BSODs often when doing some things

By seeeph · 25 replies
Apr 28, 2012
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  1. Hello.
    My computer was a big mess last month. It was taking a lot to load and it was extremely slow for it's setups. Finally, windows corrupted. I had an HDD which was 7 years old by then, and contained my main windows XP system, but unfortunately it was a completely loss. I threw it away and began to use my SATA only, which had no problems. But since I didn't have a CD/DVD drive I had to install with the HD on another computer - knowing the risks - and it turned out to be almost ok. I had some problems with the windows installation but thought I had fixed them. Okay, a lot happened and I couldn't fix it.

    The weird on the problem is that it wouldn't happen when I was playing games. Not even games with pretty decent graphics, for example League of Legends and Half-Life 2. But, if I started watching videos, it would give BSODs. Also when installing stuff, or doing too much stuff at once. But not when playing, even for hours.

    So I made an USB installation over it. I didn't format my drive, just installed it. It hade some errors but finished without much problem. Installed fresh drivers and, here I am, still getting BSODS.
    They are, most commonly:

    IRQL_DRIVER_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (most of the time with realtek HD audio drivers, which I had installed, uninstalled and reinstalled more than thrice).

    Or, sometimes, with a random .sys file.

    I also checked the temp and it usually stays around 30-40°C, I don't think there is much of a problem there, even if my computer sometimes says that my previous overclocking settings have failed.

    I'm hoping this is something related to the windows XP, BIOS settings or software related, since it was working fine with the old installation.
    I know for sure that this isn't an HD or RAM problem, so...

    My motherboard is a MS-7518.
    Processor ir Pentium DUAL CORE E5200
    3GB of ram, DDR2, 800MHZ frequency
    Operational system is WINDOWS XP 32 BITS SP3

    Attached Files:

  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    When we see your symptoms + the various error codes experience has shown us that the issue is with corrupted memory especially with PFN_LIST_CORRUPT which is the strongest code we have that indicates bad RAM

    I read your five most recent dump files and corrupted memory was specifically cited as the cause of your issues. First, see if your RAM is seated properly. Second, see if stability returns by running just two sticks of RAM. Your motherboard manual should show you the correct configuration. If you don't have the manual you should be able to find it online.

    If the above doesn't help resolve your issue then we want you to run Memtest on your RAM.

    1. Go to and download the latest ISO version which is 4.20. It is free and perfectly safe.

    2. Burn ISO to a CD.

    3. Place CD in your drive and reboot with CD in drive. (You might have to place your drive as first bootable in your BIOS) The test will take over.

    There is a Tutorial: How to use Memtest in our Guides and Tutorials forum; follow the instructions. There is a newer version than what is listed; use the newer. If you need to see what the Memtest screen looks like go to reply #21. The third screen is the Memtest screen.

    Step1 - Let it run for a LONG time. The rule is a minimum of 7 Passes (not hours; this test is not measured by hours); the more Passes after 7 so much the better. The only exception is if you start getting errors before 7 Passes then you can skip to Step 2.

    There are 8 individual tests per Pass. Many people will start this test before going to bed and check it the next day.

    If you have errors you have corrupted memory and it needs to be replaced.

    Step 2 – Because of errors you need to run this test per stick of RAM. Take out one and run the test. Then take that one out and put the other in and run the test. If you start getting errors before 7 Passes you know that stick is corrupted and you don’t need to run the test any further on that stick.

    * Get back to us with the results.
  3. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    First of all, thanks for your answer. After much research, before posting here, I was almost sure it was RAM. The reason I thought it wasn't was because I actually changed the stick. Can it be my MOBO RAM controller? If so, is there any sure ways to check it? I remember reseating my old 2GB stick on both jacks. Thanks for reading my minidumps, since my RAM sticks are to blame for sure, I'll do more checks with both jacks and sticks. I will also check my MOBO's manual.

    I can't actually run MEMTEST. I'm out of CD/DVD drive as I had stated on my first post. I have, indeed, tried to run it when my OS was working fine and it couldn't run, stating errors. But how come I could still play games and so almost anything, except watching videos or installing big stuff, or somethings when listening to music?

    Since my XP installation was pretty much screwed up I formatted my HD. It is now BSOD'ing when trying to install 7. I will try all kinds of tests within my reach on the sticks, and mainly try to run only with the new one to check if it's my old stick. I hope not.

    I recently bought another stick, 1 GB ram, DDR2 800MHz. My old stick was, afaik, 2GB DDR2 and 800mhz as well. I can tell for sure it was DDR2 and 2GB.
    I will try to clean it with a soft pencil and white rubber on sticks to see if it solves the problem. Thanks in advance.
  4. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    I don't know how to edit but I meant I was going to clean my ram and jacks with a soft BRUSH (not pencil) and a white rubber/eraser. It's funny because people always say that the eraser needs to be white and a soft brush and et cetera, I had cleaned it with a green eraser and a toothbrush for the jacks and I thought that was enough, so I assumed it wasn't ram. Did it now with the white eraser and soft brush, made sure my frequencies were both 800 MHZ and everything went fine. Everything SEEMS to be solved but it just froze a while ago, though it didn't pop any BSODs I realized that it used to happen sometimes even on XP.
    For now it's solved, I appreciate much your help. I was about to change every single thing on my PC because a bad check made it seem that RAM was not the problem and a bad seat, much less.

