[SOLVED] WHEA uncorrectable error BSOD after boot - CPU or mobo at fault?

Nov 7, 2020
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Hi,

I get a consistent BSOD thirty seconds after booting into Windows 10, but stable in BIOS. What could be the likely culprit?


Specs:
CPU: i7 9700k (at stock)
Motherboard: Z390 Gigabyte Aorus Pro Wifi
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken x62 AIO
GPU: EVGA RTX 2070 XC Ultra
RAM: HyperX Predator RGB 32GB (4x 8GB) 3200MHz DDR4
PSU: EVGA 750W Supernova G3
Storage: 1TB Samsung SSD

I’ve had this problem for around 5 months. PC built by myself in 2019, working like a dream up until this point. I turn on the PC, it gets to BIOS okay – temperatures look normal and everything looks fine. I have never tried to overclock nor changed any settings.

Boots through to Windows 10 but within 30 seconds I get a BSOD with the message ‘WHEA uncorrectable error’ and it restarts. This is consistent and happens each and every time I boot into Windows 10. I’ve tried leaving it idling in BIOS for a couple of hours, which didn’t cause any errors.

The only other strange thing prior to this, on a couple of occasions, I would turn on the PC – lights on in case, nothing appearing on monitor but red DRAM LED lit up on motherboard. After 10 seconds the system would reboot and be absolutely fine.

Presumably this is a hardware problem... or is it – I’m trying to work out what the most likely culprit component is and would appreciate any help or advice!

Using BlueScreenView to look at the mini dumps shows hal.dll, PSHED.dll and ntoskrnl.exe to be implicated.
Here is a link to the mini dumps: Mini Dumps

So far I have tried:
  • Running in Safe Mode (same thing happens after entering Windows)
  • Unplugging and re-attaching any cables
  • Removing graphics card
  • Trying with a single stick of RAM, used a combination of different stick and DIMM slot
  • Running memtest with all 4 sticks of RAM inserted – no problems
  • Disabling and re-enabling XMP
  • Inspecting CPU and socket – no obvious bent pins, reinserted and applied new thermal paste
  • Removed my 1TB SSD and tried to install Windows 10 on a new 250GB SSD – BSOD when trying to install with varying message codes.
  • Tried using SSD with different SATA port on motherboard
  • Resetting BIOS settings to default recommended
  • Updating BIOS to latest version via USB flash
The BSOD happens way before I am able to do any in-Windows diagnostics, although I just about managed to get some of the earlier mini dumps on a USB. Unfortunately I don’t have any other CPU or motherboards I could use to test.
Not sure what to try next. Is it normal to be able to make it to BIOS if the motherboard/CPU/PSU is faulty?

Thank you for any help or pointers.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Is your memory configuration made up of one 4 x8GB kit or two 2 x8GB kits, that did not come all together in the same packaged kit?

What is the EXACT model of the memory kit (Or kits)?

Have you tried a different SATA cable with these drives? A different SATA header? Is this even a SATA SSD or is it an NVME M.2 SSD, because you don't offer any information about that?

What build version of Windows are you running?

When you tried the installation on the newer SSD did you completely DISCONNECT the other drive, and did you create brand new installation media using the latest version of Windows installer 20H2?

Was your PSU new when you built the system or was it from a previous built? How long has it been in service in other words?

Are you using a power strip to plug the PSU into? If so, try plugging directly into the wall socket. Power strips and "surge protectors" are notoriously bad for causing a variety of problems.

After having updated to the latest BIOS version, did you then do a Hard Reset, to completely reinitialize the hardware tables? If not, I would recommend trying that.

BIOS Hard Reset procedure

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. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the graphics card to access the CMOS battery.

During that five minutes, press the power button on the case, continuously, 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.

If you had to remove the graphics card you can now reinstall it, but remember to reconnect your power cables if there were any attached to it as well as your display cable.

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, A-XMP or D.O.C.P profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.

In some cases it may be necessary when you go into the BIOS after a reset, to load the Optimal default or Default values and then save settings, to actually get the hardware tables to reset in the boot manager.

