crash - Constant crashes in windows 7 64bit when playing games

  • z -

    I've tried everything I can possibly think of in trying to fix this problem and I'm totally out of ideas, so any help would be appreciated:

    The problem: whenever I fire up a game, it works for a short while with no problems and then it would crash. Either its a hard crash, forcing me to reboot, or windows would report that the display driver has stopped working and recovered. Here is a list of things I've already tried:

    1. Drivers - tried the latest drivers (catalyst 9.12) as well as the stock drivers that came with the video card. Also have the latest BIOS/chipset
    2. Memtest - Ran Memtest86+ overnight, had no problems, the windows diagnostic tool also does not find any problems.
    3. Overheating - Video card/cpu temperatures are well below peak (42 and 31 Celsius receptively)
    4. PSU Voltage - CPUID shows that the voltage levels are all above what they should be. The PSU itself is only roughly 16 months old and is a good model.
    5. HDD - No errors when checked
    6. GPU - Brand new (replaced previous card since I thought it was the problem, apparently not)
    7. Overclocking - Everything is at stock levels, memory voltage is set to manufacturer's standard


    • Motherboard: ASUS P5Q Pro
    • CPU: Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 ghz
    • OS: Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
    • Memory: Mushkin Enhanced 4GB DDR2
    • GPU: Sapphire HD 5850 1GB
    • PSU: SeaSonic M12 600W ATX12V
    • DirectX: DX11

    Event Viewer after a crash always has these logged:

    A fatal hardware error has occurred.

    Reported by component: Processor Core Error Source: Machine Check Exception Error Type: Bus/Interconnect Error Processor ID: 1

    The details view of this entry contains further information.

    A fatal hardware error has occurred.

    Reported by component: Processor Core Error Source: Machine Check Exception Error Type: Bus/Interconnect Error Processor ID: 0

    The details view of this entry contains further information.

    A previous card that I had (4850x2) also had these errors, so I changed video cards, but the same thing is happening.

  • Answers
  • Kythos

    A few things come to mind with the errors you've posted, the cpu may not be seated properly causing issues under full load, or windows 7 is having issues with power management because a new feature is cpu core parking.

    It's unlikely a problem with the core parking but just to be sure you can go into the power options and set everything to the maximums, (not very green but it could get the job done).

    You can also re-seat the cpu, make sure you have some thermal grease on hand if you wish to go that route.

    Short of that I would recommend running a bios update which can be obtained here

    I included the afudos utility but you should be able to just copy the file to a usb stick and use the asus easy update from the bios itself.

    The latest bios is version 2102


    I just did some further research and found 2 people that ending up correcting their issues. One removed the x-fi pci sound card and the second disabled the on-board nic through the bios and added a usb based net card. Both people had the same error log issues and bsod problem, unfortunately it looks like a matter of trial and error to discover the culprit.

    Best of luck!

  • William Hilsum

    I know you said you checked, however when ever I have dealt with a problem like this, 90% of the time, it is a faulty PSU or graphics driver. Lastly, it can be a driver combination - for example some other dodgy hardware with a rubbish uncertified driver.

    600W is high for a single GPU system, but still, it may be worth swapping it just to test.

  • Related Question

    crash - Windows XP freezing randomly, only while playing games
  • haxney

    I have a custom-built PC with the following hardware:

    • Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (Socket 939)
    • 2 GB PC3200 DDR1 memory
    • MSI MS-7125 motherboard (nForce 4 MCP)
    • Geforce 7600GT PCI-express graphics card
    • Windows XP SP3

    I have had the computer since fall 2006, never encountering any problems until Summer 2009, when it started to freeze up sporadically. This only seems to happen while playing games, as I have successfully played a few hours of streaming video (Hulu) without any problems. I have also booted it in Linux, and tried running some benchmarks for a while to see if the problem appears there as well, but I haven't yet had it crash. I have also run Memtest86+ v2.11 from the Ubuntu boot CD for a while (10 minutes just now), and it didn't find anything.

    The crashes/freezes do not occur at any fixed amount of time after starting playing, but I haven't gotten more than about 20 minutes of play before it freezes; sometimes as little as a minute.

    When it crashes, the screen simply freezes, but no BSOD occurs. Sound output stops, and I am no longer able to ping the computer over the network. Checking the system temperature after the reboot shows that it is not a problem of overheating. I also don't have it overclocked or anything.

    I recently replaced the power supply, which had been faulty and wasn't able to boot the computer at all (pressing the power button had no effect whatsoever).

    Any ideas as to what it might be?

    UPDATE: Forgot to mention, the old power supply was 420 Watts and the new one is 500, so it's probably not a problem with insufficient power. I've also updated my graphics drivers to the latest version from NVidia. Also, I have a Zalman CPU fan, like this one, so I'm pretty sure the CPU is being cooled well.

    I'll check out the GPU temps.

    UPDATE 2: I reinstalled Windows, updated to SP2 with all updates applied, installed the latest NVidia drivers, and installed SpeedFan 4.40 to check the temperature of various components. The GPU is sitting at a steady 41 degrees Celsius, even during gaming, and it still freezes. I got an extra 80mm fan and pointed it directly at the GPU, but the problem persists.

    Again, this problem occurred under both the old and new PSU, even though the new one has a higher wattage. I am also not overclocking anything at all. Could the graphics card just be dead?

  • Related Answers
  • Gene Goykhman

    The first thing I would check is cooling because this sounds a lot like an overheating problem. You mention that you checked the system temp after rebooting, but did you check the GPU temp?

    I experienced something exactly like this a few weeks ago and it ended up being a flaky GPU fan... it looked like it was spinning, but when I actually pulled the card out and spun the fan with my finger there was way too much physical resistance.

    Even before you crack the case you could use something like RivaTuner to monitor fan speeds and temps.

    Can you get a hold of another graphics card you can try? That would help you narrow down the variables.

  • Bobby

    You could try the drivers from NGO, they have some bugfixes which the original NVidia-Drivers do not have.

    Edit: If you haven't done so already, please update your graphiccards drivers to the latest.

  • mtone

    Is your new power supply rated lower that your previous one? What is the wattage? Note that the quality (and price) also affect a PSU's ability to deliver (it's never 100%). Above 400 watts should be fine though.

    I had the same problem when running a 200watt GTX260 on a 430watt power supply (never had a problem with a 7900GT). I realize a 7600GT will not nearly take that much wattage (around 50watts in 3D), but it could be a sign that your PSU is borderline or poorly builded. My old PSU emittied a slight whining sound whenever it was in 3D mode, showing it was being put to the limit.

    Try disabling any overclocking as well.