Device Got Stuck In An Infinite Loop Blue Screen error researchedon

Discussion in 'ATI Video Cards' started by FH, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. FH

    FH Guest

    This was one of the threads I found on ngohq forums - all credis go to
    the author, some people will probably benefit from this info as did I...

    Hi there:

    I'm very happy and I want to share my experience fixing the random
    reboot while playing games.
    The BSOD related to the "ati3duag.dll". I have to say for sure, I've
    finally fixed it, and I want to share the "more official" solution to
    the problem. (At least official for me). I really want you to read this,
    even if it's long because you will find answers to many common problems.

    I want to document the problem and I will cover all the bases because
    I'm sure it will help every ATI RADEON user.

    My Former System:
    Case Antec P150
    ASUS P5W DH Deluxe
    HIS ATI X1900XTX IceQ3
    PSU Seasonic S12 500W
    4GB Corsair Dual Channel 4 Sticks of 1GB each (DDR2-800)
    Sound Card : Soundblaster Audigy SZ2
    WD 250 GB HD 7200RPM
    Catalyst Drivers 6.8 with CCC.
    Windows XP Pro SP2.

    Mini Chapter 1 : IT'S NOT THE SOUND CARD.

    1) The problem is, and I know you guys know it. You are playing any
    particular game and you are about 15-30 minutes of play, and then a Blue
    Screen, BSOD appears saying something about a sound driver, and the
    stuttering noise of the game.

    Yeah, that was the infamous "squeal of death" reported on many CREATIVE
    sites. (google "squeal of death", and you'll find thousands of posts)

    After trying over and over to fix the problem, I've decided to give up
    with my Soundblaster Card, and got myself a Bluegears B-Enspirer sound
    Device which I really recommend everyone, because it's powerful, and a
    comparable low CPU consumer like the Soundblaster.And also it's reported
    to have great solid drivers for both XP and Vista.

    I cleaned all the Creative drivers, and even used drivercleaner to get
    rid of them. Then installed the new sound card drivers.

    I fired a game , Tomb Rider Anniversary. And played, thinking my
    problems were solved.
    And then after an hour, I got another BSOD with the same exact
    stuttering (squeal) like the Soundblaster did.

    I took the minidump file and debugged it and it reported a
    "IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL" and having guilty the "cmaudio.sys" driver from
    the new sound card driver. That means, two devices are sharing the same
    port, and might conflict between each other, depending on how the memory
    addresses requests from each one of the devices.

    2) Interesting, the older and new card were located on the lower PCI.
    I've found in my Device Manager (Control Panel) by checking the
    devices "by connectrion" that the cards were sharing an IRQ with a
    J-Micron (SATA controler).
    Of course, I've opened my case and took the sound card out, and moved it
    to the PCI socket, right above it.

    When I started my machine again, I've checked the Device Manager again,
    and this time it showed me that the soundcard was using now
    a clean IRQ# 23 just for it, no sharing.

    Ok, sure, now the problem is over...
    I've fired up a game again "Lost Planet Extreme Condition", and guess
    what, BSOD, with a squeal, again.

    This time i got: SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED_M (1000007e)
    realeted to the "ati3duag.dll"

    SYMBOL_NAME: ati3duag+4b3c8
    FOLLOWUP_NAME: MachineOwner
    MODULE_NAME: ati3duag
    IMAGE_NAME: ati3duag.dll
    STACK_COMMAND: .cxr 0xffffffff984ac80c ; kb
    FAILURE_BUCKET_ID: 0x7E_ati3duag+4b3c8
    BUCKET_ID: 0x7E_ati3duag+4b3c8
    Followup: MachineOwner

    Ok, I got a BSOD, but definetely I got rid of the IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
    BSOD, by putting the sound card on its own unique IRQ.

    From there I can proceed to isolate the problem even more...

    Mini Chapter 2: IT'S NOT THE VIDEO CARD

    I've started to pull my hair out. And rapidly got into forums trying to
    investigate what the heck ATI3DUAG.dll is.
    The web is plagued with sites and people talking of a random BSOD
    related to this file, there is also information in other languages
    (german, french, spanish)
    But no one really tells you what ATI3DDUAG.dll is. I found out it is
    somehow related to the anti-aliasing feature on Catalyst.

