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Constant BSOD - Memory does not seem to be the problem

Posted on 2013-01-04
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hey guys,

I am having an odd problem with a brand new computer.

No matter what I do, I keep getting the BSOD. I have done memory tests, checked my drivers, etc and I'm still having issues with this.

My computer specs are:

Dell Inspiron
Windows 7
6GB of RAM
3.0GHz processor

I have attached the dump files below.

Sorry about the quick message, but my computer could BSOD again at any moment.

If I need to provide any more info, please let me know
121612-15974-01.zip
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Question by:RedFoxIT
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by:dbrunton
ID: 38745506
Memory tests using what utility?

And which model Inspiron?

You've got 6 Gb of memory, that is slightly unusual.  If it is a combination such as 2 x 2 Gb and 2 x 1 Gb then cut it back to 2 x 2 Gb and see how it handles that.
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Author Comment

by:RedFoxIT
ID: 38745523
I will give that shot after this message.

It's a Dell Inspiron 570.

We also tried using the default Microsoft Windows Mem test and memtest86.
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by:smckeown777
ID: 38745537
What about Safe mode? Does it blue screen from there?

If it does first thing I'd do is chkdsk to ensure its not a fault with the disk(since you've already done the memory tests)
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by:smckeown777
ID: 38745557
Also you mention its a new laptop - did you install any 3rd party drivers since you got it? If so it may be one of those, safe mode should eliminate that(i.e. if it works fine in safe mode we can start to say its 3rd party related)

The other thing I'd run is the System File Checker just to ensure one of the system files hasn't got corrupted somehow
From elevated command prompt run - sfc /scannow and see if it finds any errors
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by:dbrunton
ID: 38745559
Also pull memory out and wipe with lint free cloth or towel and remove all dust.  Blow memory slots clean and reinsert memory.
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Author Comment

by:RedFoxIT
ID: 38745565
I have put it in safemode and it still bluescreens.

I have also rand hard drive checks and all of them have said that the hard drive is in working condition.

I also took one of the RAM sticks out, so I'll see if I get the BSOD again
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Author Comment

by:RedFoxIT
ID: 38745569
I just got the BSOD even though I removed one of the three sticks of RAM
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by:smckeown777
ID: 38745606
What AV have you running on the machine? I know Symantec Endpoint v11 will cause BSOD's so that's another thing that may be causing this

Course BSOD's in safe mode usually point to hardware issue since nothing outside of the Windows base system are loaded - so again to be 100% sure on this run the sfc/scannow tool to verify Windows files...if that doesn't even complete then this is probably a hardware issue

But to be 100% sure of this you normally need to wipe and reinstall Windows from scratch(not sure if this is an option - I work in the pc repair game so if it were me I'd swap the existing hard drive out, install windows on a clean drive, see if you have the same issues...bit of work but sometimes this is the only way to get to the root cause)

I'd then boot in normal mode, don't install anything, see how long it stays up, then bit by bit start to install the drivers(Dell drivers) and see how it responds...
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by:smckeown777
ID: 38745618
Forgot to mention, this is a Dell machine - they have a diags section on their drives(press F12 when BIOS screen shows)

Go into diags and run their diags on all the hardware - if there is a hardware fault this will detect and you can then call Dell to arrange a replacement part
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by:dbrunton
ID: 38745659
Let's try Ubuntu https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD

Download the Ubuntu ISO and make the disk and boot from it.  Best if you can do this from anothr machine.

See if you can get Ubuntu to run from the CD and see if it crashes there.  If it does then it is a hardware problem.
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Author Comment

by:RedFoxIT
ID: 38745666
Ok, I just did the diagnostics test. CPU memory and all other devices passed with 0 errors.

I'm starting to think it might be drivers, but I have never encountered this problem before
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by:smckeown777
ID: 38745690
I've looked at the minidumps, but they don't point to any specific driver which is why its hard to pinpoint...they are pointing to ntkrnlmp.exe/svchost.exe - these are all windows system files

Again what AV are you running? Avast? McAfee?
I'd start by removing it since AV installs various low level drivers which can cause these issues
Maybe you can't remove since the machine crashes too quickly...either my option(new drive, new install) or @dbrunton's option(different OS) is the only way to get to root cause
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Author Comment

by:RedFoxIT
ID: 38745698
Sorry @ the above.

