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Is my Windows 7 corrupt/broken?

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March 14, 2012 5:32:42 PM

Hello everyone. I built a new computer a few weeks back and at first everything was going good. However I got some BSOD and thought it was a memory related issue. However I've run some diagnostics and it seems my memory is fine.

Last night my computer restarted 3 times without any error message too, although it isn't restarting instantly right now though. I dont know what caused these restarts.

I also get semi frequent windows errors, one time I could not open any images and thumbnails caused an error. Another time I could not open the properties of My Computer. And today I could not open my control panel without getting some RNC (or something, I forget) error.

Restarting fixed all these problems but I"m more or less afraid to use my computer now. It still works, games still work and everything, but these random but semi-frequent errors are making me anxious to the point I feel almost naseus (I guess I have anxiety problems)

I ran 2 memory diagnostics and nothing came up bad so I'm starting to think its Windows.

Heres the thing, I installed Windows 7 through a USB. Due to costs I had to reuse my older 250 GB HD and no optical drive. Would a Windows Repair booted to USB possibly fix things or would it make it worse? I'm also reusing an older serial for Windows 7 and it would be impossible for me to buy a new windows 7 (200 bucks is WAAAAY too much money)

Since I reinstalled windows 7 on an existing hard drive, I assumed it would clear everything out but I had a windows.old file which helped me keep everything which was nice, but I'm starting to wonder if that did more damage...

What should I do?

More about : windows corrupt broken

a b $ Windows 7
March 14, 2012 7:22:44 PM

I had to repair my W7 install this week. I had used a USB to install it. W7 would not take the USB for the repair - it required the DVD.

Download and boot your system to memtest86+ to check the RAM. memtest86+ will run several iterations on your RAM - errors indicate bad RAM. First be sure your BIOS RAM settings match the speed (MHz), latencies (x-x-x-y), and voltage shown on the RAM stickers.
March 14, 2012 7:34:32 PM

treefrog07 said:
I had to repair my W7 install this week. I had used a USB to install it. W7 would not take the USB for the repair - it required the DVD.

Download and boot your system to memtest86+ to check the RAM. memtest86+ will run several iterations on your RAM - errors indicate bad RAM. First be sure your BIOS RAM settings match the speed (MHz), latencies (x-x-x-y), and voltage shown on the RAM stickers.


Guess I'll have to buy a dvd drive afterall.

However I asked an expert and he said its possible my hard drive is failing instead of my brand new memory. My hard drive is pretty old and was salvaged for use with this.
Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
March 14, 2012 7:56:46 PM

It is possible that your HDD is failing, but usually that is indicated by a "clicking" noise or newly found bad sectors, which will also lead to boot failure when a sector fails that holds key OS files. You could replace the HDD and clone your old one to the new one - just remember to expand the partition on the new HDD so you can use all its capacity.

I would set the BIOS RAM settings to match those on the stickers and boot to memtest86+ to make sure the RAM is good. RAM is difficult to diagnose, which is why I run memtest86+ on every new stick of RAM I buy. I had a new high-performance system in 2008 that BSODed randomly, I checked everything - twice and could not figure it out. Ran memtest86+ and found 1 stick of the set was bad. RMAed set, tested the new set (it passed) and have had no trouble since. That was on a set of 2x2GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM that cost $375.
March 14, 2012 8:34:07 PM

treefrog07 said:
It is possible that your HDD is failing, but usually that is indicated by a "clicking" noise or newly found bad sectors, which will also lead to boot failure when a sector fails that holds key OS files. You could replace the HDD and clone your old one to the new one - just remember to expand the partition on the new HDD so you can use all its capacity.

I would set the BIOS RAM settings to match those on the stickers and boot to memtest86+ to make sure the RAM is good. RAM is difficult to diagnose, which is why I run memtest86+ on every new stick of RAM I buy. I had a new high-performance system in 2008 that BSODed randomly, I checked everything - twice and could not figure it out. Ran memtest86+ and found 1 stick of the set was bad. RMAed set, tested the new set (it passed) and have had no trouble since. That was on a set of 2x2GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM that cost $375.


I ran memtest86+ 2 times and it said no error. But I'll go into Bios and write down everything to be safe.

I think it is infact windows. I did a hard drive error and it found no problems. I tried to hit properties for My Computer and it wouldn't open. I am starting to think Windows is just going to need a fresh install.

I'm going to back up my files and try a complete format of windows.

When I installed windows 7 it kept windows.old files, but I want to just wipe my harddrive completely clean.

