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View Full Version : G73jh Intermittent Crash.



JamesonD
12-17-2011, 03:48 AM
I recently purchased a refurbished G73JH. Times are tough you know. Anyway, after I recieved it, I installed a few games and tested it out. It worked great. More than I could have hoped for in a laptop. I used it for about a month, and only ever had one issue with it; the keyboard backlight wouldn't light at all. I used it anyway to see if any other issues cropped up that I would want fixed.

There weren't any. So, I kept using it. After I had it all set up the way I liked it, I decided to look into the keyboard lights. I found that I could fix them with the "fixmykb" BIOS flash (info found here http://forum.notebookreview.com/asus-gaming-notebook-forum/513264-keyboard-light-fix-gary-key.html ). I should add, that the fixmykb file did in fact fix my keyboard. About a week after I did that, I was playing a game (Rift, if that's important) and it locked up with a dark screen and restarted itself.

At start-up, is says that Windows wasn't shut down properly and has the start-up menu (safe mode, normally, etc...). I selected start up normally, and everything seemed fine. I played for a few hours and went to bed. The next night, I couldn't even play five minutes straight. The day after that, I played without any issues. I think I played for about a week with only a crash here or there. Now for the past week, nothing more than a few minutes before crash.

After every crash, a Windows dialogue pops up telling me that Windows has recovered from an unexpected shut-down.... When I go into the action center, it tells me that the event was a blue screen caused by the PCI-Express, and they want me to send more info to Hewlett Packard via a questionaire;

"Consider sending additional information
PCIExpress has stopped working properly.

At this time, we don't know the exact cause of this problem. Hewlett-Packard is interested in gathering additional feedback.

Please visit the Hewlett-Packard website to provide information about the problem:


Click to go online to the Hewlett-Packard website
The information that you and other customers submit will be used to investigate this error."



Also, in the Action Center, this is listed in the problem details;
"Source
Windows

Summary
Shut down unexpectedly

Date
‎12/‎15/‎2011 8:00 PM

Status
Solution available

Problem signature
Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.768.3
Locale ID: 1033

Extra information about the problem
BCCode: 124
BCP1: 0000000000000004
BCP2: FFFFFA80063298D8
BCP3: 0000000000000000
BCP4: 0000000000000000
OS Version: 6_1_7601
Service Pack: 1_0
Product: 768_1
Bucket ID: X64_0x124_GenuineIntel_PCIEXPRESS
Server information: 7bd4711d-542a-4c94-a0b6-0ebec18178a2 "

I can surf the web, play solitare, free cell, all that kind of stuff without issue. It's only when I try to play a more demanding game that I have the crashes. In my research, I found a sticky in a forum that mentioned certain BIOS flashes causing GPU crashes, but it was only mentioned as a known issue without any additional information about it. The computer worked great before "fixmykb", so I keep coming back to that. Does anyone know anything about this, or can somebody point me in a good direction to get this worked out?

As far as I know, there are only two PCI-e devices, the Wifi Card, and the GPU. However, I believe it is GPU related, because I get the exact same crash when running Furmark offline.


What I have done:
Updated drivers.
Reflashed BIOS to v.213 (was v.211 before all of this started)
Disabled Wifi card and connected with Wifi Dongle.
Factory restore with full updates.
Overheat check (50-60c at idle, mid 80's in game).
Clean install of game.



Current VBIOS is Version 012.020.000.032



Any ideas? This is beyond my abilities to troubleshoot. Is there any other information I can provide that is useful?

BrodyBoy
12-17-2011, 05:01 AM
What I have done:
Updated drivers.
Reflashed BIOS to v.213 (was v.211 before all of this started)
Disabled Wifi card and connected with Wifi Dongle.
Factory restore with full updates.
Overheat check (50-60c at idle, mid 80's in game).
Clean install of game.


So....you've done a factory restore SINCE this problem started, and the exact same issue resumed even then? You said "factory restore with full updates," so I'm not clear on whether you tried using it for awhile in the OOBE condition (immediately after the factory restore) before changing/updating anything.

(The LAN card is also a PCIe device, BTW.)

fostert
12-17-2011, 05:06 AM
In overclocking circles the blue screen codes signal whats wrong and generally how to address the instability. In the link below...
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?266589-The-OverClockers-BSOD-code-list

I find bsod code 124
0x124 = add/remove vcore or QPI/VTT voltage (usually Vcore, once it was QPI/VTT)

which means you should try to increase the CPU voltage (vcore) a bit (1-2 steps in the BIOS). I don't own a G73 so I don't know if your BIOS allows you to tweak voltages or not (on almost every desktop these days the BIOS is happy to let you tinker with vcore). My G74 has crap for BIOS: no control over anything. There are some ocing utilities out there for windows too that may work: generally I would never overclcok from windows, but for a bump or two in CPU voltage it'll be fine to use.

