Windows 10: Professional cleaning: what's involved? Solved

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  1. axe0's Avatar
    Posts : 13,620
    Windows 10 Pro
       22 Jan 2018 #101

    Built-in Windows Memory Diagnostic test and Memory Diagnostic tests that can run within Windows aren't very proper.
    Those that can run within Windows cannot check the memory that Windows occupies, so if there's an issue with that portion of RAM, it can't be detected.
    Built-in Windows Memory Diagnostic test is known for being not very proper, it fails to detect problems whereas tests like MemTest86 and MemTest86+ can.

    The difference between MemTest86 & MemTest86+, MemTest86+ is mainly better with DDR3 and DDR2 and unfortunately hasn't had any update in years. The lack of updates causes booting issues with many newer systems, which is why fast startup and secure boot usually need to be disabled.
    MemTest86 is free and paid program, it is still getting updates and thus these days more and more recommended with DDR4 and newer systems. With MemTest86 you don't need to disable secure boot and fast startup AFAIK.
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  2.    22 Jan 2018 #102

    axe0 said: View Post
    Built-in Windows Memory Diagnostic test and Memory Diagnostic tests that can run within Windows aren't very proper.
    Those that can run within Windows cannot check the memory that Windows occupies, so if there's an issue with that portion of RAM, it can't be detected.
    Built-in Windows Memory Diagnostic test is known for being not very proper, it fails to detect problems whereas tests like MemTest86 and MemTest86+ can.

    The difference between MemTest86 & MemTest86+, MemTest86+ is mainly better with DDR3 and DDR2 and unfortunately hasn't had any update in years. The lack of updates causes booting issues with many newer systems, which is why fast startup and secure boot usually need to be disabled.
    MemTest86 is free and paid program, it is still getting updates and thus these days more and more recommended with DDR4 and newer systems. With MemTest86 you don't need to disable secure boot and fast startup AFAIK.
    Fair enough. Then how do I make MemTest86 run on my brother's computer? What did I do wrong (or what do I need to do differently)?
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  3. Layback Bear's Avatar
    Posts : 994
    Windows 7/64 Professional
       22 Jan 2018 #103

    Did you format your memory stick to Fat/32.
    Did you try MemTest 86? (Not the MemTest86+)

    Take a read through this tutorial by Boozad.

    MemTest86+ - Test RAM BSOD Tutorials


    Jack
    Last edited by Layback Bear; 23 Jan 2018 at 14:01.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    23 Jan 2018 #104

    Layback Bear said: View Post
    Did you format your memory stick to Fat/32.
    Did you try MemTest 86? (Not the MemTest86+)

    Take a read through this tutorial by Boozad.

    MemTest86+ - Test RAM BSOD Tutorials


    Jack
    I read the tutorial and Part 1 is exactly how I created the MemTest86+ flash drive, including formatting it as Fat32. I've verified that secure boot is disabled, that the removable drive is the first in the boot sequence and that Boot Manager is enabled. After I save and exit the BIOS, it makes no difference whether I click F12 and then choose Boot Manager (the *only* option on the menu - there is no UEFI flash drive listed) or if I just let the boot continue without pressing F12; it inevitably boots in Windows again rather than starting the memory test. I've tried using a different USB port and removing the mouse in case there was some kind of USB conflict but that doesn't make any difference either. I did the flash drive creation process again in case something went wrong there but that doesn't change anything either: it just boots into Windows.

    Is this some kind of USB issue where it only intermittently sees flash drives??? Because getting this computer to boot from a flash drive has been the most time-consuming aspect of this whole problem by far.

    Can a USB issue keep Windows updates from executing? That seems unlikely since I can't think of any role for USB devices in doing updates but it also seems improbable that I'd have USB issues AND some other problem, like memory issues, at the same time.

    One more thing I should mention. I'm not sure if this is relevant but the computer is taking noticeably longer to reboot now that my brother has put his several thousand photographs on the computer. Also, I initially typed this from my brother's computer in Edge and several paragraphs back, the computer stopped accepted input from the keyboard. It went away for a long time (several minutes) but finally came back. But by that point, I had given it up and started typing it in on this laptop. I'm trying to think of why typing a post should have been so taxing given that there is almost nothing on the computer and I only had one browser window open and no other apps running. Could this be a symptom that will help diagnose the underlying issue?
    Last edited by RhinoCan; 23 Jan 2018 at 14:39. Reason: Add information
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  5. Layback Bear's Avatar
    Posts : 994
    Windows 7/64 Professional
       23 Jan 2018 #105

    From my post #103.

