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PC Crashes

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July 23, 2011 9:59:17 PM

After 6 months of use with no issues what-so-ever, my PC has begun crashing.
The amount of crashes per day varies.. Sometimes maybe 1 crash and others 5+ crashes.

The crashes usually occur in Windows, but it has crashed during Windows installation, Windows repair, and in DOS as well (at the screen where you select to start in fail safe or normal mode).

Sometimes the PC just restarts, sometimes it shows a blue screen with some text, and some times it shows a full screen graphical error before it restarts.

I just bought some new RAM, and if I only mount those, without the old RAMs I still get crashes - so I guess the RAMs are not what is causing the crashes?

Even though I sometimes get the graphical error before crash, I have yet to crash while playing a game actually.

I've checked the PSU's volt stats, and they seem fine.
I ran Memtest86 for 40 minutes, no errors.
I ran FurMark for 30mins to test the graphics card, again with no error.
I ran Prime95 (can't remember for how long) to test the CPU, no error.
I used Seagates Diagnostics tool to test the hard drive, again no error.
All temperatures are fine.

On my latest crash, the DRAM light lid up continuously indicating RAM error (according to the motherboard manual), but I'm thinking maybe it's the motherboards ram socket itself that may be faulty?

I'm kind of lost here, anyone got any idea how to further test the PC, to pin point the faulty piece of hardware?


My system is:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition
MOBO: ASUS M4A87TD EVO
RAM: Kingston DDR3 1333Mhz (4x2 GB) HyperX
HDD: Seagate 500 GB
GPU: ASUS Radeon HD 5770 (EAH5770 CUcore G 2DI 1GD5 (1 GB)
PSU: SilverStone ST50F-ES 500W


P.S. One think that I noticed is that on the very Windows installation on which the crashes started occurring, Windows would not automatically detect and download the driver for the graphics card.
Usually it always downloads it automatically.
Since then I re-installed Windows twice in an effort to see if that would fix the crashing issue, but it continued.... and it still won't install the graphics driver by it self.
- I just think it's weird that these two issues would begin at the same time?

More about : crashes

July 23, 2011 10:56:31 PM

It may be caused by a variety of events - hardware and software. For example - network drivers. Or even a firewall. Not to mention the BIOS settings. So, without more information it's hard to even guess.
Keep in mind that when you increase the ammount of RAM in your system, you may need to lower some of the RAM settings - as more RAM is addressed it may need more cycles.
But as you tested your system's hardware, I am more inclined to believe it's caused by windows. So, how exactly you reinstall? Over the top of your old windows - in which case it may still keep some settings, autoinstall some drivers, or a clean install? Try installing windows without automatically downloading anithing. And without installing any additional drivers at all. Just a clean windows install from the disk. And switch off your network. Sometimes autoupdate actually loads bad drivers and crashes the system.
July 24, 2011 12:05:58 AM

It's a Virus Crash if what pepe2907 advice doesn't work... It's best if you do a full format on the HDD in another computer so the Virus is gone... Downloading files from online isn't safe, sometimes the site you trust may have virus... I Experienced this b4 which happens recently and it was due to a Virus file that i downloaded and it caused BSOD
Related resources
July 24, 2011 12:06:31 AM

The crashing started before i upgraded the RAM.
I've tried resetting Bios settings to default, and updated to the latest version of BIOS.

I use the same firewall like I always have (Eset smart security).

I re-installed Windows twice, both times by doing a fresh install with formatting of the hard drive.

I also use the same chipset and ethernet driver like i always have.


Btw. the system has never been overclocked.
July 24, 2011 12:20:47 AM

Do a full format so it clears all the Sector... Your sector is infected but not your files... do Full Format on every partition+all HDD(If have any other) so it clears the sector... You cant just clear the Virus without clearing the Sector... The only reason Full Format takes so long is due to the Sector being cleaned/cleared... Your sector is infected if it's not any other hardware...
July 24, 2011 12:23:09 AM

legendkiller said:
Do a full format so it clears all the Sector... Your sector is infected but not your files... do Full Format on every partition+all HDD(If have any other) so it clears the sector... You cant just clear the Virus without clearing the Sector... The only reason Full Format takes so long is due to the Sector being cleaned/cleared... Your sector is infected if it's not any other hardware...


Alright, can I do a full format using the Windows 7 CD? Or do I have to use some other program?
July 24, 2011 12:26:46 AM

the_raze said:
Alright, can I do a full format using the Windows 7 CD? Or do I have to use some other program?

