[SOLVED] Seeking advice/opinions on repeated BSOD/crashing issue

Jan 19, 2022
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First time poster please be kind :)

My son's computer has been crashing/rebooting randomly up to five times a day, for months. It doesn't seem to relate to any particular game or program and has even done it when completely idle. It will usually reboot and display a BSOD with stop code CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT. Error logs show kernel power 41 error but no indication of what caused it. PC was custom built 5 years ago and some parts have been recently replaced in an attempt to fix, but otherwise pre-date the issue.

System specs:
  • Intel i7-7700K 4.2GHz 8MB CPU
  • Coolermaster liquid pro 240
  • Samsung SSD EVO 500G SATAIII
  • Geforce RTX2060 OC6G
  • ROG Strix Z270E motherboard
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Thermaltake 750W 80+ Bronze
  • 2 x 8 GB Corsair DDR4 3600 RAM
  • Double ASUS monitors, corsair keyboard, ROKIT studio monitors and presonus interface
Things we have tried:
  • cleaned thoroughly with compressed air
  • run multiple diagnostic tools with no errors reported (BUT! crashes during stress tests)
  • installed new PU
  • installed new GPU (crashes ceased for 1 week then started again)
  • installed new ram in different slots to the original
  • deleted and re-installed drivers
  • updated operating system
  • updated BIOS
  • enabled or disabled DCOP, XMP, C-states
  • set windows to "performance" mode
I've also had two techs come out and look at it; neither could give us a diagnosis.

The first suggested wiping and re-installing windows but we are reluctant to do this because 1. of all the similar posts I have read here, 99% of people say they tried that first and it did nothing, and 2. my son is using a free version of some music software which will be wiped if we re-install windows and since it's a demo version there appears to be no way to save his samples, tracks etc, so all would be lost. Tech 1 also suggested replacing the SSD and motherboard, in that order.

The second tech completely disagreed with the first, said he rarely sees BSODs caused by software and the issue is almost certainly hardware (which does correlate with most of the "solved" posts I've seen here). He recommended replacing the RAM (done today - no change) taking apart and cleaning the radiator of the CPU cooler (will try if people think this is worth a shot but the rest of the interior has been thoroughly cleaned) or replacing the motherboard/CPU.

We've hit a bit of a wall and don't know what to try next. What would y'all suggest?
 
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Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
event 41 (63) is a reaction to the restart, not a cause of one

Can you follow option one on the following link - here - and then do this step below: Small memory dumps - Have Windows Create a Small Memory Dump (Minidump) on BSOD - that creates a file in c windows/minidump after the next BSOD

  1. Open Windows File Explore
  2. Navigate to C:\Windows\Minidump
  3. Copy the mini-dump files out onto your Desktop
  4. Do not use Winzip, use the built in facility in Windows
  5. Select those files on your Desktop, right click them and choose 'Send to' - Compressed (zipped) folder
  6. Upload the zip file to the Cloud (OneDrive, DropBox . . . etc.)
  7. Then post a link here to the zip file, so we can take a look for you . . .
Download this and check CPU out - https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/15951/19792/intel-processor-diagnostic-tool.html?
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
event 41 (63) is a reaction to the restart, not a cause of one

Can you follow option one on the following link - here - and then do this step below: Small memory dumps - Have Windows Create a Small Memory Dump (Minidump) on BSOD - that creates a file in c windows/minidump after the next BSOD

  1. Open Windows File Explore
  2. Navigate to C:\Windows\Minidump
  3. Copy the mini-dump files out onto your Desktop
  4. Do not use Winzip, use the built in facility in Windows
  5. Select those files on your Desktop, right click them and choose 'Send to' - Compressed (zipped) folder
  6. Upload the zip file to the Cloud (OneDrive, DropBox . . . etc.)
  7. Then post a link here to the zip file, so we can take a look for you . . .
Download this and check CPU out - https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/15951/19792/intel-processor-diagnostic-tool.html?
 
