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I recently built a PC from parts purchased from a big-name online computer parts retailer. I've built several PCs and never had the trouble I'm having with this one. I'm having two primary problems.

  1. The system goes to blue screen of death about once a day. It's re-booting before I can read the screen.

  2. Firefox 5.0 crashes several times each day. I have the same add-ons loaded in multiple other machines, but on this machine, Firefox crashes at least twice a day. I often notice the Flash plugin crashes before the browser goes down.

All the drivers are up-to-date, I believe. Is there a way to verify this?

I suspect a RAM memory failure. Is there a way to check for bad memory?

I am using all the default settings of the BIOS. I am not overclocking.

That's the general questions. The specifics of my machine:

MB: ASRock P67 EXTREME4
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9700LED Ultra Quiet
Mem: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
HD: Seagate Barracuda Green ST1500DL003 1.5TB 5900 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
PS: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V
Video 1: SAPPHIRE 100282-3CODSR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
Video 2: SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16

I have three monitors attached to the two video cards.

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You should at least change it to not reboot on a BSOD so you CAN read the error. Start Menu - search for 'Advanced System Settings' - Advanced tab - Startup and Recovery, Settings... - Under 'System Failure', uncheck 'Automatically Restart'. Also make sure it's writing events to the log and making dump files - these might be helpful as well. –  Shinrai Jul 18 '11 at 19:02
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Go back to basics - one stick of RAM, one display adaptor, nothing else connected, and boot from something that can run memtest and take it from there - adding components back (with everything powered off) one at a time until things start to misbehave - that will help isolate the problem.

If even the basics won't work, try different memory/adaptor card sockets and then you have to consider testing by substitution.

To check whether the OS or device drivers are the problem try booting from a Linux Live CD

Memtest: http://www.memtest.org/

Live CD (with lots of useful stuff): http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=start

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+1 best to elmiminate as many variables as possible. –  Dave M Jul 18 '11 at 20:15
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Memtest showed lot's of bad memory. Took out one of the memory and the problem disappeared. I ordered a replacement memory board. Thanks! –  forestplay Aug 1 '11 at 23:46
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@Linker3000 has some great places to start. In addition, I have seen cautionary notes about using green drives as the primary drive. Have seen both Seagate and Western Digital mentioned. Also noticed signs at local Tiger Direct warning not to use the Green drives as the primary OS drive. What I have seen is that the drive spins down to save power and then there is a delay when you try to read something. Annoying when you need a file but probably worse if the OS is on the drive. It may be possible to turn the power save off on the drive.

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I don't recommend Green Drives at all for main HDD –  KronoS Jul 18 '11 at 20:46
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