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Old 17th July 2017, 04:23 AM   #1
SezMe
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Blue Screen of Death

I am running Win 10, 64-bit. I am now getting a Blue Screen of Death about once a day.

I downloaded BlueScreenView which shows a lot info in the minidump file. Unfortunately, I don't know how to read the information in order to figure out what is breaking.

Anyone here who has experience with dump information?
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Old 17th July 2017, 07:05 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
I am running Win 10, 64-bit. I am now getting a Blue Screen of Death about once a day.

I downloaded BlueScreenView which shows a lot info in the minidump file. Unfortunately, I don't know how to read the information in order to figure out what is breaking.

Anyone here who has experience with dump information?
Memory dumps are usually only helpful to the authors of a program. A BSOD is nearly always related to installed drivers or malfunctioning hardware.

This is what I do when troubleshooting BSOD.
  1. Look in device manager to see if any devices are showing question marks or exclamation points.
  2. Make sure all Windows updates where successful and there are no pending updates.
  3. Look in Event Viewer for logged driver and hardware failures.
  4. Try updating all your drivers.
  5. Run a thorough memory test.
  6. Disconnect all hardware that is not absolutely necessary.
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Old 17th July 2017, 10:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
Memory dumps are usually only helpful to the authors of a program. A BSOD is nearly always related to installed drivers or malfunctioning hardware.

This is what I do when troubleshooting BSOD.
  1. Look in device manager to see if any devices are showing question marks or exclamation points.
  2. Make sure all Windows updates where successful and there are no pending updates.
  3. Look in Event Viewer for logged driver and hardware failures.
  4. Try updating all your drivers.
  5. Run a thorough memory test.
  6. Disconnect all hardware that is not absolutely necessary.
If the above doesn't solve the problem, back up all of your files to the cloud or to another physical drive, and replace your hard drive. Over the years, I have seen many blue screens of death, and if running the computer "bare bones" doesn't resolve it, it usually boils down to a hard drive read/write failure.
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Old 17th July 2017, 11:30 AM   #4
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I don't run Windows 10 so I might be talking/writing nonsense here, but could it be run in Safe Mode (does that even exist?), and would that show any useful information?
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Old 17th July 2017, 04:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bytewizard View Post
If the above doesn't solve the problem, back up all of your files to the cloud or to another physical drive, and replace your hard drive. Over the years, I have seen many blue screens of death, and if running the computer "bare bones" doesn't resolve it, it usually boils down to a hard drive read/write failure.
Do this first, not last. Then ensure you have all your files backed up.
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Old 17th July 2017, 06:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
A BSOD is nearly always related to installed drivers or malfunctioning hardware.
Can attest.

My last two bouts with BSOD were from a graphics card going bad, then a wifi dongle. Win 10 pro 64, Core i3, 8 gigs.
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Old 17th July 2017, 07:03 PM   #7
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Good comments. Give me some time to try these ideas. I installed a new hard drive about 18 months ago so that should be ok. But I have a second physical hard drive that I use for backup that is a lot older so that may be the culprit.
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Old 18th July 2017, 01:40 AM   #8
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There's little point in replacing parts you merely think might be faulty, unless you've spares available for that purpose and have not other way to test devices.

A live CD/flash drive with memtest86 can be used to check memory for issues, and if it contains the appropriate tools, your hard disk too.

System Rescue CD is quite handy for that sort of thing, but there are others.
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Old 18th July 2017, 01:42 AM   #9
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Memtest caught the error for me last time this happened, but that was back in XP days and the world may well have moved on
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Old 19th July 2017, 02:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by commandlinegamer View Post
There's little point in replacing parts you merely think might be faulty, unless you've spares available for that purpose and have not other way to test devices.
Couldn't agree more. The hard drive I replace was clearly failing which was why I replace it. I'm a software guy, I hate mucking around with hardware.
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Old 28th July 2017, 12:51 PM   #11
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Another common problem is simple overheating. You may want to check to see if your fans are all working. 1-2 in the case, 1 on the CPU, 1 on the graphics card if you are not using integrated graphics. There is also one it the Power Supply, but it's not always easy to tell if it's running.

you may also want to read the text of the bluescreen. It may give you some clues about what driver/piece of hardware is failing.
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Old 29th July 2017, 03:37 AM   #12
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The text on the Win 10 BSOD has essentially no content. The meat is in the dump files.
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Old 29th July 2017, 06:46 PM   #13
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I haven't had a BSOD on Windows 10 yet, so can't say for sure. In the olden days, there'd be an error code at the top, something like "STOP 0xc0008015", sometimes followed by up to four hexadecimal numbers in parenthesis. That's a failure error code, and that with those four numbers can give some info on the error cause.

Additionally, you can check the system event log (Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Event Viewer). Generally some basic information on the cause of the failure will be recorded there; unless it's a complete failure (system will no longer boot) it should have an entry with some details, either at the time of failure or at the time it was rebooted.

