Question Games crashing to desktop, previous memory issues, BSODs and system crash that cleared CMOS

about2killmyself

Prominent
Aug 4, 2020
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  • GPU: MSI RTX 2070 ARMOR 8G
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • RAM: G.Skill 16GB (2 x 8GB) Ripjaws V, DDR4 3600 MHz, CL16, 1.35V (XMP enabled, @3600)
  • PSU: Seasonic Focus Plus 550W Gold (SSR-550FX)
  • MOBO: Gigabyte X570 UD (Ultra Durable, BIOS F32)
  • STORAGE:
    • Samsung NVMe SSD 970 EVO Plus 1 TB (OS)
    • Kingston A400 1 TB
    • Kingston A400 500 GB
  • OS: Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
Hey,

I have been experiencing a myriad of problems with this 1-year old setup, which was built on-demand by a local independent PC shop. The problems have historically consisted of BSODs and crashes that have occurred since I got the PC.

For the better part of the year, I have been getting BSODs with varying error codes with a frequency of about one or two once a week. (IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED, PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA, to name a few). Usually these crashes would happen while gaming. Sometimes these bluescreens could be preceded by some ominous signs such as my Firefox tabs or games crashing to desktop randomly, sometimes several times in a row, hours before a crash.

I initially suspected the memory, but neither Windows' own Memory Diagnostic tool or Memtest86 found any errors with the RAM, at least not initially. Prime95 ran fine for 6 hours and I couldn't seem to replicate any crashes by running GPU benchmarks.

A month ago, I experienced a series of Firefox tab crashes and game CTDs that made me re-test the RAM that same day. This time, Memtest86 found an error within the first pass. My rationalization was that I had caught the memory on a "bad day", and that my problems were most likely RAM related after all.

I ordered a new RAM kit and sent the old one to be RMA'd. The current RAM is listed with my specs. The old kit was a G.Skill 16GB (2x8GB), Ripjaws V, DDR4 3200MHz.

Initially, things seemed to have improved: I did not suffer any Firefox tab crashes for several weeks, and the overall system stability seemed to have improved. However, I continued to experience semi-frequent crashes to desktop in one of my most played games: ARMA 3. I have gotten at least one other CTD in Squad, both quite demanding games that aren't known for their stability to begin with-- which makes it hard to determine if this is a software or a hardware issue.

Despite the game crashes, I have not had any issues with my Firefox tabs crashing as of late. I did not receive blue screens or any sort of system crashes for about a week after installing the new RAM.

Last weekend, I experienced a system crash while playing ARMA 3: I saw a blue screen for about a split second, but before any message could load, the PC shut down and restarted unexpectedly. The screen was black and my fans were blasting at full force: despite waiting for several minutes, the computer did not post or boot back into Windows, forcing me to restart it manually.

The computer restarted and took a few extra seconds to post, but booted into Windows this time. My fans continued to blare loudly, so I once again shut down the PC to look at my fan settings in the BIOS. The PC had cleared the CMOS settings and I had to redo all my fan profiles. This was new, all of my previous BSODs restarted cleanly and saved a dump file, this one did not.

I am at a loss for what my issue could be after already having changed the RAM. The variety of problems I have experienced now have me suspecting that the motherboard itself, or the GPU or PSU might be faulty. I've tried the usual things for general troubleshooting:
  • reinstalling Windows several times
  • trying different GPU drivers
  • updating my BIOS
  • reseating components
  • changing Windows power settings
  • buying a new NVMe SSD and moving the OS there
  • running malware scans (Malwarebytes and HitmanPro have always been clean)
but nothing seems to help. I am open to any suggestions and I hope that the descriptions of my problems may ring a bell to someone who may have experienced similar issues and might know what specific component(s) may be at fault.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
reinstalling Windows several times
Did you refabricate your bootable USB installer using Windows Media Creation Tools?

trying different GPU drivers
Did you use DDU to rid your older drivers before reinstalling them in an elevated command, i.e, Right click installer>Run as Administrator?

The PSU is a year old at this point? Considering you have a Samsung SSDD, use Magician Tool and see if you have any firmware updates pending for the SSD. Considering you're on BIOS version F32, there's one more BIOS update pending, i.e , BIOS version F34.