    For some reason I can edit this post but not my last one, lol.
    So, even while doing a lot of things everything seems fine. I think the problem is really solved. Thank you very much!
  5. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    EDIT: Problem is still on.

    Win 7 is somewhat corrupted or having some hardware incompatibility or something like that. I'm running right now with only the new stick of ram and it should be fine, still having issues. BSODs and such. So the problem wasn't really on the stick. Can it be on the RAM Controllers or my MOBA?

    I can post my latest minidumps with only the new stick or something, if needed.
    There is also some kind of memory tester or something on win 7 disk or f8 prompt if I recall correctly. I can also use that.
  6. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    I have also noticed my computer gives a short beep when starting. I cannot assure but I think if I put both sticks, it gives two beeps.

    Am I screwed?
  7. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Is there any reason why I can't edit my previous posts? Can a moderator put them together, please? I don't mean to bump everytime but I just tested my memory with win7 memory diagnosis tool and it reported:

    The Windows Memory Diagnostic tested the computer's memory and detected no errors, I'm just running with my new RAM but why am I still getting BSODs and corrupted downloads?

    Can I also assume that my other stick of RAM is fine? I'm really missing the 2 GB.
  8. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Since everytime I log off and on I need to start a new post, I will try to make it the last before you post an answer. I ran the Memory Diagnostic again and it reported errors on my other stick, the old one is really damaged it seems.
    Since I installed windows with him, I will try to reinstall windows now only with the one that appears to be without problem and see if it does. If it doesn't, I will come back here. Thanks in advance.
  9. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Corrupted RAM will cause all kinds of headaches for your system. I would also suggest you run a hard drive diagnostics to make sure your hard drive has integrity.

    In addition, I would suggest a Windows Repair rather than a full install.

    * By the way, great work on your part. :D
  10. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Sorry, I didn't mean to post here again but my problem is not solved.
    I'm gonna post minidumps when I get home, but I'm still getting BSODs. I haven't disabled auto-restart so I could only see it was something NTFS.sys related. Still, when trying to reinstall 7, a MEMORY_MANAGEMENT bsod would pop.

    The 1gb stick, the only one I'm using, is indeed a Kingston DDR2 800MHZ 1.8v (though it doesn't work fine on 1.8v, safe settings are 1.9~1.95. Any pointers?
  11. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Sorry for too many posts. Everytime I log off and on I can't edit my previous posts, as I said.
    So, read this post only if you wanna know my problems ATM.
    So far:
    Posted here. Already suspecting of RAM, changed my old 2gb stick. Didn't solve, so I cleaned them up. Seemed to be solved, w7 installation went fine, but ALL DOWNLOADS seemed to be corrupted, no matter the size. Also, PC did freeze a few times, though with much less frequency and I could do pretty much anything.
    Researched about it, and it seems it could be either an installation problem or hardware incompatibility. Tried to reinstall, no luck (didn't try to repair, though. Will try when I get home). Some people have reported that this problem was solved after removing one bad (or, sometimes, not really bad, used to work on XP) stick. So I tried to remove it and boot normally. Still, the same problem remained, and even worse, BSODs would pop easier. Also, that confused me more, since my old RAM reported a problem and my new RAM didn't, I thought removing it would solve the problem. Tried it on BOTH JACKS, also made sure not much dust or debris is over my MOBO.
    Tested several frequencies and BIOS settings. Correct me if I'm wrong, but my settings should be FSB and RAM around 800MHZ, 12.5, 1.85~2.00 memory voltage. I don't know much about other settings.

    There is a new info that I think MIGHT BE related. Even though it was AFTER bsods began, on my XP, BEFORE it's corruption, I flashed my BIOS to see if that would solve the problem. It was on 2.1 version, I flashed it to 2.2. It took longer to boot at first, then it gradually went back to the old speed.
    I could REALLY use some help on BIOS settings. Fail-safe and optimized settings don't seem to change much but memory voltages (to a not really safe setting) and boot sequence.

    My MOBO is a p6ngm2-L, to be more precise. So if you can help me with that, I would be grateful.

    My PC is indeed a little dusty, but I don't know how to disconnect my MOBO and reconnect it on the power supply again. I'm beginning to suspect it's either BIOS settings, my MOBO ram controllers (though it would report an error on my new RAM too?) or power supply. I don't have much info on my power supply, will post more when I get home.
    Just tell me how to get all info you need to diagnostic and I will try to get it posted by the night. Thanks in advance.
  12. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Is this a pre-built system like a Dell or HP? If so please give us your system's model #. Also, I am suspicious of your hard drive. How old is this system?

