So for the past couple days, my system has been experiencing full system crashes (2 BSOD, the rest with corrupted screen visuals and non responding system including mouse cursor). Sorry if the post is too long, but going into detail.
It started a day after I was playing the game Borderlands and Alt+F4'd out of the program to prevent an auto save after something negative happened in the game. It was late at the time, so I didn't reenter the game.
The next day, Aug 1st, my computer would not turn on at all, until I turned off the computer power switch on my surge protector and left it off for 10 minutes (though that doesn't make sense, because I have the master power off when my computer shuts down, so it seems redundant to need to turn off the master AND the seperate computer switch). Once it booted up, nothing out of the ordinary happened except for a couple times of odd screen flickering/artifacts during the game World of Warcraft, and I did not play Borderlands at all.
The 2nd, after doing normal system stuff (including another game, World of Warcraft) and after a couple hours of video watching, I went to load up Borderlands, and upon getting to the menu it then corrupted my visual screen on the primary monitor, and stopped displaying anything on my 2nd monitor, to the point where it displayed the behavior of being shut down waiting for signal (like when I turn the monitor on before my computer, with the power light blinking) instead of simply black screen.
When attempting Ctrl+Alt+Del to get to task manager menu, it took forever to change and then loaded the blue screen with the options. When I clicked the task manger button, sound from the game restored to the normal menu music but the rest of the screen turned black with white borders surrounding where potential windows would have been, and the task manager never loaded and the mouse cursor froze.
Upon attempting to reboot, I got a BSOD shortly after the Windows login screen displayed, however no minidump files were saved. BSOD flashed by so fast I only really noticed the first 2 letters of the long dll file, the normal nv that is associated with video drivers.
I booted up in safe mode with networking, downloaded new video drivers, and uninstalled. Upon trying to install the new package, it attempted to updated Physx, which I hadn't uninstalled because I didnt know it was in the new package, and failed the installation. I cancelled the install program and tried to uninstall Physx for a proper clean install, however attempting to do so from the programs menu failed to initialize the uninstaller. It was late and I didn't want to deal with it anymore so I went to sleep.
On the 3rd, I was able to boot normally and uninstall Physx from there, then rebooting in safe mode and installing just the video drivers alone, downloading a seperate version of the Physx installer, and was able to reboot and do normal system functions for the entire day, though I did not load Borderlands at all to test it there.
I loaded up CCleaner and ran full cleaning, and after a time I finished normal functioning and turned to read a book, while leaving my computer on to play music over speakers. This lasted ~3 hrs, to which it was then closing on the evening hours, so I went to web browse just before sleeping, and attempted to download a .rar file from a site. Once it loaded up the Save As menu for where to save the file, the computer locked up, turning off the 2nd monitor, and copying a corrupted mash of both screens onto the primary monitor, and freezing the cursor.
Ctrl+Alt+Del did nothing at all, and the music that was playing in the background continued the song it was playing as normal until it finished and then silence. It is possible it moved to another song but I didnt wait too long after that before hard shutting down the computer and attempting to reboot.
On reboot it booted normally, and I quickly tried to opena folder and continue what I was doing and extract the rar file and open it, but it froze again in the same manner as before, with corrupted primary screen and turned off second monitor. I rebooted in safe mode and left it up for a time while I prepped for bed and it had no problems, so I shut down and went to sleep.
Today, the 4th, I booted up and started looking around for system diagnostic tools, in hopes of finding some quick and easy thing that could help me find what piece of hardware could be doing this if it was hardware at all. After another corrupted screen lockup (which I then took a picture of and is attached at the bottom), I then booted up Memtest and left that running for 4 passes, all with 0 errors, eliminating my memory from the list of potential failures.
Obviously i'm hoping it is NOT a hardware issue since that would mean $ to replace something, but can the problems described be OS related? If anyone knows what these symptoms can point to, i'd appreciate the help.
CPU - Intel i7 920
Mobo - MSI X58 Pro-E
Mem - 6gb (3x2gb) OCZ Gold 1600 DDR3
HD - WD Caviar Black 1TB (primary), 250gb WD and 300g Seagate backups
GPU - Nvidia 9800GTX
PSU - Antec TruePower 550w
PSU and Vid Card are older than the others, carryovers from the system before them, planned to upgrade later as need presented, which it hasnt until possibly now.
I would start by removing and inspecting the vid and psu for dust buildup, bad or bulging capacitors, check psu output with a DMM. uninstall vid drivers again and use a driver cleaner tool before reinstalling vid drivers.