unexpected crashes

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by davidg1, Jul 23, 2007.

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  1. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    Hi
    I am trying to isolate what may cause my system to crash, they occur without any warning, any time, while working or if the computer is standing by?
    As you know this is a sure way to reach the insanity status.
    I have gone thru the "usual suspects" including new winxp install,cleanup all but the basic startup prgms and services, increase ram, new power supply.
    Looking at what is left as active prgms are now Acronis, firewall,antivirus.
    Wonder if anybody has linked AT to this, certainly not blaming it, just trying to figure what.
    System
    EMachine T2862
    WinXP home with sp2
    Ram 1.5GB
    HD rotate several WD
    10.0 (build 4,871)
    Antivirus: Avast, now AVG no changes
    Any comments appreciated
    David
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Flaky hard drive or memory? Run chkdsk /r for the hard drive and memtest for the memory.
     
  3. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    thank you
    all checks OK, besides,I have tried 3 different HD's, thinking may be was having trouble but no luck.
    It seems is a question of conflict between prgms? shared dll?,and is certainly a frustrating task,
    thanks again
    David
     
  4. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    If you uninstall these programs and run with just the basic windows install do you still have a problem?
     
  5. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Have you run any diagnostics on the motherboard?
    It does sound more likely to be a hardware problem rather than software.

    Xpilot
     
  6. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    Thomas
    "If you uninstall these programs and run with just the basic windows install do you still have a problem?"

    Have run a basic win setup and is fine, then over the course of 2 months rebuilt my most basic needed prgms, and 3 months later having the same problems again, but cannot pinpoint any prgm as it seems started several weeks after the last pgm was added.
    Is not like after the last prgm added started again, THAT WILL BE TOOOOO EASY FOR MY SANITY.
    thanks for your interest.

    XPilot.
    that is something not yet done and was thinking about the BIOS and motherboard, 2 things, one not sure what tests to do and second have some chill feeling going thinking about making changes on my Bio
    Any suggestion
    thank you
    David
     
  7. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    Forgot, started this thread on the tenuous hope somebody might have encountered a conflict between ATI and other prgms.
     
  8. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    One more thing, same computer, same motherboard, remove HD with wnxp. replace with HD with Ubuntu, no problems, that might ruleout a motherboard problem?
    David
     
  9. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    Did you run memtest for several hours (overnight) with no errors? A short run may not find memory errors.
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    davidg1,

    These kinds of problems can be extremely hard to figure out as the time before they appear is so long.

    What exactly do you mean by crash? Does the computer lock-up, blue-screen, etc.?

    How do you know it crashes when it's in Standby mode? Does it just not wake up?

    Have you checked the temperature of your computer? Internal temp, MB temp, CPU temp, etc. Are they all within allowed specs?

    Have you run Ubuntu for 2 or 3 months steady to see if any wierd problems start showing up?

    If your clean install of Windows seems to fix everything for a while, then I'd suspect a software/driver/program conflict is causing the problem. It may or may not have anything to do with TI.

    Also, as suggested by Tom, run MemTest at least overnight (if you haven't).

    ----

    As a test, you may want to consider the following:

    Start with a clean working system. Reinstall Windows, install your programs, etc. Then create a complete drive image of the "clean" computer. Continue using the computer until the problems start to show up. Then create another backup image (to preserve the "unstable" state) and restore the previous "clean" image.

    When you boot back up see if the system is stable. Windows will undoubtedly want to install new updates, anti-virus programs will need to update, etc. Let them update and run the computer. How does it work? Is it stable or is it doing the same things?

    If the computer is unstable, then you may want to do the "clean" restore again, only this time don't do any updates. Just run the computer for while and see what happens.

    If the computer is stable, and seems to be running fine, then restore the previous "unstable" image and run it. Is the system now unstable again?

    If the crashes are more or less random and don't happen frequently (once they start) then this procedure will probably not work as it would require a lot of run-time to trace out the culprit.
     
  11. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    MudCrab's Avatar
    MudCrab MudCrab is online now

    Q
    What exactly do you mean by crash? Does the computer lock-up, blue-screen, etc.?
    A
    Just shutdown and restarts

    Q
    How do you know it crashes when it's in Standby mode? Does it just not wake up?
    A
    When I return find the computer on the login/password screen like just booted

    Q
    Have you checked the temperature of your computer? Internal temp, MB temp, CPU temp, etc. Are they all within allowed specs?
    Q
    Have you run Ubuntu for 2 or 3 months steady to see if any wierd problems start showing up?
    A yes
    .

