I have a PowerSpec PC that has intermittent crashing while playing games that should be well within the specs of the PC. The problem is, it's not consistently reproducible. Unsurprisingly my local Microcenter ran some diagnostics and the issue didn't occur. They say because they can't reproduce, there's nothing they can do, which is a bit frustrating for a PC I spent 2.7k on.
Am I out of luck? Thanks in advance for any advice from anyone who has faced similar issues. At the very least, I feel like I should share this experience as a warning to anyone considering buying a PowerSpec pre-built -- if you run into any issues that don't fall into the tidy category of "easily reproducible" you might run into warranty problems.
We'll figure something out for you. Could you describe the crashing? CTD's or BSOD's? Do you have logs? When does it crash, and how frequently? Is there anything you're doing that crashes it consistently? What model is the PC?
Hey Mike, thanks!
Sure I'll give as much info as I can, but its been a bit of a gremlin. The PC is still currently at Microcenter -- I'm afraid I don't have logs backed up. When I called the warranty line originally, I was given the impression that they were just going to take the PC and replace stuff (too good to be true) so I cleaned my windows install 🙃.
Apparently I cannot post links yet since I just made my account, so attached is a screenshot of the model
That being said, I know the error that Windows Event viewer showed after every crash was this (I can't share links but there's numerous references on Microsoft forums)
Kernel-Power, Event ID 41, Task Category: (63)
In terms of the crash:
My own investigation:
My personal theory is a faulty PSU, but I don't have a higher wattage spare or equipment to test.
Hopefully this helps. I'll pick up the PC tomorrow and try to repro. If I get actual logs I'll share.
Sorry forgot to give a mention -- cc: @PowerSpec_MikeW
Sounds like an intermittent power loss. There's nothing in the event viewer logs relevant before the Kernel-Power error?
Bluescreens cause a restart. Intermittent power loss can cause a restart. Power failures, overheating components will shutdown the PC. You want to check the logs, check the C:\Windows\minidumps folder just in case you have something odd where the GPU fails and causes a BSOD with no video output and you can't see it. Since the cards on the PCIe bus, it's also possible for this to effect on the NVMe drive and cause it to fail to write a log. But you would have some WHEA's on the PCIe bus reported before the crash most likely. Please check that.
But assuming we find nothing, intermittent power loss. Work it from the wall. Outlet, power cable, power supply, motherboard. Now they're probably stressing at the store to try to replicate it, but it's very likely it's not going to occur as a stress test puts a heavy load on the system, it's also very consistent. Where playing a game is less so. I'd say if you have one, grab an overkill ATX power cord, 12 AWG. Lets move it to a different outlet in the house if at all possible. If the issue occurs again, then we need to swap the PSU for you. Then if we still fail, move to the motherboard.
Thanks Mike, I'll be picking up the computer sometime today and will do some testing.
@PowerSpec_MikeW Okay, back home today after picking up. Played Star Wars Battlefront II for a good while. Periodic audio issues, followed by an eventual crash.
I don't have a mini dump, so seems like it's failing to write logs?
This is a fresh windows install, all I did was install Steam, Firefox, Discord, CS:GO, EA App, Star Wars Battefront II. Initially, Battlefront II crashed to desktop -- updated NVidia drivers and things worked for a while. Then the final crash was all the way to black screen -- no reboot this time.
Also, the additional ssd I previously had installed is still removed, so the PC is completely stock, as purchased. I see the same vague "Kernel Power" log in event viewer (interestingly, I see an earlier one not associated with the crash at at 7:34, which is interesting). The 10:26 timestamp lines up with the crash.
Attaching screenshots showing the missing mini dumps (I'm doing some googling to see if I'm missing something obvious but no luck) as well as Event Viewer. Let me know if you have ideas on what else I can grab. Next step, I'll try moving to another room 🤷♂️
Oh! @PowerSpec_MikeW I did make one change, which was switching power cables. I don't have a 12 AWG that I can find, but tried a 16 AWG from my old build (was an i5/GTX 1080 that didn't have issues...most parts purchased from Microcenter!) . The crash occurred while using the 16 AWG.
Also just sharing pics to show my due diligence -- about to try the living room, where I've run current gen consoles/4k tv/etc with no problems.
In the office (where crashes happen):
Living room (we'll see if it crashes here)
16 AWG Cable from the equal wattage powersupply from my old build (seemed thicker, the one that came with the PC wasn't labeled)
Could you go over to administrative events and show me what's happening right before the Kernel-Power?
@zachf To add on to what @PowerSpec_MikeW is asking, can you disable automatic restart on system failure? I am curious as to what is actually on screen when the crashing occurs. If we can figure that out, we will stand a better chance at resolving the issue.
You can get there by tying "View Advanced System Settings" in your start menu:
Click "Settings" under Startup and Recovery.
Make sure "Automatically Restart" is unchecked.
Afterwards, see if you can get the crash to occur and document what you see on-screen. Inconsistent crashing is rough to troubleshoot but I am confident we can figure it out.
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