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  1. #1
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    My WIndows 7 64bit computer has had a large number of BSODs, mostly to do with memory management. The dictum "quot homines tot sententiae" sums up my experience so far with all the kind experrts who have suggested ways to resolve it. However, most agree that the problem can be laid at the door of an unidentified "bad driver".
    Now an initial check using dxdiag revealed one driver that windows didn't like (ie it was "unsigned" so I removed that). There were also indications that the HDAV 1.3 deluxe sound card was causing problems (indeed I hadn't really been using it so I physically removed that and carried out the necessary instructions to ensure all of its drivers were removed as well. (Indeed I found that device manager needed to reveal hidden drivers for equipment not currently attached by adding the system variable devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices ).
    In theory that should prevent further BSODs but I'm not sure - only time will tell.
    That is a very brief summary of my story so far....

    So to my question: There should be a way for Windows to identify the driver that is causing the problem. After all, the stop codes on the BSOD specify long numbers starting with 0x00..... and these appear to relate to specific devices and/or drivers and/or IRQs - but they are not specifically quoted in the dxdiag logs.
    I have had bad experiences with the "driver agent softwares" out there which charge money and then often incorrectly identify drivers as bad and even offer out of date drivers to replace them. I note from a google search that others also have bad experiences with them.
    But surely WIndows has a way of doing this itself?

    Any ideas
    Thanks
    David


    (BTW I would have used reimage again, but it currently doesn't have 64 bit compatibility, so I can't at the moment - this was a recent development with them, which was brought in for technical reasons. Maybe 64 bit compatibility will return soon....)


    For information I enclose a recent BSOD report from yesterday[attachment=89105:Crash List 30 June 2010.mht] and two dxdiag logs done this morning [attachment=89106xDiag64bittest.txt][attachment=89107xDiag32bittest.txt]
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Kind regards
    David
    dwsolo

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Questions;
    Are these BSOD's all new problems? Give us some sort of time perspective.
    Is this PC a home built computer or a manufactured one, and by whom?
    Is this a fresh [custom clean] install of Windows 7, 64 bit, or an upgrade. If so upgraded from what and how?
    Have you run Memtest 86 from a boot disk on it overnight without error?
    Does "device manager" have any of it's components flagged?
    What does the "Event Viewer" have listed for the date/times of your BSODs?

    Have you tried a clean install with only the basic os and basic up-to-date hardware drivers?
    (motherboard drivers only)
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  3. #3
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    Hi Clint
    The computer was made at the end of December last year by pcspecialist.co.uk, as a WIndows 7 computer (ie not upgraded from anything)
    It had BSODs during the first week and I solved that by simply doing a clean install of Windows from the DVD disk.
    Subsequent BSODs didn't begin until about 3 months later, and they were almost all to do with memory management. The BSODs stopped hapening for a few weeks after I used reimage (in April I think), but they started again and I have had several remote visits from them to help, but in the end the real cause has not yet been successfully identified (and as I say the reimage software is currently unable to be reused, apparently)
    The BSOD you see here took place after I had removed the unsigned drivers and the sound card yesterday (ie my proposed solution may not have worked)
    Device manager no longer has flagged components - it used to have flagged components but they are now removed, as of yesterday, but the BSOD still occurred after that time.
    Memtest reveals no errors in memory (mind you it wasn't an overnight test, it only took 30 to 60 minutes, as I recall - is there a longer version of the test?)
    Regarding the event viewer question, I'll get back to you shortly.....
    Regarding clean instal with only up to date drivers - is that different from the clean install I did in January? If so, how do I ensure that the installation does this? (Obviously I prefer not to do this if at all possible)
    Kind regards
    David

    BTW In case it helps the attached file shows the complete specs of the computer as it was before I removed the soundcard
    [attachment=89110:complete computer specifications SIW_20100112_075143_DAVID-PC.html]
    Kind regards
    David
    dwsolo

  4. #4
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    The event viewr showed me some interesting stuff in particular that a CAPI2 problem, which was supposed to have been resolved during the reimage session has reappeared (or wasn't properly fixed) and also a SidebySide error. Also the controller for my (2 TB) D Drive seems to be having difficulties.
    I attach a zip file of some of the event logs in case they are of any help in diagnosing this.
    As to the times of BSODs, I'm unable to find a reference to them in Event Viewer.
    [attachment=89111:eventlogs.zip]
    Kind regards
    David
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Kind regards
    David
    dwsolo

  5. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Regarding clean instal with only up to date drivers - is that different from the clean install I did in January? If so, how do I ensure that the installation does this? (Obviously I prefer not to do this if at all possible)
    The rational for requesting this is to totally minimize installed software as a source of conflict and ensure the basic hardware drivers
    are functioning without issue.
    As far as drivers go, testing them as part of a clean install with the absolute minimal of installed software can make it a little easier for troubleshooting purposes.
    It can also help to rule out os tweaks, personal settings, and major [complex] 3rd party software as a source.
    Memtest reveals no errors in memory (mind you it wasn't an overnight test, it only took 30 to 60 minutes, as I recall - is there a longer version of the test?)
    Memtest should be run in it's most advanced settings for at least 7 passes. It is also advisable to get a second opinion from the built in Windows 7 memory test. This test should be run in recovery mode with either the W7 DVD or the "created" boot disk, and run on it's most advanced settings.
    I also believe it to be highly prudent to focus on your system RAM memory as a possible causative factor for the BSODs.
    Even an error free memory test will not entirely rule out bad memory.

    troubleshooting memory problems
    Google: troubleshooting memory problems
    A few other considerations to try:
    Run a check disk, preferably from a command prompt in a boot environment with the "r" switch enabled, on your primary boot drive.
    Run the SFC /SCANNOW Command as well.

