Skip to comments.Blue Screen of Death on WinXP computer (img) -- Is it a terminal disease? (vanity)
Posted on 02/25/2011 10:50:08 AM PST by webschooner
We have two desktops in our household. Just a couple of weeks ago, my wife's WinXP desktop, at that time just under 3 years old (not on warranty), started going blue screen every day at least once, always when she was using it, but you could always reboot it. I took a pic of the BSOD and emailed it to a computer service guy friend, and he said that machine was on the way out, and not worth repairing. We turned off the machine, bought a new computer, then I transferred my wife's data to the new machine.
I wanted to see what her old machine was up to, so I then kept it booted up and web surfed on it regularly. It didn't blue screen even once, but after a few days, it went belly up -- monitor went dark, and I checked the monitor -- monitor is fine, so the computer is a dead soldier. Anyway, issue is solved, wife has new computer, all is well.
Below is pic of BSOD of wife's computer before it passed away, may it rest in peace:
That is just background history which I thought possibly might help with analysis of the issue at hand with my desktop. My desktop, also a Dell WinXP machine, just over 3 years old, has been blue screening off and on for awhile, but nowhere near as frequently as my wife's machine was. When it does, mine only blue screens overnight, when it is idle (I usually leave it on), not when I am using it during the day. It blue screened say once a week for about three weeks, then worked fine for about a month, then last night, blue screened again (I can always reboot after a blue screen). I presume most of the BSOD message is kind of boiler plate, but regarding the error message specific to the machine and the incident -- I notice the message for my machine is very similar to the message for my wife's machine, although some of the numbers are a little bit different.
Pic of BSOD on my machine last night:
My question is this to Windows tech savvy people: does it look like my machine is on the way out and not worth fixing as was my wife's machine? For years I have purchased our computers refurbished on Dell Outlet with same warranty as new. My wife's new replacement machine I bought a week ago was $350 delivered (sans monitor), well equipped, with a dual core Intel chip. Therefore I won't put a lot of money into repairs. Usually we run our machines 5-6 years and upgrade, and they are still running fine at that time, but trouble happened to hit early this time. I don't buy warranties on desktops beyond the 1 year factory warranty that comes with them, so no recourse there.
Any advice on what this specific BSOD (2nd pic) on my machine means would be appreciated. Apple guys who are thinking of telling me to buy a Mac, or Linux guys who want to tell me to load Linux, thanks anyway for the advice, but you will all be ignored by myself. I'm not interested, just as you're not interested in the OS I use. To each his own OS.
Thanks in advance.
Do you run virus scan on your machines?
Do you have a Windows CD ROM?
I buy slightly used refurb Dell’s with XP Pro on eBay. I make sure they are non-smokers and usually get em for $90 delivered. They are fast too.
Yes, I run virus scan daily, AVG Free, also run Anti spyware and anti malware daily, always always.
Yes, have CD Rom
Have you installed any new software lately?
I have an older laptop with Win XP that never had a BSOD until I bought a new camera and installed the camera software on it. Turns out the software uses more memory than my laptop can handle. When I would try to use the program I’d get the BSOD.
When I would put my SD card from the camera into the computer it would also try to start the camera software program and BSOD. I just uninstalled the program and everything is back to normal.
Other than that it could be some bad memory. If you google the error message, you might get some answers.
We have a desktop that is at least 6 years old. My husband was getting that message every time he opened a PDF file from his e-mail account and tried to print it. We saved the PDF file to Documents and when we opened it and printed from it, it worked just fine. I know that we can’t expect this computer to last much longer, but I’m surprised it’s lasted this long being as it went through Hurricane Katrina.
Looks and sounds like you are having an OS corruption problem, but it might be the Harddrive as well.
I would slave the drive over to another machine and do a complete backup of everything you want. Then, I would do a clean re-install of Windows on that drive.
Keep your data backed up on a regular basis and start using the machine again. If you start getting BSOD again on a regular basis, then you probably just have a bad harddrive. A new harddrive would be much cheaper than a new machine, so that is the route I would take if I were you.
One more thing: It’s also WinXP.
A three year old computer.When was the last time you opened it’s case.Computers are notorious dust collectors and dust is what kills computers.
The dust builds up around the CPU and the power supply and it just causes those items to overheat and wear out prematurely.
You should vacuum out your computers case at minimum of every six months.
Their are other causes of trouble overheated DRAM and video cards.
All of these problems could be stopped with only minor housecleaning in your pc’s case.
No new software whatsoever installed, on either the wife’s machine before it died, or on this one.
I’ll try googling the error message, thx.
It is usually a sort of software error somewhere in your computer.
To start with, I would suggest, if you haven’t been doing it, defrag your hard drive. This should be done weekly to keep it clean. Cross-linked files are a sort of software errors.
Clean your registry. I use PCTOOL’s Registry Mechanic to keep my Windows Registry cleaned up on a daily basis.
