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The Spam Thread!
I had a bit of a scare with Pearl today.

I was just about done converting an audio tape with Audition, and before I wanted to save it I decided to check a few Internet things out. While I was switching programs via the taskbar, the system suddenly freezes. I let it sit there to see if the CPU just spiked or if any errors would come up. The hard drive light was still blinking on occasion, so something was still going. Five minutes later, a BSOD shows up indicating "DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION". I press reset on the tower, and while trying to reboot, the motherboard beeps several times in quick order, though I didn't keep track of just how many beeps. After the beeps, the system rebooted and started up though with video appearing only after Windows started, and it took a real long time to load.

I was researching the stop code and the analysis of a BSOD memory dump viewer, and apparently the error was caused by a display driver component, nvlddmkm.sys. I decided to uninstall the current driver, clean up leftovers using DDU, and reinstall the latest driver. (I know DDU can uninstall drivers by itself, but I just use the Nvidia uninstallers combined with DDU in safe mode to be.... safe.)

Pearl is back up and she's running Unigine Heaven benchmark. It's been going for over a half hour now and so far, no crashes or freezes, the fans kick in as expected, and the GPU temperature is a steady 73 to 75 degrees C. No artifacting observed.

Let's hope it's just the display driver having a fit and not something more serious. Searching the driver file and the STOP code on Google reveals many people running into this in many different situations, whether it be playing a game for a long time or just browsing the web.

With Windows 10 becoming a rolling release, driver issues like this may become more common.
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(05-24-2017, 11:19 AM)cpd2009 Wrote: I had a bit of a scare with Pearl today.

I was just about done converting an audio tape with Audition, and before I wanted to save it I decided to check a few Internet things out. While I was switching programs via the taskbar, the system suddenly freezes. I let it sit there to see if the CPU just spiked or if any errors would come up. The hard drive light was still blinking on occasion, so something was still going. Five minutes later, a BSOD shows up indicating "DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION". I press reset on the tower, and while trying to reboot, the motherboard beeps several times in quick order, though I didn't keep track of just how many beeps. After the beeps, the system rebooted and started up though with video appearing only after Windows started, and it took a real long time to load.

I was researching the stop code and the analysis of a BSOD memory dump viewer, and apparently the error was caused by a display driver component, nvlddmkm.sys. I decided to uninstall the current driver, clean up leftovers using DDU, and reinstall the latest driver. (I know DDU can uninstall drivers by itself, but I just use the Nvidia uninstallers combined with DDU in safe mode to be.... safe.)

Pearl is back up and she's running Unigine Heaven benchmark. It's been going for over a half hour now and so far, no crashes or freezes, the fans kick in as expected, and the GPU temperature is a steady 73 to 75 degrees C. No artifacting observed.

Let's hope it's just the display driver having a fit and not something more serious. Searching the driver file and the STOP code on Google reveals many people running into this in many different situations, whether it be playing a game for a long time or just browsing the web.

With Windows 10 becoming a rolling release, driver issues like this may become more common.
Here's hoping it's just a fluke or something. Nvidia's been criticised lately for their flaky drivers, hence why I tend to hold out on older driver revisions until I get some assurance that the latest build is deemed stable.
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Well, shoot. I turned on Pearl this morning when I woke up after shutting her down the previous night as normal. But, the same DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION error appeared right at boot. This time, there was no driver listed in the Blue Screen Viewer. Unlike last time though, there was no beeping from the motherboard, though I pressed the power button instead of reset this time.

I was talking with Blake on FB, and he suspects it could be a hardware problem. There is that possibility, but I need to go through some more troubleshooting steps before I can confirm that. I can say that the errors started happening after I reinstalled Avast AV as I gave Avira a try and it didn't impress me. Searching the web indicates that this specific STOP code can be anything from hardware issues to software problems.

Here is my plan. I will back up my data and reinstall Windows using the latest ISO image. I was going to do a reset, but I need to have a fresh install. Pearl's Windows install has been getting a bit bogged down lately too, so there is a chance of a software conflict going on. Only way to tell is to reinstall, set things back up and see if the blue screens keep happening.

