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Sudden Onslaught Of Bsods After computer has functioned fine for more than 3 years.


tgp1994

Did you ever notice a pattern, then wonder that caused that?

 

My computer has suddenly been spewing out BSODs, seemingly with no cause whatsoever. Each BSOD has a different error code, and they appear inconsistently (seems to be at least once a week, after I log in.) Here's a list of them, with as much detail as I can provide: (They are not necessarily in order, either)

 

0x0000007E (0xC0000005, 0x00198D00, ...)

0x0000008E (Occured after logging in, while I was installing an update for Adobe flash player. Before the crash, the mouse froze up several times.)

0xC0000005

0x00000050 (0xF05C371C, ...)


I think there may be more, those are just the ones I've written down.

 

Graphics drivers are up to date, lastest windows updates installed. Heat does not seem to be an issue here, fans are working fine.

 

Here are some system specs:

 

OS: Windows XP Home SP3

GFX: Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT w/ 1GB

Mem: 2GB


If someone could help me out here, that would be great.

tansqrx

My top two suspicions would be hard disk and RAM. A bad hard drive sector in a critical Windows directory will get you every time. I have also seen RAM go bad after many years of perfect performance. You would think that since RAM is a solid state device, it wouldn’t go bad but I have seen it one too many times.I would start with the hard drive since it is most likely. Do a full system Check Disk at boot (it’s one of the options). Then do a complete disk defragmentation. This will not fix the real problem but you may get lucky and have the bad sector located to another part of the hard drive with the defragmentation. All current hard drives have built-in spare sectors that are only visible to the hard drive firmware. When the drive sees a bad sector, it moves the bad sector to one of the reserves. The scary part is that this is a basic part of modern hard drives because bad sectors on some of these monster drives not only might have bad sectors, but WILL have them at a fairly high rate. The next step is to use software such as SpinRite (https://www.grc.com/intro.htm) to proactively find the bad sectors. SpinRite is somewhat expensive ($89.00) but it has saved me several times.The second thing to look at is the RAM. Microsoft has a free utility that can stress test the memory called Windows Memory Diagnostic (http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/). Windows 7 has this built into the Windows 7 Repair Console. Run the test a few hours and see if it finds anything.Outside this, your job is going to get harder. You may want to reinstall Windows and see if that fixes your problem. If not, strip the hardware down to the bare essentials such as CPU, RAM, motherboard, video card, keyboard, and mouse. Run for awhile and if nothing happens, start adding hardware back one at a time. Change USB ports for your devices. Run with half RAM to see if that is the problem. Borrow a friend’s power supply for awhile. These are all good suggestions that should catch most crashes.P.S. You said you addressed the overheating issue but you might want to make sure by monitoring the temperatures with one of the many probing software packages. I use SpeedFan (http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php) and found that my video card was causing some system crashes. The CPU was at a great temperature but the video card get really hot while playing TF2.


tgp1994

My top two suspicions would be hard disk and RAM. A bad hard drive sector in a critical Windows directory will get you every time. I have also seen RAM go bad after many years of perfect performance. You would think that since RAM is a solid state device, it wouldn’t go bad but I have seen it one too many times.

 

I would start with the hard drive since it is most likely. Do a full system Check Disk at boot (it’s one of the options). Then do a complete disk defragmentation. This will not fix the real problem but you may get lucky and have the bad sector located to another part of the hard drive with the defragmentation. All current hard drives have built-in spare sectors that are only visible to the hard drive firmware. When the drive sees a bad sector, it moves the bad sector to one of the reserves. The scary part is that this is a basic part of modern hard drives because bad sectors on some of these monster drives not only might have bad sectors, but WILL have them at a fairly high rate. The next step is to use software such as SpinRite (https://www.grc.com/intro.htm) to proactively find the bad sectors. SpinRite is somewhat expensive ($89.00) but it has saved me several times.

 

The second thing to look at is the RAM. Microsoft has a free utility that can stress test the memory called Windows Memory Diagnostic (http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/). Windows 7 has this built into the Windows 7 Repair Console. Run the test a few hours and see if it finds anything.

 

Outside this, your job is going to get harder. You may want to reinstall Windows and see if that fixes your problem. If not, strip the hardware down to the bare essentials such as CPU, RAM, motherboard, video card, keyboard, and mouse. Run for awhile and if nothing happens, start adding hardware back one at a time. Change USB ports for your devices. Run with half RAM to see if that is the problem. Borrow a friend’s power supply for awhile. These are all good suggestions that should catch most crashes.

