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  1. #1
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    Driver Verifier - how dangerous is it?

    My machine is to the point where I'm ready to do a fresh install of Windows 10 because lately I'm getting spurious BSODs. WhoCrashed usually indicates that the problem is "probably" a driver but never can say which one. So, I'm ready to run Driver Verifier and see if I can force a crash after having created a restore point. Reading a Microsoft blog entry about Driver Verifier, the blogger says that sometimes the machine can crash before you're able to log into Windows. My machine isn't that unstable; the BSOD usually happens when I'm doing something involving codecs (like using Virtual Dub or Memories on TV) but not always; I can use these two programs most of the time without any issues.

    Has anyone ever used this tool and gotten himself/herself into a situation where the machine was so hosed you couldn't even log into it afterwards?

    I realize this is a hypothetical question but I'm not in the mood to brick my machine just yet and I see that Driver Verifier has been recommended in the past so I thought I'd take advantage of your experience.

    Rob

  2. #2
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    Try BlueScreenView - I've found that to be a bit more informative, but Win 10 has its own Blue Screen trouble shooter.

    Go Start - type blue then click on the trouble shooter when it comes up.

    This is for BlueScreenView - http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html

  3. #3
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    Sudo: Thanks; I also have the Nirsoft program. It might tell someone who knows how to read Windows dumps what's wrong but for the BSODs I've been having neither it nor WhoCrashed can pinpoint the error; both just tell me it occurred in ntoskrnl.exe or ntkrnlmp.exe. I don't see a blue screen troubleshooter on my system. Maybe it's something you get as part of the Insider Program?

    Rob

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    No - I free upgraded this one within the time frame.

    I've turned off Cortana so now that is just Search Windows but before I just used to type in what I wanted and up it would pop for me to click on or press enter.

    Go to Control Panel/All Control Panel Items/Troubleshooting/View all and you should see it at the top of the list of trouble shooters.

    If you post your BSV report I'll get Satrow to have a look at it.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Sudo15 For This Useful Post:

    satrow (2016-11-28)

  6. #5
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    If you post your BSV report I'll get Satrow to have a look at it.
    I'd much prefer to have more data to work from, the BSOD collection app. here makes a fine job of collecting it, attach the zipped folder here and I'll take a look at it.

    DV can be dangerous - really only if you don't have a Restore Point or an alt. method of reverting, the instructions here should ensure you're safe if you use it, the results from a verified crash dump can save a lot of time.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    I'd much prefer to have more data to work from, the BSOD collection app. here makes a fine job of collecting it, attach the zipped folder here and I'll take a look at it.

    DV can be dangerous - really only if you don't have a Restore Point or an alt. method of reverting, the instructions here should ensure you're safe if you use it, the results from a verified crash dump can save a lot of time.
    Satrow: Thank you for your kind offer. I'll download the BSOD collection app and see what needs to be done. For now, I've enlarged the size of the page file to match my memory size (32GB which I need like a hole in the head) so the entire dump can be captured and I'm running the kinds of programs that seemed to cause the problem (mostly Virtual Dub). So far, no crashes. I'll use Driver Verifier as a last resort.

    Rob

  8. #7
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    Satrow: Just FYI, I took a stab at Driver Verifier tonight. Upon rebooting, the machine immediately crashed; I booted off of my Win10 DVD and restored back to the restore point I took just prior to enabling Verifier.

    Both WhoCashed and Nirsoft's BlueScreenView point to mozy.sys so I've opened a support ticket with Mozy. I thought perhaps I'd download the latest version of their software and install it but the version on my machine is newer than what you can download.

    Rob

  9. #8
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    When you get that, you would uninstall first and then download - http://support.mozy.co.uk/articles/e...ozy-on-Windows

    I prefer my back ups to be on terra firma in external HDDs.

    What antivirus program are you using as that could be playing a part in this.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    When you get that, you would uninstall first and then download - http://support.mozy.co.uk/articles/e...ozy-on-Windows

    I prefer my back ups to be on terra firma in external HDDs.

