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Multiple (and different) BSODs - Cannot follow your instructions


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#1 boweasel

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 04:47 PM

A friend convinced me to have a look at his 32 bit emachines ET1161-07 tower running Vista SP2.  It blue-screens pretty much if you just look at it nasty.

 

It started out with a IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAN 0x0a screen just on booting.  I'd get to the 'Windows could not start...' screen where my only options were Startup Repair or Start Normally.  Normally never works, sometimes the BSOD above, sometimes just hanging for hours on the splash screen.  On one of the  few times Startup Repair DIDN'T blue screen, it said it could not fix the problem.  Advanced options to the command prompt allowed me to run do a dismoumt and chkdsk /r.  It found some errors and corrected them..  A restart just took me back to the repair or normal options again.

 

I've also gotten to the prompt and done a bootrec /fixboot as well as a fixmbr.  No change.

 

I have 3 Vista 32 bit disks.  I have tried all of them.  Sometimes I get the IRQL screen after loading files is complete.  Sometimes I get a PFN_LIST_CORRUPT (0x4e) BSOD, sometimes a MEMORY_MANAGEMENT (0x1a) BSOD.  Sometimes I get a BSOD without a heading, just saying that a problem has occurred (0x7e).  One time with one of the disks I was able to do a system restore to last week.  A reboot took me to thse same 2 options.

 

Only once did I achieved a complete start of Windows that held for more than 15-20 seconds.  Than time I opened an elevated prompt and attempted to run sfc /scannow.  I got to 52% and died with no cursor movement, no taskmgr response, nothing.  

 

My friend doesn't care about saving anything on the PC, so I used a Partition Wizard disk.  I get to the boot choices, but booting into Partition Wizard stops and becomes unresponsive after a few minutes.  I let it sit there for almost an hour.  Nothing.

 

Obviously I can't perform the steps you'd like me to take because it won't boot.  Should I be removing the drive and slaving it to another PC?  And then formatting from there?  Or what?  I have no ideas...



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#2 usasma

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 06:20 AM

Try these free, bootable diagnostics:  http://www.carrona.org/initdiag.html

If they pass, then try this procedure (as best as you can) to rule out hardware components:  http://www.carrona.org/strpdown.html

 

In general, if the BSOD's give all sorts of different errors - then it's most likely a hardware problem.

Also, if you're using a bootable disk it's either a problem with the bootable disk (some aren't compatible with all systems) or it's a hardware problem.


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 02:43 PM

I smell a failing hard disk drive.  If you have a spare one handy, stick it in and try installing again.


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#4 boweasel

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 02:47 PM

Thank you so much for the reply.  In the interests of keeping my original post shorter I neglected to inform that I had already run Memtest-86 v3.5a.  I'd let it complete one pass and it found no errors.  Then on rebooting a screen headed Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool displayed, running 2 passes and also finding no errors.

 

That PC has a Seagate HDD, and I have a Seagate Tools For DOS disk (v2.22) and I tried running that, getting stymied by the message that there was an important firmware update.  I just ejected the disk and posted here. 

 

With your reply above I went into the Seagate link and downloaded a new iso image (v2.23) and burnt it to disk.  Unfortunately even THAT is telling me that an important firmware update is available, stopping the diagnostics in their tracks.  I have now gone into that Seagate support link, downloaded the firmware update (another .iso file) and will have to burn yet another disk.  Hopefully this one will work without incident. 



#5 boweasel

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 04:01 PM

What an unpleasant and unsatisfying waste of time...

After entering the S/N for the Seagate drive and updating the firmware with the 2nd disk I burned, I rebooted with the first burnt disk - the Seagate v2.23 .iso.  I then ran the long test.  It froze at 3%, so I rebooted and ran the short test.  This only ran for a couple minutes and gave me a screen saying I should view my results by going to the C: drive in DOS and typing *.log.  WHAT?!!!  How am I supposed to do that?  It won't boot.

 

So I removed the CD, rebooted, got the startup repair BS, clicked on it, hoping I could get to the command prompt, but instead got yet another BSOD:   PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA (0x50).

 

Wonderful...  DavisMcCarn I think your sense of smell has accurately detected the stench of a failing drive.  What a shame there seems to be no tools to confirm it.     I'll put in another drive and try one of the 3 Vista disks.



#6 boweasel

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 05:52 PM

I've now put 3 different hard drives in this puppy and tried all the installation media disks I have with each one.  I can't seem to get past an IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAN blue screen on ANY of the combinations.



#7 usasma

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 05:03 AM

As such, you've probably ruled out the hard drive and the installation media as the source of your problems.

The different hard drives also probably rule out malware as a part of the problem.

Have you run the MemTest86+ test?  http://www.carrona.org/memdiag.html

 

If the MemTest86+ test fails, then start with this procedure to figure out where the problem lies:  http://www.carrona.org/strpdown.html

 

I remember an older gentleman who used to come into my shop with his wife on a weekly basis.
For 6 months we tried and tried to fix his eMachines system without success (it was a different model, but had Vista installed).

Finally, we gave up and sent it out to the service center (it was still under warranty).

They replaced the motherboard and all was well.  I haven't seen him since.

 

My point here is that motherboard issues were common back then and motherboard issues were still very hard to diagnose.

I developed the Strip Down procedure to help standardize the troubleshooting of components that don't have diagnostics - and to help rule things out either by removing them, or by substituting known to be good parts.

Good luck!


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#8 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 05:57 AM

This might seem like a dumb question; but, have you inspected the systemboard for bad capacitors?
https://www.google.com/search?q=motherboard+bad+capacitors&complete=0&hl=en&biw=1484&bih=1039&site=webhp&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjw6L7cnpPNAhVKej4KHfgiBGYQsAQIGw
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#9 boweasel

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 02:06 PM

This particular Vista tower has 3GB of RAM.  I recalled reading somewhere that IRQL blue screens were not an uncommon occurrence when installing Vista on machines with > 2GB of RAM.

http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/2665/vista_install_error_irql_not_less_or_equal/

 

Once I removed 2 sticks of memory the installation completed perfectly.  Windows has been successfully activated, the drivers have been updated and I'm only left with the daunting task (why I hate reinstalls) of downloading and installing all the Windows updates, service packs, browser updates, ad infinitum... I'll probably put the other 2 GBs back in the slots, as well, since the memtest-86 v3.5a found no errors when the 3 sticks were in place. 

 

Yeah, when I continued to get blue screens even on a reinstall with a different drive I began to think it was a mobo problem, even though the capacitors look okay - nothing swollen or leaking.  Putting in another drive and remembering that business about too much RAM on a Vista install were the keys to solving this issue. 



#10 usasma

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 03:02 PM

I recall seeing this problem a long, long time ago - but only on 1 or 2 systems

As I recall, they were with a particular motherboard brand, but for the life of me I can't remember which one.

I'm glad that you got it to work!  Thanks for letting us know!


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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