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Is my BSOD a motherboard problem?

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October 7, 2012 3:10:21 PM

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H77M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card
Case: Rosewill Challenger-U3 ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

So I've had quite a few different problems with my new computer since my brother helped me build it about a week ago. It crashed a handful of times the first day I used it. I would either be downloading windows updates or watching a stream or video-chatting on skype and it would hard lock and shut off, NOT bsod at this point. Often times I could log on and stay stable for hours if I was doing light internet browsing or even watching movies that weren't hd. It seemed if I watched something in HD, it would crash. I thought this might just be onboard graphics being bad, so when I got my 7870, I thought it would go away. It did not. It started BSOD'ing. I take my memory out and use one stick at a time with both sticks, still bsod. I took out my graphics card, and it still crashes, giving me a bsod. I assume it can't be the memory or the graphics card.

It's stumping me because I can be stable if I'm doing light usage on it. Sometimes it will crash before I get to the login screen. Sometimes it will randomly crash, or continue to crash on windows updates. It will ALWAYS crash when I do something with heavy usage, like updating my windows experience index - I always count on it crashing on that.

Is this the motherboard?
October 7, 2012 3:25:28 PM

I would say its the PSU, check your Volts in bios, if not if you have a multi-meter power reader check the PSU and make sure its delivering enough volts on the +12 +5 +3. If it powers up and gets you to your desktop, just doesn't seem to be a motherboard issue to me.
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a b V Motherboard
October 7, 2012 3:34:57 PM

If you haven't done so already, you might want to check both Intel and Gigabyte's sites for updates for your MB and CPU.
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October 7, 2012 3:38:22 PM

giovanni86 said:
I would say its the PSU, check your Volts in bios, if not if you have a multi-meter power reader check the PSU and make sure its delivering enough volts on the +12 +5 +3. If it powers up and gets you to your desktop, just doesn't seem to be a motherboard issue to me.


Could it be my PSU? I bought this PSU a couple of years ago. I did not do enough research as I should, and I bought one way above than what I actually needed. Of course 650w is more than I need, but there could still be a problem with mine?
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Best solution

a c 716 V Motherboard
October 7, 2012 3:48:30 PM

Beginning point - When you see the animated Windows that's the hand-off to the OS. I'd first carefully examine the Event Manager specifically the [+] Critical errors; see below. Next, I assume that you installed all of the latest Drivers listed for your OS and correct bit-size on Gigabyte's site - http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=... many of the newer drivers are a couple weeks old. Also, look in your Device Manager and make certain there are no unknown drivers {? or !} listed. Frankly there's nothing at all wrong re-installing all of the drivers. Make sure the RAM is installed in the same color DIMM slots, my preference with 2x_GB are the White DIMM slots. SATA use only the Z77 Intel SATA Ports

BIOS - First make certain that the Optimal settings are being used; in the BIOS:
Press (F7) Load the Optimized BIOS default settings
Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.) -> Profile 1 ; one kit of memory
Press (F10) Save all the changes and exit = Yes

Testing, frankly before I even install the OS I run Memtest for 4-Full Passes with 0 errors; to avoid OS corruption. Next AIDA64 Extreme with all Stress options selected for 24 hours immediately after installing the OS and prior to Apps; see below.

For now, run MSCONFIG and select Diagnostic mode and reboot. Test as much as possible and then use Selective with no Startup and if needed go to Services and check Hide Microsoft and uncheck all others. If Diagnostic is making a difference then chances are it's a Driver and/or Conflict.

Verify that all of the Windows files and boot drive is free of corruption. Schedule both SFC and drive scan option and reboot; see below.

Event Manager:


AIDA64 Extreme - http://www.aida64.com/downloads
Memtest86+ (.ISO) - http://www.memtest.org/#downiso


Scan System Files & Sectors:
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a c 716 V Motherboard
October 7, 2012 3:57:39 PM

Also...if the problems persist consider the following.

BIOS Problems - If needed you might consider updating (flashing) your BIOS to vF9. First, try to Clear the CMOS: unplug the PSU for 5 minutes, move/short the Jumper (see page 29) for 5+ seconds, afterwards boot to the BIOS and F7/XMP/F10 as above.

