My computer randomly restarts

Dell / Dimension 4500
April 1, 2009 at 12:55:33
Specs: Windows XP
My computer is restarting and giving me a "serious error" message. It happens while on Explorer and even just during my AVG scans. I can't complete an AVG scan before it restarts again.

See More: My computer randomly restarts

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April 1, 2009 at 14:05:42
What's the error message say?

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April 1, 2009 at 14:55:02
A full AVG scan takes a long while, especially on an apparently older computer like yours, so obviously if your computer is having (a) serious error problem(s) and is rebooting, it's unlikely AVG will get to the end of the scan, even if you ran it in Safe mode.
It's very unlikely your problem has anything to do with malware, if that's why you were trying to scan the computer.

Copy down the exact message you are getting while booting and post it here.

If Internet Explorer is giving you a message
"...Internet Explorer needs to Close..."
"Send" "Don't Send"
you can ignore that for the time being.

If it's some other error, quote it.

Is the computer BLACK screening and rebooting, or BLUE screening and rebooting?

If it's BLUE screening, are you getting an error message there on the blue screen?
If so quote it.

Advanced Troubleshooting

"Diagnostic Codes"

"Your computer is equipped with four diagnostic lights, which are labeled "A," "B," "C," and "D" on the back of the computer. Each of the four lights can be yellow, green, or off ..."

Look at those lights (leds). If they are not all OFF when the computer is running, tell us what colors they are for each letter.

Dimension 4500


Partial specs:

Intel® Pentium® 4 microprocessor that runs at 1.60, 1.70, 1.80, 1.90, 2.00, 2.20, or 2.40 GHz internally and 400 MHz externally; and 2.26, 2.40, 2.53, 2.66, or 2.80 GHz internally and 533 MHz externally.

Chipset: Intel 845E with DDR memory support
AGP connector: one
AGP bus protocols: 4x/2x modes at 1.5 V
Memory connectors: two
Minimum memory: 128 MB
Maximum memory: 1 GB

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April 1, 2009 at 16:33:49
The error message says: The system has recovered from a serious error. A log of this error has been created. Please tell Microsoft about....

Also, on the back the computer, ABCD are all a yellowish-green color.

A friend recently added RAM to it--total 2 GB now.

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Related Solutions

April 1, 2009 at 16:38:20
also, it's black screening and rebooting.

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April 1, 2009 at 18:17:09
my friend, i think your cpu resolution is too high for your monitor.
i suggest you to make an adjustment on your resolution.
while undergoing a Power On Self Test (POST) hit F8 and then select the VGA mode. if there is an option for Operating System, just hit enter.

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April 1, 2009 at 22:13:01
" Also, on the back the computer, ABCD are all a yellowish-green color. "

Each position has an led that has three connections instead of the usual two - depending on which two of the three leads are powered, the led color can be either yellow or green.
There is no information about what 4 leds being yellow means.
If they're all the same color, more green than yellow, that's okay.
They're supposed to all be off when you first start up the computer, and if the POST is successful (Power On Self Test), in a short time all of them are green, and I assume they stay green until you shut down or reboot the computer
If they're NOT all the same color, I need to know which ones are more yellow, which ones are more green

"The error message says: The system has recovered from a serious error. A log of this error has been created. Please tell Microsoft about...."

.... this problem.
We have created an error report that you can send to help us improve Microsoft Windows. We will treat this report as confidential and anonymous.

To see what data this error report contains, click here

[Send Error Report] [Don't Send]


When you click on "click here" in
"To see what data this error report contains, click here" , you see a specific error code string.
BCCode : c4 BCP1 : 00000090 BCP2 : FFDFF120 BCP3 : 00000000
BCP4 : 00000000 OSVer : 5_1_2600 SP : 2_0 Product : 256_1

I might need you to quote the part of that before BCP4.

Unfortunately, zillions of things can cause that message to appear

"A friend recently added RAM to it--total 2 GB now.

also, it's black screening and rebooting."

One of them is a RAM problem.

Software problems can, rarely, but DO NOT, normally, cause the computer to BLACK screen and reboot!

Software problems usually cause a BLUE screen then a reboot!

Ram problems certainly can cause a BLACK screen reboot!!

By any chance did this error start happening ONLY after the ram was added??

By any chance did you click on Send, while booting when you got that error, or when you got an error in Internet Explorer, and then you got a message similar to this?:

"Corrupted error report
Unfortunately, the error report you submitted is corrupted and cannot be analyzed. Corrupted error reports are rare. They can be caused by hardware or software problems, and they usually indicate a serious problem with your computer."

The ONLY time I have seen a message about the error report being corrupted is when the computer I was working on had a ram problem.

