bsod computer problems
February 19, 2007 12:11 PM   Subscribe

There is something wrong with my computer. Help me diagnose what is causing bsods, random restarts and registry errors.

I believe that this is a hardware related issue. During the past month, it has been getting worse. Started out with a couple of freezes here and there, but now I can't run Firefox without errors.

I ran memtest overnight, it passed. I then tried prime95, and discovered that one core is not stable.

I believe that the problem is the processor. However, the problem might also the motherboard or maybe even the power supply? Which is it? And how would I go about narrowing it down?

Things I've tried unsuccessfully: opened the case, made sure the fans are working. Reseat the heatsink. Clear out dust bunnies. Unplug everything, take pci cards out and then attach them again. What now?
posted by |n$eCur3 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
That last paragraph is worded poorly... I executed those methods successfully, but they failed to fix the problem.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 12:20 PM on February 19, 2007


These kinds of problems can often be difficult or impossible to diagnose properly. I had problems similar to yours a couple of years ago and the same problems persisted when I (separately) switched out the power supply, RAM, CPU and motherboard from components in older machines. Only when I switched out all four of the above did my errors cease.

Could be that you have a power surge that your surge protector couldn't handle (this is very common) and more than one component has been fried.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:33 PM on February 19, 2007


Yeah, power supply can be the likely culprit for a wide array of problems. Or not. Swapping parts is the simple way to isolate the problem. If you don't have a second pc with compatible components, Fry's liberal return policy justifies the brick and mortar premium.

Did you clean and reapply some quality heatsink past when you reseated it?
posted by Manjusri at 12:36 PM on February 19, 2007


grrr, past=paste
posted by Manjusri at 12:37 PM on February 19, 2007


yeah, i put one some new paste when I reseated the heatsink.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 12:44 PM on February 19, 2007


What Manjusri said - but also, don't rule out the RAM just because memtest86 passed. Last time I had a computer with faulty RAM, it consistently passed memtest86 overnight, but failed consistently when I ran something memory-intensive and something cpu-intensive at the same time.
posted by helios at 12:45 PM on February 19, 2007


I had some of the same issues with my last computer, turned out the MB wasn't seated correctly and (most likely) was shorting out every once inawhile
posted by edgeways at 2:21 PM on February 19, 2007


This seems crazy, but I figured out that it was in fact the ram. Helios, you hit the nail on the head. I gave the ram a tiny bit more volts (it can take a heck of a lot more) and everything is back to normal. Stable as a rock. Go figure, I was about to run down to the local frys.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 3:51 PM on February 19, 2007


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