Video 'How to Clear CMOS' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdHH9KrceR0

Examples 'when to flash':
1. CPU requires newer BIOS version
2. Non-OS Instability
3. Peripherals e.g. 2TB HDD requires new BIOS.
4. Memory compatibility ; where current RAM is causing errors or stability.

Updating the BIOS only use Q-Flash:
Nice 3-part video:
1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCCId1Mcrw4
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlx5GBkiaM0
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX78S4qyHu0
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October 7, 2012 6:17:29 PM

I'm trying to get through these suggestions. I logged back onto my computer, got past the login screen, after a minute my computer just shut off. No blue screen.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
October 7, 2012 6:42:43 PM

41/63 errors are often hardware related, so IF needed boot into Windows via 'Safe Mode' ; generally via (F8) see - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Start-your-...

If your PC can run Memtest successfully and in Windows only certain activities are causing instability/shutdown's then chances are it's a conflict or driver related. In the Diagnostic Mode if you're stable and can successfully stress test then that typically rules-out HW. In Safe Mode if AIDA64 or Prime95 causes a quick shutdown then I'd monitor the temperatures and if the temperatures are all okay then sure it can be a failing PSU. The Load in a Stable environment often indicates a Power issue; another is unplugging the PSU for 10 minutes and the PC remains stable a little longer.
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October 7, 2012 8:22:23 PM

I tried logging into safemode with networking, and my computer gave me a blue screen before I got in. Any ideas of what that would entail?

Edit: Bsod said uncorrectable hardware error.
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October 7, 2012 8:24:49 PM

I also ran memtest for 45 mins straight with no errors.
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October 7, 2012 8:49:50 PM

Should I go ahead and just try reinstalling my OS? It was completely fine staying on for an hour running memtest, but now it's crashing nonstop when I try to log in. I don't have much on my hard drive as it is new, so I'm fine with wiping it. But if it won't help, I'd rather not waste the time.
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October 7, 2012 9:38:48 PM

Could I also try just using another hard drive to rule out hardware error?
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a b V Motherboard
October 8, 2012 2:29:36 AM

ffooby said:
Could I also try just using another hard drive to rule out hardware error?


That would only rule out the hard drive.
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October 8, 2012 2:33:48 PM

So if I'm blue screening indefinitely now, even when trying safemode, do I have any options besides to try to wipe my hard drive?
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a b V Motherboard
October 8, 2012 3:51:41 PM

Does it lock or crash while in the BIOS? If so, it isn't an OS problem.
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October 8, 2012 4:49:38 PM

It never crashes or locks in the bios. The bios has always been fine. I just ran memtest again for an hour and a half, no errors. It's confusing because it crashes in both ways: sometimes it just shuts off, and others it will give me a blue screen telling me it's an uncorrectable hardware error. Whenever I use safemode, it's always the bluescreen and will crash after a minute of getting in.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
October 8, 2012 5:42:46 PM

Alright, lets examine what you've got that works:
1. MOBO - basic functionality confirmed okay
2. GPU/Graphics - basic functionality confirmed okay
3. RAM - okay
4. SATA assuming Memtest booted off SATA - basic functionality confirmed okay
5. PSU - basic functionality confirmed okay ; though stress testing unknown

So what does that leave, it leaves the chances of:
1. Corrupted OS
2. Corrupted / bad drivers causing HW errors
3. Higher level of HW function unknown
4. Improper installation of components - unknown

Backup ALL data and de-authorize if applicable installed software and then re-install the OS.

My version of 'repairing' Windows that never seemed to work correctly in the first place is to do a Full Reformatting (not Quick), Set the BIOS (*3 steps above) for intended use, Use only the latest OEM site drivers, and Re-Install the OS correctly.

My preference is to install the OS off a USB Flash Drive.
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October 8, 2012 5:51:41 PM

My version of windows was an upgrade only, although it seemed to work alright once i t allowed me to authenticate my version without any previous OS. Should I wipe the usb I installed it from and reinstall it from windows site? Is there a way to reformat from the bios?