It is extremely rare for ram to be "bad" when you first install it, or for ram that worked fine previously to spontanoeuosly go "bad:, but not all ram is compatible with your mboard, and sometimes ram that you install doesn't get along with the ram already there, or the ram may have a poor connection in it's slot, and you then get errors reading the ram - if there are some errors but not enough of them for the ram to not work at all, you get all sorts of symptoms, including black screen rebooting.

Try ..........

1. See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:

2.Run a ram diagnostic test

If you do a ram test, do that AFTER having tried cleaning the contacts and making sure the ram is seated properly - otherwise any errors found may be FALSE.
If the ram is incompatible with the chipset, it will likely FAIL a ram test - that is NOT a true indication of the ram being faulty - there is probably nothing wrong with it, and it will pass the test if installed in a mboard it is compatible with.

If you want to try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).

If you DO get ram errors, or in any case...

3. Try removing the ram your friend installed. If you're not sure which one, remove one and run the ram diagnostic test. If it fails remove that one and try the other one.
NOTE that sometimes both modules will pass the ram test when by itself, but when both are installed the ram test will fail.

4. Whichever way passes the ram test, try your computer for a while. If you no longer have the symptoms the problem was the ram.

Other possibilities.

Win XP is set by default to automatically reboot when it encounters an unrecoverable error.

To have XP possibly display an error message you can investigate instead of the computer rebooting:

1. Click Start, and then right-click My Computer.
2. Click Properties.
3. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
4. Under System failure, click on the small box beside Automatically restart to remove the checkmark.
5. Click OK, and then click OK.

If you then get an error message, look at all of it's details, and tell us what it says.

Did you install drivers or software for something, or remove or install a device, just before you first got the symptoms?

If so, try booting into Enable VGA mode, and Safe mode.
Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and from the boot choices menu, try Enable VGA mode, and Safe mode.
If Enable VGA mode works without you getting the errors, your problem is related to the video drivers or associated software.
If Safe mode works but Enable VGA mode doesn't as far as getting rid of the errors, the problem is caused by something that's loaded in normal mode that's not loaded in Safe mode, but it's probably not video software related

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April 2, 2009 at 16:46:24
thank you so much for your help... i will answer as many of your questions as possible before i crash again...

error report contains...

BCCode : 1000000a BCP1 : 76AF16AE BCP2 : 000000FF BCP3 : 00000000
BCP4 : 804E35E9 OSVer : 5_1_2600 SP : 3_0 Product : 768_1

i have not had a corrupted error report.
my computer-smart friend recently took out my old RAM and added 2 GB, updated AVG, and added itunes (which i have since deleted) and any other updates to Windows--not much else

i will do the RAM test and other suggestions ASAP

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April 2, 2009 at 17:37:15
This sounds like a hardware error but you need to be sure.

Disconnect the hard drive and boot using any bootable cd, such as knoppix, which is quickly downloadable as an iso file, using a torrent downloader. You then have a system that will work without a hard drive, as knoppix does not need one.

Boot from that cd. Surf the web or whatever using the built in browser, and see if you can go a few hours with no reboots. If not, you have a bad power supply, memory, motherboard, or video card. If there are no reboots, the problem is probably the hard drive.

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April 5, 2009 at 12:22:05
Please answer these:

"By any chance did this error start happening ONLY after the ram was added??"

Are all 4 diagnostic leds showing more greenish rather than more yellowish?

Have you tried booting into Enable VGA mode and Safe mode, as described the last thing in response 6?
If so, what results did you have?

"error report contains...

BCCode : 1000000a BCP1 : 76AF16AE BCP2 : 000000FF BCP3 : 00000000
BCP4 : 804E35E9 OSVer : 5_1_2600 SP : 3_0 Product : 768_1 "

The String BCP4 and after that isn't of much use, but it does tell me your XP has SP3 updates installed.

Searching using:
BCCode : 1000000a BCP1 : 76AF16AE BCP2 : 000000FF BCP3 : 00000000
BCCode : 1000000a BCP1 : 76AF16AE
finds ONLY your last post.

Searching using: BCCode : 1000000a
finds lots of "hits" but it doesn't seem to indicate any specific problem - it could bearam problem, or adriver problem or whatever.
So, other than BCCode : 1000000a , I suspect the error string before BCP4 is unique to a particular system.

When you get an error message like you're getting, Windows often automatically makes a minidump file for the error event.
However the minidump file contents are not easily readable as is.
If you can still get into Windows, or if you can copy the minidump file and examine it's contents on another computer, there is often info in it that tells you exactly what your problem is - e.g. if it's a driver or other file that is the problem, it often names it in the minidump file.
However, if your problem is caused by a ram problem, there may be no specific info in it, and/or the minidump info may be different every time..

For what you need and what to look for go here:

Scroll down to:
"To open a minidump file, you need the following tools:"

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April 6, 2009 at 18:43:58
have popped out the RAM, cleaned out dust bunnies, and so far have had no crashes/reboots... will see how it goes and perform suggested RAM tests if problem recurrs... many thanks!!

