Windows 8 PC Crashes TOO OFTEN!

Two months ago, I bought new hardware and built a new PC.

It has crashed at least a dozen times since and twice today.  

I have been working on this PC all day.  It had rebooted from a crash in the wee hours (3 AM-ish) and was waiting for me to sign in.  It ran all day and was a bit sluggish at times  and then crashed this evening (8:11 PM is the timestamp on the MEMORY.DMP file) while I was in Google Chrome.  I copied the files that Windows wanted to send to Microsoft.  Are they useful?

How can I track down what's the problem hardware/software?

Attached is a Speccy -generated text file on this PC.

Win8PC.txt

Help!

UB
RobertAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If by crash, you mean it stops and you lose your data, then the best thing to do is a Windows 8 Refresh. This keeps your data intact and a lot of settings, but you have to reinstall software.

I did a Refresh to get ready to upgrade to Windows 8.1 and it worked very well. That was 16 months ago and my machine works fine.

Windows 8 Refresh is in PC Settings or in Action Center under Recovery options.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I read through your attached text file. Some of the stuff is normal and I use it myself. Some I do not recognize and so cannot comment.

Go to Action Center, Maintenance, Reliability History and run it. What sticks out as a problem?
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RobertAuthor Commented:
The Event Viewer showed "The bugcheck was: 0x00000116" in the Error after the MEMORY.DMP file was created and mentions the dump file.

I googled that line and saw that some had problems with graphics.  So, I went to nVidia.com and grabbed the most recent non-beta driver set for the GeForce GT 220 for Win8 64-bit.

Time to reboot.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Let us also know about reliability history.

Graphics are a common issue. You should also get the newest Chipset driver and BIOS if a new one exists.
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VB ITSSpecialist ConsultantCommented:
The bugcheck error indicates you have a faulty graphics display driver: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff557263%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

You appear to have a GeForce GT220 external graphics card. If you only have the one monitor and it's plugged into this graphics card then you should look at disabling the on-board Intel graphics chip in your BIOS.

Also make sure you have the latest drivers for your external graphics card which can be found here: http://www.geforce.com/drivers/results/77224

When you install the drivers, tick the box that says Perform a clean install.
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
What Power Supply do you have? What wattage is it rated for?

The Speccy output is very detailed, but it doesn't tell us the specs or manufacturer of your PSU.

I note these discrepancies in the voltage outputs in your Speccy file:

      Manufacturer      Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
      Model      B85M-DS3H (SOCKET 0)
      Version      To be filled by O.E.M.
      Chipset Vendor      Intel
      Chipset Model      Haswell
      Chipset Revision      06
      Southbridge Vendor      Intel
      Southbridge Model      ID8C50
      Southbridge Revision      05
      System Temperature      28 °C
            BIOS
                  Brand      American Megatrends Inc.
                  Version      FD
                  Date      6/19/2014
            Voltage
                  CPU CORE      0.852 V
                  MEMORY CONTROLLER      1.968 V
                  +3.3V      2.004 V
                  +5V      3.367 V
                  +12V      3.168 V
                  -12V      (6.960) V
                  -5V      (6.192) V
                  +5V HIGH THRESHOLD      2.822 V
                  CMOS BATTERY      1.524 V

All the voltages in Bold seem far out-of-spec.

Therefore, I suspect a PSU problem, especially considering the random crash/shutdowns you have described.
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RobertAuthor Commented:
The PSU is a 500W Antec

I did download the latest nVidia driver but it appears to be the same as the version number or date did not change;  I did choose a clean install.  The screen went black several times during the install, but came on - and it requested a reboot at the end.

I have downloaded the Intel chipset drivers from Gigabyte for my motherboard.  The last one I pulled was for the Intel Rapid Storage Technology, which requires a reboot.

The Reliability History seems to mirror the Event Viewer/log.  Here are a couple of screen snips:

Notes on Early AM crash - bugcheck 0x0000001a
nVidia driver version & date - same as was already installed
Windows "Problem Reporting"
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
OK, thanks for the PSU info.

Can we explain the odd, low voltage readings?

Can you try a different PSU?
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RobertAuthor Commented:
I think I need to echo the original question, that is, are the crash files that Windows create very useful (how can I read them)?

If not, is there a reasonable method or set of tools to track down the reason for the crashes?

