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Windows 7: Frequent crashes of certain plugins and applications, sporadic BSODs

04 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
Frequent crashes of certain plugins and applications, sporadic BSODs

A few weeks ago I bought 2x2GB dual-channel RAM to upgrade to a total of 4x2GB = 8GB. The new RAM ( - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ) was a different brand from the old RAM ( - Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PDC24G6400ELK) as that was no longer being sold. Both are of course DDR2 800 and I tried to match voltage, timing, and latency, but I didn't find an exact match.

The new RAM worked fine for a day but would not boot the next day (no video to monitor, no POST beep), so returned it for replacement. The replacement RAM also would not boot so, fearing faulty slots, I checked multiple configurations. I had had the old RAM in slots 2 and 4, so I tried the known-good old RAM in 1 and 3- no problems. I checked several other configurations and found that the PC would boot with the old RAM in slots 1 and 2 and the new RAM in 3 and 4. It seemed odd to have mixed brands in the same channel and I was suspicious that this would be stable, so I ran memtest86+ overnight twice, which found no errors, so I thought I would be fine.

A few days later I started receiving BSODs and a few crashes of memory-intensive applications (ex. Cakewalk Sonar and Battlefield 3, but these have always been somewhat unstable anyway). The first BSODs listed drivers like netio.sys, but eventually I received a PFN_LIST_CORRUPT BSOD, which I believe is strongly diagnostic of faulty RAM. So I returned the replacement RAM for refund, and ended up finding almost identical RAM to my old known-good kit on Amazon ( Patriot Memory PGS24G6400ELK 4 GB (2 X 2 GB) Gaming Series DDR2 Pc2-6400 Enhanced Latency Dimm Kit: Electronics). Same brand, voltage, and timings.

The PC would not boot off this third kit in any configuration I tried, though at this point I didn't try as many combinations as I had with the replacement GSKILL kit. So I pretty much resigned myself to running on 4GB of RAM... but my system was now far more unstable than ever, with the old supposedly known-good RAM in its original configuration in slots 2 and 4. Silverlight and Flash plugins crash constantly, running maybe fifteen or twenty minutes without crash at most; some applications (first Battlefield 3, then Origin itself) will inevitably crash a few seconds after launch; other applications (such as Firefox) crash more infrequently; and I receive sporadic (once or twice daily) BSODs with varying errors.

In case there was something software related I restored to a point a week or so old, before I'd installed some Windows updates, driver updates, and a couple of applications; that didn't help. I'm pretty much at wits' end here. Attached are my minidumps and performance monitor report, thanks for any help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2012   #2

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.

* Please remove any CD visualization programs such as Daemon Tools and Alcohol 120%.

They use a driver, found in your dmp, called sptd.sys, that is notorious for causing BSODs.

Use this SPTD uninstaller DuplexSecure - Downloads DuplexSecure - FAQ

when you're done you can use this Freeware:

MagicISO Virtual CD/DVD-ROM (MagicDisc) in its place

Using MagicISO to create ISO image files

* These crashes were caused by memory corruption/exception (probably a driver).
Please run these two tests to verify your memory and find which driver is causing the problem.

If you are overclocking anything reset to default before running these tests.
In other words STOP!!!

If you have Raid update its Driver.

*Download a copy of Memtest86 and burn the ISO to a CD using Iso Recorder or another ISO burning program. Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool

Boot from the CD, and leave it running for at least 5 or 6 passes.

Just remember, any time Memtest reports errors, it can be either bad RAM or a bad motherboard slot.

Test the sticks individually, and if you find a good one, test it in all slots.

Any errors are indicative of a memory problem.

If a known good stick fails in a motherboard slot it is probably the slot.

RAM - Test with Memtest86+

Driver verifier

Using Driver Verifier is an iffy proposition. Most times it'll crash and it'll tell you what the driver is. But sometimes it'll crash and won't tell you the driver. Other times it'll crash before you can log in to Windows. If you can't get to Safe Mode, then you'll have to resort to offline editing of the registry to disable Driver Verifier.

So, I'd suggest that you first backup your stuff and then make sure you've got access to another computer so you can contact us if problems arise. Then make a System Restore point (so you can restore the system using the Vista/Win7 Startup Repair feature).

Then, here's the procedure:
- Go to Start and type in "verifier" (without the quotes) and press Enter
- Select "Create custom settings (for code developers)" and click "Next"
- Select "Select individual settings from a full list" and click "Next"
- Select everything EXCEPT FOR "Special Pool", "Force Pending I/O Requests" and "Low Resource Simulation" and click "Next"
- Select "Select driver names from a list" and click "Next"
Then select all drivers NOT provided by Microsoft and click "Next"
- Select "Finish" on the next page.

Reboot the system and wait for it to crash to the Blue Screen.
Continue to use your system normally, and if you know what causes the crash, do that repeatedly.
The objective here is to get the system to crash because Driver Verifier is stressing the drivers out.
If it doesn't crash for you, then let it run for at least 36 hours of continuous operation.

Reboot into Windows (after the crash) and turn off Driver Verifier by going back in and selecting "Delete existing settings" on the first page, then locate and zip up the memory dump file and upload it with your next post.

If you can't get into Windows because it crashes too soon, try it in Safe Mode.
If you can't get into Safe Mode, try using System Restore from your installation DVD to set the system back to the previous restore point that you created.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2012   #3

Win 8 Release candidate 8400

DO what JMH suggests first!

I noticed that the vast majority of these crashes started on Feb 8, 2012. Did you add hardware, or install something around that time?

These are some seriously old drivers that need updating

SSPORT.sys    8/11/2005 6:07:32 PM        fffff880`08631000    fffff880`08639000    0x00008000    0x42fbda34                        
VSTwindrvr6.sys    7/4/2008 2:28:01 AM        fffff880`04c38000    fffff880`04c7b000    0x00043000    0x486dd101                        
Rt64win7.sys    2/26/2009 4:04:13 AM        fffff880`0ff79000    fffff880`0ffab000    0x00032000    0x49a65b0d
How To Find Drivers:
- search Google for the name of the driver
- compare the Google results with what's installed on your system to figure out which device/program it belongs to
- visit the web site of the manufacturer of the hardware/program to get the latest drivers (DON'T use Windows Update or the Update driver function of Device Manager).
- if there are difficulties in locating them, post back with questions and someone will try and help you locate the appropriate program.
- - The most common drivers are listed on this page: Driver Reference Driver Reference
- - Driver manufacturer links are on this page: Drivers and Downloads
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Mar 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

Thanks guys, I think I've narrowed it down to one stick of the old RAM. Tested one stick of the old RAM which failed in two slots, tested the other stick which passed (two passes each) in all four slots. I'll test the last set of upgrade RAM when I have time, for now I'm running with 2GB. Origin still crashes when trying to update, but Silverlight and Flash are fine and I haven't encountered any BSODs. I'll probably just have to reinstall Origin.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2012   #5

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.

Thanks for reporting back.
Good luck & let us know how you go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

Checking back in one last time, I still had the last replacement set of RAM (the one from Amazon), running with that and the one good original stick I've had no problems, that setup passed 4 passes of memtest. I did end up having to reinstall Origin but it has worked fine since then and there have been no other issues. It sucks to lose a stick but 6GB is fine for my needs anyway.Thanks everyone :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2012   #7

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.

Thanks for posting back.
You are most welcome.
Good luck.
Safe surfing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Frequent crashes of certain plugins and applications, sporadic BSODs

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