Minidump Help Required

By chris18 ยท 9 replies
Feb 23, 2008
  1. Hi, first post, came across forum when searching for info on mindumps.

    I am trying to resolve a problem with sporadic BSD and restarts on my XP Pro. I have sorted out a couple of minor infections but don't think these are the cause.

    My reasoning is that I have a cloned drive I created several months ago, and is therefore clear, with XXCLONE and when i switched to this I got three restarts over a period of six days so beginning to suspect some hardware issue. I have run a diagnostic, PC Diags Lite but so far this hasn't thrown up anything.

    I am going to disable the auto restart on error as I can't read the error message that comes up.

    In the meantime I am attaching two of the most recent minidumps and I wonder if anyone can tell me if they give any indication of the problem?

    Out of interest I am also attaching the last minidump I got when running on the cloned drive (m021508-01.dmp) in case this points to something as well.

    The following is an extract from my Event Viewer System errors log which might also help.



    Error code: 0000009c,parameter1 00000004, parameter2 8054d5f0,parameter3b2000000,parameter4 00070f0f


    The IPSEC Services terminated with the following error.
    An invalid argument was supplied.

    The At42job command failed to start due to the following error'
    The system cannot find the file specified

    Any help identifying the problem would be very much appreciated.

  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    I can read some minidumps but hopefully someone with more experience and knowledge can can look at yours. You are correct that it is a hardware issue. All three minidumps are 0x9C errors but the analysis is inconclusive, nevertheless...

    0x0000009C: MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION (from
    This is a hardware issue: an unrecoverable hardware error has occurred. The parameters have different meanings depending on what type of CPU you have but, while diagnostic, rarely lead to a clear solution. Most commonly it results from overheating, from failed hardware (RAM, CPU, hardware bus, power supply, etc.), or from pushing hardware beyond its capabilities (e.g., overclocking a CPU).

    Have you overclocked? If so, lessen your timings.

    You didn't mention what diagnostics you attempted. If you haven't already:

    1. Run a full harddrive diagnostics

    2. Run chkdsk /f

    3. Run MemTest
  3. chris18

    chris18 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi, thanks for the quick response.

    I haven't overclocked my system so that's not it.

    The PC Diags Lite I mentioned is a commercial program I bought a few days ago. Tried to include the link but wasn't able to but if you add the www to you get directed to the site.

    It has a full set of diagnostics tests. The memory test isn't as involved as memtest, which I haven't as yet run but intend to do so shortly.

    My PSU was new about a year ago and is an FSP Sparkle Blue Storm( see full rig )below. I replaced the original QTEC as I had problems. I was told this was a very good reliable PSU.

    BIOS:phoenix Technologies, LTD BIOS Revision 1014
    FSP Sparkle A500 Blue Storm 500W ATX2.0 PSU
    AMD Athlon Dual 3800+
    2GB DDR 3200 RAM ( 4 x 512MB)
    256MB RADEON x700 tV/dvi PCI-Express
    1 x Maxtor SATA 160GB drive
    1 x Maxtor SATA 200GB drive
    WD 200GB WD2000JB
    Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-111D
    Samtron 19" TFT Monitor
    XP Pro SP2
    Comodo Firewall Pro
    Shark Case

    I have been running Speedfan and ASUS Probe. Speedfan does show the Maxtor SATA drives running a bit hot but I recall reading that Maxtor drive draw more current and consequently do run hotter than most.

    Currently Speedfan shows the Maxtors running at 51C which is about normal.

    The Shark case has a four inch fan directly in front of the Maxtor drives and a four inch at the rear.

    ASUS Probe is showing the CPU at 36C, the MB at 40C and all the fans seems OK although it has to be siad these are based on default settings as I have no idea of what other settings to use.

    Obviously RAM was my first thought if it was, as I suspected, a hardware issue, but was hoping to get something a bit more definitive before going out and buying new RAM on the off chance. Don't want to end up replacing bits and pieces on an ad-hoc basis and wasting money.
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    That is the thing about 0x9C errors: they are hard to pin down and so testing of various components have to take place.

    Does PC Diag. Lite have the test that is specifically designed to test your Maxtor harddrives for more than heat? I strongly suggest downloading and running the free harddrive diagostic utility that you can get from the manufaturer's website. By the way, Seagate bought Maxtor.

