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Windows 7: BSOD by driver "dxgkrnl.sys", analysis files attached

01 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
BSOD by driver "dxgkrnl.sys", analysis files attached

Alright, I'm pulling my hair out over this. I have a blue screen issue that happens about once a day, but the stuff I'm doing while it happens is really inconsistent. Sometimes I'll be playing a graphic heavy game, sometimes I'll be watching YouTube, sometimes I'll be typing a document in Word. It usually happens once, I reboot, and then I'm fine for the rest of the day.

I formatted my hard drive and freshly installed Windows then got the latest drivers for my video card, the latest Windows Updates, etc., hoping that a clean fresh start would just magically fix the problem. It hasn't.

BlueScreenView says that my problem is with "dxgkrnl.sys", and so I did a search for that, and the "consistent yet inconsistent" pattern I explained above seems pretty common with this particular BSOD. The thing is, I didn't really find any thread that identified just one solution --- the threads I've seen either died off with no solution, or just sort of either fixed themselves or were something very specific to that particular users computer.

So anyway, I'm at a loss --- this is a freshly formatted machine, so I think that narrows it down to a hardware issue. The problem is, I have no idea where to even begin or what to try. I did a memory test and that came out fine. I grabbed GPU-Z and CPU-Z and everything looked fine in terms of heating. Nothing overheating, even under heavily graphical stress.

My hardware...

Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 740
CPU: Intel Core i7 870 @ 2.93 GHz

I have attached a zip file containing the Perfmon system report and the result of the BSOD Dump & System File Collection app as detailed in the sticky on posting for BSODs.

I'm hoping that someone can look at all of this and identify something specific to my environment or push me in the right direction of things to try in a specific order that have the greatest chances of succeeding, rather than me just trying random stuff.

Also, in addition to these logs, I have kept a manual log over the past week, detailing what happened and what I was doing when it happened. That log is as follows:


12/27 20:50
Screen went black for a second while just on the desktop. The screen returned and an information bubble popped up saying, "NVIDIA driver 285.62 stopped responding but recovered". This was after about an hour of playing Anomaly Warzone Earth. No bluescreen or crash, but I suspect all of this has something to do with the video card, so I logged it.

12/29 03:00
The computer had been on for a while and I had done various tasks, then launched Orcs Must Die, and was in the menus before beginning the game. The screen went black, sound got stuck, and the system rebooted after about 20 seconds. Upon return, blue screen message indicated the faulty driver to be dxgkrnl.sys, and also highlighted dxgmms1.sys and nvlddmkm.sys in red/pink in BlueScreenView.

12/29 17:25
Cold boot, computer had been off all day. Just got to the desktop, and started watching YouTube. Within 30 seconds, same thing as above, screen went black, sound stuck, and system rebooted about 60 seconds later. Blue screen message the same as above.

12/30 03:36
While on the desktop, screen went black for a second, "NVIDIA driver 285.62 stopped responding but recovered". This was after playing several hours of Sequence.

12/31 20:30
Cold boot for the first time today, upon logging in, immediately the screen went crazy, displaying like flashing neon colors. It looked very much like a spider crack in an LCD, but the monitor is just fine. The system was frozen. I could sort of see the Windows login screen stuck underneath all the colors, but it was frozen. Only option was to manually restart the machine. No log was created, no blue screen message.

12/31 21:30
While working on my work PC through RDP and listening to music through YouTube on my PC, the music stopped and the screen went grey. Everything seemingly froze. The only option was to restart the computer myself, it didn't auto-reboot. Blue screen message had the same usual drivers...

12/31 21:50
Not long after recovering from the above crash, I was in the same situation --- RDP'd to my work PC and working, while listening to music through YouTube on my PC. Screen went white, music stopped. Everything froze and the only option was to restart the computer myself. Blue screen message had the same usual drivers.

12/31 22:02
Same situation above, while working through RDP and listening to YouTube on my PC, screen went black for a second, but instead of blue screening, I got the "NVIDIA driver 285.62 stopped responding but recovered" message.

