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Old 02-21-2007, 01:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Blue Screen of Death madness!

I've been getting Blue Screens of Death, followed by an inmediate reboot, in 9 out of every 10 reboots.

Reinstalling Windows didn't solve the problem.

My current system is listed in my sig below (with a Raidmax 450W PSU). Nothing is overclocked right now and temps are acceptable.

Here's the (long) story.

I built this system on November 06, and it had been working without any problems until a month ago. I was getting some very bad mic interference, so I decided to upgrade my audio drivers (I downloaded them off Asus' website). At the same time, I upgraded my BIOS to version 0910. The first blue screen appeared around a week after that, during Windows loading at bootup. I simply rebooted and it worked fine.

In the past two weeks, the problem started to intensify. It got to the point where the computer would show a BSOD and restart several times before I could finally reach the Windows desktop. Believing it was because of the audio drivers, I rolled back to a previous version. It didn't work.

At that point I formatted my hard drive and reinstalled Windows, hoping it would solve the problem (yeah, blame it on Windows). The install proceeded normally. I installed the basic drivers (video, audio) and rebooted successfully several times. Everything was normal again and I thought I had solved the problem. The next morning I turned on my computer and there you go, a blue screen of death again! The problem came back just as easily as it had apparently been solved.

Believing the cause could be the 0910 BIOS, I flashed back to 0804, which was the one I had been using for the past couple of months. It didn't solve the problem. I then started systematically testing several components. I ran a surface scan of my hard drive, and it came out clean (no bad sectors). I booted with a memtest86 CD and ran 3 passes of the test (50 minutes), which reported no error. I also tried booting with only one memory module; the problem remained (which means that the modules are either both faulty or both good). I've also tried clearing my CMOS.

Just this morning I tried booting with all onboard devices disabled (sound, USB, JMicron controller) to no effect. In fact this morning the computer started to have problems POSTing (no beeps, no image), but does it irregularly. I tried booting with hard drive / optical drives unplugged: nada.

And this is my current state right now. I'm at work but I'll keep experimenting when I get back home.

I currently believe the problems could be caused by two possible things:
1) an electrical fault in one of the onboard devices, possibly audio.
2) an instability with the power supply, which is a 450W Raidmax unit, included with my case.

What's your opinion?
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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well the first place i would start looking is what is the stop error you are getting on the blue screen. most of the time that leads you into the general area of the problem and you can take it from there. it would be best to start trouble shooting from the stop error.

but what i would also try is unpluging everything and by everything i mean everything. no mem no hard drives not usb cable pluged into the mobo.

then add your mem and boot, of course with out it your going to get no where but it makes sure your mobo beeps which you said it wasnt. then it will stop because of your hard drive, so add that. if that boots leave it. also do not have any mice or keyboards plugged in at this time, most people dont know it and dont believe it but these devices can cause bsod and failure to post and im saying that from experience not cuz i read it in a post.

leave hard drive and memory in and let it boot into windows, use yoru power button to test restarts and we can take it from there

but try and get the stop error code they do help sometimes.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your reply. I did write down the stop errors I'm getting. It's basically these two:

1) DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, which is of course a driver issue.
2) PAGE_FAULT_IN_NON_PAGED_AREA, which points to a RAM issue.

I'll try disassembling my whole computer and selectively putting it back together as you suggest.
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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can you get the stop error numbers? the 0x000008a numbers etc.?
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi! Well, go ahead and try what "King X13" recommended...but, having those BSOD errors I think it's most likely a faulty application/drivers. See, the first error is pointing to a driver's problem...Does it mention any file name at the bottom of the screen next to the numeric code (0x0000...)???? IF so, that's your problematic driver and application, if it corresponds to a certain program. The second error is produced when an application tries to access a memory address (in RAM, of course) that doesn't exist or that was being accessed or used by another application. That COULD point to a RAM issue but 90 percent of the times is caused by faulty/unstable applications product of sloppy programming. Now, I would check on Event Viewer to see if it shows more information about that driver or application. You can open Event Viewer by clicking on Start>Run> type "eventvwr" and press Enter. Click on "Application" and look for the time and date of the errors. If you find some, double click will show you more info. Also, if the hardware diagnosis doesn't work, you could try a "System Restore" to a time before the BSOD started. Post back with more info and/or results,ok? Good Luck!
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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just a question that i think nobody has gotten to yet. ive noticed that when i forget to turn my cpu fan on (fan speed controller) that the system will bsod on boot with many diff errors, irq one and a page fault one being some of them, so check your system temps, should be in the bios under hardware monitor or some other tab.

and both of those errors point to ram, but then again, u said it passed memtest, so that points to either a failing mobo, or cpu. so see if you can get your hands on another cpu, and if that doesnt help, a different motherboard, which i am pretty sure will fix it.

wait. psu came with case, the one ur using currently? if it is the one that came with the case, i would upgrade to a 550w tk or something.
this should do
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I did write down the specific drivers that were reported as faulty but I'm not at home right now. I brought my computer to a friend's cyber cafe and I tried one of his power supplies. I reseated the CPU (though I didn't apply thermal paste). Despite all this, I still get errors, and I'm having a hard time POSTing. I did it with everything unplugged except video card and RAM.

