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BSODs and generally unstable comp

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 25, 2012 1:05:27 PM

Hello all,
I need help with my random bsods. I've checked other threads with similar problems, but I need some help with deciphering minidumps as well as recommendation on what to do next.

What happens:
My computer experiences random crashes, and I mean random - it happens while playing some ram and graphically demanding games (ie Witcher 2) but also while checking internet etc. I have already tried to check if ram is the problem, and have suspicious that it may be ram slot actually as the machine don't even start up with some ram modules in particular slot, while works ok when same ram module is placed in other slot. But then: the same is for the slot: it works fine with other ram module... so I'm completely confused.
I also tried to check graphic card and swapped it with other, older one, but it kept on crashing.
I've heard that some modular power suppliers can cause some troubles, is that true? Could this be the issue here? It's quite good made so it shouldn't be a problem.
I've collected few minidumps and uploaded them on 4shared (I hope it's ok to paste this link here) http://www.4shared.com/zip/9mWLy6F5/minidump_files.html... so if somebody could read them and find out what is the problem, I'd be grateful.

Computer specs:
Mobo: ASUS P5Q-E
Processor: Intel Core2Quad Q9505 2.83GHz
Memory Ram: 2x Corsair Dominator 2GB and 2x Corsair xms2 1GB (they were plugged in altogether and separately)
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4800
Power supply: OCZ ModXstream-Pro modular 700W
Windows 7 64-bit with service pack 1

I'm on really tight budget, so I have to think ten times before decide on buying any new component (especially that the only option left is ebay as there's no mobo for ddr2 on sale anymore). If you have any idea what can be done to pin down the problem, please share!

P.S. I'm not English native speaker, so ask if something's unclear.

Thanks a lot in advance,
Janna
November 25, 2012 1:28:12 PM

You can download "WhoCrashed" and it will display most likely files at fault.
It definitely sounds like a ram problem. However, that does not automatically mean faulty ram. When did this start ? Is it a new build ?
Check default voltage on MB and default voltage on ram sticks, check timing on the two types of ram sticks, they should be matching.
Usually to use the DDR2 speed, you would need to pair them up as 2GB in slot 1 & 3 and 1GB in slot 2 & 4.
Run Memtestx86 on boot and let it go overnight for 8 passes. You should get errors on first pass. Win7 also has a memory tester, but I doubt it's as comprehensive. Play with ram slot setups, eliminate the 1gb sticks and see if you are stable on 4gb. It's enough ram to run Win7.
November 25, 2012 6:27:43 PM

Hi Cyberat_88, thanks for your fast reply!

I've installed WhoCrashed and now am waiting for next bsod to appear :) 

It's going on for over a year already. Mostly because I've been trying all methods I found, like updating drivers for the hardware, changing cables etc. And usually it worked for few months (so I thought it was solved) but then crushes started again.

I've increased ram voltage in bios to 2.10 as recommended for this kind of ram modules and this kind of mobo, but didn't check it's speed and timing, I'll do that to. I always pair rams ie 2x2GB in parallel slots - 1&3 or 2&4. I also run memtests, both windows and the one delivered with bios and they showed nothing. Oh, I've given this machine to the service where they run all sorts of tests and found nothing, but as soon as I brought computer home it crashed. Seriously, I felt like there's nothing but break down and cry. So that's how it behaves: sometimes it can go well without any trouble, and then it just goes crazy out of boredom presumably.

Anybody could read those minidump files? There's 20 files so it should give some clue to a person who can read them and analyse them.
Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
November 25, 2012 7:50:14 PM

just run and analyse with who crashed if you got minidump crash files on your system it will report them you dont have to wait for the next bsod
a b $ Windows 7
November 25, 2012 8:32:17 PM

80% of the time the crash dumps are meaningless

memtest
prime95
furmark
hdtune

if all the hardware tests pass try a fresh install

also from experience ASUS and Corsair in the past didnt really mix well (memtest always pass, still crashes etc), and i generally dont like there ram for a few reasons -- try manually setting ALL the speeds/voltage/timing down to 667 (aka 333 or 1:1) @ CL5/6, +0.1v extra from stock, before doing all this reset the cmos first

Also check your HSF is installed correctly

Might also be a failing motherboard (VRM failure specifically) -- all my older Core 2 based systems eventually all developed a cold start issue, as soon as they warmed up for a few minutes they would work perfect for the day

Another trick you can do is get some WD40/RP7 and apply some to your fingers and wipe a small amount over the fingers/connectors of your ram and video card to improve contact -- can fix a lot of issues.

Best of luck.
November 25, 2012 8:59:42 PM

Something else to consider is dirty power esp if the pc seems to work at the repair shop. can you try a line conditioner or at least a different outlet? ( i have seen this in my bouts with clients )
a b $ Windows 7
November 26, 2012 12:05:37 AM

Consider the types of games and proigrams installed and check as to whether they are actually compatible with your operating system. Most apps and games are more likely to be Vista or XP as there are not many produced for Windows 7.

Some devices like the pen pablet and usb TV are only Vista unless it specifically states on the box that they are Win 7 compatible.

Audio and video drivers must be downloaded from each respective manufacturer site compatible with your OS.

Some audio programs can cause bsods

Perhaps you could list the programs and games that you have installed... and any devices that you have attached to the usbports.
November 28, 2012 2:21:52 PM

If no memory errors I would go with what Hard Line said, bad outlets or unstable power at your home. Maybe an APC with continuous delivery will solve the problem. I've had a system where MB would not maintain upped voltage for RAM, but it was throwing errors on ram tests.
November 28, 2012 3:31:37 PM

Could be an overheating issue.
November 29, 2012 3:41:09 PM

Overheating would shutdown or reboot system at somewhat given intervals.
a b $ Windows 7
November 29, 2012 4:47:37 PM

I now note at no point has anyone bothered to ask for the BSOD STOP code/error message to actually try and figure out what actually crashed, making any debugging moot.

Download Bluescreenview: http://download.cnet.com/BlueScreenView/3000-2094_4-109...

Post a screenshot so we can see the BSOD Error messages.

Based on description, I'd suspect bad RAM, so in the meantime, run memtest86+.
!