Question Can't perform a fresh install Windows 10 due to a Machine Check Exception error

Jun 6, 2019
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Hello, my gaming PC I built about 2 years ago recently received a BSOD and I'm having trouble trying to figure out the problem and I've been trying to reinstall Windows 10 using a USB flash drive or DVD. Whenever I try to boot up from the USB or DVD and install Windows 10 it gets to the Windows 10 boot screen (Windows logo and loading wheel) but after a few seconds it freezes for awhile and gives me the BSOD "Machine Check Exception" error then it restarts and says the same thing and keep restarting. Everything has been running at stock/default ever since and before I've never overclocked any of my components except the RAM via XMP.

Things I've tried already:
  • Booting Windows 10 from a USB drive and DVD.
  • Trying different USB ports from the motherboard and front panel USB.
  • Updating my bios to the latest/newest version.
  • Flashing my bios back to previous versions.
  • Unplugging the hard drive and SSD and trying to install
  • Removing a RAM stick and trying with one stick in a slot
  • Changing the outlet that the power supply is in.
  • Making sure that the RAM sticks are seated properly.
  • Memtest86 but it froze at 58% pass, Test 14%, Test 7 (Moving inversions, 32-bit pattern).
  • Safe boot and having everything run on stock/default.
  • Clear CMOS multiple times.
  • Reseated my CPU and CPU Cooler
PC Specs:
  • CPU: Intel i7 8700K
  • CPU Cooler: Cryorig H7
  • Motherboard: ASUS Maximus X Hero Wi-Fi AC
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4-3200 2x8 GB
  • Storage: Samsung Evo 960 M.2-2280 500 GB, Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB
  • Video Card: ASUS Strix Gaming OC Edition 1080 Ti
  • PSU: Corsair RM650x
At this point I'm not sure what else I should do and try, any help and advice is appreciated.
Thank you.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If you have failed Memtest testing, then there is a memory problem. It could be a physical issue with the memory or a configuration problem. It could also be a problem with the motherboard or CPU.

First, try doing a hard reset of the BIOS settings as follows.

Power off the unit, switch the PSU off and unplug the PSU cord from either the wall or the power supply.

Remove the motherboard CMOS battery for five minutes. During that five minutes, press the power button on the case for 30 seconds. After the five minutes is up, reinstall the CMOS battery making sure to insert it with the correct side up just as it came out.

Now, plug the power supply cable back in, switch the PSU back on and power up the system. It should display the POST screen and the options to enter CMOS/BIOS setup. Enter the bios setup program and reconfigure the boot settings for either the Windows boot manager or for legacy systems, the drive your OS is installed on if necessary.

Save settings and exit. If the system will POST and boot then you can move forward from there including going back into the bios and configuring any other custom settings you may need to configure such as Memory XMP profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.

Try one stick of memory in ONLY the A2 slot, which is the second slot away from the CPU socket. Run 4 passes of Memtest86. If it does not pass testing remove it, install the other stick of memory and test again. If it still does not pass.


Memtest86


Go to the Passmark software website and download the USB Memtest86 free version. You can do the optical disk version too if for some reason you cannot use a bootable USB flash drive.

Create bootable media using the downloaded Memtest86 (NOT Memtest86+, that is a different, older version and is outdated). Once you have done that, go into your BIOS and configure the system to boot to the USB drive that contains the Memtest86 USB media or the optical drive if using that option.


Click here to download Memtest86 USB package

Create a bootable USB Flash drive:


1. Download the Windows MemTest86 USB image.

2. Right click on the downloaded file and select the "Extract to Here" option. This places the USB image and imaging tool into the current folder.

3. Run the included imageUSB tool, it should already have the image file selected and you just need to choose which connected USB drive to turn into a bootable drive. Note that this will erase all data on the drive.



No memory should ever fail to pass Memtest86 when it is at the default configuration that the system sets it at when you start out or do a clear CMOS by removing the CMOS battery for five minutes.

Best method for testing memory is to first run four passes of Memtest86, all 11 tests, WITH the memory at the default configuration. This should be done BEFORE setting the memory to the XMP profile settings. The paid version has 13 tests but the free version only has tests 1-10 and test 13. So run full passes of all 11 tests. Be sure to download the latest version of Memtest86. Memtest86+ has not been updated in MANY years. It is NO-WISE as good as regular Memtest86 from Passmark software.

If there are ANY errors, at all, then the memory configuration is not stable. Bumping the DRAM voltage up slightly may resolve that OR you may need to make adjustments to the primary timings. There are very few secondary or tertiary timings that should be altered. I can tell you about those if you are trying to tighten your memory timings.

If you cannot pass Memtest86 with the memory at the XMP configuration settings then I would recommend restoring the memory to the default JEDEC SPD of 1333/2133mhz (Depending on your platform and memory type) with everything left on the auto/default configuration and running Memtest86 over again. If it completes the four full passes without error you can try again with the XMP settings but first try bumping the DRAM voltage up once again by whatever small increment the motherboard will allow you to increase it by. If it passes, great, move on to the Prime95 testing.

