Question Most games have started crashing seemingly at random

signum_

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Jan 8, 2017
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Ok so my PC has been falling apart slowly during the past year, but it has been mostly usable up until recently. I am building a completely new machine in about 1-2 months, so what I need is really just a temporary fix right now.

Most games I start are crashing randomly while playing. Sometimes I'll get a good hour out of them sometimes just 3 minutes, and there doesn't seem to be a specific point in a game where it would crash. Sometimes when specifically CS:GO crashes it will give me an error message that the graphics drivers have crashed. Killing Floor 2 will just crash and the window will be closed with no error message or anything. Dark Souls 3 will just whitescreen and be "not responding", causing me to have to close it via the task manager. The way these games crash is different from game to game but all of them will usually crash at some point. Even Half Life 2 crashes, and I am pretty sure my specs should easily be able to handle a 15 year old source game. This just started happening randomly a few weeks ago and I'm not sure what I might have done to have this happen.

I should also note that when I have a twitch stream or video or something like that open, it will also turn black after the game has crashed, which leads me to believe that my gpu is just broken. Sometimes even the whole browser will turn black until i start clicking on stuff or restart the browser.

My hardware at this point is pretty old, so there is a good chance everything is just breaking/deterioating. All my drivers are up to date.

Specs:
  • CPU: i7 6700k
  • GPU: Zotac GTX 980 ti amp extreme
  • Motherboard: MSI z170a
  • RAM: 32gb ddr4 from a company called "micron" that i've never heard of before
  • Samsung 850 EVO 250gb with Windows 10 Home and a 2TB seagate hdd
  • PSU: Corsair C750M
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Again, if there is no permanent fix, but something that will keep my PC alive for another 1-2 months, that would also be fine.
 
Jan 18, 2021
9
1
15
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Ok so my PC has been falling apart slowly during the past year, but it has been mostly usable up until recently. I am building a completely new machine in about 1-2 months, so what I need is really just a temporary fix right now.

Most games I start are crashing randomly while playing. Sometimes I'll get a good hour out of them sometimes just 3 minutes, and there doesn't seem to be a specific point in a game where it would crash. Sometimes when specifically CS:GO crashes it will give me an error message that the graphics drivers have crashed. Killing Floor 2 will just crash and the window will be closed with no error message or anything. Dark Souls 3 will just whitescreen and be "not responding", causing me to have to close it via the task manager. The way these games crash is different from game to game but all of them will usually crash at some point. Even Half Life 2 crashes, and I am pretty sure my specs should easily be able to handle a 15 year old source game. This just started happening randomly a few weeks ago and I'm not sure what I might have done to have this happen.

I should also note that when I have a twitch stream or video or something like that open, it will also turn black after the game has crashed, which leads me to believe that my gpu is just broken. Sometimes even the whole browser will turn black until i start clicking on stuff or restart the browser.

My hardware at this point is pretty old, so there is a good chance everything is just breaking/deterioating. All my drivers are up to date.

Specs:
  • CPU: i7 6700k
  • GPU: Zotac GTX 980 ti amp extreme
  • Motherboard: MSI z170a
  • RAM: 32gb ddr4 from a company called "micron" that i've never heard of before
  • Samsung 850 EVO 250gb with Windows 10 Home and a 2TB seagate hdd
  • PSU: Corsair C750M
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Again, if there is no permanent fix, but something that will keep my PC alive for another 1-2 months, that would also be fine.
Hey there, my best piece of advice here is to take it to a computer shop and ask them to re-apply any thermal paste and give it a good clean (if you don't know how to do so yourself) this should be relatively cheap 😁

Let me know if this is within reason and let me know how you go
 
Jan 19, 2021
5
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10
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I'd run Windows Memory Diagnostic to check if you have faulty ram. If you experience black screens in chrome and it said "google experience some crash or error" or something along those lines, its likely that issue. The tool is a free program, just window search "memory diagnostic" and good luck.
 

signum_

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Jan 8, 2017
12
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4,510
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I'd run Windows Memory Diagnostic to check if you have faulty ram. If you experience black screens in chrome and it said "google experience some crash or error" or something along those lines, its likely that issue. The tool is a free program, just window search "memory diagnostic" and good luck.
Thanks for the reply. I really thought it was my graphics card that was broken.

Unfortunately, the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool tells me there are no problems: "The Windows Memory Diagnostic tested the computer's memory and detected no errors". Any other ideas what I could try? Also, chrome doesn't give me any error messages. The blackscreen also just lasts as long as I don't touch the window. If I start for example selecting text, that text will be visible. Like, any visual changes I make to the window will update that part of it.

Also, new thing I've noticed: After specifically Dark Souls III has crashed, Discord will tell me it's detected a new audio device (the headset I'm already using) and ask me if I want to change audio devices. No idea what that's about, but it happens every time the game crashes.
 
Jan 19, 2021
5
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10
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Hi Signum, this may be a GPU issue... have you OC your card recently? Unstable overclocks can lead to these issues. If that doesn't help, I read in another forum post that reducing the clock speeds / limiting the GPU temperatures can help eliminate black screening (This implies that it might be a GPU temp problem, which is not likely, but who knows). Also, to answer the discord question, when you "reload" a graphic card (for example updating your GPU in Nvidia Experience) you get that message of "discord has detected a new audio device" which unfortunately likely implies something wrong with the GPU OR It means that the clocks on it is not stable.
 
Jan 18, 2021
9
1
15
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Thanks for the reply. I really thought it was my graphics card that was broken.

Unfortunately, the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool tells me there are no problems: "The Windows Memory Diagnostic tested the computer's memory and detected no errors". Any other ideas what I could try? Also, chrome doesn't give me any error messages. The blackscreen also just lasts as long as I don't touch the window. If I start for example selecting text, that text will be visible. Like, any visual changes I make to the window will update that part of it.

Also, new thing I've noticed: After specifically Dark Souls III has crashed, Discord will tell me it's detected a new audio device (the headset I'm already using) and ask me if I want to change audio devices. No idea what that's about, but it happens every time the game crashes.
Okay, definetely the GPU man. I'd say it most likely is the GPU overheating. This can be easily checked by monitoring your GPU temp and seeing if it is going above your maximum temp threshold.

If this is the case, you might be able to fix it by reapplying the thermal paste (best option if it is the IC chip part of the GPU), and if not that then adding more air flow, cleaning out the GPU fan might fix this problem.

Hope this helps
 

signum_

Reputable
Jan 8, 2017
12
0
4,510
0
Okay, definetely the GPU man. I'd say it most likely is the GPU overheating. This can be easily checked by monitoring your GPU temp and seeing if it is going above your maximum temp threshold.

If this is the case, you might be able to fix it by reapplying the thermal paste (best option if it is the IC chip part of the GPU), and if not that then adding more air flow, cleaning out the GPU fan might fix this problem.

Hope this helps
Ok, so when I ramp up my GPU fan speeds to a constant high speed, I am experiencing less crashes. It's weird though, my card doesn't seem to go that much past 50-60 degrees celsius, usually lower, even when I'm playing. I had originally ruled out overheating because of this. Anyways, specifically Dark Souls 3 hasn't crashed a single time since I've changed the fan speed to a constant 1900rpm instead of auto adjust. Definitely the temporary fix I was looking for, thanks a million.

How would one go about applying new thermal paste on a GPU? I've nerver done that before. Also, can I just use the same thermal paste I would use for my CPU, because I have some lying around somewhere.
 

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