It is probably also worth mentioning that for anything that might require an attempt to DO a hard reset in the first place, IF the problem is related to a lack of video signal, it is a GOOD IDEA to try a different type of display as many systems will not work properly for some reason with displayport configurations. It is worth trying HDMI if you are having no display or lack of visual ability to enter the BIOS, or no signal messages.

Trying a different monitor as well, if possible, is also a good idea if there is a lack of display. It happens.
 
Nov 7, 2020
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Hi Darkbreeze, thank you for taking the time to reply.

The memory is made up of two kits from separate packaging (both 2x8GB). I started with 16GB when built, then added another 16GB a couple of months later when there was a sale on the same RAM I had purchased previously.

Model-wise, memory kit number 1 is Hyper X Predator DDR4 3200MHz, 2 x 8GB, CL 16 288 - Pin UDIMMM.
Memory kit number 2 is Hyper X Predator DDR4 3200MHz, 2 x 8GB, CL16 288 - Pin UDIMM. That's all I can ascertain from the packaging unless you were looking for another piece of info?

I have tried using one stick of RAM, trying all 4 individually. Appears fine in BIOS but WHEA uncorrectable error following boot to Windows 10.

The SSDs are both SATA. I've tried a different SATA cable with the SSD and a different SATA port on the motherboard. When trying to install Windows on the new SSD, the old one was disconnected and removed from the case.
Installation media was the USB I created when first installing Windows following building the PC in 2019. Should I use the 20H2 installer? I will create an updated Windows installation on a new USB stick.

Not sure of the exact build on the PC other than Windows 10 professional 64 bit. I will try and find exact build within Windows 10 but it's difficult to do anything before BSOD appears.

PSU was new with the system (my first PC build), so was first used in April 2019. Plugged into a surge protected power strip, which has incidentally been changed to a different one in the last couple of months. Other things plugged in are two monitors, speakers and desk lamp.

I have not done a hard BIOS reset.

I will try a new Windows installation USB, plug the PC into the main wall socket, hard reset the BIOS and report back. Thank you.
 
Nov 7, 2020
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Update:

My Windows 10 professional build is 64 bit, Version 1909, OS Build 18363.900

Tried a few more things, no success.

  • Plugged direct into wall outlet in a different part of the house.
  • Reset BIOS as per the above and removed the CMOS battery, chose to load default settings on restart.
  • Made a fresh USB Windows installation via download and using a brand new USB stick - got BSOD after a minute or so into the menus of installation setup (using the new SSD). I didn't try to push through the process as I worry about my SSD if the BSOD happened during formatting.
  • Tried going through Windows setup on the new SSD with a number of different RAM configurations - single stick of 8GB in slot A1, then tried A2, then B1, then B2. All resulting in BSOD after about 60 seconds of Windows setup menu. After this went through the same with a single 8GB stick from the other RAM kit. On one occasion the BSOD was 'system thread exception not handled', the rest of the errors were 'WHEA uncorrectable error'.
Any ideas as to what to try next? I'm at a loss! What is most likely to be causing this? My next step is to try returning the motherboard to where I bought it from to see if they can find anything odd. Thanks again for your help so far.
 
Nov 7, 2020
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Yes - I can tell by the serial numbers on the back of the RAM, so I know which make up the two different pairs. The four sticks together were in the PC for over a year before any blue screens started.

But with testing each individual stick of RAM causing the same BSOD and memtest being okay - does this point away from the RAM being the cause of trouble?
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Yes, it really sort of does. But, hardware ages. Your motherboard and your memory can both age and problems can develop over time that didn't exist previously. Much like a CPU can degrade, so can a motherboard, so can a memory module. Memory especially is very hardy and it's unlikely. CPUs and memory, when run within the manufacturers specifications, tend to last a VERY long time normally, but we see exceptions now and then. I don't expect that to be the case here, but never rule out anything when it comes to computer hardware because you'll beat your head against a wall once you've exhausted all the most likely causes if you do.

