Random Vista BSOD

By breakthastatic
Jan 21, 2009
  1. Hello,

    I am having random BSOD crashes in vista. Seems to be occurring every couple of hours to every couple of days. Here's what I've done so far:

    Memtest+86 - ran overnight with no errors. around 13 passes I think.
    Prime95 - ran 15+ hours with no errors
    Furmark - ran for around 15 minutes. GPU maxed out at round 82 C
    Spinrite - disc checked out ok
    Windows chkdsk /r - no errors
    Updated chipset and graphics drivers

    Here are the system specs:

    Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L - F5 bios
    Intel QuadCore Q6600 2.4 GHz
    Western Digital 150 GB Raptor WD1500ADFD
    2x2 Gb OCZ Reaper HPC
    NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB
    some LG dvd burner
    380 Watt Antec PSU

    Here is the latest BSOD report:

    Problem signature
    Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
    OS Version: 6.0.6001.
    Locale ID: 1033

    Extra information about the problem
    BCCode: 3b
    BCP1: 00000000C0000005
    BCP2: FFFFF96000165AA5
    BCP3: FFFFFA6009D3D1B0
    BCP4: 0000000000000000
    OS Version: 6_0_6001
    Service Pack: 1_0
    Product: 256_1

    I've done a little debugging. WinDbg seems to be blaming several different main windows components. I don't know how to dig deeper to find the underlying root of the problem. I've attached the last five minidumps. Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    Yeah, your right, there were several different errors: 0x7E, 0x24, 0xC2, 0x1E, and 0x3B.

    All but one gave a core Windows driver and that one is the 1E and believe it or not it cites memory corruption as the cause and from my experience bad RAM can create all kinds of BSOD error codes. I know you ran memtest for 13 passes so my question is are you overclocking at all?

    Also, Ntfs.sys came up twice: 0x24: NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM and is defined as...

    A problem occurred within NTFS.SYS, the driver file that allows the system to read and write to NTFS file system drives. There may be a physical problem with the disk, or an Interrupt Request Packet (IRP) may be corrupted. Other common causes include heavy hard drive fragmentation, heavy file I/O, problems with some types of drive-mirroring software, or some antivirus software.

    They suggest running ChkDsk or ScanDisk as a first step; then disable all file system filters such as virus scanners, firewall software, or backup utilities. Check the file properties of NTFS.SYS to ensure it matches the current OS or SP version. Update all disk, tape backup, CD-ROM, or removable device drivers to the most current versions.

    The other was 0xC2: BAD_POOL_CALLER

    A kernel-mode process or driver incorrectly attempted to perform memory operations. Typically, a faulty driver or buggy software causes this. In your case the ntfs.sys again.

    1. I know you used spinrite to test your disk but have you used Western Digital's own utility to do a full harddrive diagnostics?

    2. If you are overclocking try easing back on your timings, etc. Have you tried running with one stick at a time?

    3. Scan for any infections.

    * As a side note, but I am wondering if your PSU is supplying enough "juice." Then again there is always debate on how much wattage a system really needs. Just a thought.
  3. breakthastatic

    breakthastatic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the quick response. So it seems I should start focusing on the hard drive. No I have not run Western Digital's hard drive diagnostics. I'll get on that ASAP and let you know. No overclocking at all, at least not any intentionally. I'll double check all the BIOS settings. Here's the info from the ntfs.sys file:

    File Version: 6.0.6001.18000
    Product name: Microsoft Windows Operating System
    Product Version: 6.0.6000.16386
    Size: 1.46 MB

    Don't think there are any disc utilities running. I did try the page file reset that a TechSpot post recommended (set pagefile to 0 and defrag drive and then reenable pagefile). So the drive should be defragmented. Last virus scan came up clean but I'll update definitions and run again. Maybe I'll try a different program.

    No I haven't tried running 1 stick at a time. I'll try that after the next BSOD I suppose. Think it's worth trying a different hard drive? I think I have an old one sitting around.

    As far as the PSU, that crossed my mind, but I only have one hard drive and one 120 mm fan. I did some PSU wattage calculators and 380 should be plenty of juice. How likely is it that irregular voltage from a PSU will throw blue screens, keep in mind the computer is creating good memory dumps each time and is restarting perfectly.
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    I wouldn't think about using another harddrive until the results of the HD diagnostics are known. I wouldn't do any less of a test than the Long DST which will take time but well worth it. I just did a diagnostics on my laptop hd and it passed both the S.M.A.R.T. and Short DST twice, but failed the Long DST twice. Bottom line: I purchased a new hd; that's why I believe in running the Long Test.

