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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all, new to the forums. Normally I'm the one giving advice on this kind of stuff, but now I'm stuck and I have no idea on how to fix my issue.

A few days ago, I purchased a new PC with custom parts. The specs are:
Code:
Quad Core 2.4 ghz,
 [SLI] Asus P5N-D Nvidia nForce 750i SLI Chipset w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394, Dual PCI-E MB ,
 2 gigs ram, 
SLI nvidia 8800 GT (2x) 1gb graphics cards
It came with a blank 250 gig HDD. I installed XP Home SP2 and immediately installed the Asus drivers that came with it, followed by nvidia drivers (which auto-installed nvidia control panel, firewall, and probably some other crap I wasn't aware of). I then continued to install AVG anti-virus and ZoneAlarm firewall.

Well, I don't remember exactly, but sometime during that first day I was hit with a ton of BSODs, and they keep coming. I hadn't turned off automatic restart at first, but I tried to remember the files/errors that came up as best I could. These are the files that kept showing up on the BSODs:
vsdatant.sys
portcls.sys
Nv4_disp.dll
afd.sys
win32k.sys

After some web surfing, I read that the NV one was caused by the nvidia firewall. So I went ahead and uninstalled the nvidia network manager thing and yeah, that one hasn't showed up since. I also read that zonealarm caused the vsdatant one, so after constant BSODs popping up when trying to uninstall it, I managed to remove the firewall. That fixed everything except afd.sys. afd.sys keeps messing up, and just when I thought that was the only problem I had, today I got win32k.sys.

So yeah, I'm decently angry. It's not like they occur during any specific action, they're almost random. Sometimes it doesn't even tell me a dll or system file that caused the problem, it just does a physical memory dump and is blank on the section that's supposed to contain the file that caused the BSOD.

I realize I probably should have written the stop hexes down too, but I forgot. I do, however, have the minidumps. I've uploaded a zip of all the minidumps. Remember though, vsdatant and nv4_disp.dll are probably fixed, and the portcls one only happened once with weird circumstances. I believe the real issue revolves around afd.sys.

if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Some say that zonealarm causes most of these. Could it be that it left some dlls or something that are screwing me? Oh, and, please don't suggest it's a virus/malware. I got the comp a few days ago, I had connected to the internet maybe 15 mins when I got the first BSOD with avg/za running. No way I got a virus.

I figure it's kind of beneficial that this is a new PC with a new XP install. I mean, I have almost nothing installed so there's not much clutter to go through. I have installed a few things since the first few BSODs, but nothing that is suspicious.

Sorry for the length, but I figure details are better than ambiguity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, it just BSOD'd again with something that came up before but I forgot about:
DRIVER_IRQL_NOT _LESS_OR_EQUAL STOP: 0x000000D1
tcpip.sys

Here's the minidump of it.

Also, I can't seem to find the freaking 'edit' button, so i've triple posted now without intending to. =(
 

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TSF Team Emeritus , Microsoft Visitng Expert
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Hello an00bis :smile:

Suspect the RAM too
Swap the sticks over or take one out and try again with only stick #1. If it does not help or makes things worse swap the sticks and try again with only stick #2. This will identify if you have a bad stick.

OR
You can put either of these free programs on a floppy and test the RAM. Let them run for hours to do many passes if you can

memtest86 http://www.memtest86.com/

Windows Memory Diagnostic http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

Memtest on CD
http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/256/mirrors.php

Make sure all ram is the same. Mix and match is not a good idea
 

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Welcome to TSF....

Somewhere I heard something about the nVidia firewall having problems but anyway I do not think having two firewalls at the same time is a good thing. I would suggest removing the nVidia firewall from the computer thru add/remove programs and reboot two or three times just to make sure it is clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey thanks for all the replies guys.

To the poster above me: I did remove the nvidia one and then zonealarm as well seeing as how both seemed to cause issues.

To the person that suggested the RAM thing. I am about to try that. I ran the memtest86 (Not all the way). When it was about 35% done with test number 2 only, it already had over 13,000 errors. Yeah.... I figured "ok, the ram has thousands of errors, no need to wait until the end to find more."

Ok, so basically, I have it narrowed down to three issues:
1. Power Supply - I don't know much about them, but I thought 600W was enough. I'll use this as a last resort since I already blew tons of cash on this comp.
2. Ram - I received all those errors on memtest86, so I'll check to see if they're loosely seated or just messed up.
3. Network card - Both of my firewalls had issues, and it seems like I only get the errors when I am connected to the internet. For a whole multi-hour session I had my ethernet cable unplugged and I didn't get any errors. Could it be loosely seated/bad? The most common BSODs I get are from tcpip.sys and afd.sys, both dealing with internet/network stuff. This was my first guess, but the others seem valid as well.

Anyone know how I can narrow those down more without buying tons of stuff? The ram stick idea is something I'll be trying in just a bit and I'll post results. Also, is anyone able to read those dump files in order to give me more info?

Thanks again.
 

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TSF Team Emeritus , Microsoft Visitng Expert
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Yes,the first thing to do is what I suggested above with the RAM sticks

Swap the sticks over or take one out and try again with only stick #1. If it does not help or makes things worse swap the sticks and try again with only stick #2. This will identify if you have a bad stick.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I will do that, but I have a question about the process. Once I start up with only 1 stick, how do I know if it's better? Should I be running memtest86 again? The BSODs are very random, so I wouldn't know how to induce one to know if the problem is fixed or not. Sometimes it takes 15 mins to get one, sometimes it takes an hour or two. Will the memtest be sufficient?
 

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TSF Team Emeritus , Microsoft Visitng Expert
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You could either run memtest again or just use the system.

If you are running with just the bad stick I would expect you to get a BSOD pretty quick. Maybe even at bootup

Run for a day and if you do not get a BSOD, swap to the other stick and see what happens

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ok, thanks for the quick reply. Also, I just ran a PSU calculator that told me I need roughly 677 watts. Damn, I only have a 600W psu. Could the ram errors in memtest have been caused by a weak PSU? I hope I don't have to replace BOTH things, that would suck a lot. Thanks again, opening my case now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Not sure, I used this:
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

Either way, I called up the place where I got my comp from, and they told me "Oh yeah, that PSU wattage is way too low." (you'd think they'd have realized that while filling out the order and making it...) Well, the guy recommended at least 650, but 700 just to be safe. So, I got a 750w one with a nice deal (it's a Thermaltake PSU. Good/Bad in your opinioin? You said the xion one was bad quality). hopefully that'll be enough. Having said that, I am going to hold off on messing with the ram. I want to fix the PSU thing first, and see if that does anything with the memtest. If not, I'll do the 1 stick trick. Thanks all, I'll keep you posted. The PSU might take a while to get here though. let me know if the wattage is still too low.
 

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TSF Team Emeritus , Microsoft Visitng Expert
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Just to let you know I am off on holiday on Friday.

Since you won`t be posting for some days I won`t be able to reply again.

Good luck :smile:
 

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thermaltake tough power are the recommended ones
you add the 30% to the calculator results,but your inicial 667w seems a little high for what you have i think the 750 will be fine provided it is the t/power line
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I know it's been a long time, but I had some issues getting my PSU replaced. Either way, it's done now. 99% of the issues have stopped. I did receive another BSOD, but that one pointed to one thing only: The ram. I re-ran memtest several times to see if it was either the sticks or the slots, and was able to pin-point it to one stick. Well, now I'm getting that replaced. I've been running the machine with the new PSU and the 1 good stick, and it's been perfect so far. So thank you all for helping me out, you guys got it from the start: PSU or RAM, and it was both unfortunately. You guys deserve a medal.
 
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