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JBT27
03-18-2014, 03:21 PM
Well I finally have a new machine, and one up to doing what I need. Except three days in and not seriously put it through its paces yet, I'm getting a BSOD with F9. Not all the time. Ignore my signature for now - it's an i7 3.4Ghz 64Gb RAM Titan Black 6Gb Win 8.1 64bit.

I also have a Wacom Intuos Pro Large. Drivers are all up to date. The machine has barely had time to get messed up! Also running Nortons 360.

The first BSOD happened during rendering an 8,000 x 4,000 pixel image via F10 - WDC Watchdog Violation, the second tonight happened during a 1,000 x 600 pixel render via F9 - Bad Pool Header.

Ironic that the quad core it replaces was rock solid, but too slow and low on RAM to handle what we're doing now.

I'd appreciate any ideas, if it's the Titan driver maybe, tests to run, anything. I appreciate it's not a simple matter to pin down, but my work is going suffer if I can't render the blasted jobs without BSODs.

Thanks.

Julian.

spherical
03-18-2014, 04:22 PM
What does the Event Viewer have logged when the crash happens?

What are your temperatures? Also, i7-[what]?

JBT27
03-19-2014, 02:47 AM
It's an i7-4930K 3.4Ghz.

Event Viewer reports this:

Log Name: System
Source: Microsoft-Windows-WER-SystemErrorReporting
Date: 18 / 03 / 2014 20:34:43
Event ID: 1001
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Computer: TitanOne
Description:
The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x00000019 (0x000000000000000d, 0xffffd000262bd230, 0xffffe00007510cc0, 0xff87a10c61901bfb). A dump was saved in: C:\windows\MEMORY.DMP. Report Id: 031814-39656-01.
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08 /events/event">
<System>
<Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-WER-SystemErrorReporting" Guid="{ABCE23E7-DE45-4366-8631-84FA6C525952}" EventSourceName="BugCheck" />
<EventID Qualifiers="16384">1001</EventID>
<Version>0</Version>
<Level>2</Level>
<Task>0</Task>
<Opcode>0</Opcode>
<Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
<TimeCreated SystemTime="2014-03-18T20:34:43.000000000Z" />
<EventRecordID>7109</EventRecordID>
<Correlation />
<Execution ProcessID="0" ThreadID="0" />
<Channel>System</Channel>
<Computer>TitanOne</Computer>
<Security />
</System>
<EventData>
<Data Name="param1">0x00000019 (0x000000000000000d, 0xffffd000262bd230, 0xffffe00007510cc0, 0xff87a10c61901bfb)</Data>
<Data Name="param2">C:\windows\MEMORY.DMP</Data>
<Data Name="param3">031814-39656-01</Data>
</EventData>
</Event>

Am running some renders to see what the temp does. Right now, idling, CPU temp is 31 degrees C, mobo temp is 27 degrees C.

I'll get back with more when I've rendered some stuff.

Thanks.

Julian.

JBT27
03-19-2014, 02:50 AM
I added some spaces in the bug report above to stop the blasted smiley appearing.

Julian.

JBT27
03-19-2014, 05:06 AM
It has been mentioned to me this morning that this is not uncommon - BSODs happen. I get that. But I'm talking about BSODs during F9/F10, and nothing else so far - machine works fine otherwise. I still think the rendering BSOD is abnormal, but if anyone can tell me differently, I'll take that on the chin, as it were.

Julian.

spherical
03-19-2014, 04:42 PM
Of course a BSOD is abnormal.

Does the blue screen say BAD_POOL_HEADER? Google: bugcheck 0x00000019
How are those temps while rendering?
That this is a new box, it might be a good step to run Memtest on the RAM and Driver Verifier on the subsystem to see what may be corrupting the pool header.
What AV are you running?
Latest BIOS flashed?

JBT27
03-19-2014, 05:03 PM
Of course a BSOD is abnormal.

How are those temps while rendering?
That this is a new box, it might be a good step to run memtest on the RAM.
What AV are you running?
Latest BIOS flashed?

