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Windows 7: Misc tasks, screen freezes, video driver unloads, BSOD atikmpag.sys

07 Jun 2010   #1
jameslkerr

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Technet)
 
 
Misc tasks, screen freezes, video driver unloads, BSOD atikmpag.sys

Okay, this is going to be long and drawn out, so let me start with my sincere apologies.

Description of the issue:
I rebuilt my entire machine a couple months ago, after purchasing a TechNet Plus subscription, new ATI Radeon 5870 2GB video card, and new AMD PhenomII X4 965 CPU. I promptly installed Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and started loading all up-to-date drivers and applications. Then, the problems began. I would be playing WoW and the game would freeze, the screen would turn gray, then black, then the fan on the video card would spin up to 100% throttle (Windows unloaded the video driver), then about 60-90 seconds later, I would get a BSOD with either atikmdag.sys or lately it has been atikmpag.sys. This would also happen while watching video clips in either Windows Media Player or VLC, and sometimes even when watching YouTube videos (both in IE or Firefox).

System Specifications:
Asus Crosshair II Formula motherboard
AMD PhenomII X4 965 CPU
4 GB Patriot RAM
Sapphire ATI Radeon 5870 2GB
AHCI Controlled Hard Drives and CD-Drives
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Technet)

Attempts at resolution:
1. Reinstalled Windows 7
2. Reinstalled Windows 7
3. Took system to local computer shop and received a replacement video card from stock
4. Reinstalled Windows 7
(while reinstalling Windows, attempted to use ATI Catalyst Drivers version 9.12 (from original CD), 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, and finally 10.5 installed on 6/3/2010)
5. Attempted changing ATI Performance Profiles XML
Changed CoreClockTarget and MemoryClockTarget for Want_0 and Want_1 to be higher than
default, so the card would not have to increase speeds as much (recommended via ATI
forums)
**started happening like clockwork when I installed RollerCoasterTycoon3, crash guaranteed within 30 minutes of starting a scenario, this began on 6/1, so the following entires are from this past weekend to today**
New Drivers from ATI, 10.5, installed. No change in behavior.
6. Disabled Aero within Windows (no effect, re-enabled)
7. Uninstalled Catalyst Suite, leaving bare drivers only (current config with version 10.5)
8. Attempted to use verifier.exe to diagnose the issue, system would only BSOD while booting, very soon into the splash screen, then reboot
9. Attempted Window Repair, unable to find a solution, no changes, rebooted
10. Booted Safe Mode in order to execute verifier.exe and remove current running values
11. Rebooted Windows normally
12. Called Microsoft Support (Case number available upon request by PM) 6/7/2010

Microsoft Support technician controlled my computer for a few minutes, and I showed him the minidump file using dumpchk.exe, but he said that it looks to be just a video card driver issue. I have a very very difficult time believing that after 3 re-installs and 5 different versions of the drivers. I am going to attempt to contact ATI support tomorrow. I figured that someone on this site might be able to assist me with analysis of the minidumps and possibly find the real root cause of this issue. I am going to upload DxDiag.txt output, the minidumps, and the full memory.dmp file (compressed with winrar on best setting, but still had to split into two files because of the 50MB restriction) to my skydrive public folder, linked below:
http://cid-44caa82b00d80af9.office.live.com/browse.aspx/Public

If there are any items that I have left out, or questions, please ask and I will answer as quickly as I possibly can. I really want to resolve this issue so I won't have to format and downgrade to a different OS.

This is a duplicate of a post on the Microsoft Social Answers Forums: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7hardware/thread/5f0aebb6-b9b6-4a5d-a622-97c62dbb3d66
All "results" will be posted in both locations ...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
07 Jun 2010   #2
Ageeb

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Since you didn't mention it, and seemingly things start hapenning under load, is your PSU pulling it's weight? Maybe the CPU/Vid card upgrade is putting it over the edge?
Have you ran memtest?
Have you primed95 or stress test of your choice for cpu?

- Ageeb
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2010   #3
jameslkerr

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Technet)
 
 

Good catch, Ageeb. I completely forgot to mention that.

I used Ubuntu to completely test all my RAM, and none of the tests "failed." I know that doesn't mean that the memory is "good," but rather that it was just able to pass the tests acceptably.

I also did a burn/benchmark in with Sisoft Sandra for the CPU, and FurMark for the GPU. Two days ago, I left FurMark running on the machine for over 4 hours, and the GPU temp never passed 81 degrees C. At that time, I did not check the CPU temperature, as it wasn't on that screen, and the CPU wasn't being taxed at that time.

I will note one other observation. I can play World of Warcraft for 5 hours plus and have no crashes what so ever now. I can also play StarCraft II Beta for more than 5 hours without a crash. But if I fire up Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 and start a scenario, it takes less than 30 minutes for the system to crash, every time. I cannot forcibly replicate the crash while watching movies or video clips at this time, that is still completely random, maybe once or twice per week. RCT3 is the sure-fire way to make this occur.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

08 Jun 2010   #4
Ageeb

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote:
I will note one other observation. I can play World of Warcraft for 5 hours plus and have no crashes what so ever now. I can also play StarCraft II Beta for more than 5 hours without a crash
sounds like it may be game specific rather than system...

are you overclocked?
are the games fully patched?
are AV's disabled during play?
have you tried them in compatibility mode?
were you using on-board video, before the upgrade? (getting at making sure it's disabled in BIOS, if so)

