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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default Random restarting and blue screen of death- what piece of hardware is causing it?

    Hi there,

    For the last few months I have been having problems with my custom built PC randomly restarting itself - sometimes with a BSOD, other times without one. Sometimes the display will show a random pattern of dark grey clours - almost like you get with a cracked LCD screen for about half a second, and then it will restart itself.

    As far as I can tell, the crashes appear to be random - sometimes during games, others just browsing the net. They do appear to all happen within 4 hours of a fresh restart of windows.

    I tried all the usual software fixes - things like antivirus scans, disk checks, cpu tests etc - including clean reinstalls of windows (at least twice now). Then I tried replacing the motherboard as it appeared to have faulty onboard sound. Then the same PC crashed again with the new motherboard!

    I was told by a mate that SATA requires a pretty hefty power supply, so I just replaced the stock 320w with an Antec 620w one. But alas, it has crashed and restarted a couple of times now.

    Before the new supply was installed, sometimes after crashing the PC would beep a few times - therefore indicating a hardware failure(?) and refuse to restart easily until removal of MB battery to reset bios. Haven't had this problem since replacing the PS, but it's still early.

    I'm pretty much out of ideas. Checked and double checked everything is plugged in tight. Havent mucked around much with the bios (adjusting power supply etc) as I don't know much about that kind of stuff. I'm thinking the next step is to replace the graphics card?

    IS there a way to narrow down diagnostics a bit in order to find out what hardware is causing the problem?

    _____________

    Specs are below:

    Latest drivers for pretty much everything.
    Disk check returning no errors.
    CPU test returning no errors.

    WIn 7 64bit SP1 - all updates installed.

    From SPeccy - Temps included - don't think anything is overheating?

    Operating System
    MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
    CPU
    AMD Athlon II X2 255 29 C
    Regor 45nm Technology
    RAM
    4.00 GB Single-Channel DDR3 @ 669MHz (9-9-9-24)
    Motherboard
    ASUSTeK Computer INC. M4A88TD-M EVO (AM3) 39 C
    Graphics
    VX2233wm-3 (1920x1080@59Hz)
    DELL IN1920 (1366x768@60Hz)
    ATI Radeon HD 5450 (ASUStek Computer Inc) 60 C
    Hard Drives
    488GB Western Digital WDC WD5000AVDS-63U7B0 ATA Device (SATA) 37 C
    Optical Drives
    ATAPI iHAS324 B ATA Device
    Audio
    Realtek High Definition Audio

    ____________


    SO, Any ideas? Muchly appreciated guys.

    Thanks,

    Chris

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Random restarting and blue screen of death- what piece of hardware is causing it?

    Get bluescreenview, install then run it. What does it say is the cause?

  3. #3
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random restarting and blue screen of death- what piece of hardware is causing it?

    PC randomly restarting itself - sometimes with a BSOD, other times without one. Sometimes the display will show a random pattern of dark grey clours


    You need to make a note of the STOP error.

    Then I tried replacing the motherboard as it appeared to have faulty onboard sound.

    Extreme!! What made you think it had a sound problem, even if it did, that wouldn't crash it like that.


    I just replaced the stock 320w with an Antec 620w one.

    Yep, seriously underpowered PSU before, this one is fine.
    wipe your paws.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Default Re: Random restarting and blue screen of death- what piece of hardware is causing it?

    Thanks for your help folks. Will see if I can get more info on the BSOD tomorow.

    As for the motherboard - I think that was a separate issue. The audio was playing up (can't remember exactly what it was doing.) I found out that, if I disabled all the audio services under Win 7 it stopped the crashes. Or at least it did for about 2 months before they came back. Strange eh? Ascent went ahead and replaced it with a newer model so I presume they found an error with it.

    Thanks for your comments about the PSU. Yes. When in doubt, check the PC User A-list. haha. Saves trawling through specs.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Random restarting and blue screen of death- what piece of hardware is causing it?

