Intermittent blue screen of death

Dell / Insipiron 9300
April 30, 2009 at 07:25:34
Specs: Windows XP, 2Gb
I am getting intermittent blue screen of death error messages with no indication as to the problem or the program that caused it.
Any programs that can trace this?

See More: Intermittent blue screen of death

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April 30, 2009 at 08:49:46
The blue screen must have something on it...a STOP code? 0x0000...etc?

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May 1, 2009 at 06:25:43
mmm - RAM has been known to cause this effect on occasion... Failing stick; a stick that needs to be re-inserted properly - perhaps after cleaning its edge connector (a guru here recommends using a soft pencil eraser to this end, as it apparently does a good job...)...

If you have two or sticks of RAM installed reduce to one and see if it persists or not; try the other stick likewise as appropriate? Even better - try a known to be good stick and see if it persists/or not... Minimum you need is 128Meg...

Also ensure the HD is OK..; perhaps a full scan/check disk routine?

Less likely but not entirely unknown - overheating CPU, system in general; and of course a particular piece of software - have installed anything "new" prior to the events as posted?

And echoing "jam" - is there any specific message - stop errors etc. If so post details here; and maybe do a google etc. trawl for those error message/details?

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May 1, 2009 at 06:44:06
I installed new RAM recently but I did a RAM check with memdisk or whatever it's called and it passed correctly.

If it's software I think I know what it is - would a reinstall help?

My laptop (inspiron 9300) gets hot but not overheating I don't think otherwise Windows would shut it down?

I defragmented recently - would that have had any issues?

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Related Solutions

May 1, 2009 at 07:19:24
A defrag wouldn't "normally" cause this problem; but a less than perfect HD surface (as in starting to have defective/dodgy clusters) might...; which is why a full disk integrity check might be useful.. I'd be inclined to copy of all data etc. first (and ideally asap - just in-case); then run a disk util to test/check drive fully. Usually such utils on the drive's home-site?

If a system has (seriously) overheated in the past... and typically the cpu is what will suffer... - then BSOD may result at times anon...

I personally do not totally trust/rely etc. on mem-test utils; prefer a try by elmination/substitution etc. approach... Does the problem persist with just the old/original RAM present; also if only the new - presuming there is mix of both at present?

And again (as per "jam") any actual details of actual bsod error message(s)?

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May 1, 2009 at 07:47:20
I'll add the error message when it happens again. I remember looking up the exact message on google and Microsoft's site said it was a spurious error (great help).
I have tried running scandisk but on restart it goes through the check in under a second - doesn't seem like it's scanning for anything at all let alone bad sectors.

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May 1, 2009 at 14:05:18
mmm - I would expect scandisk to take a little while... Perhaps you haven't got it set to run properly - although I don't recall there being much if anything to set/tweak? Regardless perhaps locate and use the util for the drive itself from its manufacturer's website?

I get the impression this problem did arrive/start "after" RAM upgrades? Is it the exact spec for the system; and just ' cos it's new RAM... doesn't mean it's OK... I have known of "new/fresh" RAM being less than perfect from day one or not so long afterwards....

Perhaps restore original RAM and see what transpires?

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May 1, 2009 at 14:09:33
Haven't got original RAM left to try.
What disk utils are you referring to?

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May 1, 2009 at 21:56:46
Depending on the manufacture for the drive there will likely be a downloadable utility that will allow you to fully check the drive. What make drive do you have? may help you in this regard?

The Maxtor range (conjoined with Seagate I think it is/was?) has been describe as OK for many other makes too in the past...

A trawl via google/yahoo etc... for hard disk test utilities will bring up a few hits too; some may be freebies, others costing... So perhaps check manafacturer' site your drive and see what they have to offer (in their support section usually).

Being smart after the event... usually wise to retain old RAM chips in-case of the sort of problem(s) you are having; if only to use them to test/eliminate later sticks - by substitution?

Incidentally is this system desktop/tower or laptop?

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May 4, 2009 at 06:49:02
Error message is:
0x0000003F (0x00000000, 0x00000011, 0x000001E3, 0x000003DF)

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May 4, 2009 at 09:24:29
mmm... A trawl via google using:


as the search term/string brings up fair bit about it...