Yes you can use that CD to do a full format Just remember to do it on all those partition and HDD...
July 24, 2011 12:34:53 AM

What I normally do is choose advanced mode, when installing Win 7. Then I delete all partitions so that all data is "unallocated", then i right-click and choose format and then proceed to install Windows.

I guess doing that is not the same as doing a full format?
July 24, 2011 1:44:33 AM

the_raze said:
What I normally do is choose advanced mode, when installing Win 7. Then I delete all partitions so that all data is "unallocated", then i right-click and choose format and then proceed to install Windows.

I guess doing that is not the same as doing a full format?

You'll have to do a full format, doing a clean install with windows, it just delete/move the files... It's not good to do a clean install because all it does is move/delete the files...
July 24, 2011 1:57:01 AM

legendkiller said:
You'll have to do a full format, doing a clean install with windows, it just delete/move the files... It's not good to do a clean install because all it does is move/delete the files...


Im not sure how to perform a full format then. When installing Win XP it gives you the choice between full and fast format... With Win 7 install, not so much...
July 24, 2011 2:46:19 AM

Deleting the partitions is more as full-formatting them. After you delete them, you should create partitions again and then full format. There isn't anithing more to do.
But again - install a clean windows from the install disk and do not install any drivers - no matter how long have you used them. Just don't install them. And test the windows in this state - on low resolution and with the default network drivers, which come with it etc.
Try it in safe mode too.
And if it doesn't work that way, then you probably have a hardware problem despite the tests you ran.
July 24, 2011 2:17:18 PM

pepe2907 said:
Deleting the partitions is more as full-formatting them. After you delete them, you should create partitions again and then full format. There isn't anything more to do.
But again - install a clean windows from the install disk and do not install any drivers - no matter how long have you used them. Just don't install them. And test the windows in this state - on low resolution and with the default network drivers, which come with it etc.
Try it in safe mode too.
And if it doesn't work that way, then you probably have a hardware problem despite the tests you ran.

First of all, it's not the RAM, he said this occur b4 and after getting new ram... Also it's not any hardware problem... What kind of hardware(Nothings overclocked) make a system crash out of nowhere(Never seen anything like it) It's the HDD's Sector that's infected with Virus...

The Only and best way is to plug it onto another computer and do a full format(Shouldn't infect the other HDD)...
July 24, 2011 4:35:58 PM

What I did now was to start an installation of win xp, and did the full format like that. When the format was done tried installing win 7, but the pc froze during installation....
July 24, 2011 6:31:27 PM

the_raze said:
What I did now was to start an installation of win xp, and did the full format like that. When the format was done tried installing win 7, but the pc froze during installation....

Installing Windows XP doesn't solve your problem as full format on the disk does not do a complete full format... all it does is removed and delete files untill it reaches 0% disk usage than it'll install windows xp... A Full Format will take really long but depends on your HDD size.. My 1TB took over or almost 1 hours 30 minutes to do a complete full format... 250GB HDD will probably takes 20-40 minutes... You got a 500GB HDD so i assume it took windows xp to format it in 5-10 minutes right? than it's not a full format because it's not cleaning the sector on the HDD which is infected... But a cheap 60GB HDD for around $30
http://3btech.net/whlamadate251.html
July 24, 2011 10:49:39 PM

legendkiller said:
Installing Windows XP doesn't solve your problem as full format on the disk does not do a complete full format... all it does is removed and delete files untill it reaches 0% disk usage than it'll install windows xp... A Full Format will take really long but depends on your HDD size.. My 1TB took over or almost 1 hours 30 minutes to do a complete full format... 250GB HDD will probably takes 20-40 minutes... You got a 500GB HDD so i assume it took windows xp to format it in 5-10 minutes right? than it's not a full format because it's not cleaning the sector on the HDD which is infected... But a cheap 60GB HDD for around $30
http://3btech.net/whlamadate251.html


The format took something like 30 minutes.

I have a 200 GB ATA hard drive that I could install instead of the 500 GB SATA drive.
July 25, 2011 2:48:32 AM

the_raze said:
The format took something like 30 minutes.

I have a 200 GB ATA hard drive that I could install instead of the 500 GB SATA drive.

You mean the whole process or just the format?
July 25, 2011 4:38:10 AM

Ehoo, he says he deleted the partitions...
Is anybody reading?

You may try with your 200 GB drive if you still can connect it to your mobo.
July 25, 2011 4:51:06 AM

pepe2907 said:
Ehoo, he says he deleted the partitions...
Is anybody reading?

You may try with your 200 GB drive if you still can connect it to your mobo.

