TechSpot

Random, very frequent BSOD's

By David E
Dec 7, 2006
  1. Hello there, and thanks in advance for reading this post.

    I will start out with a little backstory. My computer was running fine until a little less than two years ago, when I had a fatal crash playing some first person shooter (I think it was Doom3). The crash started with the graphics artifacts forming on the screen, and a few seconds later the whole screen was filled with artifacts. A short while later the whole system hard crashed, and I figured that I had fried my graphics card. No big deal, my Radeon 9500 had served me well, and since I had been overclocking it quite a bit for all that time, I figured its time had just come.

    For some reason, after a reboot the computer worked fine, or so I thought, so I just kept on using that card for a bit, until more problems surfaced. I sometimes got similar artifacts to what I had gotten before, usually right after a reboot, and they would usually go away after a reboot as well, I probably should have gotten a new card immediately, but I didn't, and I ran the computer for about a week, or a week and a half. I also started to get frequent BSOD crashes. It has been a while, so I am not sure if they were IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL errors, but I assume they were. Eventually I caved in and got a new graphics card, a Geforce 6800GT, and I thought it would solve all of my problems.

    Unfortunately, it didn't. I never saw the graphics artifact problems again, but the crashes persisted, every few days at a random time, I would get a BSOD hard crash. I consulted my rather tech savvy friends about it, and they suggested I get a new motherboard, it might be my northbridge fan overheating. I did so, and got myself a new motherboard. I don't remember what my old motherboard was, but my new and current one is an ABIT AI7.
    Also of note is that I had been overclocking my processor a bit, from 2.4GHZ to 2.8GHZ. Sometime during this period of time I clocked it back down to normal speeds. It is a Pentium 4 2.4C GHZ processor.

    The new motherboard didn't seem to help at all either. Some friends suggested that it might be the PSU, so I got myself a new PSU. I can't remember what the old one was either, but the new one was a 470W Enermax PSU. The model is EG475P-VE. I was assured that it was more than enough power for my computer, my old PSU had only been 350W, I remember that much.

    The new PSU didn't help. At this point someone suggested that I get a new hard drive, I got myself a Western Digital 250GB hard drive, and for some weird reason, I just used it as storage at the time and didn't reinstall windows on it or anything, so of course that didn't help.

    I got pretty fed up with the whole situation, and didn't really want to throw more money at the problem. Pretty much the only things I had (and have) yet to replace were there CPU and the RAM, which probably should have been my first culprit, the RAM that is. I have 1GB of RAM, two 512MB sticks. I can't remember the brand right now unfortunately, but if it is important information I can open up my case to check it out. I haven't replaced my optical drives either but I kind of assume that they wouldn't be causing a problem like this.

    That was all over a year ago. Fast forward a few months. I had pretty much gotten used to living with the crashes, they only happened every couple days anyways. Sure, sometimes I got two crashes in a day, but sometimes I would go for a whole week without any crashes. Then, something happened, I can't remember what it was, but some crash got me fed up enough that I decided to wipe one of my hard drives of all data (At the time I had 2x120GB Western Digitals and 1x250GB Western Digital, and still do) and reinstall Windows on it. Which I did. I didn't have enough space to backup everything on the 250GB drive, which I really wish I had, because even though it is a longshot, I always kind of think that it might be one, or both of the 120GB drives that are faulty. I reinstalled Windows XP on one of the 120GB drives.

    I went about 5 hours before I crashed. And then I crashed again shortly after that.

    I thought reinstalling would either make it better or not help at all. It got worse. The crashes were down to a frequency of about 2-3 a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I very rarely went more than 2 days without a crash. Sometimes the computer would even crash back to back right when I got to the login screen. It has been about a year since then, and it has been very frustrating.

    Earlier tonight I had a very frustrating crash causing me to lose way more work than I should have lost (I should be used to saving my work frequently by now ;) ) so it kind of filled the meter and I just must get this problem fixed. That is why I turn to you.

    I researched similar problems quite a bit in the past, and although I don't really remember any specific solutions I was given, I know that nothing really worked so I always pretty much gave up. The crashes seem to be completely random. I could be playing an advanced 3D graphics game, I could be writing a word document or surfing the web, or the computer could be idling on the desktop and not running anything while I sleep. It really seems to be completely random.

