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My computer randomly gets a "bad_pool_caller" error...


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#1
X6488

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First, some backstory.
All the parts I currently have right now are my brother's old parts. At the time of purchase (3 years ago?) they were about $700 total. Months after having no problems, it started randomly shutting off. For about a year, he brought it into multiple diagnostics centers, friends, etc. but nothing good came of it. We were already losing money just from its presence. So after the year ended, he gave up on it. It then sat inside our garage, waiting for the next day it would be used.

Cut back to the present, I gave it to my cousin in hopes he could fix it. He thought to himself, well, if I can fix this PC, I should be up to building my own! He sent the old graphics card back to ATI for a new one (lifetime warranty is pretty cool), and it worked again. No more monitor shutters, no more random restarts, life was good. He even played games on it with no problems. We also had a small monitor shuttering problem due to ATI's most recent graphics driver, but he replaced it with an older one. It worked.

Now cut back to him giving it back to me. He's had it maybe 2-3 months playing games on it with no real problems. He did say Firefox and Spybot would cause the PC to restart sometimes, and said he ran Memtest86 to check the RAM. It came back with a ton of errors. He did this individually with both sticks yet still a ton of errors found. Alas, I wanted it back anyways, thinking I would use it solely as a gaming platform.

I hook it up (took an hour, because my cords from my old PC are all tied up neatly, and I didn't want to cut the ties). The PC ran perfectly. Not a single error. Not a single restart. I transferred about 70 GBs of my old comp's data to it, and I was happy. 2 months it ran perfectly in my possession, until one day...

*poweroff sound... poweron sound*
Me: "Wait what?"

All I did was try to open Steam, a program I'm sure you guys are familiar with. Note before this, I was playing a lot of Half-Life 2, so thsi came as strange to me. I tried it again after it finished, and it just restarted again. I knew something was wrong here. I logged onto AIM, then opened iTunes for some music. BAM, the computer restarts again. At this point I was getting pissed. The same errors my brother experienced I am getting, and I have no way to fix it. I asked around, but to no avail. I recall my cousin telling me it was a RAM problem, so I tried to get my RAM replaced under lifetime warranty. However, the RAM guy insist that since both sticks were "working fine" until that day, I am not eligible for it until I run through all his stupid tests that he won't even name for me. I ran a few google searches, and it suggested setting the computer to not automatically restart when it encouters an error. The name of it is "bad_pool_caller". Short summary is...



I get a "bad_pool_caller" error, which randomly occurs on my PC. I could be idle, on the Internet, playing a game, whatever. Certain programs will shut it down when opened. Steam and iTunes are examples. I'd appreciate all the help I could get here. :)

Specs:
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (2.2 ghz)
Motherboard: ASUS A8V Deluxe
Card: ATI Radeon 9800 PRO (AGP 4-8x)
Corsair VS512MB400 x2 (for a total of 1GB)

Note: I'm bad with computer terminology, so it might be slightly off here. I'm acquainted with things such as the Control Panel and all of that, so don't make me feel too dumb here. Thanks.

Edited by X6488, 05 December 2007 - 06:33 PM.

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#2
pip22

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This error indicates either a faulty driver or faulty RAM module (the latter cropping up more often as the reason).

To check your RAM you should run 'Memtest86' available here: http://www.memtest86.com/

If that comes up clean you need to weed out the faulty device driver instead. But if RAM errors are reported you need to replace the faulty module.
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#3
Samm

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Welcome to G2G

Just to add to pip22's advice quickly, I agree, run memtest for yourself but I suggest you do this by testing one stick at a time by testing each stick in the first ram slot.

1) If one stick comes up faulty & the other is ok, then obviously just replace the faulty stick.

2) If both sticks come up faulty in memtest, then repeat the test but test each stick in the second slot, leaving the first slot empty. If they both come up faulty again, then both sticks probably need replacing. However, if they both pass, then the problem is with memory slot #1, rather than the sticks.

3) If both sticks pass all the tests while in slot #1, then repeat the test with one stick in slot #2 only. (Don't worry about testing both sticks this time). If it fails, then slot #2 is faulty.

Memtest runs a number of different tests and it runs them in a continuous loop. You only need to complete one full cycle of tests per stick/per slot but make sure you don't terminate the testing before it's finished one complete iteration - it may take a while!
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#4
X6488

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I forgot to show you guys a picture of my other errors I've been having for around a week.
http://img466.images...hererrorus7.jpg
Not the Firefox window of course.

