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Windows 7: BSODs - Motherboard or PSU?

26 Apr 2010   #11
Chrheff

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post

So where are you now?

Have we ever seen the acutual DMP files?

W need to find where you are now to know how to proceed. I think we need to get more aggressive to find and fix this problem. Before we do you need to have a backup, a restore point, and a win 7 dvd.

When you have done all of these let us know

You can also read here. Using Driver Verifier to identify issues with Drivers



Ken
Hello,

The DMP files are linked in my second post. I've gone through all of them on windbg and there're no consistent drivers that're causing problems.

I have a restore point set up. I have one file I need to back up, but I tend to be pretty thorough about that since these problems have gone on a while. I also have a Win7 DVD. I have used the Driver Verifier before when I was having problems. It crashed constantly, but, again, there was no consistency as to the cause. I have not run it when the system was stable.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by smarteyeball

The fact that it fails to boot Safe mode etc and has failed memtest 86+ on occasions does strongly tend to suggest hardware rather than software.

Just a few other ideas:

The sporadic ram failure may indicate a flaky memory controller or vregs (voltage regulators) on the mobo itself.

There are bent pins in the CPU socket, resulting in improper CPU pad/pin contact.

The PSU is running out of spec - did any of the repair places test the PSU?

(One of the rails is erratic / occasionally not providing sufficient juice -it's a good model, but even good ones can be bad)

None of the above.

Hello,

I've checked the cpu socket and it's fine. I've also run Prime95 to stress it and that runs fine. To be thorough, I've checked temperatures and the system runs under load at around 45C.

We have not been able to tell beyond that whether it's the motherboard or the psu. Some strange things have happened, though. The first set of crashes, which occurred in February, were because the RAM was not getting enough voltage. It was receiving 1.8V when it should've been getting 2.1 I corrected this in BIOS and it stabilized for a while before the crashes resumed. I also updated the BIOS recently and that seems to have reduced the severity of the crashes, though not eliminated them.

None of the repair places have tested the PSU or swapped out the motherboard. The major problem with diagnoses is that the system runs stable for extended periods of time before destabilizing and crashing repeatedly. In addition, swapping the RAM back and forth eliminates the symptoms without fixing the underlying problem, making it even harder to diagnose. I am getting the new PSU this week, so I will be able to swap out my old one.

Thank you again for the help.


Edit: I almost forgot. One thing that does incline me to think something strange is going on with the psu is that my video card is benchmarking about half of what it should be. Though, I am by no means an expert.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
26 Apr 2010   #12
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Chrheff View Post

Hello,

I've checked the cpu socket and it's fine. I've also run Prime95 to stress it and that runs fine. To be thorough, I've checked temperatures and the system runs under load at around 45C.

We have not been able to tell beyond that whether it's the motherboard or the psu. Some strange things have happened, though. The first set of crashes, which occurred in February, were because the RAM was not getting enough voltage. It was receiving 1.8V when it should've been getting 2.1 I corrected this in BIOS and it stabilized for a while before the crashes resumed. I also updated the BIOS recently and that seems to have reduced the severity of the crashes, though not eliminated them.

None of the repair places have tested the PSU or swapped out the motherboard. The major problem with diagnoses is that the system runs stable for extended periods of time before destabilizing and crashing repeatedly. In addition, swapping the RAM back and forth eliminates the symptoms without fixing the underlying problem, making it even harder to diagnose. I am getting the new PSU this week, so I will be able to swap out my old one.

Thank you again for the help.


Edit: I almost forgot. One thing that does incline me to think something strange is going on with the psu is that my video card is benchmarking about half of what it should be. Though, I am by no means an expert.
Chrheff,
You are articulate & investigating in a thorough way. Trial & error & the process of elimination are often necessary.......
Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2010   #13
smarteyeball

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Chrheff View Post

Some strange things have happened, though. The first set of crashes, which occurred in February, were because the RAM was not getting enough voltage. It was receiving 1.8V when it should've been getting 2.1 I corrected this in BIOS and it stabilized for a while before the crashes resumed. I also updated the BIOS recently and that seems to have reduced the severity of the crashes, though not eliminated them.
Long shot here, but do these renewed bouts of crashes coincide with the BIOS 'forgetting' the settings?

Also, was the system time/date affected as well? If so, it could be the CMOS battery failing.

Quote:
None of the repair places have tested the PSU or swapped out the motherboard.
Hmm.

