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Windows 7: BSODs at particularly inopportune times

04 Apr 2012   #1
briansmccabe

Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
 
 
BSODs at particularly inopportune times

Hello -

I've gotten about a half dozen BSODs on my main desktop machine at home over the last 6 months or so. The most recent occurrence, which for some reason did not generate a minidump file, happened yesterday while I was remoted into the machine. The machine was also doing a number of other things at the time of the crash, including running an instance of virtualbox that I use for web development.

Thanks in advance. I am totally clueless when it comes to BSOD-related stuff, so any insight is appreciated.

Windows 7
- x64
- NOT the original installation of the machine
- version is a volume license that I am able to use because of my employment

- I have owned the system about a year; I think it's about 2.5 years old
- OS installation is about a year old (I did it right after buying it)


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
04 Apr 2012   #2
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

briansmccabe,

These crashes were caused by memory corruption/exception (`c0000005) (probably a driver).
Please run these tw o tests to verify your memory and find which driver is causing the problem.


* If you are overclocking anything reset to default before running these tests.
In other words STOP!!!

* If you have raid update its Driver.




Memtest.
Quote:
*Download a copy of Memtest86 and burn the ISO to a CD using Iso Recorder or another ISO burning program. Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool

*Boot from the CD, and leave it running for at least 5 or 6 passes.

Just remember, any time Memtest reports errors, it can be either bad RAM or a bad motherboard slot.

Test the sticks individually, and if you find a good one, test it in all slots.

Any errors are indicative of a memory problem.

If a known good stick fails in a motherboard slot it is probably the slot.

RAM - Test with Memtest86+



Driver verifier

Quote:
Using Driver Verifier is an iffy proposition. Most times it'll crash and it'll tell you what the driver is. But sometimes it'll crash and won't tell you the driver. Other times it'll crash before you can log in to Windows. If you can't get to Safe Mode, then you'll have to resort to offline editing of the registry to disable Driver Verifier.

So, I'd suggest that you first backup your stuff and then make sure you've got access to another computer so you can contact us if problems arise. Then make a System Restore point (so you can restore the system using the Vista/Win7 Startup Repair feature).

Then, here's the procedure:
- Go to Start and type in "verifier" (without the quotes) and press Enter
- Select "Create custom settings (for code developers)" and click "Next"
- Select "Select individual settings from a full list" and click "Next"
- Select everything EXCEPT FOR "Special Pool", "Force Pending I/O Requests" and "Low Resource Simulation" and click "Next"
- Select "Select driver names from a list" and click "Next"
Then select all drivers NOT provided by Microsoft and click "Next"
- Select "Finish" on the next page.

Reboot the system and wait for it to crash to the Blue Screen.
Continue to use your system normally, and if you know what causes the crash, do that repeatedly.
The objective here is to get the system to crash because Driver Verifier is stressing the drivers out.
If it doesn't crash for you, then let it run for at least 36 hours of continuous operation.


Reboot into Windows (after the crash) and turn off Driver Verifier by going back in and selecting "Delete existing settings" on the first page, then locate and zip up the memory dump file and upload it with your next post.

If you can't get into Windows because it crashes too soon, try it in Safe Mode.
If you can't get into Safe Mode, try using System Restore from your installation DVD to set the system back to the previous restore point that you created.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2012   #3
briansmccabe

Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
 
 

Thank you SO much for your assistance. I have a CD of Memtest and will run it overnight tonight (I have 8 gigs of RAM so it could take a while). If I get errors, I'll test each individual 2GB stick.

Irrespective of the outcome of the memtest, I'll run the driver checker as well, probably before the memtest sometime tonight. I suspect that will be the culprit.

Thanks again, and I'll be sure to share my findings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

04 Apr 2012   #4
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

Make sure you run both Memtest & Verifier albeit in reverse order.
Good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #5
briansmccabe

Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
 
 

Sorry for the delay in replying. Very hectic weekend.

Okay, so I ran Memtest first afterall, since I ran out of time in the evening to do the driver check. Lo and behold, when I checked the following morning, scads of issues were detected by Memtest. So my next step is to test each individual piece of ram and if needed, the individual slots. I don't know why I suspected the drivers over the memory, but as is very often the case, my instincts appear to be wrong.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #6
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

Let us know how you go please.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #7
briansmccabe

Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
 
 

Okay, so as I said earlier, I set up Memtest86 to run, and when I came back to it, I had an enormous number of errors. So I went about testing each individual piece of RAM. I wanted to be thorough, so I tested each piece of RAM in each slot. Four pieces of RAM x four slots = 16 different tests.

There was one particular piece that tested poorly across each slot. In two of the four slots, the error quantity was in the hundreds of thousands. In the other two, the error quantity was 20-40. In contrast, there was only ONE piece of RAM that passed all tests across all slots. However, the other two pieces of RAM had minimal quantities of errors. I was previously under the impression that if even one error occurred, it was time to replace that piece of RAM, but I am wondering if that is not actually the case. I am also wondering if the problem perhaps is wider beyond just RAM, e.g., potentially bad slot or motherboard. Anyway, I've removed the most offensive piece of RAM and have experienced smooth sailing since, albeit with less heavy use of the machine. I'll see how it goes over the next few weeks. Any additional insights are appreciated.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #8
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

Good luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #9
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Given your description that 2 of 4 slots were worse, it may in fact be a mobo slot, ram voltage.

Ram is usually under warranty and even if not cheaper, so I would with that first.

Let us know if we can help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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