W2K Pro crashes at random.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jereme D, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. Jereme D

    Jereme D Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm running W2K Pro on my P3/800 Compaq Armada E500. Windows crashes at random and automatically restarts the computer. There's a blue screen that comes up, but it's gone before I can read much. It says something about a memory dump, I think. It happens while I'm browsing the net or working, or even when the computer is just sitting sometimes.

    Any ideas on what the problem could be? It's really annoying. :-/
     
  2. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Could be bad memory or a bad power supply.

    Has it always acted that way? If not, can you remember what you changed that may have caused the PC to act up?
     
  3. Jereme D

    Jereme D Stunt Coordinator

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    It just started about two weeks ago. I haven't made any changes hardware-wise. The only software change that I've made is installing Photoshop 7. The crashes occur when it isn't even running, though.

    Is there some sort of tool for testing RAM that I can purchase. Or, would a computer shop be able to test it and tell me if it's bad?
     
  4. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    Are you familiar with Assembly Language andor looking at a stack trace? Perhaps one of your friends is...

    In this case, you can enable Dr. Watson (the default debugger in NT2KXP- do this by typing "drwtsn32 -i" from the cmdline)

    When 2K crashes (or any application causes an Access Violation, for that matter) it will generate a Dr Watson log file (do a search for drwtsn32.log). You can look at the log file to find out where the crash happened... if you know how to look at a stack trace, you can find out what module caused the crash... perhaps it is something like a scanner driver or something else.
     
  5. ThucN

    ThucN Agent

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    For starters, you can change the setting so that Windows doesn't automatically reboot after you get the blue screen.

    Right-click on 'My Computer', select Properties. In the Advanced tab, click the 'Startup and Recovery...' button. Uncheck the 'Automatically reboot' option.

    Now the next time you encounter the blue screen, you'll be able to view the error message at leisure. The message will contain the type of exceptin encountered, and hopefully, the name of the .dll file that "caused" the exception. Either the hardware that the dll is accessing is faulty, or the dll is buggy. I've encountered mainly the latter (my firewall dll was causing blue screens whenever I ran the Opera web browser!).
     
  6. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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  7. Jereme D

    Jereme D Stunt Coordinator

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    Steven K: I was able to start Dr. Watson, but it doesn't seem to log the crashes. Maybe they happen too fast?

    ThucN: That's handy. :) I think it said something about ntosknl.exe...

    Max Leung: I ran that tool. It is indeed the RAM that's the problem. I stopped the checker after it hit 50 errors. I figured that the point was made. Haha.



    Thanks for all of the help guys! :)
     

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