Question Is my semi-random stuttering driver related or does this go deeper?

Jun 11, 2020
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Hello Everyone!

After trying to find a thread with similar Problems and solutions suggested there for like 2 weeks I finally decided to ask for help here.

I've recently updated my Hardware pretty much all around, my new setup only inherited my old 1,5 TB 3.5'' Harddrive, a DVD-Burner and my GPU, the rest is new and seems to be working well. I am now running

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Motherboard: MSI X570-A PRO
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16 GB Dual channel DDR4 3600 Mhz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
Boot-Drive: Kingston KC2000 500 GB M.2 SSD
Storage: SAMSUNG HD154UI 1.5 TB 3.5''
Power: be Quiet! ATX 400W System Power 9
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64x Build 1909

Most of the time the Desktop works just fine, however, sometimes there are short stutters, where Display and Audio freeze for some micro seconds and for about 2-3 seconds, about 3-5 of those micro freezes at a time. That itself wouldn't be much of an annoyance, however sometimes the stutters won't sort itself out and the setup will keep up having them at random intervals of 1-4 Seconds. Sometimes the stuttering ended after several minutes, but most times i have to reboot the PC, which will fix the issue for a time. The stuttering seems to start more often/sooner when the PC is not under heavy load/idle, but has also started while having enough things to process e.g. running a game. Rebooting while the stuttering is happening is also interesting, since the Desktop wont manage to shut down unless a force by power button or by shutting down power, at least not for about 5-10 minutes, after which a blue screen with the Stopcode "DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE" will prompt the PC to reboot (fixing the issue temporarily).

I have already tried to reinstall GPU drivers and set the Power Settings to "High Performance"/disabled throttleing, which seems to have reduced the amount of the issue happening, but not fixing it (However the issue stopped occuring right from the booting process). I also couldn't find any Performance changes picked up with the Cupid HWMonitor, temps, CPU Mhz and overall usage of CPU and Memory etc dont show any difference between when the Stuttering is occuring or the PC is running fine. (The temps won't climb above 62 C in normal usage and no higher than 75 C under load). The stuttering starts anywhere from 10 minutes after boot to several hours.

All of this and the fact that the issue seems to have started after my father convinced me to update all drivers using the "Driver Booster 7" freeware, led me to believe the issue is likely driver related. Another thing I noticed while manually looking for updateable drivers/ driver issues in the device-manager (without finding any) was that once i pressed the "look for altered hardware" button, the stuttering will start immediatly, so i can force it to happen. A scan with the freeware program "Restoro" also didn't find anything that resolved the issue.

So basically I believe the issue is some kind of driver conflict/issue where some device/part goes into sleep mode without reason and failing to restart, at least when the stuttering becomes permanent or something like that. Would anyone really versed in this stuff agree with this or does the forceability by the "scan for altered hardware" point towards a deeper problem? Also how should i go about finding the driver responsible?

Thanks in advance and best whishes!

PS: In case anyone wants to point out the "small" power supply (since a friend of mine seemed shocked when we talked about it), i have been running a 350W supply in the previous set up with an AMD FX 6300 and same GPU, and never had power related issues, so yeah, its not very future oriented if I would want to replace the GPU with a much more power hungry one, but it should be fine with the current one since the Ryzen 5 3600 has a lower consumption than the FX-6300, I believe.
 

Pat Flynn

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Aug 8, 2013
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I'd start by running some diags - Memtest86, and a bootable ISO/CD called 'Breakin' (Google 'Breakin Hardware Diagnostics', from a company called Advanced Clustering Technologies Inc.). Breakin will test your CPU, HDD, and Ram all in one shot, although the ram gets a better test from Memtest86. Run each for at least 4 hours to check for errors.

Once you've ruled out hardware fault, backup anything important and wipe out your Windows, then reload it. Do not EVER use a 'Driver Update Utility' that isn't provided by the OEM motherboard/CPU/GPU manufacture - most of the time these 'Driver Update Utilities' use databases that mix and match OEM drivers and can cause massive instability. Once you've reloaded windows, make sure you get the proper drivers from the OEMs - also, the AMD chipset drivers are best to get directly from AMD's website. They should be the most up to date and stable, although if your still have stability issues, try the motherboard manufacturers provided chipset drivers (very rare occasion they customize them for their motherboards specifically).
As well, the GPU drivers (Nvidia) should be downloaded directly from Nvidia's site (again, if unstable try the graphics cards OEM's drivers afterwards).

Hopefully this helps solve the issue :)
 
Jun 11, 2020
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First of all thanks a lot for your advise.