Deleting a partition just make the deleted partition connect with the OS partition... So it's not formated...
July 25, 2011 5:25:38 AM

I think after deleting partitions and making new ones from the windows setup disk there's no other option but to format.
July 25, 2011 12:42:17 PM

Alright, now i removed the 500gb Sata drive, and used a 200 gb ata drive instead. I installed win7 on it, and it crashed a few minutes after the install was completed. So now we can rule out the harddrive.

Personally I think it's the motherboard that is faulty.. But not sure..

As Im writing this message on my phone, the pc just crashed again with a blue screen saying it was shut down to prevent damage.
Additionally the dram light on the motherboard is lighting continously, indicating ram error (i know the rams are fine).

Ive also noticed a few times, that connecting something to an usb port, will trigger a crash - further indicating that the problem is the motherboard??

July 25, 2011 4:36:05 PM

the_raze said:
Alright, now i removed the 500gb Sata drive, and used a 200 gb ata drive instead. I installed win7 on it, and it crashed a few minutes after the install was completed. So now we can rule out the harddrive.

Personally I think it's the motherboard that is faulty.. But not sure..

As Im writing this message on my phone, the pc just crashed again with a blue screen saying it was shut down to prevent damage.
Additionally the dram light on the motherboard is lighting continously, indicating ram error (i know the rams are fine).

Ive also noticed a few times, that connecting something to an usb port, will trigger a crash - further indicating that the problem is the motherboard??

If the mother board ever turn bad is when it's a bad one which you should realized the first week and when it got burned by the PSU... It's likely not your CPU... IM Sure it's the CPU... Your CPU is probably dieing? What could possibly cause the system to shut down when there's nothing on the MoBo which you think my be the cause that has anything important on it? It's likely your CPU IF your RAM isn't the problem... Just get a new MoBo or a Better CPU since AMD is pretty cheap... Also one last question, have you ever touched your BIOS to change some settings? Set voltage/vCore lower/manually and RAM to rated speed and at rated RAM voltage and timings... Probably your "Auto Bios Setting" is messing up your HardWare Spec...
July 26, 2011 4:46:33 AM

If it's not the software and it's not your HDD, then next thing to do before trashing your mobo is as LegendKiller says to check your BIOS settings. The ram freezes you know, may be caused by wrong settings and the USB ones may be releted to bad IRQ /it stands for something like Interruption Request Queue and concerns the signals what different controllers send to the CPU, respectively the OS to get their attention/ and is usualy managed by ACPI, AHCI and the similar a-god-only-knows-what-exactly-meaning-things - so it may worth trying to switch them temporarily off, which will force the mobo to set the interruption table at boottime.
July 26, 2011 12:53:44 PM

legendkiller said:
If the mother board ever turn bad is when it's a bad one which you should realized the first week and when it got burned by the PSU... It's likely not your CPU... IM Sure it's the CPU... Your CPU is probably dieing? What could possibly cause the system to shut down when there's nothing on the MoBo which you think my be the cause that has anything important on it? It's likely your CPU IF your RAM isn't the problem... Just get a new MoBo or a Better CPU since AMD is pretty cheap... Also one last question, have you ever touched your BIOS to change some settings? Set voltage/vCore lower/manually and RAM to rated speed and at rated RAM voltage and timings... Probably your "Auto Bios Setting" is messing up your HardWare Spec...


Could a dying CPU pass a prime95 test with no errors?

I never fiddled with the BIOS settings..

The only reason that I don't suspect the graphics card, is that it hasn't really shown any artifacts/errors while gaming, and oddly enough, the PC never crashed during gaming... It's very weird, it almost exclusively crash when it's workload is small..
July 26, 2011 1:18:56 PM

the_raze said:
Could a dying CPU pass a prime95 test with no errors?

I never fiddled with the BIOS settings..

The only reason that I don't suspect the graphics card, is that it hasn't really shown any artifacts/errors while gaming, and oddly enough, the PC never crashed during gaming... It's very weird, it almost exclusively crash when it's workload is small..


Honestly reading this post has made my head spin. First and foremost, 90% of BSoD errors are caused by bad RAM or Faulty RAM Addresses. Running Memtest86 "for 30 minutes" is not a true or complete test. Even through all your previous post you mentioned the DRAM light went off saying there was bad RAM, that right there was your tell-tell sign your RAM is bad.

The question comes to if it's the DIMM slot or the DIMM itself, also which of the DIMMs is bad.

Make sure you're running Memtest86 OUTSIDE of Windows. Windows itself takes up a specific amount of RAM addresses that are not tested by Memtest within Windows. Although a small amount, this is where your problem could be.

Make a Memtest86+ Bootable CD and run 5 complete loops (Usually takes around an hour or so) with all DIMMs populated. Hopefully this will detect the a error and you can begin to narrow down the problem from there.

