Question Win 7 Login screen/soon after login freeze

Jun 4, 2019
Hello everyone,

I'm having problems with freezes on the login screen or shortly after logging onto the desktop. Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit, desktop PC.

Recently I upgraded my system:
  • GTX 760 2Gb replaced with GTX 1060 6Gb (bought used),
  • added another 2 sticks of RAM, bought used off of Ebay - the exact same model, just newer version (Corsair Vengeance 2x4 Gb, 1600MHz, 9-9-9-24, CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 ).
The new RAM sticks are both identical and "paired", just like the old ones that were bought new. They are installed in slots 1 and 3 from the CPU, while the "original" RAM sticks were and still are installed on slots 2 and 4 (like the MB instructs you to install them).

"Old" components (nearly 5 years old):
MSI Z97-G45 Gaming, Intel Z97 Mainboard - S1150
Intel Core i5-4690K 3,5 GHz (Devils Canyon) S1150
Super Flower Golden Green HX 80Plus Gold - 650 Watt SF-650P14XE (HX)
Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600, CL9 - 8GB Kit CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9

The computer boots up to the login screen fine, then if I wait 5-15 seconds it either freezes with PARTIAL BSOD and a graphical glitch (always the same) or doesn't. It freezes, on average, I'd say about 40-50% of the time. Usually 1 restart is enough, today I needed 3 restarts, after fiddling with RAM it survived seems both random and not. Tough to say.

If I log in immediately nothing either works or freezes after several seconds.

If it doesn't freeze at/after login, then it works "forever". No issues during normal use, no issues during video games, no glitches, no weird behavior, no crashes, no overheating.

I enabled the minidump for BSODs and disabled the system restart, but the BSODs I get are, in fact, partial. It only "paints" about half the screen from top to down, then it disappears, and the graphical glitch appears. No minidump file! Therefore the system freezes in its entirety. Video of how it looks is on the link below.

BUT! Yesterday I finally got a "complete" BSOD without the computer freezing. BAD_POOL_CALLER, 0xC2 etc. - and finally got hold of the minidump. Now I actually feel I may have enough info to seek help on the forums. :)

Safe mode works fine, BTW.

The first uninstall of video drivers was "manual" via control panel and I only uninstalled graphics drivers and Geforce experience. Then I installed only graphics drivers for the new card.
I then thought that maybe this is the cause, so I used DDU to do a "clean" uninstall of all video drivers and their remnants and downloaded new ones (newer version, too, that came out in the meantime). Did not help.

Then I thought it had to be RAM due to iffy compatibility nature of RAM.
So I enabled XMP after these problems first appeared, and it did not help.
I then tried the old setup, then with only one RAM stick etc., many combinations, and the problem persists. At one point I thought it was gone as it "survived" about 6 restarts with 3 RAM sticks, but upon further testing and going back to these 3 sticks it froze again. I'm pretty sure it could still be the RAM though, just...not in a predictable way.

I updated BIOS.

I did the basic chkdsk, all fine.

I did the verifier.exe, no unsigned drivers.

I did the sfc /scannow, all fine.

Scanned the computer with Avast, Malwarebytes and TDSSKiller. Squeaky clean.

Windows are not up to date, because I'm lazy and can't be bothered to update them regularly due to craptastic windows update utility (last time I was updating it was not working, I had to do some manual installs etc.) and due to windows sneaking in all kinds of privacy-breaching and computer-bricking updates (every time I go see the forums about the latest updates I change my mind about doing it as I just can't be bothered checking every single update if it's fine or not).
(This is something that I know I may have to do anyway if I want to come to the bottom of this problem...if you people will tell me it's possible that this is the reason for my problems.)

Here is the link to the relevant info - minidump, pic of BSOD, pic of "new" RAM sticks (for whatever it's worth) and video of the freeze:

Thanks for your time and effort!
It could be the RAM...but it could be a malfunctioning GPU (A GPU could have intermittent issues).
Check that the GPU is seated properly and also check the power connector and cable from the PSU.

I would reset the BIOS and try just with the old RAM, as it was before you made changes, and see if the issue comes back.

Also, try testing the RAM with Memtest86+.

The RAM, even though it appears to be similar is not "the exact same model".
Unless RAM comes in a kit, tested to work together, you won't be able to know unless you check the IC chip manufacturer.
I have purchase similar model RAM modules and when looking at the IC chip it came from different companies...even when manufactured a week apart.
You could use Typhoon Burner to pull the data from the RAM modules.