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Many many blue screens...

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#1
I upgraded to Vista Ultimate a couple of days ago, from my XP SP2 installation, by doing a reformat and going from scratch. I've been having some trouble running games. I've been playing Portal, specifically. It seems to happen at convenient times, so I'm struggling to pinpoint the exact cause, but I can't help thinking it's my video card.

eg. If I open up the game, then as the company logos appear (Valve, etc.) I click my mouse once, the game appears to minimize, then reappear as a black window, then minimize, and keep doing this for a while until 'hl2.exe stops working'. If I leave it, or press 'Esc' instead of clicking, it goes to the menu fine.
Then, if I try to load a map, when I double click on it, I more often than not get a blue screen. I've had the following blue screens:

- PFN_LIST_CORRUPT
- IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL 0x0000000A
- One without a specific message: 0x0000007F

Now doing some research, a lot of people appear to get these messages due to faulty RAM, but I've memtested this RAM a few times through and have had no errors whatsoever. It's good quality RAM aswell.

I've tried the 3 most recent ATI Catalyst driver versions, and they appear to make a difference, but no solution. ie. I install an older version, and it may work, but then give me a new blue screen. Chances are that's just coincidence.

I have a feeling it's a problem with my video card itself, so was just looking for opinions or guidance. Sucks if it is, as I just got this card RMA'd a few months ago, and the one they sent me was supposedly brand new (chances are it was just refurbished though).
 
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#2
Is HL2 up to date? I remember trying to play it when I installed Vista 64 and it gave me character AI failed to load or a BSOD. Solved by updating Steam, Source, Catalyst Drivers, and the game.
 
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#3
I had a similar thing a few months ago i updated my gpu drivers and havnt had a bsod since give that a try id say.
 
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#4
I've had the exact sam issue and it drove me mental, I would just get random BSODs at random times. At first I thought it was my overclock so I ran it at stock and got the exaxct same thing "IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL" BSOD. I got paranoid and thought it was a defective stick of RAM or something like that, I ran memtest and it passed, so it wasnt the RAM. I finally got so sick that I reinstalled vista and started again from scratch. At first it was all working fine again, I was installing drivers and apps one by one to see which gave me the BSOD. And I finally narrowed it down to my modem driver. Whenever I started Vista it autoloaded a little program that came iwth my modem drivers called "DSLMON" and it was the cause of my BSODs. I was so happy/relieved when I found out that it wasn't faulty hardware.

I think you should go through your drivers for modem, sound card etc and disbale them and see if you can narrow it down to the cause. It does sound like a driver issue/conflict somewhere and hopefully my experience should save you a lot of hassle and worries.

:toast:
 

Mussels

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#5
those errors you listed are memory errors.

I know the board you have, make sure the bios is updated to the latest, make sure the chipset drivers are installed (via 4 in 1, or hyperion whatever they call it now) and finally, MANUALLY set the ram settings in the BIOS. the automatic settings are terrible on that mobo.
 
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#6
Wow, you guys are insanely quick to respond! I'll try what Mussels suggested. I didn't install any drivers for the motherboard, as my system worked without them, but I'll chuck them on now. I updated the BIOS to the latest version yesterday, so I'll jump in there and check out the memory settings. What exactly do I need to set?

If I have no luck with that, then I'll slowly run through my devices.
 

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#7
Wow, you guys are insanely quick to respond! I'll try what Mussels suggested. I didn't install any drivers for the motherboard, as my system worked without them, but I'll chuck them on now. I updated the BIOS to the latest version yesterday, so I'll jump in there and check out the memory settings. What exactly do I need to set?

If I have no luck with that, then I'll slowly run through my devices.
the timings and speed of your ram will be labelled on the ram, most likely. If not, download CPU-Z and test with that - the SPD tab will say what your ram is capable of.

The main problems i had with the board was it would always set the ram too fast, or too slow (800MHz ram ended up at 533MHz, and 667MHz ram was at 675) - one caused it to run slow, the other caused it to crash.
 
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#8
Ok, so here's my screens from CPU-Z:



The only options I have for DRAM Frequency in my BIOS are:
- Auto
- 266 MHz
- 333 MHz
Judging by my value on the RAM page of CPU-Z I should be choosing 266, but can you just verify this for me? Only other values I could see that I could set were the CAS Latency (not sure whether that should be left at auto, or set to 3 or 5), and the Command Rate (Which can be auto, 1T or 2T).

Sorry for my lack of RAM knowledge. First time for everything!
 

Mussels

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#9
command rate should be 2T

The other ones, yo choose the highest that matches. In this case, 333.

Your memory timings for 333Mhz are 4-5-5-13

because you have OCZ ram, i'd turn the voltages up a little - you may have numbers (1.8v and up) or 'low, medium high' etc. let me know what options you have there - at the very least, have it one notch above normal (so normal or high, or 1.9v/2.0v if you have that)

edit: the first pic you have says you were running at 256 (NOT 266, see i said it chose weird numbers) 3-4-4-10
 
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#10
I have Low, Normal or High. I tried it on High, but it stopped my computer from booting altogether, telling me that windows files were corrupt. Wouldn't let me boot my Vista CD either. So I pushed it back to Normal and it boots fine.

As for those timing settings, I can't find the appropriate spots to put them, unless their names are just different in my BIOS. I have a 'CAS Latency' field, so I can stick '4' in there no problems. The other fields I have and their possible values are:

  • DRAM Bank Interleave
    • Auto
    • Disabled
    • 2-Way
    • 4-Way
    • 8-Way
  • Precharge to Active (Trp)
    • Auto
    • 2T
    • 3T
    • 4T
    • 5T
  • Active to Precharge (Tras)
    • Auto
    • 5T
    • 6T
    • 7T
    • 8T
    • 9T
    • 10T
    • 11T
    • 12T
  • Active to CMD (Trcd)
    • Auto
    • 2T
    • 3T
    • 4T
    • 5T
  • REF to ACT/REF to REF (Trfc)
    • Auto
    • 8T
    • 9T
    • 10T
    • 11T
    • 12T
    • 13T
    • 14T
    • 15T
  • ACT(0) to ACT(1) (Trrd)
    • Auto
    • 2T
    • 3T
    • 4T
    • 5T
  • Read to Precharge (Trtp)
    • Auto
    • 2T
    • 3T
  • Write to Read CMD (Twtr)
    • Auto
    • 2T
    • 3T
  • Write Recovery Time (Twr)
    • Auto
    • 2T
    • 3T
    • 4T
    • 5T
 

Mussels

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#11
look at CPU-Z and it has names for them all. if they arent in CPUZ leave them on auto.

cas latency = CL
ras to cas = RtC

look for abbreviations, just get as many as close as you can without any guesswork.
 
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#12
Alrighty, well the only one on there that matches is CAS Latency, so I'll leave the others alone. Thanks a million for your help. I had a quick test run before and everything went smoothly, but I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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#13
tras is in CPUZ and the list you made, as well.
 
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#14
Just letting you know that I haven't had a blue screen once since doing all this, so I'd say it fixed my problem :)
Thanks very much for all your help!
 

Mussels

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#15
no probs bubbles, now enjoy a shiny stable vista :)