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Windows 7: freeze ups, new mobo time?

30 Mar 2012   #11

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

reset driver verifier: Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Right click Command Prompt -> Run as administrator -> Type the following command:
verifier /reset
and press Enter -> Restart your computer.

Set up Verifier with the following steps:
  • If you are overclocking any hardware, please stop.

  • Proceed with Verifier:
    a. Backup your system and user files
    b. Create a system restore point
    c. If you do not have a Windows 7 DVD, Create a system repair disc
    d. In Windows 7:
    • Click the Start Menu
    • Type verifier in Search programs and files (do not hit enter)
    • Right click verifier and click Run as administrator
    • Put a tick in Create custom settings (for code developers) and click next
    • Put a tick in Select individual settings from a full list and click next
    • Set up the individual settings as in the image and click next
      Attachment 205103
    • Put a tick in Select driver names from a list
    • Put a tick next to all non-Microsoft drivers.
    • Click Finish.
    • Restart your computer.

    If Windows cannot start in normal mode with driver verifier running, start in safe mode. If it cannot start in safe mode or normal mode, restore the system restore point using System Restore OPTION TWO.

    Thanks to zigzag3143 for contributing to the Verifier steps.
    If you are unable to start Windows with all drivers being verified or if the blue screen crashes fail to create .dmp files, run them in groups of 5 or 10 until you find a group that causes blue screen crashes and stores the blue screen .dmp files.
    The idea with Verifier is to cause the system to crash, so do the things you normally do that cause crashes. After you have a few crashes, upload the crash reports for us to take a look and try to find patterns.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2012   #12

Win7 home OEM 64bit

This is precisely what I have done, results above. I am trying again, backing up and setting a restore point now.

I cannot find any dump files in c:\windows\minidump\*.dmp. None of the freezes have been BSOD, all have been complete freezes. Driververifier has failed to write a dump file. There are only 6 or 8 drivers that are not microsoft drivers, I am only testing these, you can see them listed in the upload containing driver verifier images, the image named the highest number. Should I test these 1 by 1?

If I do test them 1 by 1, what does it show? Is the machine not using ANY other driver? If it is using other drivers (has to surely) then how do I know it is the tested drivers that caused the crash? It was crashing before I was using DF, and continues to now testing these 8.

Is it the tested driver(s) for which there are ".dmp" file entries? If one of these drivers is causing a problem it will be clear in the .dmp file? Writing dump files requires a BSOD? But it has never BSOD'ed on me or ever written.dmp files. This would exclude it being a driver issue then?

Separate note: re-ran defender: no spyware, reran avast, no threats, re-ran MBAM: 1 threat found "ADLSoft_Uncompressor.exe". Googling this does not confirm whether this is a problem or not. No site seems to say it is an outright threat. It was in the downloads folder, but I couldn't see it. I had "show hidden files" set to visible, but still couldn't see it. Confusing. Removed anyway.

Creating this backup is taking too long. been going 45 mins. CDR whirss occasionally. Is that normal?

If I can make them, I'll send the .dmp files
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2012   #13

Win7 home OEM 64bit

Followed the driververifier instructions to the letter. Tried to repeat a crash. took 20 mins.

The crash was a system freeze (no pointer movement, no response to any input, not even ctrl-alt-del), freeze was not a BSOD. Never are. Cured with an unplug or reset.

Post reboot there is no directory called c:\windows\minidumps and no dump files. It didn't BSOD so it cannot have written a log. Is it surprising I cannot find the dump files? Am I looking in the wrong place? This path is all I get when googling DV.

I don't think it is a driver issue. If it was, surely I would get a log from DV?

Talking of logs, attasched is my MBAM log. Not of any use really but I am scratching about for causes here. The type of freeze makes me feel like it is a hard ware issue.

Nothing has been overclocked at any point, and is not currently overclocked.

