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blue screen - hardware malfunction


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#1
drewblueeye

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Ok, i am going straight to the point.
about 3 months ago this started. i have NOT changed any hardware on my computer ever. i didnt download anything new. and It only happens when i am playing World of warcraft and Battlefield 2. I have turned my graffics all the way down and still does it.

90% of the time i get this blue screen after playing one of those games after about 10 to 20 seconds. the blue screen says

Hardware Malfunction
Call your hardware vendor for support
NMI: Parity check/ Memory parity error
***The system has halted***

Then i have to hold the power button in until it shuts down. cant do anything else to get out of it.

5% of the time the screen freezes and then goes black and i can hear the computer replaying the last 1 second of whatever was the last sound, over and over.... have to hold the power button in.

5% of the time the screen freezes and stays that way, cant move the cursor. if i press Alt+control+delete then hit the windows button (button in between the left control button and the left alt button) about 10 times and wait about 10 to 15 seconds. it will go back to windows. then i can just click on the tab for the game, bring it back up and i can continue playing fine.


Now this doesnt happen everytime i play. one of these things happens about 50% of the time. and im not doing anything different each time.

Things i have tried:
Downloaded all the MS updates
Gone to run, msconfig and did selective start up and unchecked "load start up items"
Made sure no programs are running in the background
Opened the case and blew out the dust from inside with the canned air at about 2 feet away so nothing was hurt with to much pressure.

No clue what video card i have, dont know where to look. but im pretty sure its Nvidia, and i know i have 2gig of ram. i have 250 gig of hard drive and 116 free.

Funny thing is i bought a 3 year warrenty with this computer and it expired 4 days before this started to happen. and Dell wont help me. I have gotten great help from you guys before, and donated to help your cause.
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#2
The Admiral

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Download the latest BIOS from support.dell.com, as well as the latest video card driver, preferably from support.dell.com, but nvidia if you feel its necessary.
From there, you're looking at a video card problem.
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#3
happyrock

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go here and enter your sevive tag number...its on your computer case..
I would start with the video driver ...
no joy...
Bad computer memory is one of the three main reasons for random system crashing..hanging...BSOD.. the other two are heat (usually caused by fans or heatsinks being blocked with dust) or power issues...
first...

lets make sure its not your memory going bad...get memtest + here....
the lowdown is here...

if you have a floppy drive you can get the 6th one down ...set the bios to boot from the floppy drive A: first...then the cd drive then the Hard drive C:
or you can get the 2nd one down and burn the ISO file to a cd and then boot it from the cd drive...let memtest run for at least 2 hours...if it starts showing any errors during that time then you will have to replace the RAM...no errors after 2 hours just press Esc to end the tests and we will try some other tests

go here and get everest home...install and launch it...click the + by computer...click on sensor...get a screenshot and post it so I can check your temps and voltages...

NOTE...if you have any problems running memtest... Windows Memory Diagnostic may run the tests....you can get it here..

Edited by happyrck, 29 February 2008 - 10:49 AM.

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#4
The Admiral

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Unfortunately, I have to vehemently disagree with happyrck. What you are describing, definitely sounds like a video card problem - that's what the NMI indicates. If you PM me your service tag, I will be able to look up your information and tell you what card you have.
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#5
techpro5238

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Hello The Admiral,

We all work together on this forum as a big extensive family. I believe we should listen to his suggestions just as well and never exclude any suggestions unless they are irrational to the issue at hand. Happyrck, suggested everything I would to start troubleshooting Blue Screens.

If I am also correct, the NMI shows RAM issues, but I haven't done hardware fixing in about a year. I would guess that the RAM is Parity typed and that it is having issues self-correcting itself which points to issues within the RAM.

@drewblueeye: Please follow all the suggestions stated here, plus this one that I am adding:

----------------------------------

To figure out what file or piece of hardware is causing the BSoD I will need your minidump files to work with. Please follow the below steps for me to obtain your dump files.

I would like you to go to:

  • Start
  • Run
  • Type in Explorer and click Ok

Then I would like you to enter this into the address bar or go to this directory:

C:\Windows\Minidump

When successfully navigated to this folder I would like you to move all of these files onto your desktop and create a new Zip folder called "Minidump Files." Place your Minidumps into this Compressed Zip Folder and upload it to the TSF Server in your next post including more information on what has happened since my last post. The second method is that you can upload the same Zip Folder to another file sharing server like Microsoft Skydrive if you have a Windows Live Account so I can download it there to.

