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Seemingly Random BSOD's


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#1 Superneato

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:52 PM

I built a machine with the following specs for my sister about 2 years ago. Starting about one year ago, the BSOD's began. I used bluescreenview to view the memory dump files; I've attached the log. I haven't had time to download the dump file with MS debugging tools. Can you guys help me with what I've provided? I've updated windows and all the drivers to most current versions.

Gigabye GA-MA785GM-US2H Rev 1.0 Bios version:???
AMD X2 250
WD 320gb WD3200AAKS
Crucial Ballistix 2 x 2GB
PC Power & Cooling 370W
Dlink DWA-160 USB Wifi Client HW Version A2


==================================================
Dump File : Mini102211-01.dmp
Crash Time : 10/22/2011 4:45:18 PM
Bug Check String : IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
Bug Check Code : 0x0000000a
Parameter 1 : 0x00000018
Parameter 2 : 0x00000002
Parameter 3 : 0x00000000
Parameter 4 : 0x8051c796
Caused By Driver : ntkrnlpa.exe
Caused By Address : ntkrnlpa.exe+6d758
File Description : NT Kernel & System
Product Name : Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
Company : Microsoft Corporation
File Version : 5.1.2600.6055 (xpsp_sp3_gdr.101209-1647)
Processor : 32-bit
Crash Address : ntkrnlpa.exe+6d758
Stack Address 1 : ntkrnlpa.exe+45796
Stack Address 2 : ntkrnlpa.exe+116d9
Stack Address 3 : ntkrnlpa.exe+1193b
Computer Name :
Full Path : C:\WINDOWS\Minidump\Mini102211-01.dmp
Processors Count : 2
Major Version : 15
Minor Version : 2600
Dump File Size : 65,536
==================================================

Attached Files

  • Attached File  1.txt   40.17KB   7 downloads


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#2 noknojon

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 02:31 AM

Hi Superneato and Welcome -
(If you have not yet done this) - Could you please first run a chkdsk /r scan to make there are no errors to fix.
Go - Start > Run > Type chkdsk /r > click OK and you will then reboot to start the scan (takes about 1 hour on average).

Are the BSODs "totally random", or do they seem to relate to certain games, or during on line surfing ??
Also if you look in Defrag, can you see if you have plenty of free space, and can you Defrag the main (usually) C: drive.

Thank You -

#3 AustrAlien

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 05:02 AM

Please post the log produced by running chkdsk /r ...

A log of the disk check is recorded only if the scheduled re-start is used, and only for drives on the same HDD as the Operating System.
To open Event Viewer and view the log:
  • Go to Start > Run > and type eventvwr and press the <ENTER> key.
    The Event Viewer window will open.
  • In the left pane, click on Application.
  • In the right pane, at the top, click on the column heading Source to sort the list alphabetically.
  • Look in the Source column for "Winlogon", with an entry corresponding to the date and time of the disk check.
  • Double-click on that entry to view the log.
  • Click on the Posted Image button to copy the log text to the clipboard.
  • Paste the log text into your next reply.

The attached bluescreenview report shows 20 minidumps created between 14th Nov. 2010 and 22nd of Oct. 2011, all referencing important Windows system files that are unlikely to have anything to do with the problem.
  • Bug Check Code : 0x0000000a ... x 2 (the two most recent crashes)
  • Bug Check Code : 0x1000000a ... x 8
  • Bug Check Code : 0x10000050 ... x 3
  • Bug Check Code : 0x0000007a ... x 1
  • Bug Check Code : 0x1000007f ... x 1
  • Bug Check Code : 0x0000001a ... x 1
  • Bug Check Code : 0x1000008e ... x 2
  • Bug Check Code : 0x00000024 ... x 1
  • Bug Check Code : 0x00000019 ... x 1 (the first crash recorded)
The variability of the errors suggests a hardware problem, most likely RAM, based on the info available.

Test the memory (RAM).

Memory needs to be tested outside of Windows, so memtest86+ is run from a bootable CD.

:step1: To make a bootable CD with memtest86+:
  • Extract the downloaded zip file:
    • In Windows XP, right-click on the zip file and choose Extract all.
      The contents of the zip file (the .ISO image file) will be extracted to a folder in the same location as your zip file.
  • Burn the .ISO image to CD: If you do not already have a suitable burning program for writing .ISO images to disc ...
    • Download and install ImgBurn.
    • Ensure that you UN-check the box agreeing to install the Ask toolbar during the installation.
    • Place a new (blank) CD disc in the drive tray.
    • Choose Write image file to disc.
    • Under Source, click on the Browse button: Navigate to and select the .ISO file that you wish to burn.
    • Place a check-mark in the box beside Verify.
  • Click Posted Image
  • When the CD has been burned and verified as successful, it will be bootable.

