The machine has been randomly freezing and crashing recently. It is a recently new build PC.


The machine would lock up when left for a period of time and then take a long time to respond to mouse movement. As it reactivated the machine would beep loudly multiple times through the speakers.

I have applied the latest BIOS firmware from Asus as I suspected it was something to do with the computer failing to enter sleep or low power mode properly. This does seem to have fixed the freezing problem so far.


This is more annoying as the machine issues a BSOD, but looking at the Minidumps the recorded error is not consistently coming from one source. From the Minidumps it looks like something using USB might be the culprit. The suspects here could be a Belking USB wireless stick or a Creative webcam.

Steps I have taken

  • Ran Memtest 86+ 4.10 (2 passes were fine)
  • Removed peripherals one by one
  • Downloaded and installed latest drivers and firmware updates
  • Air blasted and resat the memory
  • Vacuumed and air blasted the case out

I am still no closer unfortunately.


Minidump files

  • Windows 7 64 bit
  • 1x stick of 2GB Kingston memory
  • AMD Athlon II 640x4
  • Asus MicroATX motherboard
  • ATI HD4500 graphics card

Using BlueScreenView, here is the break-down of drivers that seem to have caused the crash :

athrxusb.sys : 11 crashes (Atheros USB WiFi driver)
ntoskrnl.exe : 3 crashes
USBPORT.SYS : 1 crash
atikmpag.sys : 1 crash
Ntfs.sys : 1 crash

The majority of the crashes seem to be caused by the Atheros USB WiFi driver, where your driver dates from July 29, 2008.

I would first try to work for some time without connecting the Atheros WiFi, to see whether the crashes stop arriving.

Once it is verified that the Atheros WiFi is the cause, try to find a newer driver on the Atheros site. If you can't, then get yourself another WiFi device.

  • I have checked and since those crashes the driver has been updated to one from August 2009, which is why I would guess those dumps mentioning athrxusb are older and have not occurred recently. I also just remembered I have a cheap card reader installed in the floppy bay so I have unplugged that from the USB header in case it is the cause. – Treffynnon Dec 5 '10 at 17:57
  • 1
    Almost all crashes seem to be somehow connected to USB. If it is not caused by one USB device, then it might be the USB card(?) itself. – harrymc Dec 5 '10 at 18:07
  • Hopefully not as the USB "card" is integrated into the motherboard! I think it must be either the wifi stick or the card reader or an interaction between them that must be causing this as you say. – Treffynnon Dec 5 '10 at 18:20
  • The odds are against a problem with the motherboard. I would also look for errors in the Event Log. – harrymc Dec 5 '10 at 18:42
  • With the USB card reader removed it hasn't crashed since so fingers crossed it is the culprit as I can live without it and its a cheap fix! – Treffynnon Dec 7 '10 at 17:50

My next step would be to stress test the CPU and see if anything falls over.

  • I have run Prime95 as a burn-in test for half an hour as per your suggestion without any faults. – Treffynnon Dec 5 '10 at 17:35

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