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BSOD - ntoskrnl.exe IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

This is a discussion on BSOD - ntoskrnl.exe IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL within the BSOD, App Crashes And Hangs forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. OS - Windows 7 Home Premium SP 1 x64 Built this system about 2.5 years ago. Reformatted approximately one year


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Old 07-17-2013, 01:31 AM   #1
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OS: Win7 Home Premium Service Pack 1



OS - Windows 7 Home Premium SP 1 x64

Built this system about 2.5 years ago. Reformatted approximately one year ago. This makes the OS a retail version.

The hardware is all 2.5 years old except the GPU which is about 8 months old.

CPU - AMD Phenom X4 965 Black Edition

GPU - XFX Core Edition FX-787A-CNFC Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition

MOBO - ASUS M4A88T-M/USB3

PSU - ANTEC EarthWatts EA-650

RAM - 2 x 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1333

These BSODs have been happening primarily while playing video games (League of Legends, CS:GO, XCOM). WhoCrashed says its a cause of ntoskrnl.exe and ntkrnlmp.exe. The BSOD will say IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL. I've tried updating a few drivers: Audio/MOBO, graphics, webcam, keyboard, USB 3.0, and PCI IDE Controllers. DriverMax only shows that I've updated the webcam out of all of those and says a total of 16 are out of date (don't know if its scanning wrong or if I'm just an idiot and downloading the wrong drivers). The BSODs started happening about 1 week ago frequently.

For the few months prior, my computer startup was becoming very slow. I attributed that to the computer getting kind of old. Sometimes if I jumped into launching programs too quickly I would BSOD (not very frequently) but I would usually wait 10-15 minutes after launching windows to do anything. However, after updating some of these drivers, the computer startup has gotten better (I can start programs immediately with no crashes). I don't know if this contributes to the new BSODs that seem to happen randomly while playing video games. Sometimes they'll happen 5 minutes into the game and sometimes they don't come at all.
Attached Files
File Type: zip Windows7_Vista_jcgriff2.zip (3.12 MB, 109 views)
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:42 AM   #2
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OS: W8.1 x64



Hi,

First of all, don't use 3rd party driver applications to update your drivers as they are known to download / install buggy, incomplete, and outdated drivers. Always get your drivers if they are out of date from the manufacturers website of the piece of hardware in question.

All of the attached DMP files are of the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (a) bugcheck:


Quote:
A kernel-mode driver or process attempted to access a protected memory location it does not have permission for, or a kernel interrupt request level (IRQL) attempted to access a memory address that is too high.

This bugcheck usually occurs when a driver uses an incorrect memory address. Other possible causes of this error include: bug in a device driver, system service, the BIOS, an old Anti-virus program or backup tool, or possibly memory issues.
1. Uninstall AVG and replace with Microsoft Security Essentials for troubleshooting purposes:

AVG removal - AVG | Download tools and utilities

MSE - Microsoft Security Essentials - Microsoft Windows

If after removing and replacing AVG you're still crashing, enable Driver Verifier:

Driver Verifier:
Quote:
What is Driver Verifier?
Driver Verifier is included in Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 to promote stability and reliability; you can use this tool to troubleshoot driver issues. Windows kernel-mode components can cause system corruption or system failures as a result of an improperly written driver, such as an earlier version of a Windows Driver Model (WDM) driver.
Essentially, if there's a 3rd party driver believed to be at issue, enabling Driver Verifier will help flush out the rogue driver by flagging it and causing your system to BSOD.
Before enabling Driver Verifier, it is recommended to create a System Restore Point:
Vista - START | type rstrui - create a restore point
Windows 7 - START | type create | select "Create a Restore Point"
How to enable Driver Verifier:
Start > type "verifier" without the quotes > Select the following options -
1. Select - "Create custom settings (for code developers)"
2. Select - "Select individual settings from a full list"
3. Check the following boxes -
- Special Pool
- Pool Tracking
- Force IRQL Checking
- Deadlock Detection
- Security Checks (Windows 7)
- Concurrentcy Stress Test (Windows 8)
- DDI compliance checking (Windows 8)
- Miscellaneous Checks
4. Select - "Select driver names from a list"
5. Click on the "Provider" tab. This will sort all of the drivers by the provider.
6. Check EVERY box that is NOT provided by Microsoft / Microsoft Corporation.
7. Click on Finish.
8. Restart.
Important information regarding Driver Verifier:
- If Driver Verifier finds a violation, the system will BSOD.
- After enabling Driver Verifier and restarting the system, depending on the culprit, if for example the driver is on start-up, you may not be able to get back into normal Windows because Driver Verifier will flag it, and as stated above, that will cause / force a BSOD.
If this happens, do not panic, do the following:
- Boot into Safe Mode by repeatedly tapping the F8 key during boot-up.
- Once in Safe Mode - Start > type "system restore" without the quotes.
- Choose the restore point you created earlier.
If you did not set up a restore point, do not worry, you can still disable Driver Verifier to get back into normal Windows:
- Start > Search > type "cmd" without the quotes.
- To turn off Driver Verifier, type in cmd "verifier /reset" without the quotes.
- Restart and boot into normal Windows.
How long should I keep Driver Verifier enabled for?
It varies, many experts and analysts have different recommendations. Personally, I recommend keeping it enabled for at least 36-48 hours. If you don't BSOD by then, disable Driver Verifier.
My system BSOD'd, where can I find the crash dumps?
They will be located in C:\Windows\Minidump
Any other questions can most likely be answered by this article:
https://support.microsoft.com/kb/244617

Regards,

Patrick
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:14 PM   #3
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Thanks! I've gotten MSE installed and will see if the BSODs keep coming.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:21 PM   #4
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My pleasure, keep me updated.

Regards,

Patrick
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:02 AM   #5
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OS: Win7 Home Premium Service Pack 1



I just got another BSOD -- I wasn't doing anything at this point, I was away and when I came back my computer had restarted and said that I had blue screened. This time WhoCrashed states the fault at

NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM from ntfs.sys. I'm going to run the driver verifier in the morning and will post tomorrow. Thanks for the help.
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