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By Zurrieq ยท 15 replies
Feb 13, 2011
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  1. Hello Friends

    My brother has windows 7 home premium RTM on his PC and he suddenly started getting BSODs. No new hardware installed or software. I have managed to get 2 dump files from his PC. Can you guys please tell me what the problem is? The BSOD comes about once a day and it is annoying him. The BSOD comes up pretty random sometimes after a days work and sometimes right after logging on to windows. I doubt that any of his applications might be causing it but from what he says it mostly happens when playing Guild wars but not always.


    Attached Files:

  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

  3. Zurrieq

    Zurrieq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok thnx I will do what he says. The thing is that it does not really appear so often and I don't know how to trigger it cause it comes up pretty randomly. I was thinking of checking the RAM (changing them if need be.)


    Ill post up with any new updates and new logs if this recurrs

  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    OK, the best way to test for a possible fault in a RAM module is to run the PC with only one memory stick at a time, follow this guide below which also has information for testing if you only have one RAM stick.

    To try and crack down on the fault you could also put your hard drive through a diagnostics test, follow this guide.

  5. Zurrieq

    Zurrieq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I had recently tested the hard drive with various programs including the drive fitness test. It passed but ill run it again. Ill use memtest to test both sticks together and then run windows for a few days using a stick and then the other separately and using differnt slots (ie using stick 1 for a week on slot 1 then same stick for another week on slot 2 and etc)
    Should memtest fail ill change the RAM sticks asap (when i got some time to go buy)

    Thanks for your help :)
  6. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    OK, best of luck, I hope you manage to pinpoint the problem.

    I would add that the manufacturers diagnostics for the hard drive is the best and most reliable test you can run.

    Please post back if you find the problem or if you get any more minidumps that you would like to have looked at. You may also find some usefull hints in the Event Viewer. Just type Event Viewer into the search box in the start menu and it will pop up, click on the name and it will take you there.
  7. Zurrieq

    Zurrieq TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Well I ran memtest yesturday and it ran for 7 cycles with no problem, then I had to switch the pc off. Today I ran it but it froze after 4hours and 41 minutes of testing (was on 6 cycles). Windows was working well and sometimes during boot it did not even boot into memtest despite CD-drive being the first in order. In windows I noticed that the drive was not reading the CD. It might be it. Since my brother has 2 I removed it, changed the other drive to master and so he is running one drive. I am running memtest again. I ran Drive fitness test and HDD passed well.

    I have attached a copy of HWmonitor and Process explorer. IMO his temperatures are fine and he does not seem to have any funny processes (I have some experience with process explorer and managed to detect a couple of viruses using it only.) Just want a second opinion to make sure. I have run avast scans and malwarebytes scans. All clean.

    Ill see if it was the DVD drive that caused the BSOD
    If i get a BSOD i have yet to test the ram modules separatly because I don't have time and my brother does not know how to remove them. Hopefully I don't need to do it :)


    Any comments?

    Attached Files:

  8. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    I've not come across a CD drive causing a freeze before, it may not have been reading the disk due to dirt on the lens, you could try running a lens cleaning disc through it.

    A crash during memtest might be due to incorrect voltage settings or a failling PSU. Check what the settings for the RAM should be (on the manufacturers site) and then look in the bios to see what they are set at. Your temp read outs are fine but the 12V supply is low, it should be over 12 rather than under, look in the bios for this also.

    Did you find the Malware before the memtest freeze or after?

    You may already know this but you should not have two AV's running at the same time as this can cause a crash. Avast was included in one of the crash dumps, if it was running with Malwarebytes that could be the cause.

    I am just getting a blank page when looking at the process explorer attachment (probably an internet problem at my end).

    If the voltage settings are OK and you only run with one AV and crashes still occur I would suspect that Malware could still be in the system. Some viruses can be very hard to detect so a trip to the Malware forum to allow the specialists to have a look for it might be a good move.
  9. Zurrieq

    Zurrieq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your reply

    I have checked my friends voltages and his are exactly the same and he has the same mobo with same bios version.
    The PSU has been replaced 2x already... once i replaced it and after a few weeks it was faulty.... and I took it to my technician and he replaced it for me again because of a faulty fan.
    With regards to the 12V rail well my friend has similar voltages ill talk to my technician about the problem but my friend does not have any problems with freezing.
    With regards to the malware i removed it before the freezes and malwarebytes is the free version so it only runs scans. Ill take the pc to my friend so i can compare the voltage settings from bios but according to CPU-z they are the same.
    Also with regards to memtest it passed 15 times using the other dvd drive with no errors (left it overnight). Don't know if ejecting the CD during memtesting will freeze the process. But according to memtest the ram pass.

    The mobo is an Asrock Dual-VSTA bios 3.10 with a pentium D 945, 2GB DDR2 640GB HDD and Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
  10. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Well, I think now you have checked everything that can be checked and it is a case of, wait and see if it freezes again. If it does, I would immediately look in event viewer and see what it reports. I suspect that as it still had a freeze after virus removal that a virus may still be present or there is a very minor fault in the RAM. Memtest can miss minor faults.

    You could also consider changing Avast for Microsoft Security Essentials which is free but one of the best AV's there is. Use this uninstall tool for Avast and then install MSE. Run a full scan with it after it has updated, a full scan with MSE can take well over an hour.


  11. Zurrieq

    Zurrieq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your reply. I have not since had a freeze since i posted the logs. So before changing AVs ill see if I get another freeze.

    Ill post back if i get another freeze.

    In the mean time thanks for your interest and help ... the problem seems to have resolved alone since I changed the DVD-Drive though i doubt it was the cause. Could have been a bug that got resolved on its own or maybe my brother over loading the PC after boot up or maybe avast trying to install an update will he was doing something intensive.

    maybe it could mean time for a format since I have not reinstalled windows 7 for him.

    thanks again

    PS the DVD drive was broken. I stuck it to my pc and although it did not do any freezing or so, it did not read any cds despite using a lens cleaning disk (ran it 2x).
  12. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Thanks for posting back with the situation. May be it was the DVD drive, stranger things have happened.
  13. Zurrieq

    Zurrieq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey... sorry to say that BSODs have returned....

    I have run windows memory diagnostic tool and it does find hardware problems.

    Since I have run it for the first time, please can you tell me what it checks exactly? That might help me go to the problem faster.

    I am going to start with the RAM modules..... Ill buy a new set (2x1GB DDR2) as soon as possible.

  14. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    You should follow my instructions in post 4 to run the PC on one memory stick at a time to find out which one it is. That is the most accurate test you can do.

    Windows memory test just checks the RAM sticks, just the same as memtest.

    Simply replacing the stick may not fix the problem as it may be the connection or the circuitry on the mobo. You need to do as above and then when a stick has worked without fault for at least 24 hours move it to another slot, you may find it only produces faults in one particular slot.

    Is this the place where you got windows memory diagnostics from or are you using the test included in windows?
    This link is for the download it works just like Memtest86+ from a disk. The guide may give you some usefull information.

  15. Zurrieq

    Zurrieq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your reply.

    Ill run burnin test during the 24hours to stress the ram module as much as possible. Ill try each module on each slot.

  16. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    OK, let us know how you get on.

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