Author Topic: Mysterious PC Crashes  (Read 4600 times)

SPC McDougall

  • 68W Health Care Specialist
  • Combat Element
  • Posts: 259
Mysterious PC Crashes
« on: April 18, 2020, 03:28:54 PM »
Hey all,

I've been dealing with some strange PC crashing recently that I haven't quite been able to nail down.

Basically, when I launch certain games (the two in particular that have triggered it are The Witcher 3 and Jedi: Fallen Order), my entire PC sometimes crashes and immediately restarts. It has mainly happened when the games have been loading up, but it has also happened midway into a session of Witcher 3. It does not happen every time, sometimes the game boots up, loads and runs just fine for hours.

My specs are as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: ASRock H97 PRO4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Memory: A-Data XPG V2 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
SSD: Seagate Barracuda 250GB 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5
Case: Corsair Carbide 200R ATX Case
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (OEM) (64-bit)

The troubleshooting information I have to this point is:

- It does not appear to be a temperature issue. I was having temperature issues causing crashing a few months ago but I changed the thermal paste and replaced the case fans, and now temperatures are in the normal range under load.
- Only some games appear to trigger it, it has never occurred during ArmA 3 gameplay and other games have worked fine.
- OS, GPU drivers and UEFI are all up to date.
- The Witcher 3, Jedi Fallen: Order and most other games (but not ArmA) are stored on my HDD.

Any and all help would be appreciated!
A. MCDOUGALL
SPC, USA
Reserve Platoon, 1-506 Infantry


1st Lt Avery

  • 11F3B Fighter Pilot
  • Aviation Element
  • Posts: 559
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2020, 03:41:06 PM »
I suggest taking a look at event viewer logs right after the crash happens, might give us a direction as to what is happening. My first guess would be that some hardware is overheating, but if it doesn't happen in ArmA but happens in other games, it sort of throws that theory out of the window. I would also go through your BIOS and see if there is an event log in there and see what that reports.

Edit: Question, do you do any overclocking on your CPU, GPU and/or RAM (anything beyond XMP profiles).
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 03:44:19 PM by 1st Lt Avery »
T. AVERY
1st Lt, USAF
A-10 Qualified Pilot, 23rd Det\74th Squadron


SGT Price

  • 11B Infantryman
  • Combat Element
  • Posts: 1113
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2020, 03:41:49 PM »
I would call these 'mysterious crashes' as 'features' and be done with it.

But, this is my list of things to check:
- you said temperature isn't an issue, but I'd rather you check - are you monitoring it in real time? Are the fan inputs and outputs clear and not covered in a blanket of lints?
- are both your video-game copies purchased and up to date? If they are not purchased, that might be an issue
- how long has your system been installed for? How old is your system drive? How old is your storage (game) drive?
- did you try reinstalling the video-games? If you did and it persists, have you tried a different storage device?

I would love to give more insight but without being physically near it when it crashes, it's hard to hone in on the issue. Do you hear anything when you take your headphones off just after crashing? Can you foresee a crash a few seconds in advance?
A. PRICE
SGT, USA
Infantryman, 1-506 Infantry


SGT Price

  • 11B Infantryman
  • Combat Element
  • Posts: 1113
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2020, 03:43:20 PM »
[...] but if it doesn't happen in ArmA but happens in other games [...]

It could still be GPU related, as Arma is foreign to that concept. But it can be a relation between the specific game and the hardware configuration, as well. Maybe they don't like one another.
A. PRICE
SGT, USA
Infantryman, 1-506 Infantry


SPC McDougall

  • 68W Health Care Specialist
  • Combat Element
  • Posts: 259
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2020, 04:02:46 PM »
Thanks for the prompt replies, much appreciated!

- No overclocking of any sort.
- Yes, I've been monitoring with OpenHardwareMonitor. Fan inputs and outputs are clear, I replaced and upgraded the case fans only a couple of months ago. There is a CM Hyper 212 Evo on the CPU (it's been there about as long as I've had the system but I replaced the thermal paste a couple of months ago).
- Games are purchased and up to date.
- System has been installed since August 2014. I've had the SSD (system drive) since January 2019, HDD (games/storage drive) since August 2014. The GPU has been in since January 2019, I used to have a Gigabyte Windforce R9 280 from 2014-2019.
- Have not tried reinstalling the games.

Event viewer log reveals the following:



Details:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

There are a bunch of instances of this, dating back to December when I got Fallen Order. Judging by the date/time codes this has been the event occurring for every one of these crashes (wasn't previously aware of Event Viewer).

I don't hear anything special when it crashes. The system just goes completely quiet, power LED turns off, then flashes back on and the system makes normal boot-up noises.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 04:13:10 PM by SPC McDougall »
A. MCDOUGALL
SPC, USA
Reserve Platoon, 1-506 Infantry


1st Lt Avery

  • 11F3B Fighter Pilot
  • Aviation Element
  • Posts: 559
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2020, 04:15:03 PM »
Ah event 41, the catch all error. Most cases for ID 41 is overheating, defective PSU, memory issues or motherboard issues.