About the CPU fan, it's connected, but last time I checked in the BIOS, the CPU temperature was 80°C. The CPU fan was spinning and the heatsink was solidly attached. Could that temp be an error? Yesterday (I finally managed to boot into windows) I ran Prime95 for 5 hours - no errors, and temps were normal (55°C).

This is all really puzzling . I'll try and get the specific error codes later tonight when I get home.
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think it's not hardware related, considering that you said a file name is being shown in the error; it could be two different problems that happen to occur at the same time. Try booting into Safe Mode several times. If you successfully boot in Safe Mode and no crashes or lock ups occur, then it's gotta be a driver/application issue. You can delete the driver that is being shown in the error and/or uninstall the problematic application in Safe Mode and if that doesn't solve the problem, do a system restore to an earlier time; you can always reverse the system restore so don't worry. In case you don't know or don't remember, you get into Safe Mode by pressing F8 when you restart your PC and choosing Safe Mode from the Options. Post back with more results, info or questions. Buena Suerte!
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Old 02-23-2007, 02:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for all your help guys, I say so sincerely.

I don't think it's a software issue. Safe Mode, Normal Mode, Last Configuration that Worked... it's all the same.. BSOD and crash. I also already formatted my hard drive and made a fresh Windows install (which amazingly didn't BSOD). This didn't solve the problem (heck, as far as I know it's becoming worse every day).

Tonight I took all the computer apart; I even removed the motherboard from the case. I put it on the table (with a soft surface and a antistatic bag), installed RAM and video card (and CPU of course) and plugged my PSU. Nothing changed. I still got the same problems (irregular POSTing and BSOD at Windows startup when I could POST). The BIOS setup also froze a couple times when I was setting values.

About the error messages, initially I was getting reports with win32k.sys, tcpip.sys and usb*.sys, but lately the BSOD does not show any filename. The Stop error codes are 0x00000024 (0x00190203, <varies>, 0x0000102, 0x00000000), accompanied with DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL or PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA. As I already mentioned I already tried booting with every onboard device disabled and every periferal disconnected - it's all useless.

I'm running out of ideas (and patience). I'll see if I can find a reliable tech support shop and have them take a look at the comp, see what they say (I won't let them touch anything though).

Other than that, I think it's time to initiate the long and tedious process to RMA the motherboard. However, I'm still not 100% sure it's the motherboard (could still be the CPU or RAM, but sadly I don't know anyone who could help me out testing them). If Asus does not have representation here in Mexico, I'll have to mail it out to the US, which will not only take weeks, but will cost at least $50 in shipping. Yay me.

PS: I'm writing this from my mother's old P3 500Mhz system, which still works after so many years that I've lost count... yet my $1400 Conroe system is upstairs functioning as paperweight. Cool!
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Meithan
Thanks for all your help guys, I say so sincerely.

I don't think it's a software issue. Safe Mode, Normal Mode, Last Configuration that Worked... it's all the same.. BSOD and crash. I also already formatted my hard drive and made a fresh Windows install (which amazingly didn't BSOD). This didn't solve the problem (heck, as far as I know it's becoming worse every day).

Tonight I took all the computer apart; I even removed the motherboard from the case. I put it on the table (with a soft surface and a antistatic bag), installed RAM and video card (and CPU of course) and plugged my PSU. Nothing changed. I still got the same problems (irregular POSTing and BSOD at Windows startup when I could POST). The BIOS setup also froze a couple times when I was setting values.

About the error messages, initially I was getting reports with win32k.sys, tcpip.sys and usb*.sys, but lately the BSOD does not show any filename. The Stop error codes are 0x00000024 (0x00190203, <varies>, 0x0000102, 0x00000000), accompanied with DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL or PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA. As I already mentioned I already tried booting with every onboard device disabled and every periferal disconnected - it's all useless.

I'm running out of ideas (and patience). I'll see if I can find a reliable tech support shop and have them take a look at the comp, see what they say (I won't let them touch anything though).

Other than that, I think it's time to initiate the long and tedious process to RMA the motherboard. However, I'm still not 100% sure it's the motherboard (could still be the CPU or RAM, but sadly I don't know anyone who could help me out testing them). If Asus does not have representation here in Mexico, I'll have to mail it out to the US, which will not only take weeks, but will cost at least $50 in shipping. Yay me.

PS: I'm writing this from my mother's old P3 500Mhz system, which still works after so many years that I've lost count... yet my $1400 Conroe system is upstairs functioning as paperweight. Cool!
You know, those files named in the errors are all drivers: "tcpip.sys" is the driver for the Internet Protocol TCP/IP, the "usb.sys" is for your USB ports, etc.. That could be a failing motherboard and it could also be a dying Hard Drive. Sometimes those dying hard drives will give you BSOD mentioning certain file names or the "DRIVER_IRQL_..." error without specifying any files. After a period of time, they die. Did you test your RAM yet? Failing RAM is known to give you those errors too, but usually they're more general and won't specify file names because it is not actually the "real" issue, but the errors are similar and they're commonly confused. Post back with more results or info. Good Luck!
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