Question All browsers crash a lot, and distorted still images, videos in browsers.

Apr 9, 2021
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Hi,

I am a new here. I am not sure this is the right subforum for the particular question?

My problem has been with my desktop pc: Windows 10 64-bit, Ryzen 9 3900X, Gigabyte Geforce 2070 Super, Gigabyte Aorus Ultra X570, 32GB RAM, 750W be quiet! Platinum, 1x 1TB SSD.
This is the first PC I've built (First booted just about a year ago, last April.)
Long time I was just a gamer and only over a year ago got interested in PC hardware and software (minor coding experience with C and C++).
I was happy to have this beast of a system working for about 11 months, but then I've had these problems when connected to internet and I have since abandoned the system.
Until I can figure out where exactly is the fault, which parts are running fine... and if it is software issue or hardware.

I'll try to be brief... The problem doesn't happen with games as far as my tests have shown so far (Breathedge and Dungeon of Nahelbeuk at "ultra" settings on 1440p) nor with Ungine Heaven test program and GPU-Z. Nor were there any signs of trouble with a SSD test program (all green after read and write tests), nor did MemTest86 show any problems with my 2x16GB memory sticks, after over 4 hours of testing for each.

I have tried a full wipeout of SSD (Boot from a Windows 10 DVD, then start a command prompt, then run DISKPART and "select disk 0", then "clean all") and a fresh Windows 10 install.
I have tried flashing BIOS. When the problem started had F12. Then with Gigabyte's Utility Program chose @bios program and flashed F30. Later F33h.
I have tried without drivers. And with latest drivers (chipset and all graphics).
I have tried a fresh Windows 10 install and then Windows Update all the way through before opening the first browser.

The problem persists and is of this type: start up any browser (Edge, Firefox, Chrome) and if you open, offline or online at this point doesn't matter, about a half a dozen of tabs (sometimes a few more) and the program either crashes or terminates. Always. If I use only a few tabs, the crashes are more rare. But then there are the image distortions. Random images have this "painted over with red pixels" look. They can be in a long news site, about every 15th image, but hard to say exactly, it's so random. Some sites have it more, some less. And beside the still images, I have found that Youtube videos tend to have really bad distortions, making them unwatchable.

Also the last time when I started up Nvidia Experience program to try to get the latest graphics drivers, the program also got this heavy distortion look, weird vertical lines within the program window, that kept changing location.

I am going to order a second-hand GPU soon to see if it is indeed that this only a year old 2070 Super is going bonkers, but I still find it curious that only it seems that this problem affects images, windows and videos only in programs that need something from the internet.

Also I did find some viruses right around the time the problem started (!) but I have since apparently cleared the system of them (I had two different security companies Norton and F-Secure look at my system by sending them as much system files as they wanted and they have said it is a safe system now. )
Also apparently Norton Antivirus seems to crash occasionally, especially with full scan. But still Norton representative said the system is safe and maybe have some hardware person look at my system...

Does anyone know what it could be?


Much Appreciated for any help,

Soup
 
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Apr 9, 2021
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Yes. The most recent clean install has been done after the system has been found "safe".
Thank you, I will boot up the troubled system and try that.
 
Apr 9, 2021
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I have done the Intel drivers update, which updated two drivers, apparently Wifi and Bluetooth, and then restarted.
The Intel site says everything is up to date now.
I opened about ten tabs and the browser crashed again.
Tried reopening and did some test searches on search engine (it's Bing at the moment).
Sometimes I got one kind of error "can't reach a page", and other time another kind of error. And the crashes and image distortions are still there.

Also, I am using the same internet now on my laptop and it works fine, just switched the ethernet cable from desktop to laptop.
So it shouldn't be my internet provider's fault either?
 
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Apr 9, 2021
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What I did next: Wiped out SSD again, another fresh install of Windows 10 from DVD. When the installer asked for online connection, chose "I don't have internet".
Did the whole install offline, even disconnected the internet cable from motherboard.
When the Windows 10 booted for the first time, I stayed offline, and started testing the browser (Internet Explorer since Edge seems to need to be downloaded first.)
And there are no crashes, even after 5 new windows of the browser, even after at least 20 new tabs. Zero crashes.
Not sure if this means anything useful.
 
