07
Jan
2016

Windows 10 Crashing at Idle: Solved!

This is a weird one. Before, I posted about how Windows 10 after being left for about 10 minutes would bluescreen, with no idea why. Each bluescreen was slightly different, though they seemed to point to NTFS.sys.

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Strange. I had reinstalled the OS and it was still crashing. I reset the BIOS to it’s default values and they seemed to be fine, and Linux was perfectly stable. I went on the Google and found some tools for analysing the memory dumps that the bluescreens leave, the best tool that I used was WhoCrashed.

The tool told me that it was unlikely to be a hardware issue and more of a driver issue, like I had suspected before. I rebooted into Safe Mode with Networking and tried again, but this time the system did not crash after 10 minutes and seemed to be totally stable. Safe Mode runs Windows with a lot of services disabled, so I started looking at what services ran after 10 minutes of idle in a normal environment. Then, I found it.

Windows Defender.

Yep, Windows 10’s own built in anti-malware service was running after 10 minutes and using up a load of CPU and disk activity, before eventually crashing the system. Now, in Windows 10, you cannot turn off Windows Defender. You can temporarily disable it, but it gets turned back on automatically – so I can’t just use another (probably better) solution. I did some more research and worked out that indeed some power saving settings in the BIOS were causing interference. I’m not sure why, but having the C6 states enabled in the BIOS would cause Windows 10 to crash when Windows Defender needed disk access and CPU time.

tm1

So that was strange. Since changing that setting I’ve not had any problems with Windows 10, and Grand Theft Auto V doesn’t crash anymore. Maybe it was a hardware problem after all? Aw well, it’s fixed now.

Happy 2016 everybody!
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