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My Windows XP PC keeps randomly crashing

By stonarda ยท 14 replies
Apr 12, 2012
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  1. This is the first time I have used this website, so If i have amade a mistake, either breaking rules by posting this thread, or something else, please let me know so I won't do it in the future!

    Whenever I use programs, especially windows programs such as IE8, they keep crashing. IE8 constantly says thats there has been a problem with a tab. Whenever I check the events log, there are various causes to the problem. Also, the system keeps blue screening.

    The times when this happens generally tend to be during resource intensive programs. However, my computer only tends to crash during certain times, at other times it is fine.

    I have run antivirus scans from norton, avast and mse, with no viruses found. I have tried to reinstall the OS form the I386 folder, reinstalled windows xp sp2.

    My computer is a Dell Dimension 2400, windows xp sp2, running 1.5GB or Ram, with a Pentium 4 processor running at 2.4 GHZ (not overclocked at all) I have two cd drives, one RW, and two hard drives, one runs the OS and the other is My Stuff :). It has built in graphics and sound, which I want to upgrade soon.

    These are the errors I get in Event Viewer:

    Faulting application asc.exe, version, faulting module kernel32.dll, version 5.1.2600.2180, fault address 0x0001eb33.
    Faulting application iexplore.exe, version 8.0.6001.18702, faulting module mshtml.dll, version 8.0.6001.18928, fault address 0x0015852b.
    Faulting application iexplore.exe, version 8.0.6001.18702, faulting module flash32_11_2_202_221.ocx, version, fault address 0x0018ab2c.
    Catalog Database (1120) The database page read from the file "C:\WINDOWS\system32\CatRoot2\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\CATDB" at offset 4284416 (0x0000000000416000) for 4096 (0x00001000) bytes failed verification due to a page checksum mismatch. The expected checksum was 2684164770 (0x9ffd1aa2) and the actual checksum was 1474763426 (0x57e71aa2). The read operation will fail with error -1018 (0xfffffc06). If this condition persists then please restore the database from a previous backup.

    There are more, but I have removed them during my last clean up. The programs which I can remember that have crashed are:
    MSE (easpecially when scanning my pc)
    Windows Media Player

    And I have seen many blue screens as well.

    If you could help, that would be greatly appreciated! It was tolerable, now really isn't.

    If you need any more information, please let me know at
    sasha.stonard @ sky.com
  2. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    What jumps out the page for me is that you reinstalled XP SP2. A secure XP OS would be running SP3. You really need to make this upgrade first and then consider remaining problems if any. They may well be driver related. Unfortunately, it will take hours to install SP3 and then there will be lots more Windows updates to catch up on.
  3. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 143   +18

    More problems

    I have tried to install SP3 and it stops half-way telling me that it has only installed hakf the service pack. Windows update doesn't seem too bothered about updating my PC. I restore my computer in fear that something may have been corrupted as a reasult. However, what I found interesting is that every scan I ty to do when logged in seems to crash. May antivirus programs cracsh as well. I have microsoft security essentials, which is constantly crashing. My suggestion is that it may be a virus or something, but I have no idead. Im no good at this kind of thing. I am on a laptop at the moment and will post event logs in teh next post. I will adivse that they are virus scanned before opening them though, just to be on the safe side! the computer is second hand, but has been upgraded with new RAM, a second CD drive and a second hard drive.

    Finally, I have tried to reinstall the OS via the I386 folder, with that stopping and me having to use the origional OS. If I have to re-install windows xp, I will. My thoughts are that it is some sort of clever virus at the moment. It could be a driver problem though, I just don't know. If you need any more information, please don't hesitate to say!
  4. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 143   +18


    Here are the event logs. I will advise to scan them for viruses before hand though, just to be safe!

    Attached Files:

  5. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    Someone more technically proficient will hopefully take up your post but I'll make a few observations. The AV scans aren't picking up anything so my guess is a hardware problem.

