I have a really weird experience with this new AM3 box I set up.

Everything seems fine at first. But now I get frequent (daily) BSOD's, mostly when I walk away from the computer for more than 5 minutes (when the computer is idle).

The BSOD's as shown by BlueScreenView almost always have to do with ntoskrnl.exe, and they'll do with really normal sounding operations, like SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION, NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM, DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED, BAD_POOL_HEADER - You name it. These are basically them, and they repeat after that, just random order. Its not like one is more consistently the problem than the other.

I have Windows update ON and I let it do its updates everytime it wants to.

I turned windows indexing service off, but it seems Windows 7 does a lot of background processing when I'm away - I'll come into the room and the fan will be going nuts (I'm pretty sure this isn't because the computer flies into a panic whenever I leave).

I tried finding updates for my ASUS, and really there isn't much to install (except some new driver firmware). I'm going to install that to see if it helps, but what else could it be? Is it possible its a hardware issue with the board? Or is every Windows 7 user experiencing daily BSOD these days that I don't know about?

  • Check your screensaver settings. – grawity Feb 12 '11 at 22:24
  • Do you have an SSD drive? Check for firmware updates! After using my lenovo T410s for about half a year, I started getting BSODs sporadically for no apparent reason, and had several coworkers with the same symptoms. It turned out to be something wrong with the SSD firmware. – MattBianco Feb 17 '11 at 14:58

Sounds like memory problem. I was experiencing exactly the same issues, in my case the cause was bad RAM. I did a memory test with MemTest86+. It turns out that one of memory sticks was corrupted. Replaced it, everything is OK now. I recommend you to do the same.

  • I am doing this now, and I'm seeing at least 1 error so far. Looks like this is the right idea. – bobobobo Feb 12 '11 at 20:36
  • if it is memory, then one way to potentially fix it is to manually set the memory timings rather than leaving the BIOS on "automatic." set it to whatever the memory is specified for, and if needed try raising the latency setting slightly. – horatio Feb 17 '11 at 15:21

That sounds very strange indeed... My first reaction would be a virus scan. The constantly changing blue screens and the fan speed thing sound like something's running in the background and becoming unstable. After that, I'd start diagnosing hardware.

  • I checked and my computer is CTI free – bobobobo Feb 12 '11 at 19:20

It's probably being triggered by the computer trying to shut something down to save power. While I have never seen a BSOD from that I have encountered a buggy video driver that would throw an error box from either monitor power-down or power-up, I had no way of knowing which. (It would always be there when the power came back.) All that died was some program that was being run in response to the event and the machine otherwise worked so it was merely annoying but if something like that happened in kernel space....

A few days ago I got the BSOD message "IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL" ant the problem was the overheated CPU (the fan also pushed the hot air on the memory witch was also hot). You can check it out...

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Remarkably, it appears it had to do with the RAM sticks, but they do not appear to be defective.

What I did was change the slot the RAM is installed in, from the blue slot pair to the black slot pair. There are 2 possibilities:

  • The RAM had gotten loose or wasn't installed correctly to begin with
  • The blue slot pair is defective

Its likely the first option. When I was trying to install the memory, I had to push the heatsink fins back on the DIMS, because they would not push in all the way because the heatsink fins would contact the plastic and prevent the pins from inserting into the slot.

Anyway, my machine hasn't BSOD'd since I did that. While memtestx86 showed 1 error, it actually showed ONLY that one error and the test ran for 2 hours.

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