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Does anyone know what a BSOD error 'Driver IRQL not less or equal' means?

By tkmops
Jan 24, 2009
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  1. I have a one year old Win Vista PC, that came with Windows Defender, and I added
    on Trend Micro Antivirus. Everything has been working fine, along with the
    3 additional freeware spy/malware programs that I installed:Malware bytes, Ad-Aware,
    and Spybot search and destroy.

    I picked a 'Win32.zafi.B' worm somewhere, and none of my programs(with updated programs
    and definitions) was able to find it. After a bit of research, I bought 'Spyware
    Doctor with Anti-virus', as it's promotional material said it would find and eliminate
    any worms. I installed it, ran the full scan, and it found a few 'bugs', but not
    the one mentioned above. I sent an email to PCTools, where I bought it from concerning
    this, and have yet to hear back from them...it's been a week.

    In the meantime, my Windows Defender would display a pop up window every few hours
    saying that I have two anti-virus programs running, and if I wanted to disable
    Defender. I said 'no', as I thought that two would be better than one.
    After a day of pop ups, I had my first BSOD error 'Driver IRQL not less or equal'.
    I didn't know what this meant, or that it was in relation to my newly installed
    Spyware Doctor. I did a system restore to a point in time to just before I installed
    Spyware Doctor. At this point, Windows Defender is running, and there is no Spyware
    Doctor running. 3 days go by and no BSOD's.

    At this point I decided to try an experiment...I turned off Defender, and re-installed
    Spyware Doctor, thinking that the BSOD was due to a conflict between these two
    programs. My PC wasn't up more than a few hours before it crashed again.

    I did another system restore, and now I'm back to where I was before buying Spyware
    Doctor-3 days and no BSOD's. So, it looks as if my PC just doesn't want to run
    Spyware Doctor. Anyone know what that error means, and how I can get Spyware Doctor
    to work, and have it NOT crash my PC?
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Yes, it means you have a defective piece of hardware, or a defective device driver... in most cases. Tell us more about the equipment.
  3. tkmops

    tkmops TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Whoa, that was quick! I went in and updated all 29 of my device drivers... only two needed updating ...Nvidia nForce serial ATA controller, and RealTek hi def audio. I'm booted back up, we'll see how long we last this time.
    The last paragraph of my original post, alas, is incorrect. Right after I posted it, after being OK for 3 days, I had another BSOD...soooooo...it looks as if this has nothing to do with Spyware doctor after all.
    Hate to sound like a total noob, but I forgot how to make a list of all my equipment...I've done it before, I just can't recall how now. If you could give me short instructions, I'll post it....and we'll see if there's any conflicts.
    While I haven't added any new 'hardware' in the normal definition(inside the case), I just realized that I did add a 4-port USB hub two weeks ago....might this be the issue?
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Please put your System Specs information in your Profile

    If you have a proprietory computer like Dell; HP; Acer etc, please manually write this in the mobo field (ie Dell Dimension 3100 - as an example)

    Please also click on Yes in your Profile To this question:
  5. tkmops

    tkmops TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, I've updated my profile with system specs. Since last night, after I updated those two drivers, my computer has crashed again, so I guess they are not the issue.
    I've done a full system and motherboard diagnostic tests, and have attached it to this post. It just occured to me that I did add some hardware about a month ago...a Sony external CD/DVD burner...could this be the issue?
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Actually you have a HP Pavilion a6230n Desktop PC and you could change your Mobo field in your Profile to state this

    Spyware Doctor is quite resourceful heavy
    As is Trend Antivirus
    And having Windows Defender installed may just be too much
    All this on Vista with 3Gig of Ram (and possibly\likely other programs starting as well)

    I suspect that your System Ram has faulted, there are a couple of options

    1. Please run Memtest on your Ram
    And also consider purchasing another single Gig of Ram, ideally though you should have 2x2Gig Ram cards installed on that 32Bit OS (even though you have 64Bit architecture)

    2. (Well this one is what I'd do, truly ;) )
    Uninstall Trend and Spyware Doctor and Windows Defender
    Then install the free Avira Antivirus
    Then run the UPDATED 8-step Viruses/Spyware/Malware Preliminary Removal Instructions

    The reason why I would do Option 2 is because I'm pretty sure that Ram will likely pass, but those applications are still too high system resource, especially on Vista (oh and I'd like to confirm that Malware is not present, and free Avira Antivirus is better than paid Trend)

    I would also suggest that you run Startup Control Panel and remove other (if any) unwanted system startups. Although un-installing not required programs is preferred, at least removing them from startup will help

    As a really quick option. Download and run CCleaner, then see if your system improves in responsiveness
  7. tkmops

    tkmops TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the instructions. After my last post, I downloaded memtest86 iso, burned it to CD, then booted up and ran the tests...everything passed. Where is the 'Mobo' field in profile? I didn't do it last time, 'cause I didn't know what it meant. I've already removed all unneeded startup programs. I'll start doing all that and post logs when I'm done.
    Thanks, again.
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Well Memtest is meant to run for about 4Hrs (7passes) But you may have done this already

    The Mobo field, just press the down arrow on your system specs in any of your posts and you'll see it. You change it in your => Profile though

    Remove unneeded startups :grinthumb

    Logs waiting..

    :)
  9. tkmops

    tkmops TS Rookie Topic Starter

    'MoBo' field, I just got it...MotherBoard...har, har!!! Sheeshhh, been in the IT/MIS/CompSci(take your pick) 25 years(mostly mainframe tho), and didn't know what Mobo meant...do I feel dumb. Well, anyway...no, only ran the memtest86 for about 1.5hrs, when a 'finished' msg popped up. So, I need to let it run for 4 hours, and/or 7 passes? Ok, will do that. I forgot to mention that before my last post I did D/L Ccleaner, it found almost 7MB of junk...but I still crashed about an hour later.
    I unplugged my 4 port USB, and my Sony DVD burner last night, and have been up since then, about 12 hours...the longest time between crashes. I'm working on the 8 step process, and will post logs when done....
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