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Hardware malfunction blue screen.

    Question

  • Ok, so here are the specs
    Win 7 RC 32-bit (Just did a clean install on a reformatted HDD)
    Core 2 Duo E8400 (3GHz)
    ASUS P5N-T Deluxe (Tried two different boards, same model)
    2 GB OCZ ram 800MHz, recommended to me by an ASUS RMA techie. (also tried two kinds of corsair 800mhz memory)
    Nvidia GTX285 (Previously an 8800GT)

    I keep getting the hardware malfunction blue screen, no identifier as to what the problem is.
    Interestingly, the blue screens only happen if browsers are maximized, if media center is maximized, or if the computer is left on windows explorer over long periods of time. I have found a very unorthodox fix though: leaving the Valve game Team Fortress Two on the main menu. And the only reason I can think of why this might work is that the source game engine is reserving large amounts of memory, preventing other applications from using it. My original P5N-T Deluxe had a problem that was directly linked to the memory controller. However after an advance exchange RMA I got a new P5N-T Deluxe, and the major issues went away. However about a week ago, the hardware malfunction blue screens have reappeared. And after trying 4 sets of ram, and each stick individually, I can conclude that it is again a memory controller issue. But, I don't think ASUS can be of any more help. 

    And so I want to know if there might be a way to weed out which memory sector is causing the problem, and keep it from being used by applications. (Alternative suggestions would be appreciated as well. Just don't make me buy more hardware.)


    Friday, October 09, 2009 4:29 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    Is there any error code? What does the error code say?
    Here I would like to propose some general suggestions. If it doesn't work, please help collect memory dump files and upload to SkyDrive, let us know the URL.

    Collect Minidump Files
    =================
    1. Click "Start", input "SYSDM.CPL" (without quotation marks) in the “Search” bar and press “Enter”.
    2. Switch to the "Advanced" tab and click the "Settings" button under "Startup and Recovery".
    3. Under "Write debugging information" section, make sure the "Small memory dump (128KB)" option is selected.
    4. Make sure "%SystemRoot%\Minidump" is in the "Small dump directory" open box and click “OK”.
     
    If the Blue Screen appears again, please refer to the following steps to collect memory dump files:
     
    1. Click “Start”, type “%SystemRoot%\Minidump" (without quotation marks) in “Search” bar and press “Enter”.
    2. Go to your Desktop, right-click on it and create a new folder named "Dump".
    3. Copy all the memory dump files (looks like [Mini092008-01.dmp]) in Minidump to this folder.
    4. Right-click on the Dump folder, click "Send To", and click "Compressed (zipped) Folder".
    5. Upload to SkyDrive.

    To move on, please refer to the following steps:

    1. Make sure that the motherboard driver is updated so as to support devices functioning correctly.
    2. Perform a clean boot to see if the issue occurs.

    Clean Boot
    ===========

    1)Click the Start Button type "msconfig" (without quotation marks) in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.
    2)Click the "Services" tab, check the "Hide All Microsoft Services" box and click "Disable All" (if it is not gray).
    3)Click the "Startup" tab, click "Disable All" and click "OK".
    4)Then, restart the computer. When the "System Configuration Utility" window appears, please check the "Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts" box and click OK.
    5)Please test this issue in the Clean Boot environment, if the issue disappears in the Clean Boot environment, we can use a 50/50 approach to quickly narrow down which entry is causing the issue.

    Best Regards
    Dale

    Thursday, October 15, 2009 10:20 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Is there any error code? What does the error code say?
    Here I would like to propose some general suggestions. If it doesn't work, please help collect memory dump files and upload to SkyDrive, let us know the URL.

    Collect Minidump Files
    =================
    1. Click "Start", input "SYSDM.CPL" (without quotation marks) in the “Search” bar and press “Enter”.
    2. Switch to the "Advanced" tab and click the "Settings" button under "Startup and Recovery".
    3. Under "Write debugging information" section, make sure the "Small memory dump (128KB)" option is selected.
    4. Make sure "%SystemRoot%\Minidump" is in the "Small dump directory" open box and click “OK”.
     
    If the Blue Screen appears again, please refer to the following steps to collect memory dump files:
     
    1. Click “Start”, type “%SystemRoot%\Minidump" (without quotation marks) in “Search” bar and press “Enter”.
    2. Go to your Desktop, right-click on it and create a new folder named "Dump".
    3. Copy all the memory dump files (looks like [Mini092008-01.dmp]) in Minidump to this folder.
    4. Right-click on the Dump folder, click "Send To", and click "Compressed (zipped) Folder".
    5. Upload to SkyDrive.

