BSOD and other crashings

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BSOD and other crashings

Postby CrackTheSky » Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:38 am

Ok, so I've been having these problems for a while now and it just hit me to come here and post them, to see if I can get any kind of response.

My first problem is this: Ever since I got a flash drive for Christmas (1 GB Geek Squad thing), my computer has at random times been giving me the Blue Screen Of Death (with different error messages each time; the only one I can remember at the moment is IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL) and then restarting. This has never resulted in any loss of data or anything serious like that, it's just been a huge nuisance. Lately it's been happening that whenever I plug the drive into a USB port to put files (usually AMVs that I download to my family computer and have transferred to my own) on my computer, the BSOD pops up the second I pull the drive off. Clearly the USB drive is the problem - my question is, has anyone ever heard of this happening before? Is there any way to fix it without buying another flash drive? WHY is this happening in the first place?

My second problem: This hasn't happened for a while, but mainly because I've learned to predict when it will happen so I can avoid it. Basically, back a while ago (I'm talking like, last November) my computer would randomly shut off when I was doing tasks that I had done many times before without problems, such as rendering out a video file from Vegas. No error/stop messages, no nothing. The screen would just go black, and that was it. I'd turn it on, everything would be fine, and when I tried to render again, it just shut off, again.

Eventually this stopped happening, but started up again, this time while I was playing older games on my computer. In particular, EVERY SINGLE TIME I fired up Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (remember that game?), the computer would shut off, without fail. There was a point where I'd play a turn, have the game auto-save, and in the middle of my next turn it'd just turn off. Start it up again, same thing would happen. Eventually I just gave up. This also happened in Independence War 2.

So I avoided those games. By this time I was suspecting a PSU issue, but I have a 350W PSU, and due to the inconsistencies of the crashings (the computer NEVER shut down when I played games that would take far more horsepower, like Counter-Strike or Call of Duty 2) I concluded that that probably wasn't the issue.

THEN the problem cropped up again, THIS time when I tried encoding a video to .mp4. I tried like four times, and about halfway through each encode the computer would just shut off. One of the other things I had suspected was overheating, so when I restarted my computer I took off the side and pointed a box fan at the interior. Voila, the computer encoded my video fine.

Now, I'm confused because it seems that logically, a game like Alpha Centauri would take far less juice (and, I would assume, would therefore generate less heat) than rendering a video out of Vegas or doing an .mp4 encode, yet the problem was the most persistent there. So I don't know quite what to think, does anyone have any thoughts?

Again, neither of these problems are things I'm worried will end in the deletion of data, they just annoy the hell out of me and I'd like to be able to play the two games in question without fear of my computer just turning itself off for no good reason (especially because there's no nice autosave feature in I-War 2).
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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:50 am

If you have a program that will collect S.M.A.R.T. data from your harddrives, run it and see what it says. If not, grab the program Speedfan, go to the harddrive tab and have peform an analysys on your harddrives. I hav esuspicions, but i'm not entirely sure. I sounds a lot like th ekind of crap i've been dealing with and i've been led to believe that is from a bad HDD.
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Postby post-it » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:59 am

.. its not your USB 1gig; I have many USB 2gig's and this has never happened!

Sounds like you've got some MALware on your HD.
.. MALware ( i.e. a next to impossible program to locate using CMD.exe & SeriveCMD.exe -- NOD32 can slow it down and keep it from doing any damage.)
.... Malware usually comes from Java-2 downloads ... have you noticed that your Internet Privacy is no-longer staying at Medium? ... MALware ... Free Malware remover is available at ^_^ ? microsoft 0_0 ?
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Postby CrackTheSky » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:55 pm

BasharOfTheAges wrote:If you have a program that will collect S.M.A.R.T. data from your harddrives, run it and see what it says. If not, grab the program Speedfan, go to the harddrive tab and have peform an analysys on your harddrives. I hav esuspicions, but i'm not entirely sure. I sounds a lot like th ekind of crap i've been dealing with and i've been led to believe that is from a bad HDD.

I downloaded Speedfan, but it won't let me do the analysis because my computer's not connected to the Internet. Any other ideas?

post-it wrote:.. its not your USB 1gig; I have many USB 2gig's and this has never happened!

