Intermittant Blue Screen: 0x000000F4

Compaq / P8654k-aba 8000t na910
November 9, 2009 at 12:47:44
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 2.666 GHz / 2047 MB
Intermittant Blue Screen 0x000000F4 (0x00000003,0x881BBB78,0x881BBCEC,0x805FB046)
Happens about once in ten startups...
Can someone give me some pointers on where to look ran memtest without issue. Is this a CPU or HD issue. I hear a clicking sound just before the failure, like HD is parking the heads..
Any help greatly appreciated

After I restart the computer it could run for days and be restarted again without issues.

See More: Intermittant Blue Screen: 0x000000F4

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November 9, 2009 at 14:53:38
Find a list of STOP MESSAGES(BSOD) here:
Click on F4 at the right side of that page.

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November 9, 2009 at 16:53:38
The info on 0x000000F4 at doesn't apply to my situation. Only one drive in the computer.
What is the meaning of the first parameter 0x00000003, in the error msg? Does this indicate a hardware error?

I looked at the event log on the computer and saw 2 errors at about the time the computer froze. They reference two Event ID's 7009 and 7000. These point to the 'Application Layer Gateway Service' which in the first msg Timed out and the second msg says that it failed to start...

I checked the service from the control panel->sys-admin tools and saw that it was not running and it's Start type was manual. Iv'e changed it to Automatic... I'll have to monitor the computer to see if it still exhibits the same behaviour...

Where can I find an explanation of the error parameters? The 4 hex numbers in parenthesis.


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November 9, 2009 at 18:54:32

From what I can see the four hex numbers in parenthesis are not of great value in sorting out the issue. Even if the numbers match other error codes reported on these sites they are not relevant. Only the first number 0x000000F4 and any error text is relevant.

The two important issues are:
1 the 0x000000F4 error code, and
2 the fact that XP fails to load intermittently with a noise that may be hard drive related.

As the failure is intermittent, the fault is unlikely to be a 'hard' error such as a hard drive connected as a slave with no master.

Intermittent failures in the boot process are more likely to be hardware related, such as a faulty memory or a hard drive read error.

The clicking sound suggests a hard drive error, such as a sector failing. Some hard drive failures happen slowly, rather than as a single catastrophic failure.

I noted that the application layer gateway service did not start on one occasion, but this is not enough to stop Windows starting. AFAIK this is not an essential service. This may just be a case of a non-essential service that did not load properly, also due to disk errors.

As a remote observer, my suggestion is that you have a hard drive sector that is failing and the error code seems to be consistent with this.

If this is the case, you could run hard drive tests for bad sectors (but don't use the repair option as an essential sector may be locked out).

If this is a failing sector that contains part of an essential Windows file, then a backup now before total failure would be a relatively simple protective measure.

A new hard drive of the same size or larger could be connected and a full drive copy i.e. a disk clone (not a partition copy) should be undertaken. Then change the boot sequence to boot to the new drive.

Hopefully others will comment, as my observations are by no means definitive !!!!


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November 10, 2009 at 06:54:35
Thanks for the reply.
This morning I had another incident, this time the computer wouldn't boot it went back to the bios screen to either F1 setup mode or F10 recovery... I tried normal boot and got Unable to find system disk, Please insert a bootable disk and press enter.
I power cycled the computer and it came up without any issues...
It has a maxtor drive, now seagate, it's an old disk EIDE 120GB I'm trying to get the disk diagnostics and hopefully a firmware upgrade if one exists. Otherwise I will replace the drive.

Thanks Again, any other ideas greatly appreciated...

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November 10, 2009 at 13:22:49
I've updated all of the drivers to the most current for the hardware. IDE ATA chipset drivers and verified that the drive has the most current version of firmware.
I haven't found a HD utility yet that will check the drive, ie a maxtor utility, the seagate utility doesn't recognize the disk.

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