Monday, June 02, 2014

Troubleshooting bluescreen issues by USB driver comflicts of Thrustmaster TH8RS and ASUS M5A78L/USB3 in Windows 8.1 x64 Update 1

It isn't easy to face bluescreen issues in Windows 8.1, but sometimes it still happens if you happen to come across a bad driver/outdated driver and driver conflicts. So, after buying the Gear Shifter, I faced hourly bluescreens.

The trained eye may notice that the Thrustmaster Support Download Site for the TH8RS only mentions Windows XP-Windows 8, but not 8.1.

Since the bluescreen issues only appeared as soon as the Gear Shifter was connected and only since I got it installed, I guessed that a driver issue with this device maybe the reason for my bluescreens.

So, searching for evidence may not be as straightforward if you don't know what tools to use. I have passed the "trial and error" phase since long, and also Windows Event Manager is not my tool of choice.

Step 0) Starting Windows 8.1 in Safe Mode with Network functionality.

Step 1) Finding out which kind of error you are receiving and which system files conflict with each other: Use
You can see that most times, it crashed because of "IRQ NOT LESS OR EQUAL", wich means that some devices have an interrupt address conflict. You can see by the red marked files, that HIDCLASS.SYS (so Human Interface Device driver for USB devices) and the Windows NT OS Kernel" conflicted with each other.

Now we know what is happening but we don't know yet about the "Why". So:





Step 2) Checking out which HID and USB Controller Drivers are installed and whether they are the latest versions. We use DriverMax for that.
When we scanned for currently installed drivers and we hover over the "Date" line of the USBG Host Controller Driver, we can find the date of the installed driver vs the recent driver version, we see that the installed version is from 2006! That's incredibly outdated, long before Windows 8.x and even Windows 7 was released. Also I see the generic USB hub driver is outdated (however I don't think that's the reason for the bluescreen, but since 2 is the maximum amount of driver downloads per 24h of the free version, why not? ;) ).





Step 3) After restarting Windows 8.1 in normal mode , we may be facing a blue screen again this time because the ASMEDIA onboard USB3.0 drivers crash :(

Don't mind the German in the error message, important is the last bit of information. You can see the reason again and you can see which driver is involved. In this case, the ASMedia USB3.0 driver for my on-board USB3.0 ports.

Since this happens right after loggin into my Windows 8.1 user account, I have no other choice but to reboot into Safe Mode with Network again.

May I kindly refer here to my previous post which discribes where to get a working driver from, here or if this one doesn't work, use the previous one supplied by ASUS as described here. (WARNING: DO NOT use the most recent one supplied by DriverMax, because it will make your system instable!)



The problem just is, you cannot installed it in safe mode, and since it instantly crashes in normal mode, you are in a devil's circle. To break the circle, simply go to the Device Manager in Control Panel and uninstall the driver .

After restarting into normal mode, you may notice that the Windows 8.1 stock driver has been installed and that the USB root hub mentiones "non functional".

So, then we download and install the ASMEDIA driver as mentioned previously. Once we restarted Windows 8.1 the bluescreen and USB driver  IRQ conflicts  are gone!

Happy Gaming! :)


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