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  1. Post

    Diagnosing a Weird Crash

    Hi guys,

    I've been experiencing a strange crash on my PC for the last month or so and I've done pretty much everything I can think of to try and resolve it with no joy. Given how much troubleshooting I've tried and failed, I'm feeling reasonably confident it must be a hardware issue, but I was wondering if anybody here had experienced something similar and could shed some light.

    So, the fault. After powering on my PC (either cold boot or hybrid boot) and starting a game, 5 minutes later give or take the monitor will go no signal. Some of the time, the game running in the background will continue running, IE you can hear sounds that respond to keystrokes. Some of the time, the game will crash with an error message (that naturally I can't read). Others, the system will stall entirely (Invisible BSOD). The memory dump produces the error VIDEO_DXGKRNL_FATAL_ERROR 0x113.

    Here's where it gets interesting. This only occurs after a cold or hybrid boot when the PC has been off for a good period of time (several hours). Once rebooted following the crash, or any subsequent shutdowns or restarts after the fact, it's good for the rest of the day unless I happen to turn the PC off for a few hours, in which it will occur again. I've found that it does NOT occur when I leave the system in sleep mode, so I'm using sleep mode as a workaround.

    Other than this, nothing else is amiss. Games run exactly as they should with no issues, the system works perfectly, everything is A-OK except for this one strange crash.

    Things I've tried to troubleshoot this (from memory, may have missed one or two steps I've tried and it's not in any real order)
    • SFC /scannow
    • Clean install of Graphics Drivers
    • Registry Cleaning
    • Disable NVIDIA High Definition Audio driver
    • Clean out graphics card heatsink
    • Check Event Logs for issues, disable any programs showing critical errors from launching on Startup
    • Integrity Scan of System Disk
    • Check GPU Temps (they're fine)
    • Some other things I've forgotten about
    • Full Reinstall of Windows 10

    Naturally, none of the above has made any difference to the issue, not even the full reinstall of Windows (from a Windows USB, not a reset, no data kept). So I'm thinking it must be something hardware related, most likely GPU given the issue in question but could also be Mobo, PSU etc.

    So essentially I was wondering if anyone had experienced a similar issue and if so, how they fixed it? The GPU is quite old, it's a GTX980 I bought back in 2014 so it's had a good run, but it still goes unreasonably hard and plays most new games in Ultra settings or very close too, so I'm not really ready to part with it yet.

  2. Post
    video card or psu, in that order

  3. Post
    Try older drivers, then another GPU or onboard if you have it.

  4. Post
    Try another videocard if you can and give your PSU a good spray of compressed air and check if the fan is running, and if you have a spare try that out. If not, open it up and check if there's any swollen capacitors.
    Also you may as well try running one stick of ram.

  5. Post
    Took the PSU out last night. Immaculately clean surprisingly, not a spec of dust in the fans. Reseated it and replugged it all back in. Fan spins fine. Gave the system a bit of a clean and ran a Ram test which passed, also reseated the ram because why not. If so will probably test the IGP next. Timely issue to troubleshoot because it only really happens once a day. Will report back when I know more.
    Last edited by Xev; 24th October 2019 at 6:20 pm.

  6. Post
    Some closure for this thread for future Google searches and what not. If you're experiencing the same issue I was, read on.

    Following the above post, I did no further troubleshooting. The inconvenience of having to fluff around with the iGPU and such felt greater than actually just enduring the daily crash for a short while. At least it was predictable and I could work around it.

    My graphics card was 5 years old anyway, and I'd hit a performance wall in a couple of games I was wanting to play recently where the GTX 980 just wasn't cutting it. Black Friday was right around the corner, so I decided I'd take that opportunity to upgrade my graphics and see if that also resolved the crash. After all, it was the most likely culprit, there was a pretty good chance I'd hit two birds with one stone.

    I can confirm that, now fitted with a RTX 2060S, the crashes have ceased and my framerates are now bitchin'.

    So for anybody in future having an oddly specific crash like this one, your GPU might have cancer - mine sure did.

    Thread can be closed

  7. Post
    Thanks for replying, I hate threads where people dont come back to explain what was wrong