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Windows 7: New homebuilt PC. BSODs in one application. Where to start diagnosis?

31 Dec 2011   #1
MrELB

Win 7 64 Home Premium
 
 
New homebuilt PC. BSODs in one application. Where to start diagnosis?

Hello. I could really use some help, so thanks for reading. I know it's long, but any input is greatly appreciated. Also feel free to skip down to ISSUE below for the short version.

Please see attached for the PERFMON and other relevant files.

I will try to be very clear and keep this to just the facts (because there are a decent number):

1. Newly homebuilt Win 7 64 system.
2. OS on new 120GB SSD (Mushkin Chronos Deluxe in AHCI mode).
3. Boots fine, Internet fine, downloads and installs fine.
4. After install, connected older Western Digital Caviar 250 GB drive containing data files (documents, zip files, etc.) from old Win XP 32 system.
5. Copying from the WD drive to SSD, no problem. Installing/extracting to WD drive (system back-up, etc.) caused a few, inconsistent instances where the drive experienced an error, "disappeared" from Windows Explorer and I had to shut down and restart to get back. This was the only error I experienced other than the BSODs described below.
6. Once the system seemed somewhat stable (other than above issue), I downloaded newest drivers of those installed by the motherboard DVD (slightly out of date) or Win 7. This is one place I could have gone wrong, as I installed drivers from latest I could find on the Internet, rather than from ASUS site (mobo is ASUS P8Z68-V).
7. The reason for my using my older WD drive at all (beyond preserving key data files from old PC) was that the SSD is only 120 GB and supposed to be reserved for OS and applications (e.g., games) where speed is meaningful.
8. So, in part to preserve the SSD space I have, I made some tweaks to Win 7. Shrunk the page/swap file, shrunk system restore points (and also moved them to WD 250 GB drive), turned off hibernate mode, etc. Those three were eating a lot of space. I also disabled start-up applications and services I determined (through experience and Internet research) to be unnecessary, like Bluetooth support (note: I did not alter any Windows apps or services). This is another area where I suppose I could have gone wrong.
9. What little I was doing with the system at that point seemed fine (booting, web surfing, downloading, etc.). So, I installed the one game I wanted to try with this system that I've been playing lately, Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO).
10. I installed LOTRO a bit unconventionally. I simply copied my old game folder over that I'd had on my just-retired XP system, and preserved on the WD 250 GB drive, to my new SSD. Once there, I ran the launcher, which found the game, installed a few critical set-up files, detected DX 11 (new for this Win 7 64 OS) and ran the game. No issues, but this could also be where I went wrong.
11 (ISSUE!). The game ran quite well (better than on XP — no surprise with the new hardware and OS). But after playing for a time (30 minutes to an hour), it would Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), always with the message: "Page Fault in Non-Page Area." The PC would then auto-restart without issue.

Additional note: The game often makes a distinct, short "crackly" sound shortly before BSOD, which often (always?) occurred when transitioning areas. If I was to base a guess on instinct, it feels like I've reached the end of my memory (RAM, video GPU RAM, hard drive cache...no idea) and the game/my PC can't manage it, so BSOD.
12. Given the irregular issues I'd had earlier with the WD drive (though the game was now running off of SSD), the non-ASUS drivers I'd installed, the alterations I'd made to Win 7, and the unorthodox way I'd installed the game (though others on the forum had done this, moved OSs like I did, and it worked fine), I had no idea where to begin. From what little research I could understand, it could be the game, my drivers, or my hardware.
13. It would be one thing if I'd had the system up and stable and running similarly demanding applications — then I could better determine the source of the issue. But since the system is new and the game is far and away the most demanding application it has run, I've no idea.

The steps I've taken so far:
1. I tried reading the Win 7 diagnostics of the issue, but since I have almost no experience with this, it meant little to me. I did switch off the "auto-restart on BSOD"
2. I returned to the option to have Win 7 manage my swap/page file (virtual memory).
3. I disconnected my WD 250 GB drive, so only the SSD is running.
4. Concerned that the issue may be with my new hardware or heat (though this should be a very cool rig — many fans, good case), I did the following:
- Ran MSI Kombuster stress test on my video card (never heated above 50C).
- Ran Win 7 diagnostic memory test (no issues found)
- Ran Prime95 "Torture" test (CPU and RAM intensive) for 12 minutes. CPU temp never exceeded 49C. No errors.

While it could still be hardware, I'm hoping that the above indicates it's not.

Finally, the LOTRO forums did report BSODs for some people with similar systems (Win 7 64) and Creative Labs sound cards to mine (an Audigy 4), apparently having to do with the X-Fi driver. These were sometimes resolved by running audio off the motherboard. My ASUS mobo has this, and I've installed the driver, but I'm unsure how to activate it over my sound card. A few also had issues with DX11, but this was not widespread.

