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Windows 7: Frequent BSODs, reboots and hangs

20 Jan 2012   #1
rowanbradley

Windows 7 Pro
 
 
Frequent BSODs, reboots and hangs

My computer, a 4-5 year old HP/Compaq 6710b notebook running Windows 7 Pro X86, has been suffering from more and more frequent BSODs (with a whole range of error names, or no name), instant reboots (one second I'm happily typing, the next I'm looking at a boot screen), hangs (sometimes with the backlight off so I can't see what it thinks it's doing) and other unexplained failures. Recently it's being doing it several times a day, which makes it getting on for unusable. I've tried restoring to a restore point, and uninstalling some recently installed applications that I'm suspicious of without any improvement. I've currently no idea whether it's hardware or software, whether I've got a dodgy disk or memory, whether I'm infected with some sort of malware, whether my registry or my drivers are mussed up, whether my Windows intallation is corrupted, whether some background program is misbehaving or it's something else.

How do I investigate what's wrong and fix it? Preferably without requiring a reinstallation of all my applications (I have many hundred applications
installed).

What do I try, in what order?

What are reliable and trustworthy tools for checking hardware, Windows installation, registry, drivers, malware etc? I instinctively distrust all the "checkers" that all the download sites nowadays annoyingly try to trick me into downloading.

Is there a good tutorial that explains how to go about investigating this sort of problem, with its many different possible causes?

Background info:
I think the PC came originally with Vista on it, and I upgraded to 7 a couple of years ago. I don't know whether it was OEM or Full Retail

Thanks - Rowan


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
20 Jan 2012   #2
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

* First & foremost make sure you have a back up of anything you consider important on your computer, preferably to an external hard drive.
Over the recent past some people seeking help HAD to do a clean install.

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup


Clean Install Windows 7


If you are a gamer & OVERCLOCKING an unstable system STOP!


* Might be an idea to run SFC. {Option 2}

Note if there are errors you may need to re run it a few times.

SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker


* As you mentioned the possibility of malware .....

Please download the free version of Malwarebytes.
Update it immediately.
Do a full system scan
Let us know the results at the end.

Malwarebytes : Download free malware, virus and spyware tools to get your computer back in shape!



*When the above steps have been done


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
21 Jan 2012   #3
rowanbradley

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Here are the files created by Windows_NT6_BSOD_v3.03_jcgriff2_.exe and PERFMON.

I am not overclocking. This is a perfectly standard, unmodified Compaq 6710b notebook PC.

I have a recent backup of all my obviously-valuable files (basically my Documents folder). I try very hard to keep all user data in my Documents folder, but it's not always possible due to the design of some applications. Of course there will be lots of data in other places that will be very difficult or longwinded to replace or recreate. I don't currently have enough spare media to create a full system backup. If I really need to I suppose I will have to go and buy another external hard drive, but when it gets to that stage it may be better just to buy a new notebook... In any case I'm not quite sure what one does with a complete system backup. Presumably it can only be restored onto the original machine, or one with identical hardware, so if the machine is dead it's no use? And presumably when one restores it, one also restores the problem, assuming that it's something due to software or data?

Thanks - Rowan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Jan 2012   #4
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

> It appears that you might have Norton installed...

Symantec has been known to be involved in BSOD's.
I would remove and replace it with Microsoft Security Essentials AT LEAST TO TEST.

http://us.norton.com/support/kb/web_...080710133834EN

Microsoft Security Essentials - Free Antivirus for Windows


> Please run the update readiness tool and then update to SP-1

Ensure you install the correct 64 or 32 bit option for your system)

Download the System Update Readiness Tool (64bit)

Download the System Update Readiness Tool (32bit)

http://windows.microsoft.com/installwindows7sp1




My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #5
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

In addition to implementing JMH's suggestions you have several old drivers that need updating.

One in particular showed as the cause in one of your crashes. It is Related to b57nd60x.sys NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet NDIS6.x Unified Driver from Broadcom Corporation. I would update with the newest version available.

These are the old drivers from as far back as 1996.

