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HackTheNSA
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Solved!

HP ZBook G5 17 - constant BSOD

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ZBook G5 17
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Spec: 8gb ddr3, 512gb SSD, Quadro (1000 I think). 

 

This is a cry of help as I am 100% out of ideas. I firmly believe there is a driver or hardware issue in my laptop.

 

Long story short: There are various deep, operating system related (such as memory walk, kernel stack issue, cpu issue ) BSOD lockups on a brand new machine. I am an IT veteran, with about 20 years of experience. So no, it is not a pebkac problem. 

 

I would like to help HP find the bug, driver or whatever. I am willing to upload the crabs dumps for them, run any tool, etc. 

 

Troubleshoot:

- Ram test: Did like a 12 hour memtest86, the BIOS me test, Windows test. All clear. There are no app crashes. 

- CPU test: Ran Prime95 and Intel CPU diagnostics. No issue in either (p95 can also display if cpu does not work properly.) 

- GPU test: Ran benchmarks, games, zero issues here. 

- Suspend, power save bugs: The Bsod happens with and without suspend. Ie. : it's not a wake bug. 

 

One bsod has shown the audio software once, so I removed that. 

 

Why not send it to HP? The local. HP does not care. I desperately tried to contact them to get a ZBook and they sent us away. It's insanely bad over here. And the seller does have warranty but since it's a hard to reproduce issue (sometimes does not happen for days) and we cannot give up the laptop for weeks or months as it's our work tool. It's the way we make money. The Latitude we had has been running for 6 years or so without any issue ever. So this is a bit depressing, but I still hope HP is able to sort this somehow. 

 

PS.: This is my second laptop. The first one had a TouchPad ground issue (ghost touch) , but they replaced the whole machine. 

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IT_WinSec
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Message 4 of 13
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@HackTheNSA wrote:

@dear @IT_WinSec:

 

Thank you for your reply!

 

>> You are most welcome !

 

Not a hardware problem: That's the thing. The issues still point to some kind of core CPU, RAM, or motherboard problem. However, I am out of ideas about what to test. How to test. If you have any ideas, shoot!

 

>> I don't think we/you have a clear clue yet what it is exactly.

The hardware diagnostics performed clearly shows no hardware issue. Looks like either Windows bug, or a driver incompatibility.

 

Have you disabled the automatic reboot yet ?

Is the BSOD code always the same (same error) ? You mentioned one it pointed to the audio, what was the other times ?

 

>> Did you check the Microsoft articles posted above and did you try Driver Verifier ?

 

What Windows 10 verison? Windows 10 Pro. Came with the machine.

 

>> Do you use the latest Windows 10 build 1809 or some previous ? You can check this in Control Panel -> System

Asking this because with Pro version, you are able to delay the installation of feature upgrade builds.

 

 

Reinstalled? I cleaned most of the HP bloatware from the machine because they added some delay to the boot. And there was a sound related software installed that I had to remove as well, as it caused one BSOD as well.

 

>> The fact that it does not clearly shows the same driver/sofware everytime when checking the dumps, mean this will be either Windows issue with memory management, or some hardware problem (most likely software), though

 

Power options: I did try these all, sadly. Hoped it was only a sleep / wake bug. But this didn't change anything. Even if the machine was left alone - it could BSOD.

Do you notice any issues being caused after not using the PC for certain period? Sadly, no. It's absolutely random. Sometimes the machine runs fine for hours, days. Sometimes it BSODs twice a day. It's just unreliable.

Antivirus: Just Defender, the default. Didn't want to mess with that until we made sure the laptop indeed works just fine. 

 

I know. My reply, does not exactly help out here. If you have any BIOS setting idea, or whatever that might help, shoot. Willing to try anything to solve this once and for all. It really, really feels like there is a bent CPU pin, or some motherboard error.. it feels like a very sophisticated error. Something real "deep" that just does not show up. Even tried to disable deeper CPU sleep states - without luck. And my issue is, if I try running tests, they all come out clean. Yet the errors point to some deep system problem.

 

Now, you know, contact support. Sure. But as it rarely comes up, it would take them continuous day-to-day use to reproduce. No service team has time for that. Or they would just send it back, saying it didn't happen in a short while. Wish HP could look at the dumps, analyze them. Thought about swapping out the RAM in the machine, but I think the single 8GB module is on the side of the motherboard, and I'd rather not void any warranty just yet.

 


>> I would not suggest you attempt swapping parts (RAM, or else). The hardware diagnostics shows good results so far.

