So I built my own computer about a year and a half ago, and have had pretty consistent problems ever since. I would like to try to determine the cause of the problems before I start replacing parts.
My original build was an Asus motherboard, a 460 GTX MSI video card, a Phenom ii X2, with a 700W PS. After a few weeks with this set-up, I decided I wanted more powerful CPU, so I bought and installed an X4. This set-up worked fine for about a month before I experienced my first BSOD. I thought it was a bad program or driver that caused it, so I tried updating drivers and the BIOS and uninstalled programs, but nothing seemed to work. During all this, the computer would randomly BSOD, but was usable.
During this period, the computer started to act up another way. It would randomly partially shut-down, the screen would shut off, and all connected devices would turn off, but the case fans would stay on, and the power/hard drive activity LED's would turn on. I figured out part of the motherboard was getting very hot just before the shut-offs. So I put a fan in the case slot above the part that was overheating and turned it all the way up. After that, no more partial shut-downs.
After that fix, the computer slowly began to blue screen more often. At first it was just during heavy usage, games mostly, then it started happening during regular usage and even during start-up. It got to a point where it would BSOD in safe mode.
I then read somewhere that a bad CPU can cause BSODs. I still had my old X2, so I decided to put it back in, no more BSOD. Great right? No. It's been about a month since I re-installed the X2, and the BSOD started up again. Right now it's only during heavy usage, but I expect it to get worse.
Any help trying to diagnoses the problem would be appreciated.
i suggest looking at timings, temps and voltages... looking at the event logs may also help...
try operating the pc with 1 stick of ram then 2. if the ram is mixed timings and latencies then that could well be the route cause of the problem and can cause the cpu's mmu to go bad causing the cpu to fail.
but we wont know for sure until you start testing .....
to read your bsod files get bluescreen view. http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html the download link is near the bottom of the page.
I would be inclined to suspect the RAM timings or the power supply, like suteck and GhislainG said. I personally have experience with low amperage on the 3.3volt rails causing freeze-ups and all sorts of trouble. Is there any way you can reliably duplicate the problem? For example, does your computer always BSOD when running prime95, or some other stress test software? That would make it easier to diagnose what is wrong. My recommendation would be to restore any overclocking/RAM timings to their defaults (assuming you changed them). I would also run memtest to see if you get any errors there. I don't think it's the CPU, since it BSOD's on both the x2 and the x4. However, the x4 uses a lot more power, which could account for the increase in BSOD's if your PSU is to blame. It is weird though that it didn't BSOD for a month after you installed the x2... Also, a more complete list of specs (including temps, if you can) would be helpful.
Hey everybody, thanks for the tips. I don't do any overclocking. This was my first build and I got preoccupied trying to solve the blue screens. I've done memtests in the past, and nothing came up. I'll try removing memory sticks and see if that helps. The problem doesn't seem to be reliably reproducible, I got two in one night and then nothing since then (~3 days) with heavy game use. And I can't find where the BSD code is.
Here is a more complete list of components.
-Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM
-G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
-G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) (2-Sticks)
-Rosewill RV2-700 700W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V SLI Ready Power Supply
-ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
-MSI N460GTX Cyclone GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5
-AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz
-AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz
-First BSOD using X2, second BSOD did not leave memory dump.
Found this in the windows section - You are consistently receiving a KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED Stop Error, but a problematic third party driver was not named as causing the crash.
There are quite a few older drivers on the system so, at this point, you may want to consider turning on the Driver Verifier against all non-Microsoft drivers to stress test them and try to flush out a problematic driver:
Start > type verifier in the Search programs and files box and press "Enter" > Create standard settings > Next > Select driver names from a list > then select all non-Microsoft drivers > Finish
Restart the computer.
Continue to use the computer normally but if you experience any BSODs make available the minidump files.
If after enabling the Driver Verifier and restarting the computer you receive a BSOD on startup and cannot start Windows, restart the computer in "Safe Mode" and do the following:
Start > type verifier in the Search programs and files box and press "Enter" > Delete existing settings > Finish
Restart the computer, log into Normal Mode, and make available any resulting minidump file.
Give it a try and see if it helps.
I still think it's probably faulty ram. Can you borrow some from a friend and give it a try?