I'd also try and source a higher wattage PSU, borrowing from a friend or neighbor who owns a similarly reliable unit like yours. Perhaps it could be that your PSU is failing in power delivery, though this to me, at least, looks like a driver/OS/game issue.
 

about2killmyself

Prominent
Aug 4, 2020
3
0
510
0
reinstalling Windows several times
Did you refabricate your bootable USB installer using Windows Media Creation Tools?

trying different GPU drivers
Did you use DDU to rid your older drivers before reinstalling them in an elevated command, i.e, Right click installer>Run as Administrator?

The PSU is a year old at this point? Considering you have a Samsung SSDD, use Magician Tool and see if you have any firmware updates pending for the SSD. Considering you're on BIOS version F32, there's one more BIOS update pending, i.e , BIOS version F34.

I'd also try and source a higher wattage PSU, borrowing from a friend or neighbor who owns a similarly reliable unit like yours. Perhaps it could be that your PSU is failing in power delivery, though this to me, at least, looks like a driver/OS/game issue.
Did you refabricate your bootable USB installer using Windows Media Creation Tools?
Yes, each time I reformatted the USB drive and installed the latest version of Windows Media Creation Tool.

Did you use DDU to rid your older drivers before reinstalling them in an elevated command, i.e, Right click installer>Run as Administrator?
I used DDU whenever I was installing new or older drivers and as far as I am aware, the installer requires admin privileges to run by default.

The PSU is a year old at this point?
It was bought a year ago when the computer was assembled, yes.

Considering you have a Samsung SSDD, use Magician Tool and see if you have any firmware updates pending for the SSD.
I had not done this until a week ago, but it seems like my problems persist regardless if I am on the latest firmware. Speaking of the drives themselves, they all appear to be healthy in Samsung's Magician Tool and CrystalDiskInfo.

Considering you're on BIOS version F32, there's one more BIOS update pending, i.e , BIOS version F34
I have kept the BIOS up-to-date quite diligently in the hopes that, somehow, my issues are related to the BIOS version. Even when F32 was the latest, I still continued to experience the same issues, which makes me doubt that F34 will be any different.

I'd also try and source a higher wattage PSU, borrowing from a friend or neighbor who owns a similarly reliable unit like yours. Perhaps it could be that your PSU is failing in power delivery, though this to me, at least, looks like a driver/OS/game issue.
Unfortunately, I do not have the opportunity to borrow another PSU. The strange shutdown and CMOS clearing made me suspect that the power supply may be failing in some capacity to power the GPU, which I believe may be underperforming as a result of that or issues with the card itself.

I have run 3DMark's Time Spy benchmarks on several occasions and my scores always seem to be lower than what other benchmarkers with similar hardware and no overclocks get.

For reference, my latest Time Spy benchmark: https://www.3dmark.com/spy/20790276 (7822)
Guru3D's review: https://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/msi_geforce_rtx_2070_armor_8g_review,27.html (8508)
Overclockersclub: https://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/msi_geforce_rtx_2070_armor_8g_oc/7.htm (8640)

I have suspected driver/OS/game issues for as long as I have had the PC, but numerous OS reinstalls later I continue to experience the same problems. The vagueness of my problems and my inability to figure out exactly what the source of my issues is makes me wonder if the motherboard itself is at fault.

The other day when I booted up my PC, none of my peripherals (mouse, keyboard) were turned on and I had to reinsert the USB cable for them to work. That has never happened before.

Another strange issue I've had recently was that my HitmanPro scans would sometimes lock up and freeze my PC mid-scan: the OS would keep running, I could use my mouse and my open windows would continue to work for a few seconds before they became unresponsive. No such issues have occurred with Malwarebytes, and as always, all of my virus scans have come back clean.

This sounds like an issue with the NVMe SSD or a software error. I'm unsure if installing the latest firmware has done anything to fix this, as I have not run any scans with HitmanPro lately. This has not happened with any other program.

I just feel like my PC is falling apart.

Thank you for your quick reply, and sorry that I didn't include the above in my original post, which is long enough as is.
 

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