I am not happy with the setup as a whole, occasionally things happen which I can't pin down to a cause. I loaded steam and it did nothing for 20 mins, but the process manager showed steam accumulating memory usage (42 000kb?). I quit it from prc manager and started again, and it loaded ok. I tried the backup as described, but at about 48% in the middle of writing it completely stopped. Could switch away and back, had no "not responding" messages but for 40mins it just sat there smiling like a smiley bumper sticker, but not doing anything (again as indicated by absence of DVD R/W noise and low proc usage in proc manager). I aborted it. Occasionally firefox locks up and then minutes later is ok again. This is completely different to the total system freeze, in a total freeze waiting about does nothing (though eventually it resets itself but that's hours and it has only happend twice in 6-8 weeks - i reset instead of waiting that long). Most people would reformat and reinstall. Well I did that about 6-8 weeks ago had the problem before then ayway, and after. I don't think I should need to do it again now. esp not since I have been very vigilant about software, downloads, drivers, install, and system scans.

I read that these sorts of faults tend to be hardware, in the order: Ram, HD, mobo. Well I can't test any better with ram, and it is a pass. Next the HD, It is a Seagate drive and I have used seatools, but I'll try something else: I will do DFT drive fitness test.

Will post more results. Thanks to everyone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Mar 2012   #14

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

I am wondering if your hardware just is not properly supported by Windows 7. Have you tried a different operating system?

You can install Linux and run it for a while and see if you are able to run normally. That would be a good test to determine if it is hardware or software.

The motherboard you have was designed for XP, so you could also try XP if you have a version of that collecting dust somewhere.

There are other hardware tests you can do, as well.
  • Monitor temperatures during the following tests.
    Use the following programs to monitor the temperatures.
  • Run the boot version of Memtest86+ paying close attention to Parts 2 and 3 of the tutorial. Also, in case Memtest86+ misses anything and comes up with no errors, run the extended version of the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool for at least five passes. These you may want to run overnight since they take a long time to complete (run them an hour before bed each of the next two nights and check before going to sleep that they are still running).

    If you swap any memory components, follow these steps for ESD safety:
    1. Shut down and turn off your computer.
    2. Unplug all power supplies to the computer (AC Power then battery for laptops, AC power for desktops)
    3. Hold down the power button for 30 seconds to close the circuit and ensure all power drains from components.
    4. Make sure you are grounded by using proper grounding techniques, i.e. work on an anti-static workbench, anti-static desk, or an anti-static pad. Hold something metallic while touching it to the anti-static surface, or use an anti-static wristband to attach to the anti-static material while working.
    Once these steps have been followed, it is safe to remove and replace components within your computer.

You are the only person on these forums to get the ADLSoft_UnCompressor.exe Adware. Adware can cause freezes and crashes, and the fact that it was hidden from you is foreboding. I suspect something else at work, but it is good to have removed that application.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2012   #15

Win7 home OEM 64bit

Yes perhaps you are right. I am bridging different generations of hardware and software.

The 'Drive Fitness Test' came up with no errors on the hard drive.

The mobo (ASRock 939 Dual SATA2) was tricky to get going w.r.t. the sata hard disk. The bios booted from the win7 disk, then install looked only on the IDE chain and said: "no harddrives". I had to go get a special sata driver, for the win7 install disk to load up into memory (not install to hard disk - no hard disk to access) so that it could then access the Sata hard disk, to continue a normal install. It bent my head about a bit: trying to understand why it worked, and continued to work without loading the same sata drivers each time I boot up.

I have an XP sp3 disk, and I used to run Linux for years, Both are good options. What would be the best linux distro given the wierd hard ware? Debian is widely regarded as the best for finding the right drivers.

I'll get to work:
One linux iso, download, burn, partition and install
One XP partition and install
Six diagnostic software kits to download and leave on overnight/at work tests.
might be a day or so before I answer.