    Are these BSODs completely random, or do they occure within a certain set of behaviors or program usage?

    (BTW I would have used reimage again, but it currently doesn't have 64 bit compatibility, so I can't at the moment - this was a recent development with them, which was brought in for technical reasons. Maybe 64 bit compatibility will return soon....)
    (and as I say the reimage software is currently unable to be reused, apparently)
    The Windows 7 backup and imaging software is more than sufficient for use in troubleshooting.
    You could make an image of your current os and test it by restoring the newly created image.
    Then clean install and start troubleshooting from a fresh os and driver perspective.
    When restoring an image with the built in Windows 7 backup and restore program always
    use the "created" boot disk or W7 DVD to accomplish this.
    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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  6. #6
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    I had a machine that would BSOD occasionally. I worked with it for days in the production environment and it would run fine for a while but then would suddenly crash. I finally took it out of production and put it on the bench. I ran memtest86 through an overnight with no errors. I put it back in production and had the same troubles. I could find nothing with any of the other hardware (I replaced the HD and various other components). I finally put it back on the bench and ran memtest86 for a whole week. The machine threw two memory errors. I then repeated the test and found that it would through about 1 memory error every 2-3 days. I replace the RAM and it is as solid as a rock.

    Memory problems can be very hard to diagnose. With sporadic BSOD's I would not rule out memory without a week of clear test runs.

  7. #7
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    Hi Clint
    Currently running memtest number 9 (bit fade test, whatever that is) - obviously writing this from another computer ;-))
    Now it has a long way to run but I have already noticed that there is a big distinction between memory slots:- does the attached image (taken with my digital camera just now suggest anything that I can do (eventually)?[attachment=89115SCI0173.JPG]
    Furthermore, does this already provide a clue such that the rest of the memtest isn't necessary? (I ask this so I can go to bed if possible without the computer whirring in the background! But if it should continue I shall let it)
    Kind regards
    David
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Kind regards
    David
    dwsolo

  8. #8
    2 Star Lounger
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    well, about to retire now, so I'll let it run anyway... till tomorrow...
    Kind regards
    David
    dwsolo

  9. #9
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    do you have warranty on this machine?

    I looked up the builder you reference above and they have a nice writeup about their service for failed hardware. I think it is time to give it a test.....

    If they balk about it, send them the above picture..

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    You can also remove the memory moduals that are producing the errors and see how it runs.
    This of course is if your warrenty, if any, will alow for such meddling.

    Take mercyh's advice and look into it.

    Good luck
    CLiNT

    PS
    You should be able to safely retire with it running.
    Memtest86 should produce a logfile, and if I'm not mistaken, place it on the desktop.
    So keep the log and show it to the manufacturer.
    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:
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  11. #11
    2 Star Lounger
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    Thanks Clint and Mercy
    I think my next move will be to contact them with the info already produced and see what solutions they have to offer. (Looking at that page on replacing memory modules, I feel insecure about doing it myself.)
    I'll let you know the outcome.
    BTW to let you know the answer to your question Clint, it seems to me that the BSODs are fairly random, however there hasn't yet been one while backing up, thank goodness. Certain times they occur when running a video making software, others Firefox or IE8 and others a music notation software.

    Kind regards
    David
    Kind regards
    David
    dwsolo

  12. #12
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    One good thing about memory problems is that it is a simple fix. The service folks should not have to touch the hard drive so no need to reinstall, etc.

  13. #13
    2 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    PS
    You should be able to safely retire with it running.
    Memtest86 should produce a logfile, and if I'm not mistaken, place it on the desktop.
    So keep the log and show it to the manufacturer.
    As a matter of interest, when I exited from memtest I did not find a log file. Is there some way to tell memtest (while it is running) to create one?
    Kind regards
    David
    Kind regards
    David
    dwsolo

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Solomons View Post
    As a matter of interest, when I exited from memtest I did not find a log file. Is there some way to tell memtest (while it is running) to create one?
    Kind regards
    David
    I also don't think I have ever seen one (however I have never looked as I had the information I needed from what was displayed on the screen). I always thought that memtest didn't touch the harddrive and could be run on a machine that did not even have a HD installed, I could be totally wrong on this though...

  15. #15
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Memtest should create a log automatically and deposite it somewhere on your drive.
    I'm not exactly sure where on the W7, 64 bit os it would do so.

    Do a search for "memtest.log". Make sure that the entire Primary drive is indexed for search.

    You can also save your photos as priliminary proof of problematic memory issues.
    The company will, in most instances, want to conduct their own tests, so a log may not be needed.

    If you cannot find the log I would not be too concerned about it, W7, 64 bit may be a tad bit new for Memtest86 at the moment.
    It is the company/manufacturer of your computer who must step up and look into your problems now.
    You have all the symptoms of serious memory errors and a photo to prove it. The log would merely be axtra.
    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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