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Posted: 1/21/2011 5:06:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2011 1:55:05 PM EDT by --bullseye--]
I've been getting a lot of BSODs recently. One of the common error messages is "KERNAL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR".

My computer is about 3.5 years old. It's a Gateway GM5474 (Vista) with 2GB of RAM. I've haven't added any RAM or changed anything else (to be honest the seal is still on the back of the computer- this thing has NEVER given me problems up until now).

I've run Avast anti-virus, so I'm not really thinking virus at the moment. One possibility for this kind of error I found online was failing RAM. What's a good, safe way to test that?

Any other theories?

ETA: I've used the Western Digital software to test for bad sectors on my HD, but it passed that.

Still haven't gotten the computer working reliably. It was to the point today where it would start up, Windows would load, I would just be getting to the desktop, and as soon as I clicked on something it would freeze up. Had to manually power it down twice.

After doing this, I unplugged the SATA cable going from the HD to the motherboard and plugged the cable into a different SATA port right next to it (there's 4 total SATA ports on the motherboard, but they're one right next to the other). This allows me to start up the computer and sometimes run it for a few hours, but it will always lock up again eventually. I've switched the cable to all of the 4 different SATA ports, and while it does seem to help for a while, it eventually locks up again.

This seems really weird to me. How would just switching SATA ports help for a period of time, but then eventually fail again? You would think if they were bad it would just be all bad or working fine. Is a gradual SATA port failure possible? I get problems when plugged into any 4 of the ports eventually. Wondering if the section of the motherboard where the SATA ports are located is failing.

Do you think buying a $10 PCI SATA card would be worthwhile, or a total waste? It would come with a new SATA cable too. Wondering if this would have a chance at fixing this if it is the SATA ports on my MB that are going bad. Or am I completely on the wrong track here?
Link Posted: 1/21/2011 5:08:16 AM EDT
There is a program called "memtest86", it will let you know if ram is the culprit.
Link Posted: 1/21/2011 5:08:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2011 5:09:58 AM EDT by RDak]
Take out each bank of RAM, and reboot.........is each RAM module 1GB?

(Also, there's a pecking order in the RAM slots.......make sure you always have one in the "primary" RAM slot.....unless this has changed recently.)
Link Posted: 1/21/2011 5:09:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/21/2011 5:18:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2011 5:18:30 AM EDT by PinPointOne]
download whocrashed it will decipher your crash dump files and point you in the right direction.

http://www.resplendence.com/whocrashed
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 12:21:07 AM EDT
OK I'm running memtest86 on the first of two 1GB sticks of RAM right now. 2 'passes' complete and no errors yet. Probably just going to let it run until the morning. Then I'll switch out to the other stick (it's probably likely that just one stick would be bad, right?...could just one bad sticks out of two cause the BSOD?).

To be honest, I'm kind of hoping this is the problem. It would be something like a $35 fix for two new 1GB sticks of RAM. If this testing doesn't turn up any problems with the RAM I don't really know what to do next...I guess I'll know more by tomorrow once all the memory testing is done.
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 12:29:24 AM EDT
In my experience random BSODs are usually caused by RAM, Video card (overheating, usually), or PSU or CPU overheating due to dead fan or clogged filters/inlets/heatsinks.
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 12:29:39 AM EDT
Remove and reseat the ram cards. If it ends up being sour ram go buy some cheap ones at newegg or fry's, or hell, go on ebay. tons of cheap ram available bc someone wanted to upgrade their new laptop
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 9:37:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2011 9:39:09 AM EDT by --bullseye--]
Well, I ran memtest86 on one stick for about 6 hours and got nothing. Still running it on the second stick, been going for about 3.5 hours. Still not seeing any errors on that one either. Will let it run until this evening probably, but I doubt it will find anything.

I'll probably put both sticks of RAM back in, clean out the dust in the case very carefully, and run the computer for a little while to see if the problem turns up again (I fear it probably will).

