First, my system specs & some details:
-I purchased the hardware & assembled my machine in late December 2011
-Full Retail version of Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
-Multiple (at least 4) clean installations of the OS over the past 6 months, all BSODing
-Initial OS installations (at least 2 from Dec. to Feb.) were performed on a WD hdd...all had BSOD problems
-RAM: In January performed "stick by stick" & "slot by slot" testing with Memtest86+. No reported errors on Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1600 CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B
-SSD: This latest clean OS installation is the 2nd clean OS installation onto a Samsung 128GB SSD 830 Series purchased & installed in late February & updated to the latest FW update (CXM03B1Q) prior to any OS installations. Using the latest Samsung SSD Magician software & its OS optimization
-CPU: Intel i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core cooled with Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
-Video Card: XFX DoubleD HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon 6870 1GB 256bit GDDR5 PCIe
-MB: Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA 1155 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX w/ UEFI bios
Secondly, I have a 'method' whereby I've been able to increase my chances and/or rapidity of this intermittent but consistent BSOD I'm experiencing. Although I've experienced BSODs while doing all of these particular things in this combined method singly, I've seemingly had it happen in any and many other unremembered scenarios. In other words, I'm not necessarily convinced of any specific causation or any conclusion as a result of using this method to more quickly guarantee the eventual BSOD. It just works. I used this method to solve my curiosity as to whether I could induce a BSOD while also in SAFE MODE a few days ago. It was successful. I'm not sure if this fact is helpful or not.
All the programs or tasks comprising this are opened and then ran simultaneously. This "method" of inducing an eventual BSOD...sooner rather than later...is as follows:
1. Open Media Center and play a recorded show. (When attempted in Safe Mode, I was only able to open WMC but unable to playback an actual recorded show.)
2. Run a full scan of Microsoft Security Essentials
3. Run a full scan of Malwarebytes
4. Open 3 different browsers (Chrome, IE & FF) and have all 3 browsers simultaneously playing a lengthy YouTube video playlist.
Again, this is after yet another clean install of the OS. I most often get through full scans of MSE or Malwarebytes w/ no problem or detections just in case someone is trying to send me down the malware causation route. These are a compilation of tasks that where more notably underway in a singular form when previous BSODs occurred. These are however not the only singular or combined scenarios in which BSODs have happened over the past 6 months of numerous clean OS installations on both an HDD & an SSD.
Thirdly, more in regards to the Asus motherboard and Corsair RAM. In this latest clean installation of the OS (6/13/2012), I've updated the MB with the very latest bios and been sure that any other Asus available download for my MB is up-to-date via the MB's OS specific support page
. I've also used the Intel Driver Update Utility to be sure that everything is current on that front also.
Delving into my BIOS & my MB manual before proceeding in the most recent round of Memtest86+ v4.20 testing over the past two days raised a few questions and things I'm not exactly sure about which I'll address momentarily. Having previously completed (back in January) both a full 16GB config test AND also literally every conceivable "stick by stick" & "slot by slot" & 'extended tests' testing possibility with no errors, I opted this time to only run the Memtest86+ in my full 16GB configuration since I seriously doubted to encounter any error detection anyway. Here are results of Memtest 86+ over the past 2 days for my Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4 GB) 240-pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B:
1st Test Results: No Errors after 8 passes taking nearly 18 hours
SETTINGS: **668 MHz (DDR3-1337)** CAS 9-9-9-24
2nd Test Results: No Errors after 8 passes taking 17 1/2 hours
SETTINGS: **802 MHz (DDR3-1605)** CAS 9-9-9-24
Here's where my questions and uncertainties arise and why I ran the Memtest86+ in the two different settings mentioned above to be sure I wasn't missing something. unfortunately, I'm not very sure if the following is relevant or helpful but it is defintiely unclear to me. I've read the MB manual
and noted the default settings. I'm not necessarily any clearer on things however. I was trying to determine a few things so that I could expedite the troubleshooting. I was trying to figure out the following 2 things:
1. Although I know the processor is capable of over-clocking via the MB, I haven't learned enough about to to be comfortable with doing so. I'm trying to ensure that I'm NOT overclocking and I'm finding that not so easy to determine precisely via the MB manual or BIOS.
2. The "Ai Tweaker" menu found in the Advanced Menu of my BIOS is slightly confusing to me in regard to the "Ai Overclock Tuner". Yes, I'm trying NOT to overclock but I don't see anywhere to specifically keep it from overclocking per se. Having noticed some differences that in DRAM speed while trying to figure out the Advanced Settings in BIOS, I decided to Memtest BOTH speeds that showed up most often when trying to figure out what the heck I actually had or should be using. I kept seeing 1337 or 1336 and 1600 and even 1648. This became more confusing to me.
In summary, I don't really know if I am over-clocking. I'm not trying to and don't want to...especially for the purposes of this debugging...therefore due to my uncertainty I've set my "Ai Overclock Tuner" to "X.M.P." so that the seemingly appropriate 1600 actually shows up when I re-enter and view the details in my bios. Having said that does that mean that I'm not overclocking and begs this question. Why is it that when I otherwise tinker in that menu of my advanced bios do I end up with 1337 which is below the RAM's 1600 rating? Which should I even use. In summary, I don't know if I'm over-clocking so I tested 2 different RAM settings for the Memtest86+. Being that I get still get no errors on Memtest after all this, is any of this even a problem, a red herring or maybe something I still need to get to a proper setting or baseline for proceeding any further with troubleshooting and debugging?
I'm not sure what's the most logical progression from here. I'm wanting to focus my effort on whatever is relevant and next. I've attached the required files. I'd be grateful for any and all who can make clear my path for working to debug and troubleshoot my 6 month ongoing BSOD problem, specifically in this latest incarnation. If you made it this far, many thanks as I really appreciate your time.