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Windows 7: atikmdag.sys BSOD, Stop 0x0000003B, system_service_exception


04 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 
atikmdag.sys BSOD, Stop 0x0000003B, system_service_exception

Ladies and gentlemen, here we are again! After countless hours of my lifetime wasted in equally countless forums, I came to the conclusion that I am just one among tens of thousands Win 7 users who are struck with the same problem: an increasing frequency of (seemingly random) BSODs (allegedly) related to the ATI driver atikmdag.sys (or atikmpag.sys), although NVIDIA usuers seem to fare little better.



PROBLEM DESCRIPTION:
- An ever-increasing frequency of BSODs. First they appeared only very rarely in highly graphics-intensive games (Skyrim/Shogun 2), then also when watching flash-player powered movies, and now finally about every 5 minutes when doing anything. However, I can realiably force a BSOD by starting up a graphics-intensive game or benchmark.
- The BSOD states the ATI driver atikndag.sys (or sometimes atikmpag.sys) as the culprit. (system_service_exception, Stop 0x0000003B)
- Sometimes the BSOD also states "atikmdag.sys The driver is attempting to access memory after it has been freed. (...) STOP 0x000000D5)
- Up to now, I never had a BSOD in save mode



SYSTEM SPECS:
- Win 7 Home Premium (Japanese) 64 Bit
- i-7 860 (no overclocking)
- P55De3 Asrockt Motherboard
- ATI Radeon HD 5850 (no overclocking)
- A-DATA DDR3-SDRAM (1333MHz) 2 GB x 2
- Original Installed Windows Version, but I re-installed it a couple of months ago (due to beginning BSOD problem)
- OEM Version
- System Age: about 2 years.



FAILED COUNTERMEASURES:
- Updating the Bios / chipset drivers (P55DE3) directly with manufacturer updates. To be sure, I alsso removed the CMOS battery before that.
- Memtest 86 (no failures)
- Uninstalled Daemon tools and the associated sptd.sys file
- Set the TDR(Timeout Detection and Recovery) key in the registry to 8 seconds (tried both HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\ and HKLM\System\ControlSet2\Control\GraphicsDrivers\ )according to a description on the microsoft pages.
- Deleted video card drivers and CCC (catalyst control center, an ati graphics application) in save mode, then used driver sweeper to finish off the remnants and used ccleaner CCleaner - PC Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download to clean up files and the registry (would never have done that, but a mod on the windows 7 forums srecommended it). Then, I did one of the following alternatively:
* Re-installed the newest (12.2) CCC version directly from the manufacturers homepage or
* Extracted the CCC package, expanded atikmdag.sy_ and atikmpag.sy_ and manually copied only those into C/windows/system32/drivers or
* Used the device manager auto-update to let windows search for a driver (which came up with a very old 8.1 or something but still led to BSODs)
- Updated all audio, wireless and-what-not drivers with drivers directly from the manufacturer homepages
- Naturally updated Win 7 with all updates (I always do that)
- Re-installed Win 7 from scratch after wiping the HDD multiple times with different programs
- Deinstalled all virus / spyware detection software (I had none to begin with, except for MS security essentials - which I deactivated but not deinstalled for a trial. Still BSOD.)
- Opened the PC Tower and double-checked all power connections.
- Deactivated all sound devices in the device manager (since some lunatic forum member claimed that helped in his case)
- Checked that DirectX 11 was fresh+healthy
- Used sfc /scannow to give Windows a chance to witness it`s own failure. Which it refused to do (everything o.k.)
- Used the startup recovery utility
- Used Driver Verifier - no conflicts detected
- Disabled all power saving features in the BIOS and made sure primary graphics adapter is set to PCI-e
- Came here in admit my defeat in utter shame and remorse. Help me, my superheroes!




Ok. I'll force a BSOD now and attach the associated memory dump files. Brb.

Edit: Following the instructions on how to post BSOD reports (http://www.sevenforums.com/crashes-debugging/96879-blue-screen-death-bsod-posting-instructions.html) gives me a reliable BSOD in the actual writing phase of jcgriff2 program when run in normal mode.

