Should I "undo system changes"?

By aquestion · 17 replies
Apr 20, 2010
  1. Hi all,
    I'm new to the board, but I could really use some help!

    I get the following error message approximately 1 out of 5 times I start my computer:

    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
    OS Version: 6.0.6002.
    Locale ID: 1033

    Additional information about the problem:
    BCCode: a
    BCP1: 000000000000002A
    BCP2: 000000000000000C
    BCP3: 0000000000000000
    BCP4: FFFFF800024B7D07
    OS Version: 6_0_6002
    Service Pack: 2_0
    Product: 768_1

    Files that help describe the problem:

    It started happening about 2 months ago. I haven't installed any new hardware since I got the machine. I don't know if I installed any new software around the time this problem started. One thing to mention is that I had to send it back to the HP about a month before the BSOD because it had a power supply issue that they resolved.

    To deal with the BSOD, would it help to do a System Restore to, say, 3 months ago? If I do that, will I lose all of the files I've created since then (e.g. Word docs)? Or is there something else I should do? I'm confused about why this only happens sometimes, not every time.

    Thanks for your help -- I'm a grad student who needs this laptop to do my work. Without it, I'm screwed, so the BSOD is TERRIFYING to me.
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    That is an 0xA error which are caused by either hardware or a faulty driver attempting to address a higher IRQ Level than it is supposed to resulting in system crashes. Being s former grad student myself I understand your angst. However, at this poin there is no need to do a System Restore and if it comes to that you can always burn your important files to a CD/DVD and install them after the restore.

    In fact, I would go ahead and do it anyway. Better safe than sorry.

    What we need from you is:

    1. A link to your laptop so that we may look at the hardware specs plu tell us what OS you are running and what security software you have.

    2. We need your minidump files. Everytime the system crashes and blue screens Windows writes a minidump file that gives us an error code and possible cause.

    How to find and post your Minidump Files:

    My Computer > C Drive > Windows Folder > Minidump Folder > Minidump Files.

    It is these files that we need (not the folder). Attach to your next post the five most recent dumps. Notice the Manage Attachments button at the bottom when you go to post the next time. You can Zip up to five files per Zip; if you only have one or two you don’t need to zip them, just attach as is. Please do us a favor and don’t Zip each one individually.
  3. aquestion

    aquestion TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow, thanks for getting back to me so fast! Here are the specs of my computer (copied from my order confirmation email):

    - HP Pavilion dv3z Entertainment PC
    - Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
    - AMD Turion(TM) X2 Ultra Dual-Core Mobile Processor ZM-84 (2.3GHz, L2 Cache)
    - 4GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
    - FREE Upgrade to 320GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
    - ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3200 Graphics with 64MB Display Cache Memory
    - 13.3" diagonal WXGA High-Definition HP LED BrightView Widescreen Display (1280 x 800)
    - Tray Load SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support
    - Webcam + Fingerprint Reader
    - Wireless-N Card
    - Full Size Backlit Keyboard
    - 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
    - $20 OFF! Microsoft(R) Office Home and Student 2007

    As it says above, I'm running Vista Home Premium 64-bit. I run Symantec as my anti-virus software along with Ad-Aware and Spybot.

    I tried to post a link to the HP site in case you need more specs, but TechSpot says I can only post links after I've made 5 posts to the site. Do you have the specs you need?

    I just went to grab the minidump files for you, and I saw that they're all SAS files (SAS is a statistical analysis program I use for school). I can't open them myself because my SAS license just expired a week ago (long after I first started getting the BSOD, so licensing isn't the culprit for the BSOD).

    It also won't let me attach them -- When I try to, it says "You don't have permission to open this file. Contact the file owner or an administrator to obtain permission." (I'm the only admin on the laptop, and I'm logged in as myself. I understand why I can't open the files -- because of the licensing issue described above -- but I don't know why it won't let me at least attach them).

    I'm so sorry about this! Let me know if there's something else I can do to get you the minidump files. Thanks SO MUCH for your help!!
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Microsoft has a very good article about how to gain administrative rights for files and folders. Do a search and follow the instructions.

    Also, go to HP's website, find your exact model laptop and update to their latest drivers for your system.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    LookinAround pm'd me and made some good suggestions that we might try. But first, did you happen to update your drivers and if so what has been the results?
  7. aquestion

    aquestion TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm working on updating the drivers. There seem to be a LOT of them, so it'll take me a while to download and run them all. I don't really know enough to know which ones are more or less critical :)
  8. aquestion

    aquestion TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yikes, this is NOT going well.

    I installed and used the "Take Ownership" program that LookinAround posted. Even after using that program on the minidump files, it STILL says I don't have permission to upload them or send them to a zip file.

