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Windows 7: 0x0124 BSOD during Win7 install after 4 months of smooth sailing!


19 Mar 2012   #1

Windows7 64 Home Premium
 
 
0x0124 BSOD during Win7 install after 4 months of smooth sailing!

[Update 19.04.2012] Issue SOLVED. See below for details.

=========================

Dear experts, I need your help.

Back in October I built myself a new gaming computer. Hardware specs are as follows:

---
CPU: Intel i5-2500K
Heatsink: Thermaltake Frio
GPU: MSI 560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II
MoBo: GIGABYTE Z68X-UD3H-B3
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB)
HDD: WD 1002FAEX Caviar Black 1TB
DVD: Asus DRW-24B3ST
PSU: Corsair 650TX V2
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
---


What Happened

Until three days ago, my computer was running perfectly. I never OC'd it or installed and additional hardware to the one listed above. It has been running for four months without any issues.

Three days ago, I got a Blue Screen (code 0x00000124) with a message that a hardware error had occurred (screenshot). This had been my first ever BSOD with this PC. No CPU-demanding applications were being run at the time of the crash.

When I restarted my PC, and every single restart after that, I would get the exact same BSOD. This would happen either during the Windows7 welcome screen (where you enter login password), or a few seconds after logging in.

I was always able to boot up Windows in safe mode. I tried updating pretty much every single driver, but everything was already up to date. Unfortunately, I didn't save any crash dump files during this time I am sorry for being unable to provide you with a minidump!

I started getting the BSOD even while booting in safe mode! But only sometimes, strangely enough, whereas I would still get the blue screen every single time when booting Windows normally.

I finally decided to do a fresh Windows install. The Windows setup ran successfully, but while booting up for the first time (which is essentially also part of the operating system installation), yes you guessed it.... BSOD!!! Which means that the OS didn't finish installing properly. Now every time I start my PC, after the "loading operating system.." message it gives me a "missing BOOTMGR" error.

I have tried re-installing Windows again a few times, but it always crashes sooner or later. Some times it blue-screens already while extracting the files from the Windows installation DVD.


I am now without a working Operating System and trying to narrow down the faulty piece of hardware which is causing the crashes during Windows installation.


What I have tried

* Removed my graphics card from my PC entirely and used my Mobo's video output. No change, BSOD persists.

* Reset my BIOS to the "failsafe" defaults (even though they were never changed much). No change. I also checked my idle CPU temperatures while in BIOS: everything normal.. 24 degrees max. See screenshots here.

* It was suggested that code 0x0124 on Gigabyte Mobos indicated insufficient Vcore. Tried increased the Vcore from the default 1.24 to 1.35 and QPI/VTT from 1.05 to 1.15. No change.

* Tried booting from a Knoppix 5.1.1 bootable CD (Linux from CD), but it gave me a "can't find filesystem found" error.

* Tried swapping the HDD for another (new) 1.5TB WD Caviar Black. No change.

* Ran MemTest86+ for 8 hours straight (7 passes). No errors were found.

* Tried using only 1 RAM stick at the time. BSOD during Windos installation persisted regardless. Unless both sticks are faulty (unlikely), I think this rules out RAM problem.

* [Update 24.03.2012] Cleaned out entire chassis. Unplugged and re-plugged everything in the Mobo, removed heatsink and CPU, applied new thermal paste, swapped SATA cables for new ones, vacuum cleaned everything. Didn't help.

* Flashed BIOS. Original revision was F3. Tried two different revisions, starting with the F11 (newest one available at the Gigabyte website), then F4. No change.

* [Update 30.03.2012] Swapped MoBo for a completely new one (same model Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3). Problem persists.

* [Update 19.04.2012] Replaced CPU -> Issue resolved! Veredict: faulty CPU. Not exactly sure what was wrong with my CPU, but I sent it back to Amazon, they sent me a new one, and the BSOD issue is gone!



Conclusion

Now that my problem is solved, I would like to post here for future reference that it is possible for a CPU to pass all kinds of benchmark tools (like Prime95) flawlessly, and still BSOD 0x0124 during Windows installation.

It was definitely not a heat problem, since I am using the same heatsink, fans, thermal paste, everything exactly as before.

Seems strange that a CPU would fail after 4 months of moderate use, with NO overclocking or very demanding applications, but that's pretty much what happened.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to look at my issue and who gave me advice!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND EFFORT!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

19 Mar 2012   #2

Windows 7 64 bit SP1
 
 

This could be a memory problem. I would download Memtest86+ and run it for several hours to rule out a memory issue. You will need to burn an ISO so that you can boot to the memtes86+CD.

You may be able to run microsoft's memory test from the boot selection screen if that got installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2012   #3

Windows7 64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
This could be a memory problem. I would download Memtest86+ and run it for several hours to rule out a memory issue. You will need to burn an ISO so that you can boot to the memtes86+CD.

You may be able to run microsoft's memory test from the boot selection screen if that got installed.
Hi GeneO,

as I stated in the OP, I had already ran MemTest+ from CD. I let it run again overnight, as per your suggestion, and no errors were found either.

I also tried installing Windows using only 1 RAM stick at the time. There was no change (BSOD persists). Unless both sticks are faulty (unlikely, since they are 4 months old), I think this rules out RAM problem, doesn't it?

Thanks for the help so far!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


20 Mar 2012   #4

Windows7 64 Home Premium
 
 

Hi again,

I was considering updating/reinstalling the BIOS. Doing so without a working OS might be tricky, though. I read that some Mobo manufacturers offer their BIOS updates as bootable CD's, but in the case of Gigabyte I can only find it as executable installer on their website (here), which is no good to me.

Is this an idea worth pursuing?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Question, are you using ANY of the Gigabyte Utilities? Smart6, EasyTune, EasySave, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2012   #6

Windows7 64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jamesandalexis View Post
Question, are you using ANY of the Gigabyte Utilities? Smart6, EasyTune, EasySave, etc.
I think I had installed Smart6, but I never used any of them. Can't remember 100% (was last October). I never used them though, no.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Flash the BIOS, doubt that's your problem though. If you haven't added anything since the fresh build, it wouldn't make sense that it was a BIOS revision problem.

Then, try borrowing some RAM from someone, just to retest.

If that doesn't work, I'd say try borrowing a MoBo from someone to retest all of your components on a different MoBo.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2012   #8

Windows7 64 Home Premium
 
 

Yeah BIOS revision shouldn't be the problem, so I'm hesitant to flash it.

I don't know anyone with a compatible Mobo which I could try, so I think the only thing that is left is for me to send it back to the manufacturer (it's still under warranty) and hope that it wasn't my CPU or PSU or other.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

PSU is easy to test. Grab a voltmeter and check the manufacturer's website for specs.

What about borrowing some other memory?

Unfortunately, with the problems you are presenting, MoBo is probably the culprit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

FYI: Gigabyte does provide a DOS version for flashing the BIOS. You can find it here: GIGABYTE How to Reflash Motherboard BIOS

It is a little outdated, so you will have to find tools to convert the floppy version into a USB version. Should be doable with some research (Google is your friend).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 0x0124 BSOD during Win7 install after 4 months of smooth sailing!




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