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System Freezes (No BSOD) While Gaming/Furmark - 2 PCs


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#1 EndlessJourney

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 04:27 PM

Hello,

 

My issue here is an unusual one. (Here is the short version):

  • I have two (nearly) identical machines that have been running just fine.
  • I purchased two video cards (Radeon R7 370) and both PCs started freezing when playing games (and occasionally after some time running Furmark.)
  • Local technicians initially thought the cards were bust and replaced them, then said the PSUs were weak (was running 600W and 620W at the time).
  • I purchased two identical 735W PSUs and swapped them for my old ones, but the issue still persists.
  • EDIT: Local technicians also updated BIOS on both PCs
  • Games can typically play for an hour or two and then randomly freeze the system. There are no minidumps and event manager shows pitifully little.
  • Both computers are very similar (same RAM, same GPU, same PSU, same CPU, comparable motherboards, more or less same windows 7 configuration, same graphics drivers etc) and the issue is the same with both of them

 

The freeze itself manifests itself usually as a black screen with grey lines (occasionally with colors of the visuals that were displayed at the time of the freeze) and the sound stops shortly after.

 

So to sum it up: I got new video cards and new PSUs, the computers function just fine at Windows 7 (can write articles, browse, watch videos, listen to music etc), but may freeze the system while playing games. One of the two machines was tested for several hours on Furmark without ever crashing, but crashed in a game after less than an hour.

 

What I tried so far (with no apparent success):

  • I replaced one of the new cards (to ensure it wasn't just a faulty card)
  • Replaced PSUs with stronger ones
  • Repeatedly removed display drivers with DDU and tried all sorts of combinations/versions from AMDs recommended drivers
  • Removed/stopped several processes and unwanted programs
  • Needless to say, I am not overclocking anything not fiddled with any fan speeds, voltage settings etc etc.

 

Both computers have been serviced (one of them repeatedly) by professional technicians. Their final opinion was that the Motherboard of one of my machines may be faulty (though the other machine had the same freezing issue again just a day later) or that my PC might need a format and a clean windows installation.

 

Since both PCs are so similar and the issue seems identical (random freezes while gaming or Furmark testing, which may happen in a few minutes but can also take a few hours to manifest) I think that the freezes might share the same root cause.

 

Can you please help me? (I will be most grateful and have ways to show it.)

 

I will follow any and all instructions you give me.

 

Thank you in advance!


Edited by EndlessJourney, 17 January 2016 - 04:36 PM.


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#2 EndlessJourney

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 04:31 PM

(I apologize for not posting according to the BSOD posting instructions, but there are no actual BSODs and no minidumps and it seems that my case is not the typical one. That is why I am deferring to your help, and I will be truly grateful for it. Thanks again.)

 

EDIT: Both PCs crashed with Fallout 4 and Furmark several times. One PC crashed with Dragon Age Inquisition several times (not installed in the other one) and also crashed with an indie game called FTL before upgrading the PSUs (not tried after the upgrade.) Hope it helps!

EDIT 2: Local technicians also updated BIOS on both PCs (I added that info in the original post too.)

EDIT 3: Both computers have 2x2 DDR3 RAM sticks from 2009 plus 1x4 DDR3 RAM stick I installed a few months ago. I had absolutely no issues with either computer for a year or so.


Edited by EndlessJourney, 17 January 2016 - 04:53 PM.


#3 OldPhil

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 06:41 PM

My thought would be a ram issue, Does the resource monitor show what is using the ram.


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#4 EndlessJourney

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 10:33 AM

Hello,

 

The resource monitor shows what is using the RAM indeed. I can run MemTest86 to quickly verify that, but until I installed the two identical video cards I had no problems whatsoever. In short, I had two similar (but not identical) computers with two different video cards that showed no problems. I installed two identical video cards instead and both computers have the same problem. Perhaps, both cards I bought are having the same fault.

EDIT: Perhaps this is an issue that I should post in the "Internal Hardware" forums? I am not sure, that is why I am deferring to the judgement of the experts here.


Edited by EndlessJourney, 18 January 2016 - 11:20 AM.


#5 usasma

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 09:18 PM

Let's try looking at these reports:

1)  Please run this report collecting tool (even though you may not be reporting BSOD's) so we can provide a complete analysis:  http://omgdebugging.com/bsod-inspector/
When done a Notepad document will open with the name of the file and it's location.
By default it'll be a .zip file located on your Desktop
Simply upload the .zip file with your next post and we'll move on from there.

2)  Please do the following:
- open Event Viewer (run eventvwr.msc from the "Run" dialog)
- expand the Custom Views category (left click on the > next to the words "Custom Views")
- right click on the "Administrative Events" heading
- select "Save all Events in Custom View as..."
- save the file as Admin.evtx
- zip up the file (right click on it, select "Send to", select "Compressed (zipped) folder")
- upload it with your next post (if it's too big, then upload it to a free file-hosting service and post a link here).

FYI - If we're looking for Event ID 41 errors (unexplained shutdowns), there's more info on that here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2028504

While waiting for a reply, please monitor your temps with this free utility:  http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#6 EndlessJourney

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 09:21 AM

Hello usasma and THANK YOU so much for helping me!

 

Please note that today I called the technicians (from the store that sold me the 2 new graphics cards) and they told me to return them so they can test them. They are currently testing them and my computers run fine with my old cards.

 

Now, since I have 2 computers, I will do the tests for one only first, to ensure we're not confused and I don't mix up the reports. I will henceforth name my PCs ( A ) and ( B ). I am pasting the stuff from (A) now (computer named B had the more crashes because I tested it more for it. It's my wife's so I will leave it second now.)

