Mysterious boot loops and BSODs


  1. Posts : 2
    Windows 10 Home 64 bit
       #1

    Mysterious boot loops and BSODs


    Hi everyone, first time poster here. Hopefully I'm doing this right despite not being able to provide certain information. Anyway, I've searched the internet high and low for answers to my issues and haven't found a definite solution, but I was hoping maybe I could at least get a little closer to it with your help. Tl;dr at the bottom.

    So for my issues, starting around November last year, my PC would boot loop when I tried to turn it on. I built the PC back in 2017 and haven't changed any of the hardware nor do I overclock. It would power up for a few seconds, fans spinning and lights on, then turn off for a few, then turn back on and keep repeating endlessly. The display would be just black the entire time.

    After disconnecting power, reconnecting it, and then trying to turn it on again ended up with the same results, I decided to try reseating my RAM; which actually worked... at least for a bit.

    Reseating the RAM was only a temporary fix. After a week or so it would start boot looping again and I would have to reseat the RAM. The time in between it boot looping became shorter and shorter until it was a daily thing.

    Strangely, it would only boot loop during a cold boot. For example, when I first tried to turn it on in the morning. And restarts afterwards would work fine. At one point, I decided to clean my RAM sticks. This seemed to help as the boot loop didn't happen for a while, but I noticed stuttering when playing games. Then the daily boot loops came back.

    As annoying as having to reseat the RAM daily was, I continued to use my PC.... Until one day where it started freezing when I was using it. I was playing a game when it first happened and thought maybe it was the game's fault. Then, the freezing became more frequent. Sometimes it would freeze right after entering my login password just to get into Windows.

    And then, they began to show up: the dreaded blue screens of death.

    I received various BSOD errors such as driver irql less or not equal and unexpected kernel mode trap along with various causes listed for each.
    So I got to troubleshooting and I tried basically every possible solution I could find.

    Driver updates, Windows updates, uninstalling and reinstalling certain drivers, updating BIOS, messing around with BIOS settings (mostly related to RAM), using SFC and chkdsk on a USB, running memtest with no errors, reseating the CMOS battery, reseating the GPU, looking in event viewer, unplugging USB devices, shouting profanities, you name it and I've probably tried it.

    The only real choice left was to reinstall Windows entirely, which I did. Installation went smooth, I reinstalled some of my apps, and then... BSOD. I don't remember what the message was but afterwards I updated some drivers (namely Nvidia GPU driver) and then everything seemed to be fine.

    I was able to enjoy using my PC, problem free.... for 2.5 months.

    Just this past weekend, I was playing a game and then it froze and the speakers let out this horrible buzzing sound. No input worked, it was completely frozen. Now, I should also probably mention to my embarrassment, I was getting quite mad at the game and may have hit my desk (which my PC is on) in frustration and the freeze happened right after that.

    I don't think I hit it that hard, it was hard enough to maybe knock over an empty drink can, but it's not the first time I've done that. So I'm unsure if me hitting the desk has anything to do with the freeze or if it's just a crazy coincidence.
    Anyway, I forced the PC off by holding down the power button then tried to turn it back on and then.... boot loop. "Oh no, not again" I thought to myself as I tried to ol' unplug, replug, and turn on trick to no avail. Tried reseating RAM, it booted normally and then it froze right when I tried to login.

    Tried booting again after a RAM reseat and this time a BSOD appeared that said unexpected kernel mode trap that said it was caused by clipsp.sys.

    After Googling a bit just to find the usual suggested actions, I said screw it and decided to just reinstall Windows again and hope for the best.

    During the install process, I found that my C drive had multiple partitions that I didn't even know about. I deleted them all and reinstalled Windows. After the installation was done doing its thing, it needed to restart so I let it, but then it kept going back to the beginning of the installation process. I yanked the USB installer out and it went on normally (as suggested by another case I found by Googling).

    One strange thing I did notice though is that now when my PC boots, it would show the splash screen, show a brief blackscreen with a blinking underscore(?) in the corner, then show the Windows logo. After several seconds, the spinning dot loading symbol would appear and then the login screen would come up. Before this reinstallation, the way my PC booted up was it would show the splash screen, the spinning dots would show up on that screen, and then I could login. I don't know if something is wrong now but it does take a little longer to actually boot up.

    It's been about 3 days since the reinstall and I haven't had any issues (other than some missing drivers that I reinstalled) but I can't shake the feeling that trouble will find its way back to my PC soon enough. I also haven't tried playing the game that it froze on as of now.

    So with that life story out of the way, does anyone have any idea what could be going on? I suspect drivers or maybe the OS getting corrupt, but I don't know why that would happen. I take good care of my PC (anger issues aside) and don't download weird things or click on strange ads. All the hardware seems to check out afaik and it's not like the inside of the PC is caked in dust. I recently also began thinking maybe the SSD my OS is on is wonky, but that's just a thought. The PC worked fine (at least for a while) after reinstall so I'm doubting it's a hardware problem. Any ideas?

    ___

    Tl;dr: My PC started having boot loops and BSODs. Tried everything to fix it, didn't work. Reinstalled Windows and it worked for about 2.5 months. PC froze during gameplay recently (also happened right after I raged and hit my desk). Turned off PC and tried to turn back on gave boot loop and BSOD (unexpected kernel mode trap clipsp.sys) again. Reinstalled windows AGAIN and other than taking longer to boot, is working fine as of now.
    ___

    PC specs:
    MSI H270 Gaming Pro Carbon mobo
    i7-7700K
    MSI GTX1080
    Corsair Vengeance 16GB RAM
    Thermaltake 750W PSU
    Samsung 850 Evo 250GB SSD, Seagate Barracuda 3TB HDD
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 1,480
    Win10 Pro
       #2

    Hi JP107 and welcome to the forum. Just a guess but it sounds like there is a broken trace somewhere on the motherboard. I had a similar situation many years ago. Mine stated failing to boot except when it was turned on its side. Returned it to the mfg and they confirmed it. In your case when the PC warms up the connection gets interrupted. When you reseated them ram you put pressure on the motherboard temporarily making the connection again. Things like this can be very intermittent and hard to diagnose. Eventually the trace will completely break.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 2
    Windows 10 Home 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #3

    SoFine409 said:
    Hi JP107 and welcome to the forum. Just a guess but it sounds like there is a broken trace somewhere on the motherboard. I had a similar situation many years ago. Mine stated failing to boot except when it was turned on its side. Returned it to the mfg and they confirmed it. In your case when the PC warms up the connection gets interrupted. When you reseated them ram you put pressure on the motherboard temporarily making the connection again. Things like this can be very intermittent and hard to diagnose. Eventually the trace will completely break.
    Hello!

    Thank you for the reply and info. I'll be sure to keep it in mind.

    I guess I may need to inspect my motherboard closely sometime.
      My Computer


 

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