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PC - Dell Studio XPS with Vista.

This would, quite rarely, give a BSOD - which as you probaly know can be, to put it mildly, a bit "annoying".

I upgraded to Win7, partly in the hope of fixing this. It didn't.

I now get either a BSOD, a spontaneous reboot or a freeze/lockup two or three times a week.

I have Zone Alarm, Avast and MalwareBytes installed. So I don't think that I have a software problem.

It occurs to me that a commonality is the RAM. Could that be the problem ?

Should I remove/reseat it ?

I have six slots, with 1Gb of RAM in the first four.

My system reports "4Gb" of memory installed ... but only 3Gb as usable !

Should I risk rummaging in the BIOS (a place a rarely go) to look at the remapping chipset options ? Any guidance there ?


Thanks in advance.

Graham

:O)

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Last Post by benmar
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there are a number of 'soak' type memory testing programs and it might be worth trying one of these... memtest used to be one but I expect google might find one. They do a continuous testing by read write ops and can show up dead or dying memory.
M

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there are a number of 'soak' type memory testing programs and it might be worth trying one of these... memtest used to be one but I expect google might find one. They do a continuous testing by read write ops and can show up dead or dying memory.
M

I did do a search for memory testing programs and found this one (amongst others).

They all seemed to be pretty tricky to use, downloading archives, unzipping, burning ISOs to CDs etc. I just wanted a "simple" windows program that I could run :o(

I also think that, if there is a RAM problem at all, it only only causes my PC to freeze/lockup once every "tens of hours" (or more) of PC use. So unless I run a test program for tens of hours (or more) then it may not experience the problem.

I am quite happy to buy new RAM (and I'll increase the amount whilst I'm at it !) but I'll be annoyed if it doesn't stop my freezes and lockups.

So my question is simply ... can "dodgy" RAM modules cause my occasional BSDOs, freezes and lockups ?

Regards

Graham

:O)

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many things can cause BSOD. Software clash, processor failure, memory failure , addressing chips failure etc. Unfortunately to do a full memory test the computer has to be in a state where only the memory test is running (and not windows etc) Hence the need to do the test via a cd etc so that it start the machine does the test and then can go on from there!
If you can try swapping memory with another machine it might give an indication.
M

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My system reports "4Gb" of memory installed ... but only 3Gb as usable !

You must have a 32bit operating system. A 64bit system will recognise 4Gb+ of RAM.

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You must have a 32bit operating system. A 64bit system will recognise 4Gb+ of RAM.

I do have a 64bit system.

My system reports "4Gb" of memory installed ... but only 3Gb as usable !

Regards

Graham

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hi bsod viewer will show content of bsod logs save on your computer ,it will show devices responcible for the bsod .
post results here if you wish for use to have a look at .
download and runs program .download link is near the bottom of the page
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html

Excellent utility ! Thanks. At last I can "do something" with the BSOD info !

It seems that 99.9% of my BSODs are caused by an "UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP" with the finger pointing at ntoskrnl.exe.

But does this mean anything other than the fact that Windows has crashed ?

FWIW the "from" memory address is always similar. It always starts "fffff800" and then usually goes on with "'032" with the last five digits being a bit more variable (but spookily often endingding "bc").

There is also a "caused by address" wihch is usually "ntoskrnl.exe+70600" but the last number can sometimes be 70740 or 71f00.


Does this mean anything to anyone ?

Cheers

Graham

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Try this:

Go to Start > Run and type in msconfig and hit OK.

Go to the boot Tab and then advanced options.

Untick the Max Memory box, OK out and then hit the apply button.

After a reboot, see how it is.

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Try this:

Go to Start > Run and type in msconfig and hit OK.

Go to the boot Tab and then advanced options.

Untick the Max Memory box, OK out and then hit the apply button.

After a reboot, see how it is.

That's interesting - and sounds harmless.

I've tried it.

Now my PC simply reports "4Gb RAM" with no further comment about "usable RAM".

What have I done ?!?

Are there any downsides ?

Surely this hasn't fixed my BSOD problem - it couldn't possibly be so simple, could it ?

Cheers

Graham

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That's interesting - and sounds harmless.

I've tried it.

Now my PC simply reports "4Gb RAM" with no further comment about "usable RAM".

What have I done ?!?

Are there any downsides ?

Surely this hasn't fixed my BSOD problem - it couldn't possibly be so simple, could it ?

Cheers

Graham

you need to find out whats causing your bsod first ,you just assuming its the ram .go back to my other post and get bsod viewer

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you need to find out whats causing your bsod first ,you just assuming its the ram .go back to my other post and get bsod viewer

???

I did !

The first thing I did when I read your excellent reply was to get the BSOD app, run it and report back with the results.

I can't see post numbers in this forum, but it's four or five postings back.


I'm not "just assuming its the ram" ... otherwise I would have simply bought and installed new RAM by now !

Cheers

Graham

:O)

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My son's Dell was getting BSOD with increasing frequency. I eventually tracked it down to his hard drive which was failing. We didn't suspect this at first because the drive was only a few months old but when we ran SpinRite it identified problem areas. When we replaced the drive his problems stopped.

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OP here.

I've been quiet because shortly after my last post I opened up the PC to investigate the RAM.

I wanted to know if I could find it, access it and remove it.

It turned out to be very easy indeed. So, as a sort of dry run for a replacement/upgrade, I removed each of the four banks of RAM and then re-inserted them.

I discovered that they are very firmly mounted with a sort of lever at each end. This left me feeling that a "bad connection" was just about impossible. If they were in, they were in ... they simply couldn't be "badly seated" or not pushed fully in.

So I thought that my first theory was nonesense.

However ...

In the several weeks that have elapsed since then I have not seen one single freeze, lock-up, crash, spontaneous re-boot or difficulty in normal booting. Contrast this with almost daily occurences before then.

So some element of "flaky behaviour" must surely be down to the RAM.

After over a week of totally perfect behaviour I had a BSOD :o(

I can now see that I get a BSOD about once per week - always with the same unhelpful (to me) comment from BlueScreenView that it is a failure in NTKernel&System.

I have ordered some new RAM and am awaiting it. I intend to replace all of the current RAM (4x1Gb) with the new (2x4Gb) and see what happens over the course of a month.

If it gets no better, I'll put the old RAM in the spare slots (so at least I'll have upped the RAM to 12Gb !).

If it does get better, then I'll put half of the old RAM back in and see if it stays OK. Then I'll try the other half, then all.

By a process of elimination I hope to find all of the banks that work OK and maximise the RAM in the PC.

Regards

Graham

:O)

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PC - Dell Studio XPS with Vista.

reports "4Gb" of memory installed ... but only 3Gb as usable !

when you right click on mycomputer /properties,does it say windows vista 64bit,
also do you have onboard or a addin video card

Edited by caperjack: n/a

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