First, my background. I have been a long time lurker on the boards. I didn't really have anything to add, so I read and absorbed. I was encouraged a few years ago to build my own machine and finally built the machine below:
Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-EP35C-DS3R (R2.1)
CPU - Intel e8400 Core 2 Duo
RAM - CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (TWIN2X2048-8500C5)
PSU - CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W
GPU - currently EVGA GTS 250 512MB (512-P3-1153-TR) (RMA'd an 8800 GTS)
HDD - WD AAKS 640 GB (Vista boot) and 320 GB (XP boot) drives
Case - All wrapped in an Antec P182 case
This machine is my primary desktop machine at home. I use it to game, bank, e-mail, and browse, and it still performs very well. I run everything at stock, no OC. It is a dual boot with Vista 64 and XP 32, each OS on it's own drive.
I'm now having my first crisis with this machine. I am getting constant BSOD crashes, STOP 0x101 and STOP 0x124 when I stress the machine. I first got the crashes when playing games. TF2 and BC2 crash it right after logging on to a server and playing. I can force the same crash more easily with Prime95. As soon as the machine ramps up (about 1-2 mins), BSOD.
Here is what I have tried so far in attempting to pinpoint my issue.
updated all drivers, windows, etc.
But here is a key point; I get the failure in both my Vista and my XP partition. Because of this, I don't think it's a driver/OS issue.
Memtest - 4 passes, ran for a few hours, no errors. I also ran the windows memory test app, no errors.
HDD - WD Data Lifeguard diagnostics, both drives, no errors.
Prime95 - BSOD after a couple minutes
GPU - I don't know how to test this, but I don't think it's GPU bound since Prime95 is causing the error
Using my minimal powers of deduction, I've reduced it to CPU failure, MB failure, or PSU failure. I've swapped out the PSU, and still have the BSOD errors, so that leaves CPU and MB.
This is where I ask for help. First, I don't have parts to swap out to check these components. Is there some way I can test these in place to see which may be failing? I don't have the money to just go out and get a new one of each. Second, am I missing anything? Is there something else I can do to try and fix this. I will gladly consider any suggestions here.
My gut is telling me it's the CPU (but I don't trust my gut since it told me it was the PSU until I put a new one in), and with my luck I'd go out and get a CPU and it's something else, and I'm stuck with a CPU I can't return.
Thanks for all your help in the past, and I look forward to any assistance with my issue.
Thanks for the reply, popatim. Yes, I neglected to mention that I monitored the temps with Realtemp while running Prime95 (with small fft's by the way). The temps get no higher than 54C (which is not terribly high for my system while running under pressure).
Today I got a cheap socket 775 (e3300) CPU from a compUSA/Tiger Direct store that opened near us. I'm going to drop that in and see if it works. If that's it, I'm going to RMA the original chip with Intel, since it is fortunately still under warranty.
I have not reset the BIOS, but I will do that before I try the new CPU. I have one question. My board was at F2 bios when I bought it, I believe. The CPU I bought today requires the F4 bios update.
Should I flash the BIOS, test it, then (assuming it fails), install the BIOS back to F4 again before installing the new chip?
I reached a solution for this issue, and am following up here in case it can help anyone in the future. The issue was in fact the CPU. As soon as I swapped out the CPU and reconfigured the BIOS, the blue screens stopped. I've been running for a week now with no issues. Since the CPU is still under warranty, I initiated an RMA with Intel. This proved to be no problem at all. I called them, told them my issue, and they gave me instructions for sending back the faulty CPU. I got my delivery notice today and my replacement will arrive tomorrow.
Hopefully no one ever has this issue in the future, but that's not how life works, so I hope this proves useful in the future.