Attached is a Win8 BSOD from several days' ago.
20150213-142059.jpg
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nobusCommented:
>>   are the crash files that Windows create very useful   <<  yes
>>  how can I read them  with windbg  - but it takes quitea bit of installing and learning
the picture also names the video - so maybe your card is bad,  - incorrectly configured, or underpowered
you can test the video with burnintest : http://www.passmark.com/download/index.htm      

post the dmp file here - for more info  -find it in windows\minidumps
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rindiCommented:
Make sure you have set the system up so that minidumps are made, and not full memory dumps. Then wait for 3 bsod's and after that zip the 3 dmp files and attach that zip file with your next comment. It may then be possible for us to analyze those minidumps and find what is causing the BSOD. There is no additional useful info to be gained from full dumps, they just waste space, minidumps are fine.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
So it crashes when you are browsing with google chrome? Does it behave the same with IE or firefox?
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RobertAuthor Commented:
OK - I will reset the minidump - but which one?
Small, Kernel, (obviously not) Complete, & Automatic - Win8.1 defaulted to Automatic.

It may not crash again for a week - but if it's video, I think I can push things a bit.

Will run Passmark burnintest momentarily.

Is there a decent guide or YouTube for windbg?

nobus, I've never really tweaked my graphics settings other than to check that the native resolution was set and sometimes to make the text/icons larger.  What settings?
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rindiCommented:
Small is the minidump.
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
So we are all going to just ignore the anomalous voltage readings?

While my hunch may be incorrect, I doubt it should be completely ignored.

Try a different PSU.
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nobusCommented:
these seem a fluke- if the 12 V is down to 3V, and 5 V only 3.3 - the system won't even run...
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
the system won't even run...  <-- Exactly. Voltages can't be that far out of whack
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
Whatever.

I bet $2 he fixes it with a different PSU.
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flubbsterCommented:
You can just use BluescreenView to read and analyze the minidumps. Much easier than windbg

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/bluescreenview/
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RobertAuthor Commented:
So - PSU - I don't have another one handy.  Any other way to get readings that might be more reliable?  Or try again?  Seems that the PC wouldn't be working with those readings.

Burnintest - I was watching Speccy and the nVidia card was 101 C.  I'm guessing there is some failure there;  I cut the test when I saw that.  See below:

nVidia card ran to 101 C so test was cut short
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Daniel FoyeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
OK.
Get a fan on the GPU.

The GPU fan must have died or something.
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RobertConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
There it is - the puny PNY GPU fan is failing.  When off, does not spin "freely" - now I know, when connected to a direct drive motor, it will not spin freely;  but it will move easily and go back n forth like Jello.  Not here.

When running, it struggles to spin and, as it warms up, labors to spin at speed.  

Picture taken just after bootup - spinning slowly enough to clearly capture logo.

Extra credit:  Easy and affordable to replace?  Or find an PCIe 3.0 replacement?  Not a gaming machine but certainly sees plenty of video and perhaps will have a PCI TV tuner card, too (not a priority).
20150217-125941-smaller.jpg
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RobertAuthor Commented:
FYI - When I shut down the PC after running the BurnInTest, I got another BSOD upon reboot, but was not able to capture it or even note if any specific info was mentioned.  I did move my data HDD from a SATA2  (2) port on the motherboard to a SATA3 port (4).

BTW, bluescreenview is OK, I suppose might give some more detailed info - but I put in the MINIDUMP.DMP file from the other day and this is all it said:

Dump from 20/16/15 BSOD crash.
Attached is a grab of Events/System that are Critical or Error - the logs had been recently wiped clean.
2015-02-17-Errors-and-Critical-System-Ev
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RobertAuthor Commented:
It looks like I get better graphics performance using the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 onboard than the discrete and older PCIe 2.0 PNY GeForce GT 220 card.

With nVidia Card
CPUScore              : 7.5
D3DScore              : 4.6
DiskScore             : 5.9
GraphicsScore         : 4.9
MemoryScore           : 7.9
TimeTaken             : MostRecentAssessment
WinSATAssessmentState : 1
WinSPRLevel           : 4.6

With Intel HD Graphics 4400
CPUScore              : 7.5
D3DScore              : 5.4
DiskScore             : 5.9
GraphicsScore         : 5.7
MemoryScore           : 7.9
TimeTaken             : MostRecentAssessment
WinSATAssessmentState : 1
WinSPRLevel           : 5.4

I think it's just time to retire the PNY nVidia card.  I will comment back in a month; sooner, if this PC crashes before then.  Today is 02/17/15.

