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New build giving frequent blue screen of death

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January 2, 2014 7:36:49 AM

Last week I finally completed my first full home build. Everything seems to run smooth and fast, but I'm getting repeated blue screens of death. I'm at a loss of how to troubleshoot it. My build is as follows:

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/KqM

The cooler is actually a Hyper 212X, but it's not listed in the part picker list. Case is an existing Lian Li, about 3 years old. I'm using my old 600W power supply.
The system is not overclocked, but I did run the AI Suite 3 that came with the mainboard using "4-Way optimization", which tells me the CPU performance is up by 16%. Not sure what exactly that does. I tried keeping most settings on Auto as I'm not an overclocker and don't know what most settings do.
Any idea how I can find out what's causing my issues?
Thanks.
January 2, 2014 7:38:56 AM

What are the temps ?
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January 2, 2014 7:40:38 AM

Well the 16% indicates OC so turn it off! Ram can be a culprit for many BSOD's so run memtest http://memtest.org/
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January 2, 2014 7:53:46 AM

Pill Junkey said:
What are the temps ?


Idle it's running between 40 and 50 Celcius. I did run Prime95 for a while to see if I could find out something and it restarted after perhaps 5 mins. Temperatures shot up to 80C. But this was during extreme testing and I've been getting the BSOD during windows updates, downloading files, etc. Didn't see temp peaks at those times.
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January 2, 2014 7:55:24 AM

rolli59 said:
Well the 16% indicates OC so turn it off! Ram can be a culprit for many BSOD's so run memtest http://memtest.org/


That's the tricky part. I don't know how to turn it off :p . I've checked the BIOS and it doesn't appear to have changed, so I suspect the software is doing the optimization after boot. Could be wrong though. Anyone here know more about AI Suite?
Will run the memory test. Thanks for that.
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January 2, 2014 11:00:15 AM

It might be your overclock too, so turn off your computer, take out the battery on the motherboard for around 5 mins and put it back in, turn on your computer. If blue screens still appear then i suggest you should try doing the same things with your friends ram for example, just try a different stick of ram.
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January 2, 2014 5:47:06 PM

Ran a full memory test and it passed without errors. I'll try resetting the BIOS when I get home from work and will also uninstall AI Suite to be sure. If that doesn't solve the issue, any other pointers/ideas? I don't know anyone I could borrow RAM from so that's not an option, but like I said the mem test didn't report any errors.
Thanks for the help by the way, really appreciate it.
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January 2, 2014 6:57:02 PM

One more thing. I checked the BIOS this morning before I left and changed some CPU settings back to their defaults, which I guess were changed by AI Suite after all. After that I ran Prime95 again, and within a second of starting it the temperatures spiked to 100 degrees C on all cores! Even after I closed the Prime95 program the temperatures didn't drop. Before I had the time to check the task manager to see if prime was still running the computer shut itself down with the familiar blue screen. Shoud prime be able to push my CPU to such high temperatures? I've ordered some Arctic silver 5 thermal compound and cleaning kit and will re-mount the heatsink once I get it, just to be sure I didn't screw that up. But I'm worried there might be something more sinister going on.
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January 3, 2014 5:06:00 AM

Start with re seating the Cooler and see what happens. What is the make and model of your old PSU?
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January 3, 2014 5:58:50 AM

That's what I was planning to do. Based on some more reading I've done today I suspect that I've also used too much thermal compound, and since I spread it out and then put on the heat sink there might be air bubbles trapped in between. And maybe the fact that I used 70% Isopropyl alcohol instead of the recommended 99% has an impact? I'll wait for the new compound and cleaning kit comes in before I touch it again, so I can properly prepare the surfaces. But could all this really result in such massive temperature spikes? It's almost as if there's no cooler on the CPU at all. 100 degrees Celcius seems awefully hot.
The PSU is a Scythe SPSN-060. It's about 3 years old, but the previous build wasn't very heavily used.
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January 8, 2014 7:41:11 AM