In conclusion, I don't know where to start. Try the different audio option in the game. Reinstall the game. Resume all my services and start-up programs. Replace all of my drivers with ones (even older ones) from the ASUS site. Wipe my SSD and reinstall Win 7 altogether. Try using just one 4GB stick of my RAM (G.Skill Ripjaws 4GBx2, 8GB total). I'm out of my depth.

Again, I really appreciate your taking the time to read this. Any clue or place to start would be great.

Thanks so much,

ELB

SPECS:
Win 7 64 home premium
Intel i5 2500K
G.Skill Ripjaws RAM (2x4GB)
ASUS P8Z68-V motherboard
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB SSD
Corsair HX620W power supply
Gigabyte Nvidia 460GTX OC graphics card
CreativeLabs Soundblaster Audigy 4 sound card
Western Digital Caviar 250 GB hard drive


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
31 Dec 2011   #2
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

No DM files uploaded. You uploaded the application, not the dats. PLease try this method.

We do need the DMP file as it contains the only record of the sequence of events leading up to the crash, what drivers were loaded, and what was responsible.

If you are overclocking STOP

You may be able to get the DMP files without crashing by booting into safe mode (F8) with networking.

To enable us to assist you with your computer's BSOD symptoms, upload the contents of your "\Windows\Minidump" folder.

The procedure:
Quote:
* Copy the contents of \Windows\Minidump to another (temporary) location somewhere on your machine.
* Zip up the copy.
* Attach the ZIP archive to your post using the "paperclip" (file attachments) button.
*If the files are too large please upload them to a file sharing service like "Rapidshare" and put a link to them in your reply.

To ensure minidumps are enabled:
Quote:
* Go to Start, in the Search Box type: sysdm.cpl, press Enter.
* Under the Advanced tab, click on the Startup and Recovery Settings... button.
* Ensure that Automatically restart is unchecked.
* Under the Write Debugging Information header select Small memory dump (256 kB) in the dropdown box (the 256kb varies).
* Ensure that the Small Dump Directory is listed as %systemroot%\Minidump.
* OK your way out.
* Reboot if changes have been made.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2011   #3
MrELB

Win 7 64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
[B]We do need the DMP file as it contains the only record of the sequence of events leading up to the crash, what drivers were loaded, and what was responsible.
My apologies (obviously, I'm new at this). I've attached the contents of my minidump folder as instructed.

My PC is working for the most part (outside of the game), so I do not need to enter safe mode to retrieve the files. Also, I am not overclocking any components.

I will also check to ensure minidumps are fully enabled.

Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

01 Jan 2012   #4
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MrELB View Post
Hello. I could really use some help, so thanks for reading. I know it's long, but any input is greatly appreciated. Also feel free to skip down to ISSUE below for the short version.

Please see attached for the PERFMON and other relevant files.

I will try to be very clear and keep this to just the facts (because there are a decent number):

1. Newly homebuilt Win 7 64 system.
2. OS on new 120GB SSD (Mushkin Chronos Deluxe in AHCI mode).
3. Boots fine, Internet fine, downloads and installs fine.
4. After install, connected older Western Digital Caviar 250 GB drive containing data files (documents, zip files, etc.) from old Win XP 32 system.
5. Copying from the WD drive to SSD, no problem. Installing/extracting to WD drive (system back-up, etc.) caused a few, inconsistent instances where the drive experienced an error, "disappeared" from Windows Explorer and I had to shut down and restart to get back. This was the only error I experienced other than the BSODs described below.
6. Once the system seemed somewhat stable (other than above issue), I downloaded newest drivers of those installed by the motherboard DVD (slightly out of date) or Win 7. This is one place I could have gone wrong, as I installed drivers from latest I could find on the Internet, rather than from ASUS site (mobo is ASUS P8Z68-V).
7. The reason for my using my older WD drive at all (beyond preserving key data files from old PC) was that the SSD is only 120 GB and supposed to be reserved for OS and applications (e.g., games) where speed is meaningful.
8. So, in part to preserve the SSD space I have, I made some tweaks to Win 7. Shrunk the page/swap file, shrunk system restore points (and also moved them to WD 250 GB drive), turned off hibernate mode, etc. Those three were eating a lot of space. I also disabled start-up applications and services I determined (through experience and Internet research) to be unnecessary, like Bluetooth support (note: I did not alter any Windows apps or services). This is another area where I suppose I could have gone wrong.
9. What little I was doing with the system at that point seemed fine (booting, web surfing, downloading, etc.). So, I installed the one game I wanted to try with this system that I've been playing lately, Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO).
10. I installed LOTRO a bit unconventionally. I simply copied my old game folder over that I'd had on my just-retired XP system, and preserved on the WD 250 GB drive, to my new SSD. Once there, I ran the launcher, which found the game, installed a few critical set-up files, detected DX 11 (new for this Win 7 64 OS) and ran the game. No issues, but this could also be where I went wrong.
11 (ISSUE!). The game ran quite well (better than on XP no surprise with the new hardware and OS). But after playing for a time (30 minutes to an hour), it would Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), always with the message: "Page Fault in Non-Page Area." The PC would then auto-restart without issue.