Thought so - odd crashes yes, but not BSODs on a particular process.
Temps are OK - machine has been on all day - 15hrs or so at the moment. Average idling is 36 degrees C - rendering peaks at 69 degrees C, quickly falling to 30s degrees C on completion.
AV is Nortons 360 Premier. I have been using Kaspersky AV for years, but for some reason it screwed up installing, that bluescreened, and I ditched it for Nortons.
I did have the free version of Networx installed - removed that today.
MemTest was fine - did that last night - left it running.
BIOS is latest - checked with builders.
Had one bluescreen on render today - Bad_Pool_Header again, otherwise the machine is working well. That said, not pushed it hard yet. Sent minidumps to the manufacturer.
I'll try almost anything - serious tripwire is this.

Julian.

spherical
03-19-2014, 05:44 PM
Hmm, might be remnants of Kaspersky in the registry.


Did you run the LW installer files As Administrator? I don't mean logged in as Administrator, although that is recommended, I mean right-click on the installer and choose Run As Administrator.
Did you completely disable the AV and Firewall when installing?
Did you install in /Program Files? I never do that. Too many permissions issues in Win8. I create a "replica" pair of of top-level directories: /Apps for 64-bit and /Apps (x86) for 32-bit to keep them separated. That I have an SSD for the %system drive%, I set these directories on a fast HDD to cut down on the cycles.
After install, are you setting all LW applications to Run As Administrator?

JBT27
03-19-2014, 06:19 PM
Yes, installed in Run As Administrator - AV and firewall may still have been on though. LW works fine otherwise - not sure why rendering would be intermittently tripped up if the install had been bad, ie. wouldn't it be consistently crashing?
They are installed in Programs - not clear what you are meaning; a separate folder in the root of the boot drive you mean, as an alternative?
They were not set to Run As Administrator, but they are now.
I'll check the registry for remnants of Kasperksy - pretty sure I ran their remove tool as well.

Julian.

spherical
03-19-2014, 11:46 PM
LW works fine otherwise - not sure why rendering would be intermittently tripped up if the install had been bad, ie. wouldn't it be consistently crashing?

Not necessarily. Render uses a different portion of the code that taxes the system differently.


They are installed in Programs - not clear what you are meaning; a separate folder in the root of the boot drive you mean, as an alternative?

Yes.

geo_n
03-20-2014, 12:15 AM
Try stressing it with Prime95 if it bsods
http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=205
Could be ram or mobo related bsod.

spherical
03-20-2014, 02:13 AM
Was going to suggest that but, seeing as how he already ran Memtest, I figured that Prime95 had been run already.

inkpen3d
03-20-2014, 02:54 AM
Thought so - odd crashes yes, but not BSODs on a particular process.
Temps are OK - machine has been on all day - 15hrs or so at the moment. Average idling is 36 degrees C - rendering peaks at 69 degrees C, quickly falling to 30s degrees C on completion.
AV is Nortons 360 Premier. I have been using Kaspersky AV for years, but for some reason it screwed up installing, that bluescreened, and I ditched it for Nortons.
I did have the free version of Networx installed - removed that today.
MemTest was fine - did that last night - left it running.
BIOS is latest - checked with builders.
Had one bluescreen on render today - Bad_Pool_Header again, otherwise the machine is working well. That said, not pushed it hard yet. Sent minidumps to the manufacturer.
I'll try almost anything - serious tripwire is this.

Julian.

If you haven't done so already, I suggest running the Kaspersky Removal tool to guarantee complete removal. Here's the link to the official download page plus instructions: http://support.kaspersky.com/common/service.aspx?el=1464

Hope that helps.

Peter

JBT27
03-20-2014, 04:17 AM
I have reinstalled 11.6.2 as per spherical's notes - I have not yet tried them in their own folder in the root of the boot drive - I may; I'm pursuing this for now because it always worked fine and I don't want to change too many things simultaneously. Driver Verifier returned no problems - all the drivers are signed, nothing adverse picked up. Hardware checks so far have been fine, but I'm going to run them again. Have run KAV removal tool - thanks for the link.

Oddly this morning, the Modeler and Layout icons in the NT bin folder were blank. If I create shortcuts, they are fine, if I pin those to the taskbar, they are blank - might be nothing; they were OK yesterday. I noticed after a restart that on the desktop, I got a Homegroup icon - first time I have seen that, then it disappeared again minutes later. I say could be nothing, but that seems weird - if these were old Mac days of 20 years back, I'd rebuild the desktop with stuff like that happening! I deleted the iconcache and restarted - made no difference. Just trying to pick up on oddness with this new machine.

