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Windows 7: Random BSOD on new custom builds

24 Oct 2014   #11
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

Firstly just to be sure can you run SeaTools to check the integrity of the HDD. If chkdsk did find errors on C: it's best to be completely sure the disk isn't degrading. SeaTools for DOS and Windows - How to Use

Also could you stop running AOMEI. I didn't notice that on your system at first but a lot of your dumps could possibly be down to a backup utility, let's prove or disprove that next.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Oct 2014   #12
Alan White

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

All quick tests on both drives passed. I'll run a Long Generic on drive 0 (C:\) later today when I have three hours spare.

Ii would be a shame if the problem turned out to be AOMEI - it's by far the best free backup program I've found. I'll stop running it for a few days and disable its service.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2014   #13
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

There are other backup alternatives if that does turn out to be the problem. I prefer using Macrium images myself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Oct 2014   #14
Alan White

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Passed the Long Generic test.

I looked at some reviews for Macrium but didn't actually try it. If I remember rightly it's just an imaging tool: it doesn't have file restore or incremental backups.

I suggest we leave things like that for now and see what happens with AOMEI disabled. I'll report back either in a week or so or when the next BSOD occurs.

Thanks for your help so far - much appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2014   #15
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

You're welcome Alan.

Macrium doesn't do file backups but its imaging function is priceless (in my opinion of course). I do manual backups of my files to an external USB 3.0 HDD, but I image my drives weekly as a fail safe. I find imaging a much better option really for a multitude of reasons, although I'm not poo-pooing backing up at all. Macrium also offers incremental imaging if memory serves me correctly.

We'll cross that bridge when we come to it but see how your system runs now. I haven't looked at the second PC at all yet, I'll get round to that tomorrow if you give me a nudge. It will be interesting to see if the symptoms are the same, I just wanted to sort out PC #1 first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2014   #16
Alan White

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Hi, Boozad. I hope you had a good weekend.



You'll recall that we're currently testing whether AOMEI Backupper was a problem. Time for an update...

I had a memory error reported by a program (KeePass). That needed a reboot before I could start that program again.

Then the machine locked up while it was in hybrid sleep. It woke up as scheduled but the monitor remained off and the machine was unresponsive. I had to turn it off then it resumed from the hibernation file but still didn't work properly so another reboot was required.

Then a BSOD this morning. Minidump attached just in case there's anything useful in there.

From this I conclude that AOMEI Backupper isn't the cause so I plan to re-enable it unless you object.



You'll recall that the computer supplier supplied only the hardware - all the software choices and installation are my own work.

Therefore what I really need to do is isolate whether the problem is hardware or software. I've done memtest on both machines and I've run a long test on one of the disks, all without error. I'm going to get WD's diagnostics (as all the drives are WD) and run some more tests on the disks. Are there any other hardware tests you can recommend?

What I'd normally do in this situation, given that I have two identical machines, is swap components from one to the other. But that won't help in this case as both are experiencing similar problems, and for this reason my feeling is that the cause is software.



I spent the weekend looking through the event viewer and resolving any serious issues it reported. From my research, most of them seemed to be irrelevant but at least cleaning up the dross makes it easier to see the real problems.

I'll leave it up to you to decide if you want to spend time on the second machine. They are theoretically identical and I'm reasonably confident that the problem and cause are the same on both. Looking at the second machine might give more information or just confuse the situation.



My plans - feel free to comment and/or add:
Perform any more possible tests on the hardware.
As the majority of BSODs occur at or very soon after waking from sleep for nightly maintenance I'm going to focus on that, firstly by not waking the machines for a few days.



* I recently had a problem on another machine (not one of these two). The symptoms were random hangs and crashes and everything pointed to a failing disk (not the system disk) but the diagnostics always came up clean so I looked elsewhere without success. Only when the disk failed completely was my diagnosis confirmed. So the diagnostics don't always help .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2014   #17
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

Alan I'll get onto this tonight, sorry I've been really busy the past few days. Don't enable AOMEI just yet, just because it's disabled doesn't mean it's not doing something in the background. I can't lok at the logs just yet as I'm at work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2014   #18
Alan White

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thanks, Boozad.

I have made progress - of sorts. I've determined from the event logs that the problem isn't, as I first thought, occurring when the computer wakes from sleep. Rather, the problem is created at the time of putting the computer to sleep. It doesn't go to sleep cleanly so when it wakes up Windows thinks there's been an abnormal shutdown and produces the BSOD. So analysing the dumps isn't going to reveal anything, I think.

My next task, therefore, is to determine why it's not going to sleep cleanly, and why it's only doing it every n sleeps (where n is a number I'm hoping to determine). If you've any ideas I'd really appreciate them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2014   #19
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

Well the first thing I can think of is testing the RAM, as you probably know Sleep writes to RAM so if there's a problem there maybe that's the cause.

Download and run MemTest86+ to test your RAM.

RAM - Test with Memtest86+

Note   Note
Attachment 338707

Run MemTest86+ for at least 8 passes. Ideally set it off before you go to bed and leave it overnight, we're looking for zero errors here. A single error will show something's going bad with your RAM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2014   #20
Alan White

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Already done. I ran Memtest for ten passes (~16 hours!) on each machine with no errors reported. I'm thinking PSU but they're a hassle to change on these machines and I first need to see if I've got a suitable replacement. I don't want to buy one because these are new machines so if the PSUs need replacing then the supplier will do it. But I first need to prove it to myself.

That said, I'm still inclining to software. I'd really like to pin down the circumstances of the failure - always the hardest part of these sort of problems .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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