    They tell you :

    a) It is a driver problem, just get the newest drivers. So I got the 7.6
    and even tried the 7.7

    b) Replace the ATI3DUAG.DLL file with an older one, it might be corrupted.
    I've tried both solutions and then guess what, something interesting

    I've got a BSOD but this time the blue screen didn't give me anything
    related to a specific driver.
    It was a 0X000008E bug, or 0x8E, but again didn't say anything about
    what driver was causing this.
    I used a debugger to check the minidump and i got this:

    Debugging Details:

    EXCEPTION_CODE: (NTSTATUS) 0xc0000005 - The instruction at "0x%08lx"
    referenced memory at "0x%08lx". The memory could not be "%s".
    15268880 ?? ???
    TRAP_FRAME: b2152650 -- (.trap 0xffffffffb2152650)
    ..trap 0xffffffffb2152650
    ErrCode = 00000000
    eax=00000000 ebx=b2152744 ecx=00000000 edx=0012f5e8 esi=b2152728
    eip=15268880 esp=b21526c4 ebp=b21526e4 iopl=0 nv up ei pl zr na pe nc
    cs=0008 ss=0010 ds=0023 es=0023 fs=0030 gs=0000 efl=00010246
    15268880 ?? ???
    Resetting default scope
    PROCESS_NAME: ati2evxx.exe

    8056b9c3 ec in al,dx
    SYMBOL_NAME: nt!SeCaptureSubjectContextEx+4
    FOLLOWUP_NAME: MachineOwner
    IMAGE_NAME: ntkrnlmp.exe
    FAILURE_BUCKET_ID: 0x8E_nt!SeCaptureSubjectContextEx+4
    BUCKET_ID: 0x8E_nt!SeCaptureSubjectContextEx+4
    Followup: MachineOwner

    So, first the ATI driver ati2evxx.exe caput, but then NTKRNLMP.EXE
    capput-ed as well.

    Mini Chapter 3 IT'S NOT THE MEMORY

    Probably, like me you've read this many many times on the web. "It's a
    bad memory stick" "One of your sticks is faulty"
    Fine, why not. I can talk with Corsair, no problem they can send me a
    new stick under my waranty, but ONLY IF I INDEED have a defective stick.

    I let my computer run Memtest +86, ON ALL STICKS first at for about 10
    No errors whatsoever.
    Then I ran Memtest +86, but now on EACH of the Sticks 10 times:
    No errors again.
    No memory issues., period.

    In fact my computer never ever crashes while using any application. The
    BSODS happen only while running games.
    So I definetely discarded that this could be a memory issue. I would
    definetely be in favor of this to be a memory issue if my computer
    crashes randomnly for any reason other than games.

    Mini Chapter 4 IT'S NOT THE POWER SUPPLY (PSU)

    Again, you've heard this many times. "Then it's your power supply going
    wacko on you", "You don't have enough juice for your video card",
    "Your PSU is giving up".

    Sure, I have a Seasonic S-12 500W power supply, which has enough amps on
    the 12V rails to actually power the X1900XTX very stable.
    But why not? It has been a year since I've purchased this PSU, and
    probably it started to give up.

    Anyway, I'll probably need a better power supply to feed the newest
    cards, 8800GTX the Ultra, the Radeon HD 2900XT or XTX or whatever comes
    after the R600 chip from ATI.

    So I purchased a Corsair 620HX, which has been reviewed as one of the
    most stable and efficient power supplies on the market, and it even
    capable of powering
    two 8800GTX on SLI mode, no problem and stable, thanks to its strong
    amperage on the 12V rails, adding up to 54 amps. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

    This should be by far more enough to power my X1900XTX, piece of cake.
    I installed the new power supply and tested my system.

    New system now:

    Case Antec P150
    ASUS P5W DH Deluxe
    HIS ATI X1900XTX IceQ3
    PSU Corsair HX 620W
    4GB Corsair Dual Channel 4 Sticks of 1GB each (DDR2-800)
    Sound Card : Bluegears B-Enspirer
    WD 250 GB HD 7200RPM
    Catalyst Drivers 6.8 with CCC.