Do you know how I can do that? I thought I was giong to do that when I installed windows 7 but it looks like it just reinstalled windows and gave me all the new stuff with windows.old and it may have kept some things. Is there a thorough way to reformat?
March 14, 2012 9:00:26 PM

First thing I do is adjust the setting so the PC doesn't restart automatically on me. It gives me a chance to see the error, then.

Right-click on computer, go to Properties. Advanced tab, then Startup and Recovery. Take the check out of the Automatically restart option.

Then, I would run checkdisk.

Get into the command prompt. Click Start, then CMD in the search box. Once in "DOS", type "chkdsk c: /r" It will ask if you want to schedule it during the next restart. type "y" then enter. Restart the PC and let it run. It will check the file system, and the hard drive for bad sectors/errors.

Those may help determine what's going on.
March 14, 2012 9:15:35 PM

SinisterSalad said:
First thing I do is adjust the setting so the PC doesn't restart automatically on me. It gives me a chance to see the error, then.

Right-click on computer, go to Properties. Advanced tab, then Startup and Recovery. Take the check out of the Automatically restart option.

Then, I would run checkdisk.

Get into the command prompt. Click Start, then CMD in the search box. Once in "DOS", type "chkdsk c: /r" It will ask if you want to schedule it during the next restart. type "y" then enter. Restart the PC and let it run. It will check the file system, and the hard drive for bad sectors/errors.

Those may help determine what's going on.



I'll have to restart my computer since I cant open properties. (Another reason I think Windows is corrupted) then I can do that. But I'm honestly just going to do a complete fresh install of Windows 7.

I can't think of anything that would be causing so many windows errors constantly. I REALLY dont want to buy a new hard drive if I don't have to. I also want to avoid taking it in for a shop for inspection at 40 dollars and him going "Oh yeah you just need a new hard drive"

I'm kind of getting anxiety attacks over this. :(  Costs are a huge issue for me right now.
March 15, 2012 1:23:39 AM

Alright. I reinstalled windows 7, completely fresh partition, bought a disk drive so I used a CD, and my transferred files contain no applications, just documents (hopefully that wont screw things up....)
a b $ Windows 7
March 15, 2012 1:28:38 AM

Good, I hope it works this time.
March 15, 2012 1:35:25 AM

treefrog07 said:
Good, I hope it works this time.


Thanks. To say I'm nervous would be an understatement. When I first started my computer things worked out too.

But i'm not going to transfer any applications this time. Unless Easy Transfer put in some things I do not like, then I'm already screwed. :ange: 

Is there any tests I can run to make sure everything is cool?
March 15, 2012 1:54:24 PM

Prime95 to stress test, then that check disk command to look the hard drive over. I'm sure there are other free hard drive utilities out there.
March 15, 2012 3:25:43 PM

Dammit....So much for reinstalling windows fixing things.

I'm getting a new error now. Whenever I close a program (it does so okay) or even open a program like PS3 media server (which still opens though) I get "Blah blah has stopped working" and it says this.

Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
Application Name: SimpleMU.exe
Application Version: 4.4.0.10
Application Timestamp: 2a425e19
Fault Module Name: shell32.dll
Fault Module Version: 6.1.7601.17514
Fault Module Timestamp: 4ce7b9de
Exception Code: c0000005
Exception Offset: 00086488
OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.256.1
Locale ID: 1033
Additional Information 1: 0a9e
Additional Information 2: 0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789
Additional Information 3: 0a9e
Additional Information 4: 0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789


I thought it was just firefox but it seems to be all my other programs too now. Windows functions still work though it seems.

And when I close the error box I get Werfault.exe application error. The instruction at ox76846488 referenced memory at 0x1cad0bac. the memory couldn ot be written.

Restarting fixed this problem like all the little bugs.

I'm gonna go into BIOS after class today and see if the frequency and stuff matches my memory. If that doesn't do the trick I'm just taking it in to repair despite not wanting to.
March 15, 2012 3:52:45 PM

This is classic memory problem, even though you said you've now ran memtest twice and not getting any errors? I suggest turning it on and leaving it running overnight, make it do multiple passes. Another possibility is that once your system is fully up your RAM might then be getting starved for voltage. Memtest runs in a very limited environment in terms of what's actually running in your hardware. I would suggest a slight bump to your memory voltage, what is it at right now, what does the manufacturer recommend?

What motherboard/ram combo are you running?

When you get BSOD, what is the error report. Each time a computer BSODs it prints the error on the screen, it could be seen through the windows error reporting logs somewhere too (don't remember exactly where but you can easily search and find it.) Give a sample of the errors you're seeing here.

Other possible issues that could be causing this: grapics card, possibly not enough power going to it. Firefox (and other browsers) uses your graphics card for rendering.