I recommend downloading HWMonitor, place that program on your secondary monitor (if you have one) and watch the temperatures of all your components while you play the games in question. The program has a min/max column so it can be a easier way to see the max temperatures of the components while you game.

How old is your PSU? Do you have a spare laying around?
T. AVERY
1st Lt, USAF
A-10 Qualified Pilot, 23rd Det\74th Squadron


SGT Price

  • 11B Infantryman
  • Combat Element
  • Posts: 1113
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2020, 04:44:16 PM »
Either it's overheating, but the sensor doesn't work properly... Or it's not overheating and the sensor thinks it is. Either way, that can be a cause.
A. PRICE
SGT, USA
Infantryman, 1-506 Infantry


SGT Price

  • 11B Infantryman
  • Combat Element
  • Posts: 1113
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2020, 04:47:44 PM »
Just saw this...

- System has been installed since August 2014

That can also cause all sorts of issues and not even give you any feedback. Six years is plenty for an OS and it can start throwing hissy fits at you...
A. PRICE
SGT, USA
Infantryman, 1-506 Infantry


SPC McDougall

  • 68W Health Care Specialist
  • Combat Element
  • Posts: 259
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2020, 05:19:53 PM »
I don't have an extra PSU, unfortunately. The PSU is as old as my computer, bought it brand new in August 2014.

The following temperatures were taken after about 20 minutes of the Witcher 3 running, in an instance where it did not crash on load up:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
A. MCDOUGALL
SPC, USA
Reserve Platoon, 1-506 Infantry


1st Lt Avery

  • 11F3B Fighter Pilot
  • Aviation Element
  • Posts: 559
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2020, 05:31:17 PM »
Temperatures look like they are fine. Since you do not have a spare PSU, I would look at running memtest off a USB stick on three different configurations with DIMM slots and RAM sticks.

Run memtest with both sticks in their dual channel mode (DIMM slot 1 and 3, or 2 and 4).

Run memtest with one stick (DIMM slot 1 or 2).

Run memtest with the OTHER stick (DIMM slot 1 or 2).

memtest can take awhile to fully complete, in my experience if there is a faulty RAM stick, errors start popping up immediately and quickly start adding up, which I usually end the test pretty early when that happens.

Doing the above would take the RAM sticks off the list of culprits, and I only suggest it since its something you can do for free and quickly, given you have a spare USB stick laying around.

I do have a feeling it could be the PSU though, 550w is the typical lowest wattage PSU for gaming builds. Also the PSU is 6 years old, I would look to replace the PSU first given your situation.

EDIT: If you are strapped for cash given the situation in the world, I recommend keeping an eye on the r/BuildAPCSales subreddit for PSU deals. Aim for bronze or higher PSU's. I typically go with EVGA modular PSU's and I usually see deals for them sort of frequently.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 05:34:14 PM by 1st Lt Avery »
T. AVERY
1st Lt, USAF
A-10 Qualified Pilot, 23rd Det\74th Squadron


SGT Stewart

  • 11B Infantryman
  • Combat Element
  • Posts: 421
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2020, 06:44:28 PM »
I would second this being power related.
R. STEWART
SGT, USA
Infantryman, 1-506 Infantry


SPC McDougall

  • 68W Health Care Specialist
  • Combat Element
  • Posts: 259
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2020, 08:36:12 PM »
Thanks Lt, SPC and SGT. I will run memtest shortly and then order a PSU assuming all comes back normal.

How does this look? Buying from Canada, hoping to find something that will come soon-ish with Prime.
A. MCDOUGALL
SPC, USA
Reserve Platoon, 1-506 Infantry


1st Lt Avery

  • 11F3B Fighter Pilot
  • Aviation Element
  • Posts: 559
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2020, 09:52:21 PM »
Not a bad choice, the extra wattage could be good in case you were to upgrade other parts in the future.

Hopefully your memory tests come back with no errors and it is in fact the power supply. If the power supply replacement does not help, the next course would be to look at the motherboard.

One thing you can actively check in the BIOS is the power output from your power supply to see if the readouts fall within the accepted voltage tolerances of the power supply. Other programs can also report this information, but the only one that comes off the top of the head right now is speedfan, but that is an old program which could be deprecated.
T. AVERY
1st Lt, USAF
A-10 Qualified Pilot, 23rd Det\74th Squadron


SPC McDougall

  • 68W Health Care Specialist
  • Combat Element
  • Posts: 259
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2020, 11:08:15 PM »
Memtest came back normal. Went ahead and ordered the new PSU, should be here within the next few days. Hopefully that's the issue, but even if not, I was going to need a new PSU eventually anyways.

Thanks for the help! I'll post back when I've installed the new unit and tested it.
A. MCDOUGALL
SPC, USA
Reserve Platoon, 1-506 Infantry


SPC McDougall

  • 68W Health Care Specialist
  • Combat Element
  • Posts: 259
Re: Mysterious PC Crashes
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2020, 02:52:15 PM »
Installed the 750W PSU a week ago and haven't had any issues since. Also didn't realize how big of a difference modularity makes in terms of air flow and cable management, I know I won't be going back.

Thanks everyone for the help!
A. MCDOUGALL
SPC, USA
Reserve Platoon, 1-506 Infantry