By request I tried to run memtest86. I failed, massively, but hey.
Anyways, my computer restarted about 5 times when trying to download Memtest86's ISO. Once I finally got it, I needed a way to write the ISO to a blank disc. I decided to redownload Nero Burning, but that took about, no joke, 10-12 restarts. Every time I tried to dump the old files, it would shut down on me. I finally had to get a cracked version from a friend of mine just because this computer's so ****ing stubborn.

http://img472.images...ranothernq8.jpg
Errors abound.

I set my BIOS to run my HP CD slot as the second priority (first being floppy, but there's no floppy in there, so it was fine). It just booted up extremely slowly. I saw no "memtest86" window at all. Imagine your computer booting up, except everything is running in slow motion. That's what happened to me.
So I was unable to run memtest86 with either stick. Any more ideas? :/

EDIT: God [bleep], I have no idea what's going on anymore. Just now I tried to clean up my desktop by trashing all the icons, and surprise-surprise not a single restart. This inconsistency is appalling. Are you guys seeing any connection to this all?

Edited by X6488, 06 December 2007 - 08:13 PM.

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#5
The Skeptic

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It's a long and touching story but at the end of it it's not clear (to me, at leat) if you managed to download memtest. This is a most basic test that should be performed as described in details by SAMM and PIP22. If the computer fails the memory test there is no use in looking for other things until the problem is fixed.

If you do not succeed with memtest you can use the link in my signature to download Microsoft memory test tool. It does the same as memtest but I like it better. The easyest way to burn an iso file is to download and use BURNCDCC (free). All it does is burn ISO files. Very easy.

Just another thing: is your computer overclocked? Please set it in the BIOS to default settings.
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#6
X6488

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It's a long and touching story but at the end of it it's not clear (to me, at leat) if you managed to download memtest. This is a most basic test that should be performed as described in details by SAMM and PIP22. If the computer fails the memory test there is no use in looking for other things until the problem is fixed.

If you do not succeed with memtest you can use the link in my signature to download Microsoft memory test tool. It does the same as memtest but I like it better. The easyest way to burn an iso file is to download and use BURNCDCC (free). All it does is burn ISO files. Very easy.

Just another thing: is your computer overclocked? Please set it in the BIOS to default settings.


My cousin tested it and told me it had errors. When I tried testing it myself after you guys told me to, I couldn't even get it to run. CDs given priority over the harddrive, when booting up, seem to not do anything; they'll just slow down the starting-up of XP. My computer is set to default, as I've checked.

And a new problem had been added: my start menu now takes forever to load. :/
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#7
Samm

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I set my BIOS to run my HP CD slot as the second priority (first being floppy, but there's no floppy in there, so it was fine).


Can I assume from this you mean that there was no floppy disk in the floppy drive? (i.e. you do have a floppy drive)
If so, they try downloading the version of memtest for floppy disk. This is the download option called 'Pre-compiled memtest86 v3.4 installable from Windows & DOS. When you run the install.bat file, it will create a bootable floppy disk containing memtest. See if you have any more luck with that.
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#8
X6488

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I set my BIOS to run my HP CD slot as the second priority (first being floppy, but there's no floppy in there, so it was fine).


Can I assume from this you mean that there was no floppy disk in the floppy drive? (i.e. you do have a floppy drive)
If so, they try downloading the version of memtest for floppy disk. This is the download option called 'Pre-compiled memtest86 v3.4 installable from Windows & DOS. When you run the install.bat file, it will create a bootable floppy disk containing memtest. See if you have any more luck with that.


Actually, this is funny, but I don't even have a floppy drive. I just took a look down there and lo and behold, nothing. :)
I'm going to try out the Microsoft bootdisc out.
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#9
Samm

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MS Bootdisk? What for?
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#10
X6488

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MS Bootdisk? What for?



Er, Microsoft Memory Tool. The one that the other guy provided. Heh.

EDIT: It's still running. How many "passes" are there?
REEDIT: Well, I stopped at 57 passes, 6 tests each pass. No errors found. I pressed T to run the "extended test" just to make sure, and I'll be letting you know how that works out.l

Edited by X6488, 08 December 2007 - 07:36 PM.

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