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Saga of the BSoD

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March 30, 2011 6:02:31 PM

My Hardware:
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922
Mobo: ASUS P6X58D Premium
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 5770
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-550VX 550W
CPU: Intel Core i7 930
(plus Cooler Master Hyper 212 - aftermarket fan)
Memory: G.Skill 3x2GB
HD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
DVD: ASUS Generic

For a few months, I had a problem whenever Win7 would come out of hibernate / sleep mode on my homebuilt PC. I would wake up the machine by pressing any key, then a few seconds later, I would hear a click in the computer case and it would show the Win7 login screen. Most of the time it would continue to work fine, but sometimes right after the click, the computer would shut down and reboot. (I don't think I always had the problem - maybe 4 or 5 months now, although I've had the computer for almost a year.)

Anyway, this past Saturday, I got a DOS-style prompt on boot-up saying that Win7 "did not leave hibernate mode correctly - please contact your motherboard manufacturer to see if there is an update" or something like that. It started up just fine, but shut down quickly after. Then the main problem started happening...

The next time I booted up my computer, I got a DOS-style prompt saying "Windows did not shut down successfully..." and prompting me to start it either in Safe Mode or normally… but regardless of what I choose, it goes to the "Starting Windows" screen, and shows the Win7 animation, then the monitor turns off briefly, and then displays a black screen with just a mouse cursor I can move around, but nothing else…

Ctrl + Alt + Del does nothing. I've tried a lot of things, listed below, but nothing seems to work. Here's what I've done so far…

1) Powered off the tower entirely and unplugging and then powering back on.
Result: Same Safe Mode prompt, and the same black screen.

2) Ran MemOK!, the on-board memory check function
Result: Says the memory's fine

3) Ran Win7 Advanced Boot options > Repair system > Startup Repair from my OEM disc
Result: Says the system "booted successfully" under repair log...?

4) Ran System Restore, to see if it would boot to a few days ago (3/25) prior to Windows "Critical Update."
Result: "System Restore did not complete successfully. Your computer's system files and settings were not changed. Details: An unspecified error occurred during System Restore. (0x800700b7)"

5) Tested the entire hard drive, using a separate computer and hard disc scanning software
Result: No bad sectors

6) Hooked up HD to a family member's computer with McAffee installed and up-to-date and did a scan
Result: Found one virus - a trojan called Artemis - but, this was on an old file that had not been opened at all since having been transferred to the new computer… So while it -was- there, I don't think it was active… Anyway, the file was removed…

7) Swapped out the graphics card for another one to make sure it wasn't failing
Result: Second GPU produces the same black screen and cursor…

Notes:
Since my Win7 install disc is OEM, I can't do a "real" repair install or an upgrade to replace the Win7 files.


>Possible Next Steps At This Point<
- Buy another HD, back up all my data, and reinstall Win7 on the original computer using the original OEM disc.
- Run a diagnostic test on the motherboard and hardware - though I'm not sure what's cheap and good to use for this purpose...
- Reseat all the hardware in the box.
- Take it to a repair shop?
- Any other suggestions?

More about : saga bsod

March 30, 2011 6:45:42 PM

That sounds to me like a problem with the motherboard. I have no experience with this, but all I would suggest, is to boot into a LiveCD. Test out functions, you could also try installing Windows on a secondary drive and go from there. But from the sounds of it, it's not your GPU, it's not your HDD, I think it's the motherboard.
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Best solution

March 31, 2011 12:21:33 AM

Ok this is tony BTW . First did u try a different slot than the one one where ur video card was installed. Like I said before the pci or pcie slot could of gone bad and at worse the motherboard. However having said that , it doesn't seem like a motherboard issue since it goes thru POST "power on self test" also try using integrated video. The 2nd thing I would do if I were you is to do a fresh clean install as it might be that your window system file have gotten corrupted. Do not buy a new drive , use the same one as you previously declared the drive with no bad sectors . The hardrive is good and it could very well be a software issues ...."ur Operating System" so backup all critical data and maybe jot. Down some programs that you have you want to remember to install and do a clean install of Windows 7. I've been an I.T. for 9yrs now. Just an FYI for ya.:) 
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March 31, 2011 10:13:57 PM

Hey Tony, tried changing the graphics card to a different slot.
Result: Same black screen / cursor as before. :/ 

Next Step: Back up HD, reinstall Win7 and see if that works.
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April 7, 2011 4:48:11 PM

any luck there waterfiend?
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April 7, 2011 7:04:31 PM

envaders said:
any luck there waterfiend?


Just got the new HD yesterday, same as the old one. If this works, I guess I'll have another terabyte HD. Thanking Newegg for fast shipping. Will update after I get my data backed up and reinstall Win7 on the old HD this weekend... Getting too used to my netbook as a substitute, lol : P
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April 8, 2011 5:30:43 AM

Nice. well GL
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April 9, 2011 5:45:41 PM

Hey Tony. Writing this from my (thankfully, working) newly installed version of Win7. It seems the other HD was stuck in hibernate. Everything seems to be working in the new install / HD, but I did try putting the system in hibernate to see if it was a hardware issue for sure...

...And I'm still not sure what's happening, but it's still not coming out of hibernate correctly. The difference is that with the new HD, the system just gets a black screen when it tries to come out of hibernate - it doesn't respond to commands, but when I did a hard shutdown (held the Power button on my case for 5 sec.s), then rebooted, it started up and said "Resuming Windows," then my desktop came up... The other one just kept trying to boot to Safe Mode, and gave me a black screen after...

At least now, I know it's something to do with the system not coming out of hibernate mode correctly (as suspected). I'm not sure if or how I can get hibernate working again, but at least for now I'm setting Win 7 to never enter sleep mode (as in automatically after 30 min.). I'll just let it idle, I suppose. :p  Now to transfer over all my old files...

Thanks for your troubleshooting help.
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April 16, 2011 4:21:54 AM

Best answer selected by Waterfiend33.
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