Any other thoughts?
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RobertAuthor Commented:
Daniel,  All:  here is a new Speccy report.  Do the voltages make sense now?
2015-02-17-Win8PC.txt
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
Nope. They are the same.

Voltage
                  CPU CORE      0.840 V
                  MEMORY CONTROLLER      1.968 V
                  +3.3V      2.016 V
                  +5V      3.347 V
                  +12V      3.168 V
                  -12V      (6.960) V
                  -5V      (6.192) V
                  +5V HIGH THRESHOLD      2.822 V
                  CMOS BATTERY      1.512 V

These other guys can say what they will about the computer not running with those low voltages, but if it was my computer, I would be buying a PSU ASAP.

The +3.3V, +5V, and +12V are supposed to be nice "rails."

In other words, they should be flat, consistent, unchanging DC voltages.
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
So, are you still having problems with the bad-fan-having PNY vidcard removed from the system?

Clarification requested.

And the voltages should, of course, be very close to their specified levels, not sagging way low like a gangsta's pants.
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rindiCommented:
Probably speccy isn't working properly. Software that reads voltages and temperatures needs to know the chipsets and sensors. If it doesn't have that info, the readouts will not be correct. The real voltages will probably be shown somewhere in the BIOS, or measure them manually.
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RobertAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 250 points for nobus's comment #a40613643
Assisted answer: 250 points for VB ITS's comment #a40613396
Assisted answer: 0 points for Robert's comment #a40614572

for the following reason:

I appreciate all the help.  The BurnInTest from Passmark confirmed that the graphics card was failing.  I should get a bit of a boost, since the integrated graphics on the "new" motherboard rates higher than the PNY card.

Back to Daniel's questions - (a) I don't have another hard drive to try as a test.  Are there other programs to test these voltages?  (b) I haven't had a crash since switching to the integrated graphics;  I should test with BurnInTest, but it was pretty clear the fan on the card was going south.  In any case, I will post a comment in a month if no crashes have occurred, or details of crashes at that point at the latest.

I suppose this card could boost someone's graphics a bit;  just not mine.  

I did post that snip of Event logs pulled into a spreadsheet with the General description added on.  Is there an Event Viewer out there that is more powerful/flexible than the Windows version?
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RobertAuthor Commented:
Another CRASH!  Was performing a CHKDSK /r on the C: drive (Windows) - got to 16% and hung there.  Finally rebooted and "recovered" from the error.

Minidump attached and bluescreenview provides this:

bluescreenview
Lastly, no Wininit entry in the Event Viewer - as I suppose the crash wiped out the chkdsk log.
021915-57703-01.dmp
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rindiCommented:
Run memtest86+. if it fails, replace the RAM. If the RAM is fine, test the disk using the manufacturer's diagnostic, and if that fails, replace the disk. If it is fine, check your AV tool, as it can cause that crash, as well as remote control software. You'll find the diagnostic tools on the UBCD:

http://ultimatebootcd.com
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
You know what my opinion is.

A new 500W PSU is about $50, BTW.

Or, you can keep banging your head against the wall for free.

Or, replace everything else for $mucho dinero, AND keep banging your head against the wall.
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RobertAuthor Commented:
Daniel, I ran Speccy on my laptop - the voltage section that you found doesn't appear when I run it there.  Is there a different test I can run, other than Speccy, to pull those figures?  And  do you have a suggestion for a good PSU?  Do you think the 80 Plus certification levels mean anything?
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
When the computer starts up, go into the BIOS. You should be able to read the voltages there.

80 Plus is used to certify that PSU's are at least 80% effcient. It is a good certification to see.

I did a bit of research, and here is an example of an 80 Plus-certified 500W PSU for a decent price and with plenty of solid reviews.
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-80PLUS-Certified-ATX12V-100-W1-0500-KR/dp/B00H33SFJU/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
Robert's computer still crashes. Pretty simple reason for objecting.
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RobertAuthor Commented:
Agreed!  So here's the conundrum.  Speccy says these marks are way outta range - but the BIOS shows numbers that look to be pretty close to acceptable - but I'll let you judge, I'm no EE.

