[SOLVED] The Witcher 3 crashes the video driver ?

Feb 8, 2022
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Hi All

Something odd happened to me last night. I was playing the Witcher 3, when suddendly my monitor went black.
PC was still running. The game probably crashed as I was not earing any in-game sounds. However, after pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del followed by Enter (lock PC) and then hitting random key I could hear the classic invalid entry sound.
As my monitor was not receiving any input it went in standby mode. This forced me to brute force the shut down and boot the PC again.
Everything worked fine. I restarted the Witcher 3 ( thinking of a normal bug crash) and loaded a previous save, played 5 min and then it crashed again.
After this second time the problem occurred again as soon after loading to continue a game or any old saves. I can access the menu but the game crashes as soon it has finished to load the game from any saves (which now takes around 1 min more than before)

I rebooted the PC and tried launching another game. Warzone. Played a few matches for 30/40 min, GPU never went above 75° or had any weird clock rate, I said to myself weird... and launched the Witcher 3 again...bam crash

I haven't find online any recent post (less than 5 years and with similar game version or tech spec) from anyone with the same experience as me.

I'm playing on what could be considered a high end gaming PC: Ryzen 7 5800X (water cooled), MSI RTX 3080ti SuprimX, 32gb of RAM, 2tb m.2 SSD, 1000W Platinum PSU. My monitor is an Alienware 38 Ultrawide.

Today I've tested more recent demanding games: Warzone, Cyberpunk, 4K Modded Skyrim, Hitman. All run flawlessly at natural hardware level. As soon as I launch the Witcher 3 it crashes.

Solutions I've tried:
  • Loading a different save, Nothing changes
  • Look into the windows event log. Nothing weird apart the critical shutdown errors due to me forcing the restart.
  • Update GPU Driver. Same Outcome
  • Repair Game through steam. It found elements missing, added, Same outcome.
Reasons I think it is The Witcher 3 fault of crashing the video driver which then it doesn't manage to recover:
  • The Pc works fine, I'm able to lock it and run blind commands.
  • RGB ICue continues to run after the crash.
  • Only game with this issue in my library and not the most demanding one
  • No other programs are running in the background that are not running during other games (discord, geforce exp...)
If it can help:
  • I first finished the witcher 3 on an old rig without any problem of sort.
  • Started recently a new game+ on my new PC and already played at least 20h without any crashes
  • The first crash happened after I saved a merchant from Bandits in a Novigrad alley.
  • The second Crash happened after opening my stash in Novigrad
  • The game it is not modded
  • The GPU is not overclocked
  • I've checked TW3 crash log and found files for each of the crashes. ID is always: EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION (3221225477). While the location id which giver reading error changes all the time. A quick search on the internet attributes this to mods but I've never modded this game.
Thanks for anyone who can provide help on this
 

Satan-IR

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Yes molten cables are always a bad sign. I hope the GPU and the rest are OK.

Also you can take the MOBO out of the case if there's no room to check the other PCIE slot. Apart from a failing/broken PSU that might indicate a problem with PCIE slot too, note quite sure but not enough volts/amps from slot so the card drew more from PSU 6+2pins? Hence higher amperage same gauge wire > higher temps > melting.

Let's see what others think about this. However, molten and fused cables/wires and connections is definitely a bad sign when it comes to electronics.
 
Feb 8, 2022
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This problem is only on Witcher 3 ? Try test 3DMark on Graphics test and check, it will work 100%
Hi Thanks for your reply. Yes only with TW3. All other games in my library run flawlessly at max or almost max settings. I've Just run 3DMark Time Spy everything normal, I'm at 17.675 average points for the system: Card or CPU never went above 80° degrees Celsius....TW3 still crashes...

This reinforce my point that it is not a hardware problem but rather something wrong with the game or any other software...

I'm now trying to uninstall it and install the GOTY edition from steam to see if anything changes...
 
Is your CPU, RAM, or BCLK overclocked? If yes, reduce them down to stock and test TW3 again. Please list the make/model of your PSU.
Does it crash if you start a brand new game? Try running it with all other unnecessary apps closed.
 
Feb 8, 2022
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Is your CPU, RAM, or BCLK overclocked? If yes, reduce them down to stock and test TW3 again. Please list the make/model of your PSU.
Does it crash if you start a brand new game? Try running it with all other unnecessary apps closed.
No overclock on any component. The PSU is a Seasonic Prime TX-1000 (actually Titanium and not Platinum as stated in my post)

Yes. I've tried different saves also. As stated above I've now unistalled TW3 regular edition and installing TW3 GOTY by using GoG linked to steam.
 
Feb 8, 2022
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Corrupted save file? Does it happen when you start a new game?
This is what I've thought but I've tried already different saves at different points even some made using my old rig not in New Game +. (I'm a compulsive saver.....thanks Skyrim...) Also trying to start a fresh new game provide the same outcome
I'm now trying to uninstall TW3 and installing the GOTY edition to see if a newer version of the game is more stable....
 
TW3 GotY has always been 100% stable for me, even with a bunch of mods. I put over 500 hours in it in 2020-2021 and finally saw what everyone was talking about. ;)

If you're doing no mods then it's gotta be something with your rig (hardware or software) causing this.
 