Also, To throw a wrench into this whole issue, Your video card has memory on it as well that could be faulty that causes BSoD and lock-ups. I had this exact problem myself and until I was able to get a 2nd video card to test I couldn't narrow it down as it would pass virtually every test I threw at it.

July 27, 2011 5:26:34 AM

3xch4ng3 said:
Make a Memtest86+ Bootable CD and run 5 complete loops (Usually takes around an hour or so) with all DIMMs populated. Hopefully this will detect the a error and you can begin to narrow down the problem from there.

You can use a USB pendrive to do this too but awhile your system start or is booting, press F8 or any key that give the boot option and than select the USB... Search on google about USB and Memtest86... Also have you ever set anything in BIOS manually? it could also be one of the problem that "Auto" may be setting it too high or too low voltage and other stuff but not likely or never seen happens b4 lol...
And BTW 3xch4ng3, it couldn't be the RAM as it happens b4 and after the got his new RAM... the DIMMS can be mess up but never heard it popping out of nowhere and just have problems... Are you sure your RAM are the same models? Also, if there's no solving the problem, your best bet is the CPU itself and you can purchase a cheap CPU to test it out:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or if you want a better CPU(Not sure if it's better tho XD):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 29, 2011 11:50:07 PM

3xch4ng3 said:
Honestly reading this post has made my head spin. First and foremost, 90% of BSoD errors are caused by bad RAM or Faulty RAM Addresses. Running Memtest86 "for 30 minutes" is not a true or complete test. Even through all your previous post you mentioned the DRAM light went off saying there was bad RAM, that right there was your tell-tell sign your RAM is bad.

The question comes to if it's the DIMM slot or the DIMM itself, also which of the DIMMs is bad.

Make sure you're running Memtest86 OUTSIDE of Windows. Windows itself takes up a specific amount of RAM addresses that are not tested by Memtest within Windows. Although a small amount, this is where your problem could be.

Make a Memtest86+ Bootable CD and run 5 complete loops (Usually takes around an hour or so) with all DIMMs populated. Hopefully this will detect the a error and you can begin to narrow down the problem from there.

Also, To throw a wrench into this whole issue, Your video card has memory on it as well that could be faulty that causes BSoD and lock-ups. I had this exact problem myself and until I was able to get a 2nd video card to test I couldn't narrow it down as it would pass virtually every test I threw at it.


The DRAM light doesn't always go on after a crash.. it only went on like 5 times or so.
Anyways I did try putting in brand spanking new ram blocks, removing the old ram, and it still crashed.

I just tried installing another graphics card, and it still crashes.

I will try running another Memtest86 tomorrow for an extended period of time.. (btw., I did run the test outside of Windows).
Also I ran a Prime95 test today for 7 hours with no errors.
July 29, 2011 11:58:12 PM

legendkiller said:
You can use a USB pendrive to do this too but awhile your system start or is booting, press F8 or any key that give the boot option and than select the USB... Search on google about USB and Memtest86... Also have you ever set anything in BIOS manually? it could also be one of the problem that "Auto" may be setting it too high or too low voltage and other stuff but not likely or never seen happens b4 lol...
And BTW 3xch4ng3, it couldn't be the RAM as it happens b4 and after the got his new RAM... the DIMMS can be mess up but never heard it popping out of nowhere and just have problems... Are you sure your RAM are the same models? Also, if there's no solving the problem, your best bet is the CPU itself and you can purchase a cheap CPU to test it out:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or if you want a better CPU(Not sure if it's better tho XD):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Yeah, I used a USB pendrive for the Memtest86 test :-)

I never messed with Bios, but I've tried resetting it to default settings anyways (and updated to newest version of BIOS).

Regarding the CPU, I just ran a Prime95 "Small FFT" test for about 7 hours today, with no errors what-so-ever.. So I suppose the CPU is fine?


It's really odd, it NEVER crashes when under heavy load... it's always while doing "nothing", like surfing the web, watching a movie or just browsing windows..


July 30, 2011 8:19:34 PM

Now I've run Memtest86 for 10 hours, doing 5 passes, with 0 errors...

It's funny.. it will run Memtest86 for 10 hours with no crashes... Run Prime95 "Small FFT" test for 7 hours with no crashes, play games for hours with no crashes... But if I wanna watch a DVD, surf the web, or anything else not putting a strain on the system, it will crash 5 times in 20 minutes some times...

