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Armoury Crate makes system unstable (unusable)

W_ill
Level 8

Hi. Armoury Crate is driving me mad.
I need this stupid software as my Ryujin AIO watercooling system has a small display on the cooling block which should be controllable (it should be able to display a chosen GIF image, or, as I prefer, be used to display live CPU info like temperature, frequency and voltage).
I have even tried to forego AC to at least get control over the RGBs back (by installing an old version of standalone Aura Sync), but not even that worked (the old Aura Sync won't launch at all).

The problem is that as soon as I install the software, the computer starts freezing up after a random, short amount of time (like 5-10 min max) - usually first the start button and/or power down options stop responding, then the whole system including all running apps starts freezing.
All I can then do is use the reset button.
As soon as I uninstall AC, the whole system is stable again, and can easily handle demanding tasks like OCCT stability tests etc.

I reinstalled windows last night (clean install, incl wiping and recreating partitions etc.), but still the problem reappeared as soon as I reinstalled Armoury Crate.
I managed to get the problem slightly delayed (so it runs normal for up to like 10 minutes instead of the default 5 before freezing) by deleting a file that was named something like "layermanager.dll" (or similar - I found a hint online that pointed to that file causing instability for some users), but the file usually gets recreated automatically if AC is installed, and besides 10 minutes of usable runtime obviously isn't really a solution to my problem.

Does anyone have an idea what could be causing this?
I suspect the watercooling system is to blame (as on two occasions, the problem started when I was trying to set a more aggressive fan curve for the embedded fan inside the cooling block assembly, but that could be coincidence). The watercooler is connected to the proprietary ROG connector on the mainboard (unfortunately, I only have one of those).

The problem started after I exchanged my old RGB rams for non-RGB rams as a temporary solution (the old ones were no longer detected by MB), but the reason I reinstalled windows was because I have now installed new RAMS (near identical to the old ones - same Brand/Model with slightly different specs) and a new CPU.

I also recently purchased an ROG monitor/display, which according to the product website also should be detected & sync with Armoury Crate, but it has never ever been detected (but at this point, I would be happy if I at least got to control my RGBs without having to install a software that crashes my system every 5 min).

I would be grateful for any advice how to solve this. (Unfortunately, OpenRGB is not an option for me, as the watercooling system isn't supported by that app - the watercooler has both RGBs and the aforementioned screen). Thanks in advance

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6 REPLIES 6

achugh
Level 11

Hi @W_ill , since you changed CPU and RAM sticks, did you clear your CMOS to do a board reset to help your BIOS detect everything fresh? If not, you can give it a try.

Your sluggishness and instability could also be related to your memory speed and overclocking. You did not mention anything about your build or setup. Can you try setting your memory overclocking to AUTO i.e. no overclocking and then testing your build? If everything is stable then you can next try XMP II or EXPO II. If that stays stable then you can try XMP I or EXPO I. The more details about your every component you provide, the better help you will get from forum members here.

Regarding the RGB on your monitor, typically connecting a dedicated USB cable from your PC to the monitor's UPSTREAM (or incoming) USB port will help solve these types of issues because most of the monitors are typically connected with either Display Port or HDMI and data support on these connections is very limited. Using a USB-C connection will give your VIDEO + DATA support but then how good of the data support you get with this one cable is limited to your equipment and setup. The recommended approach to resolve issue is to have a dedicated USB cable from your PC to your monitor.

I hope this helps you make progress towards resolving your issues.

Disclaimer: I am not an ASUS support person so my information may be incomplete. Always follow official documentation and material provided by ASUS representatives.

INTEL i9-14900K / CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB 192GB (4x48GB) 5200 CAS38 / ROG Z790 DARK HERO / ROG TUF GAMING RTX 4090 OC / ProArt PA-602 Case / SEASONIC PRIME TX-1300 ATX 3.0 / CORSAIR MP700 PRO 2TB PCIe Gen5 / CRUCIAL T500 2TB PCIe Gen4 / EIZO CG2700X

Hi. Thanks for the reply.

My setup is: ROG Crosshair VI Hero, Ryzen 5700X3D, Patriot Viper RAM (2x16GB 3600MHz CL18), ROG Ryujin AIO Watercooler, Zotac Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 10GB, WD Black NVME SSD, Windows 10 Pro (latest version). BIOS is latest version too. The monitor is connected with both DisplayPort for Picture and USB 3.0 (Type A) for the inbuilt USB Hub. 

I can try resetting CMOS again, although it was already reset since the error began occurring (when I installed the new CPU - previously had Ryzen 1700 paired with Corsair Vengeance 3200 CL16 RAMs, but the latter were less stable than the new Patriot RAMs). 

What is incredible is that as soon as Armoury Crate is uninstalled (as far as you ever can uninstall it, given how much rubbish remains after deinstallation), the computer runs perfectly stable. OCCT Stress Tests, Gaming, etc, no problem. But as soon as Armoury Crate is reinstalled, the whole system starts crashing within minutes again (always, without exception - sometimes faster, sometimes it takes a bit longer, but you can be sure sooner or later the video and audio will cut out, and the mouse will stop responding to any input except movement - keyboard allows task manager to open, but it stays empty (you only see the colours where the window should be).

Hi @W_ill 

1. The user has alluded to you attempting to retest the issue with XMP overclocking disabled, are you able to confirm that the issue remains under this condition, as your reply is slightly ambiguous?