    I read a few posts on various boards before writing this, and in most cases people are asked to post dumplogs. I turned on minidumps using some guide and I have a couple dumps attached with this post. 2 are new that happened tonight after crashes after I turned dumping on, 2 are older and I am not sure why they were in the minidump location.

    In the rar I have attached, the dump in the folder labelled "1" happened first tonight. I have no idea how to analyze dumps, but I gave it a go and found this in it: Probably caused by : ndisuio.sys
    I googled that file and ended up disabling Wireless Zero Configuration in Administrative Tools - Services according to someones advice.
    I didn't expect it to work, and it didn't. I crashed shortly thereafter, and the dumplog in the folder labelled "2" is the dump that resulted in that crash. That dump has a different file under "probably caused by" but I will let you all check that one out for yourselves. My internet didn't work after the crash so I ended up re-enabling Wireless Zero Configuration and then it worked again, so I don't know what my next dump will look like, which file it will have under "probably caused by" that is.

    I also seemed to have a few dumplogs from last January in the minidump directory for some reasons, and I attached one of those in the January folder. I can provide the others if you think they will help. They have the ndisuio.sys file mentioned, so I kind of assume I will get that file in my next dumps after enabling that. I also had one dump from September, not sure why that dump is the only one in between January and now, but oh well. It is completely different from the other dumps and I kind of assume that is an unrelated issue to the crashes, but I am no expert at this so I turn to all of you for help!

    Thanks again for reading all of this, it ended up being far too long but I thought I would try to give as much information about my situation as I could.

    With hopes of getting these damn crashes to stop,
    David.

    I forgot to attach the dumps, sorry.
    Here they are: www.internet.is/zydoran/debugs.rar

    Also, feel free to ask me about any information I might have left out, there is bound to be something I forgot to mention.

    Edit 2: I have attached a new minidump, as I thought, the "problem caused by" is back to ndisuio.sys.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. David E

    David E TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No ideas on what could help? :/
     
  3. cpc2004

    cpc2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,994

    One minidump is insuffiicient to find out the root cause. Attach the zip file of the minidumps here.
     
  4. David E

    David E TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Gotcha, here are some more minidumps that I have gotten since my first post, tell me if you need more, I have a few.

    Thanks for the help.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. cpc2004

    cpc2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,994

    It is software problem as most of the crashes have the same symptom. I search google there have only one exact hit and the problem is also handled by me. However the problem owner does not have feedback. I find PxHelp20.sys is installed at both systems. What is PxHelp20.sys? Maybe your windows are infected with virus or spyware.

    Stack Trace of your minidumps
    f458eb44 805331a1 0000000a 00000008 00000002 nt!KeBugCheckEx+0x19
    f458eb44 806bb888 0000000a 00000008 00000002 nt!KiTrap0E+0x2b5
    f458ebd0 806bb865 804f7258 84ef6590 84ef6550 hal!KeAcquireInStackQueuedSpinLock+0x18
    f458ebd4 804f7258 84ef6590 84ef6550 00000000 hal!KeAcquireInStackQueuedSpinLockRaiseToSynch+0x5
    f458ebf4 804ed4df 84ef6590 85b8e9b8 00000000 nt!KeInsertQueueApc+0x1e
    f458ec28 bad261e6 84ddc138 84fc8b10 84ef6550 nt!IopfCompleteRequest+0x1d7
    f458ec40 804eb171 86539550 00000000 806bb2cc ndisuio!NdisuioIoControl+0x1a4
    f458ec50 805644d2 84ef65c0 85b8e9b8 84ef6550 nt!IopfCallDriver+0x31
    f458ec64 805651f6 86539550 84ef6550 85b8e9b8 nt!IopSynchronousServiceTail+0x5e
    f458ed00 8055e288 00000180 00000000 00000000 nt!IopXxxControlFile+0x5a6
    f458ed34 805303c4 00000180 00000000 00000000 nt!NtDeviceIoControlFile+0x28
    f458ed34 7ffe0304 00000180 00000000 00000000 nt!KiSystemService+0xc9
    00c5fe54 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 SharedUserData!SystemCallStub+0x4
     
