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2 Year old Asus G75 producing intermittent crash I can't easily diagnose, help needed

Woots
Level 11
Topic title should be "crash"... not "error" sorry for typo.

I have been running my Asus G75 for a couple years now without issues. However, after a recent trip I just went on over holidays a new hardware crash issue started to crop up that is causing instant computer reboots (no BSOD, just shut down and restarts). The stress of the trip may or may not have caused this issue to occur. It may be coincidental, it may be directly related. It should be noted I baby this laptop and I didn't drop it or bump it during he trip in any way.

Although the crash is intermittent and by no means 100% producible on demand. I can recreate the crash maybe 30-50% of the time when doing a certain combination of events.

It only occurs when playing very high end video games that use a lot of graphics resources. It only occurs when the settings in those games are set high or very high (not even ultra). Also, when windows power options are set to max.

When the game loads up as soon as it hits the first screen with heavy graphics (fancy title screens that have actual game engine running as background) ... this occasionally forces my system to reboot...the system does a full crash and restart... No BSOD (and I have halt on BSOD activated). The crash is so abrupt there is no memory dump files to use windows debug kit to investigate the source. Worse yet windows event logs just state generic "crash event detected" sort of messages. Nothing in detail.

At first I thought I had failing ram, but I did a full ram test via DOS and everything is 100% perfect on ram. At that point it seemed more like a power related problem to me than anything else. Since it's like someone is turning off the a light switch during heavy load.

However, when the crash doesn't occur I can play the games for many many hours without even a random crash happening once. It seems like if the crash happens... it happens very early on or not at all after that until I close and reload the game.

I reinstalled windows and all my games causing the issue... as well as testing multiple hard drive install locations... all having no effect... crashes produce no matter what.

Here is what I do know throughout all my testing.

SPECIFIC SOFTWARE TESTS I TRIED
- I re-installed Windows from scratch and it still happens
- Also all new drivers from scratch since I installed a fresh OS
- It occurs in a wide array of high end games not isolated to any one.
- I re-installed all these games more than once.
- I installed Windows Debugging Kit (but no memory dumps ever happen on crash so I can't track problem).


SPECIFIC HARDWARE TESTS I TRIED
- Laptop is plugged into AC with battery (issue still happens)
- Laptop is plugged into AC without battery (issue still happens)
- Power adapter is putting out 19.66v consistently on my DMM
- I did a full Ram test (around 1+ hour long) from DOS all ram checks out 100% no issues.
- I installed games to various drives (SSD and HDD) errors occur same on all drive partitions.
- If crash doesn't occur the game runs for hours under load without any crashes.
- No video card graphic anomalies are seen on the screen
- Temperature of my video card even under load is within safe operating range (under 70c normally)
- I can idle my computer in windows for hours without crashes ever occurring once.

TWEAKS I FOUND HELP AVOID THE CRASH MOST OF THE TIME (BUT NOT ALL OF THE TIME)
- Go to windows power options and set things to balanced or lower.
- Go to nVidia control panel and force preferences to balanced or lower.
- Go to games and set the game settings to medium or lower.


Basically everything related to lowering the power of both the cpu and gpu helps it or fixes it.

PENDING HARDWARE ISSUES I AM NOT 100% SURE ARE OR ARE NOT CAUSING IT
- I used a DMM to test my power supply I get a fairly consistent 19.66v out of the adapter. I tried wiggling the cable around and every now and then I thought I saw the numbers spike indicated a possible break in the line. However, this could have been just bumping one of my probes causing numbers to flicker. Also, I do not move my laptop around on AC so I am not 100% sure a line break is the cause since it sits still on the table.

- I still am not 100% my video card is not failing yet either, but considering I can play games at high graphics for hours and no visual anomalies or issues... I am inclined to think the card is fine.

- I am not sure if this is a cpu or possible mobo fail (perhaps somewhere along the power circuits)


QUESTIONS
* Can the power brick be giving me full voltage output, but not be delivering the appropriate amperage when the computer is under load.. and thereby force this instant reboot?

* I have been doing hardware for year, but I never saw a video card fail in this manner before. Usually, I see obvious signs of it, overheating, visual anomalies, BSOD. However, I never see games playing fine for hours and look perfect, but on random start ups it forces full system reboot... I am inclined to think it's not the video card for this reason... but anything is possible. Does anyone still think it might be video card?

* Do you think it's mobo failing?

* Do you think it could be cpu failing?

Thanks in advance for anyone taking the time to read all this and offering assistance. I am officially beyond my capability of diagnosing this hardware failure. I am looking for advice on how to proceed with self testing and fixing this problem is possible.
PC Setup:
Battlestation Setup:

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17 REPLIES 17

cl-Albert
US Customer Loyalty Agent
Woots wrote:

QUESTIONS
* Can the power brick be giving me full voltage output, but not be delivering the appropriate amperage when the computer is under load.. and thereby force this instant reboot?

* I have been doing hardware for year, but I never saw a video card fail in this manner before. Usually, I see obvious signs of it, overheating, visual anomalies, BSOD. However, I never see games playing fine for hours and look perfect, but on random start ups it forces full system reboot... I am inclined to think it's not the video card for this reason... but anything is possible. Does anyone still think it might be video card?

