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Windows 7: BSOD randomly strikes when gaming, "ntoskrnl.exe"?

27 Jul 2012   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium x64
BSOD randomly strikes when gaming, "ntoskrnl.exe"?

Hello everyone, this is the first time i have ever posted in a tech support forum but this one has really got me baffled so any help will be most appreciated.

I have followed the instruction and posted the files here . Or if you prefer to download them from the site i have figured out how to attach them.

Unfortunately sometimes it does not actually BSOD so no dump is recorded, however by luck i saved one to documents a few days ago and i put that in a folder entitled "olddump".

After interrogating that one and the two that followed (unfortunately those ones are lost) i believe the error has something to do with ntoskrnl.exe something about symbols not found, looking around on google hasn't dug anything i can use up so if anyone can point me in the right direction would be great!

I first started getting errors whilst playing battlefield 3, i can usually play bf3 reasonably with no lag, get the odd crash but these ones were different and ended up in a restart or bsod, the problem is and why i am so sketchy is the errors occurred extremely randomly, and sometimes after extended periods of gametime.

It wasnt too much of an issue and i didnt give it much thought until i tried to play the guild wars 2 beta weekend, then i was hit with almost constant BSOD 1 or 2 minutes into getting in, this one was alot easier to pinpoint and after a few restarts i worked out it was FRAPS that was causing the problems, i disabled and it worked fine.

In between this i was playing Age of Empires 3 on-line with no problems at all.

When the BWE3 finished i gave my computer a spring clean, clearing out all dust, getting rid of all the "crap" i didnt need, removed all my old fraps videos and gave it a defrag, disk cleanup, full virus scan, i defiantly noticed the difference.

I began playing Empire Total War and i received a number of BSOD, also some crashes which froze my computer and what i can only describe as gave a "blind" effect on the screen, the sound turned into a "hum"?

I had a previous problem like this with my RAM so i did a memtest, it detected no errors at all. I have 1 stick of DDR3 RAM 4GB which i am unable to change at present.

Last night i did every scan i possibly could, i ran a chkdsk, defrag, sfc scan, full virus scan, registry clean.. yet when i get back into Empire Total War this afternoon exactly the same thing although this time it just shut down.

I have been monitoring temperatures at idle for the past week now and the temps rarely go above 42 idle and are quite consistent (GPU stays under 40), as i say fans are cleared of dust and can confirm they are all spinning.

I think it is graphical related simply because it only happens when i play video games although the "ntoskrnl.exe" i got from the dump file makes me think it may be some NT coding, i am really not sure?

Over the period of the errors i have done the following;

- updated my graphic card to the latest drivers
- carried out various scans/cleanups
- searched google to try and find what is wrong with limited success
- i have even tried gently shaking my desk incase something was loose or faulty
- removed/put back different USB (printer etc.) to see if that made a difference

I did notice whilst playing movies from DVD, it would freeze at specific points, no big deal but it froze my whole computer for a good 5 minutes when i tried to move on, maybe related maybe not.

Things i am unable to do

- Buy/change hardware , unfortunately this is not possible at present although i am looking at purchasing more RAM.

Things i am unwilling to do

- Windows reinstall, i really would like to keep this as a last last resort, simply because the amount i would have to backup, i really dont have the time or patience although if it is the only option then i will obviously consider it.

Things i am going to try

- another ckhdsk, i did one but not sure i did it correctly, i tried to do one while posting this but had to exit it due to lagging my pc
- paying different games to really isolate the issue
- get another BSOD so i can grab the newest minidump

Before i posted this i unlocked the forth core of my processor to see if it would help.

It may be something simple that i am missing, im not sure but it has been doing my head in for two days now and i think a fresh pair of eyes wouldnt go a miss!

I am really new towards all of this.

Thanks in advance

- Andrew

Specs (also in .zip file)
AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 B40 Processor
AMD Radeon HD 6700 Series

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2012   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium x64

-update- after some real troubleshooting i am of the view its the cooling on my PC which is very unfortunate.. very odd, when i loaded up my total war the temps shot up from around ~40 to nearly 60 (i think my pc cuts out at around 60/70), my GPU which increased greatly in temperature, i guess the fans are working, just not how they should be.

