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Windows 7: BSOD IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and random freezes

21 Jun 2014   #91

Windows 7 64bit Home Premium SP1


Thank you for the ample amount of information and advices you've given. It has been most helpful. Luckily, I've a pretty good memory, so I don't worry about forgetting passwords. Really, sometimes I wish I were more forgetful...but anyways, I think I'll go ahead and do a complete reinstall of windows. Whether it fixes the problem or not, I won't know until I try, eh?

By the way, how's Windows 8?

Jacee: I want to thank you for taking your time to write those instructions out for me. I've decided to reinstall windows, so I apologize for having wasted your time!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2014   #92
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

If you do a clean reinstall, don't download any theme changers. Just use as is, until you know it isn't hardware causing BSOD. Also be very aware of what you download, as some programs come 'bundled' with adware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2014   #93

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Olanka, I understand what you say about a good memory

I agree, you won't know until you try. It certainly makes taking things out of the equation easier.

Jacee offers sage advice. After the clean install, run the machine plain vanilla for a while to test if the BSOD is hardware related. Then after a few days to a week, add things slowly in small batches and run with that configuration for a few days to a week. Doing it that way makes it easy to determine the cause of new issues and remedy it quickly.

I'm sure there are some things you want back right away (Bamboo) - so start with the most important devices and software (small batches) and build up from there. Just a note on that - Bamboo was one of the things that caused errors to be logged in event viewer. That might be a good thing, in that you already know where to look (the ipconfig DNS)

As you discovered, there are some things you don't want or need to install (MagicISO). If you have a question about certain software or hardware, don't be afraid to ask - members are very helpful and knowledgeable (and opinionated - so you might get many responses to the "best" :) ).

Windows 8? I've only been on it for a week, and it's mostly been a kick the tires, take it out for a test drive.
I haven't had any issues with it and it seems faster on many things.

Some people don't like the Modern GUI - they miss the start menu Orb. I personally don't think that's a big deal, it's just an operating system with a new face. It's a minor difference between Win7 and Win8 as far as Start goes in my mind. Win7 has the Start menu with icons and Win8 has a full screen Start page with tiles.

Other people don't like the flatness of the GUI. That didn't bother me either because I'm somewhat of a minimalist - my Win7 theme was dumbed down to free up resources. I kept a few visual options I liked, but disabled all of the animated, fade, shadow, and slide features.

There are some things I don't like - the modern apps. Similar to a tablet (I don't like the way apps work on that either - lol). But, you don't have to use them - I just downloaded every application I used on Win7 and installed them on Win8.
It took a while to organize the system "just the way I like it" because there are new features. I'm still learning about most of the new stuff, but generally Win8 Desktop works the same way Win7 does.

The transition from Vista to Win7 was far more difficult (2 months until I felt comfortable). It's only been a week on Win8 and it is very comfortable. I'm itching to start digging deeper. But.... I'm taking it slow, running plain vanilla for a while. Maybe in a few weeks I'll break something and have to figure out how to fix it

There was one issue that resurfaced. I have an external USB HD drive and when I first connected it to Win7 the drive would not obey the power configuration - it would go to sleep or power down when it felt like it. I lived with that for a while until I found a solution. When I connected it to Win8 - same thing! I couldn't remember the solution or find any notes (I have a lot of notes) so I lived with it. Today, I stumbled on a solution - after trying to install an old printer, the disk drive started behaving. Go figure! That eliminates the driver and points to the USB or Power configuration - the old printer install mostly likely affected the USB settings - don't know why or how, but I'll take that as a win.

Keep in mind, most of my experience is with 8.1 - I did play with Win8 for a day or two, but updated to 8.1 to get the benefits. What benefits? More emphasis on the Desktop than the Modern GUI.

Other than that I haven't had any issues with Win8.

Phew, I can be long winded!

So, are you thinking about Win8? If you use a tablet, then you're already used to the Modern GUI. It's easy to switch between the to user interfaces (Desktop and Modern / Immersive)

There's an Windows 8 Forums too - same good people, same good help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jun 2014   #94

Windows 7 64bit Home Premium SP1

Thank you for the tip, Jacee. I will keep that in mind. Those sneaky developers and their bundled software...

From what I've used of Windows 8: setting up my father's computer, or keeping it updated, I don't have any qualms about it. In fact, I think it is rather nice. I also don't mind the flat GUI. Personally, I don't like aero glass at all, hehe.

Unfortunately, I think my issue here is hardware related. I had a BSOD on a fresh install of Windows 7. Besides that, my OEM supplied product key does not work in activating Windows. I suppose this old guy has seen better days.

Thank you everyone for trying to help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2014   #95

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Hmm, perhaps.

Regarding the product key: Did you use the key on the COA sticker (bottom of the dv7)? don't post the key - that's the sort of sensitive information that should never be posted anywhere.

Sometimes, it might take a second try to activate Windows.

If it still doesn't activate, then you might try a phone activation.
Activate Windows 7 by Phone

If you want to try and work through the issues, I'm more than willing to help. It could be a long haul though.

If you decide to retire "this old guy" (you're talking about the computer right?:) ) then you get to play with Win8.

I've been wondering if you created your own avatar - it's pretty cool.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2014   #96

Windows 7 64bit Home Premium SP1


Yes, I used the product key from the sticker. Oh, I forgot all about activate by phone. Perhaps I was too hasty, I went ahead and installed Windows 8. I figured, why not take this chance to try something new? Maybe I can be fancy and dual boot like you, hehe. There are always Linux distros as well—but that's a whole different ball park.