 

I have pasted both zips you requested and downloaded the hwmonitor app. Everything seems fine, but is there a way to track temperature before a crash and have the data saved for review post-crash? Just wondering because it's quite cold here and perhaps a PC that shuts down from overheat will be somewhat cooled down by the time it gets it to reboot and you to check its temps.

 

Again, thanks a million usasma! I have lost a lot of my sleep, my energy and my peace of mind with this issue and your support truly gives me strength to go on.

 

 

 

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#7 usasma

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 06:35 AM

I haven't tried to record temps, finding that if the system shuts down while you're using it you can just restart it and the temps won't be that much different.

Overheating is generally seen as a range rather than a specific temp - so I don't often look at specific temps.

 

The problem with recording temps is two-fold:

- high temps often freeze the system, so the system can't record

- hardware faults (like overheating) can't save things before shutting down

The solution here is to record temps as they occur - and to do it continuously

This would require some processing power (I'm not sure how much as I'm not a programmer)

 

I just find it easier to restart the computer immediately and check the temps.

If the temps were high enough to shut the system down, they'll still be high at a restart

Even if they're not as high as the were when it shutdown, it'll still be high enough to draw our attention.

 

Here's my canned speech about temps:

Also, monitor your system's temperatures with this free tool:  http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

 

Normally desktop temps shouldn't exceed:
CPU - 60ºC
GPU - 80ºC
HDD and other components - 40ºC

Please note that the temps will get lot's higher than this before the system shuts down.

So restarting immediately (and checking the temps) will still show temps higher than my suggestions above) if it is overheating.


Edited by usasma, 20 January 2016 - 06:55 AM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#8 usasma

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 06:52 AM

OK, when were the video cards removed from the computers?
There will be evidence of them in the error reports - and we want to be able to see what happened with them and without them.

 

Unfortunately it appears that the system has pirated software.
Please get a legitimate copy installed and we'll be glad to help.

Here's suggestions on how to ensure that your version is legitimate:  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/genuine

Please be aware that we may not be able to fix it (as the hacks that were done to activate it will cause the OS to behave differently than we expect it to). If that's the case, our efforts to help may just waste your time. Secondly, the forum rules prohibit assisting with pirated software - so the topic would be closed if that is the case.

As a courtesy, I will offer an analysis of your issues using the reports you provided.
I will not answer any questions about the analysis until the system is made legitimate.
If you do make it legitimate, please submit a new set of reports for us to check.
 

 

Only 3 Windows Update hotfixes installed.  Most systems with SP1 have 350 or more.  Please visit Windows Update and get ALL available updates (it may take several trips to get them all).
 

AMD Overdrive has problems in Device Manager.  It may have been incompletely removed.  Please follow the directions below and attempt to uninstall it from Device Manager (by right clicking on it and selecting "Uninstall")

AMD OverDrive (AODDriver2.sys) is either a stand-alone application, or a component of the AMD VISION Engine Control Center.  This driver is known to cause BSOD's on some Windows systems.

 

NOTE:  these symptoms were from the previous release of OverDrive.  The new release uses the same driver name, but is dated from 4 November 2013.

Please un-install all AMD/ATI video stuff from Control Panel...Programs...Un-install a program
Then, download (but DO NOT install) a fresh copy of the ATI drivers from http://www.amd.com (in the upper right corner of the page)
Use this procedure to install the DRIVER ONLYhttp://www.sysnative.com/forums/showthread.php/668-ATI-video-cards-DRIVER-ONLY-installation-procedure

If the device (AODDriver or AODDriver4.01) remains a problem, open Device Manager, select the "View" item.
Then select "Show hidden devices" and scroll down to the Non-Plug and Play Drivers section.
Locate the AODDriver entry, right click on it and select "Un-install".  Reboot for changes to take affect.

Sometimes the driver remains and continues to cause BSOD's.  If this is the case for you, post back and we'll give further instructions for safely removing it.

If overclocking, please stop. Remove the overclock and return the system to stock/standard values while we're troubleshooting. Once the system is stable again, feel free to resume the overclocking.

 

Please uninstall Avira, as it's having issues writing/exiting the registry.

While testing, please enable Windows Defender and the Windows firewall for protection

 

Beyond that, there are no real signs of software issues that might cause freezes.  Should you fix all of the things above and the system still freezes, then it's most likely a hardware problem (such as overheating) - and the primary suspect would be the video card.


Edited by usasma, 20 January 2016 - 07:01 AM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#9 EndlessJourney

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 11:06 AM

Thanks again, Usasma!

I've just got replacements for the cards I had bought. My temperatures seem to be constantly below the margins you are quoting. As for pirated software and windows updates, I'll seriously have to look into that!

I'll follow your tips and keep checking the system(s). If there are problems again, I'll probably post in the hardware section of the forums.

 

Again, thanks a lot for this! Your support gives me confidence and I even learn something in here every day! :)



#10 EndlessJourney

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 11:22 AM

Oh, I just remembered this:

 

I was thinking of upgrading/swapping to Ubuntu anyway, and if indeed I have issues with windows, perhaps I need to seriously consider this.

 

I'd like to ask what do you think about Ubuntu vs (my) Windows 7? (If that's not the right place to do so, perhaps I need to make a new post, right?)

EDIT: I went ahead and made a new post about Ubuntu in the relevant forum section: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/602852/swapping-from-windows-to-ubuntu/


Edited by EndlessJourney, 20 January 2016 - 11:29 AM.





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