Repeated computer bluescreens.

A client's computer has been blue-screening recently, once or twice a week. The computer had a USB male to VGA female adapter, which we thought might have had some impact, but shortly after replacing the video card and drivers, the computer blue screened again. We tried reinstalling all drivers for all component's from Dell's  website, but we were still getting blue screens. We even replaced the memory with no change, as well as the antivirus software. Perhaps more baffling is that the minidumps seem to point to components of the OS, specifically ntoskrnl.exe and ntfs.sys. Other dumps point to random drivers. Very hard to get a handle on the exact cause here.

The system in question is a mid 2012 Dell Optiplex with:
4GB DDR3 1600 memory
Core i5-3470 @ 3.2GHz
Nvidia GeForce 210 Graphics card

Attached are the last five dump files.
070215-15350-01.dmp
072415-33228-01.dmp
072815-30810-01.dmp
061715-14430-01.dmp
Matt W.Asked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Scott CSenior Systems EnginerCommented:
Last Known Good won't be useful here, but have you tried rolling back to a save point before the issue started?

Also have you tried booting into Safe Mode?

If that doesn't work try a non-destructive reinstall of Windows.

https://www.winhelp.us/non-destructive-reinstall-of-windows-7.html



Here are some troubleshooting steps to try before starting a non-destructive reinstall of Windows 7:
•Last Known Good Configuration often solves booting and stability problems after installing software, drivers, or messing with Registry entries.
•Always boot to Safe Mode at least once - this often repairs corrupted file system and essential system files.
•If Windows starts and runs properly only in Safe Mode, turn on Clean Boot mode to see if some non-Microsoft software or driver is causing the problems.
•If Windows is able to boot, use System File Checker and icacls.exe to repair corrupted system files.
•While Windows is running, use free WhoCrashed for determining BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) causes.
Also, Reliability Monitor might reveal faulty drivers or software.
•System Restore can help reverting back to a state when your computer was running normally.
•Repair your computer is useful for fixing startup problems and file system errors, and testing memory modules for defects.

If these suggestions don't provide relief, I'd back up the user's data and flatten the workstation and do a clean re-install.
0
Matt W.Author Commented:
The computer boots up just fine.  The BSOD only happens at random every few days.
0
Scott CSenior Systems EnginerCommented:
Yes and most of the suggestions above will work as you have a booting machine.

If the machine was not able to boot, I'd advise going straight to a wipe and re-install.
0
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

Matt W.Author Commented:
ScottCha, I'll definitely try your suggestions.  I was only mentioning that it wasn't prohibiting the machine from booting.

Thanks for your comment, I will update as soon as I try some of these suggestions.
0
Scott CSenior Systems EnginerCommented:
No worries.  Just wanted to make sure we are on the same page.
0
nobusCommented:
things to try :
-clean boot :- run msconfig - select startup tab, and click disable all
reboot to test
-look in event viewer for errors
-install speedfan and monitor the temperatures  : http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
0
frankhelkCommented:
Hmm ... I sometimes have such random BSODs when hardware fails. Especially half-dead power supplies and/or half-blownup electrolytic capacitors coud produce sikes on the computer's internal power grid ... and the results of such interruptions could be very strange, indeed.

So please check the capacitors on the mainboard for signs of internal pressure, like arched tops, and replace the power supply unit. The half-blownup capacitors could be replaced ... use replacements with same capacity but one size higher in voltage (they're usually designed "on the edge").
0
QlemoBatchelor, Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
The minidumps do not put a finger on the culprit, your BSODs are all kind of hardware/driver failures (KMode Not Handled, IRQL not less or equal, and similar), without naming the driver.

The current nVidia drivers are known to cause freezing, BSODs and other failures, though the dumps generated are clear to that regard. But it is something easy to check. Anything up to 350.12 is fine.
0
nobusCommented:
i would suspect hardware here
you can run ram and disk diags, but if the problem arises only once or twice a week, it is far from sure if you'll find anything - but always better than do nothing, and it's a good start
the best way is to swap parts and devices- and keep a list of what you swapped :
Ram, disk, Power supply

you can also test the voltages : +5, +12 +3.3V on the 20- or 24 pin plug
http://pinouts.ru/Power/atxpower_pinout.shtml

as for diags, i use the UBCD a lot :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD

go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
 
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick

for completeness -here's how i handle disk problems : http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html
0
Matt W.Author Commented:
Ok, it's been a while and we can say we haven't had a bsod in weeks.  There was a usb to vga adapter that we replaced with an actual dual vga video card.   The bsod's stopped not when this device was removed from the system, but when the drivers were removed.  So far, over 2 weeks no bsod.  I'll update this thread if that changes.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Matt W.Author Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 500 points for frankhelk's comment #a40903742
Assisted answer: 0 points for Matt W.'s comment #a40940404

for the following reason:

Finally found the real cause.  USB to vga graphics adapter software.
0
Matt W.Author Commented:
Through vast amounts of trial and error we've eliminated the bsods on this machine.  We replaced RAM, Video adapter, etc without success, but when replacing the video adapter we did not remove the previous usb to vga adapter software that was being used to host a second monitor on this machine.    One of the last things we did was to remove that software and we've not had an issue since(about 3 weeks) knock on wood.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows 7

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.