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Windows 7: Somebody please help a poor soul with severe graphical crashes!

26 Jul 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Somebody please help a poor soul with severe graphical crashes!

First off, I'm fairly new to owning and running my own PC. For years I made do with the family home computer and Playstation, but since I bought my own rig at the beginning of this year I've constantly visited these forums for guides and troubleshooting as I learn the ropes. But the past couple days, after some Defiance lag & patching troubles, a problem's hit that it seems simply lurking won't solve.

My problem:
During gameplay, be it a minute or an hour (it's bound to happen), the application will crash. At first I may notice black strands spike, thread and distort their way around the screen or general texture/object loading stutter, but in most cases the game will simply hang for a couple seconds, then the display will go black for a couple more seconds paired with audio distortion. Next, if the game doesn't crash entirely, what tends to happen is it returns at around 10-15 FPS and in some cases with drastically increased mouse/camera sensitivity. It fixes itself if I tab in/out, and occasionally if I hit a loading screen, but will happen again shortly after.

After thinking it may be overheating, I've been using HWMonitor to get temperature readings, and these are the results:
  • CPU idle, across cores #0-3: 21*C min / 45*C max, 30~33*C value as of typing
  • GPU idle: 25*C min / 33*C max, 26*C value as of typing
  • In most cases, max CPU temp remained around 50*C and never passed 55*C.
  • Defiance (all settings LOW/OFF) pushed max GPU temp to 81*C. Can run from anywhere between 1-2 hrs before crashing, declines from ~65*C after closing application.
  • Blacklight: Retribution (DX9, most settings HIGH/ON) pushed max GPU temp to 83*C. If it doesn't crash immediately at the splash screen it may last up to 10 mins before doing so, declines from ~70*C after closing application.
  • The Secret World (DX9, most settings HIGH/ON) pushed max GPU temp to 80*C. Runs for about a minute before crashing, declines from ~65*C after closing application.
  • Setting The Secret World to DX11 had no effect on temperatures, and again ran for about a minute before crashing. Interestingly though, this time the application stopped responding completely and I received an error message titled "DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_REMOVED" reading "Driver has crashed, resetting video options to low and shutting down".
  • Saint's Row the Third (DX10 & DX11, default low settings) pushed max GPU temp to 82*C. Ran for about 45 minutes before crashing and not responding, and declined from ~60*C after closing application.
  • Setting Saint's Row the Third to DX9 made no difference to temperatures, and it only ran for about 30 minutes before crashing and not responding.
  • Setting all graphics options to LOW/OFF and setting my resolution to around the ~1280 px wide range let me run Defiance, Blacklight Retirubtion and Saints Row the Third with very few crashes, despite pushing max GPU temp to ~84*C.

So severe overheating doesn't really seem to be an issue? I have a front intake fan, rear exhaust fan, and another on top of the tower whose functionality isn't clear to me, as well as the Intel fan on my CPU. The room is fairly chilly, and the PC has about 6 inches rear breathing space between itself and the wall. Not the BEST temperature readings... but as far as I can tell, nothing to be overly-worried about. It also isn't isolated to DX9, which was another possibility that arose whilst I was searching around. So what else is there?
  • I've updated to the latest Nvidia drivers (320.49) this morning.
  • I've given my tower a blasting out with a can of compressed air and vacuumed the netting from the outside. It's looking in fairly good shape, except that the fans themselves are pretty dusty as I haven't gone as far as to remove them and clean them separately. But given my temperatures, I wasn't sure this was necessary just yet.
  • I would update my motherboard drivers, but would have no idea where to start with this list of utility software for my model on the Gigabyte site.

My rig's still under its year warranty, so if all else fails I may be able to take it back into the company that built it and have them take a look. Before I resort to that though, I would be greatly appreciative and eternally thankful of any help or guidance anybody has to offer!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2013   #2


Hi, I am not an expert at computers but having seen similar faults on computers like yours I have to say that try to see if your graphics card is seated correctly. They can become loose and although they run at first they can get warm then this problem can happen. Just open the computer up and try to reseat the card and see who it goes.
One other point is that the power unit, is it powerfull enough to run the computer when you have certian games running. As I said I am not an expert but hang on in there as someone will be along and maybe give you a better answer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Ah sorry for the late reply, busy at school. Anyway, I checked and the GPU is seated firmly in position. I'm not sure about the power supply, but I'm assuming it is powerful enough as I used to be able to run games on high settings at a downsampled resolution, whereas it's only recently I've been unable to run them on all low settings and at a lower-than-native resolution across the board.

At first I thought this was isolated to Defiance since that's where the crashes first arose and so I submitted a ticket to Trion. I still tried their suggestion of disabling unnecessary startup applications and non-Microsoft services via. msconfig, but that didn't help. I'll also wait to see what they say of the DxDiag.txt I submitted.

And finally, after searching the cryptic DXGI error message, I've also tried setting Nvidia's power management under 3D to prefer maximum performance over "adaptive", and turned PCI E link state power management off under Power Options. Neither seemed to change a thing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Aug 2013   #4

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Hiyya SP mate try these if you haven't already SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker


Disk Check

Then a memtest after reseating the sticks which I think you said you did but this test will take a while to run and for at LEAST 8 passes best overnight unless you get errors straight away.

Make a bootable disk set the BIOS to boot from the optical and then let run.

RAM - Test with Memtest86+

I prefer to make a disk version as I find USB stick too fiddly but up to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2013   #5
Microsoft MVP


Make sure your PSU is adequate: Psu calculator

Work through all of the Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 starting with Clean Boot, hardware tests, check logs and System Resources, etc. Compare the install you have to the perfect install given there.

I'd also stress test your RAM with memtest overnight and Stress Test your CPU with Prime 95.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Cheers guys, this'll be a long one with plenty of returning for edits... I'll give what I can of your suggestions a shot, but if the end of the weekend looms near I may just take the advice of peers who suggest my GPU's gone faulty and take the rig back in for a checkup under warranty.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
Hiyya SP mate try these if you haven't already SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker
Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
Unticked both check disk options for my C: and D: drives just to see what returned, and no problems were found either times.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Make sure your PSU is adequate: Psu calculator
Not 100% sure if I configured the calculators correctly, but both in that thread gave me a 350~400+ W minimum/recommended, but my PSU is a 625 W CM Extreme 2.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Torture Test completed 264~272 tests in 2 hours, 19 minutes - 0 errors, 0 warnings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP


My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Somebody please help a poor soul with severe graphical crashes!

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