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  1. #1
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    I installed Windows 7 64-bit at the same time I built a new system and ever since I have experienced random crashes. By random I mean that there appears to be no pattern to when everything will just stop, I can be working on something or it can be sitting idle and then reboot. The crashes take the form of either thin color bands appearing across the screen or a blue screen that claims something has caused the crash. The blue screen reason for the crash is different from one time to the next. I have learned how to read the minidump files that provide information about the crash but each one states that it was something different that caused it. For these reasons I am thinking that the cause is a hardware issue, most likely the motherboard. However, I have used various "burn-in" programs to provoke a crash and so far that has not happened. I don't want to go to the trouble of returning the motherboard only to have them tell me it is okay.

    So, does anyone have an ideas about how I might go about further troubleshooting this vexing problem? Any ideas are quite welcome!

    Thanks,
    Dave

  2. #2
    2 Star Lounger zigzag3143's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davestew View Post
    I installed Windows 7 64-bit at the same time I built a new system and ever since I have experienced random crashes. By random I mean that there appears to be no pattern to when everything will just stop, I can be working on something or it can be sitting idle and then reboot. The crashes take the form of either thin color bands appearing across the screen or a blue screen that claims something has caused the crash. The blue screen reason for the crash is different from one time to the next. I have learned how to read the minidump files that provide information about the crash but each one states that it was something different that caused it. For these reasons I am thinking that the cause is a hardware issue, most likely the motherboard. However, I have used various "burn-in" programs to provoke a crash and so far that has not happened. I don't want to go to the trouble of returning the motherboard only to have them tell me it is okay.

    So, does anyone have an ideas about how I might go about further troubleshooting this vexing problem? Any ideas are quite welcome!

    Thanks,
    Dave
    Dave


    I would be willing to examine the DMP files for you if you like. I have been doing these elsewhere for quite some time and might be able to shed some light on them. Feel free to message me if you want.

    Ken J

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    Wanikiyi & Dyami--Team ZigZag3143

  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I would run Memtest86 on it overnight.

    Can you provide us with some more hardware details;
    Graphics card, memory, processor, PSU. mainboard.
    What errors does the Event Monitor report?
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  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I agree with hardware issues. I the past I have seen CMOS battery (easy to check, replace battery), Ram memory, fans not operating at speed, PS voltage problems, etc.

    Google search for fan monitoring
    Memtest86
    Google search for voltage monitor

    It has been many years since my last self build so I am having problems thinking of any further suggestions.

    Hope these help.
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  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    Having somebody else look at the minidumps is a good idea as you never know what you will miss, however, totally random errors is almost always hardware.

    I am not sure why you suspect Motherboard over anything else. Personally I always start with Memtest86. If windows installed without any errors it is probably not harddrive, but if you had any issues where you had to restart the windows install, I would recommend running the harddrive manufacturer's test utilities.

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    I had not recently tried MemTest86 since a couple of months ago. I was testing memory and got everything right at that time. Decided to run it again and have discovered that anything more that 3 GB of RAM stops Memtest86 in it's tracks during the first test! I've tried different combinations of memory sticks and it doesn't appear to be defective memory. For some reason putting in either 2 sticks of 2GB or 4 sticks of 1GM RAM prompts a reboot within seconds of starting Memtest86.

    Any thoughts as to a cause?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger
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    What version of Memtest are you using. Their release page shows more than 4gb has been supported since version 3.0.

    This may point to a bad memory channel on the Motherboard. Or it may just be an incompatibility of some component with memtest.

    It sounds like your board has 4 slots but they are probably in 2 channels. Can you test with a single stick in one channel and then a single stick in the other channel?

  8. #8
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    I'm using the latest version, 3.5. I got it two months ago when I was having difficulty with the G.Skill 2GB DDR2-1066 modules I had purchased. Then Gigabyte released their latest BIOS and I had no further problems with memory. Until now. The only real change since then was that I reinstalled Windows 7 64 bit on the new SSD boot drive I just got.

    You are right, there are 4 slots, 2 channels. I can run single sticks in separate channels as long as I don't exceed 4 GB. What is puzzling is that Memtest86 ran fine with 4GB just 2 months ago.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by davestew View Post
    I installed Windows 7 64-bit at the same time I built a new system and ever since I have experienced random crashes. By random I mean that there appears to be no pattern to when everything will just stop, I can be working on something or it can be sitting idle and then reboot. The crashes take the form of either thin color bands appearing across the screen or a blue screen that claims something has caused the crash. The blue screen reason for the crash is different from one time to the next. I have learned how to read the minidump files that provide information about the crash but each one states that it was something different that caused it. For these reasons I am thinking that the cause is a hardware issue, most likely the motherboard. However, I have used various "burn-in" programs to provoke a crash and so far that has not happened. I don't want to go to the trouble of returning the motherboard only to have them tell me it is okay.

    So, does anyone have an ideas about how I might go about further troubleshooting this vexing problem? Any ideas are quite welcome!

    Thanks,
    Dave

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by davestew View Post
    I'm using the latest version, 3.5. I got it two months ago when I was having difficulty with the G.Skill 2GB DDR2-1066 modules I had purchased. Then Gigabyte released their latest BIOS and I had no further problems with memory. Until now. The only real change since then was that I reinstalled Windows 7 64 bit on the new SSD boot drive I just got.

    You are right, there are 4 slots, 2 channels. I can run single sticks in separate channels as long as I don't exceed 4 GB. What is puzzling is that Memtest86 ran fine with 4GB just 2 months ago.
    on the start up page of memtest86 there is an option to use earlier version V3.4 that does work on more than 3GB, As V3.5 does not support more than 2GB. I think it is the last option in the list.Option 3. Have to be quick though or it will start option 1.

    Hope this Helps.

    Clive
    Clive

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  11. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If your having trouble with memtest86 I would also try the Window's memory testor in it's most advanced mode.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    To Use the Windows memory tester:

    Insert the installation DVD, reboot, and chose Boot from DVD. Here is the sequence of events from that point. This was on a Win 7 Ultimate system and DVD, but I believe the Home Premium is similar if not identical.

    1st Screen - Windows is loading files (Note that this might take a couple of minutes. My system was less than 1 minute)

    2nd Screen - Starting Windows

    3rd Screen - Language and Preferences

    4th Screen - Windows 7 (3 options are available)
    Option 1 - Install Now (This is the option ro install or reinstall Win 7 from scratch. After this you would choose In Place Upgrade or Custom Install)
    Option 2 - What to know before installing Windows.
    Option 3 - Repair your computer

    Choose Option 3

    5th Screen - System recovery Options, Windows is searching for Windows Installations.

    6th Screen - System Recovery Options (2 options available)
    Option 1 - Use Recovery Tools that can help fix problems starting Windows
    Option 2 - Restore your system using an image you previously made.

    Choose Option 1

    7th Screen - Choose Recovery Tool (5 option presented)
    Option 1 - Startup Repair
    Option 2 - System Restore
    Option 3 - System Image recovery
    Option 4 - Windows memory diagnostics
    Option 5 - Command Prompt

    Option 4 is the Windows memory Tester.

    I hope this helps.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the recent responses. I have run the Windows Memory tester-- no problems. I was also told about the latest memtest= memtest86+ 4.0 and in running that, my setup passes without a glitch. I consulted some with G.Skill customer service, they advised a slight change in voltage set in BIOS and so far (knock on wood) my system has been stable.

    Thanks again for all the helpful responses!

    Dave

  14. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Excellent, thanks for posting back with that useful tidbit.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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