Definitely worth a try if software reinstalls fail to solve the problem.

JamesonD
12-17-2011, 04:19 PM
So....you've done a factory restore SINCE this problem started, and the exact same issue resumed even then? You said "factory restore with full updates," so I'm not clear on whether you tried using it for awhile in the OOBE condition (immediately after the factory restore) before changing/updating anything.

(The LAN card is also a PCIe device, BTW.)

Yes, meaning that I restored the OS using the "factory image" provided by AI Recovery, which comes loaded on the laptop. Full up dates meaning that the factory image was way out dated. Windows 7 alone had 180 something updates pending. I also used the Asus Live Update program to get the recommended stuff from Asus. THEN I installed a game and tried to play it and still got the same crash as before.

380mcn
12-17-2011, 04:32 PM
insert windows 7 dvd in drive and format / install.

JamesonD
12-17-2011, 04:36 PM
Doesn't come with a Win7 DVD. It's all on the hidden partition.

380mcn
12-17-2011, 04:48 PM
IMHO, i would forget the system restore, system hidden partitions etc etc etc..
i would format the damn thing ! :p

JamesonD
12-17-2011, 05:56 PM
Ok, I went through my event logs, and I am unable to find anything related to the crashes. There are gaps in the timestamps that coincide with when I start up the game, and when the computer reboots. It's shows all of the errors associated with rebooting from an unexpected shutdown, but nothing previous to that. I have a minidump file fromthe last crash, but apparently, windows doesn't provide a program to read it's own files. Not that I would know what I was looking at when I read it anyway. I've tried to attach it, but the website uploader calls it an "invalid file". If somebody has the time, knowhow and desire to help a brother out, I can email it to you.

BrodyBoy
12-17-2011, 07:22 PM
insert windows 7 dvd in drive and format / install.

While I get the overall point (clean install = better), that's not an especially helpful suggestion when someone wants to fix an issue in their Asus installation.



@JamesonD: The reason I asked for more detail about your factory restore is that, once you start changing and updating it, it becomes much harder to track down which software change is associated with the problem. (Assuming this is a software problem.)

There's a lot of info in your first post, but isn't the gist of it this: your G73 worked fine until you added a utility to try and make the keyboard backlight work. Then you started getting random crashes, and they have persisted even after doing a the factory restore.

Is all of that correct? Did you add that keyboard utility back in after the factory restore?

JamesonD
12-17-2011, 08:44 PM
Yes, I tried to restore it back to the state that I believed it had been given to me in. Clean install of Win7 with all of the updates it wanted, and all of the updates requested by ASUS Live Update. Neither of the programs were requesting updates when I got it. The "fixmykb" Bios flash I did was the fix that was noted in several locations, and appeared to me to be what was needed to cure a known and common issue. The information I used can be found here; http://forum.notebookreview.com/asus-gaming-notebook-forum/513264-keyboard-light-fix-gary-key.html .

With that said, the BIOS flash talked about there was still in effect after I did the system restore. I have since reflashed the BIOS to v.213 after the system restore. I was at v.211 when I recieved the computer. As I understand it, when you flash a ROM, it erases all of the old data, and then writes the new data in it's place. Correct me if I am wrong here. Knowing what I think I know, the "fixmykb" flash file should no longer be in effect.

Having typed this out, it occurs to me that maybe a system restore with the new BIOS might be in order to try and work this out. If I were to do a system restore, should I let Windows and/or ASUS do all of it's updates before I test it out again? Also, what driver versions should I be looking for to make sure I am all squared away? Or would you suggest what I have seen repeated here in these forums and remove all of the ASUS programs and get my drivers from the manufacturers?

On a side note, before I got back into the forums here, I double checked to make sure it wasn't a heat issue, and when the computer crashed, the CPU was in the mid 60's Celcius, and the GPU was in the mid 50's.

BrodyBoy
12-17-2011, 10:28 PM
Yes, I tried to restore it back to the state that I believed it had been given to me in. Clean install of Win7 with all of the updates it wanted, and all of the updates requested by ASUS Live Update. Neither of the programs were requesting updates when I got it.
(Sorry I disappeared on you like that.....got a long phone call.)

Not to be argumentative, but if you were looking at Asus Live Update, that's not a clean install. A clean install is one without all the Asus junk....and frankly, Live Update is a perfect example of Asus junk. It's known to be poorly-written software.

