PC keeps kicking me from games; at my wits end

QuarterOfTen

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I have a Windows 10 PC that as of mid-December is kicking me from online games and Discord calls at random. I have tried everything I can think of to diagnose/troubleshoot the issue and have no idea what is causing the problem. I have a feeling it's a software issue at this point but don't know where to go from here. Can anyone provide any tips for what to look for? I've already tried (in no particular order):
-The classic: turning my PC and router off and on again
-Checking storage, game, and OS integrity with Steam/cmd (all clean)
-Reinstalling programs/games that are having issues
-Testing out other devices at the same time to see if it's a network-wide issue (nothing else goes down when my PC does)
-Using wired, Wi-Fi, and another hotspot network (nothing helped, so it isn't a router/modem issue)
-Reinstalling drivers and finding updates
-Turning off power-saver modes in Internet/Wi-Fi hardware
-Had an ISP tech come out to test the lines, as well as switching cables (all cables/lines good)
-Disabling Windows features that may be using up extra resources/bandwidth
-Using Wireshark to monitor network traffic to see if anything in particular was causing issues (drops seem to correspond to failed HTTPS TCP packets but otherwise there isn't a pattern)
-Monitoring the network when the crash happens; no other device goes down and the PC itself says that the connection is still active (no change in uptime)
-Monitoring hardware stats to make sure nothing strange is happening (it isn't)
-Trying to allow games in Windows Defender (all games are already allowed)
-Using built-in troubleshooting prompts and adjusting Internet settings (using a certain type of IP, etc.)
-Clearing Steam, Windows, IP/Internet caches, login credentials, etc.

I have been troubleshooting this for the better part of a month and a half and I am at my wits end. There is no pattern to when it happens; sometimes it happens multiple times a day, sometimes only once, but it has every single day with only one exception. It's not just one game doing this, and it can sometimes cause issues with more than one program at once (ex. kicking me from a server and silencing a Discord call at the same time). Has anyone ever experienced anything similar? Does anyone have any ideas of other areas to troubleshoot? Any idea could give me a lead.
 

BigOnYa

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Have you tried completely reinstalling windows?
And a fresh clean install, by not saving your old settings and programs, may help also. You will have to re-install everything, but if all else fails, worth a try. I had issue similar with my old windows 10 install, that whole system, screen, mouse everything would freeze up for few seconds, every few days or so, then go back to normal op. Like a memory hiccup or something? Could not figure out why either, so only thing fix my prob was a fresh install. Good luck.
 

BigOnYa

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I hear that Fast Startup can cause all sorts of headaches.
https://www.windowscentral.com/how-disable-windows-10-fast-startup
I just tried this, and I think MS removed it, because I don't see it under "Power Button Options" like posted in directions.
Screenshot 2023-02-10 234311.png
 

QuarterOfTen

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I tried sfc /scannow and dism as well; they found a few things but even after those it was still happening. I also disabled fast startup during my troubleshooting adventure; forgot about that. Was hoping I wouldn't have to completely reinstall the OS and go hunting for all the random stuff I use for niche side projects but it's looking more and more likely as time goes on. Any other last avenues I could try before doing a clean install?
 
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BigOnYa

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I tried sfc /scannow and dism as well; they found a few things but even after those it was still happening. I also disabled fast startup during my troubleshooting adventure; forgot about that. Was hoping I wouldn't have to completely reinstall the OS and go hunting for all the random stuff I use for niche side projects but it's looking more and more likely as time goes on. Any other last avenues I could try before doing a clean install?
Not sure how people here feel about it, but "CCleaner" has a registry scanner, cleaner feature in it. Not sure if would help though. Sorry to hear, think we have all been there, good luck! :grog:
 

PewnyPL

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If you have a spare SSD/HDD I'd say, disconnect the one you are using, connect the spare and install fresh windows on it. Then install at least one of the programs/games you have an issue with and test it for a day or two. If it keeps happening, then seems it's not software but hardware issue.
If it is fixed however, then seems like a fresh install is your only option.
 

tech3475

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Do you have any other network related software on the system e.g. third party anti-virus, firewall, etc.

What hardware do you have? In particular the motherboard, cpu and network adapters.
 

Vine-gar

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Why do you think it isn't your router? One symptom of a router failing, in my experience, is that it will fail to make or drop continuous connections even on Ethernet. If the issue persists after a clean install then I'd be certain that this is the cause.

I like PewnyPL's idea.
 
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AkikoKumagara

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I just tried this, and I think MS removed it, because I don't see it under "Power Button Options" like posted in directions.
View attachment 352659

It hasn't, but it might not be available on your system for some reason.

1676580824551.png

Post automatically merged:

Not sure how people here feel about it, but "CCleaner" has a registry scanner, cleaner feature in it. Not sure if would help though. Sorry to hear, think we have all been there, good luck! :grog:
Registry cleaners aren't important as unused registry entries don't really do anything other than take up kilobytes of space on your disk.
 
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FAST6191

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You say you tried wired, wireless and hotspot. Is this using the same motherboard (guessing this is one of those modern ones with wireless onboard, in which case it would all be speaking to the same chip)? If you can scrounge up a USB wifi card, PCI card or whatever like that then if doing proper eliminations that would be mine. Do also try another thing on the same wire, or running a new wire -- would hate to go down the path if you have a dodgy wireless card and the cat bit the network cable or it got pinched in a door and made for intermittent connection.
 

QuarterOfTen

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So I figured I'd come back and update after I've tried some new avenues. I tried a media reinstallation as well as installing my game on a different drive, and when those didn't work I did a full factory reset. I cleaned off both my boot drive and the HDD I store most of my games and files on. Went back in and removed bloatware, tweaked settings to remove unnecessary hardware acceleration and Bing integration in various programs, updated drivers, etc. It seemed to be fine for two days and then today I was playing with friends and it happened again. I've barely installed anything on this new install aside from Steam and a few Microsoft store apps like Minecraft and iTunes, the latter of which I haven't even booted up yet. Drive health on both of the ones I wiped are good (I've checked with SMART and other commands) so I think I can rule out disk failure. I also tried turning on Smart Queue Management on my router since I heard that bufferbloat might cause latency issues and while it did decrease my latency when downloading it didn't fix it either.

Why do you think it isn't your router? One symptom of a router failing, in my experience, is that it will fail to make or drop continuous connections even on Ethernet. If the issue persists after a clean install then I'd be certain that this is the cause.

I like PewnyPL's idea.
I'm definitely going to explore this option if it comes down to it, but the crashes still happened when I was using my phone's hotspot completely detached from the router which makes me believe it's something on the PC itself. I also already tried to contact my modem/router's customer support and never heard back, which is not a good sign...

I'm going to try a USB Ethernet adapter I have lying around like FAST6191 suggested, but if neither of those work then my only options are to reach out about the router and narrow down the few programs I have installed that would be running when this stuff happens. Would having Edge up to look stuff up while playing cause disconnects by any chance?
 
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Futurdreamz

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Have you performed a network test that focuses on latency and jitter? Usually being kicked from an online game or VOIP call is because the server isn't getting a reliable connection. You can boot to a Linux liveCD to test which would rule out software issues, if you can try a different computer it could rule out hardware issues... And as for trying to use a cellphone's hotspot, I suspect that unless you have 5G you'd still have latency/jitter problems.
 
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