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Postby bumfrog » Thu May 20, 2021 5:42 am

what was the error the blue screen gave you?
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Postby qpw3141 » Thu May 20, 2021 12:52 pm

Tempest wrote:My main PC is still screwed.
Mentioned this a few months ago here, but lost the thread (does not matter)

Gave up, and got Windows 10 onto a USB stick and put a fresh copy of Windows 10 onto my C drive (data is still safe on D and E drives)

Only things actually on the PC in effect was Windows 10, and ESET antivirus.
And even during ESET's first scan..... Blue-Screen and a reboot. :(

I've does a boot-up-DOS memtest and that came back all clear.
The hardware is the same as it's been for the past 4 years

Used to be a rock solid machine, now it will just blue screen and throw up a totally random different error message each time.

A weird one was something like "tried to write to read only memory"
But they seem different each time.
I can't make it crash, it just happens.
It could then take 2 to 3 attempts for windows to reboot correcly and pit itself right.
Then perhaps 5 mins or 15 mins later another blue screen.

Someone suggested power supply, but would that cause random error messages with blue screens?

Any ideas?


Yes.

If the PS is dodgy anything can happen.

I had a machine that would reset itself randomly. Changing the PS cured the problem.

If you've got a powerful graphics card you could try removing that (assuming you've got mobo graphics), also the non windows disks. If that cures the problem it's almost certainly the PS. Unfortunately, if it doesn't, it doesn't rule out the PS.
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Postby Tempest » Thu May 20, 2021 7:23 pm

Thanks to all for advice so far.
Decided easiest to start would be just check memory.
As I said had run Memtest via a boot CD, but found the Windows own Memory Diagnosis Tool.
Got that to run, and it locked up.
Hmmmm, ok, so pull out 3 sticks of RAM and decided I'd check one at a time.
Went to reboot, then Windows decided it didn't want to load and threw up an "Inaccessible boot device" error
Not sure how it could not access it, as it had to access it, in order to half load up windows to show that error! ;)

Anyway, a whole round of attempted repairs, and reboots, and off at the wall.
And windows decided it now would boot ok ;)

So with 1 stick or memory in, I ran the Windows Memory Test and the 1st stick passed, so going to go through them all now and see if one fails.

Oh, and I downloaded and ran the free Crystal Disk Info app.

My 3 drives SMART reports are:

C: 98% health (my boot drive)
D: 100% health
E 100% health

Will report back on how the RAM testing goes as this is the easiest thing to start with I feel.
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Postby Tempest » Thu May 20, 2021 8:28 pm

Small update.

Ok, well that's enough messing around for this evening.
As I mentioned, with all four 4GB sticks in there, upon running Windows Memory Diagnostics, it stopped/froze about half way through the 1st pass, with a Hardware fault/error message (and one of my fans connected to a spare header on the motherboard stopped - weird)

So, naturally, as mentioned in last post. The sensible thing of course is to place just one stick of RAM in at a time, and run the same test.

I did that, and (wait for it, as you know what I'm going to say now ;) )

Yes, they all individually passed the test, with zero errors.... Oh the fun of it all!

Wondering if you are right and perhaps the power supply is not enough to feed them all for some reason?

Do you think it's worth some stress test within windows, that should stress the Ram/System and cause the power supply to show itself as the culprit.

Oh, and in answer to a earlier question. I don't have any onboard graphics.
This 1080 has been running perfect for the past 3.5 years.
And has had a VERY easy life.

====edit====

Please ignore the no boot drive issue I mentioned.
I did mess with the IDE/ACHI setting, and I found out that throws windows into a tizzy.

And to note: In Windows, with just a single stick of 4GB Ram, not seen one bluescreen. (not much testing admittedly)
With any of the sticks.

Will add just one more stick tomorrow and try that for a bit.
As said, perhaps it is power supply and amount of sticks? (stab in the dark guess)
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Postby Chris Locke » Thu May 20, 2021 9:33 pm

> The sensible thing of course is to place just one stick of RAM in at a time

I could be talking out my butt hole, and not related to 'new tech', but there could be a problem with stick A talking to stick B. I've had stick A pass, and stick B pass, but together, Windows just doesn't like it - bit like I can stomach my wife for a bit, and her sister for a bit, but both at the same time - time to open the Disaronno.