Clean your hard drive. Go to My Computer, select Drive C:, click on “Tools”, then perform the various disk cleaning chores. Twice a month.
Go to Browser’s “Tools” on the menu, click on “Delete History”. Do this each week!
All these should go a long way to clean up your computer and keep it clean!
I get that second BSOD on boot up once in a while on an XP that is used for music editing and has NEVER been on the internet. I hit the breaker switch on the C/drive and hit load windows as usual when the option comes up after the blue screen and it boots. I have never had a prob with the machine while it is running, only on boot.
If you have the Windows XP disk (not the factory restore disk) you can reinstall the system files by installing XP over the current installation. This will put XP back to service pack 1 and you will have to reload the service packs again from Microsoft.
I am not familiar with how to “slave the drive to another machine”, but I could research that.
I could backup and reformat the hard drive, and had thought of that, but wanted to make sure I didn’t have a hardware issue before I went to all that work. I usually reformat the hard drive every year to year and a half.
After doing a Google search of your error code, it seems you may have a Dell computer -
“The driver cited is ele5132.sys and from everything I have been able to tell this is your Network Card (NIC). Try updating the drivers from DELL’s website.”
You could call Dell and ask for updated driver disk and ask for support on how to install it.
Hopes this helps
Good idea — I’ll open it up and vacuum it out. I don’t think I’ve vacuumed it out since it was new. Thanks!
Try pulling out and re-seating the memory chips.
get carbonite - peace of mind!
get carbonite - peace of mind!
Lots of good suggestions. Thx very much! I’ll try them all.
Drivers are usually the problem with the Blue Screen of Death.
XP introduce something called “Protected Memory Space” to the masses. Earlier, this was only used on Server editions. This means, that a program is only allowed to play in a certain area - it can’t leave. If it tries, the program crashes. So, I don’t think it’s a program.
It could be a corrupted OS, that’s entirely possible; but my first area of searching would be to open the Device Manager and look for the Yellow Exclamation point. This means that WindowsXP is not happy with a driver. Uninstall that device, find a ‘good’ driver and re-install it.
That should fix you.
This is a software problem, likely a corrupted or unstable driver. If you are technically saavy with XP the system event log should show which file is causing the error; replacing it with an updated driver might solve the issue.
Windows XP has crashed
I am the blue screen of death
No one hears your screams
I'd try unplugging the computer, opening it up and "break and make" all connectors. Clean it out too.
Thanx much! I will go to Dell’s support site and try to update the network card driver.
First Run ChkDsk to see if you have any file errors.
Also go to the Dell website and see if they have any updated drivers for your machine.
It may be the network card software or the network card circuitry overheating. It may even be dirty connectors on the network card (assuming you have one). If there is a separate network card, Remove it and run the computer for a while to see if you can still get BSOD. If not, replace the card and see if BSOD comes back.
There are a bunch of things that can cause BSOD, including low voltage from the power supply, bad connections on RAM and plug-in cards and malfunctioning hardware.
When you have the computer open (and off) you might want to remove and reseat the RAM modules as well.
As another poster said, the camera on my laptop was causing the issue. I have disabled it and never had another blue screen of death.
You may have a version of Reader that was loaded over an old one. I had a similar problem with Acrobat (the editing version).....you pretty much have to completely remove the old version then install the new one pristinely. It also messed up the opening of my Excel files directly when double clicking a file...
Thanks. Went to Device Manager. No yellow exclamation points, so no drivers there that it is indicating it is not happy with.
I’ll try uninstalling and reinstalling Adobe Acrobat. Thanks.
Your issue could be due to hardware issues (small amounts of ram to old drives getting ready to crap out) or poor patching (are you on the latest SP and updating all your apps?) or a combination of both. If you machine was something custom built then one could justify upgrading the hardware components but if its an "off the rack" clone, its easier to get a new box.
OK, will do. Thanks!
I got that screen after viewing some shows on the Internet movie database site. Can’t say for sure it happened there but I don’t usually watch shows online.
I’m thinking you got a virus. I had to do a full restore, but everything has been fine since. That’s been over a year ago.
You can get one that is over 10 times as powerful as your 8 year old clunker, for about $400. They also transfer all files easily from computer to computer. If your hard drive is still good, you can load it in a spare tray us use it for backup on your new machine. The current machines are awesome with serious graphics/storage performance.
Win. 7 is also a great security based OS. Add the free Security Essentials fire wall and virus program, and you will beat the socks off of Norton or McKafee and not pay another dime on first rate, updated protection. Best of all, you can kiss your “Blue Screen” blues goodbye.
Just a thought......
>>Looks and sounds like you are having an OS corruption problem, but it might be the Harddrive as well.<<
That was my thought as well. With the exception of my very first computer, which had a bad mother board from day one, every computer I’ve had that had a “non-sofware” problem was always a hard drive going TU. The most annoying was when I backed up the primary hard drive only to find out it was the secondary that was going bad. Lost everything on it.
