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Windows 7: Rare BSOD became far too common

09 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7 x64
Rare BSOD became far too common

Attached the latest W7F Diagnostic zip. It all seems to have started on the 19/12/12, early in the morning when I turned the computer on before going to college. I logged in, then went to have my wash. On returning to the computer, it was magically back at the login screen. I didn't think much of it. It also seems to have happened on Christmas Day, and I wasn't at the computer at that time either. I had installed Skyrim that day, but had no issues with it in-game. The next incident wasn't until 31/1/13, more than a month later with almost 128 hours logged in Skyrim (I'd say between 110-120 with alt-tabbing), but I wasn't playing the game (I was using the Creation Kit, which hung on closing, which sparked a BSOD). On 1/2/13, no one was even in the house, and only Windows Explorer and the internet would have been open.

Cue me installing Dawnguard on the 2/2/13, and playing for 40 minutes in the afternoon. I came back in the evening, and couldn't even get 5 minutes without BSOD! That'd be the first dump file for 2/2/13. The second was upon reboot, I went back into the game, and I was only able to click 'Load' on my save for it to happen. I waited a few hours, tried again, got 5 minutes in the outside world before BSOD. The fourth instance on 2/2/13 is what is especially concerning - I was surfing the internet looking for information about the sudden onset of these BSOD events, and only had the internet running. Jump to 3/2/13, 5 minutes in-game and it happens, but then it happens when I get to the login screen. I simply type in the password, click OK...BSOD! The next incident was 7/2/13, and again just using the internet (my brother had spent ages trying to get the computer to properly boot up after using SeaTools for DOS...turns out he had to let the ISO complete fully and ctrl-alt-delete at the end, not simply reboot! That was a nail-biting twenty minutes figuring out why the computer refused to boot at all).

My system specs (should also be contained in the zip attached to my post)...
Windows 7 64-bit
AMD Athlon II X4 Processor (4 CPUs), ~3.0GHz
4096MB RAM
DirectX 11
NVIDIA GeForce GT 240
Driver version:

There is a rather large red flag over the whole situation. Each time the computer boots up and shuts down (and dotted about during the day once or twice), there is a list of errors in Event Viewer for harddrive\dr0 has a bad block. SeaTools for Windows failed the main harddrive on all but the SMART test, and the DOS version failed it also and was unable to repair the errors (just three errors, but then that is more than enough). It goes all the way back to 22/9/12, when it appears there was an error with the file system structure on volume C becoming corrupt and unuseable. The computer appears to have attempted a repair, and states it was successful, but that's when the disk errors (with the code '7') started up. A new harddrive is on the way.

Add to all of this my installation of Maya - a file vital to the initialisation of the software got magically deleted. I never touched it, and neither did anyone else. It just...disappeared, and I couldn't launch Maya. Also, on the 28/1/13 the computer had an error pop-up stating 'Display driver NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 270.61 stopped responding and has successfully recovered'. The screen flashed black for a moment before this, and I haven't seen it appear since. Event Viewer states: Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered.

However, so far I have only able to get Skyrim to BSOD where it comes to games. I attempted Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl and Empire Total War. Now, is it possibly that the more the game calculates and reads from/writes to memory, the more likely it is to come across a bad block and error? I imagine Skyrim is more demanding than even Stalker on high graphics, and especially more than any Total War game on the campaign map. Plus it may have started to use the bad blocks when writing save data...

Anyone able to pitch in on the situation? I know that there are third party drivers that need updating or deleting, but until the full reinstall on Tuesday, there's no point to mucking about with those.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit

Hello Kaidonni.

Free up the startup.
  1. Click on the Start button
  2. Type “msconfig (without quotes), click the resulting link. It will open the System Configuration window.
  3. Select the “Startup” tab.
  4. Deselect all items other than the antivirus.
  5. Apply > OK
  6. Accept the restart.
Install a latest version of MagicDisc.

Uninstall AVG using AVG Remover. Use Microsoft Security Essentials as your antivirus with windows inbuilt firewall, and free MBAM as the on demand scanner.
Download, install and update those, and then run full system scans with both of them, one by one.

See some info about your network driver.
Name    [00000007] Atheros AR8131 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.20)
Driver    c:\windows\system32\drivers\l1c62x64.sys (, 56.00 KB (57,344 bytes), 10/06/2009 21:34)
fffff880`043d4000 fffff880`043e6000   L1C62x64   (deferred)             
    Image path: \SystemRoot\system32\DRIVERS\L1C62x64.sys
    Image name: L1C62x64.sys
    Timestamp:        Wed Apr 01 10:39:17 2009 (49D2F6FD)
    CheckSum:         0001660A
    ImageSize:        00012000
    Translations:     0000.04b0 0000.04e4 0409.04b0 0409.04e4
update the network driver.
First, download the network card driver from manufactuer's website, ATHEROS Network drivers for Windows
Then reinstall the driver as follows:
  1. Click the Start Button, type "devmgmt.msc" (without quotation marks) in the Start Menu Search box and press Enter.
  2. Double click to expand "Network adaptors".
  3. Right click your network card and click Uninstall.
  4. Check "Delete driver software for this device" check box, click OK.
  5. Restart the computer
  6. If windows does not auto configure the appropriate drivers at startup, install the downloaded one manually.
Let us know the results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2013   #3

Windows 7 x64

No use doing that now, full reinstall is planned on Tuesday (so any updates/removals will need to be taken into account for the new harddrive). If the harddrive really does have anything to do with my issues with that game in particular, I won't know until late Tuesday or Wednesday. I honestly don't think it's the harddrive or drivers in most of those instances, but the game (it didn't happen with the other two games)...and it seems games I get at Christmas really are cursed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Feb 2013   #4

Windows 7 x64

Tested with Oblivion, heavily modded, and still no BSOD. I'd say it's more than resource-heavy enough if it's a memory-related issue. Now, whether or not the drivers are outdated and were simply making do up to last weekend with Skyrim is another thing, and as I said in my previous post, with a full reinstall coming up to rectify the harddrive issue, there's little point to mucking about with drivers at this point. I'll just make sure they are in their updated form - or not even present - on the new install.