:step2: Boot from the newly created CD.
  • You may need to configure BIOS or the Boot Menu to boot first from the CD.
  • memtest86+ will begin running automatically: You need do nothing else at this time.
  • Allow memtest86+ to run un-interrupted.
See the screenshots in this informative link: Diagnose with Memtest86+

There MUST be NO errors what-so-ever:
  • If you see an error, stop the test.
  • Then proceed to test each stick of RAM separately to sort the good from the bad.
A minimum test for some confidence in the result, should be 7 full passes (each "pass" is a series of different types of tests), with NO errors.
  • Allow memtest86+ to run for 24 hours for maximum confidence in the test result.
memtest86+ will continue running until you stop it:
  • Press the <ESCAPE> key to re-boot the computer, removing the memtest86+ CD.

AustrAlien
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#4 Superneato

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:46 PM

Thanks for the quick replies!

I should have mentioned that I had already run memtest86 for 8 hours to rule out the memory. It passed with no errors. I will run it again for a full 24 hours though and post the results. I had also run checkdisk/repair and still got another BSOD. I will run it again and post the log. There is plenty of space on the drive (90% free) but I have not run a defrag yet. The BSOD's generally seem to be random. They happen during a wide range of activities. Sometimes they occur surfing the web, other times just shortly after boot up. I'll post again in a couple days with the test results and logs.

#5 AustrAlien

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 10:56 PM

I had already run memtest86 ...... I will run it again

Please use memtest86+ in preference to memtest86.
AustrAlien
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#6 Superneato

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 08:37 PM

After 22 hours and 23 passes running Memtest86+ v4.20, no errors reported.

I updated my Bios version from F4 to F12a.

I ran Chkdsk /r and have attached the log file.

I defragmented my drive in Safe Mode.

Before I performed the above steps, I got another BSOD just before the logon dialog box appears during a cold boot. Bluescreenview log for the dump looks basically identical to the 10-22-11 dump from my first post.

What next?

Attached Files



#7 OldPhil

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:34 PM

I have read where ntkrnlpa.exe can cause what you are experiencing, might be worth looking into.

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#8 jcgriff2

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 08:45 PM

Hi -

BSODs with varying bugchecks are indicative of hardware failure. RAM is a definite contender.

Two dumps named ntfs.sys = Microsoft NTFS file system. One of the 2 dumps had bugcheck = 0x24, further indicating a problem with the HDD may exist.

Run HDD diags - SeaTools for DOS - http://www.techsupportforum.com/2828431-post7.html

Please use memtest86+ in preference to memtest86.


Please be sure to run memtest86+ one stick at a time; alternate the slots

I have read where ntkrnlpa.exe can cause what you are experiencing, might be worth looking into.

ntkrnlpa.exe = The Windows NT Kernel; 1 CPU; PAE enabled

When "NT" is named probable cause in a BSOD -- it is simply a default.

If memtest and HDD diags are clean, run Driver Verifier - http://sysnative.com/0x1/Driver_Verifier.htm

The instructions are the same for XP, except run verifier from a cmd/DOS prompt.

Please zip up the dump files and attach to your next post.

Regards. . .

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Microsoft Windows Insider MVP 2018 - Present

#9 Superneato

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 12:45 PM

Run HDD diags - SeaTools for DOS - http://www.techsupportforum.com/2828431-post7.html


Ran extended HDD test, no errors found.

Please be sure to run memtest86+ one stick at a time; alternate the slots


22 hours of Memtest86+ yielded no errors.

If memtest and HDD diags are clean, run Driver Verifier - http://sysnative.com/0x1/Driver_Verifier.htm


I followed the instructions to run driver verifier, but after restarting - the machine simply boot into windows normally. Am I missing something?

#10 AustrAlien

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 03:02 PM

I followed the instructions to run driver verifier, but after restarting - the machine simply boot into windows normally.

That's correct: Simply allow the machine to run normally, and leave it running until it crashes.

The Driver Verifier needs to run for 24 hours minimum - even if the status screen appears clear.

If your system BSOD’s under the Driver Verifier, retrieve the dump file from c:\windows\minidump, zip it up & attach to your next post.

http://sysnative.com/0x1/Driver_Verifier.htm
AustrAlien
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#11 Superneato

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 05:05 PM

That's correct: Simply allow the machine to run normally, and leave it running until it crashes.


Whoops. I have since restarted again and also shut down. Should I repeat the steps for driver verifier?

How do you cancel driver verifier once it has run for 24 hours?

#12 AustrAlien

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 05:21 PM

Please familiarise yourself with the information provided about the use of Driver Verifier in the link that has been provided previously:
http://sysnative.com/0x1/Driver_Verifier.htm
Here you will find information about viewing the status and turning off the Driver Verifier.

Once you have enabled Driver Verifier, it will remain enabled until you turn it off. Simply start the computer and leave it running .... whether you are using it or not does not matter all that much, but might hasten the process if you are able to do whatever might normally trigger a crash. However, in your case, I don't think you have any ideas about what may trigger the event.


