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Fun times with the Blue Screen of Death

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Hello again,
I got back from the small Thanksgiving holiday and one of the computers at work decided that it was not going to load up Windows anymore, just continually reboot.
I tried using Last Good Config and Safe Mode, but it did the same thing there too. The Windows Recovery tool off the CD did not work either.
I tried reloading Windows XP on it, and now I'm having the Blue Screen:

STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}
The session manager initilization system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc0000034 (0x000000 0x000000)
The system has been shut down.

One thing I did find on the Hardware Testing tool from Dell is that there is a memory problem:

System Memory Failure. Read FFFFFDFFh, expected FFFFFFFFh at address 14003E90H. Suspected memory component located on system board at label DIMM_2.

I know just enough about computers to get me in trouble (and to be the IT guy in our little office). These problems are beyond my experience I'm afraid.

Any advice would be appreciated! :whistling:
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You could try opening the case, pulling the memory and reseating it. If you have two sticks, try swapping them or pulling the faulty chip altogether and see if the system will boot.

If the system is under warranty and the memory is bad, Dell will replace it.
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This might not help all that much at this stage...unless you've already solved the problem... Can you access SAFE MODE to run the sfc_/scannow command?

Suggestion: every office IT should have a commercially prepared recovery disk that serves as an on board set of utilities that can run off the reboot and is independent of the OS...there are a few out there...some are expensive though...

Alternative 1: see if you can borrow one from you local computer builder [not a commercial store like Best Buy or some such outfit-they would not have them] to get going again, with the promise of "if it works, I'll buy it for the office..."

Alternative 2: you are probably going to need "something" to run off the a:\ or CD-DRIVE... independent of the OS. So, do a net search for such a thing.

Your "{Fatal System Error}" is probably a problem with being unable to load the appropriate system file in the sequence expected by the computer. ..it shuts down in a sulk rather then shutting down and turning off...

What modes can you access on the reboot? On first blush, this sounds like a malware problem, so hop over to that forum and check if it is, in the interim.

Is there anything on the failed computer that will need to be saved...or can "we" go in there and generally kick butt? Sorry, but it has to be said, BACK UP, BACK UP, BACK UP...just for these occasions...when nothing is left to do but to reformat and reinstall, in the hope that the hard drive is not going and you can still get some use out of it.

BACK UP all files to a separate partition on the hard drive or better yet...A SLAVE DRIVE totally independent of the main drive where the OS is located. I can't tell you how many times a SLAVE DRIVE has saved my bacon :whistling:

I only make the suggestion to reformat IF you find that that option makes more economic sense in a commercial context, rather then paying for time inefficiently spent on solving the issue in any other way.

Bottom line...just what are you ABLE to do or access from the get go?

Since "something" you are using identified a MEMORY issue, I'd start there.

Download from another computer MEMTEST...FREE... [MS has a version, but you need to by up and running for it to function]


It loads from a floppie and checks the memory sticks: "MemTest is a RAM reliability tester. It evaluates the ability of your computer's memory to store and retrieve data accurately. A correctly functioning computer should be able to do both these tasks with 100% accuracy day in and day out. A computer that fails these tests, perhaps because of old hardware, damaged hardware, or poorly configured hardware, will be less stable and crash more often. Even worse, it will become even less stable over time as corrupted data is written to your hard disk."

The only drawback with any real good memory tester, is that it might take a few hours, to many hours, to properly check. It might be more efficient to just buy as many sticks as needed and replace the old ones. If they are not needed store them down in the stock room...you are going to need them eventually anyway. Replace one at a time, and then reboot after each exchange.

A cheaper way, would be to "BORROW" as many sticks as needed from another computer in the office. Hopefully, you are not in a daisy chain, connected to a server...that would not be desirable to tamper with.

Edited by b1caez01, 27 November 2006 - 05:22 PM.

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