Please post the Minidump Files in the ZIP format


Edited by techpro5238, 29 February 2008 - 09:19 PM.

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#6
drewblueeye

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ok, first i went to the dell website, put in my tag number. and i found out how to find out what i have for a video card. i have a Nvidia 6800 GTO with 256mb. i seen i had the most recent update, but still downloaded it, uninstalled the one i had and reinstalled it over again.

second. i couldnt get memtest + to work with the Nero Burning Rom program, i tried for about an hour and it just wouldnt burn correctly. BUT i did get Windows Memory Diagnostic to run. i let it run for 3 hours got to 46 tests and no errors. i stopped it because you said to let it run atleast 2 hours. so i let it run a little longer.

Third. i downloaded everest home on my computer ran it and attached a screen shot here. when i ran the test my computer has been on for atleast 5 days now.

and as far as what techpro5236 said about going to "C:\Windows\Minidump", well that file doesnt exist. i even went to settings and clicked show hidden folders and it just isnt there. so i couldnt attach the winzip file he wanted.

played Battle field 2 about 20 minutes ago and still got a blue screen with the same error

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#7
drewblueeye

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Sorry that attachment didnt come out very clear, here is one that i took again that came out better

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#8
happyrock

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to The Admiral...did you miss this at the start of my post...

go here and enter your service tag number...its on your computer case..
I would start with the video driver ...
no joy...


to drewblueeye

my computer has been on for at least 5 days now.


try shutting it down completely until its completely cooled off....
start it up and try playing the game again...take note of how long it runs without hanging crashing

you could also make sure you have any patches for the game..

try a older driver for the video card..
if you access to another video card... try it

they must not have connected the sensors on your mobo because everest isn't giving us much info
so lets try SpeedFan and see if it does any better ...get it here

Edited by happyrck, 01 March 2008 - 08:46 AM.

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#9
drewblueeye

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here is a screen shot of the fan speed

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#10
drewblueeye

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sorry, for the last post just noticed it was in Celcius, here is is in Fahrenheit

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  • fan_speed___F.JPG

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#11
happyrock

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speedfan must not like the sensors because it shows your ambient temp of 147 degrees F...
we have to assume this is wrong
try getting into your bios and check the temps there..
do you have any case fans and if so are they connected to the mobo or straight to a molex connector
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#12
drewblueeye

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Ok, i know a little about computers. but i dont know how to "get into my bios and check the temps there"

and as far as a case fan, yes i do have a case fan. the case fan had a bearing going out in it about 8 months ago and was making a loud noise. i called dell and they sent me a new one. i installed it myself and seems to be working. i can feel a slight breeze from the back off the computer where it is located and can hear it running if i get very close.

I turned my computer off for about 20 minutes to 30 minutes with the case open. turned it back on and turned on "fan speed" program and it said the "Local temp" was 122 F. so i loaded World of Warcraft and the computer locked up after about 2 minutes. this time it wasnt the blue screen. it was where the screen freezes and then looks like it it smears diagnoly. after about 5 seconds the monitor shut off. that happens every so often.
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#13
drewblueeye

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i want to post one more thing quick. I turned my computer off and opened the case for about 2 hours. i came back. closed the case, started up the computer. once it started i loaded up Everet and fanspeed and took a screen shot of what they said for temps. i dont know if this will help but i thought any info i could give might help.

let me know what else you recommend. i am up for any suggestions. once i took the screen shot i got on Battle field 2 and got the blue screen about 1 minute into the game (approx. 5 minutes after computer was started from cooling down)

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#14
drewblueeye

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ok, so i want to add a new problem to this tread cuz they may be connected.

As of yesterday, and this has happened a few times. now the computer either goes to the blue screen with that error. OR it locks the screen up. now when it locks the screen up after about 5 to 10 seconds the monitor shuts off BUT the computer stays on until i manually restart it. also i have noticed the graffics in the games are getting kind of blocky (square edges). i have not adjusted any video settings in a few weeks. but last tiem i had to adjust the video settings of the games i had to turn the graffics all the way down. but even with the graffics all the way down it never was blocky. it just started yesterday. i checked and all the settings are the same. just thought that may give some insight
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#15
The Admiral

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It really sounds like your video card. Does your card have a fan on it? Does the fan spin?
I would get a new card (because yours is old anyways) and see if that fixes it.
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