December 31, 2010 at 13:16:48
Specs: Windows XP, 200GB
I'm running XP Media Centre 2001 and I keep getting the BSoD with "MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION". I have uninstalled and re-installed my McAfee and that is the only thing that has changed on this system in the last 6 months. I'm looking to follow the BSoD now and disable the BIOS Memory functions - caching & shadowing. Any ideas.

See More: Blue screen error MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION -

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December 31, 2010 at 13:42:17
"disable the BIOS Memory functions - caching & shadowing."

That's a last resort suggestion
You don't need to do that if you you didn't need to do that previously.

Your problem can apparently be caused by

- overclocking settings in the bios that are too aggressive.

Are using any overclocking settings in the bios ?

- overheating of the power supply, which is probably causing other things inside the computer case to overheat - the power supply capacity may be inadequate, or a power supply fan may not be spinning fast enough or not be spinning at all, or there is too much dust and lint inside the power supply case and on it's fan(s) , or the power supply is defective otherwise.

- overheating of the cpu
- in that case, the computer probably works fine for a while after it has been started up after it has a chance to cool to room temp, then it misbehaves when the cpu gets too hot. The current cpu temp can be seen in the bios Setup settings. The most common cause of the cpu overheating on a desktop computer is there is too much accumulated dust and lint on the cpu fan and cpu heat sink. If you have that, clean it off, but DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner to do that.

- ram error problems

- if you haven't changed which ram you have installed since the computer worked fine, the most common cause of that is a poor connection of the ram in it's slot(s).
See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:

For a laptop, or netbook, you must remove both its main battery and AC adapter before you do that.

For a brand name computer, see the Owner's or User's manual if you need to - how to remove or replace the ram is usually in that - it may already be in your installed programs. If you can't get into Windows, it may be on a disk that came with the computer, or you can go online and look at it or download it - it's in the downloads for your specific model.

For a generic desktop computer, see the mboard manual if you need to - how to remove or replace the ram is usually in that.

- if you HAVE changed which ram you have installed, that ram may NOT be 100% compatible with using it in your mboard, or if the ram modules are not the identical part number, they may not be compatible with being used together on the mboard.

- improper settings for the ram in the bios

Some ram manufacturer's modules do not strictly adhere to the JEDEC standards that most mboards bioses use to determine ram settings.
In that case, the ram settings in the bios Setup that the bios has automatically chosen may not be correct.
Check the ram settings in your bios - the ram voltage, and the ram timing numbers - those should be the same as for the specs for the modules themselves. Often the ram voltage and timing numbers are printed on the label on the modules.

If the voltage setting or timings settings in the bios are different from the specs for the ram, change them in the bios. The timing numbers must be as close as you can get to the same, or slower timings (higher numbers = slower) - you won't notice the difference the slower settings make.

If you have a mix of different modules
- don't mix ram that different voltages are specified for - the bios will force the ram to use the lowest voltage, if "by spd" or similar is used (default settings) - ram that a higher voltage is specified for is more likely to not work properly in that situation.
- the bios settings must be those for the slowest timing settings of all the modules, or slower (higher numbers = slower).

If your ram passes a ram test, it's working fine, even if you can't determine whether it's listed for your mboard or system model anywhere

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 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:
Windows Memory Diagnostic is limited to testing only the first 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.
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).

Inadequate power supply.

If you have added a video card to your desktop system that it didn't originally have, the original power supply may not have enough capacity to handle it being on your system.
If it doesn't have enough capacity, the power supply will be damaged eventually.

Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD ! )
If that info is not in the ad for the video card, you can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements. Some power supplies have two or more +12v ratings - in that case, add those ratings to determine the total +12v current capacity.

If you're a gamer...
In most if not all cases, the max capacity rating of the PS is an intermittent rating. It's recommended that you do not load your PS to any more that 80% of that rating if you are going to be using something that puts a constant load on it, such as playing a recent game for hours on end. In that case, you multiply the min capacity stated for the system with the particular video chipset on the card by 1.25 to find the min. capacity of the PS you should get.

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