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[SOLVED] Desktop BSODs running memtest now 12,288 errors and climbing!

Last response: in Memory
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April 23, 2010 2:16:57 PM

tl : dr It was not only a bad RAM stick, but a bad motherboard too. This took a lot of memtests, a lot of blue screens, and basically swapping out hardware until it was fixed. Took several weeks. So if this happens to you, get to call your manufacturer and stay persistent!


&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&


Here is the PC w/ specs

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I changed the PSU to a 450 watt Thermaltake Black Widow

Upgraded the GPU to a PNY GeForce 9800 GT 1024 mb DDR 3 card


Only really taxing thing I've been doing is playing about 20 hours or so of Mass Effect 2. Have been checking the GPU/CPU temps with CPU-Z and all appears "normal." No overclocking at all.

At one point I do remember turning off Windows Indexer to try and speed things up. But that's about all I can remember doing differently.

Closed down the game and went to bed. Woke up today and got several BSODs related to

MEMORY_MANAGEMENT
IRQ Not Less or Equal
PFN_LIST_CORRUPT

All I have done so far is run memtest - and like the thread title says, got some big RED errors and I have no idea to read this or fix it.

I doubt memtest has a big "fix" button at the end of this report. :pfff: 
April 23, 2010 2:35:01 PM

Update:

WallTime: 1:15:00
Errors: 20,480
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April 23, 2010 4:49:33 PM

Update:

WallTime: 3:30:00
Errors: 76,544

first pass has completed
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April 23, 2010 9:22:32 PM

Another Update

I backed up important files and completely wiped the OS. I installed Ubuntu from a live CD and it worked PERFECTLY.

But I really want to be running Win 7 64...

So when I went back to trying a fresh install, at the first reboot I get the BSOD again: PFN_LIST_CORRUPT

What is going on here? It seems like the memtest errors is all related to Windows?

Here is a similar thread that shows "solved" but not sure it has clear directions:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/568-63-bsod-pfn_list_...

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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a b } Memory
April 23, 2010 9:44:52 PM

Basically the three suggestions in the post you linked are:

1. Use Driver Verifier to check installed drivers. Click the following link to learn more about Driver Verifier and how to use it.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/244617

2. Remove unnecessary hardware to determine if any of them (with or w/o drivers) are causing conflicts. Although an optical drive does not need drivers, it still "requests" usage of RAM, thus causing conflicts that may result in BSOD.

3. Uninstall current display driver and install a different one. Sometimes the latest drivers aren't the best. I can attest to this, as I am not using the most recent display drivers for my system; doing so results in BSOD for me.

If memtest found that many errors, you should get new RAM. While they may be fine when using Ubuntu, the errors are still present in the RAM and you will likely face problems again.

Good Luck
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April 23, 2010 10:14:03 PM

Quote:
If memtest found that many errors, you should get new RAM. While they may be fine when using Ubuntu, the errors are still present in the RAM and you will likely face problems again.


OK but what if memtest shows no errors after the Ubuntu install?

Does that isolate the problem to being a Windows-only issue?
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a b } Memory
April 23, 2010 10:21:13 PM

artemenko said:
Quote:
If memtest found that many errors, you should get new RAM. While they may be fine when using Ubuntu, the errors are still present in the RAM and you will likely face problems again.


OK but what if memtest shows no errors after the Ubuntu install?

Does that isolate the problem to being a Windows-only issue?


Memtest has nothing to do with your OS. If your RAM failed Memtest, it needs to be replaced.

Arf! Arf! Arf!
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a b } Memory
April 23, 2010 11:02:06 PM

artemenko said:
Quote:
If memtest found that many errors, you should get new RAM. While they may be fine when using Ubuntu, the errors are still present in the RAM and you will likely face problems again.


OK but what if memtest shows no errors after the Ubuntu install?

Does that isolate the problem to being a Windows-only issue?


You raise an interesting question. One I cannot confidently answer. However, considering that the errors were apparent in the test after experiencing problems in Windows, then the likelihood of the Page Frame Database being corrupted is even greater. Basically, the thought process is that because there was a driver or hardware conflict, you experienced those errors.

