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BSOD 0x00000124 - Crashes under heavy load

Posted on 2011-10-06
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hoping someone can help me diagnose my system's instability. Recently, after installing and playing some of the BF3 Beta, my system began to crash. As I had just installed a new version of the ATI drivers I assumed that was the issue and rolled them back. No joy. Then I installed the preview version of the ATI drivers suggested by EA but my system continued to randomly crash.

After some troubleshooting I eliminated the RAM by running several clean passes with memtest86+. All of the other components seem to operating normally as well, so I turned to the CPU and torture testing with Prime95.

If I run all six cores the thing will crash immediately. It won't run for more than 30 minutes on any more than three cores, and no more than 15 or some on any more than four. I have discussed the issue with AMD support and they pointed to the PSU, which was only 520W. I upgraded that to a 850W PSU but that had no effect. AMD has offered to replace the CPU but A) I'd be without a CPU for over a week waiting for the replacement and B) I hate doing that if I'm not positive it's the problem.

I'm hoping the minidump will point to the exact cause. I've also removed the heatsink and fan, cleaned off all the thermal paste and reseated everything. I had put far too much thermal paste on when I first built the machine. Sadly, that had no effect. I've also monitored my CPU/mobo fan and heat levels during testing but they never get much higher than 42C so I don't think heat it an issue at all.

Any help would be appreciated - what a quandary!

BTW, here are the system specs:
1 x GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
1 x OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX90G 3.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
1 x XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
1 x Kingston DataTraveler 101 Gen 2 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (Cyan) Model DT101G2/4GBZ
1 x HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723020BLA642 (0f12115) 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
1 x COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
1 x Thermaltake TR2 RX 850W Black Widow PSU
1 x AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT90ZFBGRBOX
1 x G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
1 x Logitech C910 USB 2.0 1080p HD Pro Webcam
1 x LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
1 x Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
1 x COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 Minidumps.zip
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Question by:sc456a
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by:nobus
ID: 36929216
150007    PROCESS_NAME:  prime95.exe
11528        PROCESS_NAME:  MOM.exe    >>>>mom.exe is a Catalyst Control Center or a Monitoring program from ATI Technologies Inc
15178      PROCESS_NAME:  prime95.exe
15444   PROCESS_NAME:  prime95.exe

can it be the video card that is the cause? try older or newer drivers
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by:rindi
ID: 36929276
Make sure the system is well ventilated (all fans run smoothly). Then disable any over-clocking features you may have set in the BIOS (maybe there is a "Fail-Safe" setting, use that if possible). If after that you still have issues it is likely the CPU or mainboard. Check the board for any signs of cracking, leaking or bulging electrolytic capacitors. Also check whether you have the newest BIOS installed.
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by:ded9
ID: 36930394
Crash dump points to a hardware fault...problem might be caused by one of the processor cache. Make sure the processor is seated properly.



Ded9
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by:sc456a
ID: 36930970
Nobus: I've tried three different AMD drivers, none changed the outcome.

rindi: All of the fans are working properly, and the CPU and mobo temps never rise above 42c before it crashes. Everything is set to default in the BIOS - nothing is overclocked. No bulging capacitors or burn areas on the board and BIOS is up to date.

ded9: I've already reseated the CPU, cleaned it and re-applied thermal paste and mounted the heatsink - it's not that, either.
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by:ded9
ID: 36931060
Run the trial version of everest

http://www.lavalys.com/support/downloads/

Run a test on processor.


can try try this ...launch msconfig...click boot tab...click on advanced  option...put a check on processors..select 5 ...you might have 6core listed..after select 5 click ok and reboot computer...now monitor the computer for any blue screen.



Ded9




Ded9
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by:sc456a
ID: 36931106
ded9: Please see the OP. I've already run torture tests to determine how many cores I can run without crashing using Prime95.
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by:nobus
ID: 36931129
>>  I had put far too much thermal paste on when I first built the machine  <<   verify that none of the heatpast comes onto the cpu - or other pins, or contacts, since it can be conductive
also - can you test with another video card? even lower specced
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by:sc456a
ID: 36931154
nobus:
The CPU is fine and clean. I didn't put THAT much paste on :)

Don't have any other video cards to test with.
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by:ded9
ID: 36931158
i am sorry ...it seems like you have already tried to the cores step.

Let me check the dmps again.


Ded9


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by:nobus
ID: 36931212
then test with the minimum you can :  disconnect cd drives, all peripherals, all extra drives, usb devices...
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by:ded9
ID: 36931881
Do you have multiple graphics card connected...try disabling crossfire .



