System crashing ONLY during games

By Albatross ยท 8 replies
Aug 25, 2011
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  1. Hi!,

    I've been having intermittent problems with my rig for the past six months, and I'm at my wits end, I would really appreciate any light you guys could shed on the subject.

    My specs are as follows;

    Win 7 Ultimate x64

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83ghz

    Asus p5q pro motherboard

    8 gb of Corsair ddr2 (4x2gb) (CM2X2048-6400C5)

    Ati Radeon HD 4800 1gb

    Basically whenever I fire up any 3d game that is even slightly demanding on my system, I'm able to play for 10-15 minutes when my system suddenly hangs to a black screen, the lights stay on, and the system is still powered up, but there is no output to my monitor, I have no choice but to reboot my system every time this happens, and upon returning to Windows, I'm greeted by a prompt telling me there was a serious error.

    So far I've eliminated the PSU/GPU by swapping them both out with extras I had laying around.

    I've attached the five most recent minidumps, and I've also had a peek in the event manager and apart from the Kernel Power errors there are a ton of "WHEA-Logger" errors that coincide with all of the crashes

    "Event 18

    A fatal hardware error has occurred.

    Reported by component: Processor Core
    Error Source: Machine Check Exception
    Error Type: Bus/Interconnect Error
    Processor ID: 3

    The details view of this entry contains further information."

    I'm completely out of my depth as far as minidumps and event manager logs go, but does this mean it's primarily a cpu issue?.

    Anyway, I appreciate any help you guys can offer, let me know if there's anything else I need to do.

    *Edit* My gfx card drivers are fully updated.

    Attached Files:

  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    All four of your errors are 0x124: WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR and is described as "A fatal hardware error has occurred."

    This error code and definition has replaced the older XP code 0x9C: MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION and though it is older the definition still is applicable: This is a hardware issue: an unrecoverable hardware error has occurred. The parameters have different meanings depending on what type of CPU you have but, while diagnostic, rarely lead to a clear solution. Most commonly it results from overheating, from failed hardware (RAM, CPU, hardware bus, power supply, etc.), or from pushing hardware beyond its capabilities (e.g., overclocking a CPU).

    Honestly, this is a very difficult error to work with because as it says a clear diagnosis rarely comes forth and I have never seen a minidump with either error codes give a definitive answer. I know IT techs that don't like working with it. What makes it so difficult is that it can be any hardware in your system -- and I mean any. Your dumps simply cited hardware as the issue and nothing more definitive.

    Here are some of the causes that were determined to be the source of 0x124/0x9C errors from posters here and abroad: NIC, DVD/CD drives, dust build up around the CPU that caused overheating of said CPU, bulging capacitors hidden by heatsink, video card, psu, motherboard, and external harddrive connected by USB.

    * If any of your hardware componnets are overclocked set them back to default.

    See this link:

    *** You mention that your GFX drivers are updated and yet you list an ATI card in your system specs. Just for clarification, presently you have an Nvidia card, correct?
  3. Albatross

    Albatross TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the prompt reply, I really appreciate it. I should have clarified in my initial post, nothing in my system is overclocked. I definitely have an Ati card, so I'm a little confused as to why you think I have an nvidia card, something in the minidump?. Anyway as I'm at work at the moment I'll have to wait a while before I can tinker. Since this is a hardware error I'm guessing a fresh windows install wont help?.

    Again thanks for replying.
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    No., a fresh install won't help. Does this issue occur with all games or just 3D games? And forgive me for my brain freeze on the drivers. :(
  5. Albatross

    Albatross TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Just 3d games, anything that seems to tax my system. I haven't had a single crash outside of a game. I'm going to run a memory diagnostic tonight and update the bios on my motherboard, I also picked up a can of compressed air to give everything a good clean, though I cleaned it not long ago and even re-pasted the cpu.
  6. Albatross

    Albatross TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, I'm pretty much at the end of my rope.

    I ran memtest on my RAM for 12 hours with no detected faults, I also installed a new hdd and threw a fresh install on it just in case it was driver related. I also cleaned everything out with some compressed air.

    I then threw the bare basics on, the necessary display drivers, and I'm still getting these crashes.

    The problem is, whilst all of my hardware is under warranty, (I still have my receipts and it shouldn't be a problem to RMA it back to the manufacturer) if I'm unable to determine which piece of hardware is faulty, I'm not going to get anywhere.

    I've got a friend coming over in a few days with a spare cpu to throw into the mix, maybe that will shed some light on it.

    Anyway, I've attached the most recent minidump, just in case, if someone could take a look I would really appreciate it.

    Attached Files:

  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

  8. Albatross

    Albatross TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry, I neglected to mention that I had flashed the bios to the latest available update, I even switched out the battery for a new one.
  9. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Sorry for the delayed response but I was one of those who fled the Jersey Shore and my power was off as well due to Hurricane Irene. Another 0x124 error.

    This is purely speculation but I am wondering if your card has issues with 3D gaming regardless of the drivers.

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