What would be a good next step then if I get another BSOD? Does the HD have a bad sector? (that's one theory I got with some Google searching)...

I've got to get an external HD pretty soon to back up some of my files...then reinstalling Windows and doing a full format on the HD would be an option. Don't know if that would do anything? Is there a simpler solution that might fix this before resorting to that?

Just wish that desktop PC would have made it through my college career without going bonkers...if I end up having to type all my papers for my last semester on this dinky old Windows XP laptop I'm using right now it's going to be painful.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 1:54:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2011 2:03:01 PM EDT by --bullseye--]
Bump for opinions.

Copy of OP update:

I've used the Western Digital software to test for bad sectors on my HD, but it passed that.

Still haven't gotten the computer working reliably. It was to the point today where it would start up, Windows would load, I would just be getting to the desktop, and as soon as I clicked on something it would freeze up. Had to manually power it down twice.

After doing this, I unplugged the SATA cable going from the HD to the motherboard and plugged the cable into a different SATA port right next to it (there's 4 total SATA ports on the motherboard, but they're one right next to the other). This allows me to start up the computer and sometimes run it for a few hours, but it will always lock up again eventually. I've switched the cable to all of the 4 different SATA ports, and while it does seem to help for a while, it eventually locks up again.

This seems really weird to me. How would just switching SATA ports help for a period of time, but then eventually fail again? You would think if they were bad it would just be all bad or working fine. Is a gradual SATA port failure possible? I get problems when plugged into any 4 of the ports eventually. Wondering if the section of the motherboard where the SATA ports are located is failing.

Do you think buying a $10 PCI SATA card would be worthwhile, or a total waste? It would come with a new SATA cable too. Wondering if this would have a chance at fixing the problem if it is the SATA ports on my MB that are going bad. Or am I completely on the wrong track here?
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 2:19:43 PM EDT
Try reloading windows.
If you haven't, make sure all the dust is cleaned out.
Make sure all the fans work. (If not, something has probably overheated and been damaged)
If you've not done so, run it with one stick of ram, then the other. Memtest may not have found a problem, even though one exists.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 2:22:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ceverett:
Try reloading windows.
If you haven't, make sure all the dust is cleaned out.
Make sure all the fans work. (If not, something has probably overheated and been damaged)
If you've not done so, run it with one stick of ram, then the other. Memtest may not have found a problem, even though one exists.

I forgot to mention that I did end up reinstalling Windows a few days ago. Didn't remember if I had posted that or not.

I've cleaned it out with canned air. Will double check all the fans.

Will have to try just running it with one stick of RAM. I've been reading and it sounds like memtest doesn't always catch everything. I guess I have another project for tonight.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 2:50:11 PM EDT
Have you updated any hardware, firmware, or drivers lately? After your reload did you make sure all of your drivers were up to date? I was running into the same problem with my desktop that I had a Linksys pci wireless card in. I had updated the driver for the card and then started running into persistent BSODs. Removed the card and no more problems. I still need to revert the driver for it but haven't gotten around to it.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 5:27:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2011 5:28:48 PM EDT by --bullseye--]

Originally Posted By fathead302:
Have you updated any hardware, firmware, or drivers lately? After your reload did you make sure all of your drivers were up to date? I was running into the same problem with my desktop that I had a Linksys pci wireless card in. I had updated the driver for the card and then started running into persistent BSODs. Removed the card and no more problems. I still need to revert the driver for it but haven't gotten around to it.


Ran Windows update after the reinstall, so Vista should be up to date. Got the new driver for my video card downloaded and installed too. It has a TV tuner in there too, along with the other standard stuff. I'll have to snoop around for the newest drivers for those tonight.

Ran it with just one stick of RAM for over an hour tonight, and thought there may be some hope. I had to leave for about an hour, so I left it on. When I came back it was locked up on the screensaver. Switched out to the other stick of RAM to see if the problem happens with this one too.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 5:37:37 PM EDT
I got BSOD also, but I had a bad sector on my hard drive, I bought another drive and used the old one as data drive.
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