Machine Exception Error

By Joscelin · 119 replies
Oct 4, 2009
  1. Machine Check Exception


    After my computer's first format, my pc started to restart itself at random. At first i didn't think it was a big deal, because the time gap between the restarts were hours. (Also the voltage isn't stable where i'm living so it happens once in a while) After the second or third restart, i decided to clean the computer since it was quite dusty. Apparently the problem was not that simple. The computer kept restarting itself without any error messages or warning, sometimes it just froze. I told my friends about the problem and they suggested it could be the PSU, RAMs or the video card.

    First i replaced my PSU and it kept restarting. Trying RAM sticks single, or changing their sockets didn't help either. Lastly i replaced my video card and no results. All the while the problem kept getting more serious, because the computer just kept restarting itself over and over again, within minutes after Windows started.

    I'm completely clueless about the problem and while i was checking the net i came across this website. I took a look at the other threads about this problem but apparently not every computer has the same problem. Since in those threads people asked for minidumps, i will attach the 5 most recent to this post. (I'm running Windows on safe mode right now and i don't know if this will be of any help but the computer hasn't restarted itself in 30 minutes.)

    Attached Files:

  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    All of your errors are 0x0000009C: MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION
    This is a hardware issue: an unrecoverable hardware error has occurred. The parameters have different meanings depending on what type of CPU you have but, while diagnostic, rarely lead to a clear solution. Most commonly it results from overheating, from failed hardware (RAM, CPU, hardware bus, power supply, etc.), or from pushing hardware beyond its capabilities (e.g., overclocking a CPU).

    This is a very difficult issue to work with because it can be any hardware you have in your system. I have yet to have any minidump with this error give a definitive cause and your situation is no different.

    It is interesting, though, that Safe Mode is free of BSODs because this usually indicates a driver issue. Safe Mode only loads the essentials.

    I suggest at this point your do two things.

    A) Run a harddrive diagnostics by using your harddrive manufacture's free utility that you can get off their website.

    B) Update your NIC drivers

    Also, if you have overclocked anything ease back on voltage and timings.
  3. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Okay so if i get it right, the problem may be a driver issue, as well as hardware failure? If it's a hardware failure, i guess i have no other chance but to send the PC to guarantee. The problem is, i live over 1000 km. away from where i bought the PC (and i have to send it back if i have no more option), so i really want to solve this by myself if at all possible.

    I formatted the PC (3 parts, C./D:/E:, i only formatted C: and installed Windows) reinstalled all the drivers and updated the NIC driver, but the problem persisted. No bluescreen, but PC restarted itself again after 10-15 minutes.

    I will run the diagnostics on the hard drive as soon as i figure out how to (I've never done that before, the drive's a Maxtor Stm3500630as) and let you know about the results.

    Finally, I've never tried overclocking so i don't think it's relevant to the problem.
  4. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Okay weird problem.

    I found out that i need to install a program named Seatools to run diagnostics on my hard drive, so i downloaded it from it's official website. I tried to install it but after i double click the .exe, nothing happens.

    I deleted the file and downloaded it a few more times, but it is not helping at all. I double click the file and nothing happens. Does that have anything to the with the most recent format? Do i have to install an extra program to be able to install Seatools or is there any other way for me to run diagnostics?
  5. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Seatools is the correct program. You used to be able to run it right from the internet with no problem but they've stopped providing that option. I have a Seagate and I can't run the tool either. My suggestion is to to contact Seagate and ask why you can't run the tool or if I am not mistaking they have a forum. You may want to search there.

    It is a hardware issue but if it is a bad piece of hardware certain drivers that engage in normal won't occur in Safe Mode thus no BSODs.
  6. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    I managed to install Seatools and running the tests right now. I will let you know about the results.

    I'm wondering though, could it be the motherboard or the processor which is failing? If so, are there any programs to test them?
  7. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Something I forgot to ask you: You mentioned you changed the RAM sticks to different slots. Did you buy new RAM in the process and try installing it or did you just use your old RAM?
  8. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    I used my old sticks. I have 2x1GB Kingston RAMs.

    At first i didn't change their slots, but used them single. Then i changed their slots and used them single. Lastly i used both of them on different slots from their first slots.

    Do you think i should try using my housemates RAMs or a program to test if my RAMs work?
  9. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Yes, definitely test your memory with the free and perfectly safe utility called Memtest. Make sure all the memory that you plan on using is installed as before.

    See the link below and follow the instructions. There is a newer version than is listed but either one should work. If you need to see what the Memtest screen looks like go to reply #21. The third screen is the Memtest screen.

