BSOD - Possible Causes.

  SeanUK 22:42 12 Apr 2011


I have a desktop PC I haven't used in around a year. It used to Blue Screen on me and that is one of the reasons it has sat unused for so long.

I am trying to determine how healthy the PC is.

So far, I have installed a clean Vista 32 bit installation.

Run the Vista Memory Diagnostic x 2

Run the Vista HDD Check

I have experienced one Blue Screen, but it did not offer any clues to what the cause may be (it froze preparing a crash dump).

The blue screen occoured after the Memory Diagnostic tool had completed.

The memory test reached 99%, the PC began to boot as normal (I think) and the blue screen appeared.

I'm not sure if the blue screen is tied to the memory test, or the 'boot'.

I ran the memory test again straight after, it completed with no known errors and booted without a problem.

I suspect one or two components may need to be replaced/upgraded but I'm not sure where to start until I identify the cause of the BSOD.

I plan to test the CPU,MOBO and GPU tommorow.

I have ordered some compressed air and thermal paste so that I can clear out the case and hopefully reduce the temps a bit.

Could the build up of dust and dirt be the sole cause of the blue screens?

Is it more likely that the build up of dirt and dust have led to long-term damage due to increased operating temps?

Is there anything else I should be running tests on?

Also, on a different note:

Do I have to pay to upgrade my 32 bit vista to 64 bit?

If not, where do I get a free 64 bit installation?

I will be updating this thread as I complete testing, cleaning, etc.

Thanks for any input you can offer.

  • Sean
  birdface 23:12 12 Apr 2011

Faulty Ram maybe. Faulty Graphics card if you have one. Although device manager shows no driver updates required you sometimes do need updates installed. Just a few things to try until someone gives you some proper advice.

  onthelimit1 09:54 13 Apr 2011

If the CPU heatsink is choked with dust, it could certainly cause your problems. Unlikely to have done any long term damage. No such thing as a free upgrade. I'd go for XP or W7 - they're both better than either version of Vista!

  SeanUK 13:18 13 Apr 2011


Thanks for your replies.

I've been running HOT CPU Tester today and can reproduce the Blue Screen now.

This is the message I managed to write down:

"A clock interrupt was not received on a secondary processor"

Technical Information: * Stop: 0x00000101


Until I clean the case out I won't be able to tell if the CPU is faulty, or it's just the build up of heat due to dirt/dust

With regards to 32bit-64bit Vista, I thought Microsoft ran a 'free 64 bit disc' programme for a while. Whereby you sent in your exsisting 32 bit disc (or product key, can't remember which) and they would mail you a 64 bit installation disc.

I have a license for Vista Home Premium (I think it applies to both versions, but only comes with one installation disc)

It's not strictly speaking an 'upgrade'. It is the same OS (Vista Premium), just a different type.

Anybody care to shed some more light on how I can get 64bit Vista, and how much it might cost, if anything?

I do plan to upgrade to Windows 7, but I need the money for parts at the moment.

Thanks again

  • Sean
  SeanUK 13:42 13 Apr 2011

I've done a little searching around the web based on "A clock interrupt was not received on a secondary processor".

There doesn't seem to be one clear cut cause for this error, but there are suggestions that it may be tied to:

Out of Date Bios

Slight hardware incompatiabilities - My PC ran fine for 9-12 months, so I think this is unlikely. However, I may have created an entirely new BSOD when I did a clean install of Vista.

CPU Fault - Strongest possiblity I think

GPU Fault - Also possible but less likely

So far I have manually updated my GPU drivers, but nothing else.

It's left pretty open-ended indeed. I think the most likely cause will be either a faulty CPU, or overheating.

Although given that I have installed everything afresh it could be driver related.

The problem I have with Drivers is that the parts I bought were entry-level componenets and as such support was dropped pretty early on.

Here's my full specification:

AMD Dual Core X2 6400 retail AM2 black box & Fan 2Gb Corsair Memory DDR2 800 2x1Gb, 160GB SATA Hard Drive, , 8029-C43 Midi, Colors 550Watt Silent Upgrade, 384Mb 8800Gs PCI express slimline, AM2 - MSI K9N-Neo-F DDR800x4 non intergrated, Samsung DVD +/- Re-writer, Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premiem (OEM),

  birdface 14:18 13 Apr 2011

Is the date and time still showing correctly probably nothing to do with it but just wondering if the CMOS battery may need renewing as the computer has been lying for a year without use.

  birdface 14:23 13 Apr 2011

Someone on here had the same sort of problem within the last 5-6 weeks and it was all down to his Graphics card needing updated. Device manager showed no driver problems.

  SeanUK 14:57 13 Apr 2011

Hi again,

I have the latest drivers available for the 8800gs, it was a limited run card and did not receive many updates. I installed the drivers directly from Nvidia's website and chose the correct category.

My drivers are OLD, but I do not think there are any newer drivers for my card that are fully supported.

I am actually having problems getting the date and time to sync with Microsoft/Internet... does this suggest the CMOS battery needs changing if so what does that mean?


I've been trying to make sure I have the latest bios for my Motherboard, but the MSI bios links are now 404. Any suggestions?

  SeanUK 15:32 13 Apr 2011

At the moment I can not determine the root cause of the problems.

It could be the CPU,GPU,MOBO or bios problems.

Any input?

  ams4127 16:41 13 Apr 2011

I would agree with buteman that the most likely cause is that your CMOS battery has failed. They're cheap and easy to replace but you will have to reconfigure your BIOS afterwards, though it's not hard to do.

  [email protected] 20:58 13 Apr 2011

As you have stated, a Product Key for Vista 32 bit will also be valid for Vista 64 bit. In the past I've used torrents to download the 64 bit media in an .iso format when I've wanted to upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit. I don't think this is illegal - you're not stealing anything, you are just obtaining installation files. FE if you feel this post is inappropriate then I apologise and please feel free to delete it.

Also remember that Vista discs (excluding Home Basic) usually contain all versions of Vista on them (eg. a Vista Home Premium DVD will also contain Vista Ultimate etc, but only of the same bit (32 or 64)), so if you know anyone with the media for a 64-bit version of Vista of any version, you will likely be able to use that.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

Illustrator of witty, relatable Instagram comics Julia Bernhard touches on our humble moments

iMac Pro review

Quelle est la meilleure application de podcast pour Android (2018) ?