A truly clean install is just Windows 7 SP1, with just the essential drivers needed for your particular model. No Asus add-ons.....



With that said, the BIOS flash talked about there was still in effect after I did the system restore. I have since reflashed the BIOS to v.213 after the system restore. I was at v.211 when I recieved the computer. As I understand it, when you flash a ROM, it erases all of the old data, and then writes the new data in it's place. Correct me if I am wrong here. Knowing what I think I know, the "fixmykb" flash file should no longer be in effect.
I didn't realize before that this keyboard fix was a BIOS flash. Of course that would explain why the system restore didn't resolve the problem.


Having typed this out, it occurs to me that maybe a system restore with the new BIOS might be in order to try and work this out. If I were to do a system restore, should I let Windows and/or ASUS do all of it's updates before I test it out again? Also, what driver versions should I be looking for to make sure I am all squared away? Or would you suggest what I have seen repeated here in these forums and remove all of the ASUS programs and get my drivers from the manufacturers?

Yes, absolutely....you need to start over now that you got the BIOS straightened out. If you use a system restore, don't let Asus do anything. Run Windows updates, if necessary, but honestly, the less Asus software you use, the better. Uninstall Asus Live Update.

I'd try it out that way for a little while, before you start updating any drivers. If it's stable and you feel like the issue is resolved, then you can do some carefully-targeted updating.

JamesonD
12-17-2011, 10:46 PM
Ok, a couple more questions before I get after it. Would it be better to DL the Win7 Premium ISO and use that for a really clean install? If so, will the the windows key on the sticker on my laptop activate it? I read through here that some folks were having issues with that. Also, would it be safe to use the ASUS drivers disk to get started, and just make sure all of the Apps are unchecked?

BrodyBoy
12-17-2011, 11:14 PM
Ok, a couple more questions before I get after it. Would it be better to DL the Win7 Premium ISO and use that for a really clean install? If so, will the the windows key on the sticker on my laptop activate it? I read through here that some folks were having issues with that. Also, would it be safe to use the ASUS drivers disk to get started, and just make sure all of the Apps are unchecked?
For a "clean" install...that's really the only way. The Asus options can't really give you an installation without a bunch of their stuff in it.

Yes, your current product key will activate the new installation, as long as it's the same edition of Windows (presumably Home Premium). Better yet, download ABR, a handy little utility for backing up you activation key & credentials, and restoring them to the new install. It's linked in the Drivers thread.

There really isn't anything you need the drivers disk for, but it's not unsafe. It's better to make a list of the essential drivers you need and download them from their manufacturers (or in some cases, from Asus). If you do this before you start, it'll make your installation go a lot smoother and faster.

JamesonD
12-17-2011, 11:33 PM
The list that JRd1st has should be sufficient?

BrodyBoy
12-17-2011, 11:42 PM
The list that JRd1st has should be sufficient?
Basically, you need these:



Intel Chipset Driver
Intel RST
Asus ATK package
Graphics driver (check your hardware manufacturer)
Audio driver
Fresco USB 3.0 driver
Touchpad driver (check your hardware manufacturer)
Ethernet driver (check your hardware manufacturer)
WLAN driver (check your hardware manufacturer)
Bluetooth driver (if applicable & needed; check your hardware manufacturer)
MultiCard Reader driver (check your hardware manufacturer)

The list is generalized because Asus uses many component manufacturers. You need to determine which components you've got (i.e., what kind of card reader, touchpad, etc), and then download that particular driver.

JamesonD
12-18-2011, 05:29 AM
Alright, clean install w/updates, and all is looking well. In fact, my frame rates are up slightly and the sound is insanely better. I had no idea what I was missing. Thanks to BrodyBoy for your advice. Looks like it may all be good. For the record;

BIOS Flash v.213
Clean Win7 install
Driver Updates from JRd1st's list in his signature.
Nothing more...

Lights work, GPU Works, Sound is a ton better, and NO CRASHES (yet).

If you don't hear from me again, that means it all works!

JamesonD
12-18-2011, 10:00 PM
Alright, I lied. It all works and you are hearing back from me. I ran if for about 4 hours in game on high settings without even a stutter. Thanks again to y'all for helping me out.

BrodyBoy
12-18-2011, 10:11 PM
Alright, I lied. It all works and you are hearing back from me. I ran if for about 4 hours in game on high settings without even a stutter. Thanks again to y'all for helping me out.
Glad to hear it! Amazing how well a clean, mean machine runs, isn't it? Once you try it....there's no going back!

(I guarantee you'll do this on every computer you ever buy from now on!)