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Unending BSODs with New System

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January 17, 2011 6:33:19 PM

This one has a bit of an explanation, so bear with me. Also, I have a thread on the same system but before I bought a new mobo, processor and RAM, which may or may not be relevant. It is located here: Cannot Boot Windows

Anyways, on to the problem. Being a Computer Science major and living close to home, I am the IT support for my family. I built my little brother a computer, which we upgraded this past weekend, here are the specs:

Old System:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0 GHz
Asus M2A-VM microATX mobo
4x1GB DDR2-800 RAM
GeForce GTS 250
250GB SATA HDD
60GB IDE HDD
IDE DVD-RW drive
Cooler Master 650W PSU

New System:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2 GHz
Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H ATX mobo
2x2GB DDR3-1333 Patriot Memory
GeForce GTS 250
250GB SATA HDD
SATA DVD-RW Drive
Cooler Master 650W PSU

During the issues we were having before (mentioned in the old thread) I gave him my SATA DVD drive which I no longer needed. I also scrapped the 60GB IDE HDD, just to eliminate as a source of the problem. Eventually I managed to solve the previous problem and reinstall Windows which worked fine for a while until we upgraded the mobo, RAM, and processor. After installing them, while I was helping him install drivers and such for his new components we started getting blue screens. Unfortunately I didn't think to write them down right away, but I can tell you that they were varied.

When this started happening I figured it was something to do with the drivers and that it would probably be easiest to just reinstall Windows. So I did that...or TRIED to do that. I tried about 3 times and each time it would either freeze during the install or give me a blue screen. The last few installs gave me a blue screen after it had restarted after the initial install. I should also mention that each time I tried installing I reformatted the HDD. During all this, the 2 blue screens I saw (the others were cleared by my brother) were ntfs.sys and "Bad Pool Header". Going off the ntfs.sys BSOD I thought that a bad HDD would describe almost all of his past issues, so I grabbed a 250GB HDD out of my main system but again had the same issues.

I have included a list of information below, that I thought may help and I will update that as people as questions about stuff I haven't though of (which will no doubt happen). I'm stumped, so I'd greatly appreciate your help!



- Using the 1st HDD I also installed Ubuntu which installed just fine and which I used for about half an hour with no issues. However, my brother doesn't know how to use Ubuntu very well and he like playing PC games so this isn't really a solution.

- All installs except the last one were made installing Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. I also made a copy of the install DVD on my main system, just in case there was some scratch or something...thought it was worth a shot, but it didn't help. I also tried installing using the 32-bit install DVD but again had the same issues.

- Since I first tried to reinstall Windows after the initial blue screens, the farthest I have gotten in the installation process is the screen where you enter the product key but it gave me a blue screen right as I clicked the "Continue" button, and I only got that far once.

- With only the DVD drive, HDD, 1 stick of RAM, monitor, keyboard, and mouse connected I was able to successfully install Windows.

- With only 1 stick of RAM installed I was able to install a bunch of programs, the graphics card and its driver, run the Windows System Rating, and play about 15 minutes of Black Ops, all without blue screens.

- With the 2nd stick of RAM installed I got a "Page fault in non page area" blue screen immediately after the System Rating finished, and I got an "IRQL not greater or less than" blue screen about 30 seconds into Black Ops. However, I ran 16 passes of Memtest86 (booting from the CD) without producing any errors.

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2011 6:49:54 PM

I would start by taking out all but one stick of ram and the processor, cpu, and essential components to boot. See what happens from here and start to load all the items back in one at a time. Most likely this is a driver issue with something that is going on, but work through it systematically and start simple. My guess would be it's either your video card has an incompatible driver or something along these lines. Both the ntfs.sys and "Bad Pool Header" point to a bad driver or something along these lines.
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January 18, 2011 2:41:18 PM

evilavatar said:
I would start by taking out all but one stick of ram and the processor, cpu, and essential components to boot. See what happens from here and start to load all the items back in one at a time. Most likely this is a driver issue with something that is going on, but work through it systematically and start simple. My guess would be it's either your video card has an incompatible driver or something along these lines. Both the ntfs.sys and "Bad Pool Header" point to a bad driver or something along these lines.


K...shoulda done that in the first place...anyways, I disconnected all but the essentials (DVD drive, HDD, 1 stick of RAM, monitor, keyboard, and mouse) and installed just fine. I let it run for a few minutes, installed chipset , USB 3.0, and sound card drivers and still no blue screens. So I installed the graphics card and connected it, installed the nvidia drivers and a bunch of standard software (Java, Flash, Adobe Reader, Firefox, Chrome, iTunes, etc...), STILL no blue screens.

Then I install the 2nd memory stick, run the built-in Windows System Rating test and walk away. When I come back I'm greeted with a "Page fault in non paged area" blue screen. So I turn reboot while taking out the 2nd memory stick and things seem to be stable again, and I run the System Rating test with no problems. In fact, I play about 15 minutes of Black Ops with no crashes.

So I reinstall the 2nd memory stick and run the Memtest86 boot disc and let it runs 16 passes, and it produces NO errors... So I try Black Ops again with the 2nd memory stick in and I get about 30 seconds into the game when it gives me an "IRQL not greater or less than" (I think that's the text but I may not be remembering it exactly right) blue screen. So I THINK it's the memory, and I'll be exchanging them at Micro Center today, but the 16 clean memtest passes have me scratching my head...
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January 18, 2011 2:46:24 PM

It could be that Memtest just can't detect everything (at least, I've seen other posters say that here). Alternatively, it could be that the DIMM slot on your motherboard is bad. Have you tried the second stick of RAM in different DIMM slots on your board?
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January 18, 2011 2:56:14 PM

Hastibe said:
It could be that Memtest just can't detect everything (at least, I've seen other post that here). Alternatively, it could be that the DIMM slot on your motherboard is bad. Have you tried the second stick of RAM in different DIMM slots on your board?


Oh...damn...no...good idea...
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 18, 2011 8:04:05 PM

indeed hastibe is correct, and sadly it may mean you have to rma the mobo board, but if you swap the dimm and it doesn't work again, you know it is probably that ram stick
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January 18, 2011 10:16:39 PM

Well, I was at work and I already had the RAM with me so I exchanged it anyway, to save myself a trip just in case. Popped in the new RAM and everything's been working great with no blue screen for the last couple hours, looks like that was the problem, thanks guys!
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January 18, 2011 10:16:56 PM

Best answer selected by bikeracer4487.
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