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Help request: mystery bsod

By rshafer
Nov 21, 2008
  1. [solved!] Help request: mystery bsod

    This is a humble plea for assistance.

    Since I reformatted and installed xp sp3 (after replacing a faulty psu), I have experienced periodic bsod's, an average of 1-2 a day.

    They occur at seemingly arbitrary points and are I've had no success in replicating any of them. I noticed that they occur a lot when I have multiple system-hog programs open. However, I tried to replicate this by opening every program I had and it ran fine.

    Last week, I experienced maybe 1 bsod and within the last 2 days, they've become much more frequent. I havn't installed any new software/hardware.

    I've been logging every stop code experienced: 7A, 50, 0A, and (most common) 8E & 7F.

    At this point, I'm leaning towards faulty ram as the cause. However, I ran (each separately overnight) memtest, memtest86+, and prime95. All of which detected no errors!

    I read the faq and did all that it asked: inspected/cleaned dust, monitored system temp, reset page files. I don't know what else to do at this point, besides seek the wisdom of those who know more than I do.

    Specs:
    Abit IC7-G
    P4 3.0ghz
    2gb pc3200 ddr400 ram (2x 512 kingston valueram and 1x crucial 1gb)
    bfg geforce 7300gt 512 agp
    antec earthwatts 430w psu
    XP SP3

    Attached are my last 5 minidumps.
    Please let me know if more information would be of help!
     
  2. Cybelex

    Cybelex TS Rookie Posts: 46

    Random errors like that are due to a bad drive, bad memory, or overheating, most likely. The dump files will be uninformative in those cases since the root of the problem is not the system OS.

    Start by testing memory.

    MemScope (Floppy and CD images.)
    Microsoft Memory Test (floppy or CD ISO image)
    Memtest86

    If you have enough memory sticks, you can test them by removing one at a time and see if the problem disappears.
     
  3. rshafer

    rshafer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've run most every memory diagnostic program overnight: memtest86, memtest86+ , windows memory diag, prime95 and just now finished running Memscope for about 10 hours; I havn't recieved a single error message using these programs.

    Would this imply that I am dealing with a bad drive? Is there a recommended method to analyze drives?

    Thanks for your help! I'm going to continue to run memory tests.
     
  4. rshafer

    rshafer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Update:

    At this point, after running Seatools in addition to nearly every memory diagnostic tool and never receiving a single error, I'm beginning to think that I am dealing with a faulty power supply. It would make sense, since these problems started when I initially installed it. I sent out an RMA and hopefully this nightmare will be over in 4-6 business days.
     
  5. Cybelex

    Cybelex TS Rookie Posts: 46

    Good luck. Let us know, please, since someone else may have the same problem.
     
  6. rshafer

    rshafer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, I'll definitely keep you posted.

    I'm still waiting on the RMA-d psu but it should arrive soon.
    I used Everest's stress test and it reported hardware failures when I stressed either the cpu or the memory. Hopefully this is due to a faulty psu and my cpu isn't the problem. I'm still getting bsod's 1-2 times a day (almost always 0x08E).
     
  7. rshafer

    rshafer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Still waiting on Frys to deliver that psu (thanks DHL...).
    In the meantime, I got some replacement RAM modules and the crashes didn't stop. So I can rule out the memory.

    The only likely culprit at this point is the psu but I am unsure if it even has the power to cause problems like this. Furthermore, is there any way to test if the psu is faulty? I recorded all of the voltages from the bios menu (watched it for about 5 minutes to get an accurate range). Does this look like a faulty power supply? Or is there a better way to identify if it's broken?

    CPU Voltage: 1.50-1.52v
    DDR Voltage: 2.57v
    DDR VTT: 1.28-1.29v
    AGP VDDQ: 1.53v
    ATX 3.3v: 3.23v
    +5v: 4.91v
    +12v: 11.85-11.91v
    battery +3v: 3.28-3.29v
    standby +5v: 4.87-4.89v


    Any ideas would be very appreciated.
     
  8. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    What exactly happened with the original power supply? If there was a surge, it may have damaged the mobo. The other thing I don't see you having mentioned is the BIOS. Even if it is the latest one, there is always the possibility that it may have gotten corrupted. I had an IC7 and I'd get BIOS corruption often, especially when pushing the envelope for OCing. I'd re-flash it just to be sure. DHL SUCKS! I feel your pain. They sometimes pick it up then send it snail mail for the less bulky items. Be looking for the post man and not the yellow truck. Also disconnect the ROMS and switch around the cables and IDE connectors although bad ROMS in my experience slow the system down, but rarely create BSOD storms. Good luck with all that. Hope the new PSU does the trick.
     
  9. rshafer

    rshafer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    luvhuffer - that's a good question. the original psu was destroyed by a careless housemate tripping over the cord, pulling the cord partially out of the input on the psu. Popping noises and smells of burning a plenty. I really should have mentioned this right off the bat, I don't know why I didn't think of this as important. I guess I assumed that the damage was contained entirely within the psu which is not the case. In the event of a surge, can hdd's and pci components be harmed as well?

    I recently flashed the bios with the most updated version, but I will again just in case it's due to corruption. At this point, I fear it may be physical damage that's the problem. Is there a good way to check a motherboard for damage (besides looking for burn marks and bloated caps)?

    If this is all due to motherboard damage, it'll be a great excuse to give my 5 year old system a serious upgrade. That'll be a happy ending to this whole thing!

    Thanks very much for your insight
     
  10. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    There's not a whole lot you can do to see if something got fried. I'd first look around the 20 pin connector and remove the board from the case and examine the bottom to see if there's any burn marks. Look at your chips as well for damage.
     
  11. rshafer

    rshafer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yup. Here we are. There are definitely burn marks here around the 20pin. I think you've solved the mystery here! Looks like I have no other choice but to upgrade my machine :) .

    Thanks so much for your help! If it weren't for you guys I'd still be running memtest while pulling my hair out. You rule! Thank you!!
     
  12. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    Glad we could help. The good news is there are probably a lot of really good deals out there right now. Have a nice holiday!
     
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