Ok, didn't touch the rig for a few days, but found a little tool today to help check BSOD's called Bluescreenview. Thought this might shed some more details on my problems. CPU temps are still high but as long as I don't do anything crazy (like running Prime95) it remains below 70 so no big deal. Figured that couldn't be the cause of the crashes.
The tool started to point to kernel file of windows (forget the name, sorry) and some googling advised repairing/re-installing Windows as that file might be corrupted or missing. Since I didn't have much installed yet I opted for a full re-install.
After that, the problem just got worse. I'm now getting BSOD while the computer is still downloading the initial Windows updates, without having even so much as installed anything else. I'm running out of ideas. Could it be that my Samsung SSD is faulty? How do I check?
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January 8, 2014 7:46:57 AM

Let me also add that I got a BSOD while trying to run sfc.exe, so even a system check was out of the question... Not sure if that indicates something.
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January 8, 2014 7:49:37 AM

Did you run multiple passes on the memtest? Often errors do not show up until it has run several passes. Drive manufacturers usually have utilities to test their drives available on their website.
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January 8, 2014 10:34:23 PM

No, I only ran the memtest 1 pass. I turned it on again before I left for work, will check tonight when I get back from the office.
I'll try to install the Samsung software again, but at the moment I'm not even able to install windows updates without the PC crashing with a BSOD.
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January 9, 2014 6:26:24 AM

Ok keep us updated.
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January 9, 2014 8:27:22 AM

Ok, after 10 passes memory gave no errors, so that's not it. Things are going from bad to worse though, with BSOD's now occurring at random, every few minutes, sometimes preventing the system from booting up altogether. I'm seriously starting to suspect the SSD. CPU is running around 50C so that's not the problem.
Whocrashed gave me the following result on the minidumps:

On Thu 09/01/2014 16:18:28 GMT your computer crashed
crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\010914-3484-01.dmp
This was probably caused by the following module: ntoskrnl.exe (nt+0x14DCA0)
Bugcheck code: 0x124 (0x0, 0xFFFFE00001392028, 0xBF800000, 0x124)
Error: WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR
file path: C:\Windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
product: Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
company: Microsoft Corporation
description: NT Kernel & System
Bug check description: This bug check indicates that a fatal hardware error has occurred. This bug check uses the error data that is provided by the Windows Hardware Error Architecture (WHEA).
This is likely to be caused by a hardware problem problem. This problem might be caused by a thermal issue.
The crash took place in the Windows kernel. Possibly this problem is caused by another driver that cannot be identified at this time.

Does that tell anyone here anything more? Getting rather desperate.
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January 9, 2014 8:29:15 AM

Oh, and the SSD has the latest firmware installed and the Samsung Magician software gives it a clean bill of health.

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January 9, 2014 10:01:35 AM

Could be that the issue is the motherboard. To make sure though have you considered installing windows on the HDD just to make sure the it is not the SSD.
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January 9, 2014 5:40:54 PM

I hope it's not the mobo. Was the last kne of this model available in the whole country.
I'll take out the ssd and graphics card to be safe and install windows on the wd hdd. If it runs ok, will add the gpu back in. If it still runs, i have my answer.
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January 10, 2014 8:22:48 AM

Ok, we're back in business! :D . Found the problem after disconnecting the SSD. Seems that when I installed the OS first time round, the "reserved system partition" was not created on the SSD drive but on the platter drive, but the OS was installed on the SSD. Seems that Windows doesn't like that and crashes.
Disconnected the platter drive, cleaned and re-installed everything on the SSD and now it's running a treat! Also reseated the heatsink with Arctic Silver 5 which arrived yesterday and my cores are now running idle in the low 30's. I removed the OC that the ASUS software created, which lowered the voltage on the CPU considerably. After the OC it was set to almost 1.25V, which I think was causing the high temps. Might try again now that everything's running smooth, but not in a hurry.
Only issue is Bitdefender not installing, but I'm checking with their support team.
Thanks everyone for the help!
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January 10, 2014 11:22:09 AM

Great news, enjoy!
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!