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BSOD & Bad_Pool_Caller & WinXP Pro

By PalmVilla
Feb 15, 2006
  1. Any comments on this shaggy dog story that is over .. for a while I hope!

    HARDWARE BASICS
    WinXP Pro with SP2 and all updates
    Asus A8V Deluxe Motherboard, 2GB RAM
    WDC SATA 200GB drives mirrored (Promise controller) at time of crash
    now split with only one drive in place
    Drives have 2 partitions, one for documents, etc,
    the other for the O/S, programs, etc.

    BACKGROUND
    After many months of good operation, and no immediately preceding installs, other than possibly auto updates of McAfee virus scan and WinXP, the System started from a cold boot to absolutely consistently going to BSOD with "Bad_Pool_Caller" after Window's loading of a bunch of drivers, the last being gagp30kxk.sys. The error code is
    0x00000007 (0x00000CD4, 0x02090026, another)
    where "another" varies a bit.

    OBSERVATIONS
    Safe mode is NOT accessible.

    To try to isolate the problem the following were removed/swapped out for known good: memory, video card, CD drives, ethernet NIC, and the hard drives removed one at a time.

    The system ran fine under DOS and a PEbuilder CD with the O/S on it, both of which just provide a command prompt.

    Chkdsk and WDC diagnostics were run from DOS on the HD drive.

    The (now single) drive can be accessed with WinXP setup disk and raid drivers on a floppy going into Repair mode.

    Infection by a virus/worm/etc. is unlikely as the system is protected by a router, software firewall, antivirus and antispam software, and my good nose for bad eMail.

    QUESTION
    I want to avoid wipping out the partition and reinstalling considerable software, so I am looking for a way to reinvigorate/reinstall WinXP that will hopefully retain the software environment ... at least long enough to uninstall selected troublemaker candidates. HELP!

    ANSWER
    A WinXP repair job fixed it. The nVidia graphics driver had to be reinstalled to regain functionality, and two miscellaneous files needed to be restored, but the latter were probably irrelevant to the failure. The mirrored pair are not together yet, but that will have to wait.

    We booted from the WinXP CD with Raid driver diskette in hand and selected install rather than repair console, and then it offered a sub-menu which included repair of o/s as distinct from full replacement install. From there it was a straight forward exercise. Nowhere had I seen that option clearly mentioned.

    CONCLUSIONS
    While we can only guess in retrospect, but the most likely failure point was a "hosed" graphics driver. This would tie in with the last driver to load during the failure period being a Via chipset specific driver that interfaces between the chipset and the AGP port. Although almost all of the messages I found on the internet blamed the Bad_Pool_Caller message on a hardware failure, and by far most often on memory failure, it is clear that those explanations just missed the mark.
     
  2. wadewheat

    wadewheat TS Rookie

    I have just did a update on windows xp media center, also did the upgrade for windows media player 11 at the same time. When it went to do its restart I get a BSOD with bad_pool_caller eroor message. there is no way to get in to windows(safe mode goes to BSOD). I am not entirely sure what to do, could someone please help!!! Compaq laptop, 3gb ram, 80g HDD, 256mb asus video card. AMD x2.
     
  3. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    Error 0xC2: BAD_POOL_CALLER

    A kernel-mode process or driver incorrectly attempted to perform memory operations. Typically, a faulty driver or buggy software causes this.

    For clarity, you were not having BSODs prior to the updating of XP media center and media player. Correct?

    I would say at this point if that is true the issue is to be able to access Windows and see if Microsoft has a fix. How long before your system BSODs in safe mode?
     
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