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  1. #1
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    BSOD at boot time, Code=F4/03, no minidump: failing CPU?

    Dear All,

    I just bought a Dell laptop (Win7 x64), and installed all the softwares I had on my previous laptop. After a few weeks where all was fine, I'm suddenly experiencing boot-time BSODs and freezes. I believe they might be related to a CPU failure.

    Almost every time I reboot my laptop I have a BSOD during the windows splash screen.

    It's a 'STOP' with BCCode=F4, BCP1=03 : "A process/thread crucial to system operations has unexpectedly exited".

    There is no minidump saved (despite small minidump are enabled).

    Also, when the laptop does boot-up, sometimes (rarely), it may freeze (very rarely) on or just after the loggon screen. (I also had BSODs related to BitDefender and a VPN client : now both uninstalled)

    'Start-up repair' cannot find the cause and says "Unspecified changes to system configuration might have caused the problem". SFC /SCANNOW says all fine.

    The laptop can boot in 'safe mode'. I played with msconfig, and was unable to find a service or program that would be the culprit. The last 4 drivers loaded in ntbtlog.txt are : iusb3hub.sys , stwrt64.sys , ksthunk.sys , IntcDAud.sys . Disabling these drivers doesn't help.

    However, in msconfig, advanced option, when I set "number of processors" to 1, then hooray! no more BSODs... I'm posting this with a laptop running on 1 CPU core out of 4...

    So, is it a hardware / CPU issue ? How can I find out ? I ran Intel's Processor Diagnostic Tool : it says the i5-3230m CPU is fine.

    Is there a way to force windows to boot on a specific CPU core ?

    Have I missed something ? (did RAM and disk check : all fine)

    Thanks for your help.

    Olivier.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Olivier,

    The machine is a few weeks old then this is Dell's problem not yours! I'd call them ASAP. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  3. #3
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    I doubt that you have an hardware issue. You may have a driver issue or maybe you can even benefit from a BIOS update, if there is one. Check with DELL to see if you have up to date drivers and BIOS.
    Rui
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Olivier,

    The machine is a few weeks old then this is Dell's problem not yours! I'd call them ASAP. HTH
    Thanks - Sure, I will call them as soon as I better understand these BSOD, and I can show them some evidence. I would prefer not spending too much time arguing with them, and ending up with no laptop at all for weeks.
    Last edited by OlivierDelrieu; 2013-04-21 at 20:54.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    I doubt that you have an hardware issue. You may have a driver issue or maybe you can even benefit from a BIOS update, if there is one. Check with DELL to see if you have update to date drivers and BIOS.
    In msconfig, when I disable all services (even MS ones) and startup programs, I still have the boot-time BSOD. The culprit may be amongst the drivers that are still launched with these msconfig parameters, and are not launched in 'safe mode'. Any idea what these drivers could be?

    I'll check the BIOS. Thanks.

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    Maybe have a look at the Event Viewer and see if there's any info there that can shed light on what is failing.
    Rui
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    I doubt that you have an hardware issue. You may have a driver issue or maybe you can even benefit from a BIOS update, if there is one. Check with DELL to see if you have up to date drivers and BIOS.
    The BIOS is up to date.

    However, in the BIOS, there is an option to use only 1 core (out of 2). If I enable this, I have no more BSOD, and windows sees 2 'cpus' (1 core + hyper threading). I think I'm getting there in terms of evidence the cpu is at fault.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OlivierDelrieu View Post
    I think I'm getting there in terms of evidence the cpu is at fault.
    Olivier,
    Hello... Think that you should check your Power supply voltages as well ...There is a free program HW Monitor Free 1.21 Regards Fred
    PlainFred

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  9. #9
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    (Ensure that Driver Verifier has been turned off.) What are the hardware specs of the laptop - does it have an SSD?

  10. #10
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    I contacted DELL and we ran some tests.

    These show 2 errors :

    - SYSTEM CMOS : failed pattern test : code 4C00 :0320
    - SMBIOS : Undefined LM87A : Code 4600:021E

    They have decided to change the motherboard. I'll keep you posted.

    @Satrow : no SSD , Driver Verifier was turned off. Here are some specs:

    [System Summary]
    OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
    Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
    OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
    System Manufacturer Dell Inc.
    System Model Latitude E6430
    System Type x64-based PC
    Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3230M CPU @ 2.60GHz, 2601 Mhz, 1 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s) **** note 1 core was disabled in BIOS
    BIOS Version/Date Dell Inc. A09, 13/12/2012
    SMBIOS Version 2.7
    Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume2
    Locale United Kingdom
    Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.1.7601.17514"
    Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB
    Total Virtual Memory 23.9 GB
    Page File Space 16.0 GB

    [Display]
    Adapter Type Intel(R) HD Graphics Family, Intel Corporation compatible
    Adapter Description Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000

    [Disks]
    Model ST500LX003-1AC15G
    Partitions 3
    Size 465.76 GB (500,105,249,280 bytes)

  11. #11
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Great news there, I hope they are quick changing the 'board for you!

  12. #12
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    Motherboard changed today. No more BSOD !! Hooray!!

    Thank you all for your comments.

    (off topic : I'm REALLY impressed by DELL : their ecosystem of diagnostic tools, their accuracy, and the speedy - at your doorstep - technical support...)

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