TechSpot

Random Restarts, Minidump included

By mopar man
Feb 4, 2008
  1. Ok, My computer specs are right up there.

    I have had a few restarts lately, without finding a minidump.

    This time, I was on the phone, with utorrent waiting patiently for me to come back (dial up). I walked back in, and saw the windows xp logo coming up from it restarting. I got angry. ;) I quickly manuvered through the stupid dial up friendly software and found my minidump. It is attached.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. allmightypuff

    allmightypuff TS Rookie Posts: 37

    try this:

    goto start>control panal>system, (if your control panel is in catagory view, i.e. blue screen with 10 choices, then its start>control panal>performance and maintenance>system) then goto the advanced tab and click on the settings button in the third pane down labeld startup and recovery. in the second pane on the bottom labeld system failure there will be 3 check boxes. uncheck the one that says "automatically restart". this will force windows to display a blue screen, (A.K.A. blue screen of death or B.S.O.D.) In the top 2 lines it will display a stop code, and the second line will say something like atapi.sys. next time it happens, write these 2 lines down, including the stop code. then post it here.
     
  3. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    Can you not just read the dump?

    Anyway, I guess I am going to try that, I just hope it doesn't hurt anything....
     
  4. allmightypuff

    allmightypuff TS Rookie Posts: 37

    it wont hurt a thing, its just displaying what i need to know. i dont like minidumps cause there are way to technical, kinda like that commercial u see on tv where the guy falls into quicksand and 4 or 5 buisness men try to figure out what to do. the stop code is like the guy who just throws the rope over the branch and pulls the guy out
     
  5. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    Actually, i'll do it tomorrow because I am going to be downloading stuff overnight (dial up), so I would prefer it just restart then stay on the BSOD.

    Also, I am going to run a few tests on the ram, because I don't know if it's a reliable brand or not.

    To run the test, I put Memtest86 on cd, then boot from cd, correct? I don't have any clue on how to use it, so will it just walk me through it? Do you know?
     
  6. allmightypuff

    allmightypuff TS Rookie Posts: 37

    once u boot from the disk everything is automatic. u dont have to do anything
     
  7. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,167   +37

    Your minidump cites an 0x8E error which is very common and usually these are nearly always hardware compatibility issues (which sometimes means a driver issue or a need for a BIOS upgrade). . The problem with your dump is that it says the probable cause is nstoskrnl.exe which too general to tell us much of anything.

    However, in the mix was mentioned the process ssmypics.scr and it is a driver of the My Pictures Slideshow Screensaver from Microsoft Corporation belonging to Microsoft® Windows® Operating System.

    I suggest you google this and read up because this might be your cause.

    * if you got more dumps send them; the more, the better for analyzing.
     
  8. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    I did a little bit of Googling (still sounds funny...) and I couldn't find anything about the Screen Saver causing it. I have disabled the screen saver for tonight so my DL can proceed. If it doesn't have a crash, I will turn it back on and hope that it does crash (ironic, eh?) so that I will know what it is.

    If it is the screensaver, do you think its because it has so many pictures? I have a ton on there.

    Also, could the fact that it has folders in the My Pictures folder have anything to do with it? I deleted all folders in the folder, so maybe it fixed it without me knowing it.

    Also, I am extremely worried about doing any BIOS upgrading. This computer is my only real one, and I have heard a lot of bad occurences with the BIOS upgrading.
     
  9. allmightypuff

    allmightypuff TS Rookie Posts: 37

    your overanylizing the problem, and ive never heard of a screensaver causeing the system to crash in xp, only in MUCH earlier versions, like 98, although it can get stuck.

    however, ntoskrnl.exe isNOT a general thing, it is a very specific application that is required in the boot sequence of the machine. seeing that u mentioned utorrent, which is a VERY well known way to get virus's, there are several of them that specificly taget this file, such as w32.bolzano and its varients. do you have norton or mcaffee installed and running? if not, u need to either buy a copy or find a site that offers a free virus scan online, (there are several, just google free online virus scan).
     
  10. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,167   +37

    It is general in the sense that it doesn't zero in on the issue itself. Look at the description of an 0x8E error. Significant, yes; specific, no.

    Secondly, I didn't mention the screen saver, I mentioned the driver ssmypics.scr and it is a driver of the My Pictures Slideshow Screensaver from Microsoft Corporation belonging to Microsoft® Windows® Operating System. Google the driver and you will see quite a bit about this causing issues for people. Whether or not this is the problem here we don't know at this point.


    mopar man, don't sweat the BIOS at this point. There are other things you can do such as running memTest. Make sure you run for a minimum of 7 passes which will take some time. If you get any errors you have a RAM issue.

