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BSOD likely from Driver Fault, but which one? What to do?

By Nrbelex · 26 replies
Mar 26, 2007
  1. Hi all,
    Ever since I purchased my Asus W3J (T7200, ATI Mobility X1600), I've been plagued by BSOD casued by no particular action and at completely random times and intervals. Suspecting the RAM, I replaced it (despite making it through many passes of memtest) but no dice, the problem persisted. The Windows Error Reporter tells me I have a driver problem and running my minidumps through Windb tells me the same thing but they rarely get more specific than that. I occasionally am told that my video driver is at fault but I've upgraded it every time a new one is available and have tried the Omega Drivers as well to avail. I've tried updating virtually every other driver as well since I can't be sure it's the video driver. Writing this very post somehow caused a BSOD so I've been forced to switch to my faithful Linux backup computer for the time being. Since the T7200 can support it, I think I may try to install Vista 64-bit and hope that a new set of drivers will resolve the problem. Is this likely? The three most recent Minidumps will be attached as soon as I can get the other computer running long enough to edit this post.

    ~ Brett

    Attached Files:

  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

    When you have done Windb do you continue on to the kd> space at the bottom for further analysis by typing !analyze -v and then press enter to get detailed bugging information?

    I have found that zeros me right to the driver causing the issue.

    Edited Update: I read your minidumps and the two from 3/11 and 3/24 point to the ntkrpamp.exe and the one on 3/26 is due to win32k.sys. From what I have been reading, some from the archives of Tech Spot itself, 80% of it points to faulty RAM. Do a MemTest86+ for at least 10 passes to see if you have any memory errors.

    Others here have greater knowledge than I, but if you have bad memory that can cause all kinds of headaches.
  3. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I have and that's what gives me the Driver Fault errors and how I know it's not Windows itself or the Virus scanner as it appears at first glance.

    Originally, I too though that was the problem but even after doing a very long memtest, getting no errors and replacing the original RAM, I still get the errors.

    Thoughts are appreciated!
    ~ Brett
  4. mikescorpio81

    mikescorpio81 TS Rookie Posts: 292

    I suggest you download and install this free version of BurnInTest. It will touch on all major hardware installed on your PC.

    Download it here: http://www.passmark.com/download/bit_download.htm

    Note which one it fails on and post back :grinthumb
  5. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I ran the 15 minute test twice and got no errors on either one...

    ~ Brett
  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74


    Lets try to do it this way:

    1. Give us your system specs, i.e., OS, mobo, cpu, type and amount of RAM, and powers supply unit with make, model, and wattage.

    I am wondering if you are having issues with your power supply because if they go a psu can cause tons of issues just like faulty RAM. I don't think BurnInTest will catch a faulty PSU.

    2. Other than changing your video card and swapping RAM to see if that would correct your issues, did you do any other modifications to your PC? Edit Update: I wonder if it could be your RAM timing. Did you overclock?

    I am wondering if you got a bad video card? Do you have an old card to swap out to see if the BSoDs stop?

    3. List your anti-virus, spy- or malware, and firewall softwares that you are running. The reason I ask is because when I built my new 939 system last May it wasn't too long after it was running that I was getting BSoDs.

    Conventional truth is that they are overwhelmingly caused by a hardware driver conflict -- and that is correct. I thought I narrowed my issue down to either my mouse or my soundcard.

    It was here at this sight that someone kindly read my minidump at is was my Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall that was the culprit. So it can be a software driver conflict.

    Let us know.

    -- Jim
  7. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    The computer is an Asus W3J laptop. Any changes from stock are marked in red.

    I have not swapped the video card itself, only the many iterations of drivers which have been released for it. My Anti-virus is the standard Symantec Corporate Anti-Virus along with the Windows firewall and frequent use of Spybot, Ad-aware and CCleaner.

    Thanks again,
    ~ Brett
  8. peterdiva

    peterdiva TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,086

    One of the dumps crashes at IRQL 1c (IRQL 28), which is almost always a hardware problem. See post #5 of this THREAD for a list of confirmed cases.

    BugCheck 1000000A, {8adba254, 1c, 1, 805022de} <-- IRQL 1c
    Probably caused by : ntkrpamp.exe ( nt!KiUnlinkThread+e )
  9. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I'm having trouble deciphering that post. When you say a "hardware problem", do you mean a component itself or could it be the interaction with hardware through its driver? Having a bad component would really ruin my day...

    ~ Brett

    P.S. - Will attach more minidumps as they become available.
  10. samulcahy

    samulcahy TS Rookie

    If you really think it's a driver problem, you might want to try verifier. (Run "verifier" from command prompt). I had never used this until recently when it helped me identify a cdrom driver (of all things) as the cause of a BSOD.
  11. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

    peterdiva really helped me with my BSoDs and was able to point me to the fact that it was my firewall causing the crashes.

    Reading the link it seems that a high percentage of the fault lies with a hardware component: CPU, motherboard, or power supply unit. You've ruled out memory with MemTest though MemTest is not 100% fool proof. By the way, when you ran MemTest how many passes did you allow?

    It could be that new video card of yours because if I read your posts correctly these BSoDs didn't occur until you bought the video card, correct?

    Again, put the old card in and see what happens.

    One other thing, has your temperature increased significantly since this upgrade?
  12. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Right, but is the problem physical within the hardware itself or could it be the driver communicating between the hardware and the OS? Is there any chance that using Vista 64-bit and all new 64-bit drivers would resolve this? When I ran memtest, it was for well over the recommended amount of time - almost 2 straight days worth of passes. Even after that I replaced the RAM anyway just to be safe.