Additional note: The game often makes a distinct, short "crackly" sound shortly before BSOD, which often (always?) occurred when transitioning areas. If I was to base a guess on instinct, it feels like I've reached the end of my memory (RAM, video GPU RAM, hard drive cache...no idea) and the game/my PC can't manage it, so BSOD.
12. Given the irregular issues I'd had earlier with the WD drive (though the game was now running off of SSD), the non-ASUS drivers I'd installed, the alterations I'd made to Win 7, and the unorthodox way I'd installed the game (though others on the forum had done this, moved OSs like I did, and it worked fine), I had no idea where to begin. From what little research I could understand, it could be the game, my drivers, or my hardware.
13. It would be one thing if I'd had the system up and stable and running similarly demanding applications then I could better determine the source of the issue. But since the system is new and the game is far and away the most demanding application it has run, I've no idea.

The steps I've taken so far:
1. I tried reading the Win 7 diagnostics of the issue, but since I have almost no experience with this, it meant little to me. I did switch off the "auto-restart on BSOD"
2. I returned to the option to have Win 7 manage my swap/page file (virtual memory).
3. I disconnected my WD 250 GB drive, so only the SSD is running.
4. Concerned that the issue may be with my new hardware or heat (though this should be a very cool rig many fans, good case), I did the following:
- Ran MSI Kombuster stress test on my video card (never heated above 50C).
- Ran Win 7 diagnostic memory test (no issues found)
- Ran Prime95 "Torture" test (CPU and RAM intensive) for 12 minutes. CPU temp never exceeded 49C. No errors.

While it could still be hardware, I'm hoping that the above indicates it's not.

Finally, the LOTRO forums did report BSODs for some people with similar systems (Win 7 64) and Creative Labs sound cards to mine (an Audigy 4), apparently having to do with the X-Fi driver. These were sometimes resolved by running audio off the motherboard. My ASUS mobo has this, and I've installed the driver, but I'm unsure how to activate it over my sound card. A few also had issues with DX11, but this was not widespread.

In conclusion, I don't know where to start. Try the different audio option in the game. Reinstall the game. Resume all my services and start-up programs. Replace all of my drivers with ones (even older ones) from the ASUS site. Wipe my SSD and reinstall Win 7 altogether. Try using just one 4GB stick of my RAM (G.Skill Ripjaws 4GBx2, 8GB total). I'm out of my depth.

Again, I really appreciate your taking the time to read this. Any clue or place to start would be great.

Thanks so much,

ELB

SPECS:
Win 7 64 home premium
Intel i5 2500K
G.Skill Ripjaws RAM (2x4GB)
ASUS P8Z68-V motherboard
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB SSD
Corsair HX620W power supply
Gigabyte Nvidia 460GTX OC graphics card
CreativeLabs Soundblaster Audigy 4 sound card
Western Digital Caviar 250 GB hard drive
These were Related to ctoss2k.sys Creative OS Services Driver. Yours from 2010. I would re-install newest available.

I feel your pain. I too am a long time creative sufferer (Audigy here too)

Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2012   #5
MrELB

Win 7 64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
These were Related to ctoss2k.sys Creative OS Services Driver. Yours from 2010. I would re-install newest available.

I feel your pain. I too am a long time creative sufferer (Audigy here too)

Ken
Ken, thanks so much for this! Fortunately, even though I didn't have your result at the time, I started by removing my SoundBlaster card and running motherboard sound in the game (was the simplest "fix" to try, and others had reported an issue in the forums, so it seemed not unlikely). Sure enough, BSOD-free play for hours.

But having it confirmed is still a comfort. I'll look for those drivers. (FYI, your link didn't work for me.) But consider the matter resolved, gratefully.

- ELB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2012   #6
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MrELB View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
These were Related to ctoss2k.sys Creative OS Services Driver. Yours from 2010. I would re-install newest available.

I feel your pain. I too am a long time creative sufferer (Audigy here too)

Ken
Ken, thanks so much for this! Fortunately, even though I didn't have your result at the time, I started by removing my SoundBlaster card and running motherboard sound in the game (was the simplest "fix" to try, and others had reported an issue in the forums, so it seemed not unlikely). Sure enough, BSOD-free play for hours.

But having it confirmed is still a comfort. I'll look for those drivers. (FYI, your link didn't work for me.) But consider the matter resolved, gratefully.

- ELB
I do know the feeling. Good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 New homebuilt PC. BSODs in one application. Where to start diagnosis?




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