I'm experiencing multiple bluescreens for a couple of months now. Their error code is as diverse as their time of occurence... Sometimes it happens during gaming, sometimes when watching videos, sometimes when the computer is idle.

These are the bluescreens I see most often:


Responsible drivers (according to the memory dumps):

  • hal.dll
  • tcpip.sys
  • dxgmms1.sys
  • ndis.sys
  • mouhid.sys
  • atikmdag.sys
  • dump_atapi.sys
  • and of course: ntoskrnl.exe

My first thought was a driver incompatibility because I am using Windows 8 and some of the bluescreens seem to come from driver issues. All drivers are up to date.
I'm afraid that my memory is broken or the mainboard or both. I used the windows integrated memtest which didn't find any errors. Memtest86 found some errors. Does it make sense to buy new memory? Couldn't it be a problem of the board as well?

I also read that my memory could run at a too low voltage. But it's set to 1.5V as recommended. Another guess would be to set the memory's latencies manually, but how do I know which ones to try?

Here is a screenshot of bluescreenview showing the latest bluescreens. Maybe someone has faced the same behavior before and found a solution. Any ideas or suggestions?

Screenshot of bluescreenview

Current setup on which the bluescreens occur.

  • Windows 8 RTM (6.2.9200)
  • Asrock 970 Extreme4
  • AMD FX-8150
  • ATI Radeon HD5850
  • 16 GB RAM (DDR3-1800)
  • Latest drivers for all devices
  • 1
    1) Is this a new build, or a old system now reinstalled with windows 8? If it was an old system and the old system was stable then hardware failure is less likely. 2) Do not buy new memory. Just try it with default settings on a single stick of RAM. If it is still unstable try a different stick. If that also is unstable then it is likely an other problem. – Hennes Oct 8 '12 at 15:26
  • funny note the "and of course ntoskrnl"... however... it seems there's some hardware problem.. unfortunately the multitude of errors don't point to a single component... you should try replacing ram (first attempt), then cpu or motherboard... – AndreaCi Oct 8 '12 at 15:33
  • @Hennes It is a new build. I installed Win 8 RTM on a fresh SSD drive. – Exa Oct 14 '12 at 2:45

If Memtest86 is finding errors, then you can be pretty sure have a hardware fault somewhere (and I'm pretty sure it's a memory fault, but it's not guaranteed to be).

I would start with Memtest-ing each memory stick in a different, known-working system. If you're still getting memory failures, then you're in luck - just go replace the memory.

If the memory tests clean in a working system, then the real fun begins. Factory-reset the BIOS and strip the system down to bare essentials - One stick of memory, no DVD drive, just a hard drive to load the system from, no graphics card if the motherboard can do onboard graphics, CPU, no expansion cards, no USB devices. If this fixes things, then you know it's one of the components you removed causing the issue. Test those one-by-one in another, working system.

If you still have errors, then it's probably the motherboard or CPU or harddrive. Test the CPu and harddrive one at a time in another known-working system. If they check out fine, then you know it's the motherboard.

  • 1
    This - if Memtest fails there is a hardware problem. (Well, it could be bad BIOS settings for voltage or speed, I suppose, but it's hardware at some level.) – Shinrai Oct 8 '12 at 15:39
  • I replaced the RAM but the problems persists. In addition I have strange "freezes". I can move my mouse but I can't open anything. This goes on for about 20 seconds, then everything I tried to open pops up. Strange thing is, I use an SSD and wouldn't expect that behavior. – Exa Oct 14 '12 at 2:41
  • @Exa Can you move windows around on screen during this time? (They may or may not refresh/update) – Darth Android Oct 15 '12 at 14:18
  • Yes at first I can. Then they stop to be movable too. But mouse can still be moved. Then windows can't be minimized. Then I can't return to the startscreen. But there doesn't seem to be any real activity in this time and then all the sudden everything I tried to do the last 20 seconds happens at once. – Exa Oct 15 '12 at 16:57
  • I just found out that bluescreens and freezes almost only occur when I use Google Chrome. Without having Chrome opened (using IE10 instead) there are no bluescreens, no freezes. Another thing I observed is that I hear a kind of beeping (hard to hear but it's there) which get's interrupted or pinched down when I move the mouse. Does anyone know what's causing this? – Exa Oct 15 '12 at 17:13

The service manual for your motherboard (now seeing upon closer reading it is an Asrock 970 Extreme4 ...) should tell you what type of memory and settings required of it.

A driver could be to blame if it was the same driver identified on each crash. However, it seems pretty random which driver is crashing so that really points to a hardware issue IMHO.

If you are using recommended settings for your memory and CPU, then I would

  • try replacing RAM, or at least switch around modules to see if possibly a bad stick of RAM could be causing issues.
  • try replacing the power supply
  • try replacing the motherboard
  • try replacing the CPU

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