Greatly appreciate all the input. Sorry if I am asking questions that are answered in other threads.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2012   #16

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Ubuntu is a good testing ground. Puppy Linux 5.2.5 is said to be best for old hardware: 10 best Linux distros for 2011 | News | TechRadar
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2012   #17

Win7 home OEM 64bit

last post: 31/2/12
Running DV as specified. Not getting any crash logs or dump files. Freeze rates not changed, freeze type not changed. DV makes everything slow.
Pririform speccy report CPU temps @48 degrees with DV on. "Amd max temps": 49-63 degrees. OK.
Conclusion: Driver verifier does stress test the CPU. It doesn't over heat under DV.

AM 1/4/12
Switch DV off. Other tests are too slow, interacting with everything take minutes at a time. DV is not providing useful test output.
Conclusion: probably not a driver issue.

Run prime 95 on test 1, CPU usage @ 100%. speccy temp 49-51. OK.
hwinfo temps:gpu 29,SMART: 38. Winbond (chip on mother board?): mobo 25, cpu 49, auxiliary 43
Then run HD tune in parallel, benchmark test puts HD up to 39 degrees.
Conclusion Proc passes prime 95 test 1 without overheating
Conclusion: HD performs suitably in the hdtune benchmark without over heating.

Quirk: something (minimise all or hddtune:benchmark) makes prime95 tester taskbar icon disappear. rerun prime 95, it behaves like it was always there, and the "start test" option is greyed out while the "stop test" option is blacked. "self test passed" line keep appearing, it is still working then.

Run HDDtune error scan in parallel
Prime 95 test1 ran 1 hrs 10 mins 0 errors, 0 warnings no crashes
temps during prime 95 test2, (HWinfo64)
HD temp 42
mobo 25 deg
cpu 49 deg

PM 1-4-12
HDtune ran an error scan concurrently with prime95 test 2, hdtune indicates no damaged sectors, all "OK", hd tune reports drive health as OK too
Prime 95 ran test 2 for 2 hrs 20 mins 0 errors, 0 warnings, during which speccy said cpu temp was on av 32 degC
speccy says hd temp during prime95 test2/hdtune error scan was about 38 deg C
prim 95test 3, 2 hrs 46 mins 0 errors 0 warnings
during prine95 HWinfo64 read temps as: hd: 40 deg C, GPU: 27 deg C, mobo: 23 deg C, CPU: 36 deg C (speccy said 33 deg), Auxiliary: 33 deg C
Conclusion: the proc(64FX57) passes the prime95 tests 2 and 3 without over heating
Conclusion: the HD(scavenged but new seagate) passes the HDtune health check and error scan, also without overheating

Intel burn test: mx temp range is 49-63 degrees. (what does this mean? max should be a value not a range). Reticent to try intel burn test. The differential in temp between idle and 100% is less than 20 degrees(?).

Evening 1-4-12
Furmark, GPU: geforce GTX550TI: Max safe temp 100 deg C
furmark temp levels at 83 degrees in furmark and hwinfo64

Quirk and Recent freeze description: 21:39
Cold boot, run hwinfo64 and firefox. Download furmark. Browse web for GPU max temps. Notice downloading these tools has got me "wiseconvert" toolbar. Investigate removal. Can't remove. Does not show on 'uninstall programs' or 'ccleaner' or under the firefox ext settings as "wiseconvert"-homepage says it should. "Wiseconvert" seems to have come with one of the tool I downloaded. Or alternatively, was one of the "download" boxes I misclicked when downloading the testing tools. Firefox often locks up for a while then frees up. Sometimes it is the first thing to lock in a freeze. Decide to swap to chrome. Download install chrome, import settings.
Install furmark. Run furmark. furmark temp levels out. record it. Goto find MG vid mem test. Start tdownload. Have a zip file. Extract: File explorer 'not responding'. few moments later, nothing else responds, pointer moves. Ctrl-alt-del once, wait. No response. Then pointer not moving. Wait a few moments. No change. HD light whirring (as always). Press reset and hold for 10s as usual. Boot up offers to go to safe mode, do normal start.
Conclusion: firefox was not running when the freeze happened but was still installed. Is it excluded as a cause of freezing? Is there any way this could be a software issue? (don't think so, there's no BSOD or individual package crash. Wot u think?)
Conclusion: the GPU does not overheat when heavily stressed

Running MG VMT and downloading the latest ubuntu iso made everything very slow. Also froze. reran VMT overnight, froze and auto rebooted.

