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Random Crashing


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#1 Phiot

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 01:28 PM

Hello everyone,

I have been instructed to post this problem in the Windows 7 Forum since my malware reports look clean so I thought I would give it a shot. My laptop is right at a year old and, I have been having this problem for probably 8 months now where my computer will randomly crash and restart without any warning whatsoever. I have quite a bit of proprietary software installed on this computer as I use it to run my business so I am hoping I can still be helped. Thank you in advance for any help that you can give me to resolve this issue. I am not sure what information you need from me about my computer but, of course, if there is any info that I can provide to help you help me, please don't hesitate to ask for it. Thanks.

It should be noted that I originally thought it was a program that I run called D-Tools System Integrator because I was using it quite heavily on a daily basis. This program uses SQL and I then thought it was SQL that was the problem because I would get SQL Browser errors in the Windows Event Viewer. I have since sort of strayed from that idea because I haven't used it as heavily as before and it is now crashing no matter what I am doing. The question still remains about SQL though because it does startup when Windows starts. Hope that helps.

Edited by Phiot, 22 July 2012 - 01:35 PM.


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#2 Allan

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 01:45 PM

1) Go to System Properties - Advanced - Startup & Recovery Settings and uncheck "Automatically Restart"

2) Download BlueScreenView:
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html
unzip downloaded file and double click on BlueScreenView.exe to run the program.
when scanning is done, go to EDIT - Select All
Go to FILE - SAVE Selected Items, and save the report as BSOD.txt
Open BSOD.txt in Notepad, copy all of the content, and paste it into your next reply

#3 Phiot

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 01:56 PM

Hi Allan,

Thnk you for your quick response. I have done what you said. When I went in to turn off the "Automatically Restart" option, it was already off. When I ran the BlueScreenView it says 0 crashes and there is no information in it. I am wondering if CCleaner may have deleted the minidump files? If so, is there a way to restore them? I ran CCleaner last night thinking it would find something.

Edited by Phiot, 22 July 2012 - 01:57 PM.


#4 hamluis

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 03:04 PM

Ccleaner deletes all .dmp files.

"Memory Dumps - When Windows crashes, it stores small memory dumps so that technical users can debug their systems. CCleaner will delete these files", from http://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner/ccleaner-rules/windows-tab/system-files .

Louis

#5 Phiot

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 03:08 PM

Well that's no good then. Are there any other options I can try to get to the bottom of this problem? I lose a little bit of data each time it crashes and it is very frustrating to be working on a system drawing for hours and hours (and forgetting to save often like I should) and then having the computer crash like that and lose all the data. I am desperate to find the problem and eradicate it once and for all so I can save my business time and money.

#6 Phiot

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 03:41 PM

I tried doing a system restore back to yesterday before I ran CCleaner with no luck. I still get the same response with BlueScreenView. Not sure what to do next. Wait until it crashes on me again and then post back? I am hoping to get this resolved today if at all possible.

#7 Allan

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 03:57 PM

Please define "crashing". In your fist post you said it restarts - is that what happens or is it something else? And is there any specific activity you are doing when it happens or can it happen at any time?

#8 Phiot

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:25 PM

Hi Allan,

It happens at any time. I used to think it happened only when I was running the D-Tools System Integrator software which uses SQL. I now think I only thought that because that program was constantly open on my laptop. Yesterday, the computer "crashed" 4 times and I was not running D-Tools at all. I cannot find any specific thing that I am doing that causes it.

As far as describing the "crash" goes, I will be doing whatever it is that I'm doing on the computer and, all of a sudden, the screen goes black and immediately shows me the boot-up process. It then gets to the screen where it says that Windows was not shutdown properly and I choose to start Windows normally each time. Windows then logs that it was not shutdown properly in the Event Viewer. I only called it a "crash" because, to me, it is crashing and then restarting without logging a reason for it. The hard drive makes the same "clicking" sound when it happens as if I had pressed the power button to turn it off...hope that makes more sense.

Edited by Phiot, 22 July 2012 - 04:26 PM.


#9 Allan

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:32 PM

Okay, then it's almost certainly a hardware problem - sorry to have sent you on a goose chase with the blue screen viewer. It could be anything from overheating to ram, but the clicking from the hd is not good. That sound typically indicates a hd that is about to die. If I were you the first thing I'd do is make sure to have a good backup (disc imaging software is a good option, but whatever you use make sure to backup critical data). Then run a diagnostic on your hd (if you need help with that let us know).

It's also possible it's some piece of software causing the problem, but I don't think so. However, an easy way to check is to boot to safe mode and see if the same thing happens from there (alternatively you can do a clean boot into normal mode).

#10 Phiot

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:37 PM

The hard drive click is only 1 click that is heard if you were to power it down using the power button. It sounds like the hard drive is spinning and then you cut power to it stopping it from spinning suddenly. The click is not heard any other time except when using the power button or when it "crashes". As far as running in safe mode, it could be days before it happens again. Will I still be able to run all of my software like I normally would on a day to day basis while it is in safe mode? Also, I ran the Windows Memory test tool yesterday and it showed no errors. I don't think you sent me on a goose chase with that software because I still believe it to be a software issue. I do have a full backup of my important files in case though.

#11 Allan

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:59 PM

If you think it's software related I can show you how to do a selective startup, but since this is an erratic issue that can take several days to occur it can be a long process which may or may not yield the results we want. I'll put them at the bottom of this post - it's up to yo whether or not you want to try it. Also, just to rule out malware have you run full scans with both your AV and with MalwareBytes? If not, please do so. Also, I don't know what Windows Memory Test Tool is, but here's how I'd suggest testing 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.

Also, since you've had numerous anomalous shutdowns you'll want to run checkdisk to clear up any errors they caused (lost clusters, etc). 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.

Now, if you want to get involved with the selective startup here's how: Open msconfig and on the General tab choose "selective startup" (uncheck all three items) and reboot. Does the problem still occur? If not, start adding items back to msconfig one or two at a time, rebooting after each change, until the problem reappears and you'll have identified the offending process. This is clearly a time consuming procedure, but it is the best way to determine if some process loading with the system is the cause of your problem.
After you've isolated the cause, do not use msconfig to permanently disable the process. Instead, if it is a service go to START - RUN and type: services.msc (then press enter) and disable the service OR, if it a program, you can download & run a simple app such as Mike Lin's Startup Control Panel (http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml) to enable, disable, or otherwise manage startup programs.

#12 Phiot

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 05:05 PM

Ok I will try those things. Thanks for your help.




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