  6. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    Process name: PxHelper Device Driver for Windows or Px Engine Device Driver for Windows 2000/XP

    Product: PxHelp

    Company: VERITAS Software, Inc (www.veritas.com) or Sonic Solutions (www.sonic.com)

    File: PxHelp20.sys

    As you can see, the above is not a virus, but is part of the above legit software. Uninstall the software and see if your problems are solved. If they are, check for any updated versions and reinstall. If your problems return, permanently uninstall the software.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
     
  7. David E

    David E TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I do not have any software from either of those companies installed on my computer right now, at least I can't find any. I however deleted that PxHelp20.sys file and removed all references to it in my registry, I will see if that helps at all.

    Thanks for the help :)
     
  8. cpc2004

    cpc2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,994

    Compare the module list of this problem with yours and find out which software are installed at both systems. Your windows crashes with same the same symptom and it is sign of software errror (ie software error at device driver, M/B firmware, virus or spyware). Maybe it is firmware problem of your BIOS. What is the manufacturer and brand name of your m/b?
     
  9. David E

    David E TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am not sure what you mean by comparing the module list, do you mean the list of files like ntkrnlmp.exe kmixer.sys wdmaud.sys etc at the end of each log?

    I have scanned my computer for viruses/spyware and I found a couple and removed them. Also, it seems that removing PxHelp20.sys and the registry entries helped a lot. It might just be a coincidence, but I had one crash yesterday as opposed to 6 crashes the day before.

    My motherboard manufacturer is ABIT and the model is AI7. This is the one:
    http://www.abit-usa.com/products/mb/products.php?categories=1&model=147

    I highly doubt it is a problem with my motherboard because I have replaced motherboards since the problem started.

    Thank you.
     
  10. cpc2004

    cpc2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,994

    Hi,

    It is unlikely two different PC has same hardware error hence I believe it is a software error. If it is software problem, one non-Microsoft faulty device driver are installed at both PC. If it is software error of XP, I will find a lot of hits at Goggle. For this case, I can only find one hit. The firmware of the BIOS is also classified as software however I don't know the m/b manufacturer of another problem.

    Stack Trace of your minidumps
    f458eb44 805331a1 0000000a 00000008 00000002 nt!KeBugCheckEx+0x19
    f458eb44 806bb888 0000000a 00000008 00000002 nt!KiTrap0E+0x2b5
    f458ebd0 806bb865 804f7258 84ef6590 84ef6550 hal!KeAcquireInStackQueuedSpinLock+0x18 <-- crashed at Hardware Abstraction Layer and it occurs at most of your minidumps. The pattern is consistent and it is the sign of BIOS firmware problem.
    f458ebd4 804f7258 84ef6590 84ef6550 00000000 hal!KeAcquireInStackQueuedSpinLockRaiseToSynch+0x5


    Ntkrnlmp.exe, kmixer.sys and wdmaud.sy are part of XP, they are stable. You have to pay attention to SWLD23U.sys and PxHelp.sys because they are not owned by Microsoft.

    The good news, your windows is more stable than before. Attach the latest minidump here for further investigation.
     
  11. David E

    David E TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks very much for your analysis. Do you think I should try to get a more recent version of my motherboards firmware then?

    Here are the two dumps from the two crashes I have gotten since I cleaned out Pxhelp.sys.

    I just researched SWLD23U.sys a bit and it seems to be a driver related to my usb wireless adapter. When I think back I am pretty sure I got this adapter just before the crashes started happening because we were adding another computer to the household and decided to have the router next to the other computer, so I got this wireless adapter. I wonder if this could be the culprit?
     
  12. cpc2004

    cpc2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,994

    Hi,

    The last two system crashes have the exactly the same symptom. Pxhelp.sys is not the culprit. GEARAspiWDM.sys is the last module which exist at both PCs.

    ndisuio.sys is a process belonging to the NDIS User Mode I/O (NDISUIO) NDIS protocol driver which offers support for wireless devices. Maybe it is incompatible with SWLD23U.sys.
     
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