I think it is my GPU fan though, because it didn't stabilise, it just kept increasing and when i closed down the application it decreased back down to 40, with my CPU at a stable 45.

Will be helpful if the mods could keep it in this forum until i have confirmed the issue, maybe someone would be able to confirm it anyway from the logs, i don't know.

I am wondering if it has anything related to the overpower feature that comes with the control centre thing for my graphics card, i recently disabled overpower/clocking thing as i dislike the whole thing and i never even knew it was switched on! Will try and update tomorrow or tonight depending how bothered i can be to lug my box out :-)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2012   #3

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

WIN | type %windir%\minidump

What do you see? do you see several files listed? How many?

WIN = key with microsoft logo on top.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jul 2012   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Thank you for the response, and yes i do, it is showing now something to do with "ataport.SYS" which i will start looking at now, the one last night did not have a bsod it just went straight into restart, regarding temps i launched a game (lotro, a mmo) and went into the game on ultra high, and the temp is alot more stable, the same one i tested it on last night..

edit: the file attached is the only dmp showing, i believe it is from the crash last night, although it wasnt bsod...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2012   #5

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

how many files do you see in %windir%\minidump?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2012   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Only the one i posted here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2012   #7

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

I need you to read very carefully this writeup and make sure that all settings are as specified. Right now I can tell that at least one setting is wrong.


Enable automatic management of the Paging file
WIN + PAUSE/BREAK key combo |
Advanced system settings (left-hand side) |
Advanced tab, Performance section, Settings |
Advanced tab, Virtual Memory section, Change |
checkmark Automatically manage paging file size for all drives |
OK | OK | OK

WIN + PAUSE/BREAK key combo |
Advanced system settings (left-hand side) |
tab, Startup and Recovery section, Settings |
System Failure section | checkmark Write an Event to the system log
| uncheck
Automatically restart |

Under Write debugging information, select Small memory dump |
in the Small dump directory: box, enter %SystemRoot%\Minidump| OK

If Overwrite any existing file is checked, then:
Under Write debugging information, select Kernel memory dump
Uncheck Overwrite any existing file
Under Write debugging information, select Small memory dump
OK button
If you get a crazy message from Win 7 about your paging file being too small, then just ignore the message since we have already made sure that the paging file is set to be managed by Win 7.

Scroll down to Windows Error Reporting Service |
Rt-clk on Windows Error Reporting Service | Properties |
tab | for Startup type, choose Automatic |
In Service status, Start button (unless grayed out) | OK

CCLEANER | Cleaner icon | Windows tab | System category |
Uncheck Memory Dumps
WIN | Services.msc | Enter
Under Name, locate Windows Error Reporting Service
If Status is not Started, then
Right-click on Windows Error Reporting Service |choose START
If Startup Type is not Automatic, then
Right-click on Windows Error Reporting Service |
choose Properties | General tab |
set Startup type to Automatic
Close Services.msc (I like to use ALT + F4)

After a crash, the minidump file will be in %SystemRoot%\Minidump
%SystemRoot% is generally C:\Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2012   #8

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I will do that, i just recovered from another crash, i had the game i mentioned running in the backround and it shut down without anything, will get back to you shortly and once again thank-you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2012   #9

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium x64

okay i will number the paragraphs so it will be easier for you to see what i have corrected.

1) It was already ticked
2) Corrected, i wasnt too sure about the check box of the overwrite existing file bit, although it was already ticked but i left it at what is was (kernal with overwrite ticked), i corrected the dmp path which appeared to be going to an actual file? Was odd
3) It was disabled for some odd reason.... started it up
4) I dont have CC cleaner, the only thing i have liked that was bundled with my AVG.. PC tuneup or something like that, which is i can imagine what has been changing all this? I know with tuneup thing it only deletes that stuff when i tell it to.

Am going to hit a restart and hope it will now report, will start a game up when it boots and see if i can "force" the error again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2012   #10

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Okay i managed to get another error quite soon after going into the game, it is defiantly showing similarities to Empire Total War, Battlefield 3 etc.

I checked the minidump and nothing, took a photo of the crash, here . And nothing in event log, only a critical power failure.

This is baffling me...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 BSOD randomly strikes when gaming, "ntoskrnl.exe"?

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