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Solved: Very difficult BSOD error

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Frogybloop, Apr 7, 2008.

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  1. Frogybloop

    Frogybloop Thread Starter

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    I've just purchased a Dell Inspiron 1420 laptop within the last few weeks. It came with windows vista which I immediately got rid of to retrograde to XP. I used nlite to streamline a copy of XP sp2 with my sata drive drivers, than used a multitude of threads around the internet to get my machine up and running with working drivers. At first everthing seemed to be working great. However, I have now run into an issue which i just can't seem to get a handle on.

    Directly after getting the system running I installed the normal software i usually use. After this, once i leave the computer alone for an extended period of time (usually around an hour or so) it blue screens and gives me the error STOP: 0x000000F4. Ive search the internet for this error and come up with a multitude of problems from SATA drive issues to bad RAM, to issues with the pagefile.sys. The problem now is I have no idea what to do to diagnose where the real problem is. Ive run mem test which found no issues. Ive also run the driver verifier to look for problems. This showed an error in the wmiacpi.sys driver file which also got me no where when i searched for it. Additionally, after each bluescreen error, even though ive set it to, my machine does not output a minidump file so I am unable to find out whats happening. Anyone have any suggestions on where I should look next? I need to decide within the next few weeks on whether or not i should return this computer and order another which may not have this annoying issue.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Is it connected to a master channel SATA connector? If unsure, try another.
     
  3. Frogybloop

    Frogybloop Thread Starter

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    Sorry, I didn't clarify my system parameters :eek:

    Dell inspiron 1420 Laptop
    Core 2 duo 2.2 ghtz
    3 gb ram
    Nvidia geforce 8400M GS 128mb
    320 GB SATA hard drive

    I have no choice in the hard drive connection. So it couldn't be a master slave connection issue as far as i know.
     
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I wasn't aware of such a thing with SATA, either, but one reference I found at MS said that if PATA, use the master connector, and if SATA, use the master connector. I was hoping you'd see some difference.

    "For Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) hard disks, configure your disk drive as master only. For Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) hard disks, connect the hard disk cable to a master channel SATA connector on the motherboard."

    That is a pretty vague error. It basically means that something Windows needs to run properly is not working. Not very informative.

    So, all I can suggest is the usual, general troubleshooting--check out the drive, run chkdsk /r and see if there are any bad sectors (best from the Recovery Console). Try a new driver for the display adapter since that seems to be the one that usually causes problems. Probably network card drivers would be second. Try installing updated chipset drivers.

    Have you used any unsigned drivers?

    It could be that a repair installation would take care of it, but check out the hardware first.

    Free Hard Drive Testing Applications:
    HD Tune
    CheckDisk 1.03 (Marks bad sectors as unusable.)
    HDAT2 (Diagnostics and bad sector recovery)
    MHDD Low-level Diagnostics
    Bootable Hitachi Drive Fitness Test Floppy or CD Image (works on most drives)

    Hard Drive Manufacturers' Diagnostic Utilities Links:
    TachTech
    BleepingComputer
     
  5. Dumbfella

    Dumbfella

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    Hi everyone Im in the exact same boat as the original poster. At first i was getting random BSOD, so since i needed a bigger HD i just went and bought a new one thinking that was the problem. Immediatly after getting the system back up and running I ran into a multitude of errors that i fixed via new drivers. But now I keep getting the 0x000000F4 with the first parameter always being 0x00000003. Ive tried everything from memtest86 to checkdsk, so I guess Im on the next step of how do i make sure my sata driver is the master primary?

    Any help is greatly appreciated
     
  6. Frogybloop

    Frogybloop Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the advice! It would appear, as strange as it is, that my wireless network card drivers were causing the problem. When finding all my XP drivers I figured intel drivers straight from the Intel website would be the best choice (nothing against Dell drivers really...i just find they aren't usually all that up to date). I also noticed that i got the problem most often while i was running programs involved in network traffic, such as pidgin (which was also giving me some strange connection errors) and peerguardian 2. My wireless card is a Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN.

    I reinstalled the drivers with the Intel drivers from dells website and I have yet to see the blue screen all day after leaving the computer alone. Fingers are crossed that this keeps up. Hope this helps anyone else experiencing the same thing.
     
