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Windows 7: System crash while running DX9 games

04 Aug 2011   #11

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Install IE9 (before SubInACL): Following your steps, it fails to install just as if I chose to ignore all the programs.

SubInACL: Successfully followed all the steps.

Install IE9: Fails as before.

DirectX 9: Games crashes the exact same way.

Repair Install: I am presented with the error, "Your current version of Windows is more recent than the version you are trying to upgrade to. Windows cannot complete the upgrade.".

So it looks like it's another clean Install of Windows, this time with DBAN.


Edit: So, I've started DBAN and with the size of my disk, it is estimated for a 105 hour run. I will check in again when it is complete and I've started the new install.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2011   #12
Microsoft MVP


Good luck! I've got my fingers crossed!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2011   #13

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

DBAN completed. No errors.

I will be installing Windows as you have mentioned in the previous post. I'll be keeping my own log of the updates I install. Also, since I am using Windows Ultimate N, I wasn't sure if I should install the Media Feature Pack during the Windows Update steps or after I've gone through everything and tested it once.

Edit 1: The following is my installation experience so far. I'm at the point where I install a game and test for the issue. The Windows Update steps have more details (specific packages), but I've just put the summary list here for now.
Install Windows 7 Ultimate N x64 from DVD Media.
- Set user name and computer name
- Set password
- Set automatic Windows Update (I don't usually keep this setting since I need to control restarts)
- Set Home network location
- Join HomeGroup
Initialize and format Backup disk drive.
Windows Update automatically installs 2 packages. Restart required.
Backup system. (The automatic update delayed this a step later than I would have done it) [I generally backed up after every restart so I could roll back to a specific point if necessary]
Windows Update automatically installs a package. (Windows Defender Definition)
Windows Update (79/83;0/40) selected automatically. Restart required.
Windows Update (6/9; 0/40) selected automatically. Restart required.
Automatic restart during configuring updates.
Windows Update (1/3; 0/40) selected. (SP1) Restart required.
Windows Update (7/8; 0/39) selected automatically. Restart required.
Windows Update (0/1; 0/39) selected automatically. Manually selected the 1 important update. Restart required.
Windows Update (0/1; 0/0) selected automatically. Manually selected the 1 important update. Failed, Code 80242006.
Manual restart.
Windows Update (0/1; 0/0) selected automatically. Manually selected the 1 important update. Successfully installed.
Windows Update (2/2; 0/39) selected automatically. Successfully installed.
Windows Update (0/0; 0/39) selected automatically. Hid 34 Windows 7 Language Packs. Manually selected BenQ - Display, Creative Labs - Audio, Ideazon - Input, nVidia - Display, Realtek driver update. nVidia - Display reports fail.
Manual restart.
nVidia - Display loads successfully.
Windows Update (0/0; 0/0) selected automatically.
Manual restart.
Windows Update (11/13; 0/0) selected automatically. Restart required.
Windows Update (0/2; 0/0) selected automatically. Manually selected 2 important updates. Successfully installed.
Manual restart.
Windows Update (0/0; 0/0) selected automatically.
Install ASUS U3S6 USB3 Host Controller Drivers.
Install JMicron JMB36X SATA drivers. Restart required.
Install JMicron JMB36X eSATA drivers. Restart required.
Windows Update (0/0; 0/0) selected automatically.
Install Avira Personal (to be replaced after successful testing).
Update Avira Personal.
Delete Desktop shortcut for Avira Personal.

I'm now at the point of installing a game. I've chosen Star Wars Galaxies because it's pretty much the only one that I don't need the CDs for that I tested the crash with (I mostly have back up images where I am right now). I will be moving over the weekend and I'll have all my other CDs then. The install/update process of SWG will take a while since I don't have a very fast connection atm. Should be done later in the evening.

As you can see, there were 85 updates, then SP1, then 24 updates. However, a bunch of the updates after SP1 are duplicates (same KB number). I kept a list of all the KB numbers and updates listed (automatically/manually selected and available). I can post that if you like.

Edit 2: I attached a perfmon report. As you can see, I haven't done WEI or anything like that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Aug 2011   #14

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I just finished testing to see if the issue still occurs, and it does. Exact same process as before and the game crashed. So, it would seem that it is a hardware incompatibility that is causing the issue. What would you suggest for hardware testing? As I've mentioned before, stress tests on all hardware components pass with no issues (CPU, GPU, RAM) and diagnostics also pass (HDD, RAM). I don't have any extra video cards at the moment to swap that component. When I've moved, I might be able to use the card from my other machine, although that's only an 8800GTS from when Vista was released (Granted, Age of Empires 3 runs perfectly on it).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2011   #15
Microsoft MVP


A video card is the next test. Maybe you can purchase one from a local retailer that will allow you to return it for a full refund?

After that you'll have to try a hardware stripdown to rule out other components: Hardware Troubleshooting Via System Stripdown

Then it comes down to the mobo (presuming that the CPU stress tests were effective - I haven't done any research on them. Don't buy a mobo based on my say-so, but that's the next thing that I'd try replacing if I couldn't find anything with the hardware stripdown.

Good luck!

Just FYI:
NOTE: I have seevere eye problems which have gotten worse over the last week. I may not be able to respond further until after my surgery at the end of this month or the middle of September. Feel free to PM another staff member for assistance if I do not respond in a timely manner. Please accept my apoloeis in advance.

I'll continue on as well as I am able to, thanks for your patience. Feel free to PM another staff member if it's taking too long.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2011   #16

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I have followed the steps in the Hardware Troublshooting via System Stripdown link from your previous post. The results are:

1. Test memory with Memtest86+. Using version 2.2.6, I got 7 passes in 12 hours, no errors.
2. Microsoft Safety Scanner (which is the new Windows Live Scanner), "The scan completed succesfully and no viruses, spyware, and other potentially unwanted software were detected".
3. SMART status of the hard drives are all healthy as reported by SpeedFan.
4. SeaTools diagnostics reported no issues/errors with any of the hard drives.