What is really strange is after doing a reformat and installing Ubuntu, the second memtest reported no errors. Like triumph said, MemTest has no association/affiliation with any OS. That being said, the problem is likely with Windows, but be wary that errors were once found and will very likely present themselves again.

I would run memtest, using your RAM in a different system, and see what the results are.
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April 24, 2010 1:56:17 AM

Just got off the phone with Lenovo phone support. The good news is this thing is under warranty for a year... so until December.

Now here's the crazy part. The tech said to remove the ram and either rub an eraser or piece of plastic from a credit card against the gold contacts of the ram.

I did that, popped them back in and presto -- Win 7 was able to make a clean install.

However, the skeptic in me wonders how long this trick will really work.

Should I go ahead and run memtest overnight just to check?
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a b } Memory
April 24, 2010 2:27:37 AM

Are you using bootable memtest86+ 4? That should not be affected by OS at all (as the OS hasn't even loaded).
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April 24, 2010 12:30:38 PM

Quote:
Are you using bootable memtest86+ 4?


Yes -- and to be fair, memtest did eventually fail in ubuntu also.

However, I should note that Ubuntu had no problems making a successful install -- while Windows 7 kept crashing.


Then (at the advice of a service rep from Lenovo) I cleaned the RAM contacts and reinstalled them and Win 7 successfully installed, no BSOD or anything.

So I was very happy to at least get Win 7 back on.

Now, as I type this I am getting tons of memtest errors again. I think we can safetly say this a a RAM issue now?
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April 24, 2010 3:04:36 PM

Update -- Lenovo sending a tech to my house to install the RAM and look for additional problems. So far, I am very pleased with their customer service.
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April 29, 2010 12:35:38 AM

Update -- and shameless request for help! :bounce: 

The Lenovo tech installed brand new RAM into the desktop. I ran memtest and after 7 passes generated 80,000 errors.

What is going on? Is the motherboard toast? Could it be my graphics card?

I am doing a fresh install of Win 7 64 right now... confidence is low that will help anything, but it's all I can do right now.

Anybody have an idea of what I can do to solve this?
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April 29, 2010 1:48:08 AM

Lenovo tech support now thinks the hard drive is failing. From all of my Google searches, I don't see a connection between a failing HD and thousands of memtest errors, but oh well.

It's up to them if they want to keep giving me new parts.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Or are you all just waiting to see how this turns out? :) 
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a b } Memory
April 29, 2010 2:56:27 AM

Yeah, I'm not really sure. At this point, the best thing to do is keep swapping parts until the errors disappear, so hopefully if the technician knows what he is doing, it will get done eventually.

So, this was a new computer, correct (not refurbished)?
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a b } Memory
April 29, 2010 11:11:33 PM

I don't see the connection either. You can disconnect your hard drive and still run memtest. That being said, it may be time to use RAM that you know is good (as in was running in a computer minutes ago). The risky thing is if your mobo is indeed bad, and it sure does sound like it is, then you could corrupt the known good working RAM.

Seriously though, the odds of you receiving three sets of dead on arrival RAM are low (unless you're using the same brand, model, and lot number). It is not uncommon to have faulty DIMM slots on a mobo, perhaps it is time to explore warranty options for your mobo.
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April 30, 2010 10:33:43 PM

OK update time. They replaced the HD today, and in the middle of the next Win 7 install, CRASH.

I have a collection of BSOD stop errors at this point... 00000050, C4, 24, 15, 1A. You name it.

I called in again and they were like -- "we can send you a new motherboard, or escalate to customer relationship management and possibly replace the entire PC."

At this point, I'm tired of people coming to my house and just randomly inserting new hardware with no additional support.

New mobo would likely be installed sooner, because it takes a relationship manager 5-7 days to get back to me, but I think that is the best way to go.