Jan 19, 2022
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Sorry should have clarified - I don't have access to the crash logs as it's not my computer. However both techs went through the logs thoroughly and said there was nothing there to indicate what the problem was.

CPU and all other parts have passed individual tests, and the temperature always seems to be within normal range, however the computer crashes during every stress test. Tech 2 said he was completely stumped.
 
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Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
can you get your son to set up those steps on his PC and once it crashes again, follow the steps I showed to access them and upload them

Which stress tests does it crash in?

installed new GPU (crashes ceased for 1 week then started again)
what GPU did you swap for? same model? did you replace the drivers at time?
Have you tried running off the igpu on the CPU, take GPU out and run off motherboard? can't play many games like this but would at least tell us if the GPU thing was just a coincidence.

installed new PU
What is PU? power supplyy? or CPU?
what did you have before? same?
 
Jan 19, 2022
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Thanks for your responses

I have forwarded the instructions to my son, will update if he is able to provide the information you requested.

Original GPU was a GTX 1060. Drivers were updated at the time and have been uninstalled and re-installed many times since. Yes we temporarily ran off the motherboard while we were changing between the old and new GPUs

PU = Power Unit. Previous one was Coolermaster GX750 80+ Bronze. I'm not sure what stress test it was, will ask.
 
Jan 19, 2022
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I don't know if it crashed when going through the motherboard not graphics card - I don't think it did but it was only that way for a few hours while I went to buy a new graphics card.

Should we try running through the motherboard for a longer time and see if it crashes and if it doesn't, what would that suggest? The graphics card is brand new so should not be faulty.

Thermaltake Smart BX1 RGB 750W 80+ Bronze. It is also brand new (replacing it was the first fix we tried)
 
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Jan 19, 2022
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I have returned with more info.

Son said he used OCCT stress test and it crashed after ~ 30 mins

He also confirmed the computer did not crash at all while between graphics cards using motherboard only.

I'm wondering if we should have got a different brand of GPU....
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
Previous one was Coolermaster GX750 80+ Bronze.
Thermaltake Smart BX1 RGB 750W 80+ Bronze. It is also brand new
Both PSUs are low quality units and maybe, MAYBE, good enough for cheap office PC, without dedicated GPU, where when PSU blows up, the loss of hardware in terms of cost, is minimal.

But using either of the two for the high-end system you have, is really bad idea. And just because Thermaltake PSU is brand new, doesn't mean it's good. Replacing one crap PSU with another crap PSU doesn't fix the issue, since both PSUs are crap.
The thing is, that Cooler Master PSU was "new" at one time as well, still, it started to produce issues. Just like "new" Thermaltake PSU is currently doing. So, being "new" doesn't matter that much. What matters, is build quality.


You can cheap out on every other component inside the PC except PSU. Since PSU powers everything, it is the most important component inside the PC. Also, while the PSU warranty covers the PSU itself and you can RMA the blown PSU, the PSU warranty doesn't cover any other component the PSU fried.

Most people learn the hard way not to cheap out on a PSU when low quality PSU blows and takes part of the system or the whole system with it. Even entire houses have been burned down because of the fire low quality PSU caused when it blowed up.

Like it or not, if you want the PC to work for years to come, without any risk of fire and/or damage to expensive components, you need to hand out some money for good quality PSU. And if you want good and cheap PSU, you have to buy two PSUs, the cheap one and the good one. Now, you've already bought the cheap one and issue remained, are you going to buy a good PSU now? Or another cheap one?

For a good quality PSU, you can look towards Seasonic Focus+ and PRIME series, in 650W range.
E.g Focus+ 650W 80+ Gold, with 100 bucks at amazon,
link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073H33X7R

(All 3 of my PCs are also powered by Seasonic, full specs with pics in my sig.)
 
Jan 19, 2022
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Um, ok...

I feel like there was perhaps a less patronising way of conveying that information but thanks for your input. Do other posters agree that our "crap" power unit is insufficient for this PC?

The original GX750 worked perfectly fine for 5 years. Since nothing improved when we replaced it, I don't even think it was failing. Replacing it just seemed like the first logical step.
 
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