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Recently my Windows 7 x64 machine has been randomly crashing on me. Having recently installed a memory stick, I assumed that it was that, but after resolving that issue (See my question from before) and running multiple tests on the memory without any failure it appears that I have taken care of that issue.

However the PC still randomly crashes. After the crash whenever I look into the Event Viewer I see the same crtical error from Kernel-Power with Event ID of 41. Also with each crash there is a volmgr Error of Event ID 46 and a Wininit Warning with Event ID of 11. This crash happens randomly, and I just can't figure out what the cause is.

Here are the specific Errors and times that Windows reports:

  • Critical EVID 41 9/4/2010 9:42:07 PM
  • Critical EVID 41 9/3/2010 6:10:37 AM

  • Error EVID 46 9/4/2010 9:42:06 PM & 9:42:12 PM; 3:56:28 PM & 3:56:37 PM; 11:32:00 AM & 11:32:15 AM;

  • Error EVID 46 9/3/2010 3:29:06 PM & 3:29:12 PM; 6:10:37 AM & 6:10:46 AM

  • Error EVID 6008 9/4/2010 9:42:15 PM

  • Error EVID 6008 9/3/2010 6:10:58 AM

  • Warning EVID 11 9/4/2010 9:42:24 PM; 3:59:46 PM; 11:32:25 AM

  • Warning EVID 11 9/3/2010 3:29:24 PM; 6:10:58 AM

The PC crashes whenever I'm away. I have checked my power settings, and although I'm not sure what exactly I'm looking for I feel that everything is OK. Hibernate and sleep are off. Display is turned off after 15 min of inactivity, and the power setting is set to High Performance.

There have also been crashes while using the machine, for example:

  • Had a Word file open
  • Pandora was running (just switched to a commercial when it shut down)
  • I was scanning a document
  • Had Super User up :)

While these aren't very demanding applications the system shut down, it froze for a moment and then full system shutdown with a restart right after.

Looking at the error reporting brought up the exact same issues explained above, with an the additon of:

  • Application error (EID 1000) referring to the application of dlcxjswx.exe (However I think that may be my scanning software, it kept coming up with an error whenever I scanned)

After updating all of my drivers, I had to restart the PC. During the restart after updating the Realtek drivers, the system crashed once again. I am not sure if Realtek is the culprit but thought it might be important. Also, this prompted me to dig even deeper into the event viewer. Under the volmgr error EVID 46, the details tab shows "\Device\HarddiskVolume2" which happens to be my OS hard-drive. Does this mean that the drive is the issue (with it being a SSD/Hard Drive Hybrid)?

Heres my system info:

  • Case: HAF 932
  • Motherboard: EVGA P55 LE
  • Chipset: P55
  • Processor: Intel i5-750
  • Memory: 2x2 GB 1067; 2x1GB 1333 All modules are OCZ
  • Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT
  • Power Supply: 750 Watts
  • Hard Drive: Seagate momentus xt 320 gb (OS); Seagate 750 GB; Seagate 1 TB; WD green 640 GB

Resolved

After opening the PC case and doing a "deep" inspection of everything on the PC, I saw something caught my eye. I looked further, and saw that both a USB and Firewall connection to the motherboard was not connected properly. It was actually connected one set of pins to the right of what it should be and upside down. Stupid mistake I know, but I found it out. I also updated drivers on everything and also have a replaced the PSU. So far, no more crashes.

So to everyone, double and triple check all your connections before you assume it's a software issue :P

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Can you describe the crash itself better? Is it a BSOD? Is it a hang? Is the computer suddenly off? ...? –  Tom Wijsman Sep 7 '10 at 17:29
    
According to my knowledge, correct me if I'm wrong, there is no BSOD in Win 7. Since most times the crash is while I'm away there I only have this one experience to share, but what happened was pandora switched to a commercial, and then the audio stared to repeat/skip for a brief second, and then crash... the PC is restarting. –  KronoS Sep 7 '10 at 17:39
    
BSODs still exist with Windows 7, but as you don't see one and the event log doesn't list that either it doesn't chrash there... I've though further about this and read a sentence and answered based on that sentence which makes a bit more sense because of the kernel power errors. –  Tom Wijsman Sep 7 '10 at 17:41
    
@Krono - Windows 7 does have a BSOD, it's much rarer than in previous versions, but it does exist for some serious kernal failues and the like. –  DMA57361 Sep 7 '10 at 17:43
    
Good to know, then I'm not getting a BSOD that I know of. –  KronoS Sep 7 '10 at 17:48
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4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted
+200

As from reading comments, it appears that you are not 100% sure about BSOD/crashing, the first thing I would recommend you do is to disable automatic restarts on system failure (located in System Properties > Advanced Settings > Startup and Recovery).

Alternatively, or a better solution is to use Nirsoft Bluescreen View which should be able to show you all blue sreens that your machine has suffered from in the past - providing it was able to be written to disk.

As for an actual solution, I can't really give detailed advice any better than JBirch's answer as that is a good post on what the errors actually mean, but I have seen similar errors and if a client came to me with these errors, I would personally:

  1. Disconnect any cheap/unknown manufacturer PCI, PCI Express, USB or other addons. I have seen many crashes on standby caused via cheap Chinese webcams - but it can be any addon.

  2. Check for any BIOS updates.

  3. Check BIOS settings, especially power configuration. I have had issues with some P55 based motherboards and lowering the ACPI support level has fixed a few problems (granted it is only a work around, but it requires a BIOS update and without source code access, that is out of our control.)

