More Black Screen/BSOD problems

I installed Win 7 Home Premium 32 bit a month ago in place of XP (Home). I had previously checked that everything would be compatible with Win7 before installing it, and it installed with no problems. From the first day, however, I started getting random crashes, often when a picture changed onscreen, such as when browsing photos, but just as often when simply surfing the net or typing an email. Usually it crashed with a black screen - I could still hear sounds, but had to reboot manually. Later it started to reboot automatically. Occasionally I would get a BSOD. I bought two new memory sticks, as I knew my old ones were not a matched pair, but this didn't help. I thought I might have fixed the problem when I disovered I had a redundant sound driver installed, ATI High Definition Audio. I already had a high definition audio driver for my RealTek onboard sound, so I disabled the ATI one. After this the crashes stopped for nearly a week. On Sunday I updated my Catalyst drivers again (making sure to disable the ATI sound again afterwards), and I also found another redundant sound driver, Nvidia nforce Midi UART, which might have been a leftover from an old video card. I think Windows might have found it when it transferred my files and settings from XP. I disabled this too.

Sadly the crashes have returned. I found a utility today called BlueScreen View, and although I honestly don't understand it, it does seem to show the same files giving trouble most of the time. If the crash is a black screen one it gives a Bug Check String called Unexpected_Kernel_Mode_Trap. The files involved are atikmdag.sys and ntkrnlpa.exe. These two files are highlighted in most instances of this happening. However, occasionally, and I think this must have been when the BSODs occurred, there is more; the highlighted files are atikmdag.sys, dxgkrnl.sys, dxgmms1.sys, watchdog.sys. It does not have an entry in the Bug Check String column for these particular crashes.

I haven't a clue how to handle this - I admit my BIOS is outdated, and I wonder if this is the problem, but I have never updated one before and have no one knowledgeable enough to help me if it all went wrong. I can either reformat and reinstall XP, wait for a service pack or updates to hopefully help, or live with the problem until next year when I hope to be able to get a new computer. On the other hand, if anyone does have any suggestions I would be eternally grateful :).

Asrock Alive SATA2-GLAN bios version P1.70
AMD64x2 6000
Radeon Sapphire 4670 512Mb
AVerTV DVB-T Super 007 tv card
MS Intellimouse and MS keyboard
Windows Firewall, AVG 9

Thanks very much for that - I will try Device Doctor and see what happens.

Just wondering is the screen you getting when you crash?

and a close view


No, I don't get that screen. Usually when it crashes the monitor goes black and then into sleep mode, but if I'm playing a game I can sometimes still hear sounds. Normally it reboots itself automatically. Sometimes I get a BSOD. I'm sorry if you are still getting your problems with the blue screen and I hope it can be sorted very soon.

Check the error logs and run the test that is at the link in my tagline. It will usually tell you what needs to be fixed.

Device Doctor did find several drivers that it said needed updating, although three of them were IDE and ATA controllers, and a busmaster controller, but I haven't done them yet, as I'm a bit wary. One was my keyboard, which it called a standard ps2 keyboard, but it is a Microsoft keyboard and I had to get a special fix for it when I installed Win 7, and the other was what I thought was my onboard sound device. However, it turned out to be an update for the ATI sound device that I had disabled as I don't use it. Find and Fix errors reported only the devices that I had disabled, namely the ATI sound driver and the NVidia Midi UART driver which I thought (maybe mistakenly) wouldn't be in use. Perf /mon also named the disabled items, and also told me I don't have any antivirus software installed, which I do, AVG 9.0. I checked the last crash report from BlueScreen View, which was at around 4pm today, and it showed another file listed along with atimdag.sys and ntknrlpa.exe, snp2sxp.sys which turned out to be my USB camera so I have disabled that, as well. The Event Log of Adminstrative Events shows a grand total of 992 warnings and errors along with the critical ones which represent the crashes.

I have disabled Aero, in case that is a problem in some way, and don't know what else to try at the moment. If the problem gets any worse I will have to see if I can get XP (Home) back on again somehow. I just wish I had never dumped it in the first place :frown: I should add I'm retired, with a husband who is not at all interested in computers so he's no help, hence having to sound so pathetic and helpless on these forums :). Thanks so much to everyone for your help.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.