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I've tried everything I can possibly think of in trying to fix this problem and I'm totally out of ideas, so any help would be appreciated:

The problem: whenever I fire up a game, it works for a short while with no problems and then it would crash. Either its a hard crash, forcing me to reboot, or windows would report that the display driver has stopped working and recovered. Here is a list of things I've already tried:

  1. Drivers - tried the latest drivers (catalyst 9.12) as well as the stock drivers that came with the video card. Also have the latest BIOS/chipset
  2. Memtest - Ran Memtest86+ overnight, had no problems, the windows diagnostic tool also does not find any problems.
  3. Overheating - Video card/cpu temperatures are well below peak (42 and 31 Celsius receptively)
  4. PSU Voltage - CPUID shows that the voltage levels are all above what they should be. The PSU itself is only roughly 16 months old and is a good model.
  5. HDD - No errors when checked
  6. GPU - Brand new (replaced previous card since I thought it was the problem, apparently not)
  7. Overclocking - Everything is at stock levels, memory voltage is set to manufacturer's standard


  • Motherboard: ASUS P5Q Pro
  • CPU: Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 ghz
  • OS: Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
  • Memory: Mushkin Enhanced 4GB DDR2
  • GPU: Sapphire HD 5850 1GB
  • PSU: SeaSonic M12 600W ATX12V
  • DirectX: DX11

Event Viewer after a crash always has these logged:

A fatal hardware error has occurred.

Reported by component: Processor Core Error Source: Machine Check Exception Error Type: Bus/Interconnect Error Processor ID: 1

The details view of this entry contains further information.

A fatal hardware error has occurred.

Reported by component: Processor Core Error Source: Machine Check Exception Error Type: Bus/Interconnect Error Processor ID: 0

The details view of this entry contains further information.

A previous card that I had (4850x2) also had these errors, so I changed video cards, but the same thing is happening.

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Does your screen freeze for about 3-5 seconds and then turn either into a BSOD or a single color? – tstenner May 4 '10 at 15:22

A few things come to mind with the errors you've posted, the cpu may not be seated properly causing issues under full load, or windows 7 is having issues with power management because a new feature is cpu core parking.

It's unlikely a problem with the core parking but just to be sure you can go into the power options and set everything to the maximums, (not very green but it could get the job done).

You can also re-seat the cpu, make sure you have some thermal grease on hand if you wish to go that route.

Short of that I would recommend running a bios update which can be obtained here

I included the afudos utility but you should be able to just copy the file to a usb stick and use the asus easy update from the bios itself.

The latest bios is version 2102


I just did some further research and found 2 people that ending up correcting their issues. One removed the x-fi pci sound card and the second disabled the on-board nic through the bios and added a usb based net card. Both people had the same error log issues and bsod problem, unfortunately it looks like a matter of trial and error to discover the culprit.

Best of luck!

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I already have the latest bios, and I just did a passmark burn-in test with 100% CPU with no errors. – z - Jan 5 '10 at 3:51
hmm... that sound thing is interesting, I will look into it, thanks! – z - Jan 5 '10 at 4:45
nope, that didn't do it, thanks though – z - Jan 6 '10 at 1:19
Sorry to hear that, the next step I would take is a repair load of windows 7 instructions can be found here – Kythos Jan 6 '10 at 2:25

I know you said you checked, however when ever I have dealt with a problem like this, 90% of the time, it is a faulty PSU or graphics driver. Lastly, it can be a driver combination - for example some other dodgy hardware with a rubbish uncertified driver.

600W is high for a single GPU system, but still, it may be worth swapping it just to test.

share|improve this answer
luckily I have a second spare 600W new PSU handy, I will do it just to dot that i, will update tomorrow – z - Jan 5 '10 at 3:00
second PSU did not fix the problem, at this point I've gone over all my hardware, it must be some driver somewhere causing it, finding it, on the other hand... :( – z - Jan 6 '10 at 1:20

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protected by BinaryMisfit Nov 2 '10 at 18:57

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