* Do you think it's mobo failing?

* Do you think it could be cpu failing?

Thanks in advance for anyone taking the time to read all this and offering assistance. I am officially beyond my capability of diagnosing this hardware failure. I am looking for advice on how to proceed with self testing and fixing this problem is possible.


Sorry, if I read your post too quickly and thanks for all the details, but just wanted to mention a few things.

Since you mentioned the problem also occurs on battery power, it should eliminate the AC adapter unless there is more than one thing not working correctly.

Yes, it could probably be caused by different things, so would normally just check the things you can on your end before you start worrying about the more difficult items which normally would be checked by just replacing with a known good part.

Sounds like you have checked the hard drive already, but if you can pull out memory sticks easily, suggest trying that too since memory tests may not always be able to catch all issues with memory or the memory slots.
If you pull out a memory stick and the problem no longer occurs, it gives you a very good idea about what the problem is related to.

If you have any external devices connected, you may want to remove as many of those as possible, just to make sure they aren't related.

Check your cpu temperature too if you haven't already and make sure the fans and heatsinks appear normal.

Good luck and hope this is able to help.

Same issue. here are my specs:

G75VW
Intel i7 3610QM Processor
win 8.1
8 GB SDRAM
NVIDIA GTX 660M

I found a similar thread on this site hope to find a good solution. It's been a great laptop up to this point, but not finding a viable solution would definitely tarnish my view of ROG ASUS laptops. Spending $1500 on a laptop that will go out in a couple years to me is unacceptable.

I'm also leaning towards the CPU or MB. As everything else seems to check out ok on my system as well.

Aliasmk
Level 7
Like I posted in ^'s thread, check to see if your USB ports are causing the crash. After two years of the same issue, diagnosing it using everything you did, I found that if anything was plugged into a usb port that was not the right-front one, it would crash within 24 hours.

I already ruled out the usb ports. That was actually one of the very first things I tried. I still crashes with nothing hooked up to the usb ports.

srmojuze
Level 10
Could it be the GPU VRAM? High settings etc means more GPU VRAM usage so maybe when it hits some of the "bad" VRAM that's when you get a crash. Maybe try a GPU VRAM-specific benchmark and see if that triggers anything.

srmojuze wrote:
Could it be the GPU VRAM? High settings etc means more GPU VRAM usage so maybe when it hits some of the "bad" VRAM that's when you get a crash. Maybe try a GPU VRAM-specific benchmark and see if that triggers anything.


I will try that tonight and report back with results.

ibestudios
Level 7
I ran a test using Unitys Valley benchmark. Here are the results:

Note: I am not OP, but have the same issue and have come to the same conclusion that it might the CPU or MB. Currently testing the GPU to rule that out:

GeForce GTX 670M
Graphics: 620 MHz
Memory: 1500 Mhz
Porcessor: 1240 Mhz
Temperature: 74 C

unity benchmark test:
Direct3D11
resolution: 1280x1024
anti-aliasing: 8x
Full Screen
Amient occlution: on
Volumetric Shadows: on
Motion Blur: on
Quality: Ultra

FPS: 23 avg. MIN: 13.6 MAX: 40.0



Soon after the test I opened up World of Warcraft with a mouse hooked up only on the front right usb port. It blanked out within a few minutes.

WOW settings:
fullscreen 1920x1080
refresh 60Hz
anti-aliasing: None
Basic Settings: Good


From the event logs I found this error:
Level: Critical Source: Kernal-Power Event ID: 41
The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.

I ran WOW a second time with these settings:
1280x720
Basic Settings: Low

It still crashed with EVENT ID 41

Test results with RealBench 2.41.
Stress test: Everything is ok
Benchmark: System Score 51420


UPDATE:
I unplugged the power supply and WOW is running on high and ultra settings and not crashing.
This is baffling because this is a brand new power brick.

UPDATE 2:
I plugged the power brick back in, within a minute, I got the crash!


Any ideas on what to do next?

Is the new power brick an Asus OEM or an aftermarket? I would recommend checking the voltage and amperage output of the new brick because it sounds like it is overloading the power regulator inside the lappy.

Gary wrote:
Is the new power brick an Asus OEM or an aftermarket? I would recommend checking the voltage and amperage output of the new brick because it sounds like it is overloading the power regulator inside the lappy.


The power brick is brand new, OEM directly from ASUS. I tested the new brick and it is giving me a steady full output reading.

I did some more testing last night with WOW and BF4.

I set the Power Plan Settings to Power Saver with the power brick plugged in. The brightness slider set to a little above half, 65%.

Played Bf4 on Medium settings for about an hour, 2 rounds, with no crashes (this is the longest I've been able to play for awhile).

Played WOW with high settings. and bumped up the brightness. It crashed but it took about an hour. This is the longest I've been able to play WOW.


Could the power settings in Windows 8 be the problem? So far this is the only conclusion I could come up with because as soon as I set the power settings to balanced(recommended), even with low settings on my games, I get the crash.