However, I would like to consider your suggestion of completely wiping the system and reinstalling as a last resort option, since it is quite time consuming.
If my assumptions are correct the driver causing my issue might be reinstalled/removed within minutes, if I had any way of locating it, other than "brute forcing" it by reinstalling each driver in the system until the problem disappears.
So before i go with the "nuclear option" I'd like to know if my assumed diagnosis is a likely possebility and if there is a way to narrow the possible culprits down to an amount that could be reinstalled in reasonable time. I would hate to spend several hours on reinstalling the OS if the problem is a single driver for like a USB port is just installed incorrectly or struggles for control with another driver or some other minor issue like that.
 
Jun 11, 2020
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Alright,
Update: I've found and solved the Problem.
The Driver Booster 7 from IOBit "updated" my AHCI-Drivers, which broke them. Whenever I used the "search for altered hardware"-feature in the device manager the desktop seemed to keep looking for it but failing at some point, which caused the stuttering. Resetting the AHCI Controller drivers to the default windows provided ones stopped the stuttering without having to reinstall windows altogether.
Thanks again for the help, now i just have to find out how to "close" this thread/mark it as "solved" :D

best whishes to everyone having similar problems, I hope my solution helps you as well.
 
Jun 22, 2020
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Hey, I have EXACTLY, the same issue as you, ryzen 5 3600, stuttering every random time, PC doesnt boot or takes too long and shows a DRIVER POWER STATE FAILURE, I used the exact same program as you did driver booster and after that Im getting this annoying stuttering, how did you solved it? im sorry I dont know much about computers I know you posted the solution but how exactly can I do it?
 
The OP solution after uninstalling driver booster, was to go to the Device Manager (type name in search box if you don't know how to find it) . Double click on "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers" and see if there is a Standard SATA AHCI Controller heading. If so double click on the heading, choose the Driver tab and click on Roll back driver and follow the prompts.
 
Jun 22, 2020
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In the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers list, I only see, 4 "AMD SATA CONTROLLER" when I click on the drivers tab for each, the "rollback" option is grayed out, is there any other thing related to this that I can do?
 
Jun 11, 2020
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In the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers list, I only see, 4 "AMD SATA CONTROLLER" when I click on the drivers tab for each, the "rollback" option is grayed out, is there any other thing related to this that I can do?
You can open the Device Manager by rightclicking your windows button and selecting it in the List. There, under the "IDE ATA/ATAPi-Controller" section, you should have 4 Drivers listet for the SATA AHCI-Controller. You only have to select one via double-click and go to the "drivers" tab. There should be a "actualise driver" button, click it. You'll get to choose the automatic search and the search on the local computer options. You can try the automatic search, if that doesn't help, use the second option. There you'll again get to choose to search a certain register on you PC or, below the search directory, there should be a "Choose from a list of available drivers on my PC" option. Click that. It should show you 2 installed drivers to choose from, one is the AMD version the driver booster installed, one should be called "Standard SATA ...". Select that one and you should be dandy. Make sure to check if changing one driver is applied to all 4 Controllers, if not, apply correct the driver for each.

If you dont find any locally installed drivers aside the faulty AMD one, you may have somehow deinstalled it. Then you should either use the CD that came with your Motherboard, there should be a working one provided there, or use Google to find the correct one, but be careful then, choosing the incorrect driver may worsen the problem.
 
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The second poster said they did not have an ACHI driver. If the PC BIOS was not set to ACHI prior Windows 10 being installed, then the ACHI driver was not loaded and the PC is in IDE/Compatibility mode. Switching to ACHI mode at this point will likely cause the PC not to boot, as it needs to be done prior to installing Windows*.

*Technically it is possible to do this, but it requires editing the registry and could result in Windows not being bootable.
 
Aug 10, 2020
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In the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers list, I only see, 4 "AMD SATA CONTROLLER" when I click on the drivers tab for each, the "rollback" option is grayed out, is there any other thing related to this that I can do?
Someone else in this forum had amd_sata.sys errors which hosed BIOS plug'n'play which is responsible for completing Windows powerdown request. Also had error loading pci.sys (or amd_pci.sys) image of motherboard drivers as per motherboard BIOS responses. Windows automatically searches for drivers from manufacturers registered website. Big news: Microsoft doesn't write drivers unless they themselves need one. AMD wrote 64bit Windows.
Drivers are written by hardware vendors (I had a confusing manual with "translated from english" at the bottom.) Windows PnP gets the VEN_ and DEV_ numbers of BIOS connected hardware from the Extended Hardware Configuration Data memory area (in PCI memory ~9000 hex. Of course Intel uses VEN of 8080 and 8086. If company X used Nvidia chips in their video cards the vendor number will be different so Nvidia driver cant be found, only the card mfgs driver. This is because chip seller only knows the circuit they sell. In practice everyone uses a "reference design" recomended by the chip maker who uses a slightly different circuit design for their video cards. Frustrating when AMD builds CPU, Mobo chipset, and video chipset that they can't work together.
 

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