Frequent crashes, BSODs, and other signs of HD failure but no S.M.A.R.T. errors?

twistedtoaster

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Apr 26, 2013
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About a month ago after recently moving, I noticed that my desktop frequently crashed a few minutes after boot-up, where everything would freeze and I would have to hold the power button and force it off. I thought maybe some pins had come loose during the move so I checked and although I didn't think I found anything, pushing on everything seemed to make the problem go away so I thought that fixed that.

However, over the past couple weeks I noticed that some times it takes longer to boot up, and will load a black screen with blinking cursor (top left corner) for 10-30 seconds before loading as normal. After not using my desktop for a few days, I came back to it today where it would repeatedly BSOD minutes after boot up, even when in cmd only safe mode.

I got a number of BSOD errors such as:
IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
KERNEL_SECURITY_CHECK_ERROR

Remembering the black screen with blinking cursor, I thought maybe my boot drive was/is failing, but doing the chkdsk commands, and also checking with crystaldiskinfo turns up no S.M.A.R.T. errors. The BIOS always shows up (except when I get the black screen, in which case it does after), so I don't think it's the motherboard, though I'm not sure. The first pass of memtest also didn't show any errors (I stopped it as it was then I thought about checking the hard drives), so I don't think it's the memory either. I've checked temperatures and nothing seems to be overheating from what I can tell (HDDs, GPU, CPU).

Is it a driver issue possibly? From what I've read both of the BSOD errors I've gotten can be due to driver errors, though I'm a bit unsure as to how to go about checking... It is strange as I had had no issues immediately before I moved. At this point, the computer has gone back to doing what it was doing when I first noticed issues: freezing after a couple minutes from boot up and needing to be forced off.

System Specs:
64-bit Windows 10
i5-3570K @ 3.40 GHz (not OC'd)
8 Gb DDR3 (2x 4 Gb sticks) RAM (not OC'd)
AMD HD 7970 GHz edition (not OC'd)
Samsung 128 Gb 840 Pro (Boot disk)
2x WD Black HDDs
ASRock Z77 Extreme4
Corsair HX650

I also have an external back-up USB drive hooked up at the moment.

Let me know if there is anything else I should provide too (though it's a bit difficult to grab from the desktop (currently using laptop) since it crashes quickly).

 

twistedtoaster

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Apr 26, 2013
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I let Memtest run over night (~10 hours) and will let it keep running for awhile, but after 4 passes there are no errors that have come up.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
If it ran overnight, then you don't have any memory problems. RAM problems can cause symptoms similar to a disk problem. The data has to go from disk to RAM and if the RAM is dropping bits, then it can seem like a disk problem.

So the change to your system was moving? A physical bump. Check all the cables, re-seat all your cards.
 

twistedtoaster

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Apr 26, 2013
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Finally got around to opening up the computer yesterday, and I re-connected everything. It seemed to be working last night, and everything (RAM, CPU, GPU, fans, etc.) was on and running. I left it on to back-up to my portable hard drive today and when I got back it was still on, so it seems this has fixed the problem, at least for now. Thanks for the help!
 

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