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Daily BSODs on XPpro, error 0x000000F4 (0x00000003),  (parameter)

By Soul destroying · 12 replies
Apr 11, 2011
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  1. (I am self-employed in China...can't find an English speaking technician locally)

    The following BSOD (Blue Screen) error keep suddenly / randomly appearing on my Dell Vostro 1510 Notebook PC running Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3.
    My system has a working CD/DVD drive, and I am using a Genuine version of Windows XP


    STOP: 0x000000F4 (0x00000003, 0x891A1A50, 0x891A1BC4, 0x805D29B4)

    1. Installed a new SATA hard drive
    2. Ran Chdsk and the hard drive reported no hardware errors.
    3. Ran all the other hardware diagnostics (including Memtest86+) – no errors
    4. Re-installed drivers…
    5. Re-formatted Hard Drive and Re-installed XP. Problem is still there (even before I re-installed AVAST AVS)
    6. Also ran a malware check and nothing came up...

    Contacted Microsoft, online groups, and local Chinese tech people (but the latter didn’t understand the English messages) and no joy. Day #26 with this problem

  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,880

    Did you install the SATA drivers using the F6 key during the installation of XP?
  3. Soul destroying

    Soul destroying TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Mark
    The new hard drive (Seagate serial # st9320325as) was a replacement for the original same HDD, as factory installed on the original Dell Vostro computer..

    I don't know if F6 was used to install the new HDD, it was already formatted and appeared to be just a 'swap out'... Anyway, BSOD problems from original HDD still persist.

    Also I noticed.... under 'Device Manager'/ View / Show Hidden Devices/ Non-Plug and Play Drivers.... a Yellow warning sign beside the word 'serial'..

    but to be honest, I have no idea...what the hell is wrong..... and with so many 'Stop 0x000000F4' BSOD error messages being posted on the Internet I am not confident anyone can fix this problem.

    Thanks Mark
  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,880

    The SATA drivers for the hard drive are not included in XP unless you have the manufacturers recovery discs. If you have used a retail version of XP the SATA drivers have to be installed during the XP installation and they are specific drivers for the motherboard. The drivers will be available from Dell.

    It might help if you could attach a few of the minidumps.
  5. Soul destroying

    Soul destroying TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Mark I used the original Dell driver diskette to restore all the drivers

    By dump message you mean the latest BSOD error messages ?

    1). Stop 0x000000F4 (0x00000003, 0x8911B728, 0x8911B89C, 0x805D29B4)

    2). Stop 0x000000F4 (0x00000003, 0x8917468A, 0x8917481C, 0x805D29B4)

    I note that the first and last parameters in the brackets are similar, whatever that could mean..

    the text message is "a process thread crucial to system operation have unexpectedly exited or been terminated"
  6. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,880

    Using the Dell drivers disk after installing XP will not correctly install the SATA drivers, they have to be installed during the XP installation by use of a floppy disc or you need to have them integrated into the XP disc.


    The other option is to order restore discs from Dell for your specific PC, this will have the SATA drivers integrated into it.
  7. Soul destroying

    Soul destroying TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Mark the original HDD was a SATA. So just replaced it with a new SATA driver. Are you saying still need to install via XP?

    Are you also saying this will account for the frequent BSOD?

    Dont have a floppy drive, and I am an amateur. All seems to be very complicated
  8. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,880

    All I can suggest is you follow the instructions in the link I gave in post 6. Sata drivers for XP have to be installed during the XP installation or BSOD's are guaranteed, as far as I know there is no other way to do this.
  9. Soul destroying

    Soul destroying TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Mark.. will keep you posted... and if solved will definitely sing your praises here
    All the best
  10. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 765   +49

    I would like to step in a back up what Mark is saying here! Out of all three of my systems, all running Windows XP Professional (64bit) (SP3), my lap top is the only system I have that has two SATA hard drives in it. The first time I tried installing Windows XP onto it, the system didn't even see the hard drive, for it took 3rd party SATA drivers to be installed and the time that Windows XP itself was installing onto the hard drive. I had to utilize the (F6) button when prompted at the beginning of the Windows XP install.

    Now here is the tricky part, most of the time one may need a 3.5 inch diskette drive a.k.a. floppy drive to install the SATA drivers. I had to put everything down for several hours while I ran to my local Walmart and purchased a USB 2.0 external diskette drive and a cheap set of diskette's. Came back home, went back to my manufacturers web site, downloaded the drivers on my desktop, had to transfer them to the diskette drive, hook up the diskette drive to my lap top, insert the newly created SATA drivers floppy into the drive and restart the whole process of installing Windows XP. At the point that the install asks you if your going to require SATA and or RAID drivers, you let it know (yes) by pushing the (F6) button. A couple minutes there after, when the install is copying files the install will stop, the diskette drives little green activity light will come on, the drive will engage the diskette and proceed to install and incorporate the SATA drivers into the primary Windows XP install.

    May some how, some way, that Dell recovery disk has a way of allowing Windows XP to fully install on a non SATA driver installed hard drive!?! I know you don't want to do to much (extra) at this point, your kind of fed up and all. But if you want this done right, your going to have to work on getting yourself an external USB diskette drive, for trying to use a USB Flash Drive will not work, the Windows XP install at the time it wants the SATA drivers will only recognize a diskette drive! Plus when you get it and proceed to find the appropriate SATA drivers, the download will be a breeze, moat SATA drivers that load to a floppy are only like 100K to 300K, that's it.

    Plus look at it this way, yes you may have to do a little foot work on securing yourself an external USB floppy drive, but the good thing is that you will have one for ever more. When this happens again, or the need for a floppy drive comes up again, you will have one!

    This link will demonstrate what type of a device I'm talking about...........

    That drive is the one I bought a couple years back, they still got them at Walmart for little above $20.00, well worth the investment. I think I've seen them cheaper on Amazon and e-bay.

    Hope that all, or if any of this helps you....................good luck :)
  11. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,880

    Thanks for the input Zen, but as I have already pointed out you do not need to use a floppy disc and drive. In post 6 I gave the link for instructions to integrate the SATA drivers onto a copy of Windows XP. This then works in just the same way as it does when installing Vista or Windows 7 which have all the required SATA drivers included in them.

    Only a blank recordable CD is required and a CD burner which most PC owners already have, there is no need to buy a USB floppy drive or diskettes.
  12. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 765   +49

    Well I didn't know about this whole CD thing when it came to being able to install SATA drivers at the time of a Windows XP installation. They didn't teach this method to me in college at the time I was securing my A.A. degree in computer science, which was back in 2000/2001.

    Back then, as best that I can remember, and the best I was taught, SATA drivers, when needed back in those days could only be installed via a diskette drive. Plus this whole diskette technique was taught to me when I was certifying in the Windows 2000 Professional Operating System.

    I might have to (Google) this CD and SATA drivers thing, for this is the first I've ever heard of this. But I probably won't change, seeing that my (old school) method works just fine for me!

    Just goes to prove something to me, that my (old school) methods are just that (old school)! I'm starting to feel like a dinosaur when it comes to my knowledge and know how. All these new modern day advances, making things now a days so simple that a child could almost do them. Back in my day it took a skilled technician to do most stuff that comes stock (point & click) on today's Operating Systems.

    Maybe I need to go back to school.................who knows, thanks for the Computer 101 class...............I just heard the bell ring (((ring ring))).............I'm out of here!
  13. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,880

    Well, we live and learn. I, for a long time, only new about the method using the old floppy disc to install SATA drivers but then after a lot of searching found the method to integrate them.

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