    Did you use a digital multimeter to test your wattage output? Just curious.
  5. breakthastatic

    breakthastatic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm running the extended test from Western Digitals Data LifeGuard program. It runs in windows though...don't know how much I trust that. It appears that Long DST test you refer to is part of SeaTools. I just downloaded the DOS version, and I'll run it next. Hopefully it doesn't care I have a Western Digital drive.

    No I haven't tested the PSU with a DMM yet. Although Everest can read voltages, at least what the motherboard reports, and things looked good. I doubt my crappy DMM will have the precision to detect any problems from the PSU.
  6. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    The last dump cited win32k.sys as probable cause and it was associated with logon.scr with 0x3B flag.

    The 0x3b = SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION = an exception was generated by a system service during its move into kernel code territory.

    I cannot find any precedent for the two in combination thru Google, although there are MANY win32k.sys entries.

    If these are ALL recent BSOD's, how about a System Restore?
  7. breakthastatic

    breakthastatic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Unfortunately BSODs have plagued this computer from its conception. It was a home-build, completed probably 6 months ago. I'm not quite sure, a friend of mine built it. I've got minidumps going farther back if anyone wants to look at them. I'll post them after I get out of the hard drive diagnostics.

    Also it might be helpful to know that a complete reformat and Vista re-install didn't change anything.
  8. breakthastatic

    breakthastatic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok so the hard drive passed both the Western Digital and Seagate test in the extended tests. On the way back into Vista I stopped by the BIOS and checked the settings. Nothing was over-clocked. All of the voltage and frequency control adjustments were set to auto. Here is the run down of settings I was unsure about or thought relevant to the problem. I also included some voltages and temps.

    SMART - enabled
    No-Execute Memory Protect - enabled
    CPU enhanced halt (C1E) - enabled
    CPU EIST Function
    Virtualization Technology - Enabled

    SATA AHCI mode - disabled
    SATA PORT0-1 Native Mode - Enabled
    onboard IDE controller - Enabled

    ACPI Suspend Type - S3(STR)
    HPET Support - Enabled
    HPET Mode - 32 bit mode

    Vcore - 1.332 V
    DDR18V - 2.192 V
    +3.3V - 3.344 V
    +12V - 12.429 V
    CPU Temp - 42 C

    Any suggestions on things that should be changed?

    I've also attached 20 new minidumps if anyone is up for looking at them.

    Thanks for all the help!
  9. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    2 minidumps that are 0xC2 and they cite NTFS.sys

    1 minidump that is 0x0000001E: KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED

    The Windows kernel detected an illegal or unknown processor instruction. A Stop 0x1E condition can be caused by invalid memory and access violations and it cites the core driver ntkrnlmp.exe.

    1 minidump that is 0x3B and cites the core driver win32k.sys

    5 minidumps that are 0x3B citing core driver ntkrnlmp.exe

    Have you tried the default settings for your motherboard?

    Have you tried running chkdsk /r?
  10. breakthastatic

    breakthastatic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, I've performed a chkdsk /r. It came up ok.

    The computer is currently up and running right now. After the next blue screen I'll try removing one of the memory sticks and defaulting the motherboard settings. I'm waiting since I haven't had a blue screen since I did the page file refresh. Also I ran all those disc utilities and defragmented. I'm not getting my hopes up though.
  11. breakthastatic

    breakthastatic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well its been 48 hours up and running. So far so good. I ended up downloading the manual to check the default settings for the BIOS. Turns out this model gigabyte motherboard likes to default to "TURBO" performance mode. That sounds like some sort of overclocking to me, so I set the board back to "STANDARD". Can't believe I didn't catch that earlier. I also need to go back in and change the HPET value to 64 bits. Its some sort of precision timer for Vista. Although I haven't changed that yet, and the computer seems to be running well with it in 32-bit mode. I'm going to let the computer run until I'm satisfied it's stable. If it blue screens before that I'll take the recommendation to run on 1 stick of memory. Thanks for all your help guys.
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