If it ends up being a hardware problem, how can one find out just what piece of hardware it is? I can easily perform a RAM test, but if the blue screens continue, it could either be the CPU or motherboard. I may end up replacing the board while in fact the CPU is the culprit. Cost is another issue. I had to save up over the course of nearly two months to get the necessary parts to build Pearl. I am trying to save money for other things, and it would be a real pain if I would have to either RMA whatever part is failing, or just get a new board or CPU.

That is why I am hoping it's not a hardware problem. There is one way to find out. I will let you know how things turn out in the end.
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Windows is reinstalled on Pearl, and so are my usual assortment of programs and apps.

Some changes will come into affect this time around.

Contrary to my normal procedures regarding display drivers, I decided to use the Windows Update drivers for the 750Ti. It gave me driver version 378.78, and it seems to be stable. I already tested Fire Strike in 3DMark, but stress tests are behind a paywall. I will use Unigine Valley for the stress test.
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So far, so good. I turned on Pearl this morning, and no blue screen errors. In fact, no blue screens have appeared at all.

I need to wait at least a month before I can consider the problem solved. There is a chance the issue may return, but it's off to a good start so far.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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(05-26-2017, 09:39 AM)cpd2009 Wrote: So far, so good. I turned on Pearl this morning, and no blue screen errors. In fact, no blue screens have appeared at all.

I need to wait at least a month before I can consider the problem solved. There is a chance the issue may return, but it's off to a good start so far.

Not even a POST beep or two?
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My system has been running 'swell since Windows was reinstalled. The motherboard hasn't been giving any POST beeps either, a good sign.

Later on, I plan on dusting out the interior with an air duster, and replacing the DVD-RW drive. The current one works fine, but the tray keeps getting stuck every now and then, which is annoying. Old Patsy has a good DVD-RW drive I can use instead.
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I believe I may have found the culprit of the random system errors...

Bugs. Literally. My room is in the basement, which does get it's share of little critters from time to time, among them, pill bugs. Some pill bugs managed to find a place to hide in my system, and they were all dead. I found them while preparing to dust out Pearl's components. There is a chance said bugs may have caused a momentary short during those BSOD episodes. Ever since getting those out and making sure there weren't any more bugs hiding, no errors or BSODs have occurred.

It's just a theory, but it's entirely possible. I can't really move my system to another spot since I'm very limited as to where I can go at the moment.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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It's been a while since someone made a post here, so let me just break the ice. Wink
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Well, I'll break the ice further with some stuff.

First of all, buying games can be a chore, especially if a game you are looking for is available on a digital platform like the Nintendo eShop. I want to play Metroid Prime Trilogy, a collection of all three Metroid Prime games released into one collection for the original Wii. Two editions were released, a bog-standard VanillaEdition featuring the game in a standard Wii case, or the Collectors Edition, with a fancy tin case and things like an art book and fancy slipcover. The price of the VanillaEdition ranges from $35 to $60 USD on eBay or Amazon. The Collectors Tin? Well, CrackIsCheaper. All results for the collectors edition on eBay are above $100, some even coming close to $300 for a brand new sealed copy.

What is the price on the Wii U eShop? $19.99.

It seems obvious that I should just go for the $19.99 eShop release since I have the hard drive to store the game, yet it's not that easy to choose. Come to think of it, the prices for the VanillaEdition aren't horrible, but only slightly lower than a brand new $60 game. The collectors tin is nice, but perhaps it's a bit out of my league. I may also end up finding a used copy of the game in the wild for a lower price.

In some good news, I have started making steps on securing my own place to live. I have been living out of my parents house since college, and I feel the time is right to pursue true independent living outside of my Podunk town in the middle of nowhere. I don't know when the move will materialize, but it will be a great day once it does happen. A lot of things need to be done before that time comes, and I will have to quit my current jobs eventually, but in the end it will be worth it, I believe. Wink
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