Help with finding root of application crashes

March 20, 2011 at 12:05:54
Specs: Windows 7, Phenom II X2 555/4 MB DDR3 1333
Hi all - kind of at my wits end here. I'm having random crashes, mostly during games - usually 15 - 20 minutes in. I have also had a few IExplorer crashes, and a few instances of IE killing my outbound audio - although I have no idea how those two are related. I built this system about a year ago, and the only hardware change I've made is adding a GTX 460 about 3 months ago (which has been fine). Here's what I know:

The other night I was messing around and tried flipping the "instant OC" switch on my MSI motherboard. Was playing around, running some benchmarking, etc. I couldn't get into BIOS to check things out, so I set it back to standard. I still couldn't get into BIOS, and after some research I figured out it was because I had my old 9800 GT installed as a dedicated PHYSX card, so the BIOS screen wasn't displaying. I removed the 9800 GT, did some driver sweeper, and reinstalled just the GTX 460. Everything appeared to be fine.

Was no longer getting IE crashes, so I tried Civ 5. Same deal - 15 min or so in, crash. Had similar crashes on WoW the night before. Computer seems fine, just the application kicking out. I did get one BSOD at one point - error was PFN_LIST_CORRUPT.

Ran Windows Memory Diagnostic - and with both sticks in I got a "Hardware issue detected - contact manufacturer" message. I pulled the RAM and ran it on one stick at a time - no errors detected. I put both sticks back in, but swapped the slots from the old configuration - no error detected. At this point I'm confused. Loaded and ran Memtest86 overnight - after almost 9 hrs - no errors detected.

Today I loaded MyEventViewer to try and figure out what the crashes were. Each of the errors that I see are 0xc0000005 fault codes - which seems to suggest a memory problem - but I can't find the memory problem. RAM makes sense - but I haven't played with any of the settings, and it's been fine for a year now. I'm wondering if it's my MOBO now, or maybe my GPU RAM, but I'm not sure how to start diagnosing that.

If anyone has any input here, it would be greatly appreciated. I'd almost welcome straight up OS crashes - getting into a game or application and running along fine for awhile and THEN crashing is irritating.

Other system info:
AMD Phenom II X2 555
MSI NF750-G55
4 MB Patriot DDR3-1333
EVGA GTX 460 (1 GB DDR5)
WD Caviar Black 500 GB
Antec NeoPower Blue 650 PSU

Long post, just trying to get the info out there. I appreicate any help or guidance anyone can provide. Thank you!

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March 20, 2011 at 12:46:50
OK, first the memory issue. Many times good RAM will generate errors due to corroded contacts. Removing and installing the RAM can burnish the contacts and all will be well. I usually recommend 4 or 5 times for each stick.

You computer sounds like it is overheating or you are stressing an inadequate power supply.

Install CPUID to monitor the temperatures and voltages in real time. This will give you a better idea of what might be happening.

If the system has not been opened for a year you need to blow out the dust/dirt using either canned or compressed air. Do the power supply from both ends too. DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner on your computer.

Get CPUID at the link below.

Your power supply should be adequate but watch the voltages when under load.

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March 20, 2011 at 14:41:17
Thank you for the insight! I will try the RAM out and reset - and will do the same with the GPU. Your comment on the vacuum disturbs me...because I am clearly a noob and did exactly that. I tried staying away from any direct contact - but who knows. If I fried something - is there anyway to pinpoint what?

On to the other points. I have CPUID, so I ran the GPU stress test that came with my EVGA card. Couldn't find temps in CPUZ, so using PC Wizard: CPU 35.6 degC, mainboard 43 degC, GPU 70 degC, and PSU 118 degC. Checking voltages: CPU 1.35 V, +3.3V Voltage 1.64 V, SB 1.64 V, and it looks like RAM is 1.5 V across the board.

Ran stress test for awhile - no crashes, no lockups. Could there be an issue with the way applications are accessing the RAM?

Thanks again for the input...hopefully I can sort something out soon.

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