  4. Possibly look at the BIOS and make sure you are not using a fancy RAID option - I have seen in the past random issues caused from using consumer motherboard RAID where the drivers simply are written poor. Unfortunately, this may require a reinstall but you may be able to get away without if you perform a Sysprep /generalise (If you want more information, read here)

  5. I would dump your hard drive. I have flat out refused to sell ANY hybrid hard drives recently. I sold about 30 when they were first released and within 4 months, I had to replace around 25 of them due to random crashes. A hard drive company I am partnered with send me samples to tempt me to sell, but I now perform a 72 hour burn in test on any new configuration, and hybrid drives never seem to pass or they show some sort of problem.

    This is my own research and I have found problems with any sort of SSD hybrid. it is my belief that the drivers are poorly written and whilst analysing memory dumps years ago with Intel Turbo Memory, I found the problem to be bad timings/cache. Items get written to the flash, and they are read from the drive before the flash has a chance to save - It has a low time out and the read is failed. Whilst opening documents or non critical files can be ok, if it is a critical Windows file, it can crash the system.

  6. Last normal idea would be overclocking - if you are doing this, disable it all - Core I5 is fast enough! This could be the cause.

  7. If all the above fails, my next thought is that you simply have a defective motherboard. It is rare, but it does happen, and when it does, you can have endless seemingly random problems. The only course of action is to RMA the board and receive a new one.

I hope this helps you and please let me know how you get on.

(Extra - I read somewhere above about a reference to Realtek drivers - For some, especially NIC, the ones that come with Windows Vista and Windows 7 are BAD, they cause BSOD, but only when utilisation reaches 70%+ - All the drivers on their site seem to be better and I haven't had a problem since)

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I checked the system properties and saw that windows wasn't recording the BSOD's, which would be why I haven't been seeing them. I also deactivated the restart on system failure. I downloaded the bluescreen view, and if there are anymore crashes then I will give you more info. –  KronoS Sep 8 '10 at 5:23
    
@KronoS Strange, the default settings should save those. Have you changed these yourself? Else you might have applied some bad tweaks with a program... –  Tom Wijsman Sep 8 '10 at 10:16
    
+1 Nice summary... I am already aware of Sysprep but I forgot it when I needed it two weeks ago, thank you for that link! –  Tom Wijsman Sep 8 '10 at 10:17
    
Altough you didn't directly solve the issue, you gave the best answer. The Nrisoft Bluescreen View is a great tool. Also you guided me to find out that Windows wasn't recording BSOD's. Thanks for the great tips. Bouty is yours. –  KronoS Sep 12 '10 at 4:06
    
@TomWij Just to let you guys know and everyone else, if you have Advanced System Care it will automatically remove the automatic recording of BSOD's. You have to disable it in order to stop that. This is where i found that. –  KronoS Sep 26 '10 at 3:23
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A quick search of Kernel-Power Event ID 41 brings this up (which I imagine is the message you're given in Windows):

The last sleep transition was unsuccessful. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding failed or lost power during the sleep transition.

Does this crashing happen when you are not using the computer? Would you be able to have a look at your sleep and power settings for us? I figure this is more a symptom of the underlying problem, though.

The only information I'm getting on This EvID 46 on volmgr is

Crash dump initialization failed!

which probably means it's not what's causing the problems, but arises because of a cascading fault.

A search of Ev 11 on wininit is giving me

Custom dynamic link libraries are being loaded for every application. The system administrator should review the list of libraries to ensure they are related to trusted applications

Which I could see as potentially causing the issue, either through maliciously crafted .dll files or something else. Do you have any timestamps on these errors, so we can see just what happens first?

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+1 for an useful start to this question. –  Tom Wijsman Sep 8 '10 at 10:18
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So I was working on homework (of course) and the PC randomly shut down...

 

The last sleep transition was unsuccessful. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding failed or lost power during the sleep transition.

If I understand this correctly, your computer suddenly reboots while it is going to the sleep mode...
The other events listed are just side effects of the sudden reboot being detected at the next boot.

You should try to disconnect any external devices and work with a bare minimum hardware setup...

If it still occurs it's probably your power supply which either is broken or can't handle your hardware.

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but it doesn't just happen when I'm using it... I've left it on and come back to see it has restarted/crashed on me. I'll check the wattage of my pc peripherals, but I'm pretty sure that isn't the issue. Maybe the supply is bad, I'll check that. –  KronoS Sep 7 '10 at 17:41
1  
I checked online the wattage that I'm using and I'm well under the 750 power supply that I have. (510 actually, and I was pretty liberal on answering the questions.) –  KronoS Sep 7 '10 at 17:45
    
Adjusted accordingly, the suggestions still count... I guess some device is preventing your computer to properly go to sleep mode and instead causes the system to hang and reboot. The power supply is less likely but some years ago this was the cause of a similar reboot problem I had... –  Tom Wijsman Sep 7 '10 at 17:46
    
Is there any way of checking which process is causing the crash, or peripheral... the only thing that I have connected constantly is my monitors, my cat5 cable, and my stereo headphone jack. Everything else is connected as a need use basis. Sleep and hibernate are already disabled (see above on post) –  KronoS Sep 7 '10 at 17:52
    
The annoying thing is that this is a hardware issue which causes all troubleshooting data to be lost and thus can't be logged in a software manner, I guess something in your computer causes this but it's a matter of trial-and-error to find out what. Try to update all the drivers or maybe reinstall Windows... That might maybe help, if not you will have to work around it and either use my previous suggestion or replace the hardware. –  Tom Wijsman Sep 7 '10 at 17:57
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I had this issue where the computer would just shutdown for no reason when i reboot and go into the event viewer it says it ran a kernel-power 41 issue. I found that by updating my BIOS to the latest version this issue has stopped. So try updating your BIOS to the latest version.

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