Seems a fairly common event???

Rather than post some/all of them here... strongly suggest you do a trawl and read/test some of the ideas etc. proffered?

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May 4, 2009 at 09:30:30
I did once before but they were no help. Most link the error to the code OR NO_MORE_SYSTEM_PTES
However, I am not getting the NO_MORE_SYSTEM_PTES in the error message.

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May 4, 2009 at 13:48:37
mmm - failing a full disk check - which I don't think you have done yet as suggested earlier... (though I tend to doubt the drive is the problem here...) - and possibly trying fresh RAM... (as this problem seemed to arrive after you upgraded RAM?) one is left wondering "what software did you install prior to this problem arriving?"...

One other possibility to resolve it all - a very long shot...
You might try a repair OS installation - but first copy off all data etc to optical media...

Otherwise I'm afraid I have run out ideas...

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May 5, 2009 at 08:57:47
Does the BSOD keep a log file anywhere that would be of help?
Unfortunately, I have installed and uninstalled a lot of different software recently. I think it unlikely it is that as all these bits of software work correctly and the BSOD happens at different times when running different software so there is no pattern to it.
I have tried the Samsung Drive utility HUTIL.EXE but on restarting from CDROM it does nothing - doesn't even work properly. Typical.
Any recommended utils that don't have to be run through DOS?

The memory company has suggested reseating the modules and swapping them over. Again, is it really likely to be the memory? Since the mem util worked ok and my system registers all the memory correctly.

Scandisk won't run from Windows so I tell it to run on restart but then it doesn't actually check the drive?

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May 5, 2009 at 09:35:26
If neither scandisk won't work (it is run at a boot up) and you appear not to be able to run HD test utils... I'm wondering just what you're doing and how you're doing it. It doth seem very strange that you cannot run either approach successfully...? Are you following the process for (windows) scandisk correctly; likewise those for the HD utils? I have hard time believing the Samsung utils won't work when properly executed. Again are you reading and following "exactly" the instructions for it use?

Scandisk is an option in the tools section of the drive properties; and when invoked you are told it can/will be scheduled to run when next you boot up. Thus one can wait until then, or simply reboot... and it will run...

As I said earlier... I have not found mem-test utils to be truly that beneficial; preferring to test/try by substitution etc. Have you reduced to a single stick (128Meg min) and tried with each in turn, and also perhaps a truly known to be good stick?

You might try a debug routine - but it's not an area i which I have "any" personal experience.

Windows can be set to run a bootlog file (records the entire boot-up sequence); and there may be an XP equivalent of the old '9x Dr. Watson which often noted what caused '98 to crash; but again I'm not au-fait with it... Perhaps see if others here can advise, and maybe a trawl on the www?

Overall the "erratic" aspect of this issue does still push me to either memory or an overheated (in the past) cpu... Remember that some apps. do push a cpu hard (demand/require a lot of work from the cpu) and thus its temperature can/will rise... If it has overheated in the past - it will likely be very vulnerable in the future...?

Also have you noted "exactly" which utils/apps give you the problems; and, having done so, checked on the appropriate websites for any input/help?

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May 5, 2009 at 10:44:54
I got CHKDSK to work, no problems.
So, remove memory (2x1Gb ),
- add 1 stick into slot, use laptop until a BSOD occurs
- move the same stick to the 2nd slot
- add other stick to first slot
- add stick to second slot
- add both?

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May 5, 2009 at 15:13:12
mmm - remove one RAM stick - and see what happens. If problem persists, remove that stick and install the other other one... - each stick goes into slot one in turn.

Only "one" stick installed each time and in slot one.

If problem persists... who knows it may turn out to be there when a particular one of the two sticks installed - and not there when the other is installed. If that is the case... replace/renew (under warranty?) the suspect stick?

If problem persists when either single stick installed.. and who knows it may... - see if you can borrow a known to be good stick for a test? If the problem persists then I guess you have ruled out RAM.

At which stage if the chkdsk routine also showed no problems.. you are into a software search - to see which one (or more) is giving you grief... Have you noted which items are actually in use when the bsod appears?

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