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BSOD - Possible Causes.


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I have a desktop PC I haven't used in around a year. It used to Blue Screen on me and that is one of the reasons it has sat unused for so long.

I am trying to determine how healthy the PC is.

So far, I have installed a clean Vista 32 bit installation.

Run the Vista Memory Diagnostic x 2

Run the Vista HDD Check

I have experienced one Blue Screen, but it did not offer any clues to what the cause may be (it froze preparing a crash dump).

The blue screen occoured after the Memory Diagnostic tool had completed.

The memory test reached 99%, the PC began to boot as normal (I think) and the blue screen appeared.

I'm not sure if the blue screen is tied to the memory test, or the 'boot'.

I ran the memory test again straight after, it completed with no known errors and booted without a problem.

I suspect one or two components may need to be replaced/upgraded but I'm not sure where to start until I identify the cause of the BSOD.

I plan to test the CPU,MOBO and GPU tommorow.

I have ordered some compressed air and thermal paste so that I can clear out the case and hopefully reduce the temps a bit.

Could the build up of dust and dirt be the sole cause of the blue screens?

Is it more likely that the build up of dirt and dust have led to long-term damage due to increased operating temps?

Is there anything else I should be running tests on?

Also, on a different note:

Do I have to pay to upgrade my 32 bit vista to 64 bit?

If not, where do I get a free 64 bit installation?

I will be updating this thread as I complete testing, cleaning, etc.

Thanks for any input you can offer.

  • Sean
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How to change the CMOS battery.

link text

It is recommended that you save the bios settings.Either write them down or use a mobile phone to take snapshots of it.

If in the UK your time should be set as (UTC) Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London. I would wait and see what others think. If you are not loosing time it is not that.

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Thanks for your input.

I'm still waiting on my anti-static matting and cleaning gear. When it arrives I'll clean everything out, run tests again and look into replacing the CMOS battery.

I'm not convinced the CMOS battery is the main problem. I don't remember having problems with my time/date settings when I first started getting blue screens (before the PC was put away)

I think the CMOS battery failing is a separate issue.

I am leaning towards possibly buying a cheap MOBO/CPU to make sure the other parts are all okay.

I can't decide if I should get AM2+/AM3 Socket Mobo, or switch to Intel.

Do AM2+ Mobo's have support for AM3 processors?

I only want to spend around #30 on the motherboard because I will be replacing it again in the next 3-4 months.

Thanks for the heads ups with torrents, forgot that it's just installation media on the discs and nothing that would void the authentication process.


  • Sean
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