random blue screens



My computer (a three year old homebuilt Athlon based PC) just
recently starting giving me random blue screens. These only seem to
occur when the pc is warm (problem begins about half an hour after
turning on the pc, with pc undergoing light usage (office apps, email,
etc.). The problem first exhibited itself, however, during a game of
Doom 3. After warming up, the computer is practically unusable, with
blue screens occuring immediately after logging in (and sometime
before). If I let the computer sit for a couple of hours, all is fine
until it has warmed up again.

I've checked my CPU temps and they are same as always....around 49
degrees C (around 53 C after processor intensive activities). The
voltages on the power supply all appear okay according to a utility
that came with the mother board. I've added no new hardware nor have I
downloaded any updates recently. The problem persists even with the pc
booted into safe mode.

I'm beginning to suspect that one of my DIMMs may have gone bad, there
is a problem with the power supply, or with the chipset on the
motherboard. (Although I do have it undergoing additional cooling by
offsetting the oversize fan on my cpu such that it blows onto the
northbridge chip's heatsink. But if it was the RAM, shouldn't the
problem also occur when the pc is cold? The fact that it only occurs
when warm makes me wonder about the power supply (despite the nominal
voltage reports). The chipset would be scary...no way to test this
without purchasing a new board and if I did this I may was well scrap
the pc alltogether and build a new one!

Anyway, this is a tough nut to crack and am wondering if anybody else
cares to shed insight into this problem.


Just wanted to add that I've also checked this computer for spyware and
viruses and it is clean. I think I mentioned that no updates had been
applied (at least not for at least a few months prior to this problem
manifesting itself).


Statistically speaking, the odds are far greater that the motherboard is
failing than the RAM is failing. RAM is pretty rugged. Motherboards are
very sensitive.


Thank you to all who offered advice...I think I found the problem (and I got
lucky, too). Tonight I decided to try some troubleshooting, anticipating a
long procedure of removing, swapping and replacing hardware. Well, I began
by removing one of my (3) DIMMS (after letting the computer warm up and
begin blue screening). Lo and behold, I hit the jackpot on my first try! I
removed the DIMM and the computer booted just fine. I let it run for a
couple of hours, including taxing it with DOOM3 and moving some files (did
these to generate some heat and put a good load on the power supply). All
remained stable. I put the DIMM back in, rebooted and instant blue screen!
The memory stick in question is a 1GB DIMM from USModular. Allegedly it has
a lifetime warranty, but I checked the warranty terms and they dictate that
it be returned with the original receipt, original package and original
anti-static bag! (WTF?) I'm going to phone them tomorrow to see how rigid
this policy is. Computer is running fine now using my remaining memory (a
pair of 512MB modules). I installed that DIMM almost exactly a year
ago....interesting that it would fail so suddenly.


DaveW said:
Statistically speaking, the odds are far greater that the motherboard is
failing than the RAM is failing. RAM is pretty rugged. Motherboards are
very sensitive.
Utter rubbish. Generic RAM is crap and the cause of a whole lot of

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