I'll see how today goes, see if I get any response from the builders on the minidumps.

Thanks for all the help so far - I'll keep on it - need this machine stable. So much for getting excited about a new machine - that'll teach me.

Julian.

JBT27
03-20-2014, 05:19 AM
I meant to say as well that I am running Classic Shell with Win 8.1, in case that is suspected. I installed it straight away to get a decent Start menu back, but obviously it's non-standard - any doubts about that and I'll remove it.

Julian.

JimPaez
03-20-2014, 01:58 PM
It's a Wacom driver problem, something is wrong with the mouse driver. I run several tests, disabled the Wacom driver and works perfectly or use the mouse in pen mode

spherical
03-20-2014, 03:44 PM
I have reinstalled 11.6.2 as per spherical's notes - I have not yet tried them in their own folder in the root of the boot drive - I may;

Doesn't have to be on the system drive, in fact it's better not to be. Whether or not the system drive is a SSD, I always put my applications director(y|ies) on another disk. Every third programmer out there thinks that disks are infinite and plunk everything into /Program Files; sometimes with no choice to change. Fills up really quickly and then you have no space for the system updates, etc., and have to delete stuff or move partition boundaries. Really annoying. Less of an issue with the huge disks these days, and the filesystem doesn't require partitioning any longer, but is still only a finite space. Spreading things around helps the situation immensely; not having a single point of failure being one of the biggest benefits. Additionally, with the Win8 System Refresh, if you have applications on the system drive there is the risk of it all going away when the Refresh lifts everything that it "knows" about (standard Microsoft install), wipes the drive to prepare for the Refresh and then puts that which it knows about back down on it, with a new system in place.


Oddly this morning, the Modeler and Layout icons in the NT bin folder were blank. If I create shortcuts, they are fine, if I pin those to the taskbar, they are blank - might be nothing; they were OK yesterday.

Does Change Icon show the icon in the files?


I noticed after a restart that on the desktop, I got a Homegroup icon - first time I have seen that, then it disappeared again minutes later.

I stopped and disabled the Homegroup Service. Prefer to do traditional networking.


I say could be nothing, but that seems weird - if these were old Mac days of 20 years back, I'd rebuild the desktop with stuff like that happening!

Ah, those were the days.

- - - Updated - - -


I meant to say as well that I am running Classic Shell with Win 8.1, in case that is suspected. I installed it straight away to get a decent Start menu back, but obviously it's non-standard - any doubts about that and I'll remove it.

I run Classic Shell. No problems, although I have yet to pull the trigger on the 8.1 update.

spherical
03-20-2014, 03:46 PM
It's a Wacom driver problem, something is wrong with the mouse driver. I run several tests, disabled the Wacom driver and works perfectly or use the mouse in pen mode

Well, it may be specific to 8.1 but all three of these boxes have Wacom Intuos tablets of different sizes running with no issues.

Just re-read the first post to check whether F10 was ever used and noticed the BAD_POOL_HEADER that I asked about earlier. Researching further today, there are a lot of reports of AV being the problem. I'd uninstall any third party AV/Firewall and go with the built-in firewall and Microsoft Security Essentials to see if that fixes the issue. We use ESET Smart Security on all of our machines without problem, so that is an option; once you get things stable.

Still haven't heard on whether the CPU and/or memory are overclocked. Vdrop/Vdroop could cause crashes under load if the Load Line Calibration isn't properly set.

Amurrell
03-21-2014, 01:27 AM
More than likely this is a memory module error when your memory fills to a bad address in the module. Could also represent a memory controller error from the mother board. You can use the utility here to run many tests on your memory http://www.memtest86.com/

There can also be issues with the video card. The Wacom driver doesn't make sense to me for some reason. I'm running 8.1 with a Wacom device and have no problems, not saying that you won't but perhaps disabling the driver cleared enough memory so the render doesn't address the bad area.

spherical
03-21-2014, 04:27 AM
He's already run Memtest.

JBT27
03-21-2014, 10:37 AM
Yep, RAM and disks are not reporting errors - run the tests, seem fine. The Wacom is possible - I couldn't say why either, but it's an option. NAV maybe. I haven't ruled out 8.1 generally. I am trying to get BNR 5.01 working - a total head banger; the nodes will not show, likely because it's defaulting to the wrong NIC, and the prefs will not retain the settings I make in the interface. Emailed Paul about all that - had replies, they didn't help, just sent another cry for help :)

It's not like the machine is unstable either - this is a specific F9/F10 thing, so it seems so far. It's going to get more of a shakedown over the weekend when I have some heavy AE to do.

