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started getting BSODs while gaming

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by helmet, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. helmet New Member

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    Hello (posting this in general since I am not sure the source of the problem)

    My specs:

    HP Pavilion p6522f PC
    AMD Athlon II X4 635 Processor 2.90 GHz
    RAM: 6.00 GB DDR3
    Windows 7 64-bit SP1
    Nvidia Geforce GT 240 1G DDR5 GPU
    1 TB Hard Drive (~ half full)

    Back on 9/30 I installed the latest version of EVGA precision and decided to toy around with overclocking. I watched a bunch of youtube tutorials to see what I was getting into, looked at rivatuner but didn't end up downloading anything. I tried jacking up all the dials on my EVGA tuner and my PC basically rejected it, froze for a little bit and reset to the original (default) settings. Hadn't touched it since then. Between then and now, I continued to do my normal volume of gaming (i.e. 4+ hours a day). Even did a staight playthrough of Portal 2 on high settings for 7 hours without the slightest stutter.

    On 10/5, I was playing ESIV: Oblivion (which I hadn't had any trouble running before) and after about an hour of play my computer froze and started rebooting. I tried Oblivion again and this occurred again after 30 minutes-1 hours of gaming - when it froze, I got this BSOD that would vanish too quickly for me to read much of it - looked a lot like this http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2011/09/win7bsod_01.jpg

    Hadn't played Oblivion in a while, figured it might be a problem with that game or maybe Steam - upon a 3rd try, this happened again. I opened up my pc and cleaned out a lot of dust from the fans - the one in the lower central part of my desktop was particularly clogged. I let the computer sit for an hour and booted it back up - seemed fine. I played a bunch of minecraft and more Oblivion without any problems - later I turned on GTAIV and it gave me the same BSOD crash. I turned the computer off and let it sit for several hours and later tried playing Left 4 Dead 2, on which I have logged over 500 hours with this card without issues. About 2 minutes into a game, I'd get the BSOD crash/reboot. I kept my computer off all day while I was at work today and came home, powered it on, tried Left 4 Dead 2 after about an hour or two of steady performance and it crashed within 2 minutes once again. This last time, I turned on the in-game GPU temperature monitor, the GPU temp in degrees Celsius rose from the steady 40-50 it had been maintaining on the desktop to about 76 degrees Celsius, and promptly crashed.

    I have had this computer (and the nvidia GPU) for 13 months, the only other problems I have had with it was the motherboard - back in June out of the blue the system would activate but display nothing, took it in under HP's 1 year warranty and they told me the motherboard had died, they replaced it at no charge and it has been running fine since then (I have been gaming a lot, and often graphics intensive games like The Witcher 2 at high settings) My PC has never been overclocked in any way in that time (don't have the knowhow). Looking at the Administrative Events Log, I see Critical Errors around the times I've rebooted from these crashes and they provide the following info:

    "The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly."

    Log Name: System
    Source: Kernel-Power
    Event ID: 41
    Level: Critical
    User: SYSTEM
    OpCode: Info
    Logged: 10/11/2011 6:46:23 PM
    Task Category: (63)
    Keywords: (2)


    Any tips for resolving this issue? I tried doing a system restore but for some reason the restore function was off so I have no restore points before the BSODs began (although there doesn't seem to be any software that's caused this issue). I read that it's a good idea to buy a can of compressed air and clean out dust with that, although I don't see much dust left inside my machine (especially not on my GPU). If there is a hardware problem, I hope it's isolated to the GPU since I was planning on buying a more powerful card anyways...:(
  2. streetfighter 2

    streetfighter 2 New Member

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    Welcome to TPU. First thing, don't panic! :)
    Yep that's a BSOD . . . :D
    I'd start with running memtest for like 12 hours (the more the merrier). Sudden BSODs can be caused by all sorts of hardware errors, but most of the time it's RAM. If it comes up clean with no errors, there is plenty of other stuff to check.

    Definitely clean out your computer with compressed air. Memtest will get your RAM mighty toasty. (Gaming gets everything toasty :).)

    BSODs are not the most common symptom of a dying GPU, though it can still occur; more often people see graphical artifacts which ultimately lead to crashes.

    I'm sure someone here will recommend busting out a dump reader so we can go through your kernel dump, but I'm not that person. Dumps often show only what went wrong after something else unrelated failed.

    Also, it appears you have a 250W PSU that is an unknown OEM, probably Yugo. More than likely it is supremely low quality and your many hours of gaming have put a hurting on it (which may lead to stability issues, BSODs and catastrophic failure). Just something to keep in mind . . .
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  3. helmet New Member

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    Alright, thanks for the tip. I will try running that for as long as possible and report back.

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