BIOS Settings - looking at voltage
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
OK, yeah that looks good.

Temperature of CPU is my next hunch.

What kind of heatsinkfan do you have? OEM?

Did you apply the thermal grease and install the heatsinkfan yourself?

What are the temps at load? CoreTemp is a good program for monitoring it under Windows.
http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/
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RobertAuthor Commented:
The intel CPU came with a heatsink/fan.  I applied the paste as directed - it came with it pre-applied.  I think I'm out of grease as I don't do this on a regular basis, but if you can point me to a good youtube clip that shows someone applying the "right amount" in the "right way," I'd duly appreciate it.  Verbal descriptions just don't seem to explain it well enough.

In the meantime, I am pulling the system drive out to run chkdsk /r on the partitions, esp. C: which was running during the last crash.  I did run the WD datalifeguard quick & Extended tests and it passed both of those.

Check back with u all/yinz later.

ub
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RobertAuthor Commented:
Is there a high quality thermal paste you'd recommend?
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
Arctic Silver 5 is good stuff.

I wish we could monitor the voltages under load...
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nobusCommented:
as i said  in my first post - it could not be voltages -the system won't even run
burnintest pointed you to the problem (or at least part of it)
you can decide to use the build in video - or try repairing this one
no use in fiddling with the cpu at this moment - first have the video card ok

btw use of windbg :http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/6084/Windows-Debuggers-Part-A-WinDbg-Tutorial
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
He already removed a bad vidcard from the system, Expert.
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RobertAuthor Commented:
Running chkdsk /r fixed some errors.  After that, running SFC /scannow found nothing.  Thought I might try "Refresh Windows 8.1" to see if that might make the system reliable again.  Seems that even when I attempt to shut down properly, the system does not shut down cleanly.

Currently burning a Windows 8.1 install DVD - as the Refresh process says, "Insert media"  "Some files are missing. Your Windows installation or recovery media will provide these files.  My original Win 8 DVD isn't good enough.

I can probably pick up some thermal paste today (Friday), but I need to find a good instructional video on it.  I don't want to do this a half dozen times!

Hey - Intel is pretty adamant about using their "thermal pads" instead of the paste.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyKPsS8GX3I
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rindiCommented:
Run the disk manufacturer's diagnostic and memtest86+ like I suggested.
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nobusCommented:
your speccy report shows the OS as 8.1 - did you upgrade it from win 8?
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RobertAuthor Commented:
A few things - I ran the Refresh Windows procedure, but I had to pull  the windows.iso from Microsoft for Win8.1.  The Refresh did not like the Win8 (original release, 2012) DVD when it asked for the installation media.

Many settings were left as they were;  files were untouched.  I peeked into Event Viewer and it looks like it was wiped clean - EXCEPT! - there were a handful of System logs from 11/21/14, but that was almost a month before this PC was built.  They came from the install?  Good grief, Charlie Brown!

The Media Center option that I installed previously, as well as the Pro level of Win8.1 were retained through the Refresh;  I did not need to enter a Product Key and assume that it has not changed.

nobus - OS always has been 8.1 - Pro, 64-bit, to be more specific;  with Media Center, too.

rindi - memtest86+ 5.01 came out clean - ran for an hour - see attached.

daniel (anyone, really) - can I ask you to run Speccy on a desktop PC and see if you get the same crazy voltage readings?  I've run it on two laptops and that voltage section just does not appear.  I ran it again after the refresh and they've not changed.

CPU Temp - see today's Speccy - much cooler than 55-60C shown previously:

Speccy - latest - 02/20/15 before Noon
The Reliability History (one day, not even, really) is clean.

