Ok, for some time now I've been experiencing random BSODs and its starting to slowly drive me crazy! Normally I'm pretty good at troubleshooting these sort of things, but this has got me stumped. Everytime it crashes, I get a different error message, despite the crash being easy to replicate.
Things that cause crashes:
Browsing file system (My computer) - very occasionally
Browing Internet - Again very rarely.
STEAM! Downloading purchased games is pretty much guaranteed to cause bsod every 10-15 min. Validating downloaded files causes similar problems.
Things that don't cause / flag problems:
Playing games - My system is rock solid once I'm actually in a game, it just doesn't like downloading them.
Memtest86 - Doesn't find any errors.
Chkdsk - on all drives/partitions
Swapping RAM in and out doesn't make any difference.
I have an entry in the netflix competition, which requires my computer to run for days on end, using all 4 cores at 100% utilization and most of the memory, with sporadic (every 2-3 hours, files of several hundred mb), harddrive access - no problems at all.
To me this doesn't make much sense! The system runs fine when I'm doing something intensive, but when its doing the easy stuff.... And the error messages keep changing:
Error messages I've seen:
STOP: 0x00000050 - PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
STOP: 0x0000008E - Win32k.sys
STOP: 0x00000024 - NTFS.sys
STOP: 0x000000D3 - IsApNp.sys
Basic System specs below:
Windows XP - Service pack 3
Radion X1950 Pro
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 Stepping (2.4GHz 1066MHz) Socket 775 L2 8MB Cache
ASrock 4CoreDual-SATA2 - homepage
2x SATA Harddrives
Any assistance that anyone could give would be much appreciated.
Also make sure all your drivers are up to date. See if you can check your hard drive's S.M.A.R.T. status. You can check this with HDTune I believe. If you don't have S.M.A.R.T. enabled, do so in the BIOS.
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I've even done a full reformat of my hard-drives, and re-installed windows from scratch, with all the latest drivers - but the bsods keep popping up.
I googled the error messages, but like you saw, there are a lot of things that could be causing this.
As I said, the major cause of the crashes is downloading or validating games from steam. This causes pretty much constant bsods. I've reinstalled it at least 5 times, on different physical drives, and it keeps failing!
that can be bad RAM, but as for the rest, those are rather important windows files messing up. I say Nuke it from Orbit. Its the only way to be sure.
Apparently you're one step ahead of me.
I'd go for RAM then. It looks like you've ruled out everything else.
Solution: Set AGP Voltage setting in BIOS to "High". Becuase it also changes VTT voltage on chipset...
Furthermore, it is desirable to fix PCI Frequency to 33.80 MHz (no more and no less!).
Also, make sure, that Command Rate (CR) setting is set to "2". Setting "1" is too unstable in most cases.