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Super BSOD of doom - a different message every time

By OutOnthepOrch
May 18, 2009
  1. Hi All,

    So I did my best to search and read up before posting, but I feel like my problem is becoming little overwhelming.

    I started getting BSOD's recently. I thought it was due to a piece of hardware I installed recently for music recording (a SIIG firewire 2 port card: siig.com/ViewProduct.aspx?pn=NN-E20012-S2). I took it out, and the blue screens stopped for about a day. Now they're back with a vengeance...can't keep windows up for 5-10 minutes without getting a BSOD.

    And the funny thing is (not funny "ha ha"), it's a different stop error message each time. I tried keeping track but I gave up after like the 3rd different one. I've had DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, MEMORY_MANAGEMENT, and I've had blue screens where there was an issue with the following drivers (all different blue screen instances): dxgmmsl.sys, tcpip.sys, win32k.sys.

    Over the past month I've purchased a new motherboard (gigabyte EP45-UD3P), CPU (Core2 quad), a new hard drive (Maxtor 1TB 32cache 7200), and a new video card (evga geforce 9800 gtx). The only thing that is over a year old is my RAM. Which brings me to my next finding...

    I've been running with two 2GB sticks of Patriot DDR2 800mhtz (pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2190). I ran memtest 86+ v 2.11, and oh snap, it came up with 728 errors after 2-3 passes (on hour into it). I thought, yikes, maybe this is a memory issue? I took one stick out and ran memtest again. This time, I got 5 errors on the first pass, 3 on the second, and none on the third and fourth pass. I rebooted into windows using just that one stick, and here I am. It's been about 15 minutes, and no bsod yet (knock on wood).

    I guess my questions are as follows:

    - Is it safe to say that all those random blue screens were due to my obviously corrupt RAM?

    - Am I OK to run windows with the "less corrupt" stick of RAM for awhile until I can buy new sticks? Or will I just make this stick MORE corrupt?

    - Does RAM get more corrupt as you run it longer without fixing it? (that could explain why the bsods were not very frequent at first, but then came every 5 minutes).

    Any help would be greatly, GREATLY appreciated. Also, I've had these issues using Win XP x86, Win Vista x64, and

    Win 7 x86 (currently using this OS)

    Thanks!

    Mike
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Spyder_1386

    Spyder_1386 TS Rookie Posts: 498

    Hi OutonthePorch

    I have not as yet looked at your minidumps and for the moment don't intend to. If you say that Memtest gave you errors, then that is usually a clear indication that the RAM needs replacing.

    If the stick that's currently in is in fact "less corrupt" as well, it means that it needs replacement too. You will be able to run your system with the less frequent BSODs without causing any more trouble (to the best of my knowledge) but I'm sure it will be just as irritating as before. As for the RAM getting worse - yes, this is very likely. You need to replace your sticks as soon as possible.

    Spyder_1386 :)
     
  3. OutOnthepOrch

    OutOnthepOrch TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey Spyder,

    I wanted to say thanks again for the help and input. I purchased some new RAM yesterday. I ran memtest on it as well as Windows Memory Diagnostic, and it came up with no errors/failures after 2 passes. Windows 7 apparently did not like the memory...after the Windows loading screen it just hangs at a black screen. I tried doing a Windows repair, but to no avail. I'm not too worried at this point, since I plan in reinstalling a) to get a fresh start, free from any damage the bad RAM may have caused, and b) to install x64 instead of x86.

    I just wanted to follow up and ask what exactly leads to memory going bad? I want to know which, if any, of the things I was doing with my computer specifically may have lead my sticks to go bad, or if it was just a bad brand (Patriot, I was under the assumption was a good brand. Corsair I know is good, which is why I went with them this time around).

    Some of the things I've been doing:

    - Two hard drives in my machine. One had Vista x64, one had windows XP (this drive had 2 partitions. I installed XP x86 on the smaller partition).
    - I was using my SIIG FireWire card to connect to my Buffalo 1TB external drive. I would run my ProTools sessions off this drive while in Windows XP
    - I had to use several devices for music recording, such as an MBox 2, M Audio Keystation, Korg NanoPad

    Those were on a regular basis. Another possibility (maybe more likely cause of the screwups) is the fact that I replaced the motherboard and graphics card. Maybe the RAM didn't like that?

    Anyways, I'm in no dire need of an immediate answer, I guess I just wanted to know as much as possible to prevent this from happening in the future. Although my RAM does have a lifetime guarantee, so I guess that's something. Thanks so much for the help!
     
  4. Spyder_1386

    Spyder_1386 TS Rookie Posts: 498

    RAM is extremely volatile. It's the piece of hardware most like to fail at some point or another in my view. There's nothing that you can really do about it going bad to be honest - maybe just taking good care of your HDD (defragments, cleanups etc) might be the most preventative measures. Sometimes, people buy a fresh out-of-the-box computer and the RAM is already broken lol. Since everything we do on the computer uses the RAM, it's prone for failure. The one thing (and probably the best option) you've done is purchase sticks with a lifetime warranty. This way, no matter what goes wrong with the RAM, you're covered. Read through some of the posts in the BSOD section of the forum and you'll see that you're one of thousands of users who've had issues with RAM so don't stress too much about it.

    If there's anything else you need, please do ask :)

    Spyder_1386 :)
     
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