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Could It Be Bad Memory?


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#1 .Prodigy.

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 05:52 PM

For the past few days, I've been getting BSODs at seemingly random times. The errors are either "PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA" or "BAD_POOL_CALLER". It seems like this happens when I'm using a large amount of memory (ie: Playing a movie, copying files, extracting archives or burning a dvd). I have 2GB of RAM, and I haven't had any problems until recently. After a quick google search, I found many suggestions that say the problem with with a bad device driver. I've got several pieces of hardware connected to this computer, so I suppose the problem could be with any one of them. Is there any way for me to find out what is causing this problem, and what I can do to prevent it?

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#2 Walkman

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 06:36 PM

Can you remember what you have installed (hardware/software) before this problem started? If so, I would uninstall them and see what happens.

Also, if you have any non-essential hardware installed (printer, scanner, web cam, joystick, etc) I would disconnect them from the computer, reboot, then see if the problem persists.

#3 .Prodigy.

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 07:06 PM

I haven't installed any new hardware in a about a month. This isn't exactly a problem I can duplicate in order to eliminate any possibilities. Sometimes I can run several RAM-intensive programs at the same time and not have any trouble, other times it crashes while I'm away from the computer, with minimal programs open.

I have gone through and updated the drivers for all my hardware, although only my video and sound card had new updates available.

I've also tried looking in the Event Viewer, and haven't noticed any patterns in the events logged just before a crash.

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#4 Budapest

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 03:56 AM

If you think your memory is going bad try running MemTest86, which will test your memory and report any errors.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

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#5 usasma

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 07:42 AM

Here's some articles on getting more information on the BSOD errors:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/40108/how-to-use-event-viewer/
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/top...tml#entry409491

The PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA is a STOP 0x50 error ( http://aumha.org/win5/kbestop.php#0x50 ) and is generally caused by faulty memory or hardware.

The BAD_POOL_CALLER is a STOP 0xC2 error ( http://aumha.org/win5/kbestop.php#0xc2 ) and is also related to faulty memory, but can also be a corrupted driver or even a corrupted program.

As Budapest suggests, checking the memory is the first order of business. Run the test for at least 2 or 3 passes (overnight is better), if it starts to give errors you can stop the test at that time.

If you've only got one stick of memory - try the test with memory in different slots (to rule out a bad slot). Don't forget to unplug the system from the wall and to hold onto the metal of the case when moving the memory around (to prevent static discharge from destroying your components).

If you've got more than one stick of memory - try the test on each stick to see which stick is causing the errors. Then try each stick in each of the slots to rule out incompatibilities and to rule out bad slots.

Occasionally virus infections will mimic the behavior of faulty hardware. So, I'd suggest double checking your current protection with these free, online scans (to ensure that this isn't an infection that's slipped by your protection package):
http://safety.live.com
http://housecall.trendmicro.com

Let us know what you find out and we can move on from there.
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