If it still fails, try once again bumping the voltage if you are still within the maximum allowable voltage for your memory type and test again. If it still fails, you are likely going to need more advanced help with configuring your primary timings and should return the memory to the default configuration until you can sort it out.

If the memory will not pass Memtest86 for four passes when it IS at the stock default non-XMP configuration, even after a minor bump in voltage, then there is likely something physically wrong with one or more of the memory modules and I'd recommend running Memtest on each individual module, separately, to determine which module is causing the issue. If you find a single module that is faulty you should contact the seller or the memory manufacturer and have them replace the memory as a SET. Memory comes matched for a reason as I made clear earlier and if you let them replace only one module rather than the entire set you are back to using unmatched memory which is an open door for problems with incompatible memory.

Be aware that you SHOULD run Memtest86 to test the memory at the default, non-XMP or custom profile settings BEFORE ever making any changes to the memory configuration so that you will know if the problem is a setting or is a physical problem with the memory.
 
Reactions: Mandark
Jun 6, 2019
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So I did exactly as you said to do a hard reset of the motherboard bios by removing the CMOS battery and unplugging the PSU. However, when I tried running memtest again on stock/default settings it would get stuck/freeze on "Testing Multiprocessor Support." Then I tried bumping the voltage on the ram on each stick when running memtest and both sticks would get stuck/freeze at Pass 58%, Test 14%,Test 7 (Moving inversions, 32-bit pattern). So am I experiencing an actual physical issue with my RAM? If that's the case, is having defective RAM causing the BSOD "Machine Check Exception" error I keep receiving when trying to do a fresh reinstallation of Windows 10?

Thank you for your help, I appreciate it.
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Did you do like I said and make sure that you have just ONE stick installed, in the second slot over from the CPU socket, and then try the other stick if that one fails testing? Or did you run Memtest with both sticks installed at the same time? If Memtest failed on BOTH sticks, when each of them was tested separately, then I'd do one of the following.

Try a different power supply. This doesn't SOUND like a typical PSU problem, but since a bad or weak power supply can mimic pretty much ALL other hardware failures since other hardware can't work right without clean stable power delivery, it's always possible even if it looks certain that something else is to blame.

Or, go straight for tearing down the build and checking to see if possibly there are either bent pins on the CPU that were not bent bad enough during the initial installation to cause a problem but that, over time and from the weight of the CPU cooler stressing on them have been affected enough to now either be shorting or not making an adequate connection. I've seen plenty of systems with bent pins run "fine" for a while, and then, not run fine anymore.

Another option is that perhaps the CPU cooler is not evenly seated at all four corners and is causing the CPU to "cock" in the socket, presenting many of the same type symptoms as bent pins would present. I've seen this a good many times. Especially on Intel architectures.

Try a different board. At this point, that is the most likely culprit, because it's very unlikely that you have two separate sticks of RAM that are both physically bad, but all these things are possibilities.
 
Jun 6, 2019
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Yes I made sure to run Memtest in the A2 slot with one stick at a time and both sticks would get stuck/freeze in either "Testing Multiprocessor Support" or around Test 7. I don't have another powersupply or motherboard to use or check either. I took apart my build earlier as well to check if my CPU or CPU cooler was causing issues but the pins aren't bent and I made sure to secure not tighten the CPU cooler.
 
Jun 6, 2019
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Yeah it's the Passmark Memtest86 version, I got from the link you posted. I purchased the power supply and RAM at the same time so about 1 year and 8 months.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
While possible, it's pretty unlikely to be the PSU. That's a good unit, not known for early failures. Again, any problem can ALWAYS be anything, but it's not a model I'd expect to see early problems with.

Any chance you can get a hold of another stick of DDR4 that is known to be good and test with that to see if you get the same errors? That would likely pretty much limit the problem to the motherboard, which is what it is looking like anyhow.

For less than 20 bucks you could get a single stick for testing.

PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: Patriot - Signature Line 4 GB (1 x 4 GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($18.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $18.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-06-11 14:36 EDT-0400


Or possibly if price isn't a big barrier, buy another set of sticks to either add to you system or as a replacement for your current memory IF it turns out to be bad, and use those to test with. It's possible you just got a bad set of sticks, but it's pretty rare for all sticks in a set to be bad. Not unheard of though.
 
Jun 6, 2019
9
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While possible, it's pretty unlikely to be the PSU. That's a good unit, not known for early failures. Again, any problem can ALWAYS be anything, but it's not a model I'd expect to see early problems with.

Any chance you can get a hold of another stick of DDR4 that is known to be good and test with that to see if you get the same errors? That would likely pretty much limit the problem to the motherboard, which is what it is looking like anyhow.

For less than 20 bucks you could get a single stick for testing.

PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: Patriot - Signature Line 4 GB (1 x 4 GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($18.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $18.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-06-11 14:36 EDT-0400


Or possibly if price isn't a big barrier, buy another set of sticks to either add to you system or as a replacement for your current memory IF it turns out to be bad, and use those to test with. It's possible you just got a bad set of sticks, but it's pretty rare for all sticks in a set to be bad. Not unheard of though.
Thanks for the help so far, just contacted Corsair support for warranty to ask them to send me a new pair and I should be getting them in a week or two.
 

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