CPUs rarely fail, like I said, so unless you've had the CPU out of the socket at some point and the problem started after that, then unless it was being overclocked with high voltage it would be incredibly unlikely (But still always possible, although very rare) for the CPU to just start failing for no reason.

While the G3 is a pretty good power supply, power supplies in general are commonly the cause of problems like this.

When you've tried the Windows installations, have you had more than one drive attached at the time, not counting the flash drive you are using to install from?

Are you trying the Windows installation with the graphics card removed completely from the motherboard, to see if that might be the problem? Just unplugging it isn't enough either, it needs to be OUT if you suspect it might be to blame.

Honestly, to me, if none of this checks out as bad, I'd go directly after the motherboard because it seems to be the most likely culprit and sounds as though perhaps there is a problem with the BIOS itself. No guarantees here though, ever.

Do you have any other peripherals attached? What keyboard and mouse? Headset? USB microphone? I know these seem unlikely, but we see issues periodically that end up being either the hardware itself or drivers or conflicts. Anything new that wasn't part of the equation for the first however long it was running fine?

Maybe try a different SATA cable too.
 
Nov 7, 2020
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During the attempts at Windows installation, the new SATA SSD is the only one connected - the older one was removed. Have tried different SATA cable and different SATA ports on the motherboard also.

Graphics card also removed completely.

Since troubleshooting the only other peripheral attached is a wireless Logitech K400 keyboard via its USB dongle thing (just to make it easier with the frequent tinkering), which is different to the usual keyboard and mouse I used prior to problems. I had used it when first building the PC. No other headsets or speakers attached. Have even used a different monitor!

The motherboard is being sent back to vendor tomorrow, I really hope it's the cause! Otherwise I suppose the PSU and CPU would be next to RMA. Thanks again for your help and advice, I will update the thread if I am any the wiser.
 
Nov 7, 2020
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As an update and hopefully to help anyone else who comes across a similar problem, looks to be solved!

Returned the motherboard - no faults found.
Returned the processor to Intel, who sent out a replacement to me pretty quickly.

No more BSOD after 30 seconds! Everything seems stable so far. I'm being cautiously optimistic and I'm blaming the old processor.

The support process with Intel was excellent, speedy replies to online messages. They just asked for a few details about serial and batch numbers, arranged a collection date with a logistics company. They then sent out a replacement CPU to me as soon as they received mine (before even testing it). Curious to see if/what they find to be at fault with my old CPU.

Thank you Darkbreeze for your suggestions and help. Feel like I've learned a bit through all this troubleshooting!
 
Hi,

I get a consistent BSOD thirty seconds after booting into Windows 10, but stable in BIOS. What could be the likely culprit?


Specs:
CPU: i7 9700k (at stock)
Motherboard: Z390 Gigabyte Aorus Pro Wifi
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken x62 AIO
GPU: EVGA RTX 2070 XC Ultra
RAM: HyperX Predator RGB 32GB (4x 8GB) 3200MHz DDR4
PSU: EVGA 750W Supernova G3
Storage: 1TB Samsung SSD

I’ve had this problem for around 5 months. PC built by myself in 2019, working like a dream up until this point. I turn on the PC, it gets to BIOS okay – temperatures look normal and everything looks fine. I have never tried to overclock nor changed any settings.

Boots through to Windows 10 but within 30 seconds I get a BSOD with the message ‘WHEA uncorrectable error’ and it restarts. This is consistent and happens each and every time I boot into Windows 10. I’ve tried leaving it idling in BIOS for a couple of hours, which didn’t cause any errors.

The only other strange thing prior to this, on a couple of occasions, I would turn on the PC – lights on in case, nothing appearing on monitor but red DRAM LED lit up on motherboard. After 10 seconds the system would reboot and be absolutely fine.

Presumably this is a hardware problem... or is it – I’m trying to work out what the most likely culprit component is and would appreciate any help or advice!

