This is my first post on the forums as i'm unable to find the solution online. I've searched all over Google for a similar case to mine and i'm yet to find any.
I recently ran in to a BSOD during gaming on Windows 10 64-bit. It occurred when I was playing Black Ops 4. I managed to get two quick games in and a BSOD occurred on the third session.
I then managed to reboot in to Windows and my nVidia drivers were out of date for Black Ops 4, I downloaded them and noticed Windows had a security update also. I installed the Windows update AFTER the nVidia drivers. I've now learnt that those Window drivers were Spectre/Meltdown patches, which for some reason, Windows hadn't installed when they first came out.
I was unable to rectify the BSOD occurrance and it continued to happen when trying to run the Black Ops 4 client and the launcher itself. This got worse and eventually lead to a BSOD loop. The BSOD each time was different, never came over a pattern or anything to point me in the right direction.
I was initially able to boot in to Safe Mode in Windows and remove all recent drivers to see if it was an issue from that perspective, this did not resolve the BSOD issues I was having. I eventually decided on a fresh install for Windows 10 via USB. This installed fine and I figured I had a corrupt driver. After the fresh install, I attempted to apply my overclock settings and XMP profile to the CPU and RAM respectively. For information, I was previously sat at 5ghz on the i5 7600k CPU @1.29vcore, with the XMP Profile set to 3000Mhz which was the rated speed for the RAM I bought. This has been running stable since October 2017, not one single BSOD from this set up. On attempting to apply the same settings, I was only able to clock the CPU at 4.5ghz @1.29vcore. A whole 500mhz out! I assumed this was because of the Spectre/Meltdown patches. The RAM continued to run at the rated 3000Mhz via the XMP Profile.
Two days went by and I was streaming a football match online. 80 minutes in and the system BSOD again! I wasn't doing anything unusual and the system was running as normal, no lagging or display issues to pre-warn of a BSOD.
This time around there was a common theme around NTFS.SYS BSOD, it occurred more often than not and sometimes pointed towards a Kernel issue. I didn't make note of the BSOD codes at the time but it was primarily an NTFS.SYS code. I'm now stuck in a permanent BSOD loop. I can't boot to safe mode, advanced repair or install Windows 10 from a USB without a BSOD occurring. There are times when Windows will boot in to the desktop, but on trying to do ANYTHING, it'll BSOD.
I've since flashed my BIOS to a previous version, prior to the Spectre/Meltdown patches. This hasn't helped and the system is still stuck in a BSOD loop.
I've removed my GPU, disconnected my HDD, disconnected the PC tower USB connection, removed one RAM stick and changed them through to check, removed any additional peripherals from USB etc. I still have the BSOD loop issue. I've even disconnected my M.2 SSD on top of the above listed and tried to run a Windows 10 USB, the USB attempts to run up the installation media, but BSODs shortly after initialising, that's with NO HDD/SSD connected either! I've also applied a CMOS reset several times. The motherboard's EZ Debug tool is highlighting VGA and DRAM as being the issue, even though i've removed my GPU and i've also tested the RAM as far as possible.
I'm able to run memtest86 and this showed that there were NO errors on the memory.
I now feel i've exhausted all possible options and i'm at a complete loss as to what to do next. If no one can help, i'll have to start returning components individually under their 12 month warranty. Which might not guarantee a fix... :(
I'm intending on running a third party application tonight to wipe and format the SSD and leave the HDD disconnected for now. My concern is that M.2 SSD architecture is different to a HDD, can I still format and wipe it with DBAN for example? I've been unable to install DBAN on to a USB as of yet. I have access to a laptop.
For information my system specification is:
i5 7600k, delidded and previously clocked at 5.3Ghz stable, downclocked to 5Ghz for the last 10 months. Peak temperatures on stress testing are no more than 55 degrees on full load. NZXT Kraken X62 AIO Liquid Cooler. Corsair Vengeance LPX @3000Mhz on XMP. Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming. Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 SSD (used for Windows OS and games library
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