Edit: I'm assuming my memtest booted off SATA. I just downloaded the program from memtest's site, stuck it on a usb and chose to load from the usb in the bios. Is that right?

Edit 2: I see that you can't reformat from the bios, I guess I'll reinstall from windows site, stick it on a usb, plug it back in and reinstall my windows then.
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October 8, 2012 7:52:33 PM

In what order should I install the drivers? Update bios first? When do I run windows updates?
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October 9, 2012 1:37:28 AM

I reinstalled the OS. My computer crashed on the same windows update: microsoft .net framework 4. After it crashed on that update, it bluescreened on start up. I can get back on and use my browser now, however.

Is this update my whole problem? Could that be possible or is it triggered by something else?
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a c 716 V Motherboard
October 9, 2012 12:53:20 PM

How are you installing? What OS are you installing?

Yes, the OS seems to be the issue.
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October 9, 2012 3:24:37 PM

I have a .edu email, and when I went to build a new computer, I wanted to try and get a student discounted version of windows. the ONLY version I could get at a discount, was the "upgrade" version of windows 7 professional. I realized that it being an upgrade could make it annoying, but I was able to still download and activate my windows without having a previous OS on my hard drive.

I'm downloading it directly from the windows site. I used their usb tool to create a bootable usb drive and installed it that way. I reinstalled it twice. I redownloaded it and used a different usb the second time.

Can I just not get windows this way? Should I get a refund?

Edit: I can also have them mail me a backup disk for an extra $15. Would it work better if I installed it from a disk instead? I'm not sure it would.
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October 9, 2012 4:55:33 PM

I'm not sure if that will be any different. I believe I'm already at SP1 when I install my windows 7 - am I wrong in thinking it would be sort of the same result? Is there any reason that it's just microsoft .net framework 4 updates that I crash on?

The different download is worth a try. I just feel like when I try it, I'm going to crash on the same update again.
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October 10, 2012 4:02:44 PM

So, I reinstalled windows again, sticking it on the usb according to that video. I get on, and I have my graphics card plugged in this time. I download the driver for the graphics card. I update windows experience index since I've been using it as a sort of "test" in the beginning, and it crashed before I even bothered with any windows updates or anything else.

Am I stupid to base anything off of crashing on WEI or should I just never crash on that to begin with? The problem can't necessarily just be my graphics card, as like I said, I've crashed plenty without it.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
October 10, 2012 4:38:20 PM

Have you updated your BIOS to the latest version? ; BIOS version F9

If you remove the GPU and re-run the WEI then what happens?
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October 10, 2012 5:11:20 PM

BIOS is f9 out of the box. I've reinstalled windows almost a handful of times now; one of the times I reinstalled it without the graphics card in, I ran the WEI and it went through fine, but then later on I crashed on the windows update for the .net framework.

Edit: Misread what you said, I'll give it a shot. But even if it doesn't crash, I'm not sure what to glean from that if it's still crashing without the gpu.
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October 10, 2012 6:20:52 PM

Tried to run WEI before I took out my gpu. It crashed a little under midway through, during something called the direct 3d ALU assessment. Took out the gpu, tried running the WEI again, and it crashed but gave me an error I never saw before. It stopped during the part where it was testing my storage, my harddrive I guess. It said the kernel logger was in use by another program or something to that effect; I didn't have time to read it because a few seconds later my computer blue screened.

Edit: It crashes on the part where it analyzes the cpu as well so I guess it doesn't matter as much to be exact with where it crashes during the WEI.
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October 11, 2012 1:16:35 AM

I'm also now seeing blue screens that say "machine check exception".
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October 11, 2012 5:29:51 PM

Best answer selected by ffooby.
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October 11, 2012 5:52:34 PM

Jaquith! It's solved. It was an improperly installed cpu heatsink/fan. It was running too hot, I just didn't realize the temperatures were wrong/too high because I've never monitored temperatures before. Reseated the fan and put a little more thermal paste in, and there are no more crashes.

Thank you a ton for your responses and for trying to help.
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!