    Edit Update: I researched your motherboard and here is the pertinent information concerning your memory...
    Main Memory
    • Supports single channel DDR2 533/667
    • Two 240-pin/1.8V DDR2 DIMMs.
    • Supports a maximum memory size up to 4GB

    * Do any of the memory sticks you are using not meet these parameters? Also, check your manual and make sure the memory sticks you do have installed are per the manual configuration for memory.
  13. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    It was a pre-built Pentium 4 but I changed pretty much everything. Since I bought all hardware separately, about 3 years ago, I guess it is not pre-built. Though there is one thing I changed from that time, my Graphics Adapter, from a GeForce 8400 GS to a RADEON 5450 HD, and had no bigger problems before my XP crashed.

    How exactly do I check those? I bought my ram 800 MHZ because my previous one was like this and it was working before getting damaged (and I dare say even after). Would change BIOS information to 533/667 MHz? Guess not since I have done that, maybe not the right combinations.
  14. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

  15. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

  16. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Checked my MOBO. None of the capacitors seem to be bulged.
    Couldn't use my old HDD. It is really wasted.
    I have checked my HD when BSODs began. It didn't report any errors.
    Here are my latest minidumps. Some of them might have been with both RAM.

    Attached Files:

  17. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Still looks like a RAM issue. You're not over-clocking are you?
  18. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Not really. I'm currently running at FSB 800mhz (afaik it should support up to 1333 mhz, although I can't boot with more than 900) and my ram is at 667 MHZ with the new cartdrige only. I tried to reinstall windows 7 with the new one only. Had some restarting and freezing issues, but finally managed to do it. I'm running on a fresh install right now. I'm having the same problem. All of my downloads seems to be corrupted for some reason.
    How come I didn't have this problem before throwing my old HDD away?

    I'm really suspecting about my BIOS configurations. Default settings, optimized or fail-safe don't seem to work, but every time I make some changes there my computer seem to change for better or worse. Of course that may seem obvious, but I'm starting to wonder if some unorthodoxal settings could make it run without a problem.

    I was thinking about downgrade my MOBO BIOS if possible, but I'm really afraid to flash it. Should my computer restart during the process, I would definitely screw it all.

    The worst on that is I can't really do anything. Since I can't download and install any drivers, I'm stuck. I can't even use a proper screen resolution or download and make a disc for a XP installation. Also, I just checked and it is indeed the cartdrige on the FIRST link I posted earlier.
  19. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Again, memory corruption was cited as your cause for system crashes. Can you get into the BIOS and check the RAM voltage setting? You're looking for VDRAMM and it should be set at 1.8v.
  20. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Checking better now, it seems some of my capacitors MIGHT be bulging. I could take a picture but I can't install the drivers for my camera to post it.

    Can I change them only? Or will I have to buy another MOBO? I'm still not sure. It was working normally not long ago. To be precise, before the HD/system change and all. Also, even after, it would not BSOD while doing heavy stuff like playing games, only video or doing things while installing stuff. Still, I'd like to check other possibilities. IF there are bulging capacitors, they are really little bulged. Like, two or three hadn't a COMPLETELY flat top, but I didn't check completely.

    Edit: Yes, I've tried a lot of voltages. I'm running at 1.9v right now, I think. Will change to 1.8v right now, though I'm pretty sure I just tried it and my PC still restarted.
    My last BSOD was a "PFN_LIST_CORRUPT" when trying to install windows 7. Then, several restarts. Sometimes the installation would just stick in a percentage, even though seemingly working (dots were normal). Once it just froze.
    Also, there is an option called "Auto-Disabled DIMM PCI Frequency" and it have the options enabled/disabled. It is enabled by default but disabling it seems to have changed for the better. Like I could install windows 7, while I couldn't when it was enabled. More info on that?
  21. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    There is, definitvely, ONE bulging capacitor on my MOBO. And it's right besides the ram controllers.
    Is it that?
  22. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Yes, it's time to replace that motherboard :oops:
  23. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Yes. I know you don't want to have to replace anything but bulging capacitors are a death knell for motherboards. Yes, there are "how to" guides online on how to replace capacitors but with the age of your motherboard it isn't worth doing so; the cost and time are not worth it. Do you have a budget? If so, what do you want your system to do?
  24. seeeph

    seeeph TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Thanks a lot for all of your time and answers. I was already suspecting I'd have to change something besides the RAM.
    I don't really have a budget. I'm saving all money I can because I need to rent a place for the next month, I'm being thrown away from mine. I'd like to spend as little as possible for a decent piece for gaming. I guess I'll have to research prices.
    Unfortunately I have little time for that, but prices here are probably different from anywhere else so I'll have to search specifically. Don't worry about that, you've helped me enough.

    My most sincere gratitude. You can close the topic at will.
  25. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    seeph, sorry we couldn't be more help. When you are ready to buy let us know. This is a good place for such questions. Good luck.

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