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Blue screen, MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION


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#1
Emily_Anne

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I really hope one of you can help me...

I have a Compaq Presario 2500 laptop, coming up for three years old, though the harddrive was replaced about a year ago. Every day on it is a constant battle against the BSOD.

First it freezes up completely and just won't do anything - I can't even reboot it with the power button. Sometimes I can pull out my Belkin card and that brings up a blue screen for a second or two before the computer restarts itself. Sometimes pulling out the card does nothing and all I can do is pull the power.

The blue screen doesn't stay long enough for me to write down the exact code but the first bit, before the bits in brackets, is 0x0000009C, which Google tells me is a hardware problem, hence I'm posting in this section of the forum. It also says MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION

I realise this probably isn't a lot to go on but I don't know where to look on the computer to find any useful information about what might be going on.

Anyone got any clues?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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#2
macten

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Machine check exceptions are frequently caused by one of the following conditions:
• You are running the processor or mainboard beyond its specifications. For example, you are overclocking the processor or bus. We recommend that you run your hardware at the manufacturer-rated speeds.
• Noisy power, overstressed power strips, outmatched power supplies and failing power supplies can destabilize your computer. Make sure that you have a stable, reliable power supply to your computer.
• Extreme thermal conditions caused by the failure of cooling devices such as fans may damage your computer. Make sure that your cooling devices are all working.
• You have damaged memory or memory that is not the correct type for your computer. If you recently changed the memory configuration, revert to the previous configuration to determine what is wrong. Make sure that you are using the correct memory for your computer.

http://support.micro...=329284&sd=RMVP

I would start with a thorough cleaning of the laptop:

I'll look for the link and post it here........

edit.... 3 years old it definately needs a cleaning. Keep the compressed air can upright, don't shake it, use short bursts. This is only the starting point. It could be bad memory or something else.

http://www.informati...h...&queryText=

Edited by macten, 04 November 2006 - 04:32 PM.

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#3
Emily_Anne

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Thank you, macten.

I just had it cleaned a few months ago, and I'm careful about cleaning it regularly, so I don't think it's that. The battery is relatively new as well, though I always run it off the main power cord anyway. How do I know if I'm using the correct memory?
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#4
macten

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Have you added any memory since buying the laptop?

I would test the memory with memtest86:

http://www.snapfiles.../memtest86.html

edit....just to make sure....your cleaning the inside of your laptop and are pretty confident that there is not a build up of dust inside. Inside meaning where the exhaust fan, heat sinks etc. are located.

Edited by macten, 04 November 2006 - 06:38 PM.

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#5
macten

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Can you hear the exhaust fan come on? Can you feel the heat coming out of the exhaust opening.....
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#6
Emily_Anne

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Sorry, I really am clueless...

I've downloaded the memtest86 file but when I go to the install file in the folder it comes up with a new window which says, "Memtest is a standalone memory test and must be booted from a floppy disk. Memtest cannot be executed under DOS or Windows." then, "Enter target diskette drive:_"

Do I really need a floppy disk for this? 'Cause my laptop doesn't have a floppy drive!

ETA: No, the fan is pretty quiet. There's a regular flow of warm air coming from it but I don't think it's overheating.

Edited by Emily_Anne, 04 November 2006 - 06:44 PM.

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#7
macten

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hmmm...I'll have to look into the lack of a floppy drive. Will get back to you....

I noticed that it will work off of a cd. Can you insert your cd-rom/burner drive letter instead of the floppy drive letter when asked?

Edited by macten, 04 November 2006 - 06:50 PM.

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#8
Kurenai

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If you run the machine without that Belkin card, does it still throw the error? Machine check exceptions are almost always just bad hardware, normally a peripheral (like a wireless card) causing Windows serious stability issues.
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#9
Emily_Anne

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It still freezes up if I run it without the card, though the blue screen doesn't come up - that only appears if I pull the Belkin card out after it's frozen.
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#10
macten

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Have you looked in setup/bios to see if it lists voltage readings? Usually it's F10 for a Compaq on boot up to get in. I think on mine they're under a section called 'computer health'. Anything within 10% (I think) is ok.....

you might want to install Speed Fan. It monitors voltages, temp and fan speed:

http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

Edited by macten, 05 November 2006 - 03:57 PM.

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#11
Emily_Anne

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I tried using the D drive for memtest but it still didn't work. Either that or I'm doing it wrong, which is more likely!

No voltage readings under setup, but the memory was listed as 191 MB, if that means anything significant.
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#12
macten

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to make a bootable cd for memtest86, go to the following link and download:

under ISO image.....3.2 ISO image (zip)

http://www.memtest86.com/

then go to the following link and download a trial version of Alcohol 120%

http://www.free-down...ms/Alcohol_120_

install alcohol 120%

make a folder on the desktop and call it: memtest86 and copy the downloaded memtest zip file to it. You'll need to have a free version of Winzip installed. Right click on the memtest.zip file and select: 'extract to here'. This keeps it all in the same folder.

launch that alcohol program and select: 'image burning wizard' and browse to the memtest folder. Select the file that you extracted and click burn.

I tested my disk and it works.
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#13
macten

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Since they did mention power as a possible cause, I would try installing Speed Fan and keep an eye on the voltages. It won't work on all pc's/laptops but it's worth a shot.....
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#14
Emily_Anne

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Thanks macten, I really appreciate all the help you're giving me.

I've got the CD burned okay - it's come up with a folder called BOOT and then inside that is a file called BOOT and one called MEMTEST.IMG

The second one is an unrecognisable file type and the first one comes up with a message that says:

Invalid Public Key Security File
This file is invalid for use as the following: Security Catalog
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#15
macten

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My disk has a boot folder with the same two files you have. Did you reboot your pc with the disk in the drive?
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