Memtest86 shows errors right after BSOD, but no other time ... is that normal?

I've been having BSODs for the past week or so, usually about once per day when the PC is idle or when I'm running a backup or a virus scan. It started when I was doing a lot of backups to an external drive connected via USB. But now, even when I have the external drive turned off, the BSOD's continue. This is happening on an older PC using Win XP Pro.

No new drivers or hardware has been added. Right after a BSOD, I turn it off, restart it, and run Memtest86. Within a minute it shows me all kinds of errors. Then if I turn off the PC for a while, restart it and run Memtest86, it shows no errors.

I've run Memtest86 for a good 12 hours, and still no errors. I've run it with all the RAM in it and one stick at a time, and still no errors. Is this normal for Memtest to show errors right after a BSOD? Is that due to the physical dump of memory that goes on during a BSOD?

Lately, I've been writing down the BSOD offending files. One was the fltmgr.sys file. As a result, I've run checkdisck and repair on my harddrive a couple times. Not sure if it found any errors because it ran overnight. Then I ran CrystalDiskInfo and that shows the harddrive is in good health. Then I ran Seatools for Windows on the disk, and that did not find any problems on the hard drive.

Then on the next BSOD, it listed ntfs.sys as the offending file.

Anyone have ideas on how to isolate and fix the cause of the BSODs? Thanks for your help!
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  1. Best answer
    could mean your cpu is overheating. run a coretemp to confirm. then get a better cooler or reapply some good thermal grease on the current one.
  2. Thanks for the tip, but if it was the CPU overheating, wouldn't it show up during the 12 hour Memtest86 ... or does that not require much CPU power when that's running?

    Also, any recommendations on what program to use to monitor CPU temp? I'm good about cleaning out the inside of the case with compressed air and the fans are working, so it would surprise me if it was the CPU overheating. But worth checking.
  3. coretemp
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