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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks! I've had a problem that's been haunting me for months now and it's been driving me crazy. I think it could be a faulty HD but I just don't know, it doesn't seem to make sense.

For a while now my computer has been randomly BSODing. When it's idle, when I'm playing a game, when I'm writing a word document, it can happen. Often times it will not immediately BSOD but my applications will begin to slowly lock up and I either wait for it to crash after a few minutes or reset it myself. During this if I try to ctrl alt delete, it comes up with the message "Failure - Security Options". The BSOD has also shown the errors KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR, KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR, and has also mentioned something about ataport.sys.

Upon first restart of the system after blue screen my monitor displays a blank screen with a blinking cursor. Second restart it comes up with a detection that it failed to boot and offers to set bios to default. Third restart I am able to boot into windows fine until the next time it decides to crash. The BSOD will also never write a crash log and I know I have it set to do that.

Sometimes I can go two weeks without a crash, sometimes I get three in one day. It's completely random. I have no viruses, sfc comes up with nothing, chkdsk comes up with nothing, and memtest comes up with nothing. I have heard that the errors that show with the bsod mean either memory or hd failure but I would like some confirmation before I go out and buy new hardware. Anyways, Thanks for reading my wall of text, hope I can finally put this problem to rest!

Also, almost forgot, ONE time it did crash immediately on windows startup directly after the first bsod, and that time I got a message I had never seen before, "Exception processing message" and some parameters before the crash. Don't know if thats related but probably. Thanks again.
 

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Re: Vista random BSOD/lockup

I had the same problem, never figured out what was causing it but reformatting solved it and a bunch of other problems i was having. Nothing like a fresh install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Vista random BSOD/lockup

Please follow the instructions. Post the resulting zip files to your next post.

jcgriff2

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Did I miss something? Zip files of what? Did I mess up my post? :4-dontkno

As for reformatting, yeah that's just about the only thing I haven't tried. I would have done it sooner but I felt like this problem was hardware related and it would be a waste of time. Time to dust off my external hd, I think... :p
 

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Re: Vista random BSOD/lockup

If you have your system set to write dump files but it didn't, it's either because your pagefile is on another partition, or the crash was due to catastrophic hardware failure, namely with the hard drive. In this case, my first bet is that you should perform a diagnostic on it.

What brand is your hard drive? I believe that every major company except for Toshiba provides a diagnostic tool that you can boot from a CD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Vista random BSOD/lockup

Sorry for double post, it won't let me edit. My HD is a Toshiba, ironically. If I use another brand's diagnostic I can still see if the HD is dying, right?
 

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Re: Vista random BSOD/lockup

Hi -

I have reviewed all of the files. Thank you for sending them.

Take a look at WERCON - Problem Reports & Solutions and see the sheer number of app crashes that you have had since turning the system on for the 1st time in June 2008 -
START | wercon | view problem history - 2x-click on an entry for add'l info

I see many crashes with 0xc0000005 exceptions = memory access violation.

You have quite a bit of installed apps, drivers, etc... which is fine, but others I don't recognize. The only way you'll be in a better position to judge whether software is the cause or if hardware is failing is to re-install Vista. start off fresh and see how the system responds. The first thing after re-install is to allow Windows Updates & manufacturer's driver updates in. The next thing - get rid of McAfee - it is the cause of most if not all of the 0xc..5 exception crashes. If McAfee was not installed originally, then a similar product probably was.

Un-install McAfee using the McAfee Removal Tool (MRT) - http://download.mcafee.com/products/licensed/cust_support_patches/MCPR.exe

Download the McAfee Removal Tool (MRT); save to desktop. Then go to desktop, RIGHT-click on the MRT icon and select Run as Administrator. When complete - re-boot.

Reset the Windows Firewall to its default settings -
START | type FirewallSettings.exe into the start search box | click on FirewallSettings.exe above | select the Advanced Tab | click on "Restore Defaults" | Click Apply, OK

Use AVG for a/v if you wish - http://free.avg.com/download-avg-anti-virus-free-edition

Regards. . .

jcgriff2

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Vista random BSOD/lockup

Thanks for the tips. I followed all your steps except for reformatting for now due to the fact that, ironically, the problem has not presented itself ever since I created this post. If it does present itself again, I will reformat and see how the system responds. If the problem persists after reformat, is it safe to say that hardware is failing? If so, should I start with replacing the hard drive?
 

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Re: Vista random BSOD/lockup

Don't replace anything until you are sure that it is the cause of the problem.
However if you wanted extra space anyway you could get a new one as a secondary drive and wait and see if your current one is just in the early stages of failure. That way, if it is, you have another drive to fall back on. Just be sure to back up the info on your current hard drive often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: Vista random BSOD/lockup

Ok. I got a blue screen this morning about 15 minutes after startup. I am going to try a few more things that I stumbled upon in another forum, but after that, upon next BSOD I will be reformatting. Ugh, packing up all my files is going to be quite a job!

I'll post back here in a while with the end results of that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: Vista random BSOD/lockup

Well the reformat worked great up until about 10 minutes ago when all my open windows suddenly stopped responding and vista proceeded to bsod after a few minutes. No dump file was created. 0x000000F4 error code, and cited a problem with win32k.sys? That's new.

Vista also seems to recognize that it shuts down unexpectedly now. yay? =/
 
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