Using BlueScreenView to look at the mini dumps shows hal.dll, PSHED.dll and ntoskrnl.exe to be implicated.
Here is a link to the mini dumps: Mini Dumps

So far I have tried:
  • Running in Safe Mode (same thing happens after entering Windows)
  • Unplugging and re-attaching any cables
  • Removing graphics card
  • Trying with a single stick of RAM, used a combination of different stick and DIMM slot
  • Running memtest with all 4 sticks of RAM inserted – no problems
  • Disabling and re-enabling XMP
  • Inspecting CPU and socket – no obvious bent pins, reinserted and applied new thermal paste
  • Removed my 1TB SSD and tried to install Windows 10 on a new 250GB SSD – BSOD when trying to install with varying message codes.
  • Tried using SSD with different SATA port on motherboard
  • Resetting BIOS settings to default recommended
  • Updating BIOS to latest version via USB flash
The BSOD happens way before I am able to do any in-Windows diagnostics, although I just about managed to get some of the earlier mini dumps on a USB. Unfortunately I don’t have any other CPU or motherboards I could use to test.
Not sure what to try next. Is it normal to be able to make it to BIOS if the motherboard/CPU/PSU is faulty?

Thank you for any help or pointers.
memory dumps are from last july
Sun Jul 26 05:28:33.976 2020
the one I looked at showed a service running under svchost.exe that bugchecked while attempting to free up some virtual memory
(pagefile space)

you might want to see if you can find a update to this file ax88179_178a.sys
looks like some usb/network driver (this type of driver also depends on your bios version you have installed, and the usb drivers that are installed
so check your motherboard vendor for bios updates and usb driver updates. it will also depend on the usb port version you plug the device into)
ASIX AX88179/178A Network Driver. this is just a guess as to what was wrong in this dump, only a full kernel dump would have the proper debug info.

this bug would only cause a bugcheck 0x124 in certain cases . (a bugcheck 0x124 memory dump would be required to make a determination)

you could also remove the usb device and the remove the usb network driver and try another ethernet connection type to see if the problem goes away.
you might have to have to force device manager to show removed devices in order to delete the network software from the usb port.
(windows just hides the driver in case you plug the device back in. this means the driver still runs and can cause problems after the device is removed)



fffff8027ec40000 fffff8027ec58000 ax88179_178a (deferred)
Mapped memory image file: C:\win10sdk\Debuggers\x64\sym\ax88179_178a.sys\56EFAAEB18000\ax88179_178a.sys
Image path: \SystemRoot\System32\drivers\ax88179_178a.sys
Image name: ax88179_178a.sys
Browse all global symbols functions data
Timestamp: Mon Mar 21 01:03:55 2016 (56EFAAEB)
CheckSum: 000192C6
ImageSize: 00018000
File version: 1.16.27.321
Product version: 1.16.27.321
File flags: 8 (Mask 3F) Private
File OS: 40004 NT Win32
File type: 3.6 Driver
File date: 00000000.00000000
Translations: 0800.04b0
Information from resource tables:
CompanyName: ASIX Electronics Corp.
ProductName: ASIX AX88179/178A USB 3.0/2.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
InternalName: AX88179_178A.SYS
OriginalFilename: AX88179_178A.SYS
ProductVersion: 1.16.27.321
FileVersion: 1.16.27.321
FileDescription: ASIX AX88179/178A Network Driver
LegalCopyright: Copyright(c) ASIX Electronics Corp. 2013
 
Reactions: Darkbreeze
Mar 26, 2021
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I think this saved me from losing my mind. Having IDENTICAL problem. very similar build only I'm using an Intel i7 10700k. Have replaced everything except psu and cpu over the last week. I'm curious though, if this permanently fixed the issue?
 
Nov 7, 2020
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Hi Dadshord, yep the replacement CPU sorted it for me. Intel support was really helpful and it was a straightforward process to RMA the CPU.

I'm currently typing this from the PC in the original post.

Only issue I have had is the occasional failure to boot with DRAM light on. I'm presuming some RAM is dodgy but haven't taken it any further as it has only happened twice in the last 5 months. Good luck with sorting your problem.
 

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