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Old 12-11-2013, 08:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Here's a fun one... Any help is appreciated

Hey everyone - new member here. I've been trying to troubleshoot a problem for a while now and figured I could use some suggestions if anyone is up for it. I appreciate any advice!

Problem:
When I'm playing somewhat intense games - like Fallout 3, Borderlands 2, Max Payne 3, Smite, or Two Worlds II (I'm sure there are others, just haven't tested them) - my game will sporadically crash. Sometimes when it crashes (go to a black screen, or show the desktop), it will recover (no messages displayed and there's nothing recorded in Windows Event Viewer) but be extremely laggy. Other times, the game will crash completely causing me to force quit the application.

My Specs:
- i5-3570k 3.4GHz
- GTX 660
- G.Skill Ripjaws 8G DDR3 (one stick)
- Asus Z77 Extreme4
- Seagate 500GB 7200RPM HDD [Games installed]
- G.Skill Phoenix 120GB SSD [OS Installed]

I built the computer along with my roommate's computer at the same time. Both builds are identical and his machine has never had this occur. I've run hardware diagnostics (PC-Check : Pc-Check Diagnostic Software) and everything passed. This issue has occurred from day 1 of the build.

Other troubleshooting things I have done:
- Clean driver installs
- System recovery with brand new Windows CDs
- Tried swapping GPU with other build
- Tried swapping PSU with other build
- Tried swapping RAM with other build
- Tried switching my display from a TV to a my roommate's monitor
- Ensured all voltage settings are the same as roommate's ("auto" OC with mobo, all default settings though)
- Checked Windows Event Viewer - errors only show when I have to force-quit application as a "hang application" error. Not seeing any correlation between "information" events and the crashes either... I was hoping a service was starting up and causing problems but couldn't see anything that was consistent.
- Monitored CPU and GPU temperatures during crashes, all within expected ranges (CPU sitting around 40*C typically).


The issue ONLY happens during certain demanding games though, nothing will happen if playing less demanding games like Minecraft/WoW, or running multiple programming applications/virtual machines, etc. In addition, the issue IS NOT DEPENDENT on how long I play the game. Sometimes it will crash within 3 minutes of playing, other times I can go for 40 minutes without a crash. It usually does not take longer than 30 minutes to occur though.

I'm really at a loss as to what could be causing the problem. If it's hardware related, the only parts I haven't swapped are Motherboard, CPU and the Hard drives. I have no antivirus running (fresh restore at the moment) for testing purposes.

Any advice or help is greatly appreciated. I was a computer repair tech for a couple years, so given some instruction I can try to supply whatever other information is needed.
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Here's a fun one... Any help is appreciated

Check to make sure your hdd is working proper, could be bad sectores, I used to have problems like that until I made the switch to western digital, and eventually an ssd.

Check your hard disk for errors

I never liked seagate drives, and im willing to bet it has bad sectors
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Here's a fun one... Any help is appreciated

Appreciate the feedback. I checked for bad sectors as you suggested and was unable to find anything. In addition, I unplugged the 500GB HDD and installed a game on my SSD to test things out. Unfortunately, the results were the same. The game froze within a couple minutes. So, either my SSD is faulty (which at this stage... could still be a possibility!) or I've got something else going on.

I'm going to try to clone my friend's system image onto my PC tomorrow and I'll update with the results. Still open to new suggestions though!
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Here's a fun one... Any help is appreciated

run memtest86 on your ram, I know you swapped it and it still happened, but just humor me.

stress your cpu in prime 95 as well and see if it crashes after 4 hours or so
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Here's a fun one... Any help is appreciated

Sorry for the delayed response, was finishing up finals. I haven't had a chance to run Memtest86 or Pime95, but I'm not so sure the problem is hardware related now.

I uninstalled my SSD and installed it the other build (removing all previously connected HDDs, of course). I was able to replicate the problem after doing this. This leads me to believe it's either software related or my SSD has something going on with it. I can still run the tests to be sure, but first I think I'm going to grab another SSD (something I've wanted to do for a while now) and try a fresh install on it to see if the issues persist.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Here's a fun one... Any help is appreciated

well you'd be knocking 2 issues with that, it could be windows is corrupt too, so I'd install a fresh copy of windows on your current ssd and try that before dropping money on a new ssd
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Here's a fun one... Any help is appreciated

Think I found the problem.

I went ahead and did a fresh restore: problems were still there. I used a test SSD that I had laying around and still had the same problems... Turns out it had something to do with my C++ Redistibutables. Whenever I restored the unit it would just put on the default redistributables and for some reason Windows Updates wasn't properly installing them. I reinstalled and repaired them manually which fixed the issues in most of the games. There are still occasional lag spikes on DirectX 9 games, but honestly, I don't play enough of them for me to really be bothered by this.

Anyhow, I'm considering it solved for now, thanks for the suggestions - always nice to have another perspective.

EDIT: Couldn't find a "Solved" option or anything. If it's possible to do this and someone could direct me how, I'll gladly change it!
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Here's a fun one... Any help is appreciated

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpin3
EDIT: Couldn't find a "Solved" option or anything. If it's possible to do this and someone could direct me how, I'll gladly change it!
Don't strain yourself, there is none.

Don't forget to thank the person who helped you though.
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