Again, past experience has proven that component A doesn't always like component B, even if they're branded components, and just because Windows 'did', doesn't mean it still will - don't forget drivers get updated all the time (this is one reason why I suggested using an older version). Again (sorry - keep putting that word) I remember building PCs and just buying components at random - 'yeah, they'll fit' and Windows just refused point blank to work. Never really knew at the time that compatibility was so flaky. Back then it was definitely memory - motherboards were really finicky with what memory they liked.
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Postby bumfrog » Fri May 21, 2021 6:10 am

is the ram all the same make/model?
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Postby qpw3141 » Fri May 21, 2021 9:02 am

Try actually running Windows with just one stick present.

Spend some time doing very light work and see if that's OK.

Then start playing some high def video, and perhaps doing a virus scan, together with searching the entire C drive in explorer.

If light work doesn't cause a crash and heavy does, it's 99% certain it's the PSU.
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Postby Tempest » Fri May 21, 2021 6:55 pm

Todays evening update :)

As I said, last night I tested each RAM stick individually, and it passed.
So tonight I plugged in a second stick (8GB Total) and Windows booted up fine.

I ran Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool, and again, it all passed without issue.

I then downloaded and run the HEVEN demo/benchmark, and let that run through, which it did without any issue.

After a bit of reading.... I have just downloaded Prime95 and have the Blend Test running, which is supposed to be the test which stresses the RAM the most, and it's been running a good 30 mins now, without any issues.

Based on all of this, all all sounds pretty good huh?

The memory is all the same make/model yes.


My current idea, is to swap these two memory sticks out, and plug in the other two sticks, and try the exact same tests with those two other sticks.

Then it that works, I'll re-try it with all 4 sticks in, and see what happens then.

== edit==

Ok, left Prime95 Blend running for 1 hour, at which time I stopped it, and it said, performed 11 torture tests with no errors.

So now time to swap to the other sticks of ram as I said and see how stable they are.
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Postby allan » Fri May 21, 2021 8:34 pm

I've had memory sticks run memtest86 for days and pass but still be faulty.
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Postby bumfrog » Sat May 22, 2021 8:35 am

it's also possible it could be the memory slots in the motherboard that have become faulty - less likely but I have seen it happen. So if you can be bothered, it might be worth testing the two sticks that have passed and worked fine in the the other two slots - see if there is any change.

If that's all working, I'd probably echo what other people have said about the psu, it can cause strange issues if it's past it 's best as it were.
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Postby Tempest » Sat May 22, 2021 10:23 am

Ok.... Give me your gut initial feeling on this one ;)

As you know, typical Motherboard = 4 slots for ram
Slots 1 and 3 you fill up 1st as they are a pair (no idea why they arrange sockets in this way, but anyway ;) )

So. I place 2 memory sticks in slots 1 & 3 and as I said, ran Heven, Prime 95 and Windows Memory diagnostics, and all fine.

I then swap, and put the other two sticks of memory in the same two slots, and did the same tests, and again all fine.

Right, so that seems ok so far. yes.....

This morning, I populated all 4 slots, and all was fine, till I ran Windows Memory Diagnostics, and got an towards the end of the test......

Now I'm suspecting perhaps it's a memory socket issue... But see the following:

I then thought I'd leave the sticks in 1 and 3 and place a single module in slot 2, and run Windows memory tool on this.
This passed fine.

I then exchanged the memory module for the other spare one and did the same, and right at the very end of passing the test, actually after the test was completed and windows was about to reload, I got a blue screen error.

So I turned off the PC, restarted it, did the same test, and again at the very end of passing the test, windows thru up a blue screen once more.

I then, removed this module from slot 2, replaced it with the other module that has worked in this slot earlier, and re-ran it, so see if I'd get the same error (the earlier pass was just lucky) or not.
And I got no error.

So, to summarise (windows memory diagnostics tool)
Same memory modules in slots 1 and 3 = ok

Memory module in slot 2 = ok
Other memory module in slot 2 = bluescreen after passing test (1st try)
Other memory module in slot 2 = bluescreen after passing test (2nd try)
Memory module back into slot 2 = ok again.

Now, I'm perhaps jumping the gun here, but it's kinda feeling like there is some issue with this memory module?

Whats odd is that, it was fine, when run as a pair last night.
So I'm kinda a little up in the air about exactly what's going on.

I am currently running PrimeBlend without this module in, and see what happens.

Still feels a bit weird.
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Postby bumfrog » Sat May 22, 2021 11:04 am

yeh does sound like it could be the memory module If you can run the 3 working ones without issues.

