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  1. #1
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    Vista Blue Screen (Vista Ultimate SP1)

    Hello Everyone,
    I have an issue where I get a blue screen rarely, only about once or twice per month. Iím running Vista Ultimate and this PC is my primary business PC, it is not a gaming rig.

    I ran the diagnostic (dumpchk.exe) which identified the possible problem with win32k.sys. From other digging I found suggestions that this could indicate a memory problem or a Windows problem. Every time the crash has happened I have had Windows Media Player (v. 11) streaming audio from a PBS music station. So, Iím not sure but that WMP may be the culprit. Or my audio card.

    Wondering if memory could be the issue, I ran the memory checker in Vista and it reported that a ďHardware Problem has been foundĒ, but I cannot see what it is and it is only reported on the most extensive scan, not on the ďstandardĒ scan. I have not yet tried swapping memory sticks, etc.

    I also ran MemTest86 v 3.4 overnight. It did not find any problems with the memory.

    So, Iím hunting for suggestions. I have put the specifics of this PC below in case that helps. Thanks a lot for any thoughts.

    Motherboard: Asus P5B Bios v 2001, 7/11/2008
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4 GHz)
    Memory: Corsair PC2-6400, two memory sticks, 2048 Mbytes each, 4 GBytes total
    Video: NVDIA GeForce 7600 GS
    Audio: Creative SB Audigy 4
    2 DVD-RW drives
    Harddrive: Western Digital 250 GByte SATA

    The PC is equipped with Zalman 9500 CPU Cooler, which it didnít really need, but you know how it is! <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

    Thank you very much for any thoughts on this issue! <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    --Bob
    -Bob Harris
    "Seek Simplicity, Then Mistrust It!"


  2. #2
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    Re: Vista Blue Screen (Vista Ultimate SP1)

    Whate is the specific error you get (check the event log)? Since you've run a test that identified a hardware problem, I'd certainly try swapping the memory sticks.

    Are your device drivers up-to-date? Is your BIOS up-to-date? Is the system up-to-date with patches?

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
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    Re: Vista Blue Screen (Vista Ultimate SP1)

    As a first troubleshooting step can you remove one of the two memory sticks, then run the memory test that failed, then swap for the other memory stick and run it again.

    StuartR

  4. #4
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    Re: Vista Blue Screen (Vista Ultimate SP1)

    Hi Joe,
    The specific error was the 0x08E message that usually (in my limited experience) indicates a memory conflict of some kind. As I noted in my original message, the dumpchk.exe reported that win32k.sys was the 'probable' cause. Well, that usually (apparently) can indicate a memory issue as well as a corrupted Windows installation. That's when I tried the memory check in Vista as well as MemTest 86. Although, as I noted, MemTest86 did not report any errors.

    I followed your suggestion and removed one memory stick. The "hardweare error" was still present. Switching memory sticks removed the error. So, I conclude that the one memory stick is the possible problem.

    I guess WinXP just doesn't make the memory demands of Vista. For that matter, neither does MemTest86. I also read somewhere that Vista does something having to do with moving memory addresses all over the place as a "protection against hackers"...? Anyway, I guess I'll see what happens. The memory is supposed to have a 'lifetime' warranty.

    Thank you very much, Joe, as always for your thoughtful input on this issue. My own inertia was preventing me from doing the obvious.

    Bob <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    -Bob Harris
    "Seek Simplicity, Then Mistrust It!"


  5. #5
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    Re: Vista Blue Screen (Vista Ultimate SP1)

    Thank you for the suggestion, Stuart. I did that and have possibly identified the faulty memory stick. More details, if you're interested, are in my reply to Joe Perez. I really appreciate your input.

    --Bob
    -Bob Harris
    "Seek Simplicity, Then Mistrust It!"


  6. #6
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    Re: Vista Blue Screen (Vista Ultimate SP1)

    It could be the memory was not seated correctly. Or it could be that one stick does have a problem. By switching the sticks you changed the physical addresses of the memory. It could be the error is in a high address now that will seldom be used. You may be OK for most things but occasionally have an issue under heavy use. I recommend that you check into getting the memory replaced because inevitably the problem will resurface at the most inconvenient time for you.

    Joe
    Joe

  7. #7
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    Re: Vista Blue Screen (Vista Ultimate SP1)

    I think you are correct, Joe. I have contacted Corsair to arrange a replace of both modules of the set. I acquired them in August from Newegg as a pair, presumably 'matched'. These things happen. All part of the fascinating puzzle. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    -Bob Harris
    "Seek Simplicity, Then Mistrust It!"


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