Author Topic: Win 7 BSOD: an educational story  (Read 560 times)

InCreator

  • Posts: 3,168
  • Useless since 2003
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with animation
    • I can help with backgrounds
    • I can help with play testing
Win 7 BSOD: an educational story
« on: 20 Apr 2011, 14:00 »
Bought new machine a while ago. State-of-technology thing, with Intel i7 950, SSD, loads of RAM, etc.
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit included. And for some time it was nice.

Then, basically out of nowhere, I started getting those BSODs... I do something, and suddenly screen goes blue, dumps 12 GB of ram onto disk and says

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
Error 3b.

And restarts. After restart, everything is frozen. Or won't restart at all. Or restarts, works fine for about 2 minutes, and BSODs again. I turn machine off for 5 minutes, and I gain extra minutes before it BSODs again when I turn it on.
Not wanting guarantee repair to relieve me of my machine for weeks or poke around on my hard drives, I tried everything I could to fix it by myself. Googled much, fiddled with BIOS, ran memory tests.
For this particular error, there's no knowledge out there. Best I could find (including microsoft's page) was probable causes: faulty memory, faulty drivers, overheating, IDE conflict, bad jumper settings on some drive

But none seemed to be the cause! Also, it wouldn't explain machine going haywire where none of such things were present.

So I reinstalled Windows. Specifically avoided those thrashy disks computer came with (motherboard drivers, suspicious looking "quick resume" software, etc), because they look quite horrible and unstable to be honest.
A month or so, everything worked fine again.
Until a week ago, I get the BSOD loop again. I am damn sure I haven't installed anything, have no viruses, there should be no reason whatsoever for machine to simply start BSODing like Windows ME. But it did.

And then it finally caught me... while making 140th restart or so, I noticed that before restarting, "applying update 1438 of 7534" flickered on the screen.

Windows Update!!!

After some testing in safe mode, I can confirm that there's something about windows update that trashes machine. It applied updates fine, and for one particular "update", everything crashes. I always knew that going 64-bit means more problems, but never that they would come directly from Microsoft itself.

I turned windows update off. Everything works. No BSODs for 4 days so far. So it crashed because it tried to update and since it crashed, it had to try again and again and again... while I was scratching my head why the hell machine crashes while nothing is going on...

Now, as I mentioned, there's no such story on the internet (as far as google tells) and the only reason for this one to exist is to help whoever falls to the same pit. I doubt it would be many AGSers, but google robots go over AGS too. Because only god knows how much hair I lost trying to solve this one.
« Last Edit: 20 Apr 2011, 14:09 by InCreator »

WHAM

  • Posts: 2,285
  • WHAMGAMES
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with scripting
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
    • I can help with voice acting
    • WHAM worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Win 7 BSOD: an educational story
« Reply #1 on: 20 Apr 2011, 17:06 »
With 64 bit systems its usually a combination of installed software, hardware and a specific update that cause issues like you described here.

What I've seen is that there are a lot more BSOD and other issues with PC's using AMD processors than Intel ones. Why this is, I don't know, but I've seen the issues myself and have heard several people (tech supports from Lexmark, Brother and Asus) admit that drivers and other software have trouble with AMD machines quite often.

I usually recommend that the windows updates (and other sofware updates, such as Java and especially Adobe sotware) be set to manual and be manually done on a weekly basis. This way it is easier to detect when an update is causing issues and it is possible to rollback the updates using system state restore from safe mode.
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU