Laptop crashing after idlying too long

  Vandermeer 15:09 09 May 2018

Hello, I have tried to solve this here before, but didn't have enough information to figure out the exact timing of when the problem appeared. After months with this issue continuing it is now clear that my laptop always crashes to bluescreen whenever it doesn't have anything or much to do for some time. (roughly 20-30 minutes) Finished watching a video and let the machine be without standby? crash Went to other room and forgot time? crash Background virus scan? Crash, but will not do so if I do something else during scan.

I already went 2 weeks without issues sometimes, because I managed to be mindful of not letting it idle, but as soon as I forget, it is still going blue screen.

This all seems to imply on first thought that maybe the laptop tries to go into energy saving mode of sorts, but fails in that operation. However I had and have all energy saving deactivated since I got the machine 6 years ago.(because it is nearly always connected to electricity) One thing I found was still activated in advanced menus: Deactivating hard drive after x minutes. You cannot turn that off in Windows 7, only pick a higher x. I made it 10 hours now, but had no impact on the crashing issue.

Already tackled points: - As previously checked, the harddrive seems to be fine, as it had full green checkmark test results. - No malware was found after recent full scale checks. - Drivers were up to date according to driver management software, but that was a couple weeks ago. The problem was already active then.

What could it be?

  Vandermeer 12:35 11 May 2018

Sad to report that I came back home to another bluescreen, so it didn't work. The screen was practically identical to the last one, including the fail to generate the dump file.

I completely deactivated the page-file now once again, but this probably isn't the issue.

  Secret-Squirrel 15:57 11 May 2018

Sad to report that I came back home to another bluescreen............

Sorry to hear that :(

I'd like you to try again but this time confirm that the pagefile has actually been deleted:

Go into Control Panel -> Folder Options -> "View" tab and set it to "Show hidden files and folders..........." then untick "Hide protected operating system files". Go to where the pagefile resides - it's usually the root of C: and the file is called pagefile.sys. Once you've located it, go through the same steps like before, but on restarting check that location to see whether pagefile.sys has been deleted. If it hasn't then delete it manually.

Another diagnostic test would be to run your PC for a while with no pagefile. However, it's only recommended for systems that have lots of RAM installed. If you have 6GB or more of RAM then you may want to consider it but don't run any memory-hungry apps because you'll end up with a different BSoD if the Windows runs out of memory.

Here are some other suggestions too:

1) I noticed that WiganKen advised you use Speccy (or similar program) to check your HDD's SMART status. Did you do that? If the status is not showing "Good" then you have a drive problem.

2) Hopefully you'll now have couple of crash-dump files, so if you can, upload today's to a file-sharing website and I'll have a look at it. The files have an extension of DMP and reside in the C:\Windows\Minidump folder.

  Vandermeer 19:16 11 May 2018

Thank you very much for the help. I could confirm that the pagefile is indeed gone after a fresh start, and then reappears in 8.3gb size the instant I re-enable it.(no restart required for this)

I have 8gb ram on the laptop, so I tried running it without one, and it also crashed, this time merely missing these last 4 lines about dump creation in the bluescreen.

I have the bluescreenview program btw., which shows me a couple dumps, but all from September 2017 and earlier.(all unrelated issues) None for the recent problems.

To 1), yes, I have tried that successfully and was relieved to find that the HDD had all green checkmarks everywhere despite the progressing age and crash issues. ...On the other hand that of course means there is no culprit yet.

  Secret-Squirrel 20:36 11 May 2018

Thanks for the update. Don't forget to return your folder view options back to how they were and re-enable virtual memory.

I guess there's nothing wrong with the pagefile although I'm still concerned that no new crash-dump files are still not being saved.

I see that you've done disk checks. Did you do the most thorough one where it also checks for and attempts recovery of bad sectors?

Malware can also cause those BSoDs, so if you haven't already done so, make sure you have the latest version of Malwarebytes installed, it's fully updated and then run a comprehensive scan.

  Vandermeer 06:11 12 May 2018

Yes, I had done the lengthy disk scan of both my partitions. I remember D took really long, but C wasn't even possible without crash again, because windows is unresponsive during that scan, so I cannot keep the laptop busy enough to not crash.

After the crash though, it made a comprehensive scan on reboot which came through. In both partitions there were some few damaged sectors, but all had been repaired.

I have the newest version of Malwarebytes that can be downloaded, albeit it is a free one. I've had I think 3 complete scans and multiple threat scans since this started, and although there were some new problems in the beginning, now it doesn't find anything anymore.

I also updated all my drivers 3 days ago again, but only 2 devices and the graphics card needed an update.

  Secret-Squirrel 08:57 12 May 2018

..............but C wasn't even possible without crash again, because windows is unresponsive during that scan,.............

I need to clarify this with you. When you enable a disk check on the system drive Windows should ask if you want to schedule it for the next time you start your computer. When you do the disk check should start almost immediately. It doesn't run from within Windows. Is this what happens with you and are you saying that you still get a BSoD while it's scanning like that?

  Vandermeer 09:32 12 May 2018

I tried it again, and yes right, it just asks for a restart. Seems my bad memory displaced the experience from the D scan, where it actually was that I couldn't use the computer much.(..But mainly, because most practical software save of editing programs like photoshop and tiny tools are installed over there instead of the system drive.) I also think that windows froze on me for a time when I tried to run photoshop, which probably happened for it trying to get work data from D.

No bluescreens from the scan that runs in startup of course. :)

  Secret-Squirrel 11:19 12 May 2018

Thanks for the extra info.

I'd like to see the check disk reports for C: & D: please. They should be stored in Event Viewer. Have a read here if you're not familiar with it. If you double-click on an entry then it'll open in a new window and there's a handy "Copy" button you can use.

If you're unable to complete a scan of the D: drive then try again but this time in Safe Mode. In case you've forgotten, a full disk check on a large drive will take many hours so overnight may be the best time to run it.

It's a shame that you don't have any crash-dump files for me to analyse. Never mind though.

  Vandermeer 13:27 12 May 2018

Thank you for looking into this. Here is the Chkdsk from D: D Chkdsk

..and here from C: C Chkdsk

The C one wasn't specified under "Source" as Chkdsk, but as Wininit. I guess that came from the nature of it needing restart, or did something go wrong. These tests are from 25. and 23. of March, so my memory is fading.

  Secret-Squirrel 17:36 12 May 2018

Thanks for those.

The report for your C: drive shows that only the basic check was made - the one that doesn't check for bad sectors. If you fancy doing a thorough check overnight then that may prove helpful. The C: drive report did however say "0 KB in bad sectors". It'll be interesting to see if anything's changed since March 24. Upload another report if you go ahead with it.

I can see that a thorough check was done on the D: drive. It doesn't explicitly mention bad sectors but does say "The file system has been checked. No problems were detected.".

Also, would it be a lot of trouble for you to use the PC in Safe Mode for a while? If you use the networking option then at least you'll be able to browse the web. If it causes the same BSoD there then it can't be a malware or third-party driver issue. Your findings may help make a diagnosis.

According to Microsoft, a KERNEL-DATA-INPAGE-ERROR BDoD means:

This Stop message is usually caused by a bad block (sector) in a paging file, a virus, a disk controller error, or failing RAM. In rare cases, it is caused when nonpaged pool resources run out. It is also caused by defective hardware.

Unfortunately we've tackled most of those potential causes.

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