Need help with troubleshooting a BSOD


Sep 20, 2010
Let me start up by telling you the spec of my system

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 @ 3Ghz (No overclocking)
GPU: Gainward GeForce GTX 460 1GB Golden Sample, Latest driver from GeForce(and i've tried the one from windows updater)
Mobo: MSI 870A-G54, Socket-AM3 AMD 870+SB850, fully updated BISO
Ram: 1stick of Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1333MHz 4GB CL9 (1x4gb)
PSU: Corsair VX 550W PSU (Voltage is fine i've tried measuring it with a multimeter)
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB (only disk in my system)

I keep getting BSOD, constantly but on occation, meaning i get them within 5-10minutes after eachother

I always get one of the 3 error codes below when i get blue screen

- irql_not_less_or_equal
- Page_default_in_non_paged_area
- Hardware Malfunction

Most common error message i get is IRQL one, but i do often (1 every 10-15 BSOD) get the hardware malfunction one, which leads me to belive that my problem is faulty hardware and not a software problem.

My system i little over a year old (14 months to be excact) and wasn't always faulty, it worked perfectly for the first 6 months, then it started to "act up". I've still got warrenty on it, so i can get it fixed, but the rules from the place i've bought the components, that when its a homebuild system i'm surpose to find which piece of hardware there isn't working as it should.

I've tried replacing my memory stick, and i've even tried with two sticks, two "identical" sticks, i've tried with a different GPU, and i've tried with a different Harddisk, SATA, SATA2 and a SATA3 disk, without any luck

I've tried a few different clean installs, and fully updated on different operating systems, Windows Vista 32bit, Windows 7 34bit and Windows 7 64bit(the only once i've got licenes for so that limits my testing abit though). I am aware that 32bits systems can only handle 4gb memory (ram and GPU combined).

I've as mentioned replaced some of my hardware, and i've tried disabling 3 out of 4 cores on my CPU, without any luck, so the end result was:

Same Mobo, Same CPU but runnig as and Athlon II 140(acording to core temp, not sure if thats right though) 2xCorsair Dominator 4gb 1333mhz, a EVGA GeForce GTS 250 512mb, and kept getting all 3 errors.

I concluded that it HAD to be the motherboard that was faulty, so i did send it over for testing, they couldn't find any errors after a whole month of testing, to my surprice i didn't get a bill on the cost for the technician, and my system worked perfectly for a time, about 4 months, and it started acting up again

I figured i'll just try to take it a part and put it back together again basicly what fixed the problem last time, and sure enough the problems where gone for about 1 month, the next time taking it a part helped for about 1 week, and now i'm down to 1-2 days.

The Technical support can't help me with how i should troupleshoot the problem, and eventhough i've replaced most of the hardware and done clean installs countless of updates, not to mention the BSOD telling me there is a hardware malfunction, they blame the problems of software.

After a certain amout of BSODs i get a no post, no beep when i turn on my system, the only thing that helps is taking my system apart and putting it back together, clearing CMOS doesn't give me a post or a beep(error code).

I hope that with the information above that someone else give me some pointers as to how i can troupleshot the cause of my BSOD, cause i'm stuck at the motherboard beeing the cause.
Can you post the TEMPs you are seeing? CPU, MB ?

Are you overclocking CPU ? Video ?

When you are in the 'every 10 mins or so' fail windows, can you run a bootable diagnostic and see if you still fail ? (for example, which is linux based) Goal of the bootable diagnostic is to remove your windows install from the systems and see if it still fails. The diagnostic should be able to load up system (e.g. mem test, cpu burn, etc.) The IRQ problem sited could be HW, it could also be bad/conflicting driver.

Will you lose data if you do a clean windows install? If not then try that, only install stuff from windows download plus clean video driver then see if you get any fails. Do this before reinstalling all games. Do not plug in any USB devices except keyboard and mouse (e.g. you do not want to install the drivers for various USB devices like MP3 players, GPSs, etc.)



Sep 20, 2010

My CPU temps aren't over 50 celcius acording to core temp, which is adjusted so it is matching the numbers i'm getting in BIOS. I'm not overclocking any of my hardware, neither CPU or GPU, i can't run any of the CPU tests on ultimatebootcd, i'm not sure why, i'e run memtest 86 no errors after 48hours of testing like 60 some passes. i can get a BSOD even bore windows have booted up, thats ussually when i get the hardware malfunction boots. So as i said earlier i doubt its a driver problem, i've even experienced BSOD when just starting up on a fresh (and by fresh i mean 2minutes old) Widnows 7 x64 install and been compleatly unable to update any drivers cause i got BSODs, but after reasembling my hardware i was able to update and use my system for a couple of days with no BSODs

And as i mentioned in my post above, i've tried clean installs of three different windows (vista 32bit, win7 32bit and 64bit) i've tried with only updates from windows updater and i've tried with only drivers from the manufacturer, as for games, get BSOD when browsering or video editing. i'm not using any USB devices beside my Keyboard and mouse, or well i do use USB disks, but i get BSODs before plugging them into my system.
I can't think of anything else to try in software. 3 windows versions, clean installs, failing same way sure doesn't sound like software. Sorry I missed that in your first post, it was clearly there. (aside: BSOD is a windows error message, so you can't really get those before windows boots, you'd get a BIOS message instead)

For hardware, when things get flakey people usually point at the PSU and try a replacement. Do you have another that you can swap in ? (I saw the note on measuring the PSU output with a multi-meter, I'm not sure you can see all of the possible PSU problems that way.)

For me a similar intermittent problem was corrected by replacing the hard drive. The only indication that the drive was having problems was a backup failure under linux. The only reason I swapped it was I had another drive just sitting there. Smart data showed nothing, nor did windows ever give an error message other than hangs & bluescreens. But replacing the drive instantly stabilized the system. NET: keep swapping parts. Eventually you'll find it. good luck.

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