First, when I turned on my computer today (Windows XP Professional, SP2) it was loading up to the welcome screen and then suddenly changed to the blue screen of death with the following message:
A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.
A thread tried to release a resource it did not own.
If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:
Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any windows updates you might need.
If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Start Options, and then select Safe Mode.
*** STOP: 0x000000E3 (0xB5E51120, 0x88AE3DA8, 0x00000000, 0x00000002)
*** mrxsmb.sys - Address B5E51120 base at B5E31000, DateStamp 4b851c1f
I tried the escape key, ctrl alt delete and so on, but had to shut it down manually. I started it up in safe mode afterward and uninstalled a program from a few days ago (MP3 Splitter) although I doubt that has anything to do with it. I started it up again and so far it's been fine.
Now, two other odd things...
When I first got the blue screen on my desktop I opened up my laptop (Windows XP Professional, SP3) and went online with it to make a forum account to post about it, and while I was typing in a username the screen suddenly went black, all the keyboard lights went off, and the power button began to blink between being lit up and off. I hit enter, ctrl alt delete and other keys but the screen stayed black. I pressed the power button, as if to shut it down or turn it on, and the screen came back to life with my desktop background and a login window saying "The computer is in use and has been locked." I typed in my name and password and it went back to normal with the Firefox window open again, but my wireless was off (which is what happens when my computer is shut off).
I've never had this happen before and I'm not sure what caused it, but it's kind of weird that it would happen on a different computer just a minute after my other computer had blue screened. Possibly just a coincidence. Weirder still, I googled it and found this: http://forums.majorgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=144448
It's an old thread of someone who had a similar problem, and it happened to them while they were typing their name into a forum...which is what I was doing. Another coincidence? Their conclusion was that they had accidentally hit the windows key and the L key at the same time for it to happen. I tried that, and it did indeed bring that window back up, but it was instant and when I typed my name in it went back to the browser and the wireless was still on. The other time the entire screen had gone black and I had to press the power key to get it back on again. My power settings have also been set so that the monitor never automatically shuts off or goes into hibernate or standby no matter what, so even if the screen had been idle long enough to prompt a screensaver, it wouldn't have put the computer into standby or whatever while doing so. Now these are probably just very weird coincidences, but I wanted to include them anyway in case they mean anything to anyone.
The second odd thing is, when I started up my desktop computer again (the one that had the blue screen error) and opened Firefox, it told me I had a new add-on and the add-on window came up with Norton Internet Security highlighted. I ignored this and x'd out of it. When I was googling the codes in the blue screen window, the final combo (4b851c1f) came up with only 2 results, 1 of which relevant...a post on experts-exchange, here: http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microso...Q_26241783.html
It's a post asking about the blue screen of death and one of the responses mentions Norton Internet Security, specifically that it should be uninstalled in order to make the BSOD's stop. This was posted fairly recently (earlier this month). Again, possibly just another coincidence, but I figured it was worth noting.
I'm still a bit weirded out by the two events happening on the two separate computers so close together so I want to make sure nothing sinister is going on here. How worried should I be? I've owned the desktop computer for 2 and a half years and the laptop for over a year and have never had problems with either of them, then suddenly these two weird things happen within 60 seconds of each other...kind of spooky. If anyone has any insight as to what's going on, either with the blue screen or the laptop suddenly going to standby, and what can be done about it, I'd love to hear it. Thanks!
Norton 360 is on both machines and scans several times a week and has never found any viruses. I did a scan on both computers just now and it came up with nothing on both. I also used HijackThis on both and put the log into the hijackthis analyzer (hijackthis.de) and none of the results came up with any red flags.