    1. If you haven't already, run chkdsk.

    2. Run a harddrive diagnostics which you can get from your harddrive manufacturer for free.

    3. Scan for viruses, malware, rootkit. As allmightypuff rightly points out UTorrent is quite well known for its malware, trojans, and viruses. Kaspersky and Trend Micro have free online scanners. Use them.
     
  11. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    Ahh, ok. Well, you wouldn't get a virus unless you downloaded one specifically, correct?

    Also, it has been doing this long before I got utorrent...
     
     
  12. allmightypuff

    allmightypuff TS Rookie Posts: 37

    routes right. dont worry about the bios. and no, u could download a song or a video and wouldnt even know if there was a virus bundled with it. and since the file inquestion is a boot file, i suspect thats the problem. also, theres a 99% chance that u have more then one problem, which is almost always the case in my experiance.
     
  13. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,167   +37

    Exactly. This is why if you can supply more minidumps the better.
     
  14. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    Wait, what about a boot file? No, the file I am downloading is an EXE from a site........


    (Realizes what he just said)

    Crap.....


    Oh well....
    The thing is, I haven't had many of these restarts (about 3-5 in the past month), but am still worried about it. I haven't run memtest yet, because I plan to, on Saturday/Sunday, run one of my bimonthly scans. A crapload of different AV, AS, and something to look for rootkits, I guess. Would AVG catch a virus if it was being installed through an EXE, do you think? Also, I have used Limewire and have learned (for the most part) what files usually are packed with Viruses.
     
  15. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,167   +37

    The single best defense against viruses, tojans, etc. -- and this may sound trite but its not - - is good web browsing habits and staying away from suspect sites. The absolute worset is p0rn and then those various online offerings like "Let us scan your computers to see if you are infected" or "Let our software tune up your PC." Nasty and full of all kinds of unwanted downloads.

    Even the best of the best security can't help if a person violates the security by willfully perusing areas on the web that are known for causing issues - especially if they download from those sites. AVG is good but it can be bypassed by the user's web habits.

    If you don't already you need a router, a good anti-virus, anti-malware, and a firewall.
     
  16. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    Errr. Dial up, lol.

    I have only AVG and windows base firewall installed because anything else slows my comp down. I may try comodo again, though.

    Also, I never go to any "lets scan your computer" or p0rn, but I do have utorrent now, of course. Like I said, I am having a scan party at my house this weekend. ;)
     
  17. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    Ok, I got another dump for you. I also include something with the microsoft error reporting.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    Ok, got more for you
     
  19. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,167   +37

    Your first and third dumps 0xA errors the first was not conclusive.

    0x0000000A: IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
    Typically due to a bad driver, or faulty or incompatible hardware or software. Technically, this error condition means that a kernel-mode process or driver tried to access a memory location to which it did not have permission, or at a kernel Interrupt ReQuest Level (IRQL) that was too high.


    Your second dump was an 0xC5 and this, too, was inconclusive.

    0x00000019: BAD_POOL_HEADER
    A pool header issue is a problem with Windows memory allocation. Device driver issues are probably the most common.


    However, the second of your two 0xA errors was specific stating the probable cause iss the driver avg7rsxp.sys which is of the process AVG Resident Anti-Virus Shield belongs to the software AVG Anti-Virus System.

    Many people have had issues with this particular driver.
     
  20. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    err, so that means it could be avg? Would it help to just get rid of AVG and try Avast for a while?
     
  21. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,167   +37

    That is what the minidump is pointing to. Since all three errors say your recent dumps are caused by driver conflict and this one was specifically cited I would say that AVG is the place to begin.

    Before changing to Advast (my daughter's laptop has it and so far so good) I would do two things first. 1) See if there is an update for AVG and 2) Go to their forums to see what the discussion is concerning this driver and what answers are provided.
     
  22. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    Well, about the same time you posted that I had just uninstalled AVG and put AVAST on, considering I have been wanting to try it out. It seems ok, just gotta get used to it. I think it MAY hog a little more resources, though.

    Anyway, we'll see how it goes.
     
  23. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    here you go some more
     
  24. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,167   +37

    The one points to ntoskrnl.exe which is too general for any real help. Though the error code itself says a driver is attempting to access an IRQ level it shouldn't. What that driver is I can't say though the process update.exe was mentioned in the mix. Perhaps this was attempting to execute but in the wrong place (?).

    Your second dump points to memory corruption.
     
  25. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,492

    Hmm, I ran memtest 1 1/2 passes, with no errors. If it points to it, is it certain?

    Also, I am going to search for the update.exe file and find what program it's for.
     
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