Blue screen crashes (during defrag) at stock speeds

By Zoatebix
May 1, 2008
  1. I've heard rumor and hearsay that this is the place to go for help with such things. Please help me get to the bottom of this!

    My computer, which I ran over-clocked without issue since June, within the last two or three weeks has started to crash on me. My first course of action was to run memtest86+. Even though I didn't get any errors, I returned the computer to stock speeds. When the problem persisted, my second course of action was to remove the resistor I had slowing my main exhaust fan. Temperatures at load improved significantly (especially chipset and PWMIC temps), but my computer still crashes.

    It seems that something is more permanently wrong.

    Here is the error code I wrote down: STOP: 0x0000009C
    (0x0000000000000004, 0xFFFFF80000123BC0, 0x00000000B2000000, 0x0000000000070F0F)

    Unfortunately, I have no dump file to share, at least not yet. Microsoft support article KB 130536 has led me to believe that I need to create a "minidump" subdirectory in my windows (%systemroot%) directory, since a dump file will not be written to a non-existent path. I have done so - when I crash again, hopefully I'll have a .dmp file to share. Originally, I only had a page-file on my secondary hard drive, the smaller Hitachi drive. I've since added a small (256MB) paging file to my boot drive in order to get a memory dump.

    I have my computer set to create small memory dump (128k). Should I increase the page file size on my C: drive and set it to do a Kernal dump instead?

    These are my system's specifications:
    • Operating System: Windows XP Profession x64 Edition service pack 2
    • Mother Board: DFI LanParty UT nF4 SLI-DR (04/06/2006 BIOS)
    • Chipset Cooling: Jing Ting JTS 0006, no fan.
    • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
    • CPU Cooling: Thermalright XP-90, 92mm Nexus Real Silent Case Fan
    • Memory: 2x1024MB Patriot PC3500LLK (PDC2G3500LLK)
    • Graphics: XFX GeForce 7800GT (factory over-clocked)
    • Graphics Cooling: Arctic Cooling NV Silencer 5 (Rev. 3)
    • Hard Drive 1: 200GB Western Digital CaviarSE WD2000JD 7,200RPM SATA
    • Hard Drive 2: 80GB Hitachi Deskstar 7K80 7,200RPM SATA
    • Optical Drive: Lite-On LH-20A1s SATA
    • Power Supply: Seasonic S12 500 Watt
    • Case: Antec P180 with three 120mm Yate Loon D12SL-12 fans (one at stock speed, two currently under-volted to 5V)
    The crashes occur in the middle of the night, when Diskeeper has various operations scheduled to run. As near as I can figure, there are a lot of things that could be wrong:
    • CPU or Cache failure, which pretty much mean its time for a new computer
    • Memory Failure. memtest86+ didn't return any errors, but I'm going to try again. In this case, I have the warranty to fall back on
    • Chipset or SATA controller failure - once again, new computer time
    • Hard Drive failure is easier to deal with, I suppose
    • Bad power from the wall or surge protector - what kind of UPS should I get to ensure I have clean power?
    • Power Supply failure: Seasonic makes good stuff, but nobody's perfect. What kind of digital multimeter should I buy, and how should I go about testing for this or for the above scenario?
    Advice and recommendations would be most appreciated.

    Thanks everyone,
    George Austin

    EDIT: Hitachi Drive Fitness Test and Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostic have found absolutely nothing wrong with either drive after full media tests, so I'm definitely focusing on CPU, memory, MB, and power issues.
  2. Zoatebix

    Zoatebix TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Shortly after I made my first post, I set the "Errata 94 Enhancement" option from Disabled to Auto. I was 99% sure that errata 94 didn't affect my processor, but I went for longer than two weeks without a hitch. Unfortunately, I crashed again last night. I was browsing in Firefox with maybe half a dozen tabs open and Diskeeper (10 Professional Premier build 608) was defragging, but my computer was not under any other load. My mouse responded sluggishly for a second, my screen froze for a few seconds, and then the blue screen appeared.

    I got the exact same stop code that I posted above and that I've received several times in the past. I still don't have a dump file even though the blue screen said "beginning dump of physical memory." I turned off my monitor, went to bed, and when I woke up the drive indicator light was still on and the screen still said "beginning dump of physical memory." I have Windows set to only make a small, 128K dump -there's no way that should have taken all night- so I finally reset my computer.and when Windows loaded there was no .dmp file anywhere to be found.

    Any help in diagnosing why my computer is crashing or why it isn't writing a memory dump will still be greatly appreciated.
  3. Zoatebix

    Zoatebix TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry: double post.
  4. Zoatebix

    Zoatebix TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've had my first crash in a while - sometime after 6:44 AM, according to my Folding at Home logs. I was pushing my computer pretty hard by rendering videos overnight and Folding. Diskeeper isn't scheduled to do anything at that time, but there's still a lot of disk activity involved with video rendering, so the nF4 chipset (or what's cooling it) hasn't been acquitted just yet.

    I still have my computer set to make a small memory dump (128K) and it still won't make one.
  5. Zoatebix

    Zoatebix TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm fairly certain that the problem was heat related - I haven't had a crash since dialing up my exhaust fan from 5 to 12 volts. I've changed a few things since then, too. I still have no idea why I couldn't get a memory dump to save my life.

    My new specs:
    Seasonic S12 500w Power Supply
    DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR (04/06/2006 BIOS)
    Thermalright HR-05 SLI/IFX with no fan (before that a fanless JTS-0006, before that a mangled Zalman)
    Antec P180 with 2 Yate Loon D12SL-12 fans
    AMD X2 3800+ dual core
    Thermalright XP-90 with Nexus Real Silent Case Fan
    2x1024MB Patriot PC3500LLK (PDC2G3500LLK) Infineon CE-5
    Asus Radeon HD 4850
    Accelero S1 Rev. 2 and Zalman ramsinks with no fan
    750GB Samsung F1
    Lite-On LH-20A1s SATA DVD+-RW Drive
    Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic (I had this before but didn't make note of it in my first post)
  6. Zoatebix

    Zoatebix TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Final update; one lingering question.

    I've been overclocked my CPU to 2750 MHz shortly after I made my last post, too, and I've been Blue Screen free.

    It's possible that something was not quite right with my nVidia graphics card, but I think heat is a more likely culprit.

    I still have no idea why my computer would not (and likely still won't) write a memory dump upon crashing. Any thoughts?
  7. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Memory dump is an option in Windows.

    Start -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Startup and Recovery -> Settings

    -- Andy
  8. Zoatebix

    Zoatebix TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks! I'm aware of that menu. As I said on May 1st:
    Presumably, the option says "128k" instead of "64k" like I've seen in other descriptions/screenshots because I'm using 64-bit Windows...
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