BSOD...Completely Stumped, HELP!!

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BSOD...Completely Stumped, HELP!!

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:58 am

My brother has been having some BSOD issues lately and I've been working with him to resolve the problem. He's 6 hours away and has no alternative hardware readily available at this point. I've exhausted all my ideas, so I need yours.

System Specs:
Asus M4A88TD-V Evo (Latest BIOS 2301)
Athlon II X3 450
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
WD 500GB data drive
Wireless: TP Link N600
Sound: Asus Xonar DG
Graphics: AMD 7770
OS: Windows 7 64-bit

He built the computer about 1.5 years ago. Has been running smoothly up until about a month ago. Graphics card was upgraded to 7770 in late-May. Current wireless card installed not long thereafter, SSD has been in for over a year. (Basically no hardware has changed since June)

About 3 weeks ago he started having frequent BSODs; usually when watching videos from youtube or the hdd (nearly every time he watched a video for almost a week straight). BSOD error code was F4 (registry error?). He asked me for help. I had him run cc cleaner, scanned for viruses, ran MemTest for over an hour with no errors. He mentioned that he was receiving frequent messages on startup and after BSODs about "Could not find correct boot device, please insert a boot device and reboot." I had him reset CMOS, updated BIOS, power-cycled SSD. Still getting the same error until he found that the SSD had somehow been removed from the boot list. Although adding the SSD back into the boot list allowed him to boot into Windows, it didn't resolve the BSODs, so he ended up reinstalling Windows.

After reinstalling Windows and all his programs/drivers/windows updates, the computer worked fine for about a week. Last Thursday, he got another BSOD while watching a YouTube video (same F4 error code). Same symptoms (video stopped, computer froze, BSOD). At that point I was thinking it may have been a graphics driver issue so I had him install the latest 13.10 beta driver (13.4 in May was the last official driver that he was using...c'mon AMD). Oddly enough, games haven't been posing any stability issues.

The same day he installed the 13.10 he started having freezes at other times as well (usually while web browsing). When the computer froze, he could move the mouse, but couldnt click anything. After a few seconds the keyboard would stop working as well. When he was fast enough to ctrl-alt-del, instead of getting the task manager, he got a message saying something like "preparing security options." He let it go and got another BSOD and then a "7a" error code (KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR). This happened frequently in the past couple days, the computer would only run for about 10 minutes before this happened. During this time, a couple of the reboots generated the previous "could not find boot device" message after BIOS posted, but sometimes it restarted fine. He looked up the error code and ran system file checker (sfc.exe) in cmd prompt. It came up with a few errors and reported that it fixed them. He then ran secpol.msc and cleared virtual memory on shutdown. That was last night and it had been working for a couple hours without issue. I'm not convinced the problems are solved yet though.

Any ideas?
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
DPete27
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Re: BSOD...Completely Stumped, HELP!!

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:09 am

quick suggestion, plug in your mice/keyb to a different USB slot and preferably not the ones next to the ethernet port, that fixed my freezing.
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Re: BSOD...Completely Stumped, HELP!!

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:21 am

Start swapping hardware (and yes, I did read your second sentence). I suggest starting with something simple like that WiFi adapter (yes, these things can also cause such symptoms). Then the video card. Then motherboard.
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Re: BSOD...Completely Stumped, HELP!!

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:29 am

My money would be on the SSD dying. "Could not find boot device" says to me that the SSD isn't initialising itself properly at boot up which in turn suggests that the BSODs are being caused by it going wrong while he's using it.

Plus it's a Vertex 3 :wink:
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Re: BSOD...Completely Stumped, HELP!!

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:51 am

DPete27 wrote:My brother has been having some BSOD issues lately and I've been working with him to resolve the problem. He's 6 hours away and has no alternative hardware readily available at this point. I've exhausted all my ideas, so I need yours.

System Specs:
Asus M4A88TD-V Evo (Latest BIOS 2301)
Athlon II X3 450
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
WD 500GB data drive
Wireless: TP Link N600
Sound: Asus Xonar DG
Graphics: AMD 7770
OS: Windows 7 64-bit

He built the computer about 1.5 years ago. Has been running smoothly up until about a month ago. Graphics card was upgraded to 7770 in late-May. Current wireless card installed not long thereafter, SSD has been in for over a year. (Basically no hardware has changed since June)

About 3 weeks ago he started having frequent BSODs; usually when watching videos from youtube or the hdd (nearly every time he watched a video for almost a week straight). BSOD error code was F4 (registry error?). He asked me for help. I had him run cc cleaner, scanned for viruses, ran MemTest for over an hour with no errors. He mentioned that he was receiving frequent messages on startup and after BSODs about "Could not find correct boot device, please insert a boot device and reboot." I had him reset CMOS, updated BIOS, power-cycled SSD. Still getting the same error until he found that the SSD had somehow been removed from the boot list. Although adding the SSD back into the boot list allowed him to boot into Windows, it didn't resolve the BSODs, so he ended up reinstalling Windows.

After reinstalling Windows and all his programs/drivers/windows updates, the computer worked fine for about a week. Last Thursday, he got another BSOD while watching a YouTube video (same F4 error code). Same symptoms (video stopped, computer froze, BSOD). At that point I was thinking it may have been a graphics driver issue so I had him install the latest 13.10 beta driver (13.4 in May was the last official driver that he was using...c'mon AMD). Oddly enough, games haven't been posing any stability issues.

The same day he installed the 13.10 he started having freezes at other times as well (usually while web browsing). When the computer froze, he could move the mouse, but couldnt click anything. After a few seconds the keyboard would stop working as well. When he was fast enough to ctrl-alt-del, instead of getting the task manager, he got a message saying something like "preparing security options." He let it go and got another BSOD and then a "7a" error code (KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR). This happened frequently in the past couple days, the computer would only run for about 10 minutes before this happened. During this time, a couple of the reboots generated the previous "could not find boot device" message after BIOS posted, but sometimes it restarted fine. He looked up the error code and ran system file checker (sfc.exe) in cmd prompt. It came up with a few errors and reported that it fixed them. He then ran secpol.msc and cleared virtual memory on shutdown. That was last night and it had been working for a couple hours without issue. I'm not convinced the problems are solved yet though.

Any ideas?


Start with the cheap and simple. I have run across a number of SATA cables that came with Asus motherboards lately that were bad. In windows they appeared to be fine but system stability wasn't there ending up with BSOD's. It wasn't until I installed openSUSE that I saw errors like so:

Code: Select all
ata3.00: exception Emask 0x50 SAct 0x1 SErr 0x280900 action 0x6 frozen
ata3.00: irq_stat 0x08000000, interface fatal error
ata3: SError: { 10B8B BadCRC }   often may also include DisPar, UnrecovData, and/or HostInt


Classic indicator of a bad SATA cable. Replaced the cable and stability returned. Since then I've come across this a few times, and always the source of the issue was the supplied SATA cables from Asus.
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Re: BSOD...Completely Stumped, HELP!!

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:41 am

I usually check the dmp file to see if there are some hints in there.

You can either use the Windows SDK or some other tool.

Pages about using the SDK: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315263 http://windows7themes.net/how-to-open-d ... ows-7.html

Thread about other tools for viewing dmp files: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/wind ... d22b1db009

Kernel dump location:
%SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP

Small memory dump location:
%SystemRoot%\Minidump
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