That is kind of you to offer, from the symptoms I've described, do you have any ideas on what hardware might be failing?

Yes, I refer to my laptop as "This old guy" I suppose it is a bit silly. With how quickly electronics become obsolete, my 5 or so years old laptop is already an old one, I'm sure of it.

Yes, the avatar is a digital sketch I made. And thank you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2014   #97

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem


Ok, so you're on Win8 now. Run for a while (becoming a theme around here) and see what issues crop up.

Win8 comes with a complete set of drivers, so lots of things change when you install it.

Dual boot - that was my intention, but I ended up installing over Win7. I want to be able to switch between the two so I can 'test' issues for other members, but I'm no fancier than you are.

The symptoms were varied and many. I try to work up from the most simple to the most complex resolution. It takes more time, but it often saves money. As an example, when you mentioned the clock being off, that might be a $4 CMOS battery, or it might be a $100+ Motherboard (or in my case a new $400+ machine - I don't open laptops).

The screen blanking and white noise sound could be individual components failing. It is really difficult to tell from a distance, so you just have to eliminate things one at a time.

The moment you buy technology, it's obsolete - so "this old guy" is apropos.

The avatar is very good - it's one of those images that seem to change, at least in my mind. As we went through the troubleshooting, the avatar seemingly changed to either approve or disapprove of the results.
There are a few artistic examples of this type of transformative imagery - the Mona Lisa is one. Of course it could just be me

Post an update if a new issue occurs while running Win8, ok?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2014   #98

Windows 7 64bit Home Premium SP1


So far, Window's 8 has been nice. I can see what people mean though when they say the operation feels schizoid, but it's not too bad, especially with the new update. So far, I've experienced a few of the symptoms (black out, static noise) issues. I stumbled upon a thread (in a different forum) in which someone was suffering from a similar computer problem. The person was able to solve their problem by disabling "High definition Audio Device" as they also had IDT High Definition Audio Codec installed. Apparently, having both drivers active caused Windows to lose power due to some sort of confusion. Perhaps I'm just being hopeful, but so far, the old man is steady.

You flatter me. My sketch in the same sentence with Mona Lisa? Ha! Though, I suppose, we're both autodidacts.

Perhaps a silly question, but as I am now running Windows 8, should I make an account on the Windows 8 forum instead?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2014   #99

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Win8 will feel more comfortable once you personalize it - other than Start and Modern apps, it's pretty much Win7 under the covers. Some new features have been added that techies like (or dislike) and there ya go.

I read that IDT and AMD HiDef audio caused issues on some machines. I have both enabled on my HP dv6 (AMD processor) and have not experienced any issues of that nature on Win7 or Win8. You could try that to see if it makes a difference.

The black out would most likely not be caused by a conflict on the audio, the static noise might. If you post the link to the other forum, I can review the solution posted there. I might pick up something that I haven't though about.

Is the machine mostly used on a desk or is it more mobile? When this last occurrence happened was there anything that preceded it? The display is susceptible to wear and tear when opening and closing the lid. The internal components are susceptible to heat if the vents don't get sufficient airflow (canned air might help clean out the vents)
Reducing Heat Inside the PC to Prevent Overheating | HP® Support
How to clean your laptop's cooling fans | PCWorld

There was a link on the HP "clean the vents" page that pointed to using the UEFI diagnostics to test the hardware:
Testing for Hardware Failures (Windows 8) | HP® Support

I don't know if you still have the HP_TOOLS partition after install Win8 or not. If you do not, then install and run the diagnostics on a USB thumb drive.

At this point that's the best I can offer; clean the vents and run the UEFI diagnostics.

I need to review the thread to see what testing you performed under Win7 - I think you covered the gambit (memory, graphics, driver verify...) when you were having the BSODs. There aren't many user choices for HW on HP - memory is about it. After cleaning the vents and running the UEFI diags, I might ask you to check the components. Nothing complicated.

Has the machine jarred? That might be enough to loosen a connection on some part.

There's also this little $15 part between the display and the motherboard that often fails - but that's best left to a technician and the cost goes up. That is easy to test if you have another display that you can connect to the machine.

But I think I'm getting too far ahead - try cleaning the vents and running the UEFI diags.

It's always nice to hear good things about your work from other people. I was going to compare it to "The Portrait of Dorian Grey", but that's a novel by Oscar Wilde about a painting that changes, so the enigmatic smile of Mona Lisa fit better.
- look, the avatar just smiled when I typed that :)

For now, stay on SevenForums and we'll finish this issue. The members on EightForums are, for the most part, the same members here - but they focus on Win8 issues and have been using it the longest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2014   #100

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

This will be short - I promise

I have a few questions to bring me up to date:
  1. Since you installed Win8, have you had any BSODs? Solving the BSOD was the objective of this thread.
  2. What software or hardware have you added to Win8? I'm particularly interested if Wacom Bamboo was installed.
  3. Is the screen blackout and white noise associated with non-recoverable errors (hard stops) or do they clear up and you can continue working on the machine?
I'd also like to see a Speccy report since you've upgraded to Win8.
Please follow this tutorial to provide the current operating environment of your machine.
Speccy - Publish Snapshot of your System Specs

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 BSOD IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and random freezes

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