Getting random bluescreens

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Getting random bluescreens

Postposted on Thu May 19, 2011 3:46 pm

My system is as follows..

Motherboard: MSI Neo2-FIR with the latest BIOS
CPU: Q9550 OC@3400 MHz
RAM: 8 GB OCZ DDR2 REAPER HPC PC2-9200 1150 MHz (2 X 4 GB) http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-ddr2-p ... ition.html
OS: Windows 7 x64 SP1
Gfx: Nvidia 9800GT

I bought the RAM around two years ago because it was on sale and was just about the fastest DDR2 RAM I could buy. Pretty soon I found out that my motherboard didn't support it and I had to fiddle with settings in BIOS by looking at the meager info available from the manual and searching the OCZ forum. After doing some guesswork I managed to get the system stable and it has been running stable for almost two years.

Last week, however, it started to randomly bluescreen. Most of the errors are PAGE_FAULT_IN_NON_PAGED_AREA but I've also seen MEMORY_MANAGEMENT at times. It doesn't seem to matter whether the computer is idling or is under heavy load, its completely random.

I tried not overclocking, underclocking, raising/lowering the FSB/CPU/DRAM/SB/NB voltage, running diskcheck on all harddrives (no errors), running the windows memtest (no errors), running memtest86+ (5+ passes, no errors), running prime95 (all three tests, no errors) and making sure all PCI/PCI-ex cards, cables and everything inside the case weren't glitching.

Finally I think I found the culprit: somehow the BIOS had reset its settings and the DRAM was running at default settings, which is something bad if the memory is unsupported by the motherboard. It was overvoltaged and all the settings were way off according to what it should be looking at OCZ's homepage. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to guess what the settings should be since I lost the postit note where I'd written it down a long time ago.

These are the current BIOS settings I'm for the DRAM:
FSB: 400 MHz
FSB/Memory Ratio: 1:1.25 (1000 MHz)
DRAM CAS# Latency: 5
DRAM RAS# to CAS# Delay: 5 DRAM Clocks
DRAM RAS# Precharge: 5 DRAM Clocks
DRAM RAS# Activate to Precharge: 18 DRAM Clocks
DRAM TRFC: 50 DRAM Clocks (this is the one I'm very unsure of what it should be)
DRAM TWR: 6 DRAM Clocks
DRAM TWTR: 11 DRAM Clocks
DRAM TRRD: 11 DRAM Clocks
DRAM TRTD: 11 DRAM Clocks

If a technical genius that actually knows what all these DRAM 4-letter stuff stands for could help out, I'd be most grateful. Or for any advice about where the error could be, perhaps it's not the DRAM settings after all.
boing
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Re: Getting random bluescreens

Postposted on Thu May 19, 2011 4:39 pm

What's the current voltage?

I would not pay much attention to those "4-letter" settings. Just reset the BIOS settings and leave those as they are.

Since, your bluescreens may have happened when BIOS has reset the settings, you may wanna test those settings with 2T command rate and north bridge voltage of 1.30V. If all goes well (not just tests, but usage as well), you can just test 1T and see if it works.

Now if it doesn't work, you can almost be sure that it is one or both of your memory sticks are faulty, so test them one at a time.

If you can identify the faulty module(s), just start a thread at OCz forums, moderators gonna help you with RMA - just tell them how you tested the sticks first.


Good luck!
Last edited by glacius555 on Thu May 19, 2011 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting random bluescreens

Postposted on Thu May 19, 2011 4:44 pm

glacius555 wrote:What's the current voltage?
it used to be 2.1V, right now I'm trying out if 2.2V makes any difference.

glacius555 wrote:Since, your bluescreens may have happened when BIOS has reset the settings, you may wanna test those settings with 2T command rate and north bridge voltage of 1.30V. If all goes well (not just tests, but usage as well), you can just test 1T and see if it works.
Sorry, what's 2T/1T command rate? I've written down all the BIOS DRAM settings but cannot find that one. I'll have another look next time it reboots.

glacius555 wrote:Now if it doesn't work, you can almost be sure that it is one or both of your memory sticks are faulty, so test them one at a time.
Shouldn't Memtest86+ have reported that?
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Re: Getting random bluescreens

Postposted on Thu May 19, 2011 4:48 pm

boing wrote:
glacius555 wrote:What's the current voltage?
it used to be 2.1V, right now I'm trying out if 2.2V makes any difference.

glacius555 wrote:Since, your bluescreens may have happened when BIOS has reset the settings, you may wanna test those settings with 2T command rate and north bridge voltage of 1.30V. If all goes well (not just tests, but usage as well), you can just test 1T and see if it works.
Sorry, what's 2T/1T command rate? I've written down all the BIOS DRAM settings but cannot find that one. I'll have another look next time it reboots.

glacius555 wrote:Now if it doesn't work, you can almost be sure that it is one or both of your memory sticks are faulty, so test them one at a time.
Shouldn't Memtest86+ have reported that?


I just realized that it was because of wrong memory settings, sorry, don't read in to my words too much.

OCZ states that voltage should be 2.1-2.3 Volts, so maybe check 2.3 volts first and then go lower.

No need to worry if you can't find fancy stuff like command rate in the settings, just forget it :)

NINJA EDIT: You should also be fine if your processor can handle 460 MHz FSB setting, as long as the memory/FSB ratio is 1.25:1.
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Re: Getting random bluescreens

Postposted on Fri May 20, 2011 1:31 pm

After spending a whole day and a half solving this, I found the culprit: Creative's dodgy drivers.

Googled the bluescreen errors I was getting and found out that they can be caused by bad drivers. Having had issues with Creative's drivers in the past (though never bluescreens) I uninstalled the official drivers and tried out KX drivers instead. Problem gone.

This is a bit annoying since the reason I bought an Audigy 2 was because I wanted to play older games with EAX, a feature the KX drivers don't support.

Having tried out various versions of both the official drivers and PAX I'm settling with having a fully stable computer without EAX.

Thanks for your help, glacius555. I don't suppose the Creative Xi-fi line of cards has drivers that actually work when your computer has 8 gb of memory?
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