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Please help interpreting Vista minidumps

By orfjmc · 21 replies
Feb 11, 2009
  1. I just got a Lenovo W500 with Vista Business and I have been getting some BSOD's for the past few weeks. Most of these are 8e errors, although a few have been as follows:"The bugcheck was: 0x0000007e (0xc0000005, 0x81cc87ac, 0x91590bac, 0x915908a8)".
    I have run all the Windows updates and the Lenovo System updates to update all the drivers but I'm still getting at least one a day. I have collected the minidumps but I need some help interpretting them. Here are the most recent ones. I can post more if needed. Can someone please assist or direct me where to go to get help with these or?

  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    Since this is still under warrenty you may want to take it back and have them fix it. Tell them that your minidumps were read and here are the errors:

    Four are 0x8E and these are almost always caused by hardware, though sometimes by drivers. In one 0x8E case it cited hardware but nothing definitive. The other three cited essential Windows drives. Twice pacer.exe was noted and there is very, very little on the internet concerning this one. The problem with citing Windows drivers they are too general to be helpful.

    Another error is 0x116 and it particularly cites the ATI driver atimpag.sys. If you google this you will see that Vista users have had issues with this driver.

    The last error was 0x7E and again it cited an essential Windows driver this one being ndis.sys

    If you want to try some diagnostic steps yourself you could try the following at this time:

    First, uninstall your video drivers and then reinstall. Follow these steps:

    1. Download Driver Cleaner Pro (free version) to your desktop screen and install.

    2. Download the latest diver(s) for your video card but don't install them.

    3. Uninstall your video card drivers and reboot your PC into Safe Mode. Run Driver Cleaner Pro. If it doesn't find any video card drivers that is quite okay.

    4. Reboot and install new video card drivers.

    The second thing you might want to try is to disable Norton (Symantec). I noticed in one of your 0x8E pacer.exe errors that SYMTDI.sys was not able to load. This belongs to Norton and sometimes Norton can cause conflicts. see if disabling brings stability.

    * Let us know what you decide. Lenovo make very fine laptops.
  3. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK thanks for the info. I'l try to uninstall the Video drivers and see if that is helpful. I also got ahold of anoter W500, so I think I am going ot swap the Har drives in these to see if I get the same problems using my drive in the other system.

    I'll let you know how it goes.

    Thanks Again!
  4. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    results from driver reinstall

    I uninstalled the video drivers and reinstalled as you suggested and I have received two BSOD's since then. Once I got the drivers reinstalled the system loaded everything and then about 20 minutes later the screen started flashing black about 5 times and then Blue Screened. I have two more sets of dumps. One is the minidump for when the screen was flashing and another I received this morning that references corrupted memory. The other set is in a folder called LiveKernel reports. I looked at these in a debugger and it looks like each of these was created when the screen was flashing. Would you mind taking a look?
    Could this be a RAM or Video RAM issue?

    I have considered returning the system but this is a bit difficult since this actualy belongs to my office. Also, Lenovo doesn't really like swapping out laptops based on my troubleshooting alone. They are more inclined to have me go through all the options on their script etc.,etc.

    I am considering reimaging the system.

    I am swapping the drive for a different W500 today to see if I get better results, so I'll do this and post again if see get any reboots.

    One more question: do you know of any sites that have material on interpreting the results of dump files and running command in the debugger?
    Thank you for the help!
  5. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    Of the two errors the one that stands as the most significant is your 0x8E because these are almost always caused by hardware issues and your's specifically cites memory corruption. Run Memtest on your RAM:

    1. Go to www.memtest.org and download the latest ISO version. It is free and perfectly safe.

    2. Burn to a CD.

    3. Place CD in your drive and reboot with CD in drive. The test will take over.

    4. Let it run for a LONG time. The rule is a minimum of 7 Passes. There are 8 individual tests per Pass. Many people will start this test before going to bed and check it the next day.

    5. If you have errors you have corrupted memory and it needs to be replaced.

    6. Also, with errors you need to run this test per stick of RAM. Take out one and run the test. Then take that one out and put the other in and run the test. If you start getting errors before 7 Passes you know that stick is corrupted and you don’t need to run the test any further on that stick.
  6. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I did run memtest but didn't do it one stick at a time, so I will give that a shot and let you know how it goes. Thanks!
  7. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    Just F.Y.I. the other error cited another ATI driver. I'm wondering if it is the video card itself.
  8. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK I have run memtest on both sticks of RAM individually and both together and it passed all. It does seem that this could be a video thing. I am downloading 3DMark right now and I'm also runnning another VideoRAM test right now. I put my drive in another w500 yesterday afternoon and I haven't had any problems yet, but I'm gonna give it a day or so before I draw any conclusions.
    Any other ideas?