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April 7, 2009 at 06:48:07
My computer still crashes during AVG scans and sometimes Explorer use. I gathered the mini-dump info:


804e35e9 66837e0c00 cmp word ptr [esi+0Ch],0


SYMBOL_NAME: nt!ExAcquireResourceExclusiveLite+36



IMAGE_NAME: ntoskrnl.exe


FAILURE_BUCKET_ID: 0xA_nt!ExAcquireResourceExclusiveLite+36

BUCKET_ID: 0xA_nt!ExAcquireResourceExclusiveLite+36

Followup: MachineOwner

when i clicked on the hyperlink next to Module Name....

kd> lmvm nt
start end module name
804d7000 806ed780 nt (pdb symbols) c:\windows\symbols\ntoskrnl.pdb\1CACECEE64494B1AA2AE9641AB4259E62\ntoskrnl.pdb
Loaded symbol image file: ntoskrnl.exe
Mapped memory image file: c:\windows\symbols\ntoskrnl.exe\48A404AB216780\ntoskrnl.exe
Image path: ntoskrnl.exe
Image name: ntoskrnl.exe
Timestamp: Thu Aug 14 06:10:51 2008 (48A404AB)
CheckSum: 0021ED10
ImageSize: 00216780
File version: 5.1.2600.5657
Product version: 5.1.2600.5657
File flags: 0 (Mask 3F)
File OS: 40004 NT Win32
File type: 1.0 App
File date: 00000000.00000000
Translations: 0409.04b0
CompanyName: Microsoft Corporation
ProductName: Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
InternalName: ntoskrnl.exe
OriginalFilename: ntoskrnl.exe
ProductVersion: 5.1.2600.5657
FileVersion: 5.1.2600.5657 (xpsp_sp3_gdr.080814-1236)
FileDescription: NT Kernel & System
LegalCopyright: © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

this is all greek to me... do you see what the problem is?

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April 7, 2009 at 09:54:21

"By any chance did this error start happening ONLY after the ram was added??"

Are all 4 diagnostic leds showing more greenish rather than more yellowish?

Have you tried booting into Enable VGA mode and Safe mode, as described the last thing in response 6?
If so, what results did you have?
If you haven't, try those things!


the minidump file info indicates there is a problem with ntoskrnl.exe.

I searched using:
ExAcquireResourceExclusiveLite+36 ntoskrnl.exe

but there is no one specific cause.


It can be a false error, caused by
- a problem reading the ram
- if the ram passes diagnostics tests, a problem with the settings for the ram in the mboard bios Setup

It can be a true error, caused by
- ntoskrnl.exe itself being corrupted
- ntoskrnl.exe having been altered by malware
- something else, possibly a problem with a driver file for a device, that Windows can't tell you about directly.

I can suggest things you can try, but I must know the answers to those questions first!

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April 7, 2009 at 12:16:47

"By any chance...

these errors never happened before the RAM was installed and the AVG software updated...

Are all 4 diagnostic leds...

they are more greenish (lime) than yellowish

Have you tried booting...

in Safe mode, while trying to run antivirus software and use IE, the computer went to blue screen and the technical info was: STOP: 0x00000024 (0x001902FE, 0xF78AAAD4, 0xF78AA7D0, 0x806F0753)

in VGA, same thing

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April 7, 2009 at 13:16:59
I added more to response 12.

Do you have a regular Windows CD of the same version as on your computer, Home or Pro, or can you borrow a full (not upgrade) one from somone you know,
or do you have the Dell
"Reinstalltion CD"
"Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"
or similar that may have come with your system?

There are several procedures you could do, or do better, that I can suggest if you had that.

"Are all 4 diagnostic leds...

they are more greenish (lime) than yellowish"

OK, that's good, but you still may have minor ram problems that are producing a small amount of ram errors.

"these errors never happened before the RAM was installed "

Did you try these in response 6 yet?
2.Run a ram diagnostic test
if you get errors...
3. Try removing the ram your friend installed.

"these errors never happened before ...... the AVG software updated..."

You could try un-installing AVG in Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs, then installing it again, but it's been very reliable for me and on other computers I have installed it on, and it's very unlikely it was AVG that was the problem, unless you had some program that was running when you installed updates that interfered with the updates being installed properly.

When you get no errors reading the ram...

Your STOP: 0x00000024 error
is often caused by data corruption.

To rule out whether it's the hard drive is starting to fail that's causing the problem...

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:

(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

If your partition Windows is on, which is usually C, is too full that can cause data corruption problems.

What size is your C partition and how much free space is on it.
(Hold your cursor over the C drive letter in My Computer, or RIGHT click on the C drive letter, choose Properties)

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