Resolved Question

[Crashes] PC freezes/crashes w. looping audio while on games

Mar 25, 2020 5:43PM PDT

ASUS Z170-E - Up to date BIOS version 3801
Intel i7 6700 3.4Ghz 8-core - Coolermaster Hyper EVO 212 air cooler
MSI Geforce GTX 1060 6gb - Up to date driver ver. 445.75
16GB RAM 2133MHz (2 8gb DIMMS in slot A2 & B2 on mobo)
Samsung 850 EVO in m.2 250GB capacity
WD Caviar Black 2TB 7200RPM HDD
Razer Chroma Widowmaker Keyboard, Firefly Mousepad, LG G502 Mouse
144hz ACER monitor - no second monitors
AIDA64 FPU test for 2hr shows stable at ~44-48 deg C

PC has a fresh install of Win 10 onto m.2 850 EVO 250gb w. the necessary pc launchers (Steam,, Origin), Discord, Firefox, page file at 12GB, no extensive bloatware. The cooler was cleaned today of all dust disrupting air flow. Normal PC operation shows no error or problem, AIDA64 FPU test stressed CPU @ 100% for 2hrs w. an average temp of 45-50 deg C. No definitive overheating problem. Crashes appear when playing any game, League of Legends, Rust, Modern Warfare (Warzone & Multiplayer). These crashes just stop the game, no blue screen, freezes screen, loops audio. Seems to be very consistent after about ~10-15m of play time. Have not been able to play a whole game of Warzone or 2 full games of multiplayer on COD MW, crashes 15min into LoL games. I have adjusted all settings in these games to lowest settings to no change.

Please advise what I can test and provide results or what further info may be needed. Thank you so much for your time to read my post.

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Best Answer

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A Speccy reading. Real Soon Now. (RSN!)
Mar 26, 2020 2:31PM PDT

Post was last edited on March 26, 2020 2:46 PM PDT

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Let me lead with.
Mar 26, 2020 3:10PM PDT

Something you read from time to time.
'I know it sucks, but from years of troubleshooting issues like this, if it's not the RAM (most likely) then the 2nd most likely component to fail is going to be the motherboard.'

I agree here. The motherboard looks to be from 2015 and it did well to get this far. You might be able to eek more time out by running the memory and CPU at lower speeds.

On with the speccy and keep in mind I don't think it may help given the age.

1. Remove the USB memory stick for now.
2. Unplug the ODD (optical drive.)
3. If the BIOS offers it, disable the Intel Graphics section.
4. Run DDU and let GeForce Experience do the work.
5. Disabling C-States can help with stability. Disable for now.
6. Try pushing the CPU core voltage up a tenth of a Volt. (Add 0.1V)
7. Test with a single stick of RAM.
8. Virtual Memory should be set to system managed. it looks non-stock in the report.
9. Virtualization: Supported, Disabled. Try it enabled.

Remember I'm putting out ALL the ideas here so to avoid calling it hardware even though it's coming down to it. Most likely the motherboard. Try each item one by one. Don't do them all as it won't give us a clue to where an issue may lay if it's not just another old motherboard issue.

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will be back with results
Mar 26, 2020 4:06PM PDT

thank you so much for taking the time to look at this. I will take each step one at a time and see what happens. will get back with results

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Success! UB w. no crash - will be gaming tonight
Mar 26, 2020 5:00PM PDT

Post was last edited on March 26, 2020 5:01 PM PDT

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I wonder if a slight bump on the CPU Vcore
Mar 26, 2020 5:36PM PDT
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Thanks again!
Mar 27, 2020 8:10AM PDT

Played all last night and only crashed 2-3 times with a new bsod error clock watchdog time out, so my next step on your suggestions would be to tweak these core values.

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You're losing me with the page file tweak.
Mar 25, 2020 6:01PM PDT

No one I know has to do that.

Beyond that the clean OS install is not enough. I want to know if:
1. The BIOS is current, reset then the bare minimum changes.
2. The OS is a stock install with no tweaks.
3. Drivers are per the maker's recommendation. Driver Finders are invalid.
4. Apps specific to the hardware are install and current. Example: Nvidia Geforce Experience.
5. There are no added apps beyond the hardware apps for motherboard, GPU and games. Do not install mouse and keyboard apps or drivers.

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Answers to questions
Mar 25, 2020 7:44PM PDT

1. The BIOS is current, reset then the bare minimum changes.
- Yes, according to Asus website Bios 3801, it is fresh reset, default except m.2 is enabled instead of sata express
2. The OS is a stock install with no tweaks.
- No tweaks, fresh no bloat
3. Drivers are per the maker's recommendation. Driver Finders are invalid.
- no 3rd party driver software, downloaded directly from Nvidia
4. Apps specific to the hardware are install and current. Example: Nvidia Geforce Experience.
- I do not have geforce experience, I can try to download it but w. verified updated drivers I don't know if it is necessary
5. There are no added apps beyond the hardware apps for motherboard, GPU and games. Do not install mouse and keyboard apps or drivers.
- Peripherals have drivers insyalled but no razer software is installed, lg ghub is installed for mouse

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Let's drill down on item 3.
Mar 25, 2020 8:17PM PDT

You noted Nvidia, didn't use Geforce Experience so you may miss out on some automatic install of the current driver.

BEYOND that you made no mention of the other drivers I often have to install such as motherboard chipset, Audio, LAN or networking items.

