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Win 7 BSOD

Posted on 2011-09-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We have a desktop machine that recently has began to give random BSOD and I can almost say the frequecy is increasing.

Here is the spec on the machine:

It is a Custom PC.
Motherboard: MSI MS-7100 NVIDIA nForce4
CPU: AMD Opteron 180
OS: Windows 7 SP1 64Bit
RAM: 3GB DDR

Here is the tyical message that I get after the system recovers from the BSOD:


Problem signature:
  Problem Event Name:      BlueScreen
  OS Version:      6.1.7601.2.1.0.256.48
  Locale ID:      1033

Additional information about the problem:
  BCCode:      1e
  BCP1:      FFFFFFFFC0000005
  BCP2:      FFFFFA8003AA59FE
  BCP3:      0000000000000000
  BCP4:      FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
  OS Version:      6_1_7601
  Service Pack:      1_0
  Product:      256_1

Files that help describe the problem:
  C:\Windows\Minidump\092211-21218-01.dmp
  C:\Users\Emil\AppData\Local\Temp\WER-2889718-0.sysdata.xml


Any idea what may be the cause?
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Question by:esabet
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
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Zip the last three minidumps and attach the zip file in your next message
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by:esabet
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Sure.  Here it is....
TEMP.zip
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rindi earned 300 total points
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All of the crashes are different, usually that indicates a hardware problem. Test your RAM using memtest86+, test your harddisk using it's manufacturer's diagnostic tool. You'll find both on the UBCD:

http://ultimatebootcd.com

Also make sure you aren't overclocking and there is no dust, the fans all run properly. Look over the mainboard for cracking, bulging or leaking Capacitors..
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by:esabet
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I too suspected some sort of Hardware issue.  My first guess was Excess Heat but according to Core Temp the CPU temp is ok.  It is reading at max 43c which is ok for this CPU according to what I have read on line.

I have also openned the case and have a large fan blowing directly at he mobo so I don't think that it could be overall system heat or chipset heat.  And all the system fans seem to be runnig just fine.

Since the BSOD's frequency is increasing, what part do you think is more likely to casue that?  It is as if some part is degenrating faster and faster!!  What do you suspect is the more likely casue?
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by:rindi
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I'm suspecting bad caps, but suggest, unless you can see some bad caps right away, to run the memory and HD tests I suggested.
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by:ded9
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Disconnect external devices ...just connect video, mouse, keyboard, power ...monitor the computer the computer for 1 hour...check whether any crash is reported.

Crash points to an external device.




Ded9

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by:esabet
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I just recalled something that may or may not be relevant.  

We are using a wireless mouse and keyboard for this PC. Couple of weeks ago, after a BSOD the keyboard and the mouse was not being recognized, even by the motherboard and the PC would halt on POST.  So I got around that by using a spare PS2 keyboard and mouse.  After I booted into window successfully, I plugged in the Wireless mouse and keyboard and it was suddenly being recognized again and no more issues.

Is that relevant?
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by:ded9
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Wireless keyboard and mouse might be the problem...connect a spare ps2 keyboard and mouse...monitor the computer for a day.

If no crash is reported then try installing the latest keyboard mouse driver for your wireless and check.



Ded9
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by:ded9
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If updating wireless driver does not fix the issue then install the patch for fwpkclnt.sys


http://support.microsoft.com/kb/979223

Install this hotfix ...reboot computer and check.



Ded9
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Author Comment

by:esabet
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Ok, per your recommendation just installed the spare PS2 keyboard and a "wired" USB mouse.

I will monitor the PC and report back.  Thanks for all the input and suggestions.
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by:cantoris
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Multiple different crashes = check your RAM first.

"Windows Memory Diagnostic" is built into Windows 7 - it's in Control Panel - Administrative Tools.
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Author Comment

by:esabet
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Will do an overnight RAM test as well.
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by:esabet
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Performed a RAM test using Memtest86+ v4.20 for 15 hrs, 8 Passes and NO Errors!!!  I have attached a screen capture.

The harddrives are on RAID 0, what diagnostic tool should I use to test them?
Memtest.Results.jpg
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by:ded9
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Make sure all windows  updates are installed .... did the computer crash after connecting the ps2 mouse and keyboard.



Ded9
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by:rindi
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Shut the PC down, remove the 1st HD and attach it to another PC with no RAID controller, then run the HD manufacturer's diagnostic tool (it is on the UBCD of earlier). If there are no errors, repeat this with the other disk. Only turn the original PC back on when both HD's have been returned, or you'll loose your data.

And again, do a visual check of the caps (bad caps typically are on the mainboard, the video card and in the PSU).

http://badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=5

There are some example pictures of such caps on the linked page. Be aware that it can sometimes be hard to visually identify them, as there aren't always visual signs.
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by:esabet
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As for the Keyboard, I have not used it long enough to know if there is any issues!! SO far no BSOD but that is not any kind of sign since the BSODs were very random.  So I am still waiting on that.  

A thought just came to me as I was typing the previous paragraph.  If it was the wireless keyboard and mouse, then shouldn't the Bluescreens occur only while the PC was in use? I say that since the BSODs did also occur while the PC was just sitting there, not being used, hence no key strokes and no mouse movements!
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by:esabet
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UPDATE:

I got BSOD even while using the PS2 keyboard and USB mouse!!! :(

I also noticed that the PC Bluescreened while it was even sitting in the Welcome screen!!!  Would that be indicative of?
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by:ded9
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Upload the latest dmp file.


