NTFS.SYS BSOD Loop - Unique Situation.

MNDMorris

New Member
Hi

This is my first post on the forums as i'm unable to find the solution online. I've searched all over Google for a similar case to mine and i'm yet to find any.

I recently ran in to a BSOD during gaming on Windows 10 64-bit. It occurred when I was playing Black Ops 4. I managed to get two quick games in and a BSOD occurred on the third session.

I then managed to reboot in to Windows and my nVidia drivers were out of date for Black Ops 4, I downloaded them and noticed Windows had a security update also. I installed the Windows update AFTER the nVidia drivers. I've now learnt that those Window drivers were Spectre/Meltdown patches, which for some reason, Windows hadn't installed when they first came out.

I was unable to rectify the BSOD occurrance and it continued to happen when trying to run the Black Ops 4 client and the launcher itself. This got worse and eventually lead to a BSOD loop. The BSOD each time was different, never came over a pattern or anything to point me in the right direction.

I was initially able to boot in to Safe Mode in Windows and remove all recent drivers to see if it was an issue from that perspective, this did not resolve the BSOD issues I was having. I eventually decided on a fresh install for Windows 10 via USB. This installed fine and I figured I had a corrupt driver. After the fresh install, I attempted to apply my overclock settings and XMP profile to the CPU and RAM respectively. For information, I was previously sat at 5ghz on the i5 7600k CPU @1.29vcore, with the XMP Profile set to 3000Mhz which was the rated speed for the RAM I bought. This has been running stable since October 2017, not one single BSOD from this set up. On attempting to apply the same settings, I was only able to clock the CPU at 4.5ghz @1.29vcore. A whole 500mhz out! I assumed this was because of the Spectre/Meltdown patches. The RAM continued to run at the rated 3000Mhz via the XMP Profile.

Two days went by and I was streaming a football match online. 80 minutes in and the system BSOD again! I wasn't doing anything unusual and the system was running as normal, no lagging or display issues to pre-warn of a BSOD.

This time around there was a common theme around NTFS.SYS BSOD, it occurred more often than not and sometimes pointed towards a Kernel issue. I didn't make note of the BSOD codes at the time but it was primarily an NTFS.SYS code. I'm now stuck in a permanent BSOD loop. I can't boot to safe mode, advanced repair or install Windows 10 from a USB without a BSOD occurring. There are times when Windows will boot in to the desktop, but on trying to do ANYTHING, it'll BSOD.

I've since flashed my BIOS to a previous version, prior to the Spectre/Meltdown patches. This hasn't helped and the system is still stuck in a BSOD loop.

I've removed my GPU, disconnected my HDD, disconnected the PC tower USB connection, removed one RAM stick and changed them through to check, removed any additional peripherals from USB etc. I still have the BSOD loop issue. I've even disconnected my M.2 SSD on top of the above listed and tried to run a Windows 10 USB, the USB attempts to run up the installation media, but BSODs shortly after initialising, that's with NO HDD/SSD connected either! I've also applied a CMOS reset several times. The motherboard's EZ Debug tool is highlighting VGA and DRAM as being the issue, even though i've removed my GPU and i've also tested the RAM as far as possible.

I'm able to run memtest86 and this showed that there were NO errors on the memory.

I now feel i've exhausted all possible options and i'm at a complete loss as to what to do next. If no one can help, i'll have to start returning components individually under their 12 month warranty. Which might not guarantee a fix... :(

I'm intending on running a third party application tonight to wipe and format the SSD and leave the HDD disconnected for now. My concern is that M.2 SSD architecture is different to a HDD, can I still format and wipe it with DBAN for example? I've been unable to install DBAN on to a USB as of yet. I have access to a laptop.