    Results: Guess what. I have a magnificent Blue Screen of Death after
    playing for 30 minutes. Same bugcheck.
    It's not the power supply, period. The possibility of having two power
    supplies going wacko is very minimal.

    Mini Chapter 5 IT'S NOT THE BIOS REVISION.

    I flashed my bios to the new revision. And it didn't help at all. It
    only helped reorganize the memory better, so instead of having 3 GB
    recongized in
    Windows XP, now I have 3.12 GB. Wow!! But nothing more.

    Remember, 4 GIGS can only be used in 64 bit OS.
    So, it's not the BIOS.

    Mini Chapter 6 IT'S NOT OVERHEATING.

    I used to play games perfectly with my machine. And frankly don't know
    why I cannot play any games anymore without a random BSOD. It's because
    they are new? Is it because they draw much more power and requirements
    from my machine?

    Is this a trend or a pattern on newest games to just crash critically on

    I've checked the temps on my CPU: Dual Core X6800 2.93Ghz cooled by a
    Scythe Ninja, which IMHO is an overkill for this processor.
    It doens't go above 35C on load and it's summer, and I have 80F ambient

    All my memories have heatsinks. They are warm, on load, but nothing to
    worry about.
    My GPU cooler is made by HIS, and it exhaust the hot air outside my
    case, and it's also very silent.

    Checked the temps on my GPU running Lost Planet with all high settings.
    It doesn't go beyond 85C after playing, for, let's say the time I can
    play without an BSOD.
    Negative pressure is very good inside my case. All the hot aire is being
    pulled out by two 120mm fans plus the Radeon's exhaust cooling system.
    It has been cool before, and it' cool now nothing to worry about.

    So what the hell is it?

    Mini Chapter 7 IN DEEP RESEARCH.

    At this point, I was having many weeks of investigation, pulling my hair
    out, many nights of investigation in google, different forums blogs,
    translating french and german pages that talk about it.

    Many questions, same useless or undocumented answers, and sometimes,
    even silence on the forums regarding these issues.

    I was thinking to myself, that this was the end of the PC Gaming for me,
    that now you cannot trust any brand, they all lead to the same crappy or
    unstable drivers, expensive videocards that two months later cost nothing.

    Why should I spend a single more dime on new technology to power up my
    rig and play games?
    Should I just get an XBOX 360, and forget about spending stupid money on
    a PC? Losing my ability to use the mouse to play 3D shooters? ( I just
    CAN'T :-()

    Then I've found something very interesting.

    During my long research on bugchecks from many people on the web having
    audio driver problems, or that stupid ATI3DUAG.DLL BSOD

    I've found ONE THING IN COMMON.

    If you observe the UNLOADED MODULES on the debugged minidump of all of
    these users like me. You will observe something like this:

    9d0ef000 9d112000 aec.sys
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    9dc09000 9dc16000 DMusic.sys
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    b7c64000 b7c6b000 USBSTOR.SYS
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    9df49000 9df74000 kmixer.sys
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    b1e01000 b1e02000 drmkaud.sys
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    b98a7000 b98b4000 DMusic.sys
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    9df74000 9df97000 aec.sys
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    ba715000 ba723000 swmidi.sys
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    f79e7000 f79e9000 splitter.sys
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    b2915000 b2922000 ATITool.sys
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    bae0f000 bae13000 kbdhid.sys
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    acb2d000 acb3a000 i8042prt.SYS
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    b2656000 b265b000 Cdaudio.SYS
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000
    bae13000 bae16000 Sfloppy.SYS
    Timestamp: unavailable (00000000)
    Checksum: 00000000

    All of the buchecks I studied will mentioned these drivers:


    You will always find them on any debugged minidump related to this BSOD.
    Have you noticed it? Because this leads to my conclusion on the problem.


    I always make and keep images of my current system. And I do prefer
    TrueImage over Ghost. When the system gets screwed I ussually recovery
    from a mess uing an image.
    But his time I decided finally to make a clean install of Windows XP.
    And I wanted to make things very carefully, to finally identify the problem.

    Sorry for the long thread, but I'm documenting how I've isolated the

    1) First formatted the hard drive (a real format, and NOT a quick one).
    I wanted to make sure to be free of any potential rootkit.