Can you give us your system specs, including your power supply rating? That might help.




I personally dealt with an issue like this which eventually forced me to replace my 8GB G.Skill RAM with Kingston and I've been happy since. I tried so hard with that G.Skill RAM but I never could get it to run stable unless I reduced down to 4GB. I wanted to bash my head into those modules, modified every conceivable voltage setting and timing, I talked to them, threatened them.... nothing worked. Each time my system crashed I was getting different errors but if you look at the pattern of error messages it makes sense it's the RAM. The interesting thing was that there was one particular memory address which was generating most of the errors in memtest, but it would often pass 1 or 2 passes before errors showed up. I'd leave it running overnight to be sure, get 5 or 6 passes.
March 15, 2012 4:46:17 PM

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3

8.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 Corsair Vengeance

I dont know what the report is and I've only gotten one small error with new windows but it could just be resuming the old problem.s

I only had like 2 BSOD and I couldn't remember what they were (I think they were memory related though!) 3 restarts and a myriad of tiny windows errors that forced me to restart it to fix the computer.

I'm going to put just 1 card in and check the voltage and timing to be safe.

If that doesn't fix it I'm taking it in for repair, as it could also be my older hard drive.
March 15, 2012 10:58:14 PM

I looked at BIOS and it seems the frequency is not the same.

However I do not know how to change the timing or voltage or freqency. Its a gigabyte bios.

Anyone know how?
March 16, 2012 2:34:40 AM

Taking it to repair is a last ditch effort, might lead to you wasting a lot of your $ over something you can fix yourself.

Gigabyte has a website, you can find your mobo model # and download the manual, that will give you a path to how to get to said settings. The first thing you want to try is a very slight bump (increase) of the voltage going to the RAM. In many instances that will completely fix the problem.

By the way, manufacturers will typically include the RAM with which they tested various config in the mobo manuals. That might give you hints in terms of compatibility.

As I said earlier, make sure to leave memtest running overnight so that it completes multiple passes. If you're getting errors that's for sure your RAM that's causing the problem. Don't bother removing a module(s) from the RAM banks now.
March 16, 2012 2:39:20 AM

Niva said:
Taking it to repair is a last ditch effort, might lead to you wasting a lot of your $ over something you can fix yourself.

Gigabyte has a website, you can find your mobo model # and download the manual, that will give you a path to how to get to said settings. The first thing you want to try is a very slight bump (increase) of the voltage going to the RAM. In many instances that will completely fix the problem.

By the way, manufacturers will typically include the RAM with which they tested various config in the mobo manuals. That might give you hints in terms of compatibility.

As I said earlier, make sure to leave memtest running overnight so that it completes multiple passes. If you're getting errors that's for sure your RAM that's causing the problem. Don't bother removing a module(s) from the RAM banks now.


Shouldn't I fix the Frequency too? I mean its not what the card should be.

I'm looking for the manual and I don't see how I can. I think I have to multiply something or something. I'm just not sure. I need an expert to guide me.
a b $ Windows 7
March 16, 2012 2:51:22 AM

First, write down the settings shown on the RAM stickers, e.g., 1600MHz (also called the frequency), X-X-X-Y (the latencies) and the voltage. Then you'll have to find the RAM screen in the BIOS, then you manually change/enter the settings. When you get to the latencies, you will find many options, use the 4 numbers (X-X-X-Y) on the first 4 you see, set all the others to AUTO. Save and Exit the BIOS and boot to memtest86+ like you did before.
March 16, 2012 3:02:09 AM

treefrog07 said:
First, write down the settings shown on the RAM stickers, e.g., 1600MHz (also called the frequency), X-X-X-Y (the latencies) and the voltage. Then you'll have to find the RAM screen in the BIOS, then you manually change/enter the settings. When you get to the latencies, you will find many options, use the 4 numbers (X-X-X-Y) on the first 4 you see, set all the others to AUTO. Save and Exit the BIOS and boot to memtest86+ like you did before.


Right, the latency and voltage are correct but the voltage is off.

I'm not sure how to change it in BIOS, theres nothing that lets me type "1600"

I think I'm supposed to change the System Memory Multiplier, SPD.

I think I was able to change it. I didn't up my voltage like you said though. How would that help? Could it cause issues?

Also I checked CPU-Z and it say my DRAM Frequency is 802 Mhz now with just 1 4 GB RAM card :o 

BIOS said it was 1600 (Oh wait, DRAM is Frequency/2 :na:  )

What I'm going to do now is keep one stick in, install some more things, then when I have class 5-11 I'll run Memtest.
a b $ Windows 7
March 16, 2012 3:30:54 AM

Scroll through the BIOS, if the RAM settings screen did not include the voltage, there should be a voltage screen that will let you incrementally increase/decrease the RAM voltage.

