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Windows 7 BSOD and Black screen in Safe Mode


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#1
mfrank1

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I have a Dell XPS Studio desktop that until this week ran flawlessly.  Problems began with seemingly random BSOD/reboots after a few minutes of booting up.  The BSOD identified various errors at different times (i.e. PFN_LIST_CORRUPT, DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, ntdll.dll error) When I boot into Safe Mode, the screen goes black after a few minutes.  I can hear the hard drive continuing to access files. I'm obsessive about creating restore points, but received a shock when I went to use them and found none had been saved (or else they were deleted). Tried booting into Safe Mode with Command Prompt and running sfc /scannow, but it, too, goes to black screen after a few minutes.  Ditto with running Malware Bytes. 

 

Has anyone encountered anything like this?  Any help would be most appreciated.


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#2
Jared44

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Can you manage to attach the dump files which are located in C:/Windows/minidump that will help me idenitfy the cause of your problem.

 

You will have to copy them to the desktop then compress them in a .zip folder and upload that folder.


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#3
mfrank1

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Jared44--

 

I can't get it, I'm afraid.  No matter what I try, computer now goes right to the BSOD.  Recent error messages on the screen were: 

 

An attempt was made to write to read only memory

win32k_sys

PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED AREA

 

I was able to run a Windows memory test that showed no errors.  It then went to chkdsk but the computer went to black at 33%

 

Do you think I should also post this in the virus forum?  Not certain if the problem is virus, driver or hardware related.


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#4
Jared44

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It doesn't seem like a virus is causing it.

 

Can you please run memtest86

 

I suggest you run Memtest86 for at least 8 passes.


Which one should I download?


You have two options to choose from, you can either download the ISO version then burn it do a CD and boot it from there.
The other option is downloading the auto installer for USB sticks, you then boot from that USB stick.
Be warned though, it will format your USB then install the files needed to make it bootable so any files left over will be wiped off.

Download it here:

Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool

So how does it work?

It works by writing a series of test patterns to most memory addresses over 9 tests, it then reads the data back to compare it for errors.

The default pass does 9 different tests varying in access patterns and test data. A tenth pass is optional from the menu which writes all the memory in zeroes then sleeps for 90 minutes and compares it to see if any address have changed, this takes 3 hours per pass each time.

My memtest86 isn't booting! What should I do?

This can be caused by a number of different reasons, common ones include your BIOS not setting using the correct settings, you might want to change your boot priority order.
Other causes include your motherboard not supporting bootable USB sticks in which case you'll need to use a CD (or floppy drive).

Any other issues you might want to look here:

FAQ : please read before posting


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#5
mfrank1

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OK, I'm running it now and already getting 457 errors with only 25% of the first pass.  Strange (to a novice like me, anyway), since the Windows Memory Diagnostic Utility ran two passes and showed no errors.

 

Another thing: the CPU temp is fluctuating between 78-79 degrees.  Is this normal?

 

Do I have to replace all of my memory?


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#6
Jared44

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It depends on how much memory you have.

 

You can remove your sticks one by one and keep testing in different slots to work out which is faulty and whether or not your motherboard slots of faulty.

 

That temperature is way too high for a CPU, you need to cool that down.

Reapply thermal paste, clean out the dust and move cabling to allow more airflow.

You might even want to get a new heatsink or case.


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#7
mfrank1

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Would you say the high temp may be the cause of the BSOD rebooting problem, or is it likely a symptom being caused by some other issue?

 

BTW, many thanks for your help.


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#8
iammykyl

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Gday. 

 

 

Would you say the high temp may be the cause of the BSOD rebooting problem, or is it likely a symptom being caused by some other issue?

It could be overheating and the usual culprits are, build up of dust and dirt , especially on the fins of the cooler.  slowed or stopped exhaust/intake fans.   Dried out thermal pastebetween the CPU and heatsink.

 

The RAM, already being investigated.

 

A PSU that has developed a fault or is old and not giving the correct voltage delivery.

 

Please give the Model number of the Dell XPS, examples, > http://www.dell.com/...io-xps-desktops

Can you remove the left side panel of the case and note down the details of the PSU. 

 

Do you have the Dell Recovery discs? or any other installation ones?


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#9
mfrank1

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OK -- I was able to open the case of my XPS 8100 (tho it took awhile for me to figure that out -- sorry, novice here).  I've attached some photos that may give you the info you requested.  Both fans were working, but I noticed that within two minutes the graphics card became super-hot (too hot to touch). And that with an open case and plenty of air circulating.   Don't know if this is normal.  I do have Dell recory disks (and had previously made Windows 7 emergency disks), but can't run them because of BSOD or black screen errors every time I try.

Attached Thumbnails

  • mfrank XPS 8100 1.jpg
  • mfrank XPS 8100 2.jpg
  • mfrank XPS 8100 motherboard.jpg
  • mfrank XPS 8100 power supply.jpg

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#10
iammykyl

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Thanks for the update.

I note you have the original Dell supplied PSU, we can test that later, but first we should try to get the temps down to eliminate it as a cause of the crashes.   from the pics, the inside look fairly clean.   I see two options, one is just to remove the CPU cooler, clean off all traces of the TIM, (thermal insulation material) apply new TIM, reseat the cooler.

Two, would be to remove, cleanup and install a new cooler that has better performance than the stock one   I suggest this one as it is an identical installation as the stock one.   Other types require the removal of the wiring and MB. > http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835186060  What do you think?

 

You attempted a memory test, did it complete? or the computer just crashed?

 

Your service manual, click on Download Manual (53 pages, 1.15 Mb) then copy the code into the box. 


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#11
mfrank1

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I stopped the memory test after a few hours because the machine was running so hot and there were already over 4000 memory errors. Wondering if the heat can produce these errors, as opposed to there being a problem with the actual memory.

I'm a bit intimidated about making changes inside the case. From what I can feel, the CPU fan is on very tight. I'm not certain how to safely remove it. I did look at the fan you suggested. Reviews seemed mixed, but they all seemed from folks who were experienced technicians. Getting up my nerve to try this.

Also, i mentioned the graphics card getting too hot to touch after no more than 5 minutes running with the case open. Is that normal?

Thanks so much for your help (and your patience)
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#12
Jared44

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Well it sounds like a mixture of issues.

Heat can damage memory but it won't be temporary.

 

It sounds like you need more airflow on your case, you might need to mvoe the computer or even buy a new case.

Move the cabling around if it is blocking airflow.


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#13
mfrank1

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Jared--i fear moving the computer or cabling won't solve the problem, as running the machine in a very cool room with the case open still produced the black screen error.

Lammykyl- is this the same fan? It's a bit cheaper on Amazon if it is:
http://www.amazon.co...ets, HTPC Ready
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#14
Jared44

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Well you still have failing memory, it needs to be replaced.


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#15
iammykyl

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Yes, the Amazon cooler is correct, download the installation manual, > http://www.arctic.ac...ezer-11-lp.html

You will also need this cleaner, > http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_cp_pc_0

Removal of the heatsink is not very difficult, it will feel firmly attached until the pins are rotated and pulled up to unlock. 

Don't think heat is the issue with the RAM, it is shot.   Lets's do one thing at a time. 

Video card do run very hat, some up to 110C, so anything over 50C will burn you quick. 

 

Jared44.   Agreed, RAM needs replacing, could also be a PSU issue. 


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