Started back in September (29th), I started to have BSOD crashes on my system. Prior to that, any sort of crash was very random, irregular and rare. Since that date, I've been experiencing BSOD crashes exclusively when playing games. At first, it was just Minecraft, which I installed and played for the first time in close to a year around that date. Then, I installed Battlefield 2: Bad Company and tried to play BF2:BC Vietnam online. That crashed into a BSOD as well. Since I'm very busy working a full-time job and attending school, I've been putting off looking into the issue thinking that it wasn't anything to stress out about.
Afterall, it was only happening while playing Minecraft -- I gave up on BF2:BC / Vietnam after a third crash. However, a few days ago it happened for the first time while playing Killing Floor. And additionally, KF seemed to be a bit choppy around the same time. Which was strange, because my system always ran KF solidly. (Same thing with BF2:BC.) I've been running some tests on my system, and I have the dump files prepared, so I'm going to be posting the information. Before even starting, I want to thank everyone here for dedicating so much time to helping people -- really, it reminds me of the community I used to hang out with back in the day (90s) on IRC, on Dal.net, in #nohack (except, you know, expanded to include all computing issues).
1. Minecraft - Shortly after logging in to Minecraft, my performance drops dramatically, especially if I'm near a lot of animals on screen, or performing a lot of actions (e.g., mining a ton). Then, after a minute or two of unplayable choppiness, BSOD.
2. BF2:BC / Vietnam - Within about 5-10 minutes of logging in a third time, I crashed again to a BSOD. I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary in the game.
3. Killing Floor - The crash happened after an hour and a half, maybe two hours in the game. I was playing multiplayer, not a very large group or anything, and just crashed seemingly at an average gaming system load.
4. I have not experienced any crashes or BSODs while compiling Java code in Eclipse, including relatively complex (for a student) programs like an ant colony simulation and things like that. This was also while having multiple Firefox tabs open, and with Steam running in the background.
5. Since starting to run tests yesterday, and since switching my RAM sticks around (reversing positions), my system seems to be sluggish. For example, there is a delay when opening a link in Firefox, opening a new tab, etc. It's reminiscent of that delay a lot of systems have with trying to open a new video in YouTube -- only none of these pages include heavily embedded content or anything.
Additionally, booting into Windows from login now seems to take approximately 5-10 seconds longer than I'm used to. And then, Steam seems to take much longer before starting up (automatically at boot), somewhere in the range of 20-30 seconds longer. And I no longer receive the Steam update attempts (some Steam installations go faulty, and seem to always require a new update when booting in, even if there isn't a need for one).
1. Check Disk - No errors detected
2. Scan FC - sfc /scannow - No integrity violations found.
3. memtest86 - I ran 7 successful passes last night. 0 errors. I ran another pass this morning with by turning on an additional option (in option 7 --> it was "booting" something, if I remember correctly). This required me to hit a key (up arrow) regularly to keep the scan going. After one pass, I hit Esc and rebooted. There were also 0 errors on that pass.
4. In BIOS, my CPU temperature was detailed as 45C / 113F, and the system temperature at 31C / 87F -- this was after approximately six and a half hours of memtest running.
5. Checked my fans, and dust in the system. I'll have to buy a can of compressed air, because there are still some small amounts of dust around the inside of the case. But i blue out most of it. And all of my fans are clean; I actually clean them regularly, including the dust trap at the HDD intake. I have two in-take fans there, one fan on top of the system pulling air out, and another with the PSU pulling air out. Both of the exhaust fans are blowing cool air all of the time, even under heavy load. (i.e., while gaming)
Information From Windows Action Center
* Every single one of the thirteen errors looks like this (with the exception that the values for BCP2, 3, and 4 differ):
Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.256.48
Locale ID: 1033
Files that help describe the problem (some files may no longer be available)
View a temporary copy of these files
Warning: If a virus or other security threat caused the problem, opening a copy of the files could harm your computer.
Extra information about the problem
OS Version: 6_1_7601
Service Pack: 1_0
Note About Windows Action Center - Check For Solutions
For whatever reason, I am unable to submit any of these errors to Microsoft. Whether I have one selected or all of them, or whether I attempt to submit the error information after recovering from the BSOD and booting back up, I run into this: "Some of the reports could not be uploaded to the Windows Error Reporting service. Please try again later." A Google search indicates this is because the associated dump files are too large to be submitted in this way.
Notes About Activity Since Attempting Resolution Steps
A peculiar issue other than the sluggishness mentioned earlier is this: yesterday, Windows failed to boot and Windows was "unable to determine the cause of the problem." The description was "Unspecified changes to system configuration might have caused the problem." This is after I had reversed the two RAM sticks in my system. Then, after making sure the RAM sticks were seated properly (they were), I was able to boot into Windows but the Steam Client Bootstrapper failed to load, stopped responding and closed. After a reboot, this is no longer an issue.
Windows also had to reinstall my Linksys RangePlay Wireless USB Network Adapter after reboot -- I moved it from a front USB port to one on the back of my PC. Additionally, the USB thumb drive with memtest86 installed on it (bootable) also needed to have its drivers reinstalled by Windows. This I'm not too surprised with, as my front USB ports always behaved strangely. (I reused an old LianLi tower with this build; the build in USB ports are mismatched with the USB ports on my motherboard. 1.0 vs 2.0, I believe.)
And now, most frustratingly, while typing this, I occasionally have to wait for the text that I typed to be entered -- there is a brief stutter once in a while, between what I typed and when it appears. Windows responsiveness here reminds me of that stutter mentioned earlier when opening a new tab, as an example.
Files Associated With the Error, According to BlueScreenView
Each dump file implicates hal.dll and ntoskrnl.exe as issues. Some only highlight hal.dll in red; others both.
Does anyone have any sugggestions? Are there any dump files that I should post here? Thank you for your time and help. I sincerely appreciate it.
Edited by scarthearmada, 14 October 2013 - 09:18 AM.