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Windows 7: Random BSODs, freezes, crashes, failed boots and more fun problems

18 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 64bit
Random BSODs, freezes, crashes, failed boots and more fun problems

Hi all, I'm at the end of my patience with my machine here. I'm hoping these forums are the salvation. So thank-you in advance!

Windows 7 , x64, OEM, original install from factory, 2 year old hardware and OS install.

My Dell XPS 8000 used to work perfectly. Then 6 months after purchase the first weirdness started happening, spread over a long time. Then it got worse, and since last Spring it has been a gradual descent into PC Hell. I am at the point where 3 reboots a day is pretty much normal. It's also starting to have more trouble booting.

Symptoms, in order of first appearance: (may not all be related to root cause)
- Weird problem with internet connection. Works fine after a fresh boot, but then after a while I might start seeing scrambled images on web pages. Then, browser will ask to download page instead of just showing it, then it will freeze altogether. What browser you ask? It doesn't matter: when problems start, they are all affected (Chrome, Firefox, IE9). A reboot puts things back to normal.
- sound card started occasionally making shrieking distorted sound instead of normal sound.
- I put my computer to "sleep" every night. Sometimes I wake up and it is awake, or it has rebooted itself.
- A lot of times it freezes or reboots itself soon after I wake it up, or perhaps it freezes at the login prompt while I am not paying attention to it. For a few days it crashed at 8:30 sharp each morning, even though I wasn't near it and it was just the login prompt showing.
- Freezes: common, most often when I am not sitting in front of it, oddly enough.
- BSODs: not frequent, but they happen.

I can't find a single thing that causes any of these problems consistently.

What I have done:
- Ram test: OK
- change anti-virus (now using MS security essentials), and ran multiple deep scans: OK
- Thinking the internet problems may be due to the NIC, I installed a new one and turned off the motherboard-based one -- no perceptible change.
- Ran SFC.exe, noticed the logs are filled with a bunch of stuff, and I have no idea how to make sense of it. So I attached it here.
- I turned on Driver verifier for non-MS drivers and let it crash (it did so immediately on reboot -- twice).

I'm hoping someone can help me figure out how to get my machine running smoothly again. Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2011   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400

about half of these were releated to a graphics driver reset

"It's not a true crash, in the sense that the bluescreen was initiated only because the combination of video driver and video hardware was being unresponsive, and not because of any synchronous processing exception".

Since Vista, the "Timeout Detection and Recovery" (TDR) components of the OS video subsystem have been capable of doing some truly impressive things to try to recover from issues which would have caused earlier OSs like XP to crash.

As a last resort, the TDR subsystem sends the video driver a "please restart yourself now!" command and waits a few seconds.

If there's no response, the OS concludes that the video driver/hardware combo has truly collapsed in a heap, and it fires off that stop 0x116 BSOD.

If playing with video driver versions hasn't helped, make sure the box is not overheating.

Try removing a side panel and aiming a big mains fan straight at the motherboard and GPU.

Run it like that for a few hours or days - long enough to ascertain whether cooler temperatures make a difference.

If so, it might be as simple as dust buildup and subsequently inadequate cooling.

I would download cpu-z and gpu-z (both free) and keep an eye on the video temps Let us know if you need help STOP 0x116: VIDEO_TDR_ERROR troubleshooting
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 64bit

Thank-you ZigZag,

I installed cpu-z and gpu-z. I don't see a temp for the CPU, but the gpu is steady at 68C. I blew out all the dust when I replaced the NIC a few weeks ago. There was a lot, but removing it apparently didn't change anything.

I had changed drivers back and forth over time and had not noticed anything changing. Today I went forward again to the most recent Nvidia drivers (from nvidia's site), and the machine rebooted itself soon after waking from sleep at lunchtime. This is how it usually behaves, so I think the driver has not helped. Notice this was not a bsod, or at least I didn't see a "blue screen". This is just the machine being on, then all of a sudden I'm looking at the boot screen. This happens most often a short amount of time after I wake it up from sleep. Sometimes it freezes and I have to reboot it myself, but I rarely see the "blue screen".

Is there anything else you can think of? Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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