After that, I kept in Case, PSU, CPU, 1 stick of RAM, Video Card, Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Hard drive, and CD drive. The issue still occurs. I am not able to get a video card that I can return after opening the box, so I won't be able to test that until Saturday/Sunday when I can use my old machine's video card.

I also decided to run a Prime95 Torture test. On the custom setting so I could use 11000/12279 of my RAM, the test ran with 254 passes in 14 hours, 34 minutes and 0 errors, 0 warnings. I ran 1 instance for each logical CPU, with Small FFTs on other cores and the custom setting above on Core 7. Total memory used was about 11.8 GB.

I think this safely excludes the CPU and RAM (and NB/FSB) from being the issue. It should exclude the PSU from being the faulty component as well. I also used a loopback plug on all 12 of my USB ports, and all are working as expected. All ethernet ports, SPDIF ports, firewire ports, eSATA ports, and audio ports were tested with their appropriate devices and there was no issue with any of them.

From my reckoning that eliminates the issue being caused by PSU, CPU, RAM, HDD, CD drive, and potentially the motherboard, X-Fi Fatal1ty audio card, and ASUS U3S6 expansion card. It seems the last component that is unclear is the video card, which I assume will be considered tested by replacing in another video card and seeing if the issue still occurs. Assuming the issue does occur, I'm guessing the motherboard will be the most likely component for failure?

Unfortunately, getting a new motherboard to me will mean I should just build a new computer and live with not being able to play DX9 games on this one (since there has been no issue doing anything else with this machine) and DX10 games run without any issues. Alternatively, if the video card is at fault, that will be a smaller upgrade to a SLi system with the 500 series cards.

I hope I haven't made any mistakes with my assumptions above. Anyway, I will post my result with an 8800 GTS. I will be travelling for a couple weeks at the end of August, and if the issue hasn't been resolved, I will most likely pick up after then.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2011   #17
Microsoft MVP


Not a problem, you're doing outstanding work!
Why did you eliminate some of the memory from CPU7 on the Prime95 test? IMO you should run all on the Blend test, then all on Small FFT's and all on Large FFT's (if getting errors, then we'll need the time to error on each of the above tests).

PSU is probably good, but I don't think that we've definitively ruled it out. The same goes for the mobo..
The video card is the most likely issue - especially since this is a problem that's related to DirectX. We "test" it by using a video card that we presume is good - and in most cases this is a valid assumption, but isn't a 100% correct assumption. Using a different model helps to rule out cards with similar limitations or defects - so I'd tend to trust the results when swapping the video cards.

Finally, there's no test for a motherboard - so we're just guessing when we do this. For example, I have USB issues on my mobo - and I had replaced my old mobo because of Sleep and USB issues - so I have to wonder what I'm doing that's causing this.

Good luck! I hope that we're able to resolve this for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2011   #18

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I am about to start lengthy Torture test sessions, and I wanted to ask a few questions before I begin.

1. How long would you recommend the torture test run for? I was thinking of getting in 3 12 hour sessions which covers me up to the time I will need to pack up to move. Would you suggest 24 hour sessions which I can continue once I have moved?

2. I was told the best way to test is having a mix of Blend and Small FFTs, but I am willing to do it as per your suggestion (all Blend, then all Small FFTs, and finally all Large FFTs).

3. Finally, do you think having 1 instance of Prime 95 per core is the best method, or is 1 instance with 8 workers on the above settings best? If the former, I'm guessing I should make each instance run with 1/8th of the total RAM. For the latter, setting it to use the entire RAM amount should be fine, right? I had set it a little bit lower to leave room for OS overhead, but maybe I don't need to worry about that?

Once I have those answers, I'll have a good plan to move forward and let those tests run. In the meantime, I have it set to contribute to PrimeNet (which has been running since my last post).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2011   #19
Microsoft MVP


I'd run a 12 hour before you move, and then a 24 hour after the move. The chances of issues after you move is greater because the system has been pushed around a bit.

Blend primarily tests RAM, Small and Large FFT's primarily test other components (CPU cache and mobo memory structures) - so I recommend all of them. I suggest noting time to failure on each - in case more than one fails. The time to failure lets us know which is the most likely problem.

I suggest going into the Task Manager...Performance tab - and counting the number of "CPU's" under the CPU Usage History (count the number of graphs) - that should be the number of cores that you select. Anything more detailed than that is not (IMO) necessary. Don't worry about any other settings, just let it run at the defaults.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #20

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I ran Prime95, default settings and all 3 tests pass with no errors running for 25 - 28 hours. After that, I tested with a presumably working 8800 GTS (from my old machine which runs everything perfectly fine). I encountered no crash using that card after several hours of playing/letting a game run. Retesting with my GTX 295 resulted in the crash occurring exactly as expected. This leads me to believe there is an issue with the graphics card.

At this point, I'm guessing my next step is to request an RMA for the graphics card or just plain replace it. In the case that I get an RMA ticket, is there any particular reason (not sure if there's a lingo) I should cite, or is stating the issue I'm having sufficient? As I will be away for a couple weeks, I will send out for the RMA when I return and will check out this thread before I do for any extra information.

I am kind of curious about what the specific problem could be with the video card that would result in an issue like this. I would think something with the GPU perhaps that is giving issues and results in a system crash? I've had GPU issues before on a laptop that overheated, but I don't believe I've ever had an overheating issue with this desktop. Oh well, once I've got a replacement/new video card, I'll post what I hope is my final post on the matter. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 System crash while running DX9 games

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