Apr 9, 2021
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Right, sorry. Was too hasty. Edge was installed from the get-go. And yes I have updated upto 20H2. Several times even.
It seems it's not even about going online. As soon as the updates get going and there is a restart or more because of Windows needs them, then the crashes will start, and the other troubles as well.
I read an email fron Norton, where they said they had a team look into the desktop log files: no mention of virus but they said they found a lot of errors within the Windows itself.
But updating Norton and Windows as they suggested didn't help.
Once all the Windows updates are done, I can't even watch Youtube. And lot of annoying random pictures in just about every site.
 

Bob.B

Prominent
Feb 8, 2021
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Right, sorry. Was too hasty. Edge was installed from the get-go. And yes I have updated upto 20H2. Several times even.
It seems it's not even about going online. As soon as the updates get going and there is a restart or more because of Windows needs them, then the crashes will start, and the other troubles as well.
I read an email fron Norton, where they said they had a team look into the desktop log files: no mention of virus but they said they found a lot of errors within the Windows itself.
But updating Norton and Windows as they suggested didn't help.
Once all the Windows updates are done, I can't even watch Youtube. And lot of annoying random pictures in just about every site.
Try this.
Disconnect from the internet.
Do a fresh install of windows.
Now block driver downloads.
https://www.tomshardware.com/news/how-to-stop-automatic-driver-updates-windows
Connect to the internet and let winupd do it's thing.
 
Reactions: Mandark
Apr 9, 2021
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Thank you, Bob.B !
I will try that next.

I didn't know of that option at all.

I'm creating a USB stick this time from Microsoft Install Tool program.
I'd probably lost my mind completely if I hadn't got a second PC heh.

Also maybe worth mention, from what the Norton people wrote: The Windows errors may be due to conflicts with updating from Windows S mode and normal Windows.
Not sure what to make of it. But apparently the finger is now pointing at Windows software problems.
 
Apr 9, 2021
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Ah. Update from Hell :)
So... here's what's been up with the Problematic Computer:

  1. I booted the Windows 10 DVD, went to command prompt.
  2. Used "clean all" from Diskpart program, also formatted (at least I thought so) a new partition there.
  3. Also from prompt I used the bootblock program that creates a new bootblock
  4. Once in Windows 10 install menu, Custom Install, and delete the partitions once more, formatted a new one even there.
  5. It created 2 others which I assume are the Windows recovery partition and some other system partition.
  6. Chose the "I don't have a registration key" and "I don't have internet" and "no" to all the fancy extra stuff.
  7. I arrive to the "brand new" Windows 10 install. And there is no evaluation copy stamp (should there be?)
  8. I used "block driver downloads" method as stated in the link.
  9. Then I went online for the first time... And I go see the Settings -> Activation ... And apparently it's already activated.
And the problems are back : crashing browsers, visual nonsense here and there...

I got a nice Norton lady do another remote session, she had been talking with their people and tried to fix the Windows errors.
She did some fancy stuff I don't know what it was, and the she said, "despite everything the problems are still there."
And she collected a lot of log stuff (while reproducing the problem) and said they'll let me know when they have more ideas...

Man I'm both so tired of this, and also very amused...
One thing I was wondering, does it matter that this copy of Windows 10 Home is OEM - "original equipment manufacturer" version?
And the first one wasn't (the one I bought as a very cheap USB from Amazon) ?
Maybe my SSD has got some deep confusion going on, despite me trying to erase everything?
Maybe SSDs don't work like the old hard disks.. and some things just cannot be undone?
So... if this theory would hold water, I'd get rid of it by replacing the SSD with a brand new one?
 
Apr 9, 2021
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Okay. So a brand new out-of-the-box SSD in, and the problems remain.
Installed Win 10 again ("I don't have internet" and "I don't have product key").
Went through with all the Windows Updates, checked - problem remains.
Installed latest Nvidia drivers (through Geforce Experience) - problem remains.

So. My take on this is - the motherboard is either broken and dying or infected and no one at Norton nor F-Secure could find the infection...
So I'm looking at spending more money, a new mobo... Wow.
The old one is barely a year old...
 

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