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Windows 7: Screen Freezes randomly, requires hard reboot

11 May 2012   #1
gfamily

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. Service Pack 1
 
 
Screen Freezes randomly, requires hard reboot

Ok, so I am going to try to explain this as thorougly as possible while trying not to sound like an idiot in the process. I am by no means computer savvy so anyone that has any advice will more than likely need to talk to me like a 5th grader. I am ok with that. Since installing a Windows Update about a month ago, my screen will randomly lock up. At times it will clear itself after a couple of seconds and state something to the effect that "display driver amd has stopped working and recovered." Other times it will stay frozen for about 10 minutes and then will start functioning properly again. More often than not though, it will stay frozen indefinitely and require a hard reboot. This happens during mundane activities. No extreme gaming going on. Generally it is while just browsing the net. It tends to happen more often to my wife who uses it during the day to work through a VPN. I don't believe there is any correlation though. I have read multiple forums on the web and have tried several things, from cleaning the registry to uninstalling the driver software and reinstalling it in safe mode. The latter seemed to work last night but today my wife started having the same issue again. I am attaching the file from the SF Diagnostic tool but it said I didn't have any dumps to log. I'm sorry if that makes a suggestion more difficult. Thank you in advance for any and all help I can get.

Brandon


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
11 May 2012   #2
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

See if you can get to the DMP's this way....

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
14 May 2012   #3
gfamily

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. Service Pack 1
 
 

I am sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I was trying to wait it out so that there would be a couple of crashes in order to hopefully have something useful for you. I just tried to find my MiniDump file after following the steps you provided in your last post and I can't find anything. I set everything up correctly in System Properties but there is still no file associated with minidumps. I am sorry that I am so terrible at this. Any further help you could provide would be immensely helpful.

Brandon
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

14 May 2012   #4
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

Brandon,
We all learn as we go thus no need to apologize...

There are several reasons that may prevent you from having a DMP file in the usual places.

If you control panel is not configured for small dump you probably will then find it in C:\windows and it will be called MEMORY.dmp. It will overwrite every crash.

Other reasons are if you have UAC turned off, if you have a small page file, or a page file on a different HD than the OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #5
gfamily

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. Service Pack 1
 
 

I feel like a lost cause. Haha. I don't have MEMORY.dmp anywhere on my HD. I only have one HD so I can't imagine that it is on a different one. What else can I do to set a .dmp up?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #6
gfamily

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. Service Pack 1
 
 

My UAC is set to the default level.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #7
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

OK,
See if this helps.

For dumps to be produced. . .
▪ Page file must be on OS drive
▪ Page file base allocation size must be > than installed physical RAM
▪ Windows Error Reporting (WER) system service should be set to MANUAL
▪ Set page file to system managed, OS drive

Set System Crash/ Recovery Settings to "Kernel Memory Dump" - this will produce. . .
--> a Full Kernel Memory Dump - c:\windows\memory.dmp
--> a Mini Kernel dump c:\windows\minidump

The Full Kernel is overwritten each BSOD; a new mini kernel dump is created w/ different name for each BSOD

Thanks to jcgriff2
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2012   #8
gfamily

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. Service Pack 1
 
 

Ok, so I have 6GB of RAM. Do I understand right that I need to set my paging virtual memory to higher than 6GB? I have also been trying to set up my WER in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\LocalDumps. There was nothing set up in there before I started adding. I don't know how to set it to manual still though. I created a DumpFolder(REG_EXPAND_SZ, %LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps for the data), a DumpCount set to 10, and a DumpType set to 1 which I believe means a minidump. There is still a value that says (Default) that is a REG_SZ word. Am I missing anything?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2012   #9
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gfamily View Post
Ok, so I have 6GB of RAM. Do I understand right that I need to set my paging virtual memory to higher than 6GB? I have also been trying to set up my WER in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\LocalDumps. There was nothing set up in there before I started adding. I don't know how to set it to manual still though. I created a DumpFolder(REG_EXPAND_SZ, %LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps for the data), a DumpCount set to 10, and a DumpType set to 1 which I believe means a minidump. There is still a value that says (Default) that is a REG_SZ word. Am I missing anything?

6gigs of ram = 6 gigs (or more) of page file if you want it written down and saved. Your total memory is being dumped to page file. If there is not enough page file it cant.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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