For information my system specification is:

i5 7600k, delidded and previously clocked at 5.3Ghz stable, downclocked to 5Ghz for the last 10 months. Peak temperatures on stress testing are no more than 55 degrees on full load.
NZXT Kraken X62 AIO Liquid Cooler.
Corsair Vengeance LPX @3000Mhz on XMP.
Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming.
Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 SSD (used for Windows OS and games library)
Western Digital HDD 1TB (used for storage)
MSI Z270 Gaming Pro motherboard
Corsair RM550x PSU with Corsair premium sleeved cabling
NZXT H500i tower

Any advice would be greatly received, I honestly don't know what to do next.

Thanks for reading guys, please leave comments below.

Mike
 

kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Hey Mike welcome to the forums.

To help you best we need your actual dump files but as your boot looping and bsoding at any point thats probably hard to get.

Have you tried clearing the cmos by removing the battery? As soon as you get back into the bios run optimised defaults but leave the overclock off as well as XMP profile.

See if you can get back into windows without the bsod.

If you get back into the system please post your dump files if possible.

I have to nip out but will be back in a few hours, hope all goes well.
 

MNDMorris

New Member
Hi

Thanks for the response.

Yes, i've cleared the CMOS plenty of times now, i've even tried leaving the MSI feature of automatic clear of CMOS on BSOD's. I've previously returned the BIOS to optimised defaults on several occassions. XMP left off and overclock left off.

It'll boot in to Windows at random times on the BSOD loop but immediately BSOD's on trying to do anything on the desktop or menus. I'm unable to post any dump files due to the nature of the BSOD loop either. I've been advised to try Rufus or EaseUS to format and wipe the SSD and HDD. I don't currently have access to my computer until later on this evening, still in work at the moment.

My main concern is that i've already wiped my SSD with the Windows OS on, it worked fine for two days, I updated all my drivers, and it randomly started the BSOD loop again.

Please advise when you have time :)

Thanks
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Create a bootable Ubuntu disc or usb from another computer or boot into the Windows recovery console and you should be able to copy them to a usb drive to upload, or try booting into safe mode w/networking and see if you can upload them.
 

kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
removed one RAM stick and changed them through to check,
Does this include trying every RAM slot?

Basically remove all sticks and use just the one trying it in each RAM slot.

Do you have a spare drive lying around you could use? . As your bsod's were ntfs related you might have issues with the M.2 drive?
 

kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Could also be a failing drive since it's the file system driver
Hence my suggestion about the op trying a different drive or if he's able try booting from the 1TB (depending on what you have saved of course) and negate the M.2 altogether.
 

MNDMorris

New Member
No I haven't tried every RAM slot. I'll try this tonight along with an array of other options I have.

It's also worth mentioning that I've previously removed ALL SSDs, HDDs at this point and tried to see if a USB Windows Install Tool would run. It STILL BSODs with no drives connected on attempting to run the USB.
 

MNDMorris

New Member
Create a bootable Ubuntu disc or usb from another computer or boot into the Windows recovery console and you should be able to copy them to a usb drive to upload, or try booting into safe mode w/networking and see if you can upload them.
Unable to boot in to Windows recovery, it BSODs on attempting. Tried to run a Windows USB install tool. BSODs. That's including the removal of both my hard drives.
 

MNDMorris

New Member
Hence my suggestion about the op trying a different drive or if he's able try booting from the 1TB (depending on what you have saved of course) and negate the M.2 altogether.
Same again. M.2 and HDD both removed. Unable to run from USB. It attempts the install then BSODs. A friend of mine suggested the motherboard may be at fault?
 

kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
No I haven't tried every RAM slot. I'll try this tonight along with an array of other options I have.
Sounds good.

Same again. M.2 and HDD both removed. Unable to run from USB. It attempts the install then BSODs. A friend of mine suggested the motherboard may be at fault?
Possible.

It's certainly hating something attached to the system and as your already aware it's going to take trial and error to track the culprit down.

Something else you could try is removing the gpu and just use the graphics on the cpu. I guess this won't prove a huge deal but it's worth checking just in case (probably a very last resort tho').
 

nmsuk

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Can we get a photo of the bluescreen. Could help tracking down the issue.
 

