did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

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did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

Postposted on Fri May 09, 2014 10:57 pm

posted in general because i'm not 100% sure it's a software issue.

Basically, long story short, I fiddled with some CPU profiling (lowered voltage slightly, then decided against it) rebooted, and now my OS doesn't work in a variety of wonderful ways, but i'm not completely sure what's causing it.

More specifically, when running in windows (safe mode or regular, not in the bios or in recovery) my computer will, after a few minutes, either blank the screen with a device disconnect sound, or completely lock up with 0 SSD throughput while the drive light is solid on. when the screen goes black other programs seem to continue running, while when the OS freezes programs will continue running so long as they don't wait for IO. In both cases my computer is inoperable until I restart it. Additionally, after one black screen crash my graphics card outputted a very glitched display when the machine was next run(in BIOS, before OS), restarting corrected this.

I have tried safe mode, uninstalling graphics drivers, using restore points, resetting CMOS, running windows memory test, running chkdsk(multiple times to try and catch the disconnect), and reseating as much internal cabling as I can. All tests come back with no issues, all attempts to fix the problem have failed. All tests were, as necessary, run outside of the windows environment, where I experience no issues.

I'm fairly certain this is an issue with a freshly corrupted windows installation thanks to some tremendously bad undervolting luck, and my next step is to reformat my computer after copying files from the recovery command prompt, but I can't shake the feeling this could be a hardware issue.

I'm wondering if anyone here has had experience with similar kinds of crash behaviour, or may know something about this that I don't. If that's the case, please give me a hand here, I hate not being sure how i'm going to fix this.

Thanks a tonne for your time and help
i5-2500k@3.4ghz, P8P67 PRO, 8GiB DDR3@1.6ghz, GTX 570, Xonar DX, Intel 510 120GB, Deskstar 7k3000 3TB, Corsair 600T, OCZ Fatal1ty 750W.
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Re: did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

Postposted on Fri May 09, 2014 11:31 pm

Undervolting shouldn't hurt anything; your computer should just reboot and recover from it. How were you doing the undervolting? Can you monitor cpu/gpu temps?
chkdsk and sfcscan would tell you if windows was corrupted.
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Re: did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

Postposted on Fri May 09, 2014 11:50 pm

Odd, i've run sfc (handy command, never knew about it) and it came up clean. I'm honestly pretty clueless then, I would hope none of my hardware is damaged, but it still seems so odd that i've not encountered any issues outside of windows.

Also, I used Asus Ai suite to adjust voltage, was just decrementing the cpu VCore by a few fractions of a volt (total reduction from 1.28 to 1.255 I think, under load) and decided the marginal loss in heat wasn't worth the fiddling, so I reset the voltage back to auto and rebooted. This was with a light overclock on an i5-2500k, obviously I have disabled the overclock while testing.
i5-2500k@3.4ghz, P8P67 PRO, 8GiB DDR3@1.6ghz, GTX 570, Xonar DX, Intel 510 120GB, Deskstar 7k3000 3TB, Corsair 600T, OCZ Fatal1ty 750W.
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Re: did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2014 1:02 am

chµck wrote:Undervolting shouldn't hurt anything; your computer should just reboot and recover from it.

That's an over-generalization. If the CPU is running but unstable, disk corruption is certainly possible (though I will agree that a simple crash/reboot is more likely).

chµck wrote:chkdsk and sfcscan would tell you if windows was corrupted.

Chkdisk only tells you whether the file system meta-data is consistent; it does not check the content of the files. While sfcscan does check the content of files, AFAIK it only checks files which are part of the base Windows install; third party drivers and applications are not checked. So while both are good tools to detect disk corruption, just because they don't find problems doesn't mean everything is OK.

@00-Evan --

Try re-installing all 3rd party drivers, and applications that launch automatically on startup (e.g. anti-virus).

Unfortunately, it does sound like you may be experiencing an intermittent hardware failure of some sort. If so, it is *probably* just a coincidence (not related to the under-volting), unless something went wrong and things actually got over-volted instead.
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Re: did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2014 1:41 am

just brew it! wrote:Try re-installing all 3rd party drivers, and applications that launch automatically on startup (e.g. anti-virus).

He still has the same problems in safe mode, so it's unlikely a 3rd party driver issue?