Not being an expert, or being that knowledgeable about how harddrives work...could it be that when playing certain games, the computer was more likely to be coming across bad sectors? The saves are all stored on C volume, there appears to be no way to move Steam saves elsewhere (the main Steam install is on F volume, on the working drive). Maybe it was starting to access bad sectors while running Skyrim?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2013   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

What makes you think the Event Log errors and Seatools failures aren't indicating hard drive issues?
If that was my HDD I would save anything from it that you don't want to loose, and start looking for a new hard drive.
This possibility shouldn't be overlooked, but it is your system and your choice.

As to your last question, yes, a bad sector on the hard drive can affect a program that is installed on the bad sector.

If your OS runs after the re-install, load any/all additional programs/drivers one at a time, test for stability, maybe you can find the culprit this way. If that doesn't work someone will give you steps to proceed with finding the faults.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2013   #6

Windows 7 x64

I only say it because I get paranoid sometimes. If one thing triggers a BSOD, I expect another to, or fear it's a specific program. The only way Skyrim could be affected by a bad sector is when it comes to .ini files or saves, as Steam insists those go to the C volume. They must have started to try to use bad sectors for reading to and writing from memory in that case.

Everything that needs saving has been saved. Volume C doesn't contain many files that have been worked on, backed those up. E has been backed up, and the third volume at risk is X (a backup volume, but on the working harddrive there is volume Y, an identical backup). Since I'm not the hardware installation expert, my brother will be taking the computer home with him tomorrow evening to reinstall on Tuesday (on a new harddrive). I really should attend a college course in computer repair, etc.

EDIT: Further testing with Oblivion and Stalker rules out memory issues, and overheating.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #7

Windows 7 x64

Computer was fully reinstalled on 12/13th Feb with new harddrive, previous issues went away completely. This morning, it was reported by a family member that the screen went black and the computer rebooted. Attached are the W7F Diagnostic results.

No issues on any games at all. I doubt it's a memory issue (since PFN_LIST_CORRUPT was a common error before) due to my running of other games as a test before the reinstall/harddrive replacement. Of course, it could be, but I'm hoping this is either a random error or a driver error. No errors for the harddrives in Event Viewer, but there is this that stands out:

Event filter with query "SELECT * FROM __InstanceModificationEvent WITHIN 60 WHERE TargetInstance ISA "Win32_Processor" AND TargetInstance.LoadPercentage > 99" could not be reactivated in namespace "//./root/CIMV2" because of error 0x80041003. Events cannot be delivered through this filter until the problem is corrected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2013   #8

Windows 7 x64

No help I see...

This is getting extremely annoying now...after that BSOD on Saturday, everything was fine. Updated Windows, uninstalled MagicISO. Using an older version of the Adobe programs, so didn't bother with that. Tonight, had BSOD, this time SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED. WhoCrashed seems to indicate dxgmms1.sys was responsible, but BlueScreenViewer oddly does not indicate any driver...

On Wed 27/02/2013 22:16:38 GMT your computer crashed
crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\022713-14773-01.dmp
This was probably caused by the following module: dxgmms1.sys (dxgmms1+0x1EA53)
Bugcheck code: 0x1000007E (0xFFFFFFFFC0000005, 0xFFFFF880043BCA53, 0xFFFFF8800458E6D8, 0xFFFFF8800458DF30)
file path: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\dxgmms1.sys
product: Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
company: Microsoft Corporation
description: DirectX Graphics MMS
Bug check description: This indicates that a system thread generated an exception which the error handler did not catch.
This appears to be a typical software driver bug and is not likely to be caused by a hardware problem.
The crash took place in a standard Microsoft module. Your system configuration may be incorrect. Possibly this problem is caused by another driver on your system that cannot be identified at this time.

Attached is the W7F log dump...

To be honest, I regret following the advice of mucking about with the drivers. I never had this error before AT ALL until tonight. The updates were done on Monday evening, hardly touched Skyrim since then (it was certainly fine on Saturday and Sunday!). I thought it might be linked to my DirectX 11 version, but the previous dxdiag indicates it's the same driver file and driver version as Saturday (since I reinstalled the game but did not cancel the DirectX installation part). It's very annoying since it's this magical problem, and it never had it before. I must have put over 120 hours in in-game WITHOUT such an error, so I have no idea what's happening. Everything was absolutely fine after the full reinstall/new harddrive, then after that BSOD on Saturday everything was fine again, now this...I'm cursed. If a game isn't going to work, it should just stop working and that be it, not come up with a new excuse next week!

Soon enough, that game will be ruined because of stupid random magical errors...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #9

Windows 7 x64


No one at all? The dump file doesn't implicate any driver, while WhoCrashed wants to. Which is it? I hate this situation, it's like the computer is coming up with excuses to not work...

EDIT: I thoroughly checked my old W7F diagnostic dump from Saturday, before reinstalling Skyrim (uninstalled then reinstalled). The dxdiag.txt seems to completely agree with the current dxdiag.exe, so it cannot have been updated therefore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #10

Windows 7 x64

Really? No answers at all? I fear it happening again, and having no way to know what to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Rare BSOD became far too common

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