BSOD - what is likely cause?

  Ian in Northampton 20:02 08 Aug 12

My son's new purpose-built games machine (Athlon triple-core, 8GB memory, 2 x 32GB SSD and 2 x 150GB drives configured in RAID, GTS250, Windows 7 Ultimate) regularly BSODs, but at random times in random applications. The guy who built it suggests updating the NVIDIA driver. He bleives it's sufficiently cooled. Before I go about looking at upgrading/replacing the driver - what are any other possible causes of BSODs I could look at? Is there any point in sharing the memory dump?

  birdface 20:22 08 Aug 12

Maybe try this and the next time you get a bsod it should tell you what the problem was.

  Ian in Northampton 20:26 08 Aug 12

That looks very promising, Buteman - many thanks.

  birdface 20:27 08 Aug 12

Ian in Northampton

Ignore that as it never worked.

I used it on my W/7 machine but just read a couple of reports that were not very good.So ignore unless someone can say different.

  birdface 20:42 08 Aug 12

Ian check it out first before you try.I had no problems with it but I am no expert.

  Sea Urchin 21:28 08 Aug 12

Switch off automatic restart after a BSOD and you should then be able to read the details of the screen. The code numbers should identify the exact cause of the fault

Stop auto restart

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:20 08 Aug 12

BSODs usually hardware or drivers

random times in random applications

suggests memory to me i.e. when a particular piece of faulty memory is accessed.

Memory Test MemTest - Tutorial: How to use Memtest - Windows Memory Test -

  Ian in Northampton 08:56 09 Aug 12

Thanks for the update, Buteman - and thanks Fruit Bat /\0/. I'll try memtest.

  onthelimit1 09:00 09 Aug 12

I've used Bluescreenview on a number of machines, and have found it a useful tool to identify a problem. Easier to understand than the minidumps.

  KRONOS the First 10:06 09 Aug 12

A couple of things about your original post: "purpose-built games machine". With only a GTS 250 I assume it was not a recent build? as your post goes on to state "The guy who built it suggests updating the NVIDIA driver".

It also seems an odd set up with 2 very small (32GB) SSD's in Raid 0? and then two small (150GB) HDD's also in Raid 0?

If you could post the full specs using the free version or home edition of SIW, could you post make/model of motherboard,CPU,make/type etc of RAM and make etc of power supply and also the stop error codes and messages that you will get from Bluescreen view linked above.

  Ian in Northampton 18:51 09 Aug 12

Thanks otl1.

And: Chronus, thanks. The PC was recently built to a very small budget (<£200) from parts that the guy had lying around - hence the strange specification/configuration. For the money, I think it's reasonable value. Yes, I know that for a 'true' gaming machine you should expect to pay upwards of £600 or so and for that you'd get a lot more - and a lot more recent. The key was that the PC needed to be able to play Battlefield 3 on high settings - which it does very well (other than the occasional BSOD...) (I checked the Battlefield 3 minimum spec and recommended spec, and the machine falls around the middle of the top end, if that makes sense.) It also manages games like WoW, SWTOR, SkyRim and so on very well, which is all my son asks of it. I'm not sure about the RAID configuration - I'd need to ask/find out. I'll try and get some time on the machine to run SIW and as much of the error information as I can manage. Leave it with me. Many thanks for your interest.

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