    If you don't have MemTest already: Nice free utility for RAM testing.
  5. chris18

    chris18 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Have got memtest just need to create the boot disc/floppy and find the time to give it a good run as.

    No, PC Lite Diag doesn't have a specific test for the Maxtor drives although it has a hdd test. Will have to check for the Maxtor diagnostics, think I might have it but if not I will have to find it on the Seagate/Maxtor site (do you know the link).

    I'm not too worried about the temperatures as when I had problems a year ago that resulted in my replacing my PSU I went all through the drive temperatures and if I recall correctly they were about the same as now.

    At the time of the PSU replacement it was the third thing within a few monthst that went fault. The graphics card failed within two weeks, the PCI slots about a month later and then I had random power shutdowns, not reboots but complete shutdown. First two covered by the supplier warranty (it's a custom system) but the PSU they failed to find despite testing and I eventually replaced the pSU on advise from forums like this.

    I suppose I need to work out what tests to do, and in what order, to try and give some help in locating the offending item(s). Any thoughts as to the best way to proceed?

    Thanks again?

    PS Is the error message you get on the BSD the same as shown in the minidump?
  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Yes, but many times it doesn't list a driver or cause. That is where minidumps come in handy.

    Google Seagate's website. You'll find the uility you need. You can even run it while online.
  7. chris18

    chris18 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Got Seatools for Windows running.

    I may have some issues it seems. I've had problems in the past with my old Maxtor 6Y200P0 IDE drive when writing to a couple of folders/files. I have marked the faulty folders with a cross to warn me so I'm not too surprised this might fail. When i reboot ir comes up with Chkdsk but despite running this from time to time I haven;t been able to clear the dirty flag. As I only access the drive on the odd time I haven't bothered to sort it (didn't think it would cause any system problems).

    It fails both the DST tests passes the Short Generic but fails the Long Generic.

    The second drive is my Maxtor 6Y160M0 (SATA) that has the cloned version of XP. Surprised this is showing up as a problem as I can use the drive OK. It too fails both DST tests, passes the Short Generic but fails the Long Generic.

    Not sure what this is telling me or what I need to do.

    Reading the Seagate side it seems the DOS versions has a sector repair facilty but wasn't sure if this was the new or old version.

    Have got memtest86 but not run it yet.

    A simple way for me to see if it's either of thie drives would be to disconnect them and see what happend or a reasonable peiod. If no reboots then I could ad one drive etc.
  8. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    How old are those Maxtors? Honestly, they never have had a good reputation, though I don't know if the newer versions under Seagate's guidance has improved their quality and stability.

    Here is what I would do immediately: Back up everything that is important. If that harddrive crashes you are looking at $200 - $300 on average to retrieve your important documents, etc., off of your failed disk.

    Burn CDs, DVDs, flash drive -- whatever it takes.

    Second get a more reliable harddrive like Seagate (5 year warrenty) or Western Digital.
  9. chris18

    chris18 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Non of my Maxtor drives are all that old. The SATA 160GB, my primary (C:) and backup (D:) came pre-fitted with the system when I bought it in December 2005. My other SATA waw bought independantly shortly after.

    The Maxtor 200GB IDE is probably three or four years old, can't honestly remember.

    The two main SATA drives are used only for Windows XP, I don't have them partitioned nor do I store any data except sometimes when I'm transferring things about on a temporary basis.

    My other drives have lots of historical data accumulated over the years and whilst it would be a nuisnace if I lost it I can't honestly say it would catastrophic. All my important data is backed up to more than one location on my system, just in case (I also have a 300GB Toshiba External USB Drive which is also used for this purpose).

    I have run the PC Diag Lite hdd test which consists of Sequential Readd Write, Random Read Write,Linear Seek, Random Seek, Funnel Seek & Quick test on both the "suspect" drives and no failures have been reported.

    Not adverse to replacing the drives if it's really necessary but would like tores olve the restart problem first if at all possible.

    Will run the SeaTools DOS version and see what it says. If nothing flagged then I think I will do as I said and disconnect the two "suspect" drives" for a period and see what happens.

    If the restarts still happen then RAM would be my next port of call as it's the easiest to replace. If I disconnect the two drives is it worth my posting the minidump if I get a restart error afterwards?
    I think there is another report file created on the error but can't remember what it or if it can be read by a layman.
  10. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    If you get more BSODs I would certainly post. Having the external drive is an excellent idea.
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