Ded9
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by:ded9
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by:cantoris
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You could try running a CD-based OS such as Ubuntu or Knoppix and see if it crashes under those.  If it does, it must be hardware.
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by:esabet
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Attached is the dmp file that was generated at the Welcome Screen BSOD mentioned in my last post.
Welcome.Screen-DMP.zip
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by:rindi
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Yet another that is different from the previous dumps. Have you meanwhile looked at the caps? Have you tried another PSU, as bad-caps can also be insied PSU's (and the Video Card).
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by:esabet
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rindi, those items are today's projects.  I will hopefully have an answer later today.
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by:ded9
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Crash dmp points to nvidia driver.

nvlddmkm.sys


Install updated nvidia driver.



Ded9
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Author Comment

by:esabet
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I installed the latest update for the video card (nvidia) and I still get BSODs.

I checked the mobo and did not find any unusual looking caps.  I may have to do that a second time though.As for the PSU, I have to get my hands on another PSU somehow and try that as well.

I ran malware and did find three files and it was deleted.

I am still getting BSODs. So next I thought about running Chkdsk on OS drive and windows prompted to schedule it on the next reboot and I did.  I restarted the system and got the next two attached screens.  The second screen appeared only a few seconds after the first one and lasts maybe 1 or 2 seconds before welcome screen loads.

ChkDsk.Error.1.jpg
ChkDsk.Error.2.jpg
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by:rindi
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You can still test each HD on another PC using the tools on the UBCD like I posted earlier on.
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by:cantoris
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Please try using a CD-based OS on this PC!
http://www.ubuntu.com/download
Note you can run it from the CD without installing it to your hard drive.  If it starts crashing too, then it has to be your hardware and not your Windows installation.
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by:esabet
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I will try scanning the drives with UBCD.

As for the Ubuntu OS, what veriosn should I try, 32bit or 64bit?

Also, once I run the new OS, should I just let it sit there and wait to see if it crashes on its own and how long do I wait, or should I run any utility of some sort?
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by:rindi
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It's probably better to use the 64bit version. But generally LiveCD's don't really utilize the system as hard as an installed system, as particularly the best drivers aren't loaded, so it is less likely for such an OS to crash. But if you want to use it for tests it is naturally better to really use it extensively.
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by:esabet
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What if I installed two new spare drives that I have, setup the raid and then install it on the new RAID instead? Then would that be a better test?
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by:rindi
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I wouldn't bother with RAID just for testing, unless you find the original disks to have problems and you intend to keep the test installation should the BSOD's stop.
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by:ded9
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Check windows updates for any nvidia driver updates.


Ded9
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by:esabet
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Ok, I know this was the long route but I decided to use two new spare drives that I had and setup a new RAID and do a fresh install of Windows.

Everything was ok for a long time and during majority of the updates and all the reboots, but then suddenly, during one of the more recent updates I got a BSOD. After this first BSOD I decided to install and run CCleaner before continuing with the updates. After downloading CCleaner and beofre I could install it I got yet another BSOD.  After restart I installed CCleaner, ran it and did a registry cleaner and then continued to install more updates.  I was succesful in installing more updates and after a restart and continuing with more updates I got another BSOD.

I have attached the three minidumps from the above BSODs.

Meanwhile I will continue to install more updates to the point there are no further updates (LOOOOONG process!).  After I have installed all the updates I intend to run Prime95 and check the system's stability with the fresh install of windows and all the updates and report back further.
Mem-Dumps.zip
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by:rindi
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Still 2 different causes, 1 has to do with the directx driver and the other 2 with the ntfs file-system. This must be a hardware issue.
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by:esabet
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I guess it would be a good assumption that it is not the hard drives!!

What is the likelihood that a bad Video Card would casue all the problems?
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by:rindi
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That's possible, like I mentioned earlier it is one of those parts that use electrolytic capacitors that can go bad.
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by:esabet
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Ok, continuing from my last post, I continued installing the last of the updates and meanwhile had two more BSODs, memory dumps of which I have attached here.

Once all the updates were installed I ran Prime95.  Prime95 ran for 3.5 hours and then it resulted in a FATAL Error on one of the workers, but no BSOD.  So I decided to give it one more try. I restarted Prime95 and let it run overnight.

This morning I noticed that there was a BSOD event since Prime95 was no longer running on the screen.  Also windows prompted me that an update was installed. I checked the memory dump folder and there was a dump at 4:00 AM.  So I am not quite sure what caused the BSOD (Prime95 or the Update) and if Prime95 had any Fatal Error messages as it was no longer visible on the screen.  I have attached the 4:00 AM dump.

At this point I am baffled.  I am almost certain it is no longer the hard drives.  I am using wired USB keyboard and mouse.  If it is the motherboard then good luck to me as this is an older PC.  I guess the only things left to be tried are the video cards and the PSU but I do not have spare of either!!  Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed.




BSOD-Minidump.zip
Prime95-Minidump.zip
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by:rindi
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One of them references the ntfs.sys driver to have been the cause, the other isn't clear.
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by:esabet
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Here is an update.  

I abandoned the new install and continued using the initial install of windows.  Though the crashes have not disappeared all together, they have become very far apart (average of every 2 days, compared to 4 or 5 per day).  I am not sure how that would be the case except perhaps the files that were detected and deleted by Malware were adding to the problem!!

Though I am no expert, for the first time I attempted to learn how to analyze the crash Minidumps and per WinDbg.exe, 3 out of the last 5 crash dumps point to "ntkrnlmp.exe".  When I researched that file (as I am sure many of you experts are aware of) it could be drivers, processor or any other general hardware issues as it was already pointed out in this thread.  

Overall I am beginning to agree that this machine is simply "old" and perhaps the mobo is not stable due to, i.e., bad caps!!  
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Author Closing Comment

by:esabet
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Though the problem was never ultimately 100% resolved, thanks to the comments by the experts I was able to narrow down the cause of the problem, confirming the expert's diagnostics.
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