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I Had the following hardware setup:

  • Phenom II X4 945
  • Asus M4A97
  • 4GB DDR2 OCZ
  • Radeon HD5850
  • OCZ Agility 2 120 GB
  • Windows 7 x64 Pro Fully updated (latest drivers and windows update patches)

Then I bought an used Phenom II X6 1090T and installed it without formatting. Since that my computer started BSODing almost every time I'm playing any game and with different error messages, like:

  • page fault in non-paged area
  • bad pool header
  • the video memory manager found a problem
  • error in dxgmm1.sys(or something like that)

And when it doesn't BSOD the game simply crashes.

I have tried:

  • Updating BIOS
  • Reseting BIOS to defaults
  • Reinstalling Video Drivers
  • Installing the latest DirectX

All that's left is to do a full format and I don't want to do that since it's going to be a lot of work to fine tune windows to my preferences again. So is my "new" processor defective or do I really need to format the computer?

Update: I use a (properly installed) custom cooler from Coolermaster and both the BIOS and the Open Hardware Monitor(Application) attest the CPU is not overheating, so I guess the CPU its defective and since I bought it from a guy over the Internet I'm probably screwed

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First thing I'd do is reseat the processor. I doubt that a format will fix the problem. Note that it's possible that your BIOS can't handle that processor. –  Daniel R Hicks Dec 19 '12 at 3:59
    
I don't know much about hardware, but is it possible that you might have damaged another component while installing the CPU? –  Mehrdad Dec 19 '12 at 10:18
    
I took a lot of care when installing the CPU and I worked building computers on a store in the past, so I don't think thats the case here. –  Daniel Dec 19 '12 at 11:19
    
Perhaps the processor was damaged when it was removed from the other PC ? –  Simon Sheehan Dec 27 '12 at 16:43
    
Something similar happened to me once and a flash of the BIOS to support the newer CPU fixed it, but you tried it already. Worth trying to also reseat RAM and video card. Maybe the previous owner OC'ed it too much and somehow damaged it. –  Bratch Dec 27 '12 at 18:14

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Installed properly and working properly, a new processor shouldn't cause things to crash. It's likely that the new processor is either overheating or defective.

Make sure your heatsink is making good thermal contact with the processor — it might be mounted wrong, or you might've used too little thermal paste, or spread it unevenly. Also check that the heatsink's fan is spinning; sometimes wires can get in the way and hold it in place. If all else fails, switch back to the old processor and see if the problem goes away, and if it does, contact AMD or the retailer about doing a warranty exchange on the new one.

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@Daniel: Running a program that displays the CPU temperature might help confirm this before opening the case. –  Hennes Dec 19 '12 at 6:50
    
Seems like the processor was really defective, since AMD accepted to trade it for a new one. –  Daniel Mar 17 at 12:08

I agree that it sounds like the processor is defective. If you have a defective piece of hardware, it can definitely give a BSOD. I cant remember the rule of thumb but I think if you are getting a BSOD under certain circumstances and not random then it is a hardware related BSOD, if you get random BSOD it is software, or else its the other way around. Sorry I cant remember the exact rule. In any event you could try downloading a piece of software called "Who Crashed" it will look at you minidump files and give you a good idea what software or condition is causing the crash.

I will paste a link to the site here: http://www.resplendence.com/whocrashed

Another thing you could try is to make an image of your machine, then restore the image with the restore to dissimilar hardware or universal restore option, assuming you have that option with the image software you would be using. This will strip away your drivers and have Windows reinstall the drivers for your computer. This would save you a lot of time over a complete clean install. That being said, if you look at the simplest explanation and what has change on your machine, your problems started just after you installed this new processor, so that is the highest likely cause. It sucks that you might not have a recourse on the used CPU, but in my experience that cost savings on buying used hardware versus new, it's just not worth the risk. Just buy new hardware and get a lot less headaches.

As for the overheat possibility, I suspect that is not it, if a CPU overheats you normally get a shutdown condition or a whole system freeze issue and if it was incorrectly installed the machine would not boot, not to mention you really can't install it wrong because the socket is shaped to only fit one way with the CPU.

I hope this information was helpful, good luck.

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Of course. Here is a list (for Windows XP) of HAL options for different processors:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309283

Or sometimes the processor just isn't supported correctly:

Windows BSOD when all cpu cores enabled.

Can't help you past that though. Many people don't have any trouble upgrading one multi-core processor to a similar one. Many other people just do a re-install (or an OS repair from the installation CD, which sometimes causes you to need to re-install)

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The OP mentions he is on Windows 7, which does not support a repair install unless you can get into the OS; as well, the top link isn't applicable. –  Canadian Luke Dec 19 '12 at 1:58
    
The first link is an example. It is also a direct answer to his specific question given in the title: "Can a processor upgrade cause a BSOD". Your second assertion is false: in Windows 7 you can ALSO do a repair install from inside Windows, you can STILL do a repair install from the installation CD. Here is a tutorial: sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html. –  user165568 Dec 22 '12 at 22:20
    
The link you provided proves my point about the repair install. The first link only mentions xp, which is why I made the comment –  Canadian Luke Dec 22 '12 at 22:51

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