AM 2-4-12
Start VM for passes 2-7 Crashes on 2nd pass: no errors on passes 1&2
Restart VMT, for 7 passes, froze on third pass, no errors on passes 1, 2 & 3
Thinks: more crashing under VMT? More than usual? Hard to say. All tests report no errors or warnings.
Restart VMT, for 7 passes, Complete 12 passes, no errors on any pass. aborted test at 7+ hrs
Conclusion: the video memory is fine.

Tried LINPACk INtel Burn Test. all tests take the CPU to over 49 degrees. Tried test, but aborted at about 90seconds: temp at 49 degrees. Would go further if I could be confident the max temp was 63 degrees and not 49 degrees. AMD page gives range, not a single value. Could someone confirm the range (49 - 63) means ([max idle temp] - [max full load temp])??? If so I could do the full intel burn test.

Tried latest iso of ubuntu. It jammed in a timeout loop. Didn't get to choosing options or a GUI. Reset and booted back into win7. Win7 said it had been trashed and needed to repair and restore. After 20 mins of repairing it said it could not repair the damage. I tried a restore point from the repair menu. It took a while and I didn't have the desktop at first, only a pointer, process manager. Proc man let me start chrome though. Eventually the desktop popped up. Don't want to try ubuntu again with this set up - that was a near miss.
Conclusion: This is a weird mobo.

Evening 3-4-12
I did memtest exatly as tutorial step 2 and 3 describe and wrote about it in a previous post. So I will skip memtest.
Memtest results were no errors on an overnight run.
Not to shrink away from effort and testing tools, I ran the windows memory diagnostic as describes in the link. I left it overnight on the extended test. It did 8 passes, no errors.
Conclusion: The 2 elixir sticks are definitely good. The corsair sticks may or may not be, but the crash rate hasn't dropped without them so I don't think they are implicated as a cause.

Realised my XP OEM discs are 32bit. This is a 64 bit machine.
looking at puppy linux.

Quirk: if I do hibernate I get a crash on boot up. The hibernation files are corrupted in writing or reading them. Every time.

Overall conclusion: except for the mobo I have tested all hardware, and software drivers. Hardware has passed all tests well (bar linpack intel burner - but I chickened out). Software drivers don't seems to be implicated as causative of a freeze. I cannot say the mobo is faulty without a clear fail of a test of some kind. I think I can buy the "mobo not supported well under win7" line. I am investigating mobo testing software. Most seems to be data retreival, not stress tests, and some of the benchmarks are actually component tests, not explicit mobo tests.

Comments please: any good outright mobo testing tools?

Attached files are "of interest" rather than important. All screen shots of tests. (furmark was v pretty!)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2012   #18

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

First: Thank you for the very detailed post. I have a few concerns based on the post that I would like to go through. I want to ask first: Do you have any external drives for doing backups, and if so, what size are they?

One main concern is the hibernate issue. This could be related to a bad hard drive, bad memory (probably not), or a bad motherboard. It could also be a bad Windows install causing this issue. You say in your first post that you did a fresh install. Where did you obtain the Windows 7 media to do the install? Was it retail, downloaded (there are official download sites that are legal and legitimate), etc.?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2012   #19

Win7 home OEM 64bit

Backup options: freecom 500gb NAS. mostly empty.

I bought a win7 oem disk when putting the machine together. (that's ok right?)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2012   #20

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

There's been some debate on the forums about the license agreement for doing that. Some gurus do the same, and the conclusion seems to be it just means you do not get Microsoft support. Basically, it is a gray area.

Anyway, look through Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup and familiarize yourself with that process. That way, we can back up your system as it currently stands, and try to install Ubuntu or Puppy Linux fresh. See if you have more success that way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 freeze ups, new mobo time?

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