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Windows 7: Random Crashes (not BSOD) in RTM x64

23 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Random Crashes (not BSOD) in RTM x64

Shortly after putting together my new rig (specs on my profile), using the same hard drives from my previous one, my computer began freezing randomly. The kind that you get with games sometimes when the sound in the buffer plays repeatedly and sounds like a jackhammer. The only way to get out is to force restart the computer. Sometimes, it doesn't even get past the boot screen; it just hangs, and when I force restart it, I have to run startup repair (which is always successful but really annoying).
Memtest passed over 100% with no errors. Any ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Retail RTM, Ubuntu 9.10

Is it overclocked?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 7 - Vista

Did you re-install Windows 7 or was it already installed on the HDDs from the old system? If the latter, I suggest that you re-install the OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Oct 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

I never overclock, and I will try reinstalling it. It seems that I have temporarily avoided the problem by removing the program that controls my motherboard onboard audio. Not sure how long this will last, though. Thanks for helping
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #5
Microsoft MVP


Thanks for letting us know the solution!
It's likely to help others who come searching for the solution to similar issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Nevermind, it still freezes.
Now, though, it seems like it only freezes during boot. When this happens and I force restart, however, I have discovered that when it says "windows failed to start", nothing actually happened, and I can just start windows normally, and it works fine. This problem is quite fishy...

update: some pretty interesting crashes.
1. I got stuck in a loop of restarting and "windows failed to boot"
2. I had itunes open and working on something in illustrator, and suddenly everything froze and the music turned into something that sounded like playing a text file as raw audio data. Still have not found the culprit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2009   #7

windows 7 rc 7100

Hi, I have what sounds like a very similar problem. Specifically, windows freezes up - monitor power light starts blinking, if there's sound it gets stuck in a loop. Only solution is to restart computer. I also have onboard audio - in my case from realtek. I can replicate the bug by starting the game "Empire Total War" and hitting escape to skip the credits. I've tried reinstalling windows and the game, getting the latest realtek drivers, trying both newer and older versions of catalyst (radeon 4850). Nothing seems to work. I wonder if this is an integrated audio problem? (running Win7 rc 7100). Funny part is, when I started running win7 in august I didn't have this problem, and I have no idea what might have changed to cause it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2009   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Well, removing all of my motherboard drivers one by one and trying out several different graphics drivers didn't help me. Hopefully that answers at least part of your problem.

Meanwhile, I have done a re-install, but it froze in the middle of the install so I had to reboot and wait 45 minutes to rollback the install. I changed my memory timings to match the XMP profile, and so far there have been no audio loop crashes - but just now I had a BSOD. If anyone knows how to read it then here's the info.

Problem signature:
  Problem Event Name:	BlueScreen
  OS Version:	6.1.7600.
  Locale ID:	1033

Additional information about the problem:
  BCCode:	124
  BCP1:	0000000000000000
  BCP2:	FFFFFA800542B8F8
  BCP3:	0000000000000000
  BCP4:	0000000000000000
  OS Version:	6_1_7600
  Service Pack:	0_0
  Product:	256_1
Also, it seems that many of the crashes, but not all, were when I was doing something in Illustrator and hadn't saved for a while
Update: My computer just went 5 times in a row freezing while booting up. Looks like memory timings weren't the issue. Also froze during system restore. A clean install was successful on another hard drive I had lying around, but I'm not sure whether or not transferring all of my data will just cause the crashes again. anyone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #9
Microsoft MVP


A STOP 0x124 error is a hardware error on your system - either broken hardware or incompatible hardware (IMO).

Can you temporarily remove your audio card from the system to test and see if that stops the problem?

Also, please run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor tool to see if it finds any issues. It's free from here:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

My audio is motherboard integrated...
But I will try that upgrade advisor. Thanks.

Ok, so the Upgrade Advisor says that my computer is all compatible. 1 Error, which was MSN Messenger being out of date.

I tried booting in safe mode after a string of unsuccessful boot attempts, and that failed too. Every time I tried safe mode, it would hang after loading 'atipcie.sys'. I even went and got something to eat and when i came back it was still stuck. Not sure if graphics drivers/hardware could be the issue?

There are 2 types of crashes - jackhammer (sound buffer repetition) and random binary ("squeaky" static). The second type seems to be happening more often than the jackhammer type now...

So far I have triggered these crashes with all sorts of seemingly unrelated actions, including but not limited to: Locking the computer, opening a file in WinRAR, and being productive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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