    Given that I now know that these minidump files are SAS files, do you think I should just uninstall SAS?

    In terms of the drivers, I've gone to the HP site. There are a lot of drivers, and I'm not sure where to start. I just clicked on the first one and part way through running it, the program froze and told me there was an error. Sigh. Should I try again with a different driver from the HP site? Are certain drivers more important than others?

    Thanks again for your ongoing help...
  9. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Make sure SAS is totally uninstalled, i.e., no drivers left over OR re-up it and update. Ad-aware at one time was highly regarded as was Spybot but neither are are recommended for today's demands.

    Also, LookinAround reminded me of something he helped me with with. Here is what he wrote me:

    Here's my guess:
    The A/V software changes the "user" context when grabs control and starts doing things. It changes the context back when it's done. This is how it can protect things from the normal user's context (which would be running otherwise if A/V protection wasn't enabled)

    So instead of it running with user's admin rights it might change the user context to be running as SYSTEM. So when the BSOD occurs, the minidump inherits the user context and permissions for SYSTEM (which is why the user as admin doesn't have rights)

    Of course, this is just my theory for this case, might still prove to be something else (gotta love computers for that unknown! LOL)

    Disable Symantec. Can you now access your minidumps?

    *** By the way, minidump files are written by Windows because it is actually Windows that shuts down your system to protect it from damage. The files contain an error code and a probable cause for the system crashes.
  10. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    If might add a couple things:
    1) Open Symantec and click the Norton Live Update button/link. Make sure updates work and you're receiving updates OK
    2) I see you're running Spybot. Disable Teatimer. (that's Spybot's real time protection component). See if the BSODs still occur or not
    3) Install DriverMAx.
    > Run it and click Driver Backup and Restore->Installed driver report
    > Check the choice for text report click Next
    > Save to a text file and attach to your next post

    And i'm a bit confused about your minidumps as Windows minidumps should be in C:\Windows\minidump and name that start minidump and end with .dmp... So what makes you think they're SAS files? Or that SAS files are minidumps?
  11. aquestion

    aquestion TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi all,

    Sorry I haven't responded sooner -- it's end of semester crazy time in the grad student world.

    Here are the updates...

    1. I've confirmed that I'm getting Symantec updates OK.

    2. I tried to disable Teatimer on Spybot but couldn't figure out how to do so, even after searching the help function. Can you give me some instructions?

    3. I was able to completely uninstall SAS and all of its various components (or so it appears). Now that I've done that, the contents of the minidump file folder are actual dmp files (I know it sounds crazy, but I SWEAR they previously were SAS files for whatever reason). However, I'm still not able to attach them b/c of ownership reasons (even though I ran the 'take ownership' program suggested by LookinAround).

    When you say to disable Symantec in order to get ownership of those minidump files, do you mean un-install? That would make me extremely nervous. If there's a way to disable symantec without uninstalling, please let me know.

    4. Route44 suggested that neither Spybot nor AdAware can keep up in today's context. Can you recommend other (hopefully free) options that are better?

    I'm still waiting to see if the BSOD re-appears. I just took the above actions this morning, so it's too soon to tell.

    Thanks again for the ongoing help...
  12. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Is your Symantec the full security suit?
  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Re: Teatimer
    Try this
    > Run Spybot
    > Click Mode->Advanced Mode
    > Click Tools. Then uncheck both Teatimer and SDHelper
    > Close Spybot Window

    You can run with those two components unchecked. See if the BSOD problem is any different with SAS removed and them unchecked

    Also, don't turn off Symantec. I'll follow up a bit later about changing access rights to those minidump files. Sounds like, maybe, SAS also uses files ending with .dmp so it "claimed" that file type for itself.
  14. aquestion

    aquestion TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't see Teatimer or SDHelper under the Spybot Tools section when I'm in the advanced mode. I just see:
    View Report, bug report, secure shredder, resident, active X, BHOs, browser pages, IE tweaks, hosts file, process list, system internals, system startup, uninstall info, and winsock LSPs.

    As for Symantec, I assume it's the full suit. It's the one provided by my university. When I open it, it says it's version, if that helps.
  15. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Sorry. My mistake. Look under Tools->Resident
  16. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Also, for Symantec.. run it. Click Help->About (or Help and Support->About). Should give you the product name?
  17. aquestion

    aquestion TS Rookie Topic Starter

    sorry for disappearing. i've been super busy with exams and papers.

    ever since uninstalling SAS, i haven't had any problems with the BSOD. hopefully that will continue to be the case. of course, if it happens again, i'll be back!

    thanks to everyone :)
  18. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    We understand; we've been there. Good to hear that stability has returned and SAS is an excellent product. It is one of my favorites but
    perhaps it was conflicting with another similar software.
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