Sometimes computers can be like that. It still could be a psu related issue with possible dipping voltages and stuff, but if you've been running prime without any issues it's probably not that.
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Postby Tempest » Sat May 22, 2021 11:14 am

^ Yeah, it feels that way, but will admit I feel I am kinda jumping to that conclusion a bit.
It really depends how much messing around I want to do.

I could for example put the memory module I am assuming, based upon what's known so far, into slot 1, and see what happens, and try various permutations.

I've just run Prime95 Blend for 1 hour with the 3 modules in, and then the Heaven Benchmark, and not any problems. I know that is not in anyway a 100% test of stability, but it's not bad for a start ;)

As said, without more swapping about I'm not 100% sure it's actually this stick, even though it feels like it might be.
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Postby shteve » Sat May 22, 2021 3:41 pm

Running two banks of memory is more stressful for the memory controller, and I'd guess that running dual channel and single channel at the same time would be more likely to throw up a memory error. If anything, I'd try a stick in slot 1 and 2, so not dual channel but at least checking both banks are working ok. I've had issues with fully populated boards before, and ended up replacing the memory with 2 8GB sticks (it was 4 4GB before). Having said that, I am running 4 8GB sticks in my current PC without issue. I'd still question your PSU.
I've got a signature and an avatar :p
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Postby Chris Locke » Sat May 22, 2021 5:00 pm

I bet in a week, Tempest will say, "I've replaced my mouse and now all is good."
It's always the mouse. ;) :lol:

In fact, I bet it's all the security devices plugged in... thumbprint keyboards, retina-scanning mice, weight-checking chair - hell, I bet even your mousemat has a microphone to do voice analysis.
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Postby Tempest » Sun May 23, 2021 8:31 am

Ok, let's try another update ;)

So, had a fiddle in the BIOS, turned on Load Line Calibration, which I used to always have on, which I believe is supposed to help stabilise power to a CPU when overclocking, which I did a little in the past, but don't do now, but thought I'd put it back on anyway.

Also set the XMP Profile to "Profile 1" (the only option)

Then, back to the memory.....
I took the DIMM Stick which, testing had suggested might be the problem, and put that into the very 1st memory slot and another stick into slot 3.
Ran my normal tests, Heaven Benchmark, Windows Memory Diagnostics, and 1 hour or Prime 95 on Blend.
All fine.

So, ok, may as well go for it, put the other two memory sticks in also, so all memory slots full.
Windows Memory Diagnostics Passed ok.
Heaven Benchmark ran ok.
Two hours of Prime95 on Blend Passed ok.

I then forgot about it, and the PC went to sleep by itself.
This morning, tapped the mouse button to get it out of sleep, Prime95 Had stopped when it went to sleep, but was still there and started to run again.
I stopped it. Ran Heaven Benchmark again, Rand Windows Memory Diagnostics again, and not a sniff of any problem.

So....................... well....... yeah.....
Shrugs.
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Postby qpw3141 » Sun May 23, 2021 10:15 am

Could possibly have been a bad contact on one of the memory sticks or one of the slots, that got cleaned with the repeated removal and insertions.

Or it could be something that is just biding its time and will come back and bite you in a while.

Intermittent faults are always the worst.
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Postby Chris Locke » Sun May 23, 2021 10:46 am

Just as another 'aah....', pointing a finger in the air.... try and only do one thing at a time. You've done so many things then tried again, now you know it works you don't know which of the fourteen things you did was the winning 'thingy'. I'd be tempted to turn off the LLC and the other option (you say you set the XMP profile, but it's the only option anyway?) and just try again - just to see if those options were the trigger. Was possibly a loose connection (components become loose due to heat) so re-seating is always a good thing to do.
But glad it's working again. But yeah, intermittent issues are a pain.
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Postby Tempest » Sun May 23, 2021 10:56 am

Honestly I've swapped memory sticks so many times in the past, and used Isopropyl Alcohol a number of times it's hard to imagine dirt, but agree a iffy contact is always a possibility.
I'm going to record (screenshots) of the BIOS settings in case of a crash and it wipes things back to default.
At this moment in time I will probably just let it run for a while and see how stable over time.
When this all started it was very intermittent, so it won't be long before I notice if this has cleared up or not.
Much appreciate all the suggestions, and agree these things are a pain.
If you work in "the business" it's so easy to just swap in and out bits to identify a fault, but at home you don't really wish to go buy £50 - £100 items on the off chance you have guessed the right item is the problem.
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