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Windows 7: Freeze/BSOD - what next?

23 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7 Professional
Freeze/BSOD - what next?

I'm going to try to provide as much information as possible in the hopes someone can suggest a next step to get my box back to a stable state. Thanks in advance.

I performed a fresh install of Windows 7 Pro (32-bit) yesterday. That went without incident. While using the machine over the past two days, I am seeing lockups. By lockup, I mean that the screen freezes, the mouse pointer freezes and I have to do a hard reset to restore (no response to keyboard for C-A-D). Today, for the first time, I saw a BSOD.

Possibly a clue (?) - I got it to lock up repeatedly (and blue screen once) while adding folders to iTunes. I was multi-selecting folders by dragging in the folder selection window. Not sure what that means, but hopefully it's helpful.

This is on a machine that's been running Vista without any sort of lockup or BSOD for quite a while (1-2 years). Hardware specs are below (if there are other pieces of information needed, please let me know).

Because the hardware has not changed from the previous OS install, I'm thinking it's some kind driver issue. Just to be sure it's not something like memory, I run Memtest86+ (v4) from a bootable CD. As expected, the memory passes without any error.
I tried updating drivers (motherboard, network, audio, video) to the latest versions with the same result. I booted in safe mode (with network enabled). That has been running flawlessly for a few hours, including while I performed the aforementioned iTunes operation.

So, any ideas on what to try next? I don't think I can live in safe mode for the rest of my life :-) Is there a way I can enable things one at a time in safe mode (so I can at least figure out the culprit and either remove, replace or update it as necessary)?


My equipment:
Asus P5E3 Premium MB (onboard audio and network)
Intel E8400 CPU
NVidia GeForce 9600 GT video card

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Oct 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP


Please locate the contents of the C:\Windows\Minidump directory
Zip up all files in it, then upload/attach the .zip file to your next post
If there's nothing there, please post back for further suggestions.

Also, please go to Start and type in "msinfo32.exe" (without the quotes) and press Enter.
Save the report as an .nfo file, zip it up and upload/attach the .zip file with your next post.

Please check your Action Center (the little flag looking thing in the system tray locate next to the time in the lower right corner of your screen). Please let us know what items/issues it has identified.

That'll give us some information for us to start with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 7 Professional

There is no minidump directory within c:\windows.
msinfo data is attached.
I am beginning to think it's related to the video driver, as I ran all night in safe mode without problem and have been running this morning with the video driver uninstalled and no lockups (yet - but it's early).

Checked the Action Center - No issues currently detected.

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Oct 2009   #4
Microsoft MVP


Check in C:\Windows for a file named MEMORY.DMP
If you locate it, zip it up and upload the .zip file to a free file hosting service on the web. Then post a link to it here so we can download it (it'll be too big to upload here).

Then, follow the steps in this post to reset your system to make Minidumps:
Set MiniDump
This'll make it easier to upload the dump files as they'll be much smaller and will contain nearly all the information that we'll need to analyze them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #5

Windows 7 Professional

Sorry - no memory.dmp file either.

I will set it up as described for future use (I assume that applies to BSOD only?).

In the interim, still solid with the generic video driver.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #6
Microsoft MVP


You've got 2 problem devices listed in the .nfo file - a PS2 keyboard and a USB Mass Storage device.

Please go to your Device Manager and see if you can fix them or disable them.

There's also some issues mentioined with the use of DLLHOST.EXE Are you running any programs that want to launch DLL's? Have you scanned with an antivirus to see if there's any infection causing this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #7

Windows 7 Professional

I believe the problems you mention from the original msinfo file are gone - I disabled the USB Mass Storage Device (not sure what that is, as everything appears to be working correctly) and I can not see the PS2 keyboard error (I don't have a PS2 keyboard, so I'm not sure where that came from).
As far as viruses go, the install was fresh and new yesterday and I am running Avira. I am performing another full scan right now, but do not expect to find anything.

Now that I've been running solidly for 8 hours (and I am beating on the system as much as I ever do), I am even more convinced that it was the video driver. I am going to try to let Windows Update install an updated driver and see where that gets me. Can you suggest any other steps either before or after that?

Thanks so much for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #8
Microsoft MVP


If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Let us know if it starts giving you problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #9

Windows 7 Professional

I agree with that approach wholeheartedly except (and you just *knew* that was coming, didn't you? :-) I have a dual monitor setup and the default driver doesn't seem to support that. At least I know I can back it out again if necessary. I'll report back if/when I gather the courage to try.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #10

Windows 7 Professional

Status update: Still using the default video driver (it seems to support multiple monitors after all) with a stable machine since yesterday.
Since it's a relatively old video card anyway, perhaps I'll use this an excuse to upgrade in that department.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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