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Encountering BSoD's on my first homebuilt

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May 11, 2009 12:43:31 AM

Hello. I'm not entirely sure if this is where this belongs, so I apologize if I need to have this moved to another forum. A little under a year ago now I put together the first PC I've built, and surprisingly it worked very smoothly. However, a few months ago, say mid-January maybe, I started encountering random BSoD's, immediately after a driver update for a now uninstalled and removed Creative sound card (and it's been several reformats since then as well). They started off not too bad at first, maybe one or two every day or two, but they've become significantly worse. I tend to see multiples of BSoD's every day, sometimes while booting Windows, and even the rare, but occasional failure to POST.

The BSoD's seem to be random. I've probably written down ten or fifteen different error messages at this point(PAGE_FAULT_ERROR, IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL(probably the most common) System tried to reference a page it did not have access too, USB_BUGCODE etc.),. They occur randomly as well. Sometimes I can run a high stress game like a tweaked Oblivion for hours, other times the system can be idling for only a few minutes and I'll get a BSoD. Because of this I do not believe it is a temperature issue (that and my system is very well ventilated. I've also since monitored the temps with CPU-ID and they seem to stay pretty good). I can't seem to do anything to willfully reproduce them.

I've since been working for the past few months attempting to diagnose my problem. I've reformatted the hard drive twice by now, so I think I can safely say it's not a software issue? I've experienced BSoD's with almost no new programs or drivers (except for the video card really) after a fresh reformat. The RAM I use has passed several Memtest86s now and not shown a single error. I've also played roulette and removed each of my four sticks so that the system has run with only one of each of them at least once by now, without problem. In regards to the ram, I checked the QVL list on Asus' website for the RAM. My ram, an EOL OCZ stick, wasn't explicitly listed, but a very similar stick was( this one), and like I said, the system ran stable for months and this RAM has passed several Memtests, so at this point I've put the ram at very low likelihood of being the culprit. I had noticed that the RAM timings were incorrect and underclocked (via CPU-ID), so I adjusted them to what the manufacturer recommended in the BIOS. Remarkably this did actually seem to increase my stability for awhile. Not solved it, mind you, but increasing the RAM voltage and timings seemed to make an improvement in how many BSoD's I'd see in a day. For awhile anyways.

I have also since updated the BIOS since the BSoD's began (not before, mind you), and some of the notes mentioned increased compatibility with various RAM (again, ruling the RAM out a little more). The BIOS update went smoothly, I used one of Asus' utilities that began the process within Windows.

I've completely replaced an old PSU I had when the BSoD's began. It was an Enermax Liberty 500W dual rail PSU. One person helping me had commented that CPU-ID had been showing low voltages on the 12v, and it seemed as if there were sudden, albeit small, drops on the 12v within ten or fifteen minutes of a BSoD. The new 750W Corsair PSU has been installed and I haven't seen any difference in the occurance of BSoDs, not any less or more. The 12v line still seems to be running a bit below 12v, at about 11.64, very similar to how it was with the 500w.

Everything physically has been reseated, I've made sure to dust with an air can. Since the recent reformat, very little has gone back onto the computer yet, and virtually nothing was on it before the first BSoD's since. I'm seriously considering buying a new motherboard (and consequently a whole new set of RAM to match it), even though I don't think I have any red flashing fingers telling me these problems are my motherboard going bad; I just don't seem to have much left to blame for these problems! I'd greatly appreciate any further help or assistance you can provide and trying to solve what this problem is!


My Specs:

CPU: Intel Quad Core 2 2.4GHz
RAM: OCZ FLex 1024 x4
Motherboard: Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus
OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium OEM copy
Hard Drive: Samsung HD501LJ
PSU: Corsair 750TX
GPU: nVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra

In case it helps, here's the stop error codes for the most common, frequent BSoD's I receive, roughly in order to how often I've seen them:

0x0000000A
0x0000003B
0x0000001E
0x0000001A
0x0000007E

The Windows.DMP file seems to be huge at this point (some 800 MB), although if it helps at all the minidump folder can be zipped to a fairly reasonable size (something like 720 KB). Also the problem seems to be getting worse very slowly. Just today I had a completely new weird crash on startup where before Windows even booted the screen froze in some sort of weird pixilated mess.

More about : encountering bsod homebuilt

May 14, 2009 5:46:33 PM

Here's an oddity I've discovered since I've posted this, but don't know what it means: my voltages are low. The 12v in particular is generally 11.65, and this is even with the brand new 750w PSU. these low voltages are why I got a new PSU in the first place, but for some reason it stays low. Could this be indicative of any particular problem that would cause frequent BSoDs?
Related resources
May 18, 2009 12:52:49 PM

You might want to give this list a try (also compiled together by shortstuff) - posting about bootup problems

It could be that maybe you got a bad egg MB. But I still think there's a few things we can do before we rule that as a final verdict.

The low voltage on your 12v rail very well could be the cause and that makes me believe it could be the motherboard.

@shortstuff
That's a good article for people to help slim down where the problem might be coming from for bootup failures. (i was wondering if that should find its way onto your checklist?)
a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2009 1:06:04 PM

kubes said:
You might want to give this list a try (also compiled together by shortstuff) - posting about bootup problems

It could be that maybe you got a bad egg MB. But I still think there's a few things we can do before we rule that as a final verdict.

The low voltage on your 12v rail very well could be the cause and that makes me believe it could be the motherboard.

@shortstuff
That's a good article for people to help slim down where the problem might be coming from for bootup failures. (i was wondering if that should find its way onto your checklist?)

You're right, I guess I should add it to the checklist. I hadn't added it yet because Proximon used it in his "I Progress - How to ask for troubleshooting help V2" post. Maybe I'll just add a link to his thread in the checklist.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264823-31-progess-tro...
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