    Maybe it's overheating or the ram is faulty so that the computer shuts down under load. You need to look inside and see if things look clean. There are free programs for download which will give an indication of CPU temperature. If a Pentium CPU overheats it will shut down to prevent damage. For example:


    I bought a second hand computer which hadn't been updated to SP3 and it kept crashing when asked to do anything remotely demanding. Installing SP3 was impossible. It turned out to be the single stick of 2Gb ram. If your computer has a couple of sticks you could remove one in turn to see if things improve. Best of luck.
  6. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 143   +18


    I have a 1GB sycik and a 512mb stick in my computer at them moment, so I will try and see if they make any differences. Ill get back to you in a few dasy! When I first got the PC (second hand) I took it all apart and cleaned it thouroughly. When it began playing up, I did the same thign again with no efect. I shall try out changing the RAM around, see if that helps!

    Would it better if I did a boot-memory test? I don't know what it is called exactly.
  7. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 143   +18

    CPUID Hardware Monitor

    It has come back with the following:

    - IC35L060AVV207-0
    -- Temperatures:
    Assembly value: 30 degrees, min 30 degered and Max 30 degrees

    - ST340016A
    -- Assembly Value: 29 degrees, Min 29 degrees, Max 29 degrees

    Are these safe for a computer to be running on?
  8. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    I think those are temperatures for your hard drives and they are fine. What you want is the CPU temperature. If it's too high the heatsink's thermal paste needs replacing.

    As you've been inside cleaning things up it's worth checking all the connections in case you loosened something.
  9. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 143   +18


    Thanks for your help. I checked all the connection a couple of times. I also replaced a GB stick of RAM with the PC's origional 256mb. It seems to work fine now! I'll come back if there is any more problems, but all seems OK now!
  10. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    512Mb of ram is the bare minimum for XP. IGb would be much better. It's worth holding off on the purchase of a graphics card in favour of increasing the ram. See how it runs and be sure to update to SP3 and beyond. Hopefully you've successfully identified the problem as being down to the ram. If it was my desktop I'd possibly purchase two new sticks of 512Mb each. Buy from a good vendor taking care to identify exactly what is needed. The better suppliers will answer enquiries and exchange ram if there are incompatibility problems.

    Ram is trickier than it seems. There can be incompatibility problems betweeen the sticks and the computer and some from mixing different types or sizes of module. Some motherboards won't recognise sticks of more than a certain ram size. Motherboards can have a faulty slot and in some cases the modules are very difficult to seat properly. Mine need a lot of pressure before the catches click into place. Static precautions and handling the ram by edges only is vital. My XP desktop started with 512Mb and when I upped it to 1Gb it made a big difference. I got caught out once by buying cheaper low density modules which were incompatible with the high density ram already installed. Take your time deciding what to do.
  11. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 143   +18

    I have another 512mb stick in my PC, so it has a total of 760mb (according to My Computer), with 64mb being used for graphics (the PC has built in graphics, which struggle playing 360p youtube videos at full screen). The 1GB stick is pretty much new, so I'll try to return it as soon as I can, and order a new one from another company, or would it be safer to stay with the 760mb of RAM, or order 512mb isntead? Thanks for your help!
  12. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 143   +18

    Out of interest, why did they sell PC's with 215mb of RAM when XP needed 512mb?
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Because in the early days of XP without any service packs, 256MB was enough to run XP okay... Then came the service packs up to SP3. With an Intel CPU you can still get away with less than 1GB. AMD CPU's don't run as well with less system memory. I have an old Dell Optiplex 260 Intel 2.8GHz P4 running 768MB of memory perfectly. The shared video memory makes things worse...
  14. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    See how it goes when you contact the company who supplied the ram. It's a fairly common problem so they may exchange it - expect to pay at least the carriage cost. I have a little freeware program called Everest Home which gives details of the ram installed on my computer. Crucial have an online checker which will identify the ram you have already installed. You've got 760Mb of ram which isn't that bad. If there's no joy with exchanging the 1Gb stick you might be happier with a cheapo graphics card instead.
  15. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 143   +18

    Sorry for the long reply, I've been busy recently. I am unable to return the stick as I was too late. However, this morning, I decided to try something with the 1GB stick in my PC.I have 3 RAM sticks, a 512mb, a 1GB and a 256mb stick. I found that if I used the 512mb stick and the !GB stick together, I would get problems. I tried using the 1GB stick with the 256mb stick and it all works fine. It must have been some sort of compatibility issue. Also, I'm ordering a new graphics card this weekend. Thanks for your help!

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