Inbetween calls with Lenovo, I called Newegg just to see if they would RMA it. After 30 days, they won't touch it. And since I purchased in December, that is a dead end. At least Lenovo is hanging in there with me...
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May 1, 2010 1:56:46 AM

Up and Running Win XP 32 bit with no errors yet... the plot thickens.

(and only half of my RAM is recognized by this OS, sigh)
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May 1, 2010 2:09:33 AM

And did quite well with the SFIV Benchmark...

SCORE: 9016
AVERAGE: 59.90FPS
OS: Windows XP Home Edition
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7400 @ 2.80GHz
Memory: 3072MB
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT
Display Setting: 1920x1080 60Hz

(c)CAPCOM U.S.A., INC. 2008, 2009 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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May 1, 2010 11:49:48 AM

I wonder if because XP uses less RAM, it is telling the motherboard to access less of it?

Because the RAM is new, it's not bad (assumption).

But since the computer needs the MOBO to access RAM, it could be that XP is asking the MOBO to use fewer RAM connectors?

meaning when win 7 attempts, it is accessing a bad MOBO RAM connector?

Time to start unplugging RAM and seeing what happens in memtest.


I'm a hobbiest, so you someone could probably this to shreds. Can't let this computer sit here without trying.
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a b } Memory
May 1, 2010 2:24:03 PM

Well, it all depends on where the problem is. It is a very real test to use only one stick of ram and move it through all of the slots, as one slot could be bad.
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May 1, 2010 3:09:29 PM

Thanks for hanging in there with me guys... get this. I think the tech who replaced the RAM only replaced (1) new stick. It's a Samsung 2gb, the other two are Ramaxel brand -- the same as before.

So, sure enough, I just ran memtest with only the Samsung stick in.

Memtest says "Pass complete, no errors, press ESC to exit"

I think I'm going to run a test with that stick in each slot. That should rule out the MOBO as a problem.

Kinda dissappointing that after all this, the service contractor probably got lazy and replaced 1 stick instead of all 3 when he came to my house. I mean, how did he even chose which one to replace?

Good news here is we're on to something. I'll keep testing the slots. Best case scenario is I just call Lenovo and tell them to bring the other 2 sticks they were supposed to provide in the first service call.
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a b } Memory
May 1, 2010 3:23:05 PM

Kind of reminds me when the dealer decided to only replace the front three spark plugs because the others were difficult to reach. Of course, replacing memory modules is easy, so I'm not sure what the tech was thinking.
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May 1, 2010 4:16:57 PM

OK now this is REALLY strange. I tested the first 2 memory slots with the "good ram"stick. Each test was a single stick in a different slot, Everything went fine in memtest.


But when I take the single stick and place it in either slot #3, or slot #4 and hit power, the Power Supply fan kicks in at 100%

Any reason why this would happen?
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May 1, 2010 7:52:43 PM

tl;dr summary of RAM tests

1 good stick works in DIMM slot 1 and 2, but when input in slot 3 or 4 -- power supply goes crazy fast at 100% -- sounds like helicopter taking off

tested all sticks in DIMM slot 1, one of the sticks showed 2 errors

So -- all in all we may have 1 faulty RAM stick and 2 bad DIMM slots.

Now testing the 2 good rams sticks in the 2 good slots with memtest.
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May 1, 2010 9:19:28 PM

2 passes of memtest86+ so far and seems good. No errors. I'll keep it running for a few more hours, but if this holds, I'll delete Win XP and re-install a clean copy of Win 7.

With 4 megs of RAM I could still do 99.9% of the things I need to do.
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a b } Memory
May 2, 2010 2:04:00 AM

I'm going to reply just so I can read your progress later. Good Luck!
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May 2, 2010 1:17:59 PM

So far so good. Win 7 64 Professional is up and stable. Ran the SFIV test, Photoshop and installing Office and ExpressionWeb next. Not a formal test by any means, but it's the stuff I need.

And I've learned a lot about computers and suppliers in the process. I may have a DIMM slot and definitely a bad stick of RAM -- but I do have 2 good sticks and 2 good slots. And I might just settle for that.