CPUID's reported DRAM speed (frequency) has to be multiplied by 2 for the correct speed - yours is reporting 1604 MHz
March 16, 2012 3:33:10 AM

Which would be correct for this card correct?

And I know how to adjust the voltage now but I'm afraid to damage it. What would it do precisely? I just want these errors to stop.

http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=2297715

Here is my Cpu z validator ID.

So far it seems okay but tomorrow I'm going to run hitatchi fitness test and memtest 86.

If this was the only thing I needed I'll feel quite embarrassed, but very very relieved.
a b $ Windows 7
March 16, 2012 6:00:11 PM

If you set the voltage shown on the RAM stickers, you will be fine. That is the voltage the RAM manufacturer says it needs to meet the advertised speed and latencies. anything less and you will likely get BSODs, if you use the stated speed and latencies. Kind of sounds familiar, does it not? Most high-performance/gaming RAM can be over-volted, but it would void the warranty.
March 16, 2012 8:21:16 PM

Aright. This morning I had only one stick in and set it to 1600 MHz, the sticker listing.

I did not run across any issues. Installed a game.

However, when I ran MemTest on the two sticks, I got SEVERAL errors immediately.

I did it with 1 stick and 2.

But here's the thing.

I set it back to Auto in Bios, 1330 MHz, and with 2 sticks in, no errors in 1 pass,

I'm in class now for 6 hours and am letting it run. Why would it be errored in the sticker frequency but be fine when underclocked frequency?

My Corsair Vengeance is NOT listed on Gigabyte's compatibility list. But Corsair lists the Motherboard...

Saturday I'm taking the Corsair back and getting a G Skill as recommended, and checking to see if its on the compatibility list.

If that doesn't fix it, I'm taking it in to a shop. I'm almost at wits end and I'm having anxiety problems.
March 16, 2012 8:53:13 PM

Like anything else, the higher the clock rates, the greater the chance it becomes unstable. Seeing as how you can't even get advertised clock rates to work, I'd say it's defective RAM. Swapping it out like you're planning to is the right thing to do. Good luck!
March 16, 2012 8:56:40 PM

SinisterSalad said:
Like anything else, the higher the clock rates, the greater the chance it becomes unstable. Seeing as how you can't even get advertised clock rates to work, I'd say it's defective RAM. Swapping it out like you're planning to is the right thing to do. Good luck!


I guess at 1330 I'm babying it so it would not find any errors.

Should have gone with my gut!

Can you recommend a memory card for my Mobo? Microcenter does not have GSkill, and the compatibility list for this Mobo is scary short.

I'm concerned because I dont know if the Memory Stick was bad or just not compatible with my Mobo.

What do you guys think? Incompatible or bad stick? Do you think it could be my motherboard too?
March 17, 2012 1:29:36 AM

Just got back to check up on memtest.

All the text was warped and I think I saw one red line of text....

I dont know what that means.

Also I can't find the part of the box that holds the memory. Starting to panic now.

I'm now testing them on Channel A, 2nd, 1600 MHz from CPU as per Corsair's support email.

I'm starting to wonder if its my mobo.
March 17, 2012 1:51:31 AM

Memtest just went crazy again.
a b $ Windows 7
March 17, 2012 3:33:27 PM

Red fonts in memtest86+ indicate errors, or RAM failure at those settings. If your RAM cannot pass memtest86+ at the manufacturer's specified settings, then it is bad, RMA for replacement.
March 17, 2012 3:46:15 PM

I was able to return it to the store (29 days, just in time!) and bought a new pair from a different brand.

I'm testing each individually in Memtest86+ on the 2nd from CPU as instructed now, then testing each in dual channel.

Also the reason memtest86 went crazy was because it doesn't like sandybridge, but 86+ does, so I switched to that.

Should 3 passes be enough?
a b $ Windows 7
March 18, 2012 5:29:33 PM

Let it complete all its tests, there should be 9 or 10 components for a complete run, and it will take 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the RAM size. I do not know exactly what memtest86 is, it may be a derivative of memtest86+. I always use memtest 86+.
March 18, 2012 5:32:06 PM

I ran 3 on each individually because of time and so far (since yesterday morning) I have not gotten any errors. Still kind of nervous but tuesday when I have class I'll run Memtest86+ with both sticks on, that'll give it about 3 hours of running.

I could have done it overnight but its quite loud.

Thanks for all your help guys. I'm not 100% sure i'm problem free but so far its good so i'm like...85% :love: 

And 86+ spun from 86 :D 
!