Feb 8, 2022
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So I've reinstalled the game by connecting GOG to steam.
I've installed the GOTY edition from GOG but steam installed the regular version from Steam...Maybe in steam there is no difference among them?. Version is 1.32.
Anyhow, I've played all White Orchard on a Fresh New Game. Arrived in Velen and as soon as I closed the Merchant Shop in Midcopse it crashed in the same way as before. (it gave me hope that it was resolved for a bit...).
At this point I'm more and more positive that this isn't hardware related. The randomness and non replicability hints at some driver issue
As stated before this is happening at random moments. No component is under stress. Two out of the three times this occurred in game, I was looking into a shop or a stash and both of the time happened when I've closed it. I'm thinking something related to the autosave function?
 
Feb 8, 2022
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"Not even managing to load into a game", again only Witcher 3 or any game?

Do you run Discord with overlay turned on by any chance while running the game/s?
Hi thanks for your reply. Only the Witcher3 . All other games still run fine.
Crash happens also with discord not running

I've opened a ticket with CDPR support....
 

Satan-IR

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Hi thanks for your reply. Only the Witcher3 . All other games still run fine.
Crash happens also with discord not running

I've opened a ticket with CDPR support....
Hey there! As with this error (EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION) you can try also adding the application (witcher2.exe?) to the Data Execution Prevention Whitelist.

You can try this through control panel > System and Security > System > Advanced system settings > System Properties > Performance > Settings (if memory serves right).
 
Feb 8, 2022
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Hey there! As with this error (EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION) you can try also adding the application (witcher2.exe?) to the Data Execution Prevention Whitelist.

You can try this through control panel > System and Security > System > Advanced system settings > System Properties > Performance > Settings (if memory serves right).
Hi Thanks, When entering the DEP window I can see it is already set to "Turn On DEP for essential Windows programs and services only". Does this means that TW3 is already whitelisted by default?
 

Satan-IR

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Hi Thanks, When entering the DEP window I can see it is already set to "Turn On DEP for essential Windows programs and services only". Does this means that TW3 is already whitelisted by default?
No problem. No I think it's not.

There's another option that goes something like :"Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I choose" and there's an "Add" button through which let's you set exceptions.

Maybe worth trying. If it didn't work I would set it back to the default setting it was.
 
Feb 8, 2022
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No problem. No I think it's not.

There's another option that goes something like :"Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I choose" and there's an "Add" button through which let's you set exceptions.

Maybe worth trying. If it didn't work I would set it back to the default setting it was.
I've tried this method but as soon as I select witcher3.exe to add it to the whitelist it prompts that I cannot add x64 bit application to the whitelist

I'm taking the exe file from SteamLibrary > steamapps > common > The Witcher 3 > bin > x64.
There is no other witcher3.exe file into the Steam Folder
 
Feb 8, 2022
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Hi All,
so I've been conducting some testing during these days.
I've downloaded afterburner to check into different GPU parameters as the issue was continuing to be present.
As soon as I opened it and launched TW3 (without changing any of the parameters) the issue was still present. However now it got even worst. Warzone crash as soon as you enter the game menu (it was playing fine before)
After a few times now the GPU is not posting anymore after I boot up. Pc boots I can log in (log in sounds works) but no input sent to the Display.

So maybe is the GPU after all?
 

Satan-IR

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Yes it can be. If possible check the 3080 in another system or if you have al older card see if your system works with that.

I didn't see the MOBO in your specs? You can also try the 3080 in the secondary PCIE slot to rule out the first slot is somehow nor working.
 
Feb 8, 2022
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Yes it can be. If possible check the 3080 in another system or if you have al older card see if your system works with that.

I didn't see the MOBO in your specs? You can also try the 3080 in the secondary PCIE slot to rule out the first slot is somehow nor working.
The Mobo is an MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk

The case is the LianLi PC011 DW Dynamic.

Unfortunately the second PCI-e slot is to low the GPU sitting there will touch the botton fans.

Anyway. I've reopen the case to change the GPU to my old 1070. Everything looked fine. until I went to the PSU. I've noticed that one of the cables that was powering the GPU kind of melted and now it is soldered to the PSU. I think I might be found the problem.

I'll rma the PSU. And run tests on it when it will be back if the problem is solved I will close the thread
 

Satan-IR

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Ambassador
Yes molten cables are always a bad sign. I hope the GPU and the rest are OK.

Also you can take the MOBO out of the case if there's no room to check the other PCIE slot. Apart from a failing/broken PSU that might indicate a problem with PCIE slot too, note quite sure but not enough volts/amps from slot so the card drew more from PSU 6+2pins? Hence higher amperage same gauge wire > higher temps > melting.

Let's see what others think about this. However, molten and fused cables/wires and connections is definitely a bad sign when it comes to electronics.
 
Feb 8, 2022
12
0
10
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Yes molten cables are always a bad sign. I hope the GPU and the rest are OK.

Also you can take the MOBO out of the case if there's no room to check the other PCIE slot. Apart from a failing/broken PSU that might indicate a problem with PCIE slot too, note quite sure but not enough volts/amps from slot so the card drew more from PSU 6+2pins? Hence higher amperage same gauge wire > higher temps > melting.

Let's see what others think about this. However, molten and fused cables/wires and connections is definitely a bad sign when it comes to electronics.
Hi Satan

Seasonic RMA replaced the PSU

After changing the PSUs and re attaching the cables everything went fine.

I guess the problem showed up with the Witcher3 as it has a very un balanced performance draw curve and might require powerburst in some parts of the game. The cables start to melt with it and the other games gave them the deathblow.

I can see two learning from this:

First one: invest in good cables even the ones on 300$ PSU might be of cheap quality
Second: Check all the cables/connecions twice and then another time so you don't get mad searching for software coming from established games

Hope this thread will help someone in the future
 

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