    So, the verdict from Blue Screen Viewer is:

    ==================================================
    Dump File : 011312-43118-01.dmp
    Crash Time : 1/13/2012 10:00:54 AM
    Bug Check String : SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION
    Bug Check Code : 0x0000003b
    Parameter 1 : 00000000`c0000005
    Parameter 2 : fffff800`02fb747c
    Parameter 3 : fffff880`0773ce20
    Parameter 4 : 00000000`00000000
    Caused By Driver : Unknown_Module_fffffa80`049698e0
    Caused By Address : Unknown_Module_fffffa80`049698e0+9bfc70
    File Description :
    Product Name :
    Company :
    File Version :
    Processor : x64
    Crash Address : ntoskrnl.exe+705c0
    Stack Address 1 :
    Stack Address 2 :
    Stack Address 3 :
    Computer Name :
    Full Path : C:\Windows\Minidump\011312-43118-01.dmp
    Processors Count : 2
    Major Version : 15
    Minor Version : 7600
    Dump File Size : 275,816
    ==================================================

    This is a shot of the latest test.

    BTW, I have posted this on other tech forums and someone suggested I run HDtune. It is showing that my HDD has errors - however, I suspect that these are simply bad sectors due to windows not shutting down properly due to repeat crashes. I noticed this a while back and was about to send the drive in for replacement, but I ran another disc-check from boot (after the drive was formatted) and it came up clean. Probably cause it fixed the bad sectors.

    I have already tried replacing the cable and using a different SATA port btw.

    Finally, I'm running the computer in safe mode (to run hdtune and other diagnostic software) and hasn't yet crashed! So perhaps I was wrong and it is not a hardware fault (as I previously thought, but rather a problem with one of the system services Windows runs under normal boot protocols?

    I should mention that it doesn't always print a BSOD when it crashes - sometimes it just shows the aforementioned patterned screen before it restarts.

  6. #6
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random restarting and blue screen of death- what piece of hardware is causing it?

    Have you updated chipset and video drivers at all? worth a crack if not. Get them directly from the manufacturers website not windows update.
    It's also worth running memtest or similar to verify the RAM as it's one component that can cause this sort of problem.
    It might not hurt also to default the BIOS just in case there's some odd setting in there somewhere.

    Problems are not always easily proved, I once had a perfectly good motherboard and video card that behaved like that when used together but worked perfectly if used seperately with different hardware.
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Random restarting and blue screen of death- what piece of hardware is causing it?

    Yep, all the drivers, updates etc are installed. For windows and hardware.

    I've tried reseting the bios -no luck

    I've run a memtest and cpu test in the past without any errors showing. Hope to get a chance to run them again today.

    Thanks Any more ideas?

  8. #8
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random restarting and blue screen of death- what piece of hardware is causing it?

    Whats the STOP error.
    wipe your paws.

  9. #9
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random restarting and blue screen of death- what piece of hardware is causing it?

    That error code and problem listed can be caused by corrupted drivers. Since its completely random I wouldn't think it was hardware related - but then it may be as well.

    See if windows is actually reporting the fault.

    Click start, type in reli in the results, click "View Reliability history" When it opens there will be red circles or other error warnings, look through and see if any one thing is common as to when it crashes.

    If there is, what does it say is causing the problem ( full report).

    Failing that, try running Driver Verifier from windows, its a inbuilt program that Windows can check for rouge or damaged drivers and report back. Full instructions on how to run and use it From this web site.



    I used it this morning to track down a driver that was causing all sorts of problems on a customers Computer that nothing else would find.
    Last edited by wainuitech; 27-01-2012 at 11:07 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Random restarting and blue screen of death- what piece of hardware is causing it?

    I took a look and it doesn't look like Windows is recording the crashes?! There are no entries in the log, despite the computer crashing about 6 or 7 times since the last time I reinstalled windows.

    Interestingly enough, I've been running windows in safe mode all morning and it hasn't crashed just yet! So I guess this means you are correct in saying it looks to be software related. However, I have tried reinstalling Windows (a clean reinstall) and it doesn't fix the problem???

    Perhaps I am reinstalling bad drivers over and over again? How can I tell which one is the problem (other than the reliability thing mentioned above which has not been recording errors?)?

    Perhaps it is a service that is corrupted? I'm going to try a diagnostic startup (from MSconfig) to see if I can narrow it down.

    Any further ideas / comments?

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