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I have an MS Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit SP2 box with a AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core processor 6000+, 4GB RAM (according to CCleaner).

It will randomly completely freeze system-wide and not response to any input. Recently this happens more and more often, nearly immediately after startup. Occasionally, there are BSODs.

Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Startup and Recovery (settings) > Dump File points to %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP, which does not exist.

Event Viewer shows six errors: one 10110 and five 10111. Here are the XML details:

<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
<System>
<Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-DriverFrameworks-UserMode" Guid="{2e35aaeb-857f-4beb-a418-2e6c0e54d988}" /> 
<EventID>10110</EventID> 
<Version>1</Version> 
<Level>1</Level> 
<Task>64</Task> 
<Opcode>0</Opcode> 
<Keywords>0x2000000000000000</Keywords> 
<TimeCreated SystemTime="2012-04-11T00:31:47.646Z" /> 
<EventRecordID>272687</EventRecordID> 
<Correlation /> 
<Execution ProcessID="1144" ThreadID="1584" /> 
<Channel>System</Channel> 
<Computer>User-PC</Computer> 
<Security UserID="S-1-5-18" /> 
</System>
<UserData>
<UMDFHostProblem lifetime="{27A13659-46EB-43BE-88D1-941262764777}" xmlns:auto-ns2="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events" xmlns="http://www.microsoft.com/DriverFrameworks/UserMode/Event">
<Problem code="8" detectedBy="2" /> 
<ExitCode>0</ExitCode> 
<Operation code="259">
<Message>0</Message> 
<Status>4294967295</Status> 
</Operation>
</UMDFHostProblem>
</UserData>
</Event>

and

<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
<System>
<Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-DriverFrameworks-UserMode" Guid="{2e35aaeb-857f-4beb-a418-2e6c0e54d988}" /> 
<EventID>10111</EventID> 
<Version>1</Version> 
<Level>1</Level> 
<Task>64</Task> 
<Opcode>0</Opcode> 
<Keywords>0x2000000000000000</Keywords> 
<TimeCreated SystemTime="2012-04-11T00:31:47.646Z" /> 
<EventRecordID>272688</EventRecordID> 
<Correlation /> 
<Execution ProcessID="1144" ThreadID="1584" /> 
<Channel>System</Channel> 
<Computer>User-PC</Computer> 
<Security UserID="S-1-5-18" /> 
</System>
<UserData>
<UmdfDeviceOffline lifetime="{27A13659-46EB-43BE-88D1-941262764777}" xmlns:auto-ns2="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events" xmlns="http://www.microsoft.com/DriverFrameworks/UserMode/Event">
<DeviceInfo>
<FriendlyName>HardDisk</FriendlyName> 
<Location>(unknown)</Location> 
<InstanceId>WPDBUSENUMROOT\UMB\2&37C186B&0&STORAGE#VOLUME#1&19F7E59C&0&_??_USBSTOR#DISK&VEN_TIGERJET&PROD_HARDDISK&REV_V2.0#7&16E9FF79&0&A9210504033995&0#</InstanceId> 
</DeviceInfo>
<RestartCount>5</RestartCount> 
</UmdfDeviceOffline>
</UserData>
</Event>

This has been going for a very long time with varying intensity. Nobody remembers when exactly is started or what might of caused it (it's not actually my computer)

What can I do about this?

EDIT: I thought it might be drivers, and a lot of drivers were indeed outdated, but I couldn't find anything to update them automatically, so I ended up delaying it until it was too late. Now, it won't stay unfroozen for more than a couple of seconds.

Now I've live-booted Knoppix, and tried to move over the documents into an external drive... and it froze.

Does this mean it's a hardware thing? Is there anything I can do about it? If I can get Knoppix to work, is there any way I can update Windows drivers?

Will reinstalling Windows help?

EDIT 2: I tried leaving only the monitor plugged in, as per the answer's suggestion, and left it for a while when I saw that it apparently was "ok" This is what I got:

Photo of a login screen with weird lights

Obviously, no responses or anything (after I plugged in a keyboard and mouse, I mean). I were to log in, it would of done roughly the same thing, except with more varied colors and noise, and you would not be able to see the screen.

Staring with peripherals doesn't even get to windows.

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upload the dmp files from C:\Windows\minidump –  magicandre1981 Jun 26 '13 at 18:28
    
@magicandre1981: it's empty –  Glycan Jun 26 '13 at 19:02
    
Can you try running a live OS, like a linux based one, and just let it run for a while to see if anything happens, that way we can rule out hardware. –  user88311 Jun 26 '13 at 20:03
    
In safe mode, it's been running for a while. The error message suggests that the drivers are at fault, so I'm trying to update that (it would appear that many are outdated), but I can't find anything to updating them automatically for free and don't want to do it all by hand. –  Glycan Jun 26 '13 at 20:14
    
do you use a pagefile or not? this is required to write dumps. –  magicandre1981 Jun 27 '13 at 4:01

5 Answers 5

check all 5 steps from scenario 3:

Windows Kernel event ID 41 error "The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first" http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2028504

When I look at the your last picture it looks like a GPU memory issue. Use Video Memory Stress Test to test the GPU memory.

enter image description here

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If you computer doesn't leave any memory dump it can either mean: Your computer isn't configured to make memory dumps correctly (as harrymc suggests). Or it can mean that the system drive wasn't available to write the dump to.

I have had two different computers freeze up and occasionally bsod like this with no memory dump when the hard drive gets stuck trying to read a bad sector.