I actually already reinstalled the OS. As of now, there is nothing on the computer in terms on antivirus or malware protection. It's pretty much bare naked.

Still, even after a complete reinstall of the OS, I still have issues.
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by:smckeown777
ID: 38745710
Ah...ok, thanks for the update...

So 'bare naked' - no Dell drivers? Just the base drivers from Win7?
The diags test from Dell passing everything means your hardware 'should' be fine
So if this is a new install with nothing else added then this is def a hard one ;)

If you haven't installed Dell's drivers can you? Or if you have...maybe that is the root cause(one of the drivers possibly)

But the dump analysis doesn't point to a specific driver/dll - nothing, just the base windows service/files, so maybe i've missed something
I've attached one of the dump analysis files - as you can see its pointing to 'VISTA_DRIVER_FAULT' - so we can assume that yes its a driver, but the PROCESS NAME is svchost.exe - which is a windows container that holds a lot of services(pity we can't see which svchost.exe process is the actual cause since with a live system you can look into svchost to see what all is running in it...)

Out of curosity what Dell drivers have you loaded(if any)?
27690.txt
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Author Comment

by:RedFoxIT
ID: 38745715
I'm sorry. Let me be more specific.

The fresh install does have all of the drivers that should have been on the computer. What ever Dell decided to put on there, I let it.

But I have not put any other programs/software on the machine.
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by:smckeown777
ID: 38745726
Sorry bit confused - how did you do a 'fresh install'? Using the Windows 7 CD that came with the pc?

If so then this doesn't include the Dell drivers for the hardware, these CD's have the Windows drivers

You need to download the Dell drivers from the website(or sometimes they include a Drivers CD with the computer which you can use also) - have you done this?
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Author Comment

by:RedFoxIT
ID: 38745731
The computer itself has a dell management tool that let me reinstall the OS and drivers automatically under the Launch Repair option.

I went ahead and do that. Do you think I should try a fresh reinstall with the OS disc and download the drivers manually?
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by:smckeown777
ID: 38745738
Ah ok, with you now...no that's fine(well I mean I've used that option before without any issues)

Yes the way you've done it includes the drivers Dell installed, since really that's a factory image reset...

You've also been to their site to install the latest drivers(if any) for the hardware? Memory related issues can come from video/chipset/network drivers...so usually you need to check to see if there are any updated drivers from their site - http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/uk/en/ukbsdt1/Product/inspiron-570

If you've done all that and still no help, then yes, a base install using the windows CD will be the next step, that way none of the Dell drivers are installed, and if things stay up we are getting closer to the solution - then its a manual install one by one to see which driver could be the issue(again yes this is a lot of work, but i've no clue as to how to diagnose this any other way)

Or...just for the sake of it try the livecd option @dbrunton mentions, just to see if it works without any issues(i think it will, def think we have a rogue driver since the Dell hardware diags have passed all tests...)
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by:smckeown777
ID: 38745742
Oh, another thing I just thought of - the 'Repair Computer' option you ran - did you do a factory reset? If so then you have AV installed(since all Dell machines have McAfee installed by default) - so technically it isn't a 'clean' machine(in terms of if you used the Windows CD to reinstall)...just another thing to remember!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38746348
i found a dmp referring to toaster .exe, which is a Notification Plugin
the Application using this process is : WinAmp

try uninstalling winamp
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Accepted Solution

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RedFoxIT earned 0 total points
ID: 38798725
Well, apparently the only way to fix the problem was reinstalling the OS from an actual disc. After I did that, I found out that the NIC card in the computer was defective, and was causing the errors the whole time.

In the end, I just replaced it with an external adapter and everything worked just fine
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Author Closing Comment

by:RedFoxIT
ID: 39035259
NIC card was damaged.
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