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Is it really a WIndows 10 problem? Maybe not


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Looks like my on-again / off-again problem with the desktop computer suddenly going black screen and rebooting a bit later, has finally ended.

Although I had seen a few of these happen on 8.1 before the win 10 update, they started happening a lot more frequently after it went on. I resisted the impulse to blame Win 10, though, and went looking for a more rational explanation.

Suspecting the video card because I had one incident of a momentary display of the same screen on both of my monitors before it blacked out, I put in my original NX8800 Nvidia card.

Then I started getting the BSOD and was seeing "sparkles" on the blue background of the password screen on win 10. Typical RAM failure symptoms. BSODs started happening more frequently and the number of twinkling stars on the password screen were increasing with each reboot.

I put the other video card back in but also pulled out a PCI-e USB 3.0 card and an ESata III adapter. I also pulled out the SLI bottom connector board since I only have 1 display adapter.

It came up and has been running for 2 days without a reboot so not WIn 10 problem. Although I had nothing connected to the SATA III card or the USB 3.0 card, it could have been either one of them. I am betting on the little SLI extension board, though. being unterminated it was probably picking up enough noise to occasionally cause a hardware glitch. The fact that I would lose video on both monitors long before the system would actually die, seems to support this idea, too. I have had the soundtrack continue for 4 or 5 minutes and even a hangout session continue to work long after I lost video.

We will see how long this holds up. I have to give win 10 kudos for not wrecking my HD or system with all of these sudden reboots and resets and power cuts that have happened during this struggle. Linux crapped on GRUB once after I had a hang (different cause) and made the OpenSuse system on my SSD become unstartable after a different problem which I had to reset from while running it. It now it just goes to the login Prompt. I think it thinks it is in safe mode but don't know L that well so it might just be playing with me.

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Good catch Budd!


I had a similar incident when I had a USB 3 card crap out my Lenovo desktop the year before last, which was big system and was running 8.0 from a native Windows system image.


I now pull all add on cards and attached hardware until I find one/they are guilty/innocent.


I also had a fail on updates and on upgrading. IT failed on my laptop test bed and it turned out that when I cloned the drive it remade a partition that is normally hidden except when using a partition tool. it was something like 80mb. The advice was to increase it to ~500mb. I did and voila! all worked great and the windows update proceeded. I have checked all my partitions on all my cloned for SSD drives and found every one needed to be expanded. 500mb of space is no big deal for me and I took it from unallocated space or from the C partition whichever made more sense each time.


I'm not even sure what or why, but it fixes a plethora some problems when not hardware.


Glad you found it. ON my wife's slow 10 install I might have a similar issue.


I've also found some older systems get oxidation on the RAM contacts and just removing and putting them back in a couple times each solves other issues when no other cause can be found. Bad RAM usually won't show up on the system screen or in the program I like to use because of the temp readouts, Speccy, by Piriform, the same folks who make CCleaner.

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Got that, too. The bad ram was on the video card but I have seen similar symptoms with a power supply going bad.


As for that 80mb partition, in Windows 7 (IIRC) microsoft split that off to make the boot process a bit more secure. Notice that there is no longer a boot.ini file? The problems I have seen with that 80mb partition is that it should not be assigned a drive letter but a few updates or installs have automatically given it one. So far, just removing the mounted state by removing the drive letter seems to fix all those issues. I have seen it complain about not enough space for the pagefile. It was because it was seeing that tiny partition and trying to use it.


I don't usually replace things until they break so bad that I can't fix them, then I do it, reluctantly. In this case, the desktop was a premo gaming system built by a friend of my son's when he worked at Red Storm Entertainment. He is a very sharp guy and it has been a solid system. It's just that the scope of all computer technology has grown so much since 2006 that less and less of the few new things I would really like to have would be compatible with this MB and Video.


I dont game so gaming quality video is not a draw for me but I still like to run the benchmark programs just to see what the hardware can do.

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No that smallish partition is usually not assigned a drive letter.

This is true but on more than 1 occasion I have seen it with a drive letter after an update. It usually goes unnoticed until something happens that tries to use it for storage space. This happened when the upgrade from 8.0 to 8.1 media center went on. One clue that this may have happened, though not all, is that the update failed with no real clue why. Maybe an obtuse message about space or paging or something else. That little bitty partition needs to be invisible.

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I never got a message! Just a repeated fail! I think that partition needs to be visible, and explained more in depth. I would have loved to have gotten an error message to look up instead of just having the update to Windows 10 on my Toshiba test laptop fail repeatedly, telling me it failed but not why.


The folks writing code also need to acknowledge every part of their process and allow for automatic resizing after asking for permission. I had a desktop that failed to update from 8.0 to 8.1 and I gave up and now know the culprit long after I sold the computer restored to its original image with Windows 7. I hate that the cloning and Windows folks aren't getting their collective spit together causing the proverbial excrement to hit our rotating surfaces. I am no longer coding, not even .bat files. But at least we have been around from before Bill bought Seattle Computer Product's DOS, so can fumble our way around the dusty recesses of the ongoing x86 systems.

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