But I’m voting for bad hard drive. Always look to the moving parts for the problem.
You could make yourself a Linux live CD (Knoppix, e.g), change your BIOS settings to boot from the CD and boot from the Linux CD. (Doesn’t mean you’re going to switch to Linux, just using for diagnostic/rescue purposes). If you can’t boot off that disk, I’d suspect hardware issues. If you can boot up from the CD, you could copy files over the network (if you’re networked) or burn to disk.
Someone previously mentioned memory. I’ve had blue screen problems in the past that were caused by bad memory modules. (Windows trying to load some part of the OS or driver into bad memory address). If you have multiple memory sticks, try booting with just one stick. Try for each memory stick to see if any or all get Windows to boot for you.
>>I get that second BSOD on boot up once in a while on an XP that is used for music editing and has NEVER been on the internet.<<
I have an XP machine that I use for music editing, also never been to the internet on it. It is a Pentium 3 from 2000 that still works great.
Most of the time when I saw these it was drivers or failing RAM, but it's been awhile and the memories are fading. I just rebuilt a 9-year-old XP box from its original SP1 release - 150-odd patches, two service packs...I'll be asking the user nicely to upgrade to Win7 on her next machine. LOL!
It's not 8 year old, as stated, it's 3 years old. What's stopping me? I have plenty of rat holes to put money in, and I won't spend $400 on a new machine unless it's necessary. I just bought a new Win7 machine for my wife, as mentioned This machine never slows me down in what I am doing, so it is adequate as far as speed. I'll buy a new Win7 machine if necessary, but I'm not convinced yet that it's necessary. Thanks for the thought though.
I had this happen to me and it ended up being a bad hard drive. I then had Staples install a new hard drive and within 1 1/2 weeks that hard drive started doing the same thing.
This time I learned how to install a hard drive myself and did the second one on my own. Again after 5 days this time the hard drive seized. I started some research and learned that this particular hard drive was having seize problems that the general public had no idea about. I filed a claim to the company (Seagate) and they replaced the drive free of charge. I had to inform Staples to stop selling this particular model since they kept reselling me this bogus drive.
3rd Drive now I have been using problem free for 2 years now. Check out the numbers on your hard drive to see if there are any reported issues with it.
My son got the blue screen on his laptop after 2 years of use. We just went out and purchased a new hard drive and re-loaded his software and he is running just fine. Much cheaper method than purchasing a whole new system.
Just my 2 cents!
I recently had my “8 year old clunker” hatch a Mother Board. It “blue-screened” twice and would suddenly shut down in the middle of a sentence.
Since I made the change, it's amazing all the new programs that are compatible and that open up. XP cannot run most of them these days. Compatibility mode really messes up the new 64bit format also.
For the second blue screen error check this out:
The first one to me looked exactly like my hard drive issue. The second one may not be!
Be sure to remove any other verions you have too.
Using registry cleaners is also a good way for one to turn his/her PC into a doorstop.
Any Question Marks? Unknown Devices?
Device Manager has to be happy - to have a stable machine.
Every device has a ‘sandbox’ that it plays in. If a program makes a call to a device, and that device is ‘unknown’ - no ‘sandbox’ in memory is reserved.
Like calling an un-designated phone number ... except the Kernal panics and see’s someone attempting to Read/Write to unreserved space, it throws up an obscure error like “x less than zero” and viola - BSOD.
You have a new Hard drive, memory, processor and motherboard. If you brought your wife’s HDD over PHYSICALLY, you could be having a EROM over-flow issue (disk is going bad, and your drive is out of space in it’s memory to tell the OS that certain sectors are ‘off-limits’).
If you merely brought the OS and files over - then the disk is probably OK. But, despite the obvious lies - when a drive says that MTBF is 1.2 Million hours; that’s a pretty outrageous lie. That’s about 136.9 years.
No Question marks or yellow Exclamation points in Device Manager, thanks.
Everyone has an opinion, and each is entitled to thiers.
Here’s what I would do.
There really aren’t any super-duper Hard Drive manufacturer’s out there. I like Western Digital this week, and here’s why.
They make 3 ‘grades’ of hard drive.
Green - Great for USB external drives, energy efficient, quiet and CHEAP
Blue - Probably what most PC makers install. Middle of the road drive, about $10 more than the Green, 3 yr warranty
Black - their ‘Best’, about $10 more than the Blue, 5 yr warranty.
I HATE it when a drive crashes, so if I delude myself into believing that $20 extra will buy a ‘better’ and more ‘robust’ drive - then so be it. I will gladly drop that extra $20 in the unfounded, undocumented, non-evidence supporting belief that I’m getting a ‘better’ hard drive.
Performance-wise, the Black is ‘faster’, and the 5 yr warranty from Western Digital is better than the Blue.
Your box, your money, your time ... just my 2 cents. BTW I got a 1 Terabyte drive from Best Buy for ~$100.
If you’re really into debugging your own machine.
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