Unable to play any games in Windows 10


Sep 12, 2016
Hey all -
I've hit the wall with my computer as of late - *every* game I have played within my Steam library, Battle.net, etc. causes my machine to bluescreen or crash to the desktop. Up until the beginning of June, it was running fine. Now, every game of Overwatch crashes after 5-10 minutes, and every other game in my library that I've tried crashes to the desktop. I'm turning to the Tom's Hardware forums in the hopes that someone helps me explore a line of thinking that I haven't tried yet.

The steps I've taken are:
-Update graphics drivers
-Update all firmware, including BIOS
-DDU the graphics driver, then reinstall
-Used Device Manager to cut out duplicated and faulty drivers (only one was found, in Safe Mode)
-Used the Windows 10 repair tool via USB
-Disabled Windows 10's Game DVR
-Disabled Google Update service
-Ran memtest and its Windows built-in equivalent
-chkdsk /f /r
-Disabling my antivirus

Often, the blue screen points to usbaudio.sys and ntoskrnl, usually with a IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL or a SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION. Some variance, but those are the most common.

I do not have any overclocking enabled.

My system is as follows:

MOBO: Asus P8z77-v lk
Proc: Intel i5 3570k
RAM: 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600
GPU: Gigabyte GTX 770 4GB
PSU: SeaSonic 620W Bronze
2 1TB HDDs

Any advice would be much appreciated, folks.



Sep 12, 2016

Sure - I've already run memtest, though. Is it necessary to run it for multiple passes to make sure it's not memory, or is memtest likely to catch big issues on the first pass? Assuming it's not memory, I'd be confused if it were speed/temp/voltage, as this has been a fairly recent occurrence. Thoughts?

Edit: After downloading a temp monitoring program, I found out my CPU was hitting temps as high as 90°c - in a word, wow. No wonder it was having trouble. I built my machine over 4 years ago, so the thermal compound is probably totally done, and the stock Intel CPU cooler probably was never worth the trouble of installing. Ordering a new cooler and thermal paste tonight, will update when I'm able to test using them.