    The video card is not new - it is stock for this laptop. Sorry if I wasn't clear. I obviously cannot swap in an old card since it was not an upgrade. Aside from the RAM, the only other upgrade was the processor which came upgraded from the reseller and is in the exact same thermal envelope as the original - I went from a T5500 to a T7200. I don't have the old card to try since the upgrade was performed by the reseller. The BSOD have occurred since day one.

    Thanks for the help guys,
    ~ Brett

    P.S. - New minidumps to be added to this post imminently.
  13. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

    I highly doubt moving to Vista 64 is the answer because you are having hardware issues, not OS issues.

    Two of your latest minidumps read NDIS.sys and the other Tosrfhid.sys. From what I could research it could very well be a bad network, NIC card. In fact one of the Debugging reads mentions explorer.exe in the mix.

    The other one I could not get a grasp on even with a Google search. Edit Update: The one thing I keep coming up with on the Tosrfhid.sys is that it has to do with a Toshiba Blue Tooth Netwok card. You have listed a Blue Tooth card. Could it be even though it is an Asus laptop??
    So far you got two dumps with ntkrpamp.exe, two with NDIS.sys, one win32k.sys, and one Tosrfhid.sys.

    I'll keep trying.
  14. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I agree but it's really the 64-bit drivers I'm after, not the OS. Maybe by moving to newer/different drivers, my problem will be solved... at least that's my current thinking. I appreciate all the work people have put in to figuring this out!

    ~ Brett
  15. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Yea, It's a Toshiba bluetooth card so I have to use the Toshiba bluetooth stack... unfortunately. I would prefer something more mainstream. I'll see if I can find a newer driver for it or if a reinstall of the stack will change anything.

    ~ Brett

    Update: I had the most recent driver/stack but I'm currently doing a fresh download and reinstall anyway.
  16. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Hmm... here's what I did:

    1. Opened a command prompt and started the verifier.
    2. Selected both verified and unverified drivers
    3. Restarted
    4. The computer restarted very slowly and as Windows loaded, I got a BSOD I'd never seen before which read:

    Later it gives
    *** STOP: 0x000000C4 (0x0000003c, 0x0000067c, 0x8A5G4900, 0x00000000)

    Now whenever I restart the computer, it loads extremely slowly and throws up a BSOD with the exact same error...

    Help is appreciated!

    ~ Brett

    Edit: The only way I can boot into my computer now without that same BSOD is through safe mode. In safe mode, when I run my minidumps through Windbg, I get "SPBBCDrv.sys" as the cause (which is apparently my Symantec Antivirus) or the inability to analyze the dump. My next attempt will be to uninstall the virus scanner... wish me luck.

    Edit 2: I can now control and reproduce my problem at will which means I think I've got it figured out :-D. First off, a big shout out to samulcahy for introducing me to the verifier and everyone else for working me through the issue. Using the verifier (and some playing around in safe mode), I was able to pin down the faulty process/driver to "SPBBCDrv.sys" which always caused a crash upon loading. After uninstalling Symantec completely, I was able to boot normally without a crash with the verifier still running. Reinstalling Symantec reintroduced the problem. What this means is that the edition of Symantec my University gives out is, for some reason, incompatible with my computer (and only my computer?). Since my school requires Symantec to access their wireless network from Windows computers, my current plan is to eventually switch to Vista and hope that the Vista edition of Symantec is sufficiently different from this version that it doesn't cause any problems. Until then I think I can get by without a virus scanner and by using a wired connection. In general anti-virus programs seem to do more harm than good anyway. Again, major thanks to everyone who helped me figure this out. I'll post back in a month or so to confirm that the issue is resolved. Attached are some recent minidumps I used in the diagnosis. Lemme know if you concur. Thanks!
  17. samulcahy

    samulcahy TS Rookie

    I'm just glad I could help. And to think I just learned about verifier this week :) I don't understand why these Windows tools aren't better publicized. Lord knows we can use all the help we can get....
  18. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    ... bad news... random BSOD... running the verifier again... sigh...

    ~ Brett
  19. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

    Can you post Minidump of your last crash?

    Yes, your latest dumps point to the same: SPBBCDrv.sys which is Symantec. But your previous dumps have also been of various kinds.

    As peterdiva posted earlier your one dump points to a hardware issue. One of the dumps I read points to the Toshiba Blue Tooth Network Card.

    You've already done a very long MemTest and the results were zero errors. You can switch to Vista and that might rectify the issue, but if hardware is bad you'll get Vista with bad hardware.
  20. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    It's true that my previous dumps were all different, but once the verifier was running, things became more consistent, that is if I'm using it properly. For the first one I got, the minidump is useless but I'll post it anyway. After that one I started the verifier back up and happily got another BSOD which I guess it picked up and is reporting as "ati3duag.dll". That one's also attached. So I guess this narrows it down to either a bad video driver (unlikely since I've tried at least 5 and they all give produce a BSOD) or a bad video card...

    ~ Brett

    Edit: Also, coincidentally, a new driver for the video card came out today so I'll give it a shot but keep the verifier running.

    Edit 2: Just got a crash with the new driver. Minidump attached. The Windows error reporter says:

    Edit 3: Another error like the one above. Minidump attached.

    Edit 4: Yet another error. Minidump attached.
  21. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    And one more (with minidump posted) for good luck. I've turned off the verifier since crashes are happening so frequently with it on that I can't get anything done.

    ~ Brett
  22. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

  23. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Just so everyone can learn from experience, I had the video card changed nad haven't noticed the problem since. Thanks for all your help.

    ~ Brett
  24. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

    Out of curiosity, did you try to change your video card driver first? Thanks for checking in and letting us know. :)
  25. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Many, many times :).

    ~ Brett
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