 

I would suggest you reinstall Windows 10 by performing fresh clean installation and later only installing drivers via Device Manager/Windows Update unless others are absolutely necessary.

 

Are you willing to reinstall Windows ?

 

Here are instructions how you can perform clean vanilla Windows 10 installation >> https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Operating-System-and-Recovery/EliteBook-very-slow-after-drive...

>> Your FEEDBACK is important. Click below on Accept As Solution or ThumbUp+ buttons if my comments helped or to say thanks <<
*** I work for HP *** I express personal opinion only *** HP Expert - Volunteer since 2013

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IT_WinSec
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Hello @HackTheNSA

 

Welcome to the HP Support Community.

 

Most likely it's not a hardware issue because you tested them all.

 

  • What is the Windows 10 version you use on this PC ?
  • Have you reinstalled Windows already ?

 

 

  • Try going into Control Panel -> Power options
  • Go to "Choose what closing the lid does" - configure all the 6 options to "Do nothing" in order to disable any Sleep options, Hibernation options, etc
  • Go back to Power options -> select your plan -> change plan settings -> Change advanced power settings ->
  • Go to Hard Disk -> expand it and make sure set them to turn off after 0 minutes/seconds, which will mean "Never" and will disable automatic HDD turning off

 

Do you notice any issues being caused after not using the PC for certain period ?

What is the antivirus system you use  on this PC ? Any 3rd party encryption/antivirus/firewall products ?

 

 

Have you checked these advanced troubleshooting articles already:

>> https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/14238/windows-10-troubleshoot-blue-screen-errors

>> https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/client-management/troubleshoot-stop-errors

 

 

 

>> Your FEEDBACK is important. Click below on Accept As Solution or ThumbUp+ buttons if my comments helped or to say thanks <<
*** I work for HP *** I express personal opinion only *** HP Expert - Volunteer since 2013
HackTheNSA
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Dear @IT_WinSec:

 

Thank you for your reply!

 

Not a hardware problem: That's the thing. The issues still point to some kind of core CPU, RAM, or motherboard problem. However, I am out of ideas about what to test. How to test. If you have any ideas, shoot!

 

What Windows 10 verison? Windows 10 Pro. Came with the machine.

Reinstalled? I cleaned most of the HP bloatware from the machine because they added some delay to the boot. And there was a sound related software installed that I had to remove as well, as it caused one BSOD as well.

 

Power options: I did try these all, sadly. Hoped it was only a sleep / wake bug. But this didn't change anything. Even if the machine was left alone - it could BSOD.

Do you notice any issues being caused after not using the PC for certain period? Sadly, no. It's absolutely random. Sometimes the machine runs fine for hours, days. Sometimes it BSODs twice a day. It's just unreliable.

Antivirus: Just Defender, the default. Didn't want to mess with that until we made sure the laptop indeed works just fine. 

 

I know. My reply, does not exactly help out here. If you have any BIOS setting idea, or whatever that might help, shoot. Willing to try anything to solve this once and for all. It really, really feels like there is a bent CPU pin, or some motherboard error.. it feels like a very sophisticated error. Something real "deep" that just does not show up. Even tried to disable deeper CPU sleep states - without luck. And my issue is, if I try running tests, they all come out clean. Yet the errors point to some deep system problem.

 

Now, you know, contact support. Sure. But as it rarely comes up, it would take them continuous day-to-day use to reproduce. No service team has time for that. Or they would just send it back, saying it didn't happen in a short while. Wish HP could look at the dumps, analyze them. Thought about swapping out the RAM in the machine, but I think the single 8GB module is on the side of the motherboard, and I'd rather not void any warranty just yet.

 

IT_WinSec
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Message 4 of 13
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@HackTheNSA wrote:

@dear @IT_WinSec:

 

Thank you for your reply!

 

>> You are most welcome !

 

Not a hardware problem: That's the thing. The issues still point to some kind of core CPU, RAM, or motherboard problem. However, I am out of ideas about what to test. How to test. If you have any ideas, shoot!

 

>> I don't think we/you have a clear clue yet what it is exactly.

The hardware diagnostics performed clearly shows no hardware issue. Looks like either Windows bug, or a driver incompatibility.

 

Have you disabled the automatic reboot yet ?

Is the BSOD code always the same (same error) ? You mentioned one it pointed to the audio, what was the other times ?

 

>> Did you check the Microsoft articles posted above and did you try Driver Verifier ?

 

What Windows 10 verison? Windows 10 Pro. Came with the machine.

