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Windows 7: Constant crashing, freezing, BSOD, restarting

28 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit (OEM)
 
 
Constant crashing, freezing, BSOD, restarting

Hello, I am hoping some of the great people here might be able to help me identify whatever is causing my problems with windows 7. So first off here is some basic

info about the system:

Windows 7 64bit OEM

Hardware maybe 3 to 4 years old. Computer home built, ran for years flawlessly on XP and then flawlessly with a pirated version of Windows 7 for a short time before buying Windows 7 since it seems to be a fantastic OS.

The OS is as old as yesterday, I have formatted many times in the last week trying to figure out what is wrong by limiting the installed software. The system seems to work "better" before I install any drivers, but it still crashed once even with the barebones system fresh installed. Currently I have installed the mobo drivers, graphics drivers and that's it. The computer ran fine for the rest of the day, I turn it on this morning and it crashed within minutes of start up, simply locking up and the computer repeating the "beep beep beep beep" sound from the mobos speaker.

The crashes are usually freezes, where the computer simply locks up and becomes unresponsive, however sometimes it produces a BSOD, one time the screen just went blue and it didn't even write any text out to it. Sometimes it also just restarts. Before I formatted for a while it would do a rather bizarre thing such that when it started up it would "freeze" for minutes at a time, seemingly as it extremely slowly loaded the gui objects in short bursts and then would run ok, until I opened internet explorer for instance where it would freeze again for moments while it seemingly loaded screen objects.

Anyhow, I am guessing some part of my hardware is faulty since I cant imagine this is a software issue. The only thing that still makes me think it might be software is the face that after a format and a fresh install the computer will run perfectly for ages until it updates and restarts.

Hopefully someone can help point me in the right direction, thanks for your time

I have attached a zip with the files from the Windows_NT6_BSOD_v3.03_jcgriff2_ and also the perfmon report as well as the results from "SF Diag Tool" found on these forums.

P.S I ran memtest for 6 passes with no errors, just in case that is important too.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Oct 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Hi,
There is no dump file in your attached files so make sure your system is configured to generated the dump.
Dont use any cleaner program and next time you get bsod, attach the dumps here.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...en-forums.html

By looking at your system info, is there any newer version of your current bios?
Your bios version : 2.5 (9/18/2008)

Then at the perform report indicated that you have poor disk rating so it's better to diagnose the hardrive as well.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64bit (OEM)
 
 

My computer has only crashed twice since the last format (yesterday, once in safe mode), both times no bsod, just frozen and unresponsive at the desktop, maybe that's why there are no dumps? The computer is already set up to create "small memory dump (256 KB)". BSOD's are relatively rare compared to locking up and restarting so it may be a while before I get any?

btw "cleaner program"? what is that, what does it do? never used anything like that since I have come to associate it with untrustworthy applications, I barely have enough to trust to want to run the apps on this site!

I'll see about the bios and run the hard drive diagnostics now....

-edit- btw, I dont know much about this hardware stuff tbh, but I always assumed formatting was a good enough "start over". Looking at the "DriverList" file created SF diag I see kernel drivers from Brother? its been years since I have had a brother printer, why are they there?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


28 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

You're right, it does look like a hardware issue. Very little information is recorded about the crashes in Event Viewer.

What Memtest did you run? Did you run Memtest86, as in this guide?

RAM - Test with Memtest86+

Also, test RAM immediately upon power-on, after several hours' rest. Perhaps when you get up in the morning.

Run Data Lifeguard tools: WD Support > Downloads > SATA & SAS > WD Caviar Black

PSU is a big suspicion too, although that's one of the harder components to test. Do you have a multimeter? Could you test the voltages coming out of it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64bit (OEM)
 
 

Thanks heaps for the responses, fast too!!

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wish View Post
Hi,
There is no dump file in your attached files so make sure your system is configured to generated the dump.
Dont use any cleaner program and next time you get bsod, attach the dumps here.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...en-forums.html

By looking at your system info, is there any newer version of your current bios?
Your bios version : 2.5 (9/18/2008)

Then at the perform report indicated that you have poor disk rating so it's better to diagnose the hardrive as well.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
I haven't dealt with updating bios before, but after looking around and registering at XFX (the makers of my mobo) and looking in their support section for it the only bios updates they have listed are as following:
BIOS BIOS Update - ISO File V1.41 (Size: 1.27 MB)
BIOS BIN File V1.3 - updated BIOS CPU microcode, corrected ROM table flash size BIOS Update - BIN file V1.3 (Size: 0.44 MB)
To me that looks older if you are saying I have 2.5 and they are offering 1.41? Does the mobo bios get updated when you install the drivers for it in windows?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jonathan_King View Post
You're right, it does look like a hardware issue. Very little information is recorded about the crashes in Event Viewer.

