"How I do it" - BSOD analysis for UsersSubscribe to the RSS feedLast
updated: 23 Jan 2013 Added check for BIOS date in systeminfo.txt
I originally posted this link for how to do BSOD troubleshooting for
I've changed a lot of things that I do over the last few years and
decided to have a completely new page describing the steps that I take.
I next look at the perfmon /report. I look for Errors, Warnings,
and Information that might apply to the current situation.
I next look at systeminfo.txt. I check SP level, installation
date, amount of memory used and available (both RAM and Virtual
Memory), BIOS date, Windows Updates (number on the system), and the networking
devices (mostly looking for USB networking devices in Win7).
Next I look at MSINFO32. If it's corrupted I will ask for the
text version (the xml version isn't very easy to read).
- System Summary - I look for Service Pack level and generally check the amount of memory and how much is being used.
- here I look for different adapters
that may be causing issues (USB devices in Win7, other network devices
installed by software programs) - Components...Storage...Drives - here I check to see how much free space is available on each drive - Components...Storage...Disks
- here I look for hard drive type (?SSD)
and how full the hdd is/are
- Components...Problem Devices
- here I look for any problem devices
- Software Environment...Windows
Error Reporting - here I look for
errors that might indicate problems. Also I look for patterns in
the BSOD's displayed here. This is a good place to check for
BSOD's if there are no memory dumps in the uploaded files
- Software Environment...Startup
Programs - I look here for known
problem programs starting with Windows
- Software Environment...Program
Groups - I look here for known problem
programs that are installed.
- Other sections of the MSINFO32 report are used as they become
Then I look at the memory dumps (more info on WinDbg here: http://www.carrona.org/dbgrpt.html
- first I look to see what drivers are present that aren't in the
Driver Reference Table
- then I look to see if there's any pattern to the memory dumps (BSOD
error codes and causes blamed)
- then I look to see if there's any other patterns in select
information from the memory dumps
- I also check to see if there's older BIOS and overclocking (if the
memory dump provides that info)
- I also determine if there's sufficient cause to believe that Driver
Verifier may provide more info.
Then I check the drivers.
- I rule out the Windows drivers
- I rule out drivers from 2009 or later (except for security software
and video drivers) (for Win7 - older OS's required different date
- I check for any known problem drivers
- I also look for patterns in the 3rd party drivers that showed up in
the memory dumps
- if all that doesn't work, then I start on updating the 2009 drivers
Somewhere in here I may run Driver Verifier to rule out 3rd party
If all the 3rd party drivers have been accounted for/ruled out - then
it's gotta be either hardware or Windows.
Hardware errors are generally random, while Windows errors should refer
to the same problem over and over.
At that point I either begin hardware testing
Or I start throwing the few Windows tools at the problems.