    2) Installed windows, but MOST IMPORTANT, DO NOT INSTALL ANY AUDIO AND
    VIDEO DRIVERS YET. (Helps isolate problems)

    3) Downloaded and installed all the updates, and also installed the .Net
    Framework 1.1 (Just in case) Also please DO NOT install any audio or
    video drivers
    offered by Windows Update.

    4) Installed all my usual programs (OFFICE, PHOTOSHOP, NERO), but DO NOT

    5) In other words have your system ready, but DO NOT INSTALL ANY AUDIO

    6) Backed up this clean configuration on a TrueImage Image, to have it
    ready, just in case something gets screwed.

    Then, and only then I proceeded to install my Video Card Driver. But I
    installed the Catalyst Driver only. NO F...ING Catalyst Control Center.

    I've decided, this time I didn't want any bloatware on my machine for
    good. So I got to NGOHQ and installed the Old and great Catalyst Control
    Panel. (Thanks to NGO and Regeneration for his work on drivers)

    I've installed CAT 6.7 the only version that gave me at best experience
    with my current video card.
    After that I've installed my soundcard driver.

    Then suddenly the most interesting and miraculous thing happened!
    For some reason I've clicked on Windows Update and by surprise I saw two
    critical updates:

    "Install this update to prevent an issue in which you may receive a
    “stop 0x7e in aec.sys” error message on a computer that is running
    Windows XP Service Pack 2. The error may occur during startup, or after
    the system has started. AEC.SYS is the acoustic echo canceling driver."

    This is a reliability update for Windows XP machines. Install this
    audio component update to prevent memory corruption issues which may
    cause an unstable state on a computer that is running Windows XP
    Service Pack 2. After you install this item, you may have to restart
    your computer.
    "You may experience one or more of the following symptoms when you try
    to play audio files on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP
    Service Pack 2 (SP2):• When you resume audio playback after you pause
    it, the audio playback does not play the audio file from the correct
    position. Instead, the audio playback resumes from a random position on
    the audio track.
    • You randomly receive the following Stop error message during audio
    file playback:

    Note If one or more of the following audio drivers are being used when
    you install this update, you must restart the computer. This enables the
    functionality of the following files:
    • Kmixer.sys
    • Splitter.sys
    • Wdmaud.sys

    Interesting isn't it?
    Of course!! It happens that all the bugschecks I've seen of the web from
    people with the same problems always mentioned AEC.SYS, KMIXER.SYS and
    SPLITTER as unloaded modules.
    It's more interesting to notice that this type of BSOD happen more
    concurrently with games that use reverb or echo sounds, like happened to
    me with BF 2142, Tomb Raider Anniversary and Lost Planet. Games that
    have echo all the time.

    So I went ahead and installed these updates that were offered.

    One month from this and counting.

    Believe me, until this day I've never ever have another BSOD. I've been
    playing all these games again for more than 5 hours, fearing that this
    nightmare might happen again, but it didn't.

    Now all this fear, and frustration is left behind, and now I can finally
    start enjoying playing in my PC again, feeling safe and happy.

    At the most I've had one crash in one game, but a CTD. A crash back to
    desktop, without a message, but not the horrid Blue Screen of Death or a
    Squeal of Death.

    So the solution, I think it's on these two Microsoft updates. I
    sincerely think it has to do with sound, but it's not your soundcard,
    the problem
    resides on the windows drivers that work hand-hand with your specific
    soundcard drivers. And I think it's related to the echo (aec.sys).
    Remember that in all BSOD's we have stuttering or a squeal in the sound,
    that gets repeated while you see the blue screen.

    Other recommendations:
    - I think it also helps to make a clean-clean Windows install
    - Don't mess too much with registry cleaners.
    - Refrain from installing the CCC, and really make ATI wake up and give
    customers an utility other that the bloated CCC.

    I really wanted to share this, because I think it would really help
    hardcore PC gamers like me who spend money to have our machines fine.
    There's been so much silence and lack of investigation, and I think it's
    because this research took me time and months, to finally discover the
    I don't think that video and sound card manufacturers have the time and
    dedication to nail the problem, or maybe even the motivation. But I do,
    and I'm sure
    you have the motivation too.

    And now, let's play. ""
    FH, Jan 13, 2008
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