No, the machine is not overclocked.

Julian.

JBT27
03-21-2014, 03:03 PM
With BNR, if anyone is battling with it on 8.1, Paul Lord has recommended that I backtrack to 4.58 while he is working on a soon to be released update. He hasn't expressly said 8.1 has broken it, but what I am seeing is wholly unusable. Which prompts me to wonder if the BSOD problem with 11.6.2 rendering is also 8.1 related.

Julian.

spherical
03-21-2014, 06:24 PM
This is narrowing down to a disk write issue. I'd have said video but an F10 barfs, too, unless the Image Viewer was left on during the F10--then it points back to video again. IF IV was on, installing an earlier video driver would be a good debug step. Not all of the latest are really the greatest. If they were, we'd see far fewer updates.

Could be bad sectors, permissions, corrupted disk partition table or, again, the AV that thinks that an attack is under way.

Did a chkdsk run ok? Are any of the drives partitioned? Were they partitioned/formatted by Windows installer?

Just found one thing related to disk writes. Try disabling the Indexing service in services.msc. Especially on a new system, this will be running full tilt.

You ditched Kaspersky for Norton but I'm seeing reports of both of them on Win8 causing this. Both of them are invasive to the OS and require dedicated uninstallers to get rid of them. Not a good sign. I'd get them completely out of there and go with the Win8 tools: Security Essentials and Windows Firewall, to keep things simple and compatible. Then, after getting some positive results, get fancy. Those two native tools are pretty good. BTW, you say you're having problems with BNR. Firewall is a first thing to look at, here.

After further research:
Google "dpc watchdog violation windows 8.1" and see if any of those ring a bell.
Correlate those with "bad_pool_header disk write" results.

What CPU cooler are you running? Do you have any motherboard monitors/fan controllers running? DPC Latency from these can be problematic. I've seen reports of LogMeIn being a problem.

JimPaez
03-21-2014, 11:21 PM
Using Driver Verifier is an iffy proposition, but it helps

Most times it'll crash and it'll tell you what the driver is.

Then, here's the procedure:
- Go to Start and type in "verifier" (without the quotes) and press Enter
- Select "Create custom settings (for code developers)" and click "Next"
- Select "Select individual settings from a full list" and click "Next"
- Select everything EXCEPT FOR "Low Resource Simulation" and click "Next"
- Select "Select driver names from a list" and click "Next"
*Then select all drivers NOT provided by Microsoft and click "Next"
- Select "Finish" on the next page.

*Reboot the system and wait for it to crash to the Blue Screen.

*Continue to use your system normally, and if you know what causes the crash, do that repeatedly.

The objective here is to get the system to crash because Driver Verifier is stressing the drivers out. If it doesn't crash for you, then let it run for at least 36 hours of continuous operation.

And use the tablet in standard mode don't use the recognition data option

JBT27
03-22-2014, 05:31 AM
spherical: thanks very much for all that.

Chkdsk returned no errors. I tried BNR without the firewall, but it made no difference; permissions on relevant folders are fine - as I say, the network is working. I'll put BNR 4.58 back in this morning and see how that goes.

If NAV identified a render as an attack, I'd have expected it to BSOD every time - two predictable processes clashing like that surely would cause more than this intermittent BSOD. I don't know, just saying what I might expect. That said NAV is intrusive, and Kaspersky, and I have had my fair share of world shattering screw ups because of both of them over the years. I'll consider taking it off - good point.

One background nag which is pushing me more to the video side, is that in the week I have now had the machine, actual processes have performed well - rendering, Element3D in AE, and others all clearly show the hardware update. But overall performance feels sluggish, the using of it - AE takes nearly 3 minutes to launch, the machine takes about five minutes to boot to the desktop. The HDs are WD Caviar Blacks, 7200rpm - I'm saying this because my quad core with 8Gb RAM performs a lot more snappily than this, running Win7Pro 64bit. The boot drive has been defragged too.

