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Windows 7: BSOD SOLVED! Please read...

15 Jan 2011   #1
CycloneJoe67

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
BSOD SOLVED! Please read...

Hello Everyone,

I've been fighting a BSOD issue for the last month, and I wanted to share the steps I used, with the aid of this forum to resolve the problem. Computer overview:

Computer background info:
-OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
-OEM version, purchased from Fry's Electronics.
-Motherboard: Gigabyte P55A-UD3
-Chipset: Intel i5-760
-RAM: 8gig Corsair XMS3 1600, matched latency
-HD: Seagate Barracuda 1 Tb 7200 rpm 32 Mb cache
-Video Card: NVidia GTX 460 768 MB

After the initial install, it only took 3 hours for the first BSOD. They occurred either right at boot-up at the Windows screen, or within 30-40 minutes of boot-up. Almost exclusively the failure was a 'Critical Error' Kernel-voltage failure when viewing from the Event Viewer, and the mini-dumps showed issues with the ntoskrnl.exe file. I uploaded my mini-dump files to this site and asked for help. I found out that there were no out-dated drivers so that was a good thing. Following the input from this forum, I first ran MemTest86, which showed no issues with any of the RAM in any slot (ran 9 passes each run). Yes this takes a while but its worth knowing the RAM is 99% okay and not inherently defective. I then, as recommended, removed Kasperskey Virus protector, which was suggested as a possible cause as well. After doing these two suggestions, the BSOD's were still happening at the same rate.

The BSOD's occured so frequently one day that Base Search Engine (BSE) for Windows became corrupted, resulting in not being able to log onto the internet, and various USB faults. I believed the BSE corruption was due to the BSOD's, not the other way around, so a Windows repair install was done, which fixed the BSE problem; I could then log onto the internet. I downloaded a free version of 'Who Crashed' but it kept telling me it was a driver problem; and I really didn't believe it at this point since all the drivers were new, updated and the folks from this site didn't see an issue with them.

Still having a buggy computer, I started reading about the RAM itself. On Corsairs page, they have a nice discussion about their DDR3 XMS RAM. The article is contradictory in some plances but does say: "Adding memory modules places a greater load on the memory controller and may necessitate memory controller voltage changes". As I have 8 gigs of XMS3 1600, all slots filled, I verified in the BIOS screen that the RAM voltage was set at 1.5V. I increased the voltage to 1.64, the highest voltage before the RAM voltage numbers became 'pink', suggesting excessive voltage. Voila! No more BSOD's. Interesting also, the BIOS had slowed down the RAM speed to 1333 MHz, so I increase it to the correct 1600 MHz. Here is the Corsair link for those interested in reading their comments. I would guess this suggestion would apply to other RAM manufacturers as well: Corsair Memory Upgrade Resource Guide — 2010 « Corsair® Blog

I have yet to have another BSOD with these setting. So in conclusion I would suggest the following when diagnosing their computer:

-Verify there are no buggy or old drivers
-Upload your mini-dump files here to be read, or find a mini-dump reader or learn how to read them yourself.
-Run Memtest86 to verify the RAM isnt inherently defective
-Remove all spyware and upload Windows Security Essentials as a temporary replacement during your diagnostics.
-Verify that the RAM voltage is correct and that the RAM speed is correct. Minor adjustments to the RAM voltage may very well correct your problem, as it did mine.

Thank you to the admins of this site, you've been a big help in diagnosing this compy! Please mark the other post by my log-in: CycloneJoe67 as closed.

Thanks
Joe


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
15 Jan 2011   #2
Zen00

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Most RAM isn't OC'd right out of the box, they're rated to be OC'd to whatever speed (1600MHz for example), but generally they come clocked at 1333MHz. You have to set them yourself to 1600MHz, or if the RAM is "compatible" with your motherboard, generally that means that the motherboard manufacturer has included a profile for the RAM which will automatically clock it to the correct frequency, but again you have to select this profile in the BIOS for it to become active.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2011   #3
CycloneJoe67

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zen00 View Post
Most RAM isn't OC'd right out of the box, they're rated to be OC'd to whatever speed (1600MHz for example), but generally they come clocked at 1333MHz. You have to set them yourself to 1600MHz, or if the RAM is "compatible" with your motherboard, generally that means that the motherboard manufacturer has included a profile for the RAM which will automatically clock it to the correct frequency, but again you have to select this profile in the BIOS for it to become active.
Thank you for the explanation. There was a BIOS setting called "Profile1" which boosted the RAM speed. I hope the voltage increase will be helpful.

Thanks
Joe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

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 BSOD SOLVED! Please read...




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