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Windows 7: Reasonable explanation for crashes?


19 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 
Reasonable explanation for crashes?

A long tale of woe that ends with some questions. Please bare with me in the background explanation.

For over a year I've been having occasional flurries of crashes, hangs and (rarely) BSODs. Months would go by with no problem, then dozens of crashes or hangs in a week. The event logs and rare dumps have not been helpful. People here said it sounded like hardware problem, but no diagnostics I ran could find a problem.

I took it to a pc repair shop which could find no hardware problem (and of course it would not crash or hang for them). The suggested (as did people on this forum) that it probably was ZoneAlarm Internet Security. They installed the Kaspersky Internet Security product (for a fee, of course) and said that should fix the problems. 2 days later it froze 3 times and did automatic reboots 5 times.

I took it back. It still wouldn't crash or hang for them. They said Windows probably needed to be reinstalled - that my update from Windows 7 Home to Pro corrupted something. Rather than mess up the installation again I asked them to do it (for a fee, of course).

During their attempts to reinstall Windows it started crashing for them. They succeeded on their 3rd attempt, ran some more tests, checked the configuration, and found problems with the ram. They said ram I had was incompatible with the mother board and buggy, but the problems could not be detected by the diagnostics. They also said they had to reinstall Windows a 4th time because the 3rd reinstallation was corrupted because of the bad ram.

So, finally, some questions.
1. If the ram was incompatible with the MB could I have run at all? Could it have caused intermittent problems?

2. I had OCZ DDR3 memory cards and a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R MB. Is this memory incompatible with the MB? I've recently heard that OCZ memory is not very high quality. Is that generally true?

3. Can bad ram (and crashes cause by it) corrupt Windows? I can see how the registry could get corrupted but would that take a reinstallation of Windows to fix?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Oct 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

OCZ is high quality, but it is also one of the least compatible memories on the market (meaning it works properly with the fewest hardware configurations)
I use it personally and have for years with no complaint. ...and certainly without the problems you describe, though I always verify the motherboard/ram compatibility before I purchase a motherboard.

If the ram is actually bad it can cause any number of seemingly unrelated problems and errors. Since basically everything processes through the ram and it can be only one stick or one specific memory address on a stick that actually causes the problem. It's possible this bad address can go for months without being used until a specific set of circumstances pops up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2011   #3

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 

I understand that bad memory could cause all the problems I mentioned. I was having trouble with the "incompatible" part. Intermittently incompatible? Or is the incompatibility a timing issue?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Oct 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I can honestly say I do not know the criteria the manufacturers use to determine that.
I would guess it may not even be consistent from one manufacturer to the next.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2011   #5

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 

I was really more interested in the corruption of Windows issue, but it's a moot point now. Windows was reinstalled and I'm currently reinstalling and reconfiguring all the programs I previous had installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Maguscreed View Post
OCZ is high quality, but it is also one of the least compatible memories on the market (meaning it works properly with the fewest hardware configurations)
I use it personally and have for years with no complaint. ...and certainly without the problems you describe, though I always verify the motherboard/ram compatibility before I purchase a motherboard.

If the ram is actually bad it can cause any number of seemingly unrelated problems and errors. Since basically everything processes through the ram and it can be only one stick or one specific memory address on a stick that actually causes the problem. It's possible this bad address can go for months without being used until a specific set of circumstances pops up.
I'm afraid you're incorrect that OCZ is high quality. That's exactly what I thought when I bought 8 gig of SLI specialized ram. After a year and a half of fairly decent operation, I started getting driver errors and BSC's. I went though the the obvious tests and even reinstalled Windows 7 with no resolution. It kept pointing at a memory handling error. The chipset is NVidia 750i which was reinstalled, as was the Bios. Now it got worse. I pulled all the memory sticks and reinstalled just one. Viola, system booted normally. So I went through the painstaking task of installing each memory stick, one at a time and doing a memory check on each one. They all checked out OK. But if I installed more then one stick, crashus maximus!
So now, I pulled the motherboard and RMA'd it back to Asus. Their diagnostics found no problems. (Oh BTW, I did do a processor check before sending out the motherboard)
Now is when I started doing some digging on OCZ. I was shocked to find out that both their RAM and SSD's are pure junk. Tiger Direct won't even carry their product any more. I just got off the phone with OCZ RMA section and they're going to refund rather then replace. The issue is something to do with the dual channel capability. I must say though, they are honoring their warranty, which is a big plus for them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #7

