Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

New PC BSOD on Shutdown

  1. #11

    Posts : 7
    Windows 8

    Sorry, the driver list not loading was a false alarm (I think?): I launched it from the SF Utility menu, and it wasn't loading the drivers correctly, but when I launched it the usual way (by typing "verifier.exe" in "Run"), it loads the list of drivers without problem. I edited by previous post, but I prolly should've just deleted the whole thing to prevent confusion.

    But here's another confusing thing: I haven't had a single BSOD since enabling the verifier.exe. I didn't make any change to my system other than enabling it. The last change I made prior to enabling the driver verifier was 1) updating realtek drivers, and 2) disabling Win8 fast startup, in that order. But even after those changes (and I did make sure to restart the system so that I know those changes took effect), I was having BSODs on shutdown. Ever since enabling driver verifier, though, I haven't had any. That doesn't make any sense to me.

    Since I haven't had a crash since enabling driver verifier, I guess I'll wait a little bit before I upload new files for analysis--I'm guessing the files won't be helpful if there hasn't been any crashes while running driver verifier? Also, this leads me to the next question:

    With regard to your last post...should I avoid shutdown altogether to prevent triggering BSODs? Do excessive BSODs cause harm to the OS? Could it possibly cause any harm to the hardware? I've been shutting down my laptop a lot more often throughout the day than usual, just because I've been doing it to "test" it after each change I made (each time I update a driver, made a significant change to settings, etc). Needless to say, I've triggered quite a few BSODs during this past week.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12

    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!

    Although it's unusual, it does happen that turning on Driver Verifier can stop BSOD's. I've seen it a couple of time over the years. Most times we just continue troubleshooting without it. If Driver Verifier doesn't cause any BSOD's, then the throught is that there isn't any problem with the 3rd party drivers (so we still have to look at hardware and Windows drivers).

    IMO BSOD's don't harm hardware. It's just like shutting the system down, so it shouldn't cause any damage.
    It can corrupt the software installation but...
    - later versions of Windows are more "robust" and are more able to recover from unexpected shutdowns.
    - if it's in the middle of writing data when it crashes, that particular file can become corrupted. If it's a critical file that isn't protected by Windows System File Checker, then you may end up with a corrupted installation.

    IMO these changes aren't cumulative, so I don't expect that prior BSOD's will contribute to future failures. But once again, it's not known which files (if any) are corrupted. Triggering BSOD's while troubleshooting is an acceptable practice - but if you're switching to just trying to make this thing last through exams, then the suggestion to avoid BSOD's is a better choice in that scenario.

    All of that was based on the premise that there was already some damage to the OS - since the drivers weren't showing up in verifier. Now that you've figured out the verifier problem, we're back on the troubleshooting (although the other suggestions can still be used if so desired).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13

    Posts : 7
    Windows 8

    An update on the just got worse

    No BSODs on shutdown, but last night while trying to shutdown, it was stuck at the "shutting down" screen for a couple of minutes, and then the computer restarted again--as it usually does when it blue screens, except the blue screen didn't come up. It also didn't create a dump file. The last dump file was from 7/18, which was right before I enabled driver verifier.

    But the bigger problem is: I launched SofTest (the exam software) today, just because I wanted to make sure that all hell isn't gonna break loose while I'm taking the exam. And all hell broke loose.

    Here's some background on what the software does--at least, from what I observe, I don't know what it actually does in the background: after you launch the program, it lets you choose an exam file to load--once you choose it, it begins the "lock-down" mode where it closes all other programs, replaces your desktop wallpaper with an ugly "ExamSoft SoftTest v.11" wallpaper, and opens the exam window (which looks is basically just a word processor). After you're done typing, there's a "Finish Exam" button. Once you click that, it'll save the exam, close the word processor, and try to upload the exam file. Once that's done, it'll begin to exit the exam mode and lift the "lockdown."

    Launching and running the program didn't seem problematic this time. I opened a mock exam, left the exam software running for an hour or so, typed a few paragraph in the testing software, and then tried to end the mock exam. The program then uploaded the mock exam successfully, and I tried to exit the exam. Problems started occurring while it's trying to lift the "lock down" and get out of the exam mode. My wallpaper came back, and as the system icons/notification icons on the right hand corner of the taskbars started coming back, the computer suddenly restarted (no BSOD). After restarting, I didn't get a "Send Error Report?" prompt, and I noticed that there wasn't a new crash dump file. The other thing was that even though it detected the wireless network as "Connected" and "Internet Access," I wasn't able to get any network connection. I tried restarting the wireless card, rebooting, checking the configurations, etc, to no avail. Eventually, it started showing "Connected", but "Limited Access".

