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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so I've been having various crashing issues pointing to a random assortment of system drivers and .dll files... things that (according to various tech forums and sites) point to either a specific bum driver, or, more likely, faulty hardware.

After lots of messing around trying to fix a software problem, I reformatted windows from scratch... and have crashed 3 times since (in the course of a few hours); no system files have been referenced. So it seems pretty much certain that its a hardware issue.

The latest error code was 0x00000007 (0x0000000D, 0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000), in case anyone cares.

Unfortunately I don't have much experience in troubleshooting hardware issues. I don't know how to isolate what is causing the problems, beyond taking out various cards (all i have in there is 2 sticks of ram, a video card, and ethernet card... audio is integrated) and running the system to see if it crashes. But since I don't know how to trigger the crashes, that doesn't seem very efficient.

Any suggestions/tips would be appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Got another error that might be useful in debugging:

0x0000000A (0x01000000, 0x00000002, 0x00000000, 0x8067AE35)

I've uploaded my Everest report here.
 

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I would suggest starting with your memory - run memtest on each module separately:-

http://www.memtest.org/

Check out your temperatures and voltage levels - in your BIOS display screen.

I would then look to your power supply - the easiest way to check it is to swap it for a known good one.

However, I notice you have a VIA Chipset and an ATI Pro card which is quite possibly not a good marriage if you are a gamer.

My son uses a PC for gaming which runs on a VIA Chipset and a ATI pro card, and we have had a lot of problems with crashing when in certain games - but no problems at all when used with lower level graphics.

Having tried just about every suggestion I could find on the net, I fitted a case fan adjacent to the video card at a right angle, so that it receives a continuous flow of air across it - that has helped. However, I should say that the card wasn't overheating at all previously, but it seems that keeping the temperature down as much as possible does help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I ran memtest for nearly 12 hours lastnight, and didn't get any errors... so I think the RAM is clear.

I didn't realize there could be a compatibility issue b/w the VIA chipset and ATI Card-- can you tell me a little more about that? What kind of combinations work or don't work, etc.? I am a gamer, but if anything I crash more frequently when I'm browsing the web than when I play games. Thanks for your help!
 

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Any errors in Device Manager? Did you install your drivers after the reinstall?
What kind of computer is this? Dell? Gateway? Custom built?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I installed drivers after the reformat- ATI Catalyst 6.12 for the video driver, Realtek AC97 audio drivers for the sound... pretty much everything else windows updater took care of.

Its a custom built PC, and no errors in device manager (I caught one shortly after reformat after I thought I got everything-- the USB HUB-- but I've crashed several times since)
 

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The problems that can arise when running a VIA chipset with a ATI card tend to occur when the card is working hard - so if this occurs when you are surfing the net and not when gaming, then I wouldn't think that's your issue.

If memtest shows no problems with either module and the problem occurs when running either stick separately, that should rule out memory.

My next step would be to check the PSU and also temperatures - there's a lot of info on this on the: 'Troubleshooting, Tips and Tricks' board on this site.

You can also run some checks on your drive by going to My Computer and right clicking on the local drive, then properties - I would also suggest running the drive manufacturer's diagnostic software (free from their website) to rule out drive issues.

If this problem happens mainly when surfing, does it happen regardless of the browser you use, so with I.E, Firefox, what have you ? If you have I.E 7, I would suggest uninstalling it to see if that makes any difference.

Have you made any recent changes in modem/router settings, firewall, AV, etc?

Although it's unlikley, it is possible that there is still some dross on your drive that is causing this issue - to rule that possibility out, you will need to zero the drive (the manufacturer's diagnostic utility can be used for that) which will ensure a 'clean slate'. But that's probably best left as a last resort. If you have another PSU available, swapping it over would be a good next move to rule out that possibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I checked my BIOS and the temperatures seemed to be on the up and up. As far as the voltages go, I'm not sure what is reasonable and what isn't... the actual values were moderately close to the set values (12.2V as opposed to 12V, for instance). I ran chkdsk and everything checked out fine, but then after booting I crashed pretty rapidly (using Firefox 2.0 -- I have IE7 but never use it... I can check to see if I crash with it too if you think its worth it).

I haven't made any changes to the system, either before or after the reformat. However, the crashing has been an off an on problem for some time, so I may have forgotten some minor change that I made that caused the issue. You'd think the reformat would handle most of those issues, though.

I'll check out the manufacturer's stuff soon, but I thought this last error might shed some light on things. Soon after chkdsk finished, I got this error:

ntfs.sys
The driver mistakenly marked a part of it's image pagable instead of nonpagable
...
0x000000D3 (0xBADF52C3, 0x00000002, 0x00000000, 0x8067AE35)


I notice the last entry in the error code is the same one as before. If I recall correctly, that code is supposed to reference the faulty driver or whatever. Would it be worthwhile to figure out what that code references?
 

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petercj has been giving you some very sound advice and it may help if you post the temps and the voltages of the +3.3V, +5V and +12V.

If you could post the voltages while at idle and then under stress that could help also.