When I launch LW, both Modeler and Layout, I can see the screen redrawing from top to bottom - quickly, but still visible - I don't get that on the old GT9800 in the quad core. This is a common sight using LW on the new machine: load an object, finish a render, anything prompting a screen refresh and the screen visibly redraws top to bottom. That might be LW only - Adobe programs don't do this. 3DCoat is very nippy - no visible refresh. I can't add Modeler to the custom settings list in the Nvidia driver because it doesn't recognise it - I can click on it, but the driver sees it as CST Microwave Studio. Barrel scraping there, but thought adjusting settings might make a difference. Or maybe it's just that this new machine is finally showing Modeler's OpenGL age - it works better on the quad core, to be honest.

OK, so I'll go and see what to do with this video driver, and install BNR 4.58. Will report in and thanks again for all the help so far - much appreciated.

Julian.

I appreciate this is a length of a piece of string thing, but I had seriously expected better than this from hardware that supersedes my previous by at least five years.

I'm thinking this is more a video issue - BSOD aside, overall the machine feels sluggish, which in any case may well go to the BSOD issue, whatever it turns out to be. I am minded to check the driver availability and see if there is a previous one, given this is a recently released card.

- - - Updated - - -

JimPaez: thanks for the info on Driver Verifier. I'll be looking into that too.

Julian.

JBT27
03-22-2014, 02:58 PM
Just a point on BNR 5.x - the patch is apparently for my report of problems using two NICs. I have one for the internet and one for the LAN - years and years ago, the people I used to buy gear off and still buy internet services from, recommended this. So I kept with it, without really thinking about it - the network works well. Though a friend is suggesting now I simplify it and keep it all on one NIC. I don't find two difficult, though clearly BNR struggles with it, and not for the first time either.

Julian.

spherical
03-23-2014, 03:37 AM
OK. There's definitely something not right at a basic level. Seeing a screen draw is way out of the question. I'm running a 670 and everything snaps into place. Really tends to sound like the system is throttled somehow. I'd look at how the BIOS is set. Boot into it and Load Defaults then reboot.

JBT27
03-23-2014, 05:06 PM
Well, I checked the BIOS, which was set to 'normal' defaults. I have now loaded the 'optimised defaults'. Not seeing a massive difference, but I'll run it on this for awhile. I should stress that the screen redraw, fast as it is top to bottom, is only visible in Layout. 3DCoat is snappy as anything. Photoshop CC is snappy - no redraw visible, whereas AE is a bit clunky - I see there were various posts about that last September on the Adobe forums and elsewhere. I assume that's been mostly addressed by now, but make the point that what I'm reporting might be different programs working differently on this machine. Terragen's interface is sluggish, to put it mildly, but then apparently it is - it renders quickly, on the other hand.

We ran the machine last night with all third party stuff disabled, via MSConfig - no difference.

I reinstalled the Nvidia driver, omitting the Geforce Experience and 3D Vision components. That helped a little.

I used AutoRuns to disable some missing startup files - still taking a look through that list.

Power options were not set to High Performance - they are now.

The Titan Black is new and on its second driver release. Just being mindful that I am seeing some stuff working really well on here, other stuff not so well. I am also aware that statements of 'snappy' are subjective; so I can see screen redraw in Layout, but not 3DCoat or Photoshop or on the desktop even. I guess I could load some trial software - Modo maybe, ZBrush, see how they perform.

Julian.

spherical
03-23-2014, 08:42 PM
OK, give me a sequence to follow when you see Layout screen draw, so I can see if I can reproduce it.

Hmmm, try this...

Open Edit > OpenGL Options...
All the way at the bottom is VSync.
Set it to Off.

If there is a setting in the nVidia driver, set it to Force Off or Let Application Decide.

