Question Upgraded GPU, Explorer.exe now crashes multiple times on startup

Aug 9, 2021
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Hey! I've recently upgraded my GPU to an RTX 3080 which is wonderful, ray tracing and all that is super cool but for some reason despite the GPU working correctly in terms of rendering games and such I've had some very weird behaviour from Windows since the upgrade. On startup and randomly during use, explorer.exe will crash multiple times in a row. I've caught a video of this occuring just here
It's strange as the issue isn't consistently repeatable.
Stuff I've tried:
  • Clean uninstalling my old GTX1080ti drivers using DDU and reinstalling new drivers
  • Updating the RTX3080 firmware
  • Updating my BIOS
  • Setting my motherboard to use PCIE 3rd Gen instead of 4th
  • Using sfc /scannow
Thanks, any help or suggestions at this point are heavily appreciated as I'm at a loose end at this point

Spec:
Ryzen 7 5800X
MSI MPG B550 Gaming Plus
EVGA RTX 3080
NZXT C750 - NP-C750M-UK PSU, brand new, though I have tried this with a different 800W PSU
Two Sandisk SSDs, one 250gb SSD and one 1TB
One Sabrent NVME at 1TB all of them about half capacity
The RAM im honestly not sure on, they're Corsair 8GB sticks
 
Last edited:

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Update your post to include full system hardware specs and OS information.

Include PSU: make, model, wattage, age, condition?

Disk drives: make, model, capacity, how full?

Look in Reliability History and Event Viewer for entries that correspond with the times of the crashes.

Start with Reliability History: the timeline format may be helpful with determining when the problems began. Perhaps when the RTX3080 was installed or some other occurrence. A Windows or other software update.

Check Windows Update history as well.
 
Aug 9, 2021
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I've updated the top post with the spec. When I look at Reliability History I have had LiveKernelEvent 144 a few days ago, possibly during a driver update but that has not reoccured. When Explorer.exe crashes it throws a BEX64 error during that in Reliability History. As for Event Viewer, I only get the Explorer crashes which are as follows:
Faulting application name: explorer.exe, version: 10.0.19041.1151, time stamp: 0x2885d2b8
Faulting module name: ucrtbase.dll, version: 10.0.19041.789, time stamp: 0x2bd748bf
Exception code: 0xc0000409
Fault offset: 0x000000000007286e
Faulting process ID: 0xfcc
Faulting application start time: 0x01d78d468b51b859
Faulting application path: C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe
Faulting module path: C:\WINDOWS\System32\ucrtbase.dll
Report ID: cd4f2a6e-bb7e-4d66-9361-898ae77f0757

There was apparently a windows update on the day I made the switch, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/july-13-2021-kb5004237-os-builds-19041-1110-19042-1110-and-19043-1110-ae798d3c-3de3-4c1f-b9d9-7391b71da889

Thanks so much for taking a look!
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
My initial thought is to run "sfc /scannow" (again) and "dism".

References:

https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-use-sfc-scannow-to-repair-windows-system-files-2626161

Fix Windows Update errors via DISM or System Update Readiness tool - Windows Server | Microsoft Docs

Reasoning being that the noted update may have been buggy and/or corrupted. And caused further problems as a result.

Take a look in Update History to determine if there have been any update problems.

Type "Update History" into the "Type here to search" box usually located in the lower left screen corner.

Any failed or problem updates?
 
Aug 9, 2021
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I've run sfc /scannow and dism again with no luck, I've also rolled back any updates that happened on that day.
Looking at the update history there are none that have failed, other than a Driver update on the day that I upgraded but that was before I used DDU to wipe the drivers.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Did you also use DDU to install and/or reinstall the drivers?

Manually uninstall the drivers yourself and then, likewise, go to the applicable manufacturer's websites to find and download the drivers.

Reinstall and reconfigure.

No third party tools or utilities to remove or install drivers.
 
Aug 9, 2021
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At the time I just manually reinstalled via an Nvidia driver exe.
I've done a manual removal and reinstall, the issue is still occurring unfortunately.
I have noticed that it also happens if I don't have the driver installed at all, could it be a card issue?
 
Aug 9, 2021
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I've now also given a full DDU removal and reinstall a go and unfortunately it's still ongoing. As mentioned above the issue is persisting even when the drivers are not installed.
 
Sadly no errors, is it worth bumping the ram voltage anyway just to see?
If you have no errors after a full default 4 pass test, your problem is likely an issue with your windows install or a program (not windows updates) installed recently at the same time as the RTX 3080.

Does your system have the problem with the GTX 1080ti installed with the same driver installed for the 3080? If it does it on both cards, I would uninstall the driver from the control panel instead of using DDU and then clean install (from the installer) an older game ready driver from https://www.nvidia.com/Download/Find.aspx?lang=en-us.

You might also need to reinstall your motherboard drivers incase DDU accidentally removed some important files. I would try reinstalling the motherboard drivers first before changing the GPU driver.
 
Aug 9, 2021
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So I put the old 1080ti into the machine and had the same issues which was a relief, I don't have to RMA my 3080!
I've reinstalled the Motherboard Drivers and reinstalled an older version of the game ready driver but still no luck, is the only option now a total Windows reinstall?
 
So I put the old 1080ti into the machine and had the same issues which was a relief, I don't have to RMA my 3080!
I've reinstalled the Motherboard Drivers and reinstalled an older version of the game ready driver but still no luck, is the only option now a total Windows reinstall?
Almost certainly yes. Make sure you backup all important files (which you should have either way).
 
Yep! It was a Windows Reinstall that fixed the issue. Thanks so much for all the troubleshooting help!
I wouldn't be surprised if DDU removed too much. You really didn't need to use DDU to update your driver for your 3080 and could have just done a clean install from the driver installer. I would only consider using DDU if switching to AMD or Nvidia and even then you really should only need to use the uninstaller. I didn't even bother uninstalling the AMD GPU drivers when swapping between either brand of GPUs in my gaming system during testing. I have no perceivable performance loss.
 

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