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Old December 3rd, 2010, 01:19 AM
killertofu killertofu is offline
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Unhappy XP SP3 mysterious problem

Hi,

This is long, but please bear with me.

I don't normally ask for help with my computers, because normally I manage to just scour the never ending internet forums for its infinite wisdom. Unfortunately, this time that method has failed.

Things started acting up about a week after installing a new printer, pulling out my wireless card, using a cable modem for internet and installing SP3 (early September). The first evidence that something was strange was when I started to have to login to my computer when it only had 1 account. Prior to the SP3 update there was no login screen and it would just automatically go to desktop on startup. This wasn't a big deal, so I didn't do anything to fix it.

About a week later (mid September) I began to get BSODs of driver_irql_not_less_or_equal, irql_not_less_or_equal and a couple BSODs about faulty hardware. I disconnected the printer, checked the temps of my hardware, ran a ramtest and updated my GPU, CPU, MB drivers, flashed my BIOS, got some registry cleaner software and scanned for viruses. The BSODs seemed to subside.

Weeks later (early October) the BSODs returned, but this time my computer wouldn't even restart after them. The monitor would remain black and only after restarting the computer 4-8 times would windows actually load. The BSODs would also occasionally happen while windows was starting up or immediately after logging in. Eventually after going through a whole 8-restart-routine windows would run fine. I'd just let it run all day. I eventually got tired of routine and based on internet forums concluded it had something to do with my ram. Ramtests showed no errors, but after simply swapping the sticks with each other, it seemed to fix the BSODs and black screen startups.

Again, this was only a temporary fix. A month (mid November...till now) later the problem returned and even after replacing the ram entirely, the start up routine and BSODs persists. Attempts to use System Restore in Regular or Safe Mode have been met with BSODs or incomplete errors. Now the BSODs occur at seemingly random moments while just browsing the internet or writing thesis papers. They occur almost always if I attempt to run any games for more than 30minutes.

The problem I'm having with determining what device(s) are causing the problem is that it doesn't occur consistent enough to isolate a single device. I fear that it is simply my hardware wearing out, but the two oldest pieces of hardware in my PC are the amd dual core processor and the 298GB hard drive.

This is all happening at the worst time as well, with tons of final papers and exams, I'd prefer not to have to reinstall windows, only to discover that it was some other problem.

These are my specs:
XP SP3
AMD Athlon 64X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+ 2.21 GH, 2GB of ddr2 800 ram,
nvidia geforce gts250,
biostar MCP6P M2+ MB,
OCZ600MXSP PS

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 01:23 PM
pip22 pip22 is offline
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You should also test the hard drive, not just the RAM.

All the major drive manufacturer's make testing software available on their respective websites. Links here: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287

The Seagate testing software will actually test any make of drive if you can't ascertain the brand of your drive, using "generic tests", but using the appropriate software for that brand will be more thorough and reliable.

If you see any "Failed" entries during the test, you need a new drive. Be sure to run the "long" test where available as the short test doesn't check as thoroughly.
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Old December 6th, 2010, 05:58 AM
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Lawrencely Lawrencely is offline
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Here's a screenie of when I opened the GF104.bin in Nbitor. Used the latest NVFlash to my knowledge.
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Old December 6th, 2010, 09:30 PM
pip22 pip22 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrencely View Post
Here's a screenie of when I opened the GF104.bin in Nbitor. Used the latest NVFlash to my knowledge.
Why have posted in this thread ???, and there's no "screenie" ???
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  #5  
Old December 7th, 2010, 04:28 AM
killertofu killertofu is offline
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Thanks for the shortcut/help pip. I ran those checks diskcheck programs and a ckdsk r, but nothing showed up.

I got some new drivers for my video card and now it starts and windows runs fine, but whenever I play anything graphics intensive, whether that be games or video, it crashes with different bsods from PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA to driver_irql_not_less_or_equal. It normally crashes 2 times in a row with one of these bsods and on the third restart, there's absolutely no problems and any video or games run fine for the rest of the day. Now that there is an actual pattern- there's some hope I think.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 02:34 PM
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MaDef MaDef is offline
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out of curiosity, have you run Amd's dual core optimizer? Seems that the cores timings can get out of sync, causing issues especially in video intensive apps.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 07:23 PM
killertofu killertofu is offline
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uho... I do believe I did. How do I fix it?
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  #8  
Old December 7th, 2010, 09:30 PM
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MaDef MaDef is offline
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If you ran it and it didn't fix the problem, then the out of sync core isn't the problem. Did you use driver sweeper before installing the new drivers? There could be remnants of the older driver on the system causing issues with the newer ones, using driver sweeper will remove those pieces.

Also look into the video card temps, excessive heat can cause bsod's.
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  #9  
Old January 7th, 2011, 07:59 PM
killertofu killertofu is offline
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I ran the driver sweeper program, but it seemed to only get rid of video card and sound card drivers. I didn't see any options to delete processor drivers.
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  #10  
Old January 8th, 2011, 12:24 AM
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MaDef MaDef is offline
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You won't, driver sweeper is for removing remnants of drivers for the audio & video hardware. (I guess I wasn't very clear on that post) the first sentence says your cores out of sync wasn't the problem.

Quote:
Did you use driver sweeper before installing the new drivers? There could be remnants of the older driver on the system causing issues with the newer ones, using driver sweeper will remove those pieces.
In this sentence I was referring to your new video card drivers, If you didn't completely remove the old ones before installing the newer ones, it can cause issues (like the ones you're describing).

Basically what you'd be doing is

1. remove video drivers
2. boot into safe mode and run driver sweeper (letting it remove any remnants of the video driver)
3. reboot normally and reinstall the video drivers.
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  #11  
Old January 8th, 2011, 02:13 AM
killertofu killertofu is offline
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I did uninstall old videocard drivers and use driver sweeper in safemode before installing new drivers. I repeated this again recently just to make sure and it has had no noticeable effect. Also, on startup the CPU is around 26C and Speedfan has been reading CPU and GPU temps of 40C when idle and 48-52C with games.
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  #12  
Old January 8th, 2011, 02:50 AM
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MaDef MaDef is offline
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Ok, let's try memtest86, not because I think the ram is bad (since you just replaced it), but I wan't to know if there might be an issue with the motherboards memory slot/s. If that comes out clean, try doing a clean boot of XP. There may be some software your running that is causing these errors.
How to clean boot XP

I'm assuming you're still getting BSOD's, next time it happens, can you post the error, the file involved (if it's listed) and the stop code?
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  #13  
Old January 8th, 2011, 03:57 AM
Appzalien Appzalien is offline
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To answer your login issue I too had to login after installing sp3. What you do is go to your run box and type "control userpasswords2" (without the quotes) and hit OK
A User Accounts Dialog Box will open.
Select the Users Tab
Clear the Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer checkbox
Select the Advanced Tab
If it is not already, clear the Require users to press Ctrl-Alt-Del before logging on checkbox
Press Apply
A dialog box will open asking you for user name and password (change to your name and click ok)
Input the information into these fields (I don't use a pass for my name just admin and thats not what I want to stop)
Click OK

To clarify I enter no pass for my name but I login as admin so I would have to use that password if admin comes up, it has been a while so I can't remember for sure which one shows.

Last edited by Appzalien; January 8th, 2011 at 04:12 AM.
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