    Q
    If your clean install of Windows seems to fix everything for a while, then I'd suspect a software/driver/program conflict is causing the problem. It may or may not have anything to do with TI.
    A
    correct

    Q
    Also, as suggested by Tom, run MemTest at least overnight (if you haven't).
    A
    will do

    ----

    As a test, you may want to consider the following:

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Start with a clean working system. Reinstall Windows, install your programs, etc. Then create a complete drive image of the "clean" computer. Continue using the computer until the problems start to show up. Then create another backup image (to preserve the "unstable" state) and restore the previous "clean" image.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Done
    =============================================
    When you boot back up see if the system is stable. Windows will undoubtedly want to install new updates, anti-virus programs will need to update, etc. Let them update and run the computer. How does it work? Is it stable or is it doing the same things?
    ==================================================
    yes
    ===================================================
    If the computer is unstable, then you may want to do the "clean" restore again, only this time don't do any updates. Just run the computer for while and see what happens.
    =======================================================
    done
    will work just fine
    the problem will take some time to reappear
    ===============================================

    If the computer is stable, and seems to be running fine, then restore the previous "unstable" image and run it. Is the system now unstable again?
    YES
    ================================================
    If the crashes are more or less random and don't happen frequently (once they start) then this procedure will probably not work as it would require a lot

    AND THAT IS THE FRUSTRATING PART

    Oh well, in the absence of any obvious evidence that ATI is having a conflict will go ahead with memtest as suggested but do not place much hope on it, will help anyways as a ruleout.

    thank you all
    David

    __________________
    How to Create an Acronis Bootable USB Hard Disk
     
  12. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    Right Click on My Computer, Select Properties. Click on the Advanced tab, Under Startup and Recovery Click on Settings. Under System Failure Un-check the option for Automatic Restart. This will force a BSOD. Post the exact message that appears on the screen when this happens.
     

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  13. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    Tom,
    done, will now have to wait until a failure right?

    David
     
  14. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    David, the memtest usually has to be run over a number of hours. I've seen some users say 4 hours, before errors show up.

    Another thing to try, if you have more than one stick of memory, is to remove one and run the system like that for a while to see if you get the restart.

    Oh, have you checked for viruses? I seem to remember one which caused unexplained restarts.
     
  15. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    DwnNdrty

    "David, the memtest usually has to be run over a number of hours. I've seen some users say 4 hours, before errors show up."

    will let it run tonite
    =====================================================
    Q
    Another thing to try, if you have more than one stick of memory, is to remove one and run the system like that for a while to see if you get the restart.
    A: right, the thing is I added the second stick because of these failures, but nevertheless is a valid point and will do.
    ======================================================
    Q
    Oh, have you checked for viruses? I seem to remember one which caused unexplained restarts.
    A: yes, in fact have run both AV (one at a time) full scan, plus adware, spyware etc, I believe to be clean.

    Appreciate your comments
    David
     
  16. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    davidg1,

    If you do a run test (use the system normally) with just one stick, you might want to use the new one. Since you left the old one in the computer, if it was causing any problems adding the other one wouldn't change anything (except give you more memory, of course).

    In any case, you should know after running memtest overnight with both sticks. If you get any errors, then rerun with just the new stick.
     
  17. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    Excellent point, will let it run.
    PS
    I installed memtest today and according with their instructions, am running it with 64 as opposed all available ram, will that be your understanding?
    They base this recommendation on otherwise the system be bogged down.
    David
     
  18. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    Right.
     
  19. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    thank you Tom
    David
     
  20. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you run memtest by booting from the cd, then it should be checking ALL of your memory. If it's only checking part of it, then the test isn't going to do much good.
     
  21. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    well
    will log off and use the all available ram
    Thank you again and have a great evening
    David
     
  22. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    DwnNdrty and MudCrab

    Well,Memtest ran all night on All available Memory and today has a report of no failures, this is good and again points to a software conflict, also since yesterday I have disabled all services and start up ATI, the computer ran all nite at max resources and did not crash, may be a coincidence, time will tell.
    Thanks for all your help and ideas.
    David
     
  23. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi David

    One thing you can do is set your system to create minidumps when it crashes. Then if you can find a kind soul who can analyse them for you that might help pinpoint the source of the crash. I wish I could help on the analysis but unfortunately I can't.

    Pete
     
  24. davidg1

    davidg1 Registered Member

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    Pete
    thank you for your notes
    David
     
  25. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    I would still bet on it being a motherboard problem. I cannot recommend any testing hardware or software because I have never used either but both exist in several forms.
    The main reasons for me sticking to this idea is the fact that there were complete power downs some of which happened when the computer was idle. A neighbour with the same e-machines computer had exactly the same symptons. After the motherboard was tested at a service centre it was found to be faulty. No more problems since.

    Xpilot
     
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