BSOD when gaming (even after many fix attempts)




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