    Did you try MemTest 86? (Not the MemTest86+)
    Using the tutorial, use MemTest 86 instead of MemTest86 (+).

    MemTest86 - Official Site of the x86 Memory Testing Tool

    Worth a try. I believe that is what axe0 post # 101 was all about.

    Jack
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    23 Jan 2018 #106

    Layback Bear said: View Post
    From my post #103.



    Using the tutorial, use MemTest 86 instead of MemTest86 (+).

    MemTest86 - Official Site of the x86 Memory Testing Tool

    Worth a try. I believe that is what axe0 post # 101 was all about.

    Jack
    I made a memtest86 flash drive and this time, F12 showed me *two* UEFI flash drives rather than none. Assuming it made no difference which one I chose, I chose the first of the UEFI flash drive options. I'm not clear if I was supposed to change any configuration settings so it's just running with the defaults. If that's wrong, please tell me what to change and I'll start over.

    This program has a line near that bottom that says "Pass: 1 / 4". I assume it will only make 4 passes. Is that enough, given that memtest86+ needs a minimum of 8 passes? If not, do I need to change the number of passes in the configuration? Or just run the whole thing twice?

    Update: It's now the next day. I let the test run to completion with the defaults (4 passes) and it reported no errors at all. It also listed the tests conducted and I noticed they were numbers 1 through 10 and 13; apparently tests 11 and 12 (and any beyond 13) aren't part of the default test cycle. I said Yes to the option for saving the test results but got a message saying that it failed to write the HTML document. I found the usage instructions for MemTest86 and it says *one* pass is normally sufficient. Are we now safe in assuming the memory on the computer is okay? Or do we need to do additional passes or tests? For what it's worth, the memory on the computer is DDR3 1600 MHz if that makes a difference.

    If more memory testing is required, what tests and how many passes should I do? If the memory has now been ruled out as the issue, what should I try next to get the computer to do updates properly?

    I should mention that the computer is VERY VERY slow when Windows is running. I tried to open Task Manager to see what the problem was and the clicks seemed to be ignored but finally, after several minutes, six different Task Manager windows opened. All of them were "not responding" and it took another 2or 30 minutes to close them all. I let it try to search for a solution in one case and after 10 minutes, it still hadn't finished so I cancelled that. I have to believe that this extreme slowness is a clue of some kind but I'm not sure where it points.

    SECOND UPDATE:
    I thought I'd try a full virus scan on the computer to see if that revealed any issues. After a half hour of attempting to boot, it blue-screened with the code: "BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO". I tried again; it blue-screened again with the same code, but somewhat faster. It went into repair mode automatically, then told me it was trying to repair disk errors, the message predicted that repairs might take over an hour. Would disk errors explain the various symptoms?

    THIRD UPDATE:
    The Windows repair is *still* running after 5 hours. I'm going to see if there's a hard disk tester that will run from a flash drive and reboot into that to see if a hard drive error is part of this problem....
    Last edited by RhinoCan; 24 Jan 2018 at 15:55. Reason: Third update
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  7.    29 Jan 2018 #107

    This thread obviously went dead so I pursued my issues further in another forum.

    Long story short, it seems that my brother's hard drive continued a very significant number of errors when I ran the appropriate Western Digital diagnostics on it. There were so many errors that the diagnostic advised us to replace the hard drive. We did that this morning. I reinstalled Windows, did a full backup, then he reinstalled his games and copied all his pictures onto the new hard drive. I made a restore point. I'm about to take a backup of the changes.

    I'm cautiously optimistic that the problems are now behind us so I'm closing the thread. I'll start a new thread if we have further issues.
    I'm just posting now in case anyone else has the same issues and can benefit from this thread.

    For what it's worth, I learned a couple of new and useful tricks on the other forum, including:
    • Getting the computer to recognize bootable flash drives more reliably (I had *so many* problems with my flash drives not being seen in this thread!). It turns out that I had to turn CSM (GSM?) to "Always" (from Never) in order to make the computer see the flash drives.
    • I was told about a utility called PartedMagic which does a very nice job of repartitioning and reformatting flash drives.


    Many thanks to all the folks here who helped me get as far as I did!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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