 

P.S. You said you addressed the overheating issue but you might want to make sure by monitoring the temperatures with one of the many probing software packages. I use SpeedFan (http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php) and found that my video card was causing some system crashes. The CPU was at a great temperature but the video card get really hot while playing TF2.

Thank you for that well written reply!

 

I've had unusual experiences with check disk, (be it running everytime I reboot my computer, or not running when I need it to) although I'll set it up to run on both of my hard drives. Sorry, forgot to mention them: A 250GB SATA HDD, holds pretty much everything minus the page file, and then I have a 1TB (7~~GB) SATA HDD which holds the pagefile, along with a lot of other files I rarely use.

 

Anyhow, I've been running Diskeeper 2010 for awhile, it's been defragmenting everything in the background constantly. Even then, I'll tell it to do a full defrag on both HDs.

 

I'll try out that memory utility as well. (Then I'll give Memtest86+ a try, as well.)

 

As a side note, there wasn't any overheating issue to begin with, I just wanted to make sure everyone was aware that it couldn't be related to overheating, since I know BSODs may occasionally be caused by overheating

 

Once again, thanks for the help. I'll post back with the results (that's if I get another BSOD )


tgp1994

Thank you for that well written reply!
I've had unusual experiences with check disk, (be it running everytime I reboot my computer, or not running when I need it to) although I'll set it up to run on both of my hard drives. Sorry, forgot to mention them: A 250GB SATA HDD, holds pretty much everything minus the page file, and then I have a 1TB (7~~GB) SATA HDD which holds the pagefile, along with a lot of other files I rarely use.

Anyhow, I've been running Diskeeper 2010 for awhile, it's been defragmenting everything in the background constantly. Even then, I'll tell it to do a full defrag on both HDs.

I'll try out that memory utility as well. (Then I'll give Memtest86+ a try, as well.)

As a side note, there wasn't any overheating issue to begin with, I just wanted to make sure everyone was aware that it couldn't be related to overheating, since I know BSODs may occasionally be caused by overheating

Once again, thanks for the help. I'll post back with the results (that's if I get another BSOD )


Well, I ran Memtes86+, as well as several disk error checking utilities. No problems reported, from each utility.

Fortunately, it seems like the BSODs have magically disappeared... for now.

yordan

I would also try to run a Linux like Puppy Linux during a couple of hours, to see if it has the same problem. If you can surf on the web with a Linux distro (booted off a USB flashdisk) without a problem on the same PC, this would mean that it's not related to the hardware or to the memory, only to Windows things.


tgp1994

I would also try to run a Linux like Puppy Linux during a couple of hours, to see if it has the same problem. If you can surf on the web with a Linux distro (booted off a USB flashdisk) without a problem on the same PC, this would mean that it's not related to the hardware or to the memory, only to Windows things.

Well, I can do the same thing with the windows os. The BSODs just happen infrequently and unpredictably.

ysNoi

I agree to yordan's suggestion to run on Linux using live cd.If there's no problem running on linux livecd then maybe it's in Windows that have problem.


8ennett

Yes, if you start experiencing the problems again then get yourself a live linux distro (bootable off either a cd/dvd or usb flash disk so no need to install it) and do your normal thing on that for a while. If you do still experience problems then you have a hardware problem which you will need to locate.If you don't experience any problems then it is windows and I would suggest doing a system restore to a point before you starting having problems. Failing that then it might be due to a faulty driver you downloaded which can be a bigger problem.I used to think that with a faulty driver if you roll back the driver to a previous version or uninstall the driver then re-install it that would fix any problem, but I downloaded a Conexant driver for my laptops sound card through Windows Vista update and the sound card stopped working. Rolling back did nothing, uninstalling and reinstalling different versions did nothing. I even restored to a point before I did the update but still didn't work. Eventually I reinstalled the operating system from a ghost partition and it finally fixed the problem. The same driver is still available for download on the windows update but there is not a chance I'm touching it now lol.


yordan

The same driver is still available for download on the windows update but there is not a chance I'm touching it now lol.

I had this problem with a graphic driver, but I did not "choose" to update, Windows updated it by itself, and now no way to uninstall it, or install an older version. Probably because windows puts the drivers in it's own place, where removings or new installs have no effect.

8ennett

Yeah that's why I find it best to just turn off automatic updates in windows completely then update it manually periodically. It's also annoying if you have very limited bandwidth like myself, I could be waiting for an important document to download which is fairly large and suddenly windows starts downloading a new bunch of updates causing the other download to slowly grind to a halt.


tgp1994

Yes, if you start experiencing the problems again then get yourself a live linux distro (bootable off either a cd/dvd or usb flash disk so no need to install it) and do your normal thing on that for a while. If you do still experience problems then you have a hardware problem which you will need to locate.

