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Computer problem - BSODs/Freezes


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#1
Daia

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Hi everyone, my name is Nadia and this is my first post here at the forum, I have an issue with my desktop pc that I just can’t get fixed so I was hoping one of you guys could help me with it.

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So this has been happening for a while now, might as well just tell the whole story…
First the computer started having random freezes mostly when running videos or games, the screen would just turn a random color, the sound broke and the computer would restart and would run fine after that.

Then it started having BSODs saying the problem was somewhere called nvlddmkm.sys, I started to think it was something with the graphics card so I updated everything but the problem wouldn’t go away, it just kept getting worse…I would work sometimes but the problem kept coming back. I read somewhere that it might be dust so I had it cleaned even if there was only minor dust inside…the problem didn’t go away though.

By then I believed it was a problem with the graphics card (it did give the message several times that it stopped working) but since I wanted to be sure before I replaced it so I took the desktop to a computer repair store so they could have a look at it but the problem just didn’t happen, they had the computer for more than a week and they say it had no problems at all...it worked fine for a while just like it always did but the same thing happened (again) so I formatted the computer and installed all the newest drives…still it kept freezing.

Now the image freezes on the starting windows screen but the computer doesn’t, it’s working because I can hear the sounds (for example the locked key sound when you press shift repeatedly) but the image is just frozen there, some days it works and just doesn’t break at all and then other days it will just stay there in the "starting widows" image and no matter how many times I restart it…it doesn’t go anywhere.

It runs fine on safe mode, no problem at all.

What do you think the problem is?

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Computer specs:
Windows 7 64 bits
Intel i7 920 2.67 ghz
6gb ram
Nvidia Geforce 480 gtx

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Thank you in advance for anyone who tries to help me.
Sorry for the long wall of text =(, I just didn’t want to leave anything out...
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#2
phillpower2

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:welcome: Daia

The computer working ok in Safe Mode often but not always points towards driver issues and sometimes a software issue.

While the computer is running ok can you provide a Speccy url for us as it will save a lot of Q&As http://www.piriform....file-to-the-web

Can you also let us know the following details;
When the issue originally started had you made any hardware or software changes.
What is the brand and model name or number of the PSU.
What type of OS disk do you have as in a full retail, system builders OEM, a back up disk that you made yourself or a copy that was downloaded and burned to disk.

nvlddmkm.sys

Yep this may suggest a video card issue BTW.
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#3
Daia

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Hello Phillpower thanks for the welcome to the forum and for the fast reply :)

here's the link:
Speccy Link

I made no hardware changes to the computer. I can't say for sure...but I believe I hadn't made any software changes either when the problem started.
The os disk is a system builders OEM Windows 7 home premium from Alienware.
I'll post the PSU brand and model in a bit, because I need to check it :P.
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#4
phillpower2

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Hello Daia

Thanks for the url which provides most of the hardware specs that we needed except the PSU so we will wait for that until you are ready, we can test the output of the PSU then.

When you did the fresh install did you install the drivers in the correct order http://www.dell.com/...0401E0A55174744

Can you enable Driver Verifier for us to see if it identifies a particular driver as the cause http://www.sevenforu...le-disable.html if it is already enabled disable it and see if the issue is resolved.

You are welcome BTW :thumbsup:
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#5
Daia

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Hello again Phillpower,
The psu is a Alienware™ 875 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply, I opened the case and found some info there...it means nothing to me x) but maybe it's helpful for you, it says: "Cn-0GM34R-6435-04N-20NC-A00 Dp/N 0GM34R"

I enabled Driver Verifier and a BSOD appears, I don't know if it helps but here's the BSOD:
BSOD
which is different from the one I used to get about nvlddmkm.sys

I think I installed the drivers on the correct order when I did the fresh install.

Thank you
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#6
phillpower2

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Hi Daia

Can you please tell us the exact model of Alienware computer it is that you have, Alienware X51 or an Aurora for example.

Does your computer have an internal card reader by any chance as that could be responsible for that error code.

Disable Driver Verifier now please while we resolve the present problem/s.

This type of issue can be caused by incorrect driver installation and the chipset drivers in particular which should be installed first so as to avoid problems, dell actually makes this known "Some devices may not function properly if the drivers are installed out of order".

To rule this out as the possible cause I suggest that you first make sure that Windows is fully up to date and then do a fresh install of all Dell drivers following the correct procedure as detailed @ http://www.dell.com/...0401E0A55174744
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#7
Daia

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Hi Phillpower,
The computer is an Alienware Aurora from 2010, it doesn't have an internal card reader.
I disabled the driver verifier, and the pc is running... for now.
Just one more thing, you mean a fresh install of windows or just the drivers?
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#8
phillpower2

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Hello Daia

Thanks for the update :thumbsup:

As the card reader was/is optional and you do not have one can you check in the Device Manager to make that there are no drivers installed for it.

Fresh install of just the drivers and only if absolutely necessary :thumbsup:
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#9
Daia

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Hi Phillpower,

Thanks again for the help :happy:

There is no internal card reader drivers installed, but while I checked the device manager there seems to be a problem (yellow exclamation point)with a Serial ATA controller, it says the drivers for the device are not installed.
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#10
phillpower2

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Hi Daia

Please use the attached link to get the correct driver/s and then install http://www.dell.com/...fkey=Drivers_PS

You are welcome BTW :thumbsup:
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#11
Daia

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Hi Phillpower,

After I installed the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver it seems that the problem is even worse now (it might just be bad luck) , however, on the few minutes that the computer worked I saw that the missing Serial ATA controller driver is still missing, and Intel Rapid Storage is recognizing my 2x WD 500gb Hard drives and according to the program they're ok.

The freezes are the same as before, the image goes black but the computer is still working since I can still hear the sounds.

One more thing...there's a WD firmware update on the link you supplied, here it is: http://www.dell.com/...n&categoryId=SA
the installation of this one seems a little bit complicated, do you think it's needed?

Thank you
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#12
phillpower2

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Hello Daia

Did you create a restore point before updating the drivers.
Did you install Raid drivers for your HDDs or some other SATA drivers.

Please do not update any firmware.
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#13
Daia

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Hi Phillpower, sorry for the late response,
Sadly I forgot to create a restore point :bashhead: ...but I did have one from the 25th which is before I installed any drivers. So I went ahead and used that one because the computer refused to work at all. I updated windows again and it's running for now.

I didn't install any Raid drivers for the HDDs, the only drivers that apply to my system according to Dell's website is the Intel Rapid Storage one.

I might have installed the wrong Intel Rapid Storage Technology version, so now I went to dell's website and used my service tag instead of product :blush:, I created a restore point this time, and installed the correct Intel Rapid Storage version and it's running "okayish" for now...the problem is still here though.

Should I go back to the clean install of drivers in the correct order (and correct version :whistling: )?
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#14
phillpower2

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Just letting you know that I will be back online tomorrow, been very busy with work and could not get near the forums.

Please provide an update as to how things are going when you can.
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#15
Daia

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Hi Phillpower,
I was waiting for a response, but I'm guessing you're waiting one from me as well :lol:
I haven't had much time to try anything on the computer...
It was running ok so I tried the driver verifier again, the BSOD still happened.
My graphics card driver is more up to date than the ones at dell's website, should I fresh install the old driver's supplied by dell?
What might the missing drivers problem mean? Could it be the thing causing the BSOD?
For some reason it has been much more stable than before I installed the intel rapid storage correct drivers.

Thank you.
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