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Frequent BSODs - No Entry in Event Viewer


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#16
Digerati

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Reformatting rarely fixes hardware problems - and it has the potential of setting you back months, or even years in security updates and patches. If a reformat fixes a hardware problem, it is probably because corrupt drivers were overwritten with good ones - which could have been done without reformatting.

If this were on my bench, I would swap in a known good PSU.
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#17
SomeCrazyStuff

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of course not.. i was just saying i would prefer there to be a software problem rather than a hardware problem... software problem is easier to fix..

You think it might possibly be the power supply unit? Sorry im confused why that comment was made..
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#18
Digerati

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A stressed, out of tolerance (or nearly out), underpowered, or unstable power supply can cause all sorts of problems that escape explanation - just as a little water in the gas tank can cause a motor to sputter, so too can an unstable PSU disrupt electronics. While a car engine can miss a beat and keep running, digital electronics does not. So starting from the beginning, ensure you are feeding your hardware good, clean, sufficient, stable power.

Here is my canned text on testing PSUs:

To properly and conclusively test a power supply unit (PSU), it must be tested under various realistic "loads" then analyzed for excessive [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_(electrical)""]ripple[/url] and other anomalies. This is done by a qualified technician using an oscilloscope or power analyzer - sophisticated (and expensive) electronic test equipment requiring special training to operate, and a basic knowledge of electronics theory to understand the results. Therefore, conclusively testing a power supply is done in properly equipped electronic repair facilities.

Fortunately, there are other options that are almost as good. I keep a FrozenCPU Ultimate PSU Tester in my tool bag when I am "in the field" and don't have a good spare power supply to swap in. While not a certain test, they are better than nothing. The advantage of this model is that it has an LCD readout of the voltage. With an actual voltage readout, you have a better chance of detecting a "failing" PSU, or one barely within specified ATX Form Factor Standard tolerances. Lesser models use LEDs to indicate the voltage is just within some "range". These are less informative, considerably cheaper, but still useful for detecting PSUs that have already "failed". Newegg has several testers to choose from. All these testers contain a "dummy load" to fool the PSU into thinking it is connected to a motherboard, and therefore allows the PSU to power on, if able, without being attached to a motherboard - great for testing fans, but again, it is not a true load or suitable for conclusive testing.

As mentioned, swapping in a known good supply is a tried and trued method of troubleshooting used for centuries, even by pros. Remove the "suspect" part and replace with a "known good" part and see if the problem goes away.

I do not recommend using a multimeter to test power supplies. To do it properly, that is, under a realistic load, the voltages on all the pins must be measured while the PSU is attached to the motherboard and the computer powered on. This requires poking (with some considerable force) two hard and sharp, highly conductive meter probes into the main power connector, deep in the heart of the computer. One tiny slip can destroy the motherboard, and everything plugged into it. It is not worth the risk considering most multimeters, like plug-in testers, do not measure, or reveal any unwanted and potentially disruptive AC components to the DC voltages.

And remember, anything that plugs into the wall can kill. Do not open the power supply's case unless you are a qualified electronics technician. There are NO user serviceable parts inside a power supply.
***
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#19
SomeCrazyStuff

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hmm.. I may have to look into getting one of those Frozen PSU Testers.. but for the mean time i have 0$ so.. yea...

I didnt get the chance to put that memtest cd into the computer yesterday. Went home from work, laid down, and didn't get back up until about an hour ago... Will do it tonight though. I'm putting a sticky reminder on my pillow so I can't go to bed without missing it.
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#20
Digerati

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I'm putting a sticky reminder on my pillow so I can't go to bed without missing it.

lol - sounds like a plan.
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#21
SomeCrazyStuff

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lol - sounds like a plan.



Ha..

now that I'm thinking about it, today is friday. I work saturday nights and therefore try to stay up most of the night friday night in order to adjust sleep schedule.. maybe i should have put that sticky note on my bedroom door.. -.-
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#22
Digerati

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Or your forehead.
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#23
SomeCrazyStuff

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Well that would be a good place for it.. but I may not see it there either... o.O

The chat thingy wont let me move the curser around in the reply text box. I can only type and hit enter. Odd...

Or your forehead.


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#24
Digerati

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Well, I was hoping you would see it in the mirror - assuming you brush your teeth before bed. :)

I don't use chat so can't help you there.
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#25
SomeCrazyStuff

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I don't use chat so can't help you there.


I meant the fast reply box. but that is intermittent.. right now it is working so all is good. maybe noscript was acting against it.

You need a mirror to brush your teeth?

Edited by SomeCrazyStuff, 25 September 2009 - 01:20 PM.

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#26
Digerati

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You need a mirror to brush your teeth?

You mean tooth? No, but there's one above the sink anyway.
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#27
SomeCrazyStuff

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sometimes i brush in the shower.. lol

bout another 40 minutes and i'll start memtest.
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#28
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hey. while i am thinking about it... Several people from here have said not to use Ccleaner but have never given a reason why other than it is bad. Any chance you can tall me what it is that makes ccleaner so bad? I have been using it for a couple of years and never had a problem with it.
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#29
Digerati

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Some people see the registry cleaner feature in CCleaner and think bad. They are wrong - at least with CCleaner. Sure, any time you mess with the registry, there is a risk of damage, the chances are very small. CCleaner is probably the least aggressive of the cleaners out there, and it always prompts for backup first. There are several good registry cleaners out there, but sadly, many are promoted as magic optimizers to fix all your woes, and that is not the case. I use CCleaner regularly to clean up after program upgrade, uninstalls, or other changes. I do not use CCleaner to fix a broken Windows.
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#30
SomeCrazyStuff

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man you just made my night.. if only i could have had you say that a lil whlie back where i was fussed at by a malware staff for using ccleaner on someone elses laptop. what you said is exactly what i have been saying since i found ccleaner and started playing around with it.

Some people see the registry cleaner feature in CCleaner and think bad. They are wrong - at least with CCleaner. Sure, any time you mess with the registry, there is a risk of damage, the chances are very small. CCleaner is probably the least aggressive of the cleaners out there, and it always prompts for backup first. There are several good registry cleaners out there, but sadly, many are promoted as magic optimizers to fix all your woes, and that is not the case. I use CCleaner regularly to clean up after program upgrade, uninstalls, or other changes. I do not use CCleaner to fix a broken Windows.


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