  7. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Good work. It's pretty hard to track down such a vague error, but it looks like you did it. Thanks for the followup and I'll cross my fingers, too :D

    When you are sure you've fixed it, you can mark your own threads "solved" using the Thread Tools above. (If it's working. Let me know if the option is not there.)
     
  8. Frogybloop

    Frogybloop Thread Starter

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    ARG! Worked fine almost all day long. Later on I had it running off battery and I attempted burning a DVD. Not sure if this is what ignited the BSOD, but i got one again. However this time the error was STOP: 0x00000077 KERNAL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR. So much for the finger crossing. I haven't had a chance to look into it too much but for what i read it has something to do with harddrive/MBR errors of some sort. I ran a drive check and it came out fine....again. Perhaps its important to note here that I have my 320gb 5400 hard drive split into two partitions. One is 40gb for my windows install and the rest is on another so its easier to keep my files backed up whenever I want to reinstall windows. Could this be causing a problem? Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  9. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    The partitioning shouldn't be causing any problems. But you may want to try a thorough test of the drive and your memory. If you have enough memory sticks, you can try running with each removed to determine which has problems (if any). Otherwise, use a test.

    Free Hard Drive Testing Applications:
    HD Tune
    CheckDisk 1.03 (Marks bad sectors as unusable.)
    HDAT2 (Diagnostics and bad sector recovery)
    MHDD Low-level Diagnostics
    Bootable Hitachi Drive Fitness Test Floppy or CD Image (works on most drives)

    Hard Drive Manufacturers' Diagnostic Utilities Links:
    TachTech
    BleepingComputer

    MemScope (Floppy and CD images.)
    Microsoft Memory Test (floppy or CD ISO image)
    Memtest86
     
  10. Frogybloop

    Frogybloop Thread Starter

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    the problem seems to be happening pretty sporadically. Ive run memtest86 with both sticks in and it gave no problems. Ive also run a HD check with a couple programs. I'll try and few more that you suggested. Other than that I'll have to take out one memory stick at a time and just wait to see if i get the error. I'll post again in a little bit.

    Thanks
     
  11. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I suppose you could try a different NIC if possible, too.
     
  12. Frogybloop

    Frogybloop Thread Starter

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    Ok, so I ran a few of those hard drive checking programs you listed. I couldn't get either of the boot discs for HDAT2 or MHDD to recognize my SATA drive after booting. However, using HDTUNE, i ran the "error scan" inside of windows and this recreated the STOP: 0x000000F4 consistantly within a few minutes of the check. Now the question is, is this a direct indication that the hard drive has some errors on it, or could this BSOD be merely associated with some association this program has with another aspect of windows. Im leaning towards some bad sectors in my hard drive (and also hope this will be the fix). I will go ahead and order a replacement drive from dell as soon as i know for sure. Any clue on this Elvandil?

    Thanks
     
  13. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    If you can boot the CD and run chkdsk /r on the drive (or from Start > Run, if you are a fast reader because the screen disappears pretty fast), it will give a report on any bad sectors it finds.
     
  14. Frogybloop

    Frogybloop Thread Starter

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    So its not the hard drive. chkdsk finds nothing and i do not get the bluescreen when running HDTUNE in safemode. I took the computer back to a point where all i had installed was the drivers and the problem disappeared, until i played with windows verifier, at which point i received a STOP: 0x000000C4 blue screen telling me something about driver problems, which happened when i tried to load up my integrated digital webcam. So i guess its either a bad driver, or some sort of really small hardware problem which makes these driver issues appear. Rolling back my webcam driver to the windows generic driver didn't seem to make much of a difference. Whatever the case, im at my wits end with this issue and i thinking about just sending this machine back and getting a new one. However i did get a minidump from one of the bluescreens as a last hope for a diagnosis. Any chance you could take a look and see if theres an answer in there? Ive attached it in a zipfile.

    thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Frogybloop

    Frogybloop Thread Starter

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    the problem has been fixed. Simply switching from AHCI to ATA in the bios lead to a stable computer. Although i had slipstreamed my windows CD with XP AHCI drivers they still didn't seem to agree with my system and were causing major problems. Perhaps this is only my computer, but im surprised that more people aren't having this issue after using the slipstream method. Thanks for all the help.

    Scott
     
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