MNDMorris

New Member
Sounds good.


Possible.

It's certainly hating something attached to the system and as your already aware it's going to take trial and error to track the culprit down.

Something else you could try is removing the gpu and just use the graphics on the cpu. I guess this won't prove a huge deal but it's worth checking just in case (probably a very last resort tho').
Morning Kemical

Another forum suggested underclocking my CPU, set it from stock speed of 3.8ghz to 2ghz. Boots in to Windows 10 completely fine. Stress tested it at that speed, completely fine. Also tested the CPU with Intel's in house CPU health checking software, no problems with the chip itself. I just can't run it at stock settings or above, at all. I'm thinking something has gone bad on the motherboard side of things.

I'm currently unable to confirm if this is the case, i'd have to order another CPU for Z270 architecture first!

Your thoughts?
 

kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Morning Kemical

Another forum suggested underclocking my CPU, set it from stock speed of 3.8ghz to 2ghz. Boots in to Windows 10 completely fine. Stress tested it at that speed, completely fine. Also tested the CPU with Intel's in house CPU health checking software, no problems with the chip itself. I just can't run it at stock settings or above, at all. I'm thinking something has gone bad on the motherboard side of things.

I'm currently unable to confirm if this is the case, i'd have to order another CPU for Z270 architecture first!

Your thoughts?
Apologies for not answering sooner.

Is it possible for you to run a Intel diagnostic on the chip as this may tell which component is bad, moBo or chip:

Download Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool

Needless to say you'll probably need to run your cpu at the lower speed to run the test. Whether this will affect the testing in anyway I'm unsure.
 

MNDMorris

New Member
Hey again.

I tested the CPU at a lower clock speed and it failed due to it reading at 2ghz. I believe it'll always fail if underclocking, I think the diagnostic tool itself expects a stock reading or above, anything less is a problem. Pretty useless to be honest. It passed everything else though, around maths, algorithms etc.
 

kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Hmm.... what about friends or colleagues, anyone with a similar set up so you could try the chip in a different system?
 

MNDMorris

New Member
Hmm.... what about friends or colleagues, anyone with a similar set up so you could try the chip in a different system?
I had more of a play on the system last night.

Here's a summary:

- CPU manually clocked at 3.8ghz (stock setting) with everything set to Auto.
- XMP Profile enabled (3000mhz)

System boots, Windows OS runs fine.

I tried to overclock the CPU above 3.8ghz and it immediately BSODs. Fault codes are primarily around Wimfys.Sys I believe, with a couple of kernel codes which directly relate to VGA/GPU drivers.

So I ran some third party software to confirm what the most recent minidump is highlighting and it pointed towards graphics drivers. I removed the drivers and any remnance of older drivers via Safe Mode in Windows. This left me with the basic Intel VGA drivers on. Reinstalled the latest nVidia drivers, GeForce experience etc. I assumed this would fix the problem. I then left the system on overnight, to run a CPU test, covering math, algorithms, logic etc. I woke up in the morning to a BSOD, no error code. I'm yet to check the minidump as i've gone in to work. I'll check tonight and see what it's pointing towards.

I've ran every conceivable check from swapping RAM through DDR slots, removing the GPU, SSD, HDD, peripherals, flashing the bios, reinstalling the Windows OS, wiping my SSD/HDD's, re-applying thermal paste to the CPU die (delidded) and to the heatsink, removed the motherboard to check for earthing issues with reference to the PC tower, checked my PSU for loose connections or any burning smells, ran memtest for 2 hours, ran CPU tests and heavily underclocked for stability. The list goes on.

I believe it's either an issue with the motherboard or the CPU, even though the motherboard fail LED's are pointing towards the VGA and Windows BSODs are relating to either a corrupt OS, drivers or system files.

Are there any further checks I can carry out to confirm if it's the motherboard or CPU? I don't want to use another CPU incase the motherboard is at fault and it craps out the CPU i've borrowed!
 
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