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Looking for some troubleshooting help on this home built?

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2009 6:31:23 PM

Hi. I built this PC about just a year ago now without any real hitches or problems (other than disappointment in Creative's sound card...). Recently however things seemed to have taken a turn for a worse, and I'm getting large amounts of seemingly random BSoD's with their all too generic "something's broke" messages. And it's been constantly a different message each time. Sometimes it's "PFN_LIST_CORRUPTED" or Bad Pool, or IRQL Less to or Equal, or Page Error etc. My first thought was bad RAM, so I tried to memtest it off a CD. Memtest keeps freezing though. Either I run it in normal mode where it freezes or I run it in the multi-core mode and as soon as it begins the whole honking thing just resets. So I figure screw it, and I tediously remove 1 stick of RAM at a time about every two or so BSoD's to dumps. There's 4 1 gig sticks altogether. So I BSoD, I remove one. I BSoD, I replace the one I removed and remove another. At this point all four have been removed at one point or another and I still get the BSoD.

This all seemed to start a few months ago, when in frustration I tried to get the sound card's "flexi jack" to work and updated the drivers from Creative. I thought, maybe, this was a driver issue. I've had issues with trying to reinstall the drivers from Creative (everytime I try to install the ones from their site, I get a message saying no supported product can be foind). I have since then manually removed the dang card itself and gone off the onboard sound. I did not uninstall the drivers first, but I can't imagine they would still cause issues even if the physical device itself doesn't show up in my device manager now.

The BSoD's seem to happen completely randomly. Sometimes they'll just happen while the system is sitting idle, other times in the middle of a game, and I've seen them happen several times just as Windows is starting up. I don't seem to have any repeatable action I can take that makes the crash happen.

Please, if you have any advice or ideas on where I can go from here to try and solve this, I'd greatly appreciate. I'll post the specs below.

Processor: 2.40 gigahertz Intel Core2 Quad
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
4096 kilobyte secondary memory cache

MoBo: ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5N32-E SLI PLUS 1.XX
Bus Clock: 266 megahertz
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD ASUS P5N32-E SLI PLUS ACPI BIOS Revision 0803 07/26/2007

RAM: 4094 Megabytes Installed Memory

OCZ Brand 1 Gig sticks all.
Slot 'DIMM_A1' has 1024 MB
Slot 'DIMM_A2' has 1024 MB
Slot 'DIMM_B1' has 1024 MB
Slot 'DIMM_B2' has 1024 MB

Drives:500.11 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
175.55 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

LITE-ON DVDRW LH-20A1L SCSI CdRom Device [CD-ROM drive]
3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]

HP USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 1
SAMSUNG HD501LJ SCSI Disk Device (500.11 GB) -- drive 0

Graphic Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra

Sound Card: Creative X-Fi Xtreme Audio

OS: Microsoft Windows Vista


And I'll dig up and post any more information if you need it.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2009 6:54:39 PM

Start in safe mode , and use the pc as normal .

The video out put will be terrible and you wont be able to run games , but this test should tell you if its a hardware or software problem .
I suspect you have driver problem and these wont be loaded by windows in safe mode . If it still blue screens its more likely theres a hardware fault .

The software fault could also be a virus so if it doesnt blue screen in safe mode then also try safe mode with networking and use trend micros online scanner to get a second opinion
March 11, 2009 7:13:28 PM

Might be a voltage problem with the memmory. check the voltage specs with OCZ, then make the adjustments in the BIOS.
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2009 10:20:00 PM

Thanks. I had never tweaked the RAM voltage, but I checked just to be sure and I am running at the specified level. I was running safe mode without networking for half the evening and no new BSoDs, but since it seems to happen at random times (some days it never happens, other days it's every ten minutes...) that's no guarantee. But the second I restarted in normal mode it immediately BSoD's (new error message: "thread tried to release a resource it did not own"). Back in safe mode with networking right now and waiting for trend micros online scanner to run (seem to be having issues with getting it to load). It'd be kind of a relief to find out its not any hardware problems, but I'm not sure where to begin if it's driver issues. I'd suspect the sound drivers since the first BSoD I ever saw on this rig was back when I updated those drivers months ago(immediately after I updated them, actually), but as I mentioned I had the card physically removed at one point and still had frequent BSoDs.

Still working on this. Thank you very much for your help and advice so far :) 
March 12, 2009 1:42:47 PM

The most convincing way to rule out any software issues is to format and reinstall Windows. But since you said you booted to memtest86+ off CD, so that should have bypassed any software issues with your OS.. Maybe try a Live linux distro and see if that works.. If formatting or running a Live distro do not work you have eliminated any potential software issues and its most likely hardware related..
March 12, 2009 1:44:11 PM

Quote:
Thanks. I had never tweaked the RAM voltage, but I checked just to be sure and I am running at the specified level. I was running safe mode without networking for half the evening and no new BSoDs, but since it seems to happen at random times (some days it never happens, other days it's every ten minutes...) that's no guarantee. But the second I restarted in normal mode it immediately BSoD's (new error message: "thread tried to release a resource it did not own"). Back in safe mode with networking right now and waiting for trend micros online scanner to run (seem to be having issues with getting it to load). It'd be kind of a relief to find out its not any hardware problems, but I'm not sure where to begin if it's driver issues. I'd suspect the sound drivers since the first BSoD I ever saw on this rig was back when I updated those drivers months ago(immediately after I updated them, actually), but as I mentioned I had the card physically removed at one point and still had frequent BSoDs.

Still working on this. Thank you very much for your help and advice so far :) 


Before you took the sound card out, did you uninstall the software and drivers? Even though you took the card out there still may be a conflict with the software and drivers.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2009 3:24:11 PM

dallasjoh said:
Before you took the sound card out, did you uninstall the software and drivers? Even though you took the card out there still may be a conflict with the software and drivers.

+1
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2009 4:44:39 PM

Originally, no. But I've since put the card back in and removed the drivers.

I'm becoming more convinced this is some sort of driver issue, as I've been doing alot of work in safe mode, both networked and not, with no trouble (but again...it has been random).

I updated the video drivers (they were out of date, apparently) and uninstalled and removed the audio drivers. Unless they're somehow still on my system despite all that...*shrugs*. I'm not sure what else to check. If it's not hardware, and those were the only two drivers I've messed with what else is there to look for? Someone suggested a windows system restore to before the point, but apparently windows doesn't save long time restores (the first time I updated and got the first BSoD was mid-January...it has gotten alot worse since then).
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2009 10:02:13 PM

Well, where memtest didn't seem to run I got the Vista memory diagnostic tool to. I don't know how reliable it is, but it reported back no errors. Going to try starting up Windows after removing all of the programs from autostart, see if something there might be screwing it up at this point. I'm seriously considering a reformat yet, or maybe cannibalizing one of the older PC's around here and hook up their HD's. I think at least one of them is SATA. Could I just swap one of those, or would I have to waste one of my OEM installs to just format it anyway?

Couldn't help but notice there were still some(multiple) programs from Creative still starting up with Windows...after I've uninstalled the audio drivers and removed the Creative sound card. Let's see how this goes with them disabled...
March 14, 2009 9:26:11 PM

Well, here's an interesting update. After looking for sometime on this, and spending alot of time in safe mode, it seemed like my system was stable in safe mode and only ever crashed when booted normally, which hadl ed me to believe that his had to be some sort of stupid driver or general software issue. So I went to reformat and reinstall Vista from the desktop in safe mode...and it BSoD's the moment it tries to begin from the CD? *sigh of frustration* Now I feel like I'm back to square one with not knowing where to begin with what's wrong...
!