-Ageeb
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2010   #5
jameslkerr

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Technet)
 
 

But the issue has also occured outside of games entirely. I have had the same crash happen while watching YouTube videos in Internet Explorer or Firefox. I have also had crashes while watching video clips made on my camera playing in Windows Media Player or in VLC. It is more random than the single game, it just happens that Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 causes more crashes than anything else, and it crashes in a shorter timeframe. Also, extremely rarely I have crashed while playing World of Warcraft and Starcraft II. It has not happened within the past couple weeks for those particular games, so I tend to forget about those crashes.

are you overclocked? -- No overclocking. I have tried UnderClocking (per some forum posts) but that did not make a difference.

are the games fully patched? -- Yes, all games are fully patched and Windows Update is always being checked and I am applying all optional/important/critical updates.

are AV's disabled during play? -- I use Avast, so it is in silent mode when I play games. I have never disabled Avast, but I can give it a try. I am careful online, so I wouldn't mind even removing Avast entirely for a few days ... I don't get viruses/spyware on my computers as I don't visit websites that harbor to them.

have you tried them in compatibility mode? -- I have not turned on compatibility mode for RCT3 as the issue can occur outside of the game. I can try that this evening when I get home.

were you using on-board video, before the upgrade? (getting at making sure it's disabled in BIOS, if so) Crosshair II is a "Republic of Gamers" edition board, there is no on-board video.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2010   #6
jameslkerr

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Technet)
 
 

I accidently placed this post in the incorrect forums.

I started a new thread under Crashes and Debugging:
https://www.sevenforums.com/crashes-d...tml#post776265

Any questions or replies should please go under the above linked thread.

Moderator, Please close this thread. Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2010   #7
mpcrsc562

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I have read in another post that certain vendors tweak the drivers for their hardware and it was suggested to download the Catalyst suite from the manufacture, rather than from AMD/ATi.

The 10.5 version has caused many people heartache--however, when I read that about getting the drivers from the card manufacturer, I did as such and have not had any problems with the 10.5.

In my opinion, it makes much sense--especially if the card in question is a non-reference card.

So, my suggestion is to see if the Sapphire drivers would do you better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2010   #8
mpcrsc562

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

And, if this is something you are already aware of, fogive me

Before installing the new driver package, uninstall the old one first. Also, I suggest as it works for me, download Driver Sweeper and when you reboot, go into Safe Mode and run Driver Sweeper. Click the ATi Display check box, click Analyze, then Clean. Reboot again to install the new driver package.

Hope you get this problem remedied quick.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2010   #9
jameslkerr

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Technet)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mpcrsc562 View Post
And, if this is something you are already aware of, fogive me

Before installing the new driver package, uninstall the old one first. Also, I suggest as it works for me, download Driver Sweeper and when you reboot, go into Safe Mode and run Driver Sweeper. Click the ATi Display check box, click Analyze, then Clean. Reboot again to install the new driver package.

Hope you get this problem remedied quick.
Thank you for the recommendations, and I will see if this makes a difference when I get home from work. I have already downloaded the drivers and the Driver Sweeper. I will uninstall the drvier, reboot to safe mode, run Driver Sweeper, and then install from the Sapphire Website's driver package. I will let you know if this makes the difference.

Copying this information to the other thread ...

EDIT: The drivers downloaded as a zip, but when I unzipped the file, it was the exact same name and byte size as the original ATI driver, including the logo. I don't believe there is a difference between them. But, I am going to complete the attempted fix as stated above.

Another Edit:
I could understand that the Card Manufacturer Drivers could be different, but then I would not have had the same exact issues when I used the 9.12 drivers that were included on the CD with the video card. I think these are just the identical ATI Drivers, nothing special about them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2010   #10
mpcrsc562

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jameslkerr View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mpcrsc562 View Post
And, if this is something you are already aware of, fogive me

Before installing the new driver package, uninstall the old one first. Also, I suggest as it works for me, download Driver Sweeper and when you reboot, go into Safe Mode and run Driver Sweeper. Click the ATi Display check box, click Analyze, then Clean. Reboot again to install the new driver package.

Hope you get this problem remedied quick.
Thank you for the recommendations, and I will see if this makes a difference when I get home from work. I have already downloaded the drivers and the Driver Sweeper. I will uninstall the drvier, reboot to safe mode, run Driver Sweeper, and then install from the Sapphire Website's driver package. I will let you know if this makes the difference.

Copying this information to the other thread ...

EDIT: The drivers downloaded as a zip, but when I unzipped the file, it was the exact same name and byte size as the original ATI driver, including the logo. I don't believe there is a difference between them. But, I am going to complete the attempted fix as stated above.

Another Edit:
I could understand that the Card Manufacturer Drivers could be different, but then I would not have had the same exact issues when I used the 9.12 drivers that were included on the CD with the video card. I think these are just the identical ATI Drivers, nothing special about them.
If there is any tweaking to the drivers, I honestly don't know what or where it is... I have two XFX cards and had some problems--not drastic--but a few problems that got traced back to drivers. I have installed the 10.5 drivers from XFX and have not seen one error related to the drivers as of yet (and hopefull never will).

Also, just as you noticed with the Sapphire drivers, the package I downloaded from XFX was the same exact name and file size as the one's from AMD Game. Again, if they're different, I don't know how, but I know I'm not having any of the problems others are complaining of with the 10.5 release.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Misc tasks, screen freezes, video driver unloads, BSOD atikmpag.sys




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