What Memtest did you run? Did you run Memtest86, as in this guide?

RAM - Test with Memtest86+

Also, test RAM immediately upon power-on, after several hours' rest. Perhaps when you get up in the morning.

Run Data Lifeguard tools: WD Support > Downloads > SATA & SAS > WD Caviar Black

PSU is a big suspicion too, although that's one of the harder components to test. Do you have a multimeter? Could you test the voltages coming out of it?
I followed that guide yes, using memtest86, however I did run it after the computer had been running for a bit. My memory is hazy, but come to think of it the computer may have been locking up mostly in the morning or when I get home, after its been powered off for a long time. Does that actually make a difference to memory? I will run memtest again tomorrow morning I guess?

The quick pass of the lifeguard tools turned up no errors, it is doing a full pass now, posting from another machine!

I do have a multimeter, however I am a little apprehensive about poking around in my psu with a couple of metal prongs, is checking this sort of thing considered "simple"? is there a guide, or anything I should be careful of?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Carbon14 View Post
Thanks heaps for the responses, fast too!!

I haven't dealt with updating bios before, but after looking around and registering at XFX (the makers of my mobo) and looking in their support section for it the only bios updates they have listed are as following:
BIOS BIOS Update - ISO File V1.41 (Size: 1.27 MB)
BIOS BIN File V1.3 - updated BIOS CPU microcode, corrected ROM table flash size BIOS Update - BIN file V1.3 (Size: 0.44 MB)
To me that looks older if you are saying I have 2.5 and they are offering 1.41? Does the mobo bios get updated when you install the drivers for it in windows?
Yes, it seems you already have newer bios version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64bit (OEM)
 
 

Test Option:EXTENDED TESTModel Number:WDC WD3200AAJS-00VWA0Unit Serial Number:WD-WCARW0479299Firmware Number:12.01B02Capacity:320.07 GBSMART Status:Not AvailableTest Result:FAILTest Error Code:08-Error was detected while repairing bad sectors.Test Time:15:22:52, October 29, 2010

So there is the result of the extended test using the western digital lifeguard. I am not entirely surprised at this seeing as the computer has crashed so many times. I assume the windows 7 installer format doesn't mark these bad sectors anymore since it doesn't appear to be a full format? what is the recommended course of action at this point?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

You *may* be able to extend the life of the drive by doing a full format. Running chkdsk /r from a command prompt would have the same effect.

Don't trust it!

Purchase a new hard drive, and move your data to that as soon as possible. In the interim, you may want to back up any important data to a USB drive, external hard drive, DVD, network drive, or online drive (like Windows Live Skydrive, for a free 25GB). You can't be too safe with important data!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #9

Windows 7 Professional 64bit (OEM)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jonathan_King View Post
You *may* be able to extend the life of the drive by doing a full format. Running chkdsk /r from a command prompt would have the same effect.

Don't trust it!

Purchase a new hard drive, and move your data to that as soon as possible. In the interim, you may want to back up any important data to a USB drive, external hard drive, DVD, network drive, or online drive (like Windows Live Skydrive, for a free 25GB). You can't be too safe with important data!
All my data is elsewhere anyhow, the drive is currently the only one plugged in, after a fresh format with windows 7 on it. However windows 7 doesn't seem to give an option for a full format during install. I have an identical drive to this one (they used to be raided) so I might format that one and then run a check on that to see if it has any problems. However it is the same age and I have heard hard drives tend to only have a decent life of 3 to 4 years.

In your oppinion is it likely/possible the drive is at fault for my problems, or more likely that the constant OS crashes has put bad sectors on the drive? (I dont know if the second part is right, but have heard that if the computer is reading/writing to the drive during a crash then it can currupt sectors?)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Nothing Windows can do can corrupt sectors. That's just a hardware problem.

You're correct, there is no way to get the Windows installer to do a full format. You can do a full format from the command prompt first.

Boot up the installation DVD, and select Repair my computer. Open a command prompt, and enter the following:
Code:
format C: /fs:ntfs
That should do the trick.

Really though, that will only extend the life of the drive, not solve the issue. Data Lifeguard Tools reported a hardware error, so you are taking your chances storing anything on the drive.

I suggest you RMA the drive for a replacement, if the warranty is still valid.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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