Code:
giveio.sys    4/3/1996 9:33:25 PM   
PenClass.sys    4/9/2001 4:44:59 PM          
rffsd.sys    11/27/2002 4:40:30 PM    
speedfan.sys    9/24/2006 8:28:47 AM        
eabfiltr.sys    11/30/2006 11:24:57 AM       
hpdskflt.sys    1/5/2007 2:37:11 PM              
swumx02.sys    1/12/2007 1:29:32 PM        
SWNC8U02.sys    1/12/2007 4:26:41 PM    
VMNetSrv.sys    1/24/2007 7:05:29 AM      
ADIHdAud.sys    3/9/2007 4:49:44 PM       
iaStor.sys    3/21/2007 2:23:05 PM       
ATSwpDrv.sys    4/10/2007 2:55:22 PM       
aspmon.sys    6/8/2007 8:44:19 AM   
SynTP.sys    9/14/2007 9:10:35 PM    
GEARAspiWDM.sys    1/29/2008 12:00:57 PM    
npf.sys    5/21/2008 6:01:47 PM   
AGRSM.sys    11/21/2008 4:53:38 PM      
netw5v32.sys    3/26/2009 11:10:37 AM     
ALSysIO.sys    4/19/2009 2:41:19 PM         
cpqbttn.sys    4/20/2009 9:38:52 AM         
b57nd60x.sys    4/26/2009 6:15:34 AM       
spldr.sys    5/11/2009 11:13:47 AM    
vmm.sys    5/15/2009 7:27:51 AM    
PxHelp20.sys    5/15/2009 4:42:35 PM
How To Find Drivers:
Quote:
- search Google for the name of the driver
- compare the Google results with what's installed on your system to figure out which device/program it belongs to
- visit the web site of the manufacturer of the hardware/program to get the latest drivers (DON'T use Windows Update or the Update driver function of Device Manager).
- if there are difficulties in locating them, post back with questions and someone will try and help you locate the appropriate program.
- - The most common drivers are listed on this page: Driver Reference Driver Reference
- - Driver manufacturer links are on this page: Drivers and Downloads
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #6
rowanbradley

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JMH View Post
> It appears that you might have Norton installed...

Symantec has been known to be involved in BSOD's.
I would remove and replace it with Microsoft Security Essentials AT LEAST TO TEST.

http://us.norton.com/support/kb/web_...080710133834EN

Microsoft Security Essentials - Free Antivirus for Windows
This is very odd. As far as I know, I don't have any Norton or Symantec software installed, although I may have tried it at some point in this PC's history. There's nothing called Norton or Symantec in my start menu. There's no folder in Program Files called anything beginning with Norton or Symantec. The Programs and Features control panel doesn't find anything called Norton or Symantec.

I can't use the Norton Remover that you provided a link to, it seems, because it requires to know what it's trying to remove, and I have no idea which product to choose...

I already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed.
Quote:
Please run the update readiness tool and then update to SP-1

Ensure you install the correct 64 or 32 bit option for your system)

Download the System Update Readiness Tool (64bit)
Download the System Update Readiness Tool (32bit)

Learn how to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
I'm just trying this...

Many thanks for your help - Rowan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #7
rowanbradley

Windows 7 Pro
 
 
Data for Latest Crash

Here's the data for the most recent crash, last night.

I have now run SFC /SCANNOW and it reported "Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations".

I have run MEMTEST86+ v4.20 using the Standard test through several passes, and it found no faults.

Is there a disk diagnostic program that I ought to be running? Or a motherboard/CPU/chipset test program?

Here are some other strange things that this computer has been doing. I have no idea whether any of these have anything to do with the crashes, but I list them here just in case someone spots something that might be linked:
  1. During the reboot process, a Debug window appears (attached). It annoyingly doesn't say anything about which program it refers to or anything else useful to a mere mortal like me.
  2. CoreTemp often halts with an error after some minutes or hours of proper operation. I have now uninstalled it, but the BSODs continue, so I suppose this was not connected.
  3. Flash Player won't run, or maybe won't install. If I go to a web page that uses Flash, it tells me I need to install the latest version of Flash Player and gives me a link. I go to this link and install. Everything seems to have completed correctly, and it tells me that the installation has been successful, but next time I go to a web page using Flash it again tells me I need to install the latest version. I've been round this loop several times but it never succeeds. I'm using IE8.
  4. The Mute indicator flashes on and off at random times, seemingly unconnected with what I'm doing at the time, including during the reboot process.
Thanks - Rowan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #8
rowanbradley

Windows 7 Pro
 
 
SP1 installed successfully

I believe I have now successfully installed SP1. We will see whether this has helped in due course...

Thanks - Rowan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #9
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rowanbradley View Post
I believe I have now successfully installed SP1. We will see whether this has helped in due course...

Thanks - Rowan
Good luck and let us know if you need help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2012   #10
rowanbradley

Windows 7 Pro
 
 
Another BSOD

Here's another one, after all the checks and changes. This one had the message IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL.

I guess I'd better start updating some of those drivers next. Is there any indication in the crash data on which ones are most likely to be causing problems?

Many thanks - Rowan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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