So it took some time to re-install the programs, but the refresh may have brought stability back;  that, and pulling out the older video card with the dying fan.  I'm thinking - it may make sense to run the burnintest again.  I am leaning more on the wait-and-see approach to see how it runs for some time.  Maybe get a better graphics card, too.
20150219-152004.jpg
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nobusCommented:
you seem to have captured a bad device (video)
that can influence the rest
so yes -wait and see
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
Robert, I ran Speccy on my desktop. The voltages look normal:

Motherboard
      Manufacturer      Dell Inc.
      Model      0KWVT8 (CPU 1)
      Chipset Vendor      Intel
      Chipset Model      Haswell
      Chipset Revision      06
      Southbridge Vendor      Intel
      Southbridge Model      Z87
      Southbridge Revision      C2
      System Temperature      28 °C
            BIOS
                  Brand      Dell Inc.
                  Version      A08
                  Date      4/16/2014
            Voltage
                  CPU CORE      1.740 V
                  DRAM      1.500 V
                  +12V      11.880 V
                  +5V      4.968 V
                  VIN6      2.220 V
                  +3.3V      3.336 V
                  CMOS BATTERY      3.144 V
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RobertAuthor Commented:
daniel - OK - thanks for that.  I do see that the reading categories are a bit different - but still, it bears watching.

In fact, I am wondering if Speccy isn't working right, since the BIOS readings look normal.  I shot them an email regarding my readings.

Since I need to turn to other things (as long as this thing is running OK), I guess I am of the mindset, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Seems so much better (so far) since the Refresh; almost all my programs are reinstalled and many retained the settings, so it wasn't terribly painful.
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nobusCommented:
i assume no errors in device manager?
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RobertAuthor Commented:
No issues in device mgr.

The CPU temp did go over 60 C when I was working on a website and had a dozen or more web pages open at the same time (Chrome & IE).

Reliability History is still clean.
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nobusCommented:
if speccy does not report  the voltages correct -there maybe other readings wrong also
you can install speedfan, and check if it give sthe same readings : http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
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RobertAuthor Commented:
Huh.  No voltage readings with speedfan:

Running speedfan - selected Voltages but no readings.
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rindiCommented:
That's probably because your mainboard uses a chip that is unknown to speedfan and speccy. In speedfan under configure, in the advanced section you can select different chips.
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
Possibly one of these utilities from Gigabyte, specifically for your motherboard, will allow us to view system voltages in Windows:

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=5015#utility

(Hopefully the System Information Viewer will do it)

"System Information Viewer (Gigabyte hardware detection tool) Green Edition is used to test the CPU motherboard voltage, temperature, fan speed, disk usage, and memory usage."

Edit: Based on your BIOS revision date, I believe that your motherboard is Rev 2.0 of the GA-B85M-DS3H
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RobertAuthor Commented:
rindi - that makes sense that Speccy isn't reporting accurately.

Daniel - EXCELLENT SUGGESTION!  Here it is:

Gigabyte System Information Viewer - focusing on Voltage, peeking at Temp
This head-scratcher:  CPU temp is hanging around 30C now that I rebooted (required by the Gigibyte SIV app).  

I just had a funny thought but, then I really shouldn't - oh, WTF:  is my PC female?
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
Looks good!

CPU temp will vary with load/usage. So, if you just rebooted and haven't done much of anything to make the CPU work, the temp will be lower (at idle).

I hope you have all the bugs worked out by now, and you have most likely learned a bit along the way.
Cheers!
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RobertAuthor Commented:
I haven't heard back from the good folks at Speccy, but I don't expect a quick reply if any at all.

CPU has stayed in the mid 30s C.  I pulled out the Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1800 card as it was blocking the corner of this m/b where it states the revision number [2.0] and left it out before rebooting.  Currently, I'm not using it.  I think I'll leave it out for now.

Will try to spread the credit around, but I have to hand a big chunk to John Hurst whom (early & alone) suggested the Win8 Refresh.
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nobusCommented:
wait a bit more - to be sure all is fine
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RobertAuthor Commented:
The folks at Speccy (Piriform) hope to have this issue resolved in the next build.

The PC has been relatively stable - no BSODs, but not error-free, either.  While trying to set up Windows XP in a Hyper-V VM, the MMC stopped working.   About 6 days ago, something hung and I cancelled it.  I believe it was Windows Update that I terminated early.  And almost two weeks ago, according to Reliability History, Windows did not properly shut down.  But, no BSOD.

I appreciate all the suggestions.  It was my impression that the Windows Refresh did the most to stabilize the crashing PC as there continued to be issues after the overheating graphics card was removed.

There were excellent suggestions for diagnostic tools - the Gigabyte App Center and System Information was one, HWInfo was another that I'll turn to on other systems.  Now that I scratch my head and wonder, why not use Belarc Advisor?
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