Edit 2: Yay! I finally managed to finish the program in normal mode. Requested dumpfiles and health report attached (the latter is in Japanese - I hope you are able to gather the required information anyway!)


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

04 May 2012   #2
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

rinsui,

I realize you have said you have tried both Memtest & Verifier.... but
these crashes were caused by memory corruption/exception (Cx05) probably a driver.

Please run these two 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 a 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 5-7 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.

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/Windows 7 Startup Repair feature).

In Windows 7 you can make a Startup Repair disk by going to Start....All Programs...Maintenance...Create a System Repair Disc - with Windows Vista you'll have to use your installation disk or the "Repair your computer" option at the top of the Safe Mode menu .

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 "Low Resource Simulation" and click "Next"
NOTE: You can use Low Resource Simulation if you'd like.
From my limited experimentation it makes the BSOD's come faster.
- 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.

If you are using win 8 add these

- Concurrency Stress Test
- DDI compliance checking

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.

Thanks to JGriff2 & Usasma.
Using Driver Verifier to identify issues with Windows drivers for advanced users

Driver Verifier

Using Driver Verifier (Windows Drivers)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Dear JMH,
thank you for the immediate reply. As you mentioned, I already used the driver verifier just as you suggested before - but I'm out of other options anyway, so I'll gladly do it again. In Memtest, I did only 2 passes, but I did that 3 times in a row (yesterday and today; I hope that counts) and also used a program called "PC Doctor" that came with my PC, which includes as memory test and the Win 7 memory test option during startup repair. None of the tests came up with anything unusual.

Also, if it was indeed the memory, wouldn't I also get BSODs in Save mode? I mean, doesn't save mode need *some* memory, too?

P.S.: You guys are really fighting against some pretty complex problems. Thank you for your time. I wouldn't ask for it if one minute of professional help wasn't worth more than two days of my own stumbling in the dark.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


11 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Safe Mode doesn't stress the memory nearly as much as normal mode does in Windows, so it is not uncommon to avoid crashes in Safe Mode due to memory. Have you been able to track down the driver or hardware causing crashes?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Yes, most of the time it states "atikmdag.sys" as the culprit. I`m still getting random crashes now, but strangely, the BSODs have almost completely disappeared although I had 4 per hour when I made this post...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Have you re-installed your AMD graphics drivers? If you have, did you use the following method:
  1. Download the drivers you want for your display card(s)
  2. Click Start Menu
  3. Click Control Panel
  4. Click Uninstall a program
  5. For AMD:
    • Uninstall AMD Catalyst Install Manager if it is listed (this should remove all AMD graphics software and drivers)
    • If AMD Catalyst Install Manager is not listed, use the following method to uninstall the graphics drivers:
      1. Click Start Menu
      2. Right Click My Computer/Computer
      3. Click Manage
      4. Click Device Manager from the list on the left
      5. Expand Display adapters
      6. Do the following for each adapter (in case you have multiple display cards)
        • Right click the adapter
        • Click Uninstall (do not click OK in the dialog box that pops up after hitting Uninstall)
        • Put a tick in Delete driver software for this device (if this option is available, otherwise just hit OK) and hit OK

        Alternatively:
        1. Login as an adminstrative user
        2. Click Start Menu
        3. Click Control Panel
        4. Click Hardware and Sound
        5. Click Device Manager (the last link under Devices and Printers)
        6. Expand Display adapters
        7. Do the following for each adapter (in case you have multiple display cards)
          • Right click the adapter
          • Click Uninstall (do not click OK in the dialog box that pops up after hitting Uninstall)
          • Put a tick in Delete driver software for this device (if this option is available, otherwise just hit OK) and hit OK
    • Restart your computer after uninstalling drivers for all display cards
    • Install the driver you selected for the display cards once Windows starts

There have also been some known problems with the ATI graphics drivers beyond 11.9, so you may try using an older driver. Try either 11.9 or older to see if the system is more stable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 atikmdag.sys BSOD, Stop 0x0000003B, system_service_exception




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