Has anyone ever heard of crashes only occurring when the systems work load is low?
July 30, 2011 10:57:52 PM

It is most likely your "CPU" or motherboard... Right now im trying to solve my cousin's old eMachine W5243 and the problem with it is that it shut down immediately when entering windows and it was the MotherBoard as i tested the RAM/PSU/CPU but im not sure of the HDD as it was working sometimes when starting the emachine and than shutdown immediately and im sure it's not but at the same time i think it is, what kind of HDD just shutdown the computer when starting windows, that leaves to Motherboard as the problem with the eMachines W5243... In your case, It could either be your MoBo or your OS... Have you mod or touch anything when you first installed OS? HDD/SSD dont cause BSOD but Windows Could, go to power option(in Control Panel) and set high performance so it doesn't go idle and see if it BSOD or reinstall windows...
July 31, 2011 12:06:03 PM

legendkiller said:
It is most likely your "CPU" or motherboard... Right now im trying to solve my cousin's old eMachine W5243 and the problem with it is that it shut down immediately when entering windows and it was the MotherBoard as i tested the RAM/PSU/CPU but im not sure of the HDD as it was working sometimes when starting the emachine and than shutdown immediately and im sure it's not but at the same time i think it is, what kind of HDD just shutdown the computer when starting windows, that leaves to Motherboard as the problem with the eMachines W5243... In your case, It could either be your MoBo or your OS... Have you mod or touch anything when you first installed OS? HDD/SSD dont cause BSOD but Windows Could, go to power option(in Control Panel) and set high performance so it doesn't go idle and see if it BSOD or reinstall windows...


Haven't modded anything.. I just tried the high performance power setting, and it still crashes. :-(
July 31, 2011 5:00:48 PM

the_raze said:
Haven't modded anything.. I just tried the high performance power setting, and it still crashes. :-(

Best thing you can do right now is Take it to the shop and let them figure what's wrong with it... Explain to them what's wrong with it and tell them details like after 20 minutes it crashes... The Shop people are professional and they all they tool to solve it... IDK if i told you this before but you can try and set BIOS settings manually like Set your CPU Voltage to 1.25v and set your DRAM Voltage to 1.6v and Set your RAM timing to rated timing also rated speed too... and other stuff... Auto may have decreased voltage or something too low and caused the system to BSOD when idle... Change all the Necessary setting like when you OC, you change this and that... See if it still BSOD... BTW does the mother works if you scratched or bent something on it or even broke off lol?
July 31, 2011 8:40:41 PM

legendkiller said:
Best thing you can do right now is Take it to the shop and let them figure what's wrong with it... Explain to them what's wrong with it and tell them details like after 20 minutes it crashes... The Shop people are professional and they all they tool to solve it... IDK if i told you this before but you can try and set BIOS settings manually like Set your CPU Voltage to 1.25v and set your DRAM Voltage to 1.6v and Set your RAM timing to rated timing also rated speed too... and other stuff... Auto may have decreased voltage or something too low and caused the system to BSOD when idle... Change all the Necessary setting like when you OC, you change this and that... See if it still BSOD... BTW does the mother works if you scratched or bent something on it or even broke off lol?


I'll try setting the voltage manually in Bios. It's just weird that it ran great with auto settings for half a yeah though.

Anyways, FINALLY one of the BSOD's didn't go away after 2 secs, so I managed to snap a picture of it:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rasmusjuul/5995463420/in/p...

Anyone who knows what that means?

"PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA"
"atikmdag.sys"

etc. etc.
August 1, 2011 10:35:13 AM

the_raze said:
I'll try setting the voltage manually in Bios. It's just weird that it ran great with auto settings for half a yeah though.

Anyways, FINALLY one of the BSOD's didn't go away after 2 secs, so I managed to snap a picture of it:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rasmusjuul/5995463420/in/p...

Anyone who knows what that means?

"PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA"
"atikmdag.sys"

etc. etc.



After reading this I'm curious................each time your machine has crashed in multiple ways, has it given you any information/codes?

http://support.microsoft.com/search/?adv=1

Take a picture or write down the information then place the coded message in the search bar.
Windows Knowledge Base is pretty large and might have a few answers before you start cannibalizing your system.
August 1, 2011 12:19:15 PM

shindoru said:
After reading this I'm curious................each time your machine has crashed in multiple ways, has it given you any information/codes?

http://support.microsoft.com/search/?adv=1

Take a picture or write down the information then place the coded message in the search bar.
Windows Knowledge Base is pretty large and might have a few answers before you start cannibalizing your system.



It doesn't always crash with a blue screen with info, no. Usually the blue screen goes away so quickly, that I cannot read what it says.. The few times that it did stay on, it was the same text (look at the picture I posted in my previous post).

I'll take a look at Windows Knowledge base..
!