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Old 03-03-2008, 09:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Random Crashes (long explanation)

Just a warning, this will be long. I'll try to summarize at the end in bold.

I had an 8800GT that I stepped-up with EVGA to the 8800GTS (only so I can step up to the 9800GX2 when it comes out or some other card since I extended 90 more days). When I took my 8800GT out of my case and put my old 7800GT in, the Windows Login screen was all jagged and you couldn't read anything. I thought it was a driver problem since I didn't uninstall the drivers but I don't think that's the case (keep reading). Eventually, after uninstalling the nvidia drivers completely (courtesy of DriverCleaner) I eventually put my OLD ATI x700 in. It worked so I was somewhat happy that my machine could work, but I had a crappy video card that can't run WoW or CoD4.

Randomly, a day later, I thought I'd give the 7800GT another shot. To my surprise it worked! Somehow something changed to allow it to work. I uninstalled the ATI driver, installed the nVidia ones and everything seemed good.

Now, the PC crashes randomly during games. At first the PC crashed the moment I pulled WoW up and logged in. Then I rebooted and it crashed after about two minutes. Now it crashes after a good 15 minutes or so of playing. I left the PC running all night and it was fine, so it seems it's the video card. I believed it was to begin with, seeing as how it didn't work before making the Windows Login screen all randomly shifted and distorted, but this further strengthens that assumption

Since it only crashes during games I figured it was a load/overheating issue. So, I monitored the temps and it never goes above 53 Celsius. I can't figure this out for the life of me!

Isn't there some minidump file or something that shows me what caused the random crash?

Cliff Notes:
EVGA Step Up from 8800GT to 8800GTS (so I get 90 more days to step up to the 9800GX2)
Put in 7800GT while waiting on 8800GTS to arrive, video was messed up when booted into Windows (BIOS displayed fine).
Put in old ATI x700, worked.
Randomly put 7800GT back in a day later an it worked!
Started playing WoW (on 7800GT), crashed immediately, and now it crashes after ~15mins of playing. Temperature of video card doesn't go above 53 Celsius.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Random Crashes (long explanation)

reinstall driver?
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Random Crashes (long explanation)

Also, you can't step-up a step-up card. So, if you used the stepup program on your GTS, they won't allow you to stepup to the 9800.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:43 AM   #4 (permalink)

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Default Re: Random Crashes (long explanation)

It's not a temp problem it sounds like a driver problem for sure. The driver is usually what causes random crashes when it isn't physically a hardware problem. Just try rolling back or installing the new one.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Random Crashes (long explanation)

Driver Cleaner Pro then reinstall the latest driver for given card.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Random Crashes (long explanation)

Quote:
Originally Posted by carnageX View Post
Also, you can't step-up a step-up card. So, if you used the stepup program on your GTS, they won't allow you to stepup to the 9800.
...I wish I knew that then, or else I would have never made that move. Awesome

I'll reinstall the drivers and see if that fixes it.
I'm mad now
I guess it isn't all bad, was only $70 and I can OC the GTS a bit further because of the larger heatsink I'd assume.

Thanks for all the help and info. I'm at work so dont' expect a response until 5pm or later CST.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Random Crashes (long explanation)

So after installing the new driver the PC still crashed. I checked my video card clocks for my 7800GT and it was 450/1050, I dropped it to 400/900. Since then, I've received all these different BSOD's in this order:

Something on "kmixer.sys" (0x000000FC)
MEMORY_MANAGEMENT
IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

The last two make me think RAM. I have them locked at 4-4-4-12 so I'll free them up to 5-5-5-15 and see if that changes anything. Any other ideas besides that?

----------------------------
edit

Now I'm just confused. I still crashed, and now all I get is the IRQL error. So, I loaded the fail-safe defaults for my BIOS (I know my CPU isn't overheating, it barely goes above 40 Celsius on load in games) and it still crashed. Now I'm running Memtest86 to see if it's the RAM and so far, at only 30%, there are no errors.

I believe IRQL can include the video card, but I don't see how it can be messed up yet work. What I mean is its perfectly fine displaying video for the Memtest, for the BIOS, and Windows and WoW. It just tends to crash during WoW more than anything else.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Random Crashes (long explanation)

I left Memtest86 running while I stepped out last night. It finished 4 different complete test cycles with 0 problems, so my RAM is good.

After a little research on the IRQL error, the MOST likely are the CPU and RAM, but both check out. Maybe it's the video card's RAM and the windows stop message doesn't have a more exact error message for that? Possibly it just recognized a RAM failure and reputes that error message. I receive the 8800GTS on Friday so maybe some developments will pursue after that.
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HSF: Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme
RAM: 4GB G.SKILL @ 4-4-4-12
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Random Crashes (long explanation)

Ok I received the 8800GTS replacement card and everything seemed fine. I installed the appropriate drivers for the card and everything seemed fine playing WoW. After about 15 minutes in, I got another BSOD with this error "DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL".

Like I said before, it can't be my system RAM because I did Memtest86 which ran 4 times through. It's not the processor because I monitor it and it never goes above about 40 degrees Celsius. I could try to reinstall the driver again, but I doubt very seriously that I've downloaded a bad driver for nVidia's site three times consecutively.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Random Crashes (long explanation)

4 passes of memtest is not enough.

Minimum of 4 hours, perferably 6.

Try different memory anyways.
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