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Win 7 x64 | BSOD Crimson 15.12 and 16.1 - REFERENCE_BY_POINTER Error

Question asked by seraphyx on Jan 22, 2016
Latest reply on Feb 12, 2016 by seraphyx

Hello, been having this BSOD issue for a few weeks. Sometimes it happens once or twice a week, sometimes it can happen twice or three times a day. Seems to be random, it has happened twice when I was just starting up a game (nothing crazy, binding of isaac while viewing videos online. doubt it's BoI related, it has happened with other games too).


At first I thought it might either be my memory or maybe even HDD. Ran memtest and everything passed, ran disk check with multiple programs and all passed with no errors.


The error was reference_by_pointer. I couldn't view the crash logs because it said something about the version being outdated, not sure what it was talking about but there was too much gibberish when opening it with notepad. I finally found a program called WhoCrashed and it's amazing, not sure how accurate but it's better than the bsod error messages at least. It pointed to a file called atikmdag.sys being out of date or a probable cause for the issues. Here's the full message:


crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\011916-56659-01.dmp

uptime: 04:37:43

This was probably caused by the following module: atikmdag.sys (atikmdag+0x2A2E4)

Bugcheck code: 0x18 (0xFFFFFA8006E09A40, 0xFFFFFA800CF18720, 0x1, 0x1)


file path: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\atikmdag.sys

product: ATI Radeon Family

company: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

description: ATI Radeon Kernel Mode Driver

Bug check description: This indicates that the reference count of an object is illegal for the current state of the object.

This appears to be a typical software driver bug and is not likely to be caused by a hardware problem. This might be a case of memory corruption. More often memory corruption happens because of software errors in buggy drivers, not because of faulty RAM modules.

A third party driver was identified as the probable root cause of this system error. It is suggested you look for an update for the following driver: atikmdag.sys (ATI Radeon Kernel Mode Driver, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.).

Google query: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. REFERENCE_BY_POINTER


I read on another forum somewhere to try and ONLY install the display driver rather than the entire suite. So far I haven't had a bsod (been about 2 days, but I would be able to go a week sometimes without a bsod). I do like the Crimson software, is there any possible solution or other testing I can run to see exactly what the issue is if it's not that file?


Running Win 7 x64, R9 380, FX 8320 cpu, Asus m5a97 le r2.0 mobo,


Any help would be appreciated, thanks!