It don't sound to me like a driver, more hardware, Does the computer ever restart?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Sure, here's the info from an Everest scan I just took- the computer has been on for awhile and I just finished downloading a large file, so I suppose that can be considered under stress (?). Would idle be right after a cold boot?

What do you mean "restart"? I crash to BSODs, and occasionally if I'm running a game I crash to a blue screen without any text, but I never randomly reboot.
-----
Temperatures:
Motherboard 29 °C (84 °F)
CPU 34 °C (93 °F)
Seagate ST3160023A 27 °C (81 °F)

Cooling Fans:
CPU 2722 RPM

Voltage Values:
CPU Core 1.54 V
Aux 0.03 V
+3.3 V 3.20 V
+5 V 5.03 V
+12 V 11.98 V
-12 V -12.36 V
-5 V -5.25 V
+5 V Standby 4.95 V
VBAT Battery 2.88 V


edit: I took another report while I was running various programs (iTunes, a flash program, chat programs...) and got almost identical results, in case thats a better definition of a stressed system. I'm hoping this is going to validate my PSU one way or another-- I don't have any others on hand and I'd like to only replace the part of my system that needs it. But I'll take what I can get. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok, I just did. It didn't indicate there were any errors.


I feel like I should mention that my video card is the oldest piece of hardware in my computer, so I'm more inclined to think it is faulty than anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I imagine this is unrelated, but in case it isn't...

after reformatting I reinstalled microsoft office, and tried sending a word document to someone on a different computer- they couldn't open it (when they tried, word crashed). I don't get any errors on my computer when opening files. I tried doing a repair and then a reinstall to no effect.

I'm more concerned about the crashing problems and don't want to derail the conversation here, but in case this ties into my crashing problem in some way beyond my comprehension, I thought I should mention it.


Back on track, I looked for hard drive diagnostic software on western digital's website, but couldn't find anything that looked useful for my hard drive (http://support.wdc.com/ , my model is WDC WD205AA)

Thanks for all your help, everyone.
 

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See if you have any minidump files, C:\windows\minidump. Zip up 5 or 6 of the most recent ones and attach to your next post.

Memtest isn't perfect, try running with only 1 stick of RAM at a time, if it still crashes then swap it with the other stick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here is a zip of my minidumps.

I actually have 2 hard drives- a 1 year old seagate which I use as a storage drive, and 6 year old western digital which I use to run windows and various applications (like microsoft office). I checked and it was manufactured on 3.17.2000, so isn't covered in that recall. The Everest report listed both of them:
---
Storage:
Disk Drive WDC WD205AA (19 GB, IDE)
Disk Drive ST3160023A (160 GB, 7200 RPM,
Ultra-ATA/100)
---

I DLed Lifeguard, but I don't see how it will help me- it won't let me touch my WD hard drive since I'm booting from it. Aside from that, it looks its main function is to create partitions, copy data from partition to partition, and give basic information on the drive. I don't see any diagnostic or repair utilities... am I missing something?

I'll try taking out my RAM, but it might be awhile before I learn anything conclusive- the crashing is pretty sporadic (it actually hasn't crashed since I ran chkdsk /f /r lastnight).
 

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I DLed Lifeguard, but I don't see how it will help me- it won't let me touch my WD hard drive since I'm booting from it.
??

Lifeguard is downloaded to your drive and then loaded onto a floppy, which you then boot from? It runs in DOS - there is no need to boot windows.

(it actually hasn't crashed since I ran chkdsk /f /r lastnight).
Maybe chkdsk has sorted it - fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The WD site has various versions available for download, one for windows and several for DOS. Link:
http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp?cxml=n&pid=5&swid=1

I went with the windows version based on this text on that site:
"If your computer system already has a hard drive installed with an operating system of Windows 98SE or greater, you should use the Windows version of Data Lifeguard for best results."

If you think going the DOS route would yield better results I'll be happy to give that a swing, though.

In a bit of unrelated news, I just tried loading up a game for the first time since reformatting (and with all my RAM) and I'm getting horrible framerates regardless of the computer settings. I ran an in game diagnostic and even on minimum settings across the board (DOOM II-ish graphics) my fps was below 25 65% of the time. Not sure why that is but I figured I'd mention in case that helps anyone decipher my problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Wow, I'm a moron... thanks. :)

I did an extended test and it checked out fine, so presumably its not the hard drive.

Since I did the /chkdsk /f /r, I still haven't had a BSOD, but I did randomly reboot once (the first time I can remember that happening) while I was surfing the net.

Additionally, since I was getting crappy framerates with the game I was playing (F.E.A.R. by Sierra in case anyone cares), I decided to install and play another game, to see if I had the same problem or not. So I installed Max Payne (by Remedy), and I crash to desktop every time I try to start the game- I can get to the main menu fine; its when the game tries to switch from the menu to the game engine that it crashes.

So that makes me think that maybe my graphics card has been circling the drain for awhile, and just kicked over from causing system problems to not working well/at all as a graphics card. But of course the random reboot might point to a PSU problem. Thoughts?

edit: Looks like I jinxed myself. Right after posting this I got a "IRQL_NOT..." BSOD. Here's the error code:

0x0000000A (0x00E16EA0, 0x00000002, 0x00000000, 0x806739B8)
 
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