2. Are you able to check Windows event logs to see what stop codes are occurring at the time of the crash?

3. It may be worth using an alternative drive to install Windows to see if the behaviour occurs on a clean OS.

13900KS / 8000 CAS36 / ROG APEX Z790 / ROG TUF RTX 4090

Hi @W_ill , since you upgraded your PC, can you check with the HWiNFO System Summary page (this is a FREEWARE tool) if it is reporting that your BIOS is running in UEFI mode or not.

Also, I recommend a clean fresh Windows 11 install using UEFI BIOS mode (in BIOS you want to make sure CSM is set to DISABLED). Then I believe Armoury Crate will run better.

You can do all this setup test on a different NVMe drive or HDD so that you do not disrupt your primary Windows setup. One thing to keep in mind is that if you do go down the path of installing another Windows OS, you may run into the issue I faced where Windows will not even install and gives you a BSoD. See https://rog-forum.asus.com/t5/gaming-motherboards/z790-dark-hero-bios-1302-logo-patch-bsod-with-mult... post where I have recently posted a recording of my 2nd Windows install as well as a temporary solution to get 2nd Windows installation working. Basically, you MAY need to disable Fast Boot as well as disable LOGO Display to make it all work for you.

I hope this information along with the information from the moderators here will help you get closer to a resolution so you can properly enjoy your build the way you like it. This is why we all build our own machines instead of buying a pre-built machine.

Looking forward to your update and progress. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I am not an ASUS support person so my information may be incomplete. Always follow official documentation and material provided by ASUS representatives.

INTEL i9-14900K / CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB 192GB (4x48GB) 5200 CAS38 / ROG Z790 DARK HERO / ROG TUF GAMING RTX 4090 OC / ProArt PA-602 Case / SEASONIC PRIME TX-1300 ATX 3.0 / CORSAIR MP700 PRO 2TB PCIe Gen5 / CRUCIAL T500 2TB PCIe Gen4 / EIZO CG2700X

Thanks for the suggestions.

I am running Windows 10 Pro; I always have fast boot off by default, HWinfo reports UEFI boot is enabled. I will try if disabling CSM will help (if not disabled already) - thanks for the hint. The idea to install Windows on a SATA drive is very good (ASUS support suggested reinstalling Windows to test Armoury Cra* with only graphics and sound drivers installed, but that obviously is extremely bothersome as I just completed setting up all my apps etc following the first reinstall in 4 years, so I was still considering whether doing that is worth the hassle given that the problem persisted even after the recent reinstall). I hate reinstalling Windows, because of all the apps I need to install - a CPU & RAM finally made it somewhat necessary to ensure everything runs perfectly.
I guess I'll just remove the NVME drive and reinsert it once I tested and deleted the SATA installation - that way at least I don't have to reinstall all my apps just to confirm what is already obvious - Armoury Crate has some major issues. The system is working perfectly fine, even in stress tests and with OpenRGB active. Armoury Crate is the only thing that crashes the system automatically (if installed).

I will report back when I tested armoury with XMP disabled on a SATA installation with GPU & sound drivers only, and post all the event codes I get when Armoury is installed (I get tons of those when Armoury is active). So far I always had XMP on (there is only 1 XMP mode available to choose, and that's the one I use - I never had any issues with it, but I will try. I'd be surprised if XMP is to blame though, as this is the 2nd set of RAMs on which the problem persists - it was the exact same before and after BIOS reset & windows reinstall, and also with both the Ryzen 1700 + Corsair and the 5700X3D + PatriotViperRGB setup). Thanks again for all the advice.

Hi @W_ill I totally understand your pain. I have my own issues and have reinstalled Windows over 50 times in the last 3 months since I have setup my fresh built. After doing fresh installation multiple times, I switched to creating a 2nd Windows install on the SATA drive. This is just so that I can keep on doing fresh Windows install as many times as is needed to get to the bottom of my issues. This is why I totally understand your struggles and pains.

You do not need to remove your NVMe when you give a fresh 2nd install of Windows on a SATA drive a go. As long as you take care of the 2 BOOT Configurations which are needed to support Multiple Windows setup you should be good to go.

Since you are anyway going to do a 2nd Windows install, give Windows 11 a try. You can run Windows 11 in Trial mode as it is anyways not your primary setup but I believe Windows will detect your Windows 10 key and will automatically activate itself for free. When doing the Windows install just choose "I do not have my key" and let Windows figure it out for you.

My best guess is that Armoury Crate will run much more stable on Windows 11 under UEFI BIOS mode (CSM set to DISABLED). I have my own set of issues with Armoury Crate so I am not going to say that it has reached a robust and stable state yet. I can say that it works much better on Windows 11 so you can give that a try.

Good luck! If you post any updates here, I will continue to work with you just for my own knowledge and curiosity.

Disclaimer: I am not an ASUS support person so my information may be incomplete. Always follow official documentation and material provided by ASUS representatives.

INTEL i9-14900K / CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB 192GB (4x48GB) 5200 CAS38 / ROG Z790 DARK HERO / ROG TUF GAMING RTX 4090 OC / ProArt PA-602 Case / SEASONIC PRIME TX-1300 ATX 3.0 / CORSAIR MP700 PRO 2TB PCIe Gen5 / CRUCIAL T500 2TB PCIe Gen4 / EIZO CG2700X