Item 5. Go native for the mouse for now.

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will check these
Mar 25, 2020 10:55PM PDT

I will remove lg ghub and see how it performs in the AM EST. device manager shows no devices w. a yellow triangle.

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GHub was not installed
Mar 26, 2020 5:38AM PDT
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Still crashing
Mar 26, 2020 6:13AM PDT

Installed geforce experience and ran MW from the optimized settings and still same crash pattern. about 15 min in

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Here's a fallacy.
Mar 26, 2020 8:30AM PDT

"device manager shows no devices w/ a yellow triangle."

This is a hard lesson for a new tech. Your issue with the looping audio is either driver or game related. My attempt to guide you to working the other drivers failed so I'll write it again.

Tell me exactly which drivers you install after the OS. I can't guess if you got it right and may not know since there are millions of PCs and not all require the same install routine but 99% of them have me install in the order I noted above yet you didn't write enough for me to see what you may have missed.

For now, disable the audio card or onboard audio and if it doesn't crash then it's driver or audio card problems.

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Still trouble
Mar 26, 2020 11:07AM PDT

I have tried what you suggested both disabling audio card within BIOS and in Device manager and no change. I assured to have drivers for chipset, sata controller, lan, etc. found at asus website for the z170-e board i have. I am attempting to play a game locally saved to the m.2 to see if the data drive is causing the problem but I am at a loss to what is causing this problem.

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It could be hardware at this point.
Mar 26, 2020 11:57AM PDT

I've tried to avoid that and with the audio disabled it's very odd indeed.

So one last thing. Where did you get Windows from?

Why I asked is this month I encountered two very hard to diagnose PCs and I didn't suspect the owner didn't get the OS download from Microsoft. We wiped the drive, installed using the Microsoft download to USB kit and it fixed it. And NO, I don't know if there was another way.

After this what hardware do you suspect?

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windows 10 source
Mar 26, 2020 1:34PM PDT

win 10 was sourced from the windows 10 media creator tool into a USB for installation. the key is an OEM bulk key I bought online sometime ago but it's genuine. hardware wise I really don't know, nothing seems to get maxed out when I run the games. one time it crashed i had task manager open on a 2nd monitor and it showed no more than 70% usage on cpu. another time I tried running with afterburner to ramp up the fans on the GPU to make sure it isn't over heating, same w. the CPU but no change.

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No reports.
Mar 26, 2020 1:45PM PDT

So I can't see if they bring up new ideas.

Dual monitors do create more work for the GPU so any driver bug and it's toast. Back to one display for now.

Also I'm seeing more failures in the GTX 9x0 cards. Some are funny as in they cause the owner and techs to chase ghosts. I've learned to swap early since time is money. The 1060 isn't that old so it's not on my suspect list. This paragraph is not what I suspect but more about the need for the reports.

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UB crashes after Galaxy test
Mar 26, 2020 2:04PM PDT
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Mar 26, 2020 2:09PM PDT
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One teeny tiny clue there.
Mar 26, 2020 2:29PM PDT

Unplug those USB drives during testing and gaming. They can cause odd issues at times and we need to leave those out as we work the issues.

Be back later as your Speccy was not what I usually get.
As to the core dump, that's between you and Microsoft. Or forums that use those.

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Mar 26, 2020 12:32PM PDT

I've been approaching this as no hardware changes have taken place. This issue is typical for issues with:
1. Drivers.
2. BIOS and settings.
3. The OS (not from Microsoft, hacked!)
4. Malware.
5. Games that have bugs.
6. Other. Long list like unstable AC (wall) power.

Let's see your reports from SPECCY and USERBENCHMARK.COM to see if anything new shows up.
That will also allow me to possibly check out the RAM as to slots and more. Be sure to tell the forum of any recent changes.

How? Read

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Rare Possibilities
Mar 28, 2020 12:07PM PDT

You're already getting great support here from R. Proffitt. There are many variables and he's walking you through them in a logical manner.
Although it's unlikely, there are a couple of things worth checking just in case it's a hardware problem. Remove the power cord. Press and hold the power button on the front of the case for about 10 seconds. Remove the side panel of the case. Carefully eject the graphics card from its slot, then re-seat it firmly. Remove then reconnect all leads coming from the power supply to the motherboard. Don't break anything, but be sure everything is firmly plugged in.
You could actually remove the graphics card temporarily and test the PC using just the Intel onboard graphics. Most newer games may not run, but you can test with older less demanding games or other stress-test software.
You could remove the RAM memory modules. Then reconnect one module and test; next, remove that one and reconnect the other module and test again.
If the problem remains the only other hardware possible causes are the motherboard and the power supply. Years ago we had a Core i7 system (130-watt TDP) with a power-hungry graphics card, three hard drives, two DVD burners, and 4 sticks of RAM. When it was about 5 years old it began crashing after gaming for 15 or 20 minutes. We eventually traced the source of the problem to the big brand name 750-watt power supply (Corsair TX-750). It worked ok when not gaming, but the voltage rail(s) began to sag under load and, poof, down it went. Replaced it with a Seasonic 800-watt psu, and the system is still running fine today, seven years later!
We also had a motherboard fail intermittently; very difficult to detect. Got it replaced under warranty after we had a local computer repair center diagnose the problem. ASUS replaced the board quickly after we provided details of the problem and the diagnosis received.
Don't give up on your system. There is a solution; just gotta find it!

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