    Thanks again for the help!
  9. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    Right now I think what you are doing is good diagnostic work. Definitely get back to us with your 3DMark scores. Most issues are hardware in nature.

    Since this is a Lenovo laptop for work am I correct in assuming this a 64-bit Vista OS? The reason I ask is because that OS and ATI drivers have been known to have issues.
  10. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No its 32bit.
  11. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Just an update here. I have tested all the video hardware and it passed all tests. I was researching this some more on the Lenovo forums and there appear to be quite a few messages regarding this type of issue.It appears to be quite common on the Lenovo T and W 400/500 series I am going to take this over there and see if I can get a resolution.

    Thanks for all the help!
  12. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    Thanks for getting back to us. It is good to hear that you got a direction to explore. Many times going to a manufacturer's forums is the best recourse -- as long as they are active. Do us a favor and get back to us and tell us how it gets resolved and exactly what the issue was.
  13. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK will do. I am posting a message there now,so once I get it posted I'll put the link in a post here so anyone who finds this issue here can see it continued over at the Lenovo Forum.

    I am also posting a series of Minidumps that I have received that includes some newer ones.
  14. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    Which Zip file has the new ones? Better yet, just Zip your latest 5.
  15. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The one titled set1 has the last 5. It wouldn't let me repost them.
  16. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter

  17. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    Two 0x8E errors cite pacer.sys

    One 0x7E cites NDIS.sys

    Both drivers belong to your Windows OS

    However, you have another 0x8E error and it specifically cites memory corruption.

    Your remaining error is 0x0000004E: PFN_LIST_CORRUPT
    This indicates that the memory management Page File Number list is corrupted. Can be caused by corrupt physical RAM, or by drivers passing bad memory descriptor lists.

    This is another strong indicator of bad RAM. I speak from personal experience. When you ran Memtest how many Passes did you allow?

    Also, try running with just one stick at a time. Do you get BSODs then?
  18. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I ran the tests one stick at a time and on one stick it ran overnight and the other ran from 8-5 one day so I'm not sure about the total number of passes, but it was quite few.

    I just got another W500 in so I can put my hdd in that system and see if I get any issues. I tried this last week using another system but was only able to use it for a day or so. I didn't get any errors during that time though.
  19. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    Then it might be your motherboard itself or it could be how the motherboard set the RAM voltage and/or timings that was incorrect. let us know how the new system works with your harddrive.
  20. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Ok here is a bit of an update. I swapped the hard drives and immediately after enabling Aero I started to get a flashing Black screen which eventually blue screened. The minidumps when this occured referenced atikmpag.sys, GRAPHICS_DRIVER_TDR_FAULT. I found a post in the Lenovo forum regarding at least part of the problem I was having with the video card. Lenovo has released a new driver to correct this. I installed the drivers on Friday and have not had any problems since then. I'm not sure if this fixed the entire problem. I am going to put my drive back in the original system to see if I receive any of the 0x8e bugchecks. I'll post back once I get some results

    Here is a link to the post and the uipdated driver for the benefit of anyone with the same issues.

  21. orfjmc

    orfjmc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Another BSOD

    After a week of no problems I put the drive back in the original system. I had a couple problems with explorer.exe not responding but no BSOD yesterday. Today I got up for a cup of cofee, and I came back to a BSOD. The minidump says: "Probably caused by Hardware"
    I'm pretty convinced that it is something with the hardware on this laptop, although I'm not sure what to tell Lenovo when I call them back. I ran PC Doctor as they requested and it passed all tests several times and they like to have an error to point tootherwise they want you to reimage..blah blah blah.
    If you don't mind, please take a lok at the dump file and see if you notcie anything. I noticed something going on with NAVEX15.SYS which Iknow is part of Symantec AV, but I'm not sure if this is part of the problem.
  22. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    0x8E error and says simply hardware (which are almost always the cause for these errors but sometimes it can be due to drivers).

    Question: Was this laptop running fine with another harddrive in place?

    Also, disable Symantec; I would say do a full uninstall but I gather that since this is a company machine Symantec was preinstalled. Are you getting any more BSOD?
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