Computer woes
May 16, 2008 10:29 AM   Subscribe

ComputerDebugFilter: How can I find out what caused my computer to crash?

I'm running Vista 64-bit (I know, I know...) with 4gb of ram, 3 hard drives with a raid array and an intel quad core processor. The nature of the crash is very strange. Basically the mouse cursor will slow down and then intermittently work and then it will just stop, all in the span of 4 seconds or so. After that the entire computer is frozen with the reset button as the only source of relief. During the lead up to the freeze and the after the processor is not working hard at all (ie no audible stress). I do multiple virus scans from different vendors on a regular basis and no spyware/malware has ever been found. The only thing wrong that I know of is iTunes isn't installed correctly and it lets me know this each time I start it.

Is there a log or stack trace that I can access after resetting that could clue me in to what's going on?
posted by bmalicoat to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Not that this is likely to help, but have you checked the system event log?
posted by me & my monkey at 10:33 AM on May 16, 2008


multiple virus scans from different vendors on a regular basis

you really shouldn't have multiple virus scanning packages installed simultaneously
posted by Oktober at 10:39 AM on May 16, 2008

What you are experiencing is called a deadlock, and they are diffcult to troubleshoot, unless you know someone with a serial cable, a copy of windbg, and the ability to read a stack trace. Your best best is to test the memory, trying to isolate it down to a bad stick. There maybe other bad hardware as well. Good luck.
posted by internal at 10:57 AM on May 16, 2008

Yeah, it's really hard to say. It could be pretty much anything. The Event Log is a good place to start, so keep track as accurately as possible to what times it happens and refer to the log for anything starting or stopping or failing at that time.

You seem to have a grasp on what you're doing, so I'll assume that you've tried disabling background processes. If not, though, that's also a good thing to try. As far as hardware goes, I'd definitely test the memory and the hard drive.

Beyond that, again, it's hard to say. Good luck.
posted by joshrholloway at 11:40 AM on May 16, 2008

posted by gjc at 7:23 PM on May 16, 2008

Fellow Vista 64bit user with 4GB RAM here. I'm on an HP Pavilion tx2000z (tablet pc), and coincidentally enough, I just experienced the same thing (and this isn't the first time).

In my case, it was in the middle of shutting down a variety of browsers and open documents after a long day's work. Before I managed to get the last of it closed, the dreaded deadlock struck (in particular I was working at saving a copy of a PDF to the drive). Vista 64 REALLY seems to have issues with Acrobat.

Upon reboot the "do you want to boot into safe mode" menu appeared; I declined and booted into normal windows, at which point the system deadlocked again in the middle of initializing the desktop (the icon titles all appeared, but no icon images).

Another reboot, and everything is back to normal.

No temperature issues, memtest86 gave the RAM a thumbs up a month ago, all MS updates in place, running COMODO firewall pro and ESET NOD32 antivirus for what its worth.

Lastly, an entry from the Event viewer (no idea if it is relevant):

Event filter with query "SELECT * FROM __InstanceModificationEvent WITHIN 60 WHERE TargetInstance ISA "Win32_Processor" AND TargetInstance.LoadPercentage > 99" could not be reactivated in namespace "//./root/CIMV2" because of error 0x80041003. Events cannot be delivered through this filter until the problem is corrected.

Good luck.
posted by FrotzOzmoo at 8:44 PM on May 16, 2008

« Older Help Me Research My Curriculum   |   heart health & my new diet Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.