The Driver Verifier needs to run for 24 hours minimum

The minumum is 24 hours for any confidence in the result: In other words, you can run it for as long as it takes for the system to crash, whether it be 1 day, or 2 days or more? If a "good" length of time passes without a crash, you can only assume that Driver Verifier is not going to find the problem, and then make the decision to disable it/turn it off ... and look elsewhere for the problem.
AustrAlien
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#13 Superneato

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:11 PM

Please familiarise yourself with the information provided about the use of Driver Verifier in the link that has been provided previously:
http://sysnative.com/0x1/Driver_Verifier.htm
Here you will find information about viewing the status and turning off the Driver Verifier.

However, in your case, I don't think you have any ideas about what may trigger the event.

The Driver Verifier needs to run for 24 hours minimum

The minumum is 24 hours for any confidence in the result: In other words, you can run it for as long as it takes for the system to crash, whether it be 1 day, or 2 days or more? If a "good" length of time passes without a crash, you can only assume that Driver Verifier is not going to find the problem, and then make the decision to disable it/turn it off ... and look elsewhere for the problem.


My apologies for not reading the Driver Verifier instructions more carefully. :blush:

So I let Driver Verifier run for about 72 hours while using the machine like normal. I could not trigger a single blue screen.

At this point, I have a theory that the BSOD's are caused by a strange issue with the wireless network the machine normally uses. The signal strength is strong, but packet loss seems almost 100%. While trying to web surf or download antivirus updates (or do anything requiring internet), the machine freezes almost imperceptibly. Sometimes I believe these hangs lead to bluescreens.

During this entire week/thread of testing, the machine has been at my house on a different network and doesn't exhibit the same connectivity issues...and no BSOD's have occurred either. Am I barking up the wrong tree? I'm contemplating just telling the owner to use wired Ethernet and call it a day.

Edited by Superneato, 28 November 2011 - 09:11 PM.


#14 AustrAlien

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 03:00 AM

The chkdsk log looks good. The RAM checks out OK .. along with everything else and Driver Verifier cannot now find a problem. You've done well, but the cause of the problem has eluded us and we cannot induce another BSOD.

You said: "Before I performed the above steps, I got another BSOD just before the logon dialog box appears during a cold boot. Bluescreenview log for the dump looks basically identical to the 10-22-11 dump from my first post."
and then ...
"During this entire week/thread of testing, the machine has been at my house on a different network and doesn't exhibit the same connectivity issues...and no BSOD's have occurred either."
Did the above-mentioned last BSOD occur before moving the system to your house too?

You have stopped getting BSODs after updating the BIOS version: I suppose it is possible that this might have fixed the problem?

You said: "At this point, I have a theory that the BSOD's are caused by a strange issue with the wireless network the machine normally uses."
Your theory seems plausible to me.

The problem has been an on-going one over a long period (a year), and I can only guess that you would like to pinpoint the cause if possible. If you wish to do that ....

:step1: Please zip up the minidumps and attach the resultant zip file to your next reply so I can have a closer look.
  • There's a chance I might get some more useful info from them.
  • Navigate to C:\Windows\Minidump <<< folder
  • Click on the first minidump file to select it.
  • Hold down the <Shift> key, and click on the last minidump file to select all of the files.
  • Release the <Shift> key.
  • Now, right-click on any one of the selected files > Send to ... > Compressed (zipped) Folder.
    The zip file will be located in the same place (the Minidump folder).
  • Attach the zip file to your next reply.
    When you click on Add Reply, you will see the facility to attach a file just below the box where you type your message.

:step2: Please Publish a Snapshot using Speccy, and post a link to it in this thread: It is a convenient and accurate way of providing us with details of your computer specifications.

Otherwise, go ahead with your plan to return the computer to its owner (if your sister, you will no doubt have some flexibility here) and either do as you suggested or try the wireless connection again and see if the problem persists. If the BSODs continue, you may be able to run Driver Verifier again there: With a problem device attached, it may produce a different result.
AustrAlien
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#15 Superneato

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 11:31 PM

You said: "Before I performed the above steps, I got another BSOD just before the logon dialog box appears during a cold boot. Bluescreenview log for the dump looks basically identical to the 10-22-11 dump from my first post."
and then ...
"During this entire week/thread of testing, the machine has been at my house on a different network and doesn't exhibit the same connectivity issues...and no BSOD's have occurred either."
Did the above-mentioned last BSOD occur before moving the system to your house too?

You have stopped getting BSODs after updating the BIOS version: I suppose it is possible that this might have fixed the problem?


I was a little unclear there. I believe a BSOD did occur at my house, but it was the first boot following a hard shut down by my sister at her house (due to a BSOD). I had assumed my sister had powered it down in the middle of a BSOD or it had not yet recovered. This description is a bit speculative, since I did not actually witness a blue screen at my house. I simply noticed that the start up process was longer than normal (I had walked away at one point) and when I came back and signed on, I noticed a dump file with that date and time.

Anyway, I would love if the BIOS update did the trick. In the meantime I asked my sister to look into wired ethernet just in case. Additionally, I've attached the dump files and text file snapshot of the machine's specs for further analysis as recommended.

Attached Files






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