Lenovo would rather replace the thing inside out than send me a new one. And the gap between the phone support (which is largely software) and the in-person tech reps (which is hardware only, they don't even stick around to see you power it up) is pretty large.

I could hastle them for 2 more gigs of RAM -- but honestly I might save up and get high quality RAM from somewhere else.

Before I mark this solved, going to keep testing and doing my usual thing. Thank you everyone for your support. ;) 
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a b } Memory
May 2, 2010 3:06:01 PM

Yep, tech support sure is fun. It is amazing how, like you said, they'd rather just keep replacing parts rather than finding and addressing the problem.
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May 21, 2010 1:01:48 AM

Almost 3 weeks later... went to start Mass Effect 2 and got a BSOD. I wonder if it was the motherboard all along? Or maybe my graphics card?

Here is the mini dump info:

Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
OS Version: 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.48
Locale ID: 1033

Additional information about the problem:
BCCode: 4e
BCP1: 0000000000000007
BCP2: 0000000000119744
BCP3: 1000000000000000
BCP4: 0000000000000000
OS Version: 6_1_7600
Service Pack: 0_0
Product: 256_1

:fou: 
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a b } Memory
May 26, 2010 8:38:59 PM

Sorry to read about your problem. Three weeks w/o any errors is a good sign. That means the RAM/Mobo combo was good. Run MemTest86+ 4.1, and like before, if your results have errors, you have bad RAM.

If MemTest86+ completes w/o errors, the next course of action is to use CPU-Z and Hardware Monitor (www.cpuid.com). CPU-Z can run several tests on your system while putting 100% load on the CPU. This of course tests the CPU; Hardware Monitor will allow you to monitor the system temps while the tests are running.

As for testing the GPU, I believe the software is called FurMark (not entirely sure, as I haven't used the stress tester in years). Find a GPU stresser and run it while monitoring your temps in Hardware Monitor.

A distant, but not unfathomable, third suggestion is scanning your system for virus/spyware threats. Hijackthis, SUPERAntispyware, AntiMalware, CCleaner, Spybot S&D are all good and free software.
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a b } Memory
May 26, 2010 9:08:27 PM

"I believe the software is called FurMark"

Watch out for that one, it is known to stress the HD 4XXX too much that the die. So much was it a problem that ATI blocked the opening of Furmark.exe in there new drivers, if the name was changed the program would run. Do a search for it if you want. Good luck!
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a b } Memory
May 26, 2010 10:46:00 PM

Yeah, for that reason I never run FurMark on my 4800 cards. Use it all the time on my 5850 due to its hardware level protection however.
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a b } Memory
May 27, 2010 8:48:17 AM

Oh ok I was wondering how the 5XXX handled it, yeah I was running it on my HD 4830 when I was OCing it. I was not happy when I found out about that, but glad I didn't lose my card.

I'm wondering what your problem is (OP) and I am very curious to find out. As its weird that it worked fine for so long. Good Luck however.
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May 29, 2010 4:22:31 PM

Some good news to report.

Got a new mobo from Lenovo last week. I gotta say, the customer support has been phenomenal. They typically have a tech out to my house within 3 days of a conversation.

So far so good, the new board seems to have all 3 Ram sticks working, and no BSODs. If you remember, this entire problem basically started with a disastrous memtest report.

I purposely left out my Nvidia 9800 to make sure things were stable. Going to add that this afternoon.

Also -- when I do re-install the graphics card, I am interested in people's opinion on using older drivers? Aren't they more stable?
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a b } Memory
June 3, 2010 11:28:20 PM

GPU drivers are always a gamble. In my opinion download all you can find. Start with the most current, then work your way backwards until you find a suitable driver.
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June 6, 2010 3:08:59 PM

Thanks everyone. I think things are stable now with the new motherboard, that was the fix.

I will update the status of this thread to [SOLVED].

One thing I did not expect: after all of the crashes and hardware installs, I had to re-install Win 7 64 Pro so many times that my product key became invalid.

This was quickly resolved by using their automated phone activation, but an interesting side note.
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