The fact that a live boot of knoppix froze only when you tried to copy from files from your hard drive suggests that your hard drive could be failing. Try to copy some files from a cdrom to the external drive to rule out the usb drive as the cause of the problem.

Have you tried running chkdsk on your system drive? How to check your hard disk for errors.

Make sure you select both Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. This can take up to several hours to complete.

If you can't get into windows long enough to schedule a disk check then you might want to try booting into safe mode and running it or booting with the windows CD and using the command prompt in it's recovery environment and typing

chkdsk /r C:

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There appear to be a host of possible issues here. The image you provide (as was pointed out by MagicAndre1981) appears to indicate that part of the problem is at least the video memory... as the screen is filled with video artifacting. Interesting to note, if you were using onboard video before, and the system is showing video artifacting that points to video Ram... that video Ram is actually a slice of your system Ram, which could point to your issue being the main Ram. You booted outside of Windows into another OS, and that locked up on copying files from the hard drive. So Cyberkiller has a point that there could ALSO be issues with the hard drive.

If the machine were on my bench, I'd not work from any one assumption. I would break it down to the bare minimum, use known working components where I could to get a valid response from the hardware, and systematically check/replace each component to identify what is bad.

It is very possible, for example, that a bad capacitor (or two or more) is causing the system to lock up, since the power fluctuations caused by bad caps can and will cause system locks. So... have you done a close examination of any and all capacitors on the motherboard? Start with that. If all the capacitors appear to be good (no bulges, it doesn't have to leak to be bad), then proceed.

Reduce the system to a bare minimum amount of known good Ram, the processor, the cooling for the processor, something to provide video, and power. No hard drive, no optical drive, nothing else. If you were using onboard video before, get a card you know works and use that. If you were using a card, swap it with one that you know works. The key here is that you want to FIRST TEST THE MOTHERBOARD AND PROCESSOR. In order to be able to, without buying some expensive equipment, you need to remove questionable components from the equation. Thus, replacing stuff with known good ones. With this spartan build, boot. If you get stable access into the BIOS, then proceed.

At this point, you can branch off into multiple different directions. You can swap out the known good Ram for the Ram that was in the system. Repeat and see if you get stable access to the BIOS. You could then connect an optical drive, and boot to a copy of Memtest86 and see if that Ram checks out fine. OR you could swap out the video card with the one that came with the system, and see if that causes trouble. The main point to realize is this.

  • Confirm the foundation of Processor and Motherboard work.
  • Test each component individually, and ensure it works properly before adding another questionable component. Once it passes your testing, you can leave it in the build when you add another. Never just connect a ton of different questionable components at one time. Never assume that one is going to work fine. Be ready to swap it out and replace it with one you KNOW works.
  • Remember your power supply could also be an issue.
  • You are not only looking for ONE SINGLE issue. You are looking for any and all issues. You don't stop when you find just one. You keep on keeping on, until the system works like it is supposed to.

That's pretty much it. Yes, I didn't tell you what the problem was, because I don't believe I can tell you what the problem is. I can guess, but that's just taking pot shots with a shotgun with my eyes closed. All I can do in a case like this is tell you what you can do to be able to identify the problem reliably.

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First, ensure that you have backups to all your personal data.

For the problem of the missing minidumps, ensure that they are enabled.
See How to configure Windows to create MiniDump files on BSOD.
Posting your minidumps or analyzing them using BlueScreenView can help a lot.

Your EventID 10111 is particularly worrying, since it relates to a hard disk.
However, it seems rather to relate to a USB disk.

I suggest first to run Windows Update while your USB disk(s) are connected and search for updates. Install all updates including optional ones, since device drivers are always optional.

If the problem still arrives, disconnect all possible peripherals and see whether the problem still occurs.
If it doesn't, then one of your peripherals and/or its port are faulty.
If it does still occur, then we need to analyze a minidump to go further.

share|improve this answer
    
I don't think I'm actually able to start it up for any length of time. –  Glycan Jul 2 '13 at 13:16
    
Even when disconnecting everything possible ? If that's the case then something is broken. The question is now hardware or software, but hardware looks more likely. –  harrymc Jul 2 '13 at 14:05
    
It looks worthwhile to reinstall Windows with formatting the disk in slow format (to fix weak magnetic spots). –  harrymc Jul 2 '13 at 15:20

If it was working normally before it and if you have no hardware problems then this will solve it.

The only thing you need is to gain access to your hard drives.
You can use any NTFS boot-disk (such as LiveCD , Hiren BootDisk ) for it. After you can access your hard drives, do these steps:
1) Go to this folder: C:\Windows\System32\Config
2) Create some folder and COPYthese files (for backup):
SAM,SOFTWARE,SECURITY,DEFAULT,SYSTEM
3) Copy files SOFTWARE and SYSTEM from directory C:\Windows\System32\Config\RegBack to C:\Windows\System32\Config and Restart your PC. Now it must work fine.
If it's still hanging, then do 1st and 3rd steps, but copy these files: DEFAULT , SECURITY , SAM . Then all your registry will be restored.

OK. Now it'll work fine.
You can also check your drivers and update them. Or download smtg like DriverPack Solutions and let him do it all.

NOTE 1: This is an universal solution, and can be used to fix a lot of problems - from driver errors to virus infections.
NOTE 2: It works in Windows from XP to 8, if registry backup is enabled (and it's enabled by default) NOTE 3: It can change your user passwords to previous passwords (if you had). Be sure you know them.

Good luck!

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