    I tried updating and reinstalling the driver for the wireless card, and that didn't seem to work either. When I tried to get Windows to diagnose the problem, it says that the problem is that "Windows cannot automatically detect network proxy settings." (After reboot, however, the diagnosis became "Windows cannot identify the problem"). I couldn't even ping the default gateway (my router)--it simply says that the command is not available when the media is disconnected--which is weird because my network adapter is clearly enabled and it says that it is connected to the router (but "Limited Access"). At one point I saw a "Virtual Wireless Adapter" named "Wireless LAN *12", or something like that, show up in the list of network adapters--I suspected that the virtual network adapter was the reason why whenever I tried to use the ping command, it would tell me that the media is disconnected. Before I could investigate that "virtual adapter" or figure out how to get rid of it, it disappeared from the list of adapters, and I am still unable to connect to the internet or even use the ping command to figure out exactly what is going on.

    The last time I tried a mock exam with this software was when I first installed it--if was during the "exit exam" phase that I had the first and only non-shutdown-related blue screen (and it was also my first BSOD on the laptop). At that time too many things were going on (various Windows updates, driver updates, etc), so I dismissed it as an anomaly. But given this second try, I'm starting to think SofTest definitely has something to do with the BSODs.

    I also contacted tech support for ExamSoft about what happened, but I feel like their initial response will be to blame the problem on something else ("disable your anti-virus, blah blah blah"). Any thoughts on what may be happening here? Sorry I can't provide very technical information (especially without any crash dumps being generated), I'm just hoping my observation will at least help point us toward the cause of the problem...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14

    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!

    Please do the following:
    - open Event Viewer (eventvwr.msc)
    - expand the Custom Views category (left click on the > next to the words "Custom Views")
    - right click on Administrative Events
    - select "Save all Events in Custom View as..."
    - save the file as Admin.evtx
    - zip up the file (right click on it, select "Send to", select "Compressed (zipped) folder")
    - upload it with your next post (if it's too big, then upload it to a free file-hosting service and post a link here).

    Also, please run the data collection app again. Those reports may give some additional info.

    Then, have a look in Device Manager and see if there's any items in there (particularly in the Network Adapters section) that aren't familiar. Try disabling them and see if that helps you connect (it may require a reboot).

    Finally, once you get it fixed, try a clean boot to see if you can run the software (this'll help rule out any conflicting 3rd party software): How to perform a clean boot to troubleshoot a problem in Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15

    Posts : 7
    Windows 8

    I was getting so frustrated that I decided to just do a "Refresh." I kinda wish I waited for your response, but hopefully this clean start will make things easier...

    This time I paid closer attention to all the Windows updates and made sure to update all the drivers from the outset. So far so good, everything seems to be running smoothly and no BSOD. That adds to the suspicion that ExamSoft was doing something funky, especially once it's getting out of the lock-down.

    I submitted my request to re-download SofTest, and hopefully they'll respond quickly so I have time to figure this out. Going forward, is there any preventative things I can do? I would hate for ExamSoft to mess up my system again and have to waste another afternoon refreshing my computer or troubleshooting. It seems like system restore works differently in Win8? And even with system restore, would it be enough to undo the problem in the event that ExamSoft starts wreaking havoc again?

    Once I get to retry SofTest, and if things go wrong again, could I then follow your instructions re: the admin event log? I'm guessing the admin event log will provide information about what's going on in the background when SofTest is running/closing?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16

    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!

    The less that you install on your system, the less likely you are to have problems.
    I'd suggest that you go with a clean install of Windows (not a refresh or reset) in order to minimize the chances of any other software contributing to this. Then it'll just be Windows and the SofTest software.

    In general, we use the regular reports for BSOD's.
    If you're having problems that don't involve BSOD's, then we'll start looking at the Event Logs. The Admin log is a collection of errors and warnings from all the logs on the system (sort of a summary of the problem stuff). It may give us suggestions on how to proceed and, at times, we'll need the other logs (from the reports) to look deeper into the System and Application event logs.

    Let's see what happens, and see what SofTest tech support suggests. Keep testing the system - as a BSOD or serious error at this point (without the SofTest installed) could point to things that cause problems with the SofTest.

    Finally, have a look at the Admin event viewer log. If it's full of errors from after the refresh, then post it here for us to have a look at.

    Good luck!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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New PC BSOD on Shutdown
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