Ded9
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by:sc456a
ID: 36932077
ded: No, see the specs in the OP.
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by:ded9
ID: 36932141
Can u boot the computer in low resolution mode and then check whether u get any blue screen.\




Ded9
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by:Rob Miners
ID: 36934681
Your system is up to specs for the game so there shouldn't be any problems running it. prime95.exe and mom.exe may have contributed to a couple but I'm with ded9 and I think your processor is the culprit.
If AMD has offered to replace the CPU they might be onto something. I'd be looking at a replacement :)
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by:sc456a
ID: 36934688
rrjmin0: The problem with the CPU replacement is that I'll be without a working computer for at least a full week, probably two while I wait for a replacement. Also, I'm not convinced it is the CPU and I'm trying to be convinced before I take that drastic step.
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by:nobus
ID: 36935009
if you have a compatible mobo -you can use it to test this cpu
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by:ded9
ID: 36935849
As i mentioned in my previous comment the problem lies with AMD process cache...it might be locked to unlock it follow these steps.

To do this go into BIOS, and look for "Advanced Clock Calibration" feature. It's very likely that you will find it in Advanced tab on the "CPU Configuration" screen. Set this feature to "auto" and reboot the computer. If the computer hangs and doesn't want to post then clear CMOS memory.


Check this article for info on this

http://www.cpu-world.com/info/AMD/Unlocking_cores_and_L3.html





Ded9
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by:sc456a
ID: 37000087
I've finally narrowed down my issue. After replacing my Phenom II X6 processor with a new AMD Bulldozer FX-6100, the system continued to crash. Needless to say, I was not happy. Then I decided to test the RAM one stick at a time. I'd already run extensive Memtest runs with both 4GB sticks in the machine and the RAM had come back clean. Running the tests again with each individual stick came back clean as well.

Then I tried, just for the hell of it, running the machine with only one stick of RAM. PROBLEM SOLVED. The machine is completely stable if I only use one stick at a time.

Now it's not the slots on the mobo, because I tried both combinations and got the same problem. What can you guys think of that I can check to figure out exactly what the issue is - Mobo or RAM?
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by:ded9
ID: 37000113
I think the clock speed of memory and cpu should match...that can be a problem.



Ded9
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by:sc456a
ID: 37000139
I had them matched with the Phenom installed. Also, that should continue to be an issue even if only one stick is installed.
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by:rindi
ID: 37000161
Check if there are other settings in the BIOS for the RAM, like Voltages and timings etc., and try different values there. Also try leaving one slot between the modules empty so they are less close together. it is possible that they heat up too much when under load, and if they are too close together the heat is more difficult to get away. Maybe also check if you can get memory heat-sinks which you can attach to them, something like in the link below:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835119015
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by:ded9
ID: 37000211
Check for any incorrect jumper settings close to the memory slots.



Ded9
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by:ded9
ID: 37000269
Do not make and changes to the jumper ...just match it with your motherboard manual..

Changing jumper setting might damage you mobo and you might have to buy a new one.



Ded9
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by:sc456a
ID: 37000322
I appreciate your assistance, but I don't think it's heading it the right direction. This is 2011. You don't have to set motherboard jumpers anymore - some motherboards only include a reset jumper. Most decent motherboards, as mine, force you to space the RAM by slotting 1,3,2,4. Also, if you had checked the parts list in the OP, you'd see that I already have RAM with head spreaders. Overheating isn't an issue as the crashes happen right away and as I've mentioned before, the CPU and system temps are very low. Advising someone to "try different values" with voltages and timings is dangerous, to say the least.

Does anyone else have any suggestions?
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by:nobus
ID: 37000559
>>  You don't have to set motherboard jumpers anymore   <<  correct; nowadays you do it from the bios - IF THE BIOS HAS THE OPTION TO CHANGE THE SETTINGS - you have to look that up in the mobo manual : on page 68 you can do it withe the easy tune6

>>  Advising someone to "try different values" with voltages and timings is dangerous,   <<   NOT at all - he only means that use the CORRECT voltage and setting for the ram brand
some work best at 1.5 V, some at 1.35 V and that is NOT automatically adjusted by the bios....you have to do that your self

here the cpu supported list :  http://www.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=3891
your ram is on the QVL, so that should be no problem - but it is not bad to verify it
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sc456a earned 0 total points
ID: 37169139
I went out and purchased two new sticks of RAM, because they were the most likely source of the issue and although there was nothing apparently wrong with them, someone pointed out that they were labeled "Intel specific" on Newegg. The two new sticks had the same issue - only one worked at a time.

On a whim I decided to install all four sticks of memory at once. What the hell you know? I bought the two new ones to test with, so I might as well. Amazingly the machine works perfectly with four or one, but not two sticks of RAM installed. I reviewed the manual once again to be sure I hadn't missed anything and I don't think I have. Maybe there is some sort of BIOS issue - I have no idea. All I know is that I have 16GB of RAM running at 1600Mhz and all is well.

I'm glad I took a chance and stuck all the memory in there. Otherwise I'd have gone down a long and expensive path of re-installations or replacing the motherboard.
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Author Closing Comment

by:sc456a
ID: 37191162
I fixed the problem myself.
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