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Windows 7: "Random" sproadic BSODs - Memory or video?

25 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7 64bit
"Random" sproadic BSODs - Memory or video?

Well... I never thought I'd see the day when I actually need others' advice on figuring out computers errors, but here I am! First off, a big thanks to all of the great advice/suggestions on the forum. I think I've narrowed it down, but I figure I'd let the experts take a quick peak and either confirm or deny my suspicions.

Background: Built this machine in spring of last year. Basic specs: Q6600 2.4, 4gig (4x1) memory, Gigabyte mobo,Nvidia 8800GT gfx card. Ran fine under windows XP 32bit. Never any BSOD or other issues.

Several days ago, I purchased and installed student version of Win 7 64bit. Although the clean install went fine and it supposedly found all of the correct drivers... that made me nervous so I installed the latest NVIDIA 191.07 drivers and the ones for the realtek sound/eithernet from the motherboard manufacturer (Gigabyte).

Since the install, I randomly get maybe ~1-2 BSODs a day... in rate of time we're talking maybe one every 2 hours or so, although I've also had 2 in quick succession.

Following the advice I read on the forums...

  • I ran the system file checker... that was fine.
  • I have also included my info from MSINFO32.exe (see below with the minidumps).
  • I started doing some minidump analysis
I have only included the last 3 minidumps below, but I've had a few before that. Each time it is slightly different, HOWEVER, there is a common theme which appears to be hardware. The crashes are always with some sort of windows related exe such as CRSCC (or whatever it is), explorer, sidebar, etc. These are then typically related to win32k.sys or the nvlddmkm.sys.

My reasoning comes down to these lines in the debugger program:

Dump 1:
EXCEPTION_CODE: (NTSTATUS) 0xc0000005 - The instruction at 0x%08lx referenced memory at 0x%08lx. The memory could not be %s.

Dump 2:
"Could not read faulting driver name
Probably caused by : memory_corruption"

Dump 3:
Probably caused by : hardware ( nvlddmkm+aff44 )

These are simply the last 3 dumps.... nvlddmkm has shown up a few other times. I accidentally cleaned the older memory dumps so those aren't available.

Of course MEMORY CORRUPTION sticks out like a sore thumb. That's the first thing I looked at earlier (and these are post memory diagnostics).

  • I made sure the timings matched in the bios settings.
  • I ran the windows memory debugger in extended mode for several passes... it came back OK
  • I then ran memtest86+ for a work day (8 hours)... no issues. Also never had BSOD issues on XP beforehand, although I read somewhere 64bit is more sensitive to memory?

So hmm... all these tests come back as PASSED and I didn't have this issue on XP... this makes me think not memory.

Seeing "nvlddmkm.sys" show up a few times makes me think nvidia driver issue, although that seems hard for me to believe. Some google sleuthing did turn up some wide problems with the 8800 and Vista, however.

Really, the toughest part of the problem is the sporadic nature of the problem. If I try pulling 1 stick of ram out, etc. I could be doing this for weeks. I've been working on this post for over an hour with no issue. When the crashes occur, I'm doing just general activities in Windows... surfing the net, listening to music, etc. Right now I'm still leaning towards gfx driver issue, but can't rule out memory. If you guys have the time, I'd appreciate if you could look over the included file below and see if you can spot anything else. Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP


Here's a description of the STOP 0x3B error: BSOD Index
Here's a description of the STOP 0x50 error: BSOD Index

I'd first suspect your video drivers. In order to check this, download the latest version of the nVidia drivers from this link: Drivers - Download NVIDIA Drivers

Then uninstall the current video drivers from Control Panel...Programs and features...Uninstall a program.
Then install the freshly downloaded one's and monitor for BSOD's.

I'd also wonder if there's a hardware issue with your video card - but the only way that I know of to check that is to try another video card. Do you have another video card that you can use as a test?

If both of these tests doesn't work out, please post back and we'll talk about using Driver Verifier to help force a crash that will point out the problem driver's name.

Summary of the BSOD's:
Built by: 7600.16385.amd64fre.win7_rtm.090713-1255
Debug session time: Sat Oct 24 01:42:35.700 2009 (GMT-4)
System Uptime: 0 days 0:17:12.854
BugCheck 3B, {c0000005, fffff96000084b33, fffff88007de20a0, 0}
Probably caused by : win32k.sys ( win32k!InternalRebuildHwndListForIMEClass+9b )
PROCESS_NAME:  explorer.exe
Built by: 7600.16385.amd64fre.win7_rtm.090713-1255
Debug session time: Sat Oct 24 02:07:42.305 2009 (GMT-4)
System Uptime: 0 days 0:02:46.458
BugCheck 50, {fffff180c43bd6e8, 0, fffff9600011b109, 7}
Probably caused by : memory_corruption
PROCESS_NAME:  csrss.exe
Built by: 7600.16385.amd64fre.win7_rtm.090713-1255
Debug session time: Sun Oct 25 04:08:48.817 2009 (GMT-4)
System Uptime: 0 days 0:45:56.001
BugCheck 50, {ffffed801149e259, 1, fffff88004948f44, 7}
*** WARNING: Unable to verify timestamp for nvlddmkm.sys
*** ERROR: Module load completed but symbols could not be loaded for nvlddmkm.sys
Probably caused by : hardware ( nvlddmkm+aff44 )
PROCESS_NAME:  csrss.exe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 7 64bit

Thanks for the suggestion! I reinstalled the latest video drivers today... so far so good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 "Random" sproadic BSODs - Memory or video?

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