Blue screen of death

By AbdulaOblongata
Jul 15, 2009
Topic Status:
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  1. Hey guys lately my computer has been getting the blue screen of death. The error says that windows has detected a problem and has been shut down to prevent damage to my computer. I haven't installed any new hardware or software lately and I have run symantec antivirus a couple of time and found nothing. I really don't want to system restore the whole computer so I'm hoping that someone can help me isolate the problem(or give me an idea where to start) so that I can fix it.

    Thanks
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,117   +23

    In order to help you we need more information such as minidump files and your system specs including what OS you are running.

    How to find your Minidump Files:

    My Computer > C Drive > Windows Folder > Minidump Folder > Minidump Files.

    It is these files that we need (not the folder). Attach to your next post the five most recent dumps. Notice the Manage Attachments button at the bottom when you go to post the next time. You can Zip up to five files per Zip. Please do us a favor and don’t Zip each one individually.
  3. AbdulaOblongata

    AbdulaOblongata TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 36

    My System Information
    CPU: 3Ghz Intel Pentium 4
    Mem: 2Gb DDR 3200
    Video: ATI Radeon X300 PCI 128Mb
    HDD: 250Gb 7200RPM ATA
    OS: XP Service Pack3 Media Center Edition

    I have attached the MiniDump files also. I think these are the most recent even thought they are dated back to December of last year. I couldn't find anything with a newer date. Also the zip file was to big so i had to put them in 2 zip files. MiniDump1.zip contains the 3 most recent files. The other 2 are in MiniDump2.zip

    Thanks for the help
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,117   +23

    For some unknown reason your ZIP files are corrupted. I couldn't even unzip them. Either re-zip or attach individually at your next post.
  5. AbdulaOblongata

    AbdulaOblongata TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Humm not sure why that happened. I'll try to post them w/o zipping.
  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,117   +23

    Every one of your minidumps is file is unreadable due to corruption. Next time your system blue screens write down the error code and if so the driver cited. It will be something like:

    0x00000050: PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA, etc. and often followed by a cited driver as the cause such as vsdatant.sys.

    Mean time you can still be proactive. I suggest running Memtest on your RAM. See this link and follow the directions: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic62524.html

    Let it run for a LONG time. The rule is a minimum of 7 Passes; if you can allow it to run more Passes so much the better. There are 8 individual tests per Pass. Every time it cycles through to another PASS it may look like it is the same tests but its not. Many people will start this test before going to bed and check it the next day.

    If you have errors you have corrupted memory and it needs to be replaced.

    Also, with errors you need to run this test per stick of RAM. Take out one and run the test. Then take that one out and put the other in and run the test. If you start getting errors before 7 Passes you know that stick is corrupted and you don’t need to run the test any further on that stick.

    * Get back to us with the results.
  7. AbdulaOblongata

    AbdulaOblongata TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Ok, I'm going to run the test right now then I'm heading to bed. I'll post the results when I get up. I'll also get the info from the 'blue screen', it shouldn't take long to come up. Its been doing it non stop lately. Right now I'm running safe mode to avoid it.
  8. AbdulaOblongata

    AbdulaOblongata TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 36

    I have been having trouble getting the memory test to run. I did, however, take out 2 of my 3 ram chips before I rebooted my computer. Before I would get the blue screen almost every 10 minutes, but now I haven't seen it all day.
  9. AbdulaOblongata

    AbdulaOblongata TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 36

    update

    My computer ran all day with out getting a blue screen so I added another ram module to the system to see how it works. When I visually inspected the 2 ram modules that I removed, one of the had a pretty good amount of dust on it. I don't know if that could cause the problem or not, but I cleaned it and I'm going to put it back in tomorrow if nothing happens over night. As far as the mem test goes, I could not get my computer to boot from the CD that I made. Maybe I'm not burning the ISO file to the CD correctly. I'm up for any suggestions.

    Thanks
  10. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,117   +23

    Actually by removing all sticks but one is another good diagnostic step to determine which sticks of RAM are bad. So with your results it sounds like either a) at least one is corrupted or 2) dust is the culprit.

    * Keep us informed.
  11. AbdulaOblongata

    AbdulaOblongata TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Hey I just got back from work and my computer is still up and running. I'm going to mess around for a while this morning and if no problems occur I'm going to put the 3rd ram module back in the computer. That is the one that looked dirty when I pulled it out. So after I do that I'll let you know the results.
     
  12. AbdulaOblongata

    AbdulaOblongata TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Ok, so I put in my final stick of ram(512Mb). I have 4 memory slots on my computer, 0-3, and I put it in slot number 1. When I tried to start my computer it booted into windows. I pulled up my system information to see if the computer was recognizing the ram module. It was reading 2Gb(1G + 512Mb + 512Mb) which is correct. After only a few seconds the computer then restarted itself. I let it boot up and log onto my windows account when it immediately froze. No response from ctr+alt+delete or anything. I shut down, disconnected power, and removed the last ram chip I installed. Then I reinstalled the same chip into memory slot 2, booted up my computer, and are now typing this post. My other ram chips are in slots 0 and 3. Maybe slot 1 has gone bad; I'm not sure. If so would that give me the 'blue screen' or any of the other symptoms that I have described? I'm not quite sure what to make of this scenario. Also my system still reads 2Gb of ram now.
  13. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    If you want to get that memtest working, you might want to try the free imgburn utility. It's pretty much a one-click tool to burn image files like the memtest ISO... there isn't much room for error there.
  14. AbdulaOblongata

    AbdulaOblongata TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Hey just thought of another question. I know ram stick will only work one way, but is it even possible to put them in backwards. Will it lock into place that way or not. The reason I ask is because I don't remember which way I put the last ram chip in the first time I reinstalled it. Just a thought.

    BTW thanks Rick.
  15. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    They are keyed in such a way that it is physically impossible to have them 'lock' into place.

    However, if you are inexperienced installing RAM, I can see how it may *feel* like an improperly installed module is indeed installed. Whever you install RAM, make sure you have plenty of light and lay the system down on its side.
  16. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,117   +23

    For clarity when does slot 1 work?
  17. AbdulaOblongata

    AbdulaOblongata TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Yeah I had it locked into place then. I just wanted to double check.

    As far as I know, slot 1 was only used when the manufactures put the computer together. I never installed ram into slots 0 or 1(until now) because they are hard to reach without taking out the hard drive. So to try and clarify, when my computer wasn't working there was a chip in slot 1. Since I've had it working slot 1 has been empty.

    My computer has been running all night in the configuration that I posted earlier. I guess the ram slot is bad on my computer.
  18. AbdulaOblongata

    AbdulaOblongata TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Hey my computer is still running so I guess the problem is fixed. Thanks for all of the help everyone
  19. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,117   +23

    Thanks for getting back to us. So are we correct in understanding that slot 1 is the problem then?
  20. AbdulaOblongata

    AbdulaOblongata TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Yes. As far as I know that is the problem. Maybe the dust and a combination of it rattling while I had it in my truck damaged something. Not sure how it happened but that had to be the problem.
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