1/1 17:05
Cold boot for the day, watched two YouTube videos, then browsed the web for a sec (maybe 5-10 minutes to check movie times). Launched Orcs Must Die and locked up within 30 seconds of entering the game, screen went black and sound got stuck, then the system automatically rebooted. Blue screen message had the same usual drivers.

1/1 17:10
After recovering from the above reboot, went straight into Orcs Must Die to pick up where I left off. Same thing, within 30 seconds of entering the game, screen went black and sound got stuck. Except this time it didn't automatically reboot, I had to do it myself. Upon reboot, the blue screen message had the same usual drivers.

1/1 17:17
After recovering from the above reboot, same exact thing, went straight into Orcs Must Die, within 10 seconds this time the screen went black and sound got stuck. Didn't automatically reboot, had to reboot myself. Blue screen message had the same usual drivers...


And that's where we're at. As you can see, it was particularly harsh on 12/31 and 1/1. The thing is, is that even though I'm doing pretty much the same thing on 12/31 for example (RDP with music in the background), after three crashes, I resumed doing the exact same thing and continued doing my work, didn't do anything different, yet it didn't crash again. Same for 1/1, it looks like Orcs Must Die is a problem, but actually I played that game a ton over the holidays, and after crashing two or three times in the same place, I just reboot again and try again, and what do you know, it's just fine.

I don't really think it's a problem with a certain program or game, because I've had this happening for a while with various games ranging from StarCraft 2, Dragon Age, Borderlands, the above mentioned games, etc. And then sometimes it's not even games, sometimes it's just browsing the web or working on a Word document.

Anyway...anyone who can help, much appreciated. I hope this covers the basic information, but if there's anything else I can provide to help you pros narrow it down for me, I'll be sure to reply as soon as possible with whatever details you need.

Help me Seven Forums, you're my only hope...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2012   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400

"It's not a true crash, in the sense that the bluescreen was initiated only because the combination of video driver and video hardware was being unresponsive, and not because of any synchronous processing exception".

Since Vista, the "Timeout Detection and Recovery" (TDR) components of the OS video subsystem have been capable of doing some truly impressive things to try to recover from issues which would have caused earlier OSs like XP to crash.

As a last resort, the TDR subsystem sends the video driver a "please restart yourself now!" command and waits a few seconds.

If there's no response, the OS concludes that the video driver/hardware combo has truly collapsed in a heap, and it fires off that stop 0x116 BSOD.

If playing with video driver versions hasn't helped, make sure the box is not overheating.

Try removing a side panel and aiming a big mains fan straight at the motherboard and GPU.

Run it like that for a few hours or days - long enough to ascertain whether cooler temperatures make a difference.

If so, it might be as simple as dust buildup and subsequently inadequate cooling.

I would download cpu-z and gpu-z (both free) and keep an eye on the video temps Let us know if you need help
STOP 0x116: VIDEO_TDR_ERROR troubleshooting
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for your reply. I read that post as well, but I've done several temperature tests and nothing ever gets out of reasonable range. Wish it were that easy for me
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Jan 2012   #4

Win 8 Release candidate 8400

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CptSupermrkt View Post
Thanks for your reply. I read that post as well, but I've done several temperature tests and nothing ever gets out of reasonable range. Wish it were that easy for me
Video TDR can be power, heat, bad video capacitors, vram, etc. It is simply the systems attempt to restart a video service that has stopped.

Frustrating to diagnose. Swapping gpus might yield a clue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Yeah, I wish I could try that, but I don't have a spare graphics card around so I'd have to buy a new one This problem is so strange --- I played Skyrim on Ultra settings last night for like 3 hours and didn't have a single problem all night. It's like the problem just seems to vanish all together for a day or two, then comes back, then goes away, then comes back, and I'm literally not doing anything out of the ordinary or changing my usual routine.

Honestly this problem is so mysterious that I'm thinking I might just ride this out for another year or so, then upgrade my video card anyway. I don't get frustrated too easily, so I don't mind crashing like once or twice a day. The only reason I want to fix it is fear of losing data I'm working on or something. Fortunately these days most programs have recovery options or autosave frequently, I haven't found myself totally screwed yet. I guess I could just live with it for a while longer...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 BSOD by driver "dxgkrnl.sys", analysis files attached

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