JBT27
03-26-2014, 02:49 PM
It's been a head banger of a week so far, but we seem to have got somewhere with this at least. So here is what it looks like was the problem: new machine, OEM pre-install of Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit. As I initially asked, there were BSODs on render, but I also suspected and then realised that performance on the machine was very poor - seeing screen redraws, interface flashing on refresh, unable to scrub the timeline in AE, three minute startup time for AE, and so on. So I phoned the builders on Monday, after looking at the decent performance of my old 9800GT on the quad core, and then finally getting it through my thick head how duff the new machine was. I put the 9800GT in the i7 - same poor performance. There were some hours when they suspected it could only be a bad Titan Black and were on the verge of getting me to send it back for a swap (not that they had any right now). But the fact of the 9800GT performing badly was a clincher to one guy there - he told me to reinstall Windows, and do a full clean install - I cannot do that with their OEM disk, but I did the best it would allow (next time I buy a blank machine and a separate MS OS disk). I should say also that having opened it up to get the card out, I saw two of the HDs at crazy angles - they had come out of their cradles, presumably in transit - despite paying for careful delivery (hoho), it seems likely the box had a real jolt somewhere, and this was the consequence. So ultimately I fixed those, reseated the RAM just in case, and same with the Titan, and put Windows and everything else back in.

I was dubious to be honest, but the guy was right so it seems. I put things back one at a time, testing LW all the way - snappy performance, no refresh showing, fast. AE launches in around 8s, Photoshop almost straight away, everything is fast and responsive. I can scrub a stack of HD layers at full quality in AE, without a hitch - I couldn't get to frame 4 without it jamming last week, on a single layer.

I guess either the OS network stream at the builders was dud, or the jolt in the van did something. So arguably a pretty major and unexpected cause, but seemingly working now, or at least so far. The difference before and after the Windows reinstall is staggering.

I assume that was the root of the BSOD too - don't know yet, but it seems likely.

I'll work with it now and see how it goes, but this is more like what I was expecting, thank goodness.

I just wanted to say thanks again for all the help and advice - much appreciated.

Julian.

spherical
03-26-2014, 03:54 PM
Ah. didn't realize that you hadn't installed Windows yourself. I build my own workstations, so that I know every last detail of the construction and have that as a baseline when something goes awry; because it will sooner or later. Knowing every screw, cable and wire tie is very valuable when it does. OEMs have this shortcut that they take by not doing an install for the particular hardware but, instead, spitting a default OS image onto the disk. This doesn't properly sense the actual hardware and it gets stuffed up. Saves them a lot of time but doesn't do the customer much good when it doesn't match. Especially with high end hardware, this shortcut should not be taken. Might work for the run of the mill box but, there are places to take shortcuts and this isn't one of them. The bad_pool_header error, in a worst case scenario, was ultimately pointing to a Borked install, but there are many other causes that are less intensive than a full re-install, so hesitated to just say to do that right off. Glad you got it sorted. Feels good seeing your investment be worth it.

JBT27
03-27-2014, 10:32 AM
Aside from suspected bumps in transit, a hard lesson learned about the OS. It's very rare we get new gear, sadly, and this is the first actual OEM OS install I have had. Never again. That's effectively ten days down, as well as the hassle and disappointment. But, I'm sending a nicely worded kick in the head (with photos) to the builders, so at least they are clear that I am both pleased and annoyed.

A good set of things to have learned though, albeit the hard way.

Yes, am very pleased with the machine now, and good to be using more up to date specs.

Julian.

spherical
03-27-2014, 03:02 PM
Now, you get to start overclocking a little and watch it really perform.

JBT27
03-28-2014, 03:41 PM
Now, you get to start overclocking a little and watch it really perform.

:) Maybe. Compared to what I have been using, this is a different universe, and I am content to leave it for now, especially being a total newbie when it comes to such things.

Julian.

spherical
03-28-2014, 03:43 PM
It's best to let it burn in for a while, anyway. Depending upon the TIM used, it can take some time for the CPU/heatsink interface to fully complete.

JBT27
03-29-2014, 05:09 AM
It's best to let it burn in for a while, anyway. Depending upon the TIM used, it can take some time for the CPU/heatsink interface to fully complete.

Thanks. I plan on having it for quite awhile, so maybe sometime down the line :)

Julian.

jwiede
04-02-2014, 02:27 AM
If the bugchecks/BSODs return, turn on driver verifier on the subsystem where the bad pool header is occurring. Go here to learn about using Driver Verifier. (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff545448(v=vs.85).aspx)

At MS, most of us dogfood upcoming updates/releases, and thus far the 8.1 line has been remarkably stable on my work machines. About the only bugchecks I've had (that I didn't somehow cause while coding) were due to third-party drivers, and fairly quickly identifiable as such using Driver Verifier. It's great at detecting all sorts of iffy behavior in driver-type code, and typically you'll see a correlation between what it reports and the type of bugchecks you're seeing.