I can almost guarantee the flash drive has something to do with it, because this didn't start happening until I started using my flash drive, and the computer will often shut off as soon as I pull the flash drive out of the USB port. Also, the fact that your flash drives haven't harmed your computer proves nothing, as you're probably using flash drives of a totally different brand and clearly a different size. Just because YOU haven't experienced problems does not mean the same kind of hardware can't cause ME issues. Electronics are funny like that.
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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:08 pm

CrackTheSky wrote:
BasharOfTheAges wrote:If you have a program that will collect S.M.A.R.T. data from your harddrives, run it and see what it says. If not, grab the program Speedfan, go to the harddrive tab and have peform an analysys on your harddrives. I hav esuspicions, but i'm not entirely sure. I sounds a lot like th ekind of crap i've been dealing with and i've been led to believe that is from a bad HDD.

I downloaded Speedfan, but it won't let me do the analysis because my computer's not connected to the Internet. Any other ideas?


Ah, I assumed it was connected to the internet... I'm not entirely sure of other programs that are free (or free trials) that would help here though. =/
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Postby 808-buma » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:14 pm

lets see,

1. beg, borrow or buy another USB flash drive and see if inserting / removing that causes it to crash. If not, then you've isolated your problem to that particular flash drive. Maybe the drive comes with some incompatible software on it (like U3 or something) that is causing the problems?

2. maybe do a fresh reinstall of your OS...

3. shrug?
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Postby WC Annihilus » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:22 pm

I would also look into your RAM. Run memtest maybe a few times, see if there are any errors. Now, heat may not be the issue here, but generally you should open up your PC and blow out all the dust every 2-3 months or so (maybe even every month).
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Postby NeoQuixotic » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:28 pm

808-buma wrote:1. beg, borrow or buy another USB flash drive and see if inserting / removing that causes it to crash. If not, then you've isolated your problem to that particular flash drive. Maybe the drive comes with some incompatible software on it (like U3 or something) that is causing the problems?

The flash drive issue might be caused by the U3 software on the drive. Personally, I hate U3. Formating the drive will not get rid of it. You can remove it by downloading the removal tool at http://www.u3.com/uninstall . I've seen it cause freeze ups and other problems before, so get rid of it. However, once its removed you can never put it back on.
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Postby WC Annihilus » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:52 am

It's not only U3, every now and then there's just a general random incompatibility. For example, I got a 1GB stick that causes my system to BSOD whenever I plug it in but it works fine on any other system.
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Postby CrackTheSky » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:28 pm

anubisx00 wrote:
808-buma wrote:1. beg, borrow or buy another USB flash drive and see if inserting / removing that causes it to crash. If not, then you've isolated your problem to that particular flash drive. Maybe the drive comes with some incompatible software on it (like U3 or something) that is causing the problems?

The flash drive issue might be caused by the U3 software on the drive. Personally, I hate U3. Formating the drive will not get rid of it. You can remove it by downloading the removal tool at http://www.u3.com/uninstall . I've seen it cause freeze ups and other problems before, so get rid of it. However, once its removed you can never put it back on.

It DOES have U3. What exactly is U3? I don't think I ever use it...
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Postby post-it » Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:22 pm

... U3 ??? this software is not on/in any of my "Micro Center" sticks ... what does it do ??

.. bet ya you bought-it from the Geek Squad -- right ???
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Postby Kariudo » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:07 pm

IIRC, U3 lets you install programs on the flash drive and use them just like any other file on it (so you could install something like vegas and use it on different computers by simply plugging the flash drive in)
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Postby post-it » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:20 pm

^__^ .. is that how Linux users are making Boot USB's instead of having their Boot systems on their hard drives ... or am I going the wrong direction with this subject ??

the reason I ask is, "I'm trying to find a way to boot from a USB Memory and having the system stay in memory ( for virus's that worm their way into the Start-up ) and ... umm ... if the Boot was on a USB memory chip then the Virus's shouldn't be able to mess with the Registers." ... ? is this making any sense to anybody but me ?

if there is a way to .... 0_o ... just where are the Registry files kept anyways ??

>_< ... too many idea's, soo little information on how things work ... ^_^ .. ó_ò .. ___
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Postby TaranT » Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:39 am

You can't run just any software in the U3 environment. A program has to be written specially for it. More about that here and here.

I do what anubisx00 does: trash it everytime I get a flash drive that has it. It's a waste of space and time for something I don't use, and if I did need it, I'd go with the open-source alternative at PortableApps.

On the original subject, I've had 2-3 problems with random resets over the past few years. What fixed it every time: replacing a RAM card.

As for the USB flash drive, I'd just get a new one. 1GB flash is only $10-$20 these days. (1GB Sandisk MicroCruzer $15 at OfficeMax through July 7)
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