    To move on, please refer to the following steps:

    1. Make sure that the motherboard driver is updated so as to support devices functioning correctly.
    2. Perform a clean boot to see if the issue occurs.

    Clean Boot
    ===========

    1)Click the Start Button type "msconfig" (without quotation marks) in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.
    2)Click the "Services" tab, check the "Hide All Microsoft Services" box and click "Disable All" (if it is not gray).
    3)Click the "Startup" tab, click "Disable All" and click "OK".
    4)Then, restart the computer. When the "System Configuration Utility" window appears, please check the "Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts" box and click OK.
    5)Please test this issue in the Clean Boot environment, if the issue disappears in the Clean Boot environment, we can use a 50/50 approach to quickly narrow down which entry is causing the issue.

    Best Regards
    Dale

    Thursday, October 15, 2009 10:20 AM
  • Hello, thanks for replying dale. (Not to mention thanks for saving me a call to Microsoft!)

    There is no error code, and no memory dump visible during the bluescreen, so I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but I trust you know what you're talking about.

    Also (and this is the fun part), ASUS does not supply windows 7 drivers for the P5N-T Deluxe motherboard, however, the Nvidia has a windows 7 version of the nForce 780i chipset. I would guess that they are the right drivers, and if not, well they're the best I can get. But then again, I compared the Vista drivers and the Win7 drivers, and the computer bluescreens under the same circumstances.

    I will try a clean boot right away, and I hope to hear back from you soon.

    PS: What if the clean boot doesn't fix it? O_o

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 8:05 PM
  • Bah. No dice, it bluescreened on Media Center with a clean boot.

    No minidump was created either.

    Any other possible solutions?


    Do you have a theory as to why idling the machine on a video game (Team Fortress 2) might keep it 100% stable?

    EDIT: I'm going to give the bluescreen minidump another try. I think the reason no minidump was created was because I restarted the machine as soon as the bluescreen hit. I bet I didn't give it time to finish the dump. Because there were other dumps in the dump folder, but they were from a few weeks ago, before I found the videogame-idle fix. They were kernel dumps though, so I trashed them. I will take them out the trash and send them with the new dump, and I will specify which is which.

    EDIT: I let it sit on the bluescreen for a full minute, thinking that maybe that would give it time to dump. It still didn't make a dump.

    EDIT: I lowered the clock frequency on my RAM from the stock 800MHz to 667MHz (my FSB is at the stock 1333MHz, and this way it the CPU gets 2 cycles for every one RAM cycle) . This seems to have fixed the problem, although I can't be completely sure. Any other suggestions would still be greatly appreciated.
    I also uploaded the 3 minidumps that were in there before I made this thread, these are kernel dumps, not the small memory dumps, if you feel like they might help, you're more than welcome to take a peak. I put them in the public folder. The name is "minidumps.zip " (without quotation marks).

    EDIT: I let the computer idle (without Team Fortress 2 running) overnight with the new clock frequencies, and I woke to find no bluescreen! So I guess the 1333MHz to 667MHz 2:1 ratio is keeping the computer a lot happier than it was with the 1333MHz to 800Mhz 3:2 ratio.
    While this solution is acceptable, it is not an ideal workaround, I am hoping that you will be able to share your thoughts with me.
    • Edited by Tehori93 Sunday, November 01, 2009 5:16 PM Joy!
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 1:47 AM
  • Sorry for posting on a thread that is now over a year old but I have the same motherboard and I am having the exact same problems as you. I swapped out the ram sticks thinking that they were faulty but I still get that same BSOD. I don't get any error codes and the blue screen occurs at completely random times. Sometimes during games, sometimes just websurfing. Usually once every day or every other day though. I did a number of clean OS installs and still can't pin point the problem. Right now I'm thinking it could be faulty SATA cables. I heard they can cause this kind of BSOD.

    Originally I had thought the raid controller or a faulty HDD were the problem, but I've disabled the raid controller on the board and my hard drives have both tested fine under the manufacturer's test program. 

    Anyway, let me know if you ever solved the issue. It would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Friday, March 18, 2011 2:15 AM
  • I have been getting the blue screen for both Vista Ultimate 64 and Windows 7 64.  I tried adjusting my ram from 800MHz to 667MHz and the problem seems to have gone away.  I used to get it while watching Netflix, when streaming on the internet or even in iTunes.  So far, this is turing out to be a suitable fix.
    Tuesday, April 03, 2012 8:05 PM