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Old 08-04-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
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Default Freezes, BSoDs, and hair pulling oh my!

Ok, I'm having trouble finding the right words to put all of this in. It's going to take a bit of talking so please bear with me here.

Let me just start off with my specifications.
OS: Windows 7 Pro 64
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 630
RAM: Super Talent DDRII 800 2x2GB
MOBO: MSI K9A2 CF
GPU: eVGA GeForce 8800GT
HDD: WDC WD5000AAKS

Now then, this story starts with my last computer.

My last computer, and my current one, when running Windows XP Pro 32 SP3, are solid as a rock. I have no issues, everything is fantastic.

However, on both my old machine and my current one, if I install Windows 7 Pro 64 (or Ultimate 64), everything will run beautifully.. for about a month. In fact, I just installed this July 7th, and it is now August 4th, and my issues have surfaced.. again.

What are my issues?

Well, freezing. Every once in a while, my system will just completely freeze up. I can make it happen consistently if I open FireFox and a bunch of tabs all at once, and if I have music running, that music will freeze as well (very obnoxious...)

If I opened a bunch of tabs, right now, with music playing, the music will start popping, slowing down, becoming heavily distorted as the pages load. This will either progressively get worse and my system will freeze, or it will finish and the music will go back to normal.

Note however, this will also happen in Chrome or IE. Also, my media player, winamp, does not have to be open and running for this freeze to take place, if anything it just lets me know that my system is about to freeze.

I have had this issue transcend two computers with completely different hardware (the only part shared between the two is the GPU..), two different versions of Windows 7, and many different drivers, bios updates, etc..

I have had this happen on both machines through at least 3 installations of Windows 7. I install it, it works great for about 3 weeks, then it becomes an unusable mess because it wont, stop, FREEZING.

And now, throughout all of this, I'm starting to get BSoDs. Stop 0x7F parameter 8, which according to MS is a 'double fault' which means I might have hardware problems or heating problems. My system runs cool. HDD is low 30s C, CPU is low 40s C, GPU is low 50s C. I have two 120 MM case fans blowing air at over 80 CFM.

So.. I ran western digital hard drive diags and memtest86.. both came back with no errors.

If the trend is the same, I can reinstall Windows 7 right now, have it work fantastically for 3 weeks, then reinstall again, or just go back to Windows XP and have no issues at all.. which I really, really, do not want to do.

I started feeling like Windows 7 just sucked or something, but I know far too many people running 7 64 with no issues.. most of them have been using the same installation they made when Windows 7 came out.

I'm just so aggravated right now, and I don't know what to do anymore. I'm a tech, I've trouble shooted and fixed so many computers and have figured so many things out, but all these years of being able to solve problems and not being able to fix my own damn computer is really starting to etch away at my sanity.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Freezes, BSoDs, and hair pulling oh my!

Are you using the Drivers from the manufacturer's site, or the ones that windows gets from windows update? Also have you considered it may be a faulty install disk?
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Freezes, BSoDs, and hair pulling oh my!

I also have problems ecspecially with video use. I will get my computer to shut down all at once with goggle earth or blu ray. I also notice problems using alienware site keeps giving me the stop script message. It is very annoying so I feel your pain. Hopefully you will figure it out soon. I am running a Haf 932 Case,i7 92,OCZ Blade 2000 mhz Ram 6GB,X3 1000 Watt Power supply,HD 4890 Video Card,Rampage II Extreme MoBo,3- Velociraptors,1 TB Caviar Black,Blu Ray,DVD,wireless Extreme N, ect. Steve
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Freezes, BSoDs, and hair pulling oh my!

I both love and hate problems like these. Most of the time it's hate - if I find out what's causing the damn thing I love the learning curve generated by these obscure corner cases!

My first post here was actually a similar problem in that things worked perfectly for a while then crapped out all of a sudden. And no, I still haven't got to the bottom of the issue (ran out of ideas in the end!)

We also had an issue with a server at work a while back that again behaved similarly (this time running Linux) - but popping the CMOS battery helped for a week or so before it went bad again. Really strange stuff!

Even the big names don't escape this kind of bizarre trouble - have a look here at Sun's story for an extreme example of this. The impressive thing was they actually managed to track it down!

No, the above don't help but believe me you're not alone in this kind of issue - don't feel bad about not being able to find a fix!

Onto trying to solve this problem itself. I think this bit however is the biggest hint of all:
Quote:
I have had this issue transcend two computers with completely different hardware (the only part shared between the two is the GPU..)
I'd instantly jump to looking at the GPU here - it may well be a driver problem that's still in the latest driver (have you tried contacting Nvidia and asking? Can't hurt.) Have you tried another GPU to check if the problem goes away? That'd be my first port of call.

You could also try installing a 64 bit version of linux for a while, if everything works ok on there then you've ruled out hardware issues which is a big list of things to strike off the list.

I jumped to the "faulty memory" one as well - the reason being a 64-bit OS would fully utilise all of the 4GB, potentially pushing more onto the "faulty" stick and therefore causing the problems you're describing. You state you've run memtest - how long for? This might seem silly, but try leaving it running for a week or so solid. I've (rarely) come across issues that haven't arisen until this sort of timeframe - so it's worth trying if all else fails. That said, it's incredibly likely that both computers have dodgy memory sticks.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Freezes, BSoDs, and hair pulling oh my!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neodude112320 View Post
Are you using the Drivers from the manufacturer's site, or the ones that windows gets from windows update? Also have you considered it may be a faulty install disk?
I'm sure I mentioned in there somewhere that I've used different versions of windows, along with the whole completely different hardware thing.

I NEVER let Windows Update take care of drivers for me. That's my job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by berry120 View Post
I'd instantly jump to looking at the GPU here - it may well be a driver problem that's still in the latest driver (have you tried contacting Nvidia and asking? Can't hurt.) Have you tried another GPU to check if the problem goes away? That'd be my first port of call.

You could also try installing a 64 bit version of linux for a while, if everything works ok on there then you've ruled out hardware issues which is a big list of things to strike off the list.
As I mentioned, these issues never arised in Windows XP.. just 7. I would think that would be suitable for the same purpose you mentioned Linux 64 (though I see the 7 64 and Linux 64 connection you are trying to make with the fact that XP is 32..)

Anyway, good news!

I figured it out, it was Zone Alarm.. and I'm not alone here.

http://forums.zonelabs.com/showthread.php?p=273184

Anyway, sorry I took so much time getting back here, after I reinstalled windows and my issues went away for the time being I kind of forgot about this thread. Thanks for the input.
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