The glitched graphics display suggests looking at the video card or the motherboard. Has there been any tinkering with these physically or via software?
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Re: did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2014 2:06 am

chµck wrote:He still has the same problems in safe mode, so it's unlikely a 3rd party driver issue?

Ahh... good point.

So I think we've narrowed it down to either a hardware problem, or some sort of corruption that sfcscan didn't catch.
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Re: did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2014 12:16 pm

Mainly due to my reluctance to spending half a day reinstalling, i've been doing some other stuff. I cleared CMOS again (this time through BIOS menu, keeps things like the date) and did another restore point, the system seems more stable but I got another freeze crash.

Fortunately I had resource monitor up at the time and was able to see exactly what happened leading up to the freeze, and cut the offending process before res-mon locked up with the rest of the system. It was fraps, and after terminating the process the system was immediately responsive again. after uninstalling fraps the system seems stable, of course it's too soon to know, only been using it for an hour. Of course, this offers no explanation at all as to why I was still getting problems in safe mode.

I feel like fraps was just a symptom and not the whole issue, but at this point I'm not really about to question it if my machine starts working again. Obviously i've backed up everything I care about incase the machine decides to not boot or something and I need to reinstall.

edit: it's going on 3 hours now and no issues...
i5-2500k@3.4ghz, P8P67 PRO, 8GiB DDR3@1.6ghz, GTX 570, Xonar DX, Intel 510 120GB, Deskstar 7k3000 3TB, Corsair 600T, OCZ Fatal1ty 750W.
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Re: did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2014 5:31 pm

nope, nevermind, system was stable for several hours but then did the same freeze as before.

I"m going to reinstall windows and hopefully that'll fix the issue, if it turns out to be a hardware problem, which part do you think is the culprit?
i5-2500k@3.4ghz, P8P67 PRO, 8GiB DDR3@1.6ghz, GTX 570, Xonar DX, Intel 510 120GB, Deskstar 7k3000 3TB, Corsair 600T, OCZ Fatal1ty 750W.
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Re: did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2014 6:18 pm

Are you monitoring your temps?
Also, are you sure default bios settings are stable? e.g. memory timings.
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Re: did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2014 6:39 pm

chµck wrote:Are you monitoring your temps?
Also, are you sure default bios settings are stable? e.g. memory timings.


temps are fine, nothing abnormal with anything I can see, and my bios settings have always been 95% default, still I did think to check RAM timings and they look fine, plus memtest should catch misconfigured RAM shouldn't it?

regardless a fresh windows install might be nice, and i've done enough backing up so that actually reinstalling should be pretty quick now.
i5-2500k@3.4ghz, P8P67 PRO, 8GiB DDR3@1.6ghz, GTX 570, Xonar DX, Intel 510 120GB, Deskstar 7k3000 3TB, Corsair 600T, OCZ Fatal1ty 750W.
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Re: did some tinkering, pretty sure I corrupted my OS

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2014 7:18 pm

hrm,, so just before turning off my computer to start reinstalling windows I got that black screen error again, and for the second time it resulted in the corrupted image. I had a chance to observe it better, it's 4 copies of the displayed image, each copy is about 25% the width/height of the monitor and they're stacked one ontop of eachother on the left. Turning the computer off, disconnecting power, and letting it set for a couple of minutes seems to fix this issue until it's prompted by more blackscreening from windows.

To be clear, this issue occurs in the BIOS or anywhere else, but only appears sometimes after windows blackscreens. Perhaps something is happening with the graphics card's memory when the crash occurs and cutting power lets it reset? It's also possible the monitor may be the culprit, as the powerdown lets it set as well. To be honest I have no idea at this point.

EDIT: and, just to add more to the situation, the first time I booted from the windows CD i got a bluescreen with error code 0xc00000e9, claiming errors with storage devices. That seems like a hardware thing, course it worked the second time. Perhaps my SSD is failing? again I really have no idea anymore

EDIT2: well, odd behavior that may point to hardware failure aside the OS re-install seems to have fixed all problems. I guess my first hunch about a software issue was correct, probably should have tried that first before posting here. Thank you for your time regardless.
i5-2500k@3.4ghz, P8P67 PRO, 8GiB DDR3@1.6ghz, GTX 570, Xonar DX, Intel 510 120GB, Deskstar 7k3000 3TB, Corsair 600T, OCZ Fatal1ty 750W.
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