    What antivirus program are you using as that could be playing a part in this.
    Sudo: I'm using Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Anti-malware (commercial version). Thanks for the link; I was on Mozy's web site last night and the only version of the client software I can find (including your link) is a version older than what I'm already running. I'll wait to see if they respond to my problem ticket.

    As far as backups go, I use both Mozy (well, maybe not for long if they can't fix this) and NovaBACKUP for my terra-firma backup to an external HDD. I'm a belt-and-suspenders type when it comes to backups; must be because I'm an old mainframe guy.

    Rob

  11. #10
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    I just use and always have, used Windows own system image and only ever had one fail, but use more than one external HDD as a fall back.

    The older version that is available would probably generate prompts for updates, but would have thought their newer version would have been available as a direct download, unless that is their starter version.

    When you install an OS - they don't come with the latest updates.

    Does the program have a check for updates facility ?

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    I just use and always have, used Windows own system image and only ever had one fail, but use more than one external HDD as a fall back.

    The older version that is available would probably generate prompts for updates, but would have thought their newer version would have been available as a direct download, unless that is their starter version.

    When you install an OS - they don't come with the latest updates.

    Does the program have a check for updates facility ?
    I should probably spend some time learning about Windows' built-in backup. I used to use NTBACKUP a million years ago; I liked its flexibility. When Microsoft removed the ability to run their backup tool to backup files at the file level (not a disk image) I went to third-party products. Having said that...I did hear back from Mozy; they want me to install a backleveled version of the program (was sent a direct link to the file) so I'll try that. The program does have a "check for updates" facility and I don't believe you can shut it off but it does prompt you to update the program and you can dismiss the prompt without updating.


    Rob

  13. #12
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    I've never used Windows Backup for file level - they go onto USB sticks.

    You may get the same error if you try to install that on top of your current version, so best to uninstall first.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    I've never used Windows Backup for file level - they go onto USB sticks.

    You may get the same error if you try to install that on top of your current version, so best to uninstall first.
    Ugh. The plot thickens. After uninstalling Mozy, I rebooted with Driver Verifier. This time, it complained about a Virtual Box network driver during reboot, so I did my system restore, uninstalled Virtual Box, set up Driver Verifier again and rebooted. This time, it complained about my Intel video driver during reboot. At this point I'm thinking that all of my drivers can't be having problems. The way I was setting up Driver Verifier was from a Microsoft blog that tells you to check-off every test except for DDI compliance checking and randomized low-resource simulation. A blog entry on tenforums tells you to only check I/O verification, force pending I/O requests and IRP logging. I set-up DV with just those seetings, rebooted. No problems. I then referenced a blog from another thread on this site (Sysnative) which has you checking-off these tests:

    Special Pool
    ▪ Force IRQL checking
    ▪ Pool Tracking
    ▪ Deadlock Detection
    ▪ Security Checks (new as of Windows 7)
    ▪ Miscellaneous Checks
    ▪ Power framework delay fuzzing (new as of Windows 8)
    ▪ DDI compliance checking (new as of Windows 8)

    I set up another DV test with those settings, rebooted, and no issues so far. My next step will be to reinstall Mozy and Virtual Box which may have been victims of too-aggressive testing with Driver Verifier (if that's even possible).

    Nothing's easy any more.

  15. #14
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    It sounds like you opened a can of worms - but don't forget, BSV and WC snagged Mozy for your BSOD so something must have been conflicting.

  16. #15
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    It sounds like you opened a can of worms - but don't forget, BSV and WC snagged Mozy for your BSOD so something must have been conflicting.
    Only because DV (with possible over enthusiastic settings) flagged it to call the crash.

    DV would not normally crash immediately on reboot, it usually takes some hours, maybe as much as 24 - 36 (much more than that gets into the false positive realms) to lean on and flush out a bad driver.

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