Quote:
The major problem with diagnoses is that the system runs stable for extended periods of time before destabilizing and crashing repeatedly. In addition, swapping the RAM back and forth eliminates the symptoms without fixing the underlying problem, making it even harder to diagnose.
*sigh* the joys of trouble shooting the sporadic stable/not stable system. I know it well

Quote:
I am getting the new PSU this week, so I will be able to swap out my old one.

Edit: I almost forgot. One thing that does incline me to think something strange is going on with the psu is that my video card is benchmarking about half of what it should be. Though, I am by no means an expert.
Well fingers crossed that the new PSU solves it.

In the interim, does your BIOS have any voltage reporting for the 12v 5v 3.3v etc?

While not accurate, they can at least give an indication if something is out of whack.

If it does, try:HWINFO to monitor the reported voltages.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Apr 2010   #14
Chrheff

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by smarteyeball View Post

Long shot here, but do these renewed bouts of crashes coincide with the BIOS 'forgetting' the settings?

Also, was the system time/date affected as well? If so, it could be the CMOS battery failing.
That was one of my first thoughts, too. I checked the settings after the crashes and they remained the same. The date/time has not been affected either. That reminds me, though, after one crash I got a message saying BIOS recovered from the hard drive. The computer was such a mess at that point that I don't trust that as anything more than a symptom. One other note is that, before some crashes, the color scheme would change to basic.

Quote:
In the interim, does your BIOS have any voltage reporting for the 12v 5v 3.3v etc?

While not accurate, they can at least give an indication if something is out of whack.
I've checked the voltages in BIOS and on speedfan and they all remain within a few % of their specified amounts.

Not much makes sense. If it was the motherboard, why does it recover when I return the memory sticks to 1,3? if it's the power supply, why doesn't it seem to affect them when they're in 2,4? (that I've seen so far). Oh well, I'll know more soon (hopefully).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2010   #15
Chrheff

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Well, something just happened as I was typing that up. I noticed that superfetch crashed, which has occured before a few of my other crashes, and I ran memtest and sure enough errors popped up with the sticks in 2,4. I swapped them back to 1,3 and they went away. I guess after every crash I can just swap my RAM sticks, but that'd probably wear out the slots eventually not to mention would start feeling kinda silly. Still, it means it's not the RAM slot that's at fault. That leaves the... motherboard and psu and who knows what else. One thing I noticed, though, is that the RAM faults always traced to the same general location in the memtest, but I don't know if that means anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2010   #16
Chrheff

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

I just did some thinking. Dunno if this makes sense, but it's the best I could come up with.

Memory errors were showing up before the crash, though when it crashes memtests detects a lot more problems. So problems are gradually accumulating.

The swapping of the RAM sticks wasn't what was actually stabilizing the system. When I swap the RAM, I turn off all the power and everything else, so what was helping was the fact that the current was draining from the RAM. Does that make sense? I only have limited experience with this sort of thing.

So I guess the next step is, after a crash occurs, to turn off the computer and unplug it for a few hours and see if that stabilizes it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2010   #17
smarteyeball

 
 

It's a curly one alright.

All the in Windows problems can be caused by and linked to the culprit hardware. They are just a side effect.

At a hunch, I'd put my money on the mobo - as to what specific component - I really couldn't say with any degree of certainty.

Have you noticed any broken/bent/bulging capacitors on the mobo - particularly around the Dimm slot area?


Like you suggested - After the next crash, unplug the power, depress the power button to discharge any remaining current and let it sit for a little while unplugged 5-10mins (it shouldn't need hours for the mobo to fully discharge).

Then try again with the exact same setup ands see what happens.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2010   #18
Chrheff

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Hello,

I checked the motherboard and there's no sign of any problems with the capacitors. The fact the RAM is failing in the 2,4 slots, though, means it might be the RAM as well, since I originally figured it wasn't because it would function there. In memtest86, the same area on the RAM fails each time - 960.2MB. Sort of dumb to only point this out now, but it's been a while since I've gone back to memtest testing. I can't remember the exact addresses but there're two that seem to have problems.

Next time it crashes I'll let it sit unplugged, but I'm going to run it on each stick individually for a few days and see if it crashes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2010   #19
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

Keep us posted please.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2010   #20
Dwarf

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

It's going to take some time, but when you run it on one stick, don't forget to repeat the test with the stick in each slot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BSODs - Motherboard or PSU?




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