    Let it run for a LONG time. The rule is a minimum of 7 Passes; the more Passes after 7 so much the better. There are 8 individual tests per Pass. In other words, to complete a PASS requires a set of 8 individual tests to cycle through. It will then start over. A lot of people believe it is only throwing the same tests at your memory again but such is not the case at all. It only looks that way. :) 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.

    Also, with 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.
  10. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Thanks a lot Route 44, i will do that ASAP.

    Seatools finished testing, and for both Short Drive Self Test and Long Drive Self Test the hard drive "PASS"ed. There are a few more tests but i'm not sure if it's necessary to run those as well, what do you think? Here's an SS of the tests;

    About Memtest, does it matter which slot the RAM i'm testing is installed on? I will run the tests until tomorrow and post the results here.
  11. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Good testing. The Long is the important one here and you are correct in that you don't need to run any more.

    Here is what you need to do with your RAM. Configurate the way your motherboard manual instructs per the amount of sticks you want to install.

    By the way, are you running XP Pro with SP3 and .NET Framework 3.1? The reason I ask is because ever since I installed NF 3.1 I can't get SeaTools to run. What did you do?
  12. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    I'm afraid i do not have the motherboard manual with me and i will try 1 RAM at a time, so how do i figure out which slot to install it to?

    About the installation of SeaTools, yes i do have XP Pro SP3 but my .NET Framework is v2.0. I was trying to install SeaTools on Safe Mode, so what i did was restarting the PC (not on Safe Mode), moving SeaTools setup file to my desktop and it worked. I do not know if it was because of the Safe Mode or because i moved it to my desktop. Hope it helps.
  13. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    How many sticks of RAM do you have. As for SeaTools it is because you have .NET Framework v2.0 that it works. 3.0 seems to cause issues.
  14. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Oh i see.

    I have 2 sticks of RAM, each 1 gb.
  15. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Try slots one and two. Do you know the make and model of your motherboard?
  16. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Hello again.

    I ran memtest for 10 hours on one of the RAM sticks, and it passed all of the tests. (Around 10 or 18 i believe, i was a little sleepy =P I'm sure there were no errors though) I'm going to run the test on the other RAM stick today.

    My motherboard is MSI MS-7360.

    Also i'm wondering, since it's a hardware failure, could it be the CPU or the motherboard? If so, are there any programs to run tests on them as well?
  17. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Let's see what the other stick says first. If you had any errors on the first stick it would say so on the Memtest screen.
  18. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Finished testing the second RAM stick. 20 passes and no errors.

    So we ruled out the Hard Drive and the RAM sticks, what next?
  19. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Okay, at this point give us your hardware specs including motherboard make and model, type and amount of RAM installed, video card, audio card, wireless card, etc.

    Also, include make and model of your PSU and the wattage it supplies. We'll take it from there.

    Before I forget, yes it could be your motherboard or cpu but there are other things we can test.
  20. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Okay here goes;

    CPU : Intel Core 2 Duo E6750
    Motherboard : MSI MS-7360
    RAM : 2 x Kingston DDR2 1024 MB
    Video Card : NVIDIA Geforce 8600 GT
    Hard Drive : Maxtor STM3500630AS
    PSU : Asus GPS-400AB (350 W)

    I have no audio card (It's onboard i think) or wireless card.

    I think that's all.
  21. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Try these next two steps:

    1. Go to MSI's website and find your motherboard. If they have updates for your mobo do so.

    2. Detach your DVD LG from both power and motherboard.

    * Then tell us if you still have BSODs.
  22. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Okay i downloaded the latest driver for the motherboard but i've never done this before, so i'd like a little help with it if you don't mind. Normally with the Graphics Card or Sound Card, the installation is as simple as installing a game, you just click "Next".

    This however is a little different. I attached the Readme file and screenshots of the folders to the message. Readme file is a little too complicated for me, so i'd appreciate it if you can give me some directions. Hope i'm not being too much of a pain.
  23. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    First, you are not being a pain. Second, those items are the various components belonging to the updates you downloaded.

    If you haven't installed them yet then hold off at this moment.

    Instead, check out this link and run the Video Memory Stress Test. Snowchick brought this utility to our attention a few months ago.

    Run it and get back to us with the results:
  24. Joscelin

    Joscelin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Okay, i downloaded the program and i'm running the test right now.

    One question though, it looks like the test will take around 2.5 hours and apparently i have to run it on Normal Mode. The restarting problem occurs on normal mode and i can run Windows properly for 20 minutes at most. What am i supposed to do now? Is there a way to run it on Safe Mode?
  25. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Not that I know of but I do know it gives several options.

    When you blue screen are you doing anything particular at the time when they occur?
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