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 

I have no real proof the the memory was the problem but since the OCZ memory was replaced with Crucial Technology memory I've had only one crash (the day after I got the PC back from the shop). That's well over a month so I think the problem is solved and the memory looks like the cause.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RAlgarJr View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Maguscreed View Post
OCZ is high quality, but it is also one of the least compatible memories on the market (meaning it works properly with the fewest hardware configurations)
I use it personally and have for years with no complaint. ...and certainly without the problems you describe, though I always verify the motherboard/ram compatibility before I purchase a motherboard.

If the ram is actually bad it can cause any number of seemingly unrelated problems and errors. Since basically everything processes through the ram and it can be only one stick or one specific memory address on a stick that actually causes the problem. It's possible this bad address can go for months without being used until a specific set of circumstances pops up.
I'm afraid you're incorrect that OCZ is high quality. That's exactly what I thought when I bought 8 gig of SLI specialized ram. After a year and a half of fairly decent operation, I started getting driver errors and BSC's. I went though the the obvious tests and even reinstalled Windows 7 with no resolution. It kept pointing at a memory handling error. The chipset is NVidia 750i which was reinstalled, as was the Bios. Now it got worse. I pulled all the memory sticks and reinstalled just one. Viola, system booted normally. So I went through the painstaking task of installing each memory stick, one at a time and doing a memory check on each one. They all checked out OK. But if I installed more then one stick, crashus maximus!
So now, I pulled the motherboard and RMA'd it back to Asus. Their diagnostics found no problems. (Oh BTW, I did do a processor check before sending out the motherboard)
Now is when I started doing some digging on OCZ. I was shocked to find out that both their RAM and SSD's are pure junk. Tiger Direct won't even carry their product any more. I just got off the phone with OCZ RMA section and they're going to refund rather then replace. The issue is something to do with the dual channel capability. I must say though, they are honoring their warranty, which is a big plus for them.

Just one small note here if you go looking for it, you can find massive bad reports on just about any ram. It is the second most commonly doa part of the computer and many people don't care to get RMA's

With almost 20 years of building and working with computers. I've found all of the brands to be about equal in all things. I've had them die almost right away and I've had them last longer than the machine was even viable for use. I've found this to be true of a great many brands, and types of hardware. It's for this reason based on my significant personal experience that I'm going to have to disagree with your position.

...the only low failure rate ssd's on the market are all made by intel.

Just remember whatever position you want to find you will find on the internet.
Personal experience is your best guide, and ram failing after roughly a year and a half is actually quite common.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit
 
 

Oh, I definitely agree. I've had my share of RAM nightmares over the years. It's just too bad there's no way to test RAM out of the chassis. Process of elimination is always a giant pain in the butt. That's why I bought top of the line memory. I'm considering dropping in a new motherboard that will handle DDR3 ram, USB 3.0, DirectX 12 and full 3D.

I was browsing and saw RAM heatsinks. I'm considering that too. I probably don't need it, but having RAM with a blower would be a cool conversation piece.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

DX12?
That's still largely speculation at this time.
I have seen some blogs suggesting nvidia and amd might be working on support for it, but I've seen nothing from microsoft on it yet.

If you meant dx11, yeah all you need is a graphics card update for that.
I'm upgrading my box to a ddr3 rig just because the price on it is so low right now.

going with g.skill ripjaws this time around.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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