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Display freezes, BSODs and random system crashes


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#1 Amjad Ali

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:09 AM

My computer has been crashing a lot lately. Usually, the computer freezes and weird lines appear on the display when it happens. Other times it just shows a BSOD and restarts. It started happening around 2-3 weeks after my motherboard, processor and RAM were changed because a part of the previous motherboard had burnt. The previous motherboard was ASUS M3A78-EM, the onboard graphics was ATI Radeon HD 3200 and RAM was 2 GB DDR2.

I took the PC to a my computer vendor after everything I tried had failed. Firstly, he diagnosed it as an issue because of improper earthing/grounding in the switchboard where I plugged the computer and the UPS. I got the earthing issue sorted but to no avail, it still hanged/freezed. The second time I took it to him he said that he might have to update the BIOS and when I brought it back the problem had apparently been fixed but that was only for a few days. After like 4-5 days it started happening again. Same weird lines - green, magenta, purple and all the rest of it - started appearing. The HDD LED stops when this happens. I only observed the LED today, though. Today the computer freezed without those weird lines on two out of the 5 or 6 times it happenrd, it looked like it had just hanged but the HDD LED had gone off.

Sometimes the PC doesn't start up at all immediately after it has crashed. That's what led me to guess it's a hardware issue. Also, it happens in safe mode and Windows XP too (I dual boot Windows XP and Windows 7) and I remember it once happening even before the computer had completely booted.

Computer details:
Windows 7 32-bit
ASUS M4A78LT-M-LE
AMD Athlon II X2 250
ATI Radeon 3000 onboard graphics
1 x 2 GB DDR3 RAM
250 GB SATA

Minidumps and NirSoft BlueScreenView HTML report:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16976034/Minidump.zip

CPU Z HTML report:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16976034/CPU%20Z%20report.zip

Please help me fix this problem. I have had this for like 2 months now and it's getting between me and my work. :(

Edited by Amjad Ali, 27 October 2011 - 08:12 AM.


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#2 Allan

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:11 AM

After installing the new motherboard did you format and reinstall the OS and then install all of the correct drivers?

#3 Amjad Ali

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:36 AM

After installing the new motherboard did you format and reinstall the OS and then install all of the correct drivers?

No, I did not reinstall windows after the hardware upgrade. I last reinstalled Windows 7 this June. The vendor had installed the drivers from the disk that came with the motherboard, though.

Edit: I asked the vendor to install Windows 7 Service pack 1 and windows updates when I gave it to him for the BIOS update since my internet connection isn't in order atm.

Edited by Amjad Ali, 27 October 2011 - 08:39 AM.


#4 Allan

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:38 AM

If you put in a different motherboard you should reinstall the OS.

#5 Amjad Ali

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:54 AM

If you put in a different motherboard you should reinstall the OS.

That's it then? I only need to reinstall Windows 7?
But I don't understand why it worked for a couple of weeks after the hardware upgrade before it started freezing and crashing.

#6 Allan

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 09:15 AM

Nor do I and no, I'm not guaranteeing anything. I am, however, saying that after changing a motherboard you must reinstall Windows and all drivers to insure the OS recognizes the appropriate hardware and is set up to work properly with it. You'll want to obtain all drivers from the OEM websites, not from Windows Update (ie, the chipset driver from Asus, video driver from ATI, etc).

#7 Amjad Ali

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 10:15 AM

Nor do I and no, I'm not guaranteeing anything. I am, however, saying that after changing a motherboard you must reinstall Windows and all drivers to insure the OS recognizes the appropriate hardware and is set up to work properly with it. You'll want to obtain all drivers from the OEM websites, not from Windows Update (ie, the chipset driver from Asus, video driver from ATI, etc).

I guess I will try a reinstall. By the way, would it be alright to install drivers from the bundled disk? I don't have a proper internet connection atm.

#8 Allan

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 10:29 AM

You'll need to download the correct chipset driver for you new motherboard. Other than that, if the rest of the hardware is the same you can use the drivers on the disc. Or you can download them on the computer you're using now and copy them (usb drive) to the system in question.

#9 Amjad Ali

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:34 AM

I reinstalled windows but the problem still remains. :/
Also, I forgot to mention that at times the computer switches on but it doesn't boot. The power light on the cabinet lights up and some noise can be heard but nothing else suggests that it is switched on (display and keyboard are both inactive).
Another thing I didn't mention, when the computer is switched on (ever since I started having this problem) a scratching like sound can be heard lasting only 1 or 2 seconds.

#10 Allan

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:51 AM

Well, that would have been nice to know at the start.

It could be anything from a bad hd to a bad power supply to something else. Let's start by doing some standard tests:

To run checkdisk, right-click on a command prompt icon and open as administrator. In the command prompt window type: chkdsk /r (then press ENTER). You'll be told the disk is in use and asked if you want to run checkdisk on the next boot. Say yes, exit the command prompt window, and reboot.

To check the ram, download memtest (http://memtest.org/). Burn it to a cd using a dedicated .iso burning utility (http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_write_iso_files_to_cd.htm), make sure the cd drive is at the top of the boot order in bios, then boot to the newly created cd and run the utility.

To check the power supply you'll need to plug in a different power supply if you have one handy.

#11 Amjad Ali

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 02:51 PM

I ran chkdsk with the /f parameter and without it and it didn't show any errors. I will try it with the /r parameter tomorrow.
I tried memtest a day or two ago and it didn't show any errors in 4 or 5 passes. Should I let it run for more passes?

#12 Allan

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:28 PM

No, that's fine.

#13 Amjad Ali

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 11:17 AM

Chkdsk didn't show anything irregular.
I haven't tried using different cables yet but when I took the cabinet to the vendor, he tested it using his own cables but it still froze. So the problem might not really be with the cables.
What should I do now? This problem is getting on my nerves. :(

#14 Allan

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 05:39 PM

Well, if you reformatted and then renistalled the OS and then installed all of the correct drivers, you almost certainly have a hardware problem. That "scratching" noise is strange and it would be good if you could isolate and identify it. But the fact that sometimes the system simply doesn't boot could be anything - power supply, cpu, motherboard.... anything. Sorry, but sometimes it's next to impossible to diagnose on a forum.




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