 

If you don't experience any problems then it is windows and I would suggest doing a system restore to a point before you starting having problems. Failing that then it might be due to a faulty driver you downloaded which can be a bigger problem.

 

I used to think that with a faulty driver if you roll back the driver to a previous version or uninstall the driver then re-install it that would fix any problem, but I downloaded a Conexant driver for my laptops sound card through Windows Vista update and the sound card stopped working. Rolling back did nothing, uninstalling and reinstalling different versions did nothing. I even restored to a point before I did the update but still didn't work. Eventually I reinstalled the operating system from a ghost partition and it finally fixed the problem. The same driver is still available for download on the windows update but there is not a chance I'm touching it now lol.


Well, I guess I'm just in a holding pattern right now, waiting for my next BSOD

 

Quick question though, if it were a hardware problem, what would I notice in a Linux distro?


yordan

It your problems were due to hardware trouble, you would experience exactly the same symptoms. Simply, linux does not name that "BSOD", it names that "kernel panic" or other funny names.


tgp1994

It your problems were due to hardware trouble, you would experience exactly the same symptoms. Simply, linux does not name that "BSOD", it names that "kernel panic" or other funny names.

Oh, kernel panics, I'm unfortunately familiar with those for other reasons

So would X exit out and show me the kernel panic, or would X freeze, or what?

yordan

Kernel panic on the console (the ascii terminal, you get it probably with Alt-F1 or ctrl-F1) or it's hidden by the frozen X11 terminal.


tansqrx

I never thought of running a Linux live disk to diagnose problems but I will certainly add it to my list of things to try in the future.I would think that running a Linux live disk would not test the hard drive in any way. The definition of a live disk is mounting everything in RAM and the hard drive is never touched. This would prove that there is something wrong the Windows install but there still might be a hardware hard drive problem. I guess I’m splitting hairs on this one.Great idea!


tgp1994

I never thought of running a Linux live disk to diagnose problems but I will certainly add it to my list of things to try in the future.
I would think that running a Linux live disk would not test the hard drive in any way. The definition of a live disk is mounting everything in RAM and the hard drive is never touched. This would prove that there is something wrong the Windows install but there still might be a hardware hard drive problem. I guess Iâm splitting hairs on this one.

Great idea!


True.

And sorry for not updating you guys, but I got another BSOD, which, from what I can gather, occured while my sister was playing Sims 3. Here's the information I gained from it:

STOP 0x0000008E (0xC0000005, ...)
nv4_disp.dll

I'm telling the truth though, my graphics drivers are updated
Heating issue perhaps? I suppose I may as well install Rivatuner.

yordan

I guess I'm splitting hairs on this one.

Not at all, I think exactly the same way as you do : if it works correctly with a LiveCD Linux, this means that the problem is not coming from the cpu, nor the memory, nor the graphic display or the Ethernet card. This helps gratly making a diagnosis.And we could imagine borrowing a hard disk in order to see what happens with a fresh Windows install.

tgp1994

And we could imagine borrowing a hard disk in order to see what happens with a fresh Windows install.

We could?

Also, just booted up my computer, logged in, then went away for a few minutes. Came back, just to see another BSOD, different yet again:

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (That's a first )
STOP Ox0000000A (0x0888D81C, 0X0000001C, 0X00000000, 0X804DF0BC)

Interesting, this is beginning to look like a driver issue more and more now. (According to this very helpful website, that particular stop message indicates a kernel-mode process or driver trying to access memory where it shouldn't have.)

I'm still certain that my memory isn't faulty. I did run that memory test, everything checked out.

I suppose I'll try running a linux distro for awhile, and see what happens.

yordan

We could?

I can imagine that you fond somebody who can temporarily provide you with a spare hard disk. You backup the whole content of this disk on an external storage (like a USB disk), you remove your own disk and put this one, you install Windows, and see if it has the same problem.That's what I stated when I said "we could imagine".
I guess that this is what a guy in a repair shop would do, in order to clarify the situation and make a real diagnostic.

tgp1994

I can imagine that you fond somebody who can temporarily provide you with a spare hard disk. You backup the whole content of this disk on an external storage (like a USB disk), you remove your own disk and put this one, you install Windows, and see if it has the same problem.That's what I stated when I said "we could imagine".
I guess that this is what a guy in a repair shop would do, in order to clarify the situation and make a real diagnostic.


Ohhh, ok. I didn't quite understand you at first.

Ya, that's a great idea. Maybe I could use one that saves to a USB stick, so at least sessions will stick around.


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