 

>> Do you use the latest Windows 10 build 1809 or some previous ? You can check this in Control Panel -> System

Asking this because with Pro version, you are able to delay the installation of feature upgrade builds.

 

 

Reinstalled? I cleaned most of the HP bloatware from the machine because they added some delay to the boot. And there was a sound related software installed that I had to remove as well, as it caused one BSOD as well.

 

>> The fact that it does not clearly shows the same driver/sofware everytime when checking the dumps, mean this will be either Windows issue with memory management, or some hardware problem (most likely software), though

 

Power options: I did try these all, sadly. Hoped it was only a sleep / wake bug. But this didn't change anything. Even if the machine was left alone - it could BSOD.

Do you notice any issues being caused after not using the PC for certain period? Sadly, no. It's absolutely random. Sometimes the machine runs fine for hours, days. Sometimes it BSODs twice a day. It's just unreliable.

Antivirus: Just Defender, the default. Didn't want to mess with that until we made sure the laptop indeed works just fine. 

 

I know. My reply, does not exactly help out here. If you have any BIOS setting idea, or whatever that might help, shoot. Willing to try anything to solve this once and for all. It really, really feels like there is a bent CPU pin, or some motherboard error.. it feels like a very sophisticated error. Something real "deep" that just does not show up. Even tried to disable deeper CPU sleep states - without luck. And my issue is, if I try running tests, they all come out clean. Yet the errors point to some deep system problem.

 

Now, you know, contact support. Sure. But as it rarely comes up, it would take them continuous day-to-day use to reproduce. No service team has time for that. Or they would just send it back, saying it didn't happen in a short while. Wish HP could look at the dumps, analyze them. Thought about swapping out the RAM in the machine, but I think the single 8GB module is on the side of the motherboard, and I'd rather not void any warranty just yet.

 


>> I would not suggest you attempt swapping parts (RAM, or else). The hardware diagnostics shows good results so far.

 

I would suggest you reinstall Windows 10 by performing fresh clean installation and later only installing drivers via Device Manager/Windows Update unless others are absolutely necessary.

 

Are you willing to reinstall Windows ?

 

Here are instructions how you can perform clean vanilla Windows 10 installation >> https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Operating-System-and-Recovery/EliteBook-very-slow-after-drive...

>> Your FEEDBACK is important. Click below on Accept As Solution or ThumbUp+ buttons if my comments helped or to say thanks <<
*** I work for HP *** I express personal opinion only *** HP Expert - Volunteer since 2013

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HackTheNSA
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Well, I could reinstall but that would mean another 5 days of downtime. And really, there are 0 software related crashes. All of them point deep below the kernel. They point at processor, motherboard and memory. Kernel map walk, inconsistency, etc.

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Corstian
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At my work we have the same laptop's for some students, 4 out of 15 are doing the same thing

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Frezn
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I'm up to 5 out of 5 of ours are BSODing also.  HP will replace the motherboard, but they continue to BSOD.  Latest bios, drivers, 1809 of Windows.  Frustrating.

FixingBrokenStu
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I have the exact same issue. Dump analysis always points to memory management. Memtest came up clean. Fresh OS install, latest BIOS. Makes no sense.

HackTheNSA
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I have fixed my laptop very easily, but I thought I already posted the solution.

Sorry if I forgot.

 

The fix:

-Back up the recovery partition or whatever you might need down the road.

- Wipe the WHOLE LAPTOP, EVERYTHING. All partitions. To hell with it.

- Install the latest Windows 10 ISO from a fresh pendrive, using the Microsoft ISO downloaded.

 

That was it. I installed all the drivers the end user needed, the programs, everything.

Zero BSOD ever since. 0. None. Nada. Nil.

Seriously, it's been upgraded to 1903 since, still rock solid, ever since I did the clean install.

 

- Never though such a simple fix could work.

- Never thought pre-installed crapware could cause BSOD.

- Still have no idea why HP released an image that basically trashes a very expensive business laptop and tarnishes both the HP and EliteBook names. That's beyond me.

 

Good luck!

 

Ps.: Yes, it was a few days of downtime, but man, was it worth it. It's now a work horse without any failure, crash or BSOD whatsoever. Love that thing. It churns for weeks and weeks without end. Just like the old Latitude did. Honestly thought I'll have a big lawsuit on my neck because I picked this model. Thanks HP for not having our back, and thanks IT_WinSec for even suggesting such a solution.

FixingBrokenStu
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Message 10 of 13
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I did that last week and my user is still getting BSODs. I did not install drivers via the SoftPaq Manager. I just let Win 10 self install. Did you use the SoftPaq Manager?

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