Posts Tagged ‘x64’

Here was my situation with my unstable main home computer, the thing happened between thursday evening and monday morning randomly.  It could be reproduced sometimes with specific processes.  My last major hardware upgrade consisted of a BIOS upgrade, new HDDs, more RAM, another DVD drive, a new CPU and a new graphics card.  At that exact moment, I went into a Windows 7 upgrade from XPSP3, tried the x64 version, crashed for no specific reason so I used x86 W7 for months before trying again and having a successful install.  Note that BSODs did happen with the x86 version but they were rare.

So much happened and since I just upgraded the system, it was very hard to see if it was related to hardware, Windows or software.

I had a heavily used Win7 x64 computer doing persistently 0x0000003B BSODs and I looked so long for a solution since I tried pretty much all I could think about :

  • Doing a repair upgrade install fixed some causes of that BSOD (I could reproduce it by trying to install Office 2010!)
  • Flushing the folder SoftwareDistribution while WU service is stopped (not sure that works in W7 to reinstall all updates…)
  • Memtest86 found an errored stick 3 months ago, removed it. (used to do 0x0000000A errors (or 1A)
  • chkdsk /f fixed some errors, but nothing to fix it
  • I used smartmontools to check HDD life, there’s like 15% left, no errors.
  • I unplugged weirdly behaving speakers and the APC UPS data cable to dismiss them as possible causes, no changes.
  • I updated graphic drivers
  • sfc /scannow reported errors it couldn’t fix, at the beginning but it’s fine since the repair reinstall.
  • Swapped power supply and memory with known working ones, to test
  • Tried intensive work from a Linux LiveCD without issues
  • Unplugged all hard drives and DVD drives, except the system HDD, still happened
  • Tried 3 times a parallel install of W7, BSODed 3 times…same one same code.
  • Tried different manual settings from the BIOS about memory voltage, virtualization, memory speed, dual channel or not.
  • …I probably forget something

See at the end of the post for more infos about the whole setup and error messages.

Here’s some details from BlueScreenView :

Here’s what I finally dove into to fix this issue :

  • I took the time to understand how to interpret and decode BSODs to get more informations from this link
  • Since I noted a lot of VISTA_DRIVER_FAULT in the logs, I thought I could double-verify drivers and indeed, I used 1 Vista driver and 1 W7 x86 driver while there was a x64 one.  NOTE : Don’t rely on your motherboard maker for drivers, go on the chipset/integrated device manufacturer’s website for specific drivers that are supposed to be way more up-to-date (in my case, went to to update my chipset’s)  Although, this didn’t fix anything.
  • Analyzed eventvwr logs where there wasn’t much helpful data
  • Checked for malware in files, registry, startup : none to be seen
  • Double-checked BSOD informations, found the faulty processes and blocked them from any execution, those were Windows Media Player Sharing Service and the Search Indexer (Windows services).  No more recurrent 0x3B bluescreens since that time!


  • It isn’t hardware related since Linux has no issues
  • Reinstalling fails because it detects another Windows install, tries to access its hive which may be corrupted. [theory]
  • Such a corrupted hive could explain non-random crashes such as those from Internet Explorer, .NET Framework or Office 2010 install.
  • It could be the combination of an updated BIOS and a new CPU that causes instability into drivers or Windows’ kernel (note that the SP1 isn’t out yet!) [theory]
  • What could have been damaging the system is the faulty memory that has been removed since.  I should try a reinstall without the actual system drive plugged in, but I am lazy since everything is fine now.

Here are some annexes :

My hardware setup :

750w PSU
ASUS M2N-SLi DELUXE with latest stable bios version (not the beta that supports AM3 socketted CPUs)
AMD Phenom X4 9850BE
5 hard drives for a total of 3.14 Tb, system is on a 250Gb one
Radeon 4890 graphic card
SoundBlaster Audigy 4ZS
2 DVD drives one from Pioneer and one from LG
Phones are often hooked on the system, a Blackberry Bold 9000 and a Motorola Milestone via its dock
Saitek Cyborg keyboard
Microsoft mouse
Monitor is a Samsung 225BW
A PCI network card DFE538TX I think, because the onboard NICs are known to do freegames
The computer is protected from surges and such by a 1300VA UPS from APC


Here are some error logs I got from BSODs :

An exception happened while executing a system service routine.
Arg1: 00000000c0000005, Exception code that caused the bugcheck


// MessageText:
// The instruction at 0x%08lx referenced memory at 0x%08lx. The memory could not be %s.
#define STATUS_ACCESS_VIOLATION          ((NTSTATUS)0xC0000005 L)
PROCESS_NAME:  mscorsvw.exe


PROCESS_NAME: wmpnetwk.exe
LAST_CONTROL_TRANSFER: from 0000000000000000 to fffff8000314c855
fffff880`06da66e0 00000000`00000000 : 00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000 : nt!HvpFindFreeCellInThisViewWindow+0x45

Topic says a lot…maybe you’ve never done it but I’m telling you, this can be a PITA.

Sometimes the normal way may work out…but it’s rare. Normal way being adding a local TCP/IP port on the server, then installing this printer on the server with x64 drivers. For the client drivers, we’re going to the sharing tab of the printer, click Additionnal drivers and check x86 to add the driver that’s supposed to work. When it doesn’t it either complains the driver isn’t the right one, isn’t found or isn’t for the right architecture…MEH

Yesterday, thanks to Freenode’s #windows-server folks, I tried another way that worked out great : you add the drivers first on the server (2008 in my case for W7 clients), both x64 and x86. Then on the same server you proceed to install the printer from its port, select both x86 and x64….voila! now you can share it…