Finally, there are built-in troubleshooters that can sometimes be helpful. If you click on your Windows button, then the gear for settings, there should be a "Troubleshoot" option on the left:

In the right, you should fin d an option for troubleshooting Blue Screen errors.
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Old 30th July 2017, 04:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Another common problem is simple overheating. You may want to check to see if your fans are all working. 1-2 in the case, 1 on the CPU, 1 on the graphics card if you are not using integrated graphics. There is also one it the Power Supply, but it's not always easy to tell if it's running.
Overheating is better diagnosed by taking the side panel of the computer off and pointing a desk fan in there. The fans can be working but the heat sinks can be clogged with enough dust to stop them working well enough.
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Old 1st August 2017, 11:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Overheating is better diagnosed by taking the side panel of the computer off and pointing a desk fan in there. The fans can be working but the heat sinks can be clogged with enough dust to stop them working well enough.
If the heatsink is clogged opening the case won’t help, but it’s relatively easy to spot while checking the CPU fan.
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Old 18th August 2017, 02:45 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
Memtest caught the error for me last time this happened, but that was back in XP days and the world may well have moved on
An interim denouement, if that's not a contradiction. I ran memtest and I got an all clear except a message that some memory "might be vulnerable" to errors.

But the interesting part of that is that I've had no BSODs since running that. Remember I was having one a day previously. I have no idea if cause -> effect is in operation here, but I'll take it for now.
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Old 18th August 2017, 03:22 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
An interim denouement, if that's not a contradiction. I ran memtest and I got an all clear except a message that some memory "might be vulnerable" to errors.

But the interesting part of that is that I've had no BSODs since running that. Remember I was having one a day previously. I have no idea if cause -> effect is in operation here, but I'll take it for now.
Those symptoms indicate an intermittent fault to me, maybe just a less than perfect electrical connection. I suggest opening up the PC, removing the RAM modules, blowing out any dust from the sockets and putting them back.
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Old 18th August 2017, 09:10 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Another common problem is simple overheating. You may want to check to see if your fans are all working. 1-2 in the case, 1 on the CPU, 1 on the graphics card if you are not using integrated graphics. There is also one it the Power Supply, but it's not always easy to tell if it's running.

you may also want to read the text of the bluescreen. It may give you some clues about what driver/piece of hardware is failing.
There are various utilities you can download to monitor CPU heat. It was thanks to one of those that I diagnosed my borked fan on my Lenovo Thinkpad and was able to replace it for £7 which has stopped it crashing every time I watch the Eurosport player.
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Old 24th August 2017, 02:11 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
The text on the Win 10 BSOD has essentially no content. The meat is in the dump files.
??? Don't you get an error number. That number (the last time I went through a BSOD) was traceable to problems with graphics cards. There are a brazillion of them; everyone I've seen starts with 0x000000nn
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Old 24th August 2017, 02:25 AM   #20
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Depending on your configuration, the latest Tuesday updates can be problematic. I had to update some drivers (NVidia in particular) afterward to get my Win10Pro_x64 stable again after the last one. At any rate, a lot depends on the exact reason for the BSODs, some of which might be available in Event Viewer which, btw, would show any hard disk errors if these are in play.

To test driver stability, check out Verifier, a tool in the OS (menu, run, verifier.exe). Best see here on how to use.
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Old 24th August 2017, 08:03 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
??? Don't you get an error number. That number (the last time I went through a BSOD) was traceable to problems with graphics cards. There are a brazillion of them; everyone I've seen starts with 0x000000nn
Nope, no number or even explanation. What happens is that Windows writes a "mini-dump" file while on screen there's a percent-done widget. I don't know if the dump gets sent to Richmond but I douibt it. But interestingly, if I remember correctly it does post a QR symbol. Maybe that leads to more data.

ETA: You can see the BSOD here.

Last edited by SezMe; 24th August 2017 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 24th August 2017, 08:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
To test driver stability, check out Verifier, a tool in the OS (menu, run, verifier.exe). Best see here on how to use.
Looks a bit risky to me so I think I'll pass. But thanks for the link - I'll look into it when if the problem occurs again.

As an aside, did you parse this sentence:
Quote:
So, in case you are willing to stress test your system drivers with the help of Driver Verifier, do not run it beyond 48 hours. If the BSOD occurs before 48 hours, then stop the verification process much before.
To me that says that if a BSOD happens, stop the test before it happens. Riiiiight.
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Old 25th August 2017, 06:21 AM   #23
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You might find this useful:
https://www.networkworld.com/article...-a-minute.html

Gives some info on where memory dumps get stored and how to get information out of them.

Also, have you checked the "System" Event Log? It should give an entry in there, something like "The previous system shutdown was unexpected", and it will usually give an error code in that entry. Or look at any system event warnings that occurred right before the crash.
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