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BSOD, bad pool header


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#1
Termie

Termie

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I'm posting this issue post-mortem, as the problem (through blind luck, as it were) is solved, but I'm hoping to gain some insight into what went wrong here. I hope I can recall each event that occurred and the step I took, but as the night wore on into the early morning hours, I admit I did get a bit discombobulated so this might be out of whack. I did learn a lesson from this-from now on, when I do something like this, make a change to my system, I am going to take notes of each step that I take and what results occur, so I have something to refer to!

I came across a new driver for my Soundblaster X-Fi Xtreme Music sound card, so I downloaded it and had the opportunity to install it yesterday evening. Little did I know the trouble I'd have.

The installation seemed to go okay at first, but the control panel would not respond to my commands-for instance, changing the mode from Gaming to Entertainment, etc. Something was obviously wrong with the install, so I tried rolling back the driver, to which I received a warning from Microsoft about doing so, can't recall the exact message but it was akin to the world coming to an end if I did so, so of course, I didn't do so. Not knowing what else to do, I tried System Restore, and at that point, my KVM switch went on the blink-I had both systems running (had been doing a full system scan on my other computer) and the KVM started to switch itself back and forth between the two (it sometimes does this, don't know why) and I lost access to both machines. The system I was restoring went blank (screen, that is) and I had to do a hard shutdown of the other system (held in the power button), hoping that it would restore function to my keyboard and mouse. It didn't, and the KVM just kept on switching. I waited a good long time, figuring it would give the other system a chance to finish its restore, and then did a bad, bad thing, but the only thing I could do-disconnect the power. It didn't seem to hurt it any-when the computer powered back up, all went well, but it told me that it couldn't restore to the point I had chosen. Okay, I chose an earlier day-the next day before-and it went on its way. That failed as well.

I dug out my original installation disk for Soundblaster, and uninstalled (from Add/Remove programs) all of the associated software and drivers for the sound card, thinking I'd just do a reinstall of the original, and I think that that is when I started getting the BSOD. The first message mentioned something about ctoss2k.sys, address B1D464F7, base at B1D39000, date stamp 437096bf. It gave me the option of shutting down and then restarting in safe mode to find what was causing the problem, which I did-I had figured it probably had to do with the fact that I'd uninstalled the above-mentioned for the sound card. I started in Safe Mode and tried installing the original software and drivers for the sound card that way. Course you have to reboot for the changes to take effect, so I did, and again, I got the BSOD, this time with the message Bad_Pool_Header, and blah blah blah, with this down below: Stop: 0x00000019 (0x00000020, 0x87c5c2b8, 0x87c5c890, 0x0abbooc). I restarted again in safe mode and checked the driver for the sound card, only to find that it had not changed...it was still dated for the new driver. What the...??? I think I may have tried to reinstall the original stuff again, reboot, and again BSOD. Can't tell you how many BSODs I saw last nite. Finally, at some point, I realized that I no longer had my little volume icon in the systray, and when I tried initiating my Audio Console from the shortcut on the desktop, noticed that it was totally grayed out, indicating there was no sound device. I also had no sound at all. (DUH, right?) I did, at some point, also disable Soundblaster in Device Manager, rebooted, and voila! No BSOD....but no sound, no sound device, nothing. Tried reinstalling the software again, rebooted without problem, and went to enable Soundblaster, and the very second I did, I got the BSOD. Same messages, bad pool header, same Stop codes, etc. Back into safe mode. Check the device in DM. Soundblaster was red-x'd out. So figuring I couldn't fubar the thing anymore than I already had, I uninstalled the device. Within seconds, Windows (I assume) "found" the device, moved it to its original spot, and un-x'd it. When I looked at the driver info, well I'll be....the original driver software date was in place, and my system had sound, and everything seemed right in my world again. But WHY??? It was 1:30 in the a.m. by this time and I was wiped, so I shut the system down (ever so grateful to hear Windows playing its little exit tune) and hit the hay.

This morning I tried researching that bad pool header stuff on the Microsoft site (as suggested in a book I bought from CompTIA) but it pointed towards information regarding Server 2003 or something like that, so it was no help to me. I'm hoping somebody here might have some knowledge as to what I did wrong. I KNOW I had the right driver update from Soundblaster, BUT...

I have a Dell XPS 410, and from my experience with my older HPs, I have to wonder if downloading the software directly from Soundblaster's site was the cause of my problem. I don't understand why, but I know that HP insists you download driver updates from THEIR site (and even certain device manufacturers will tell you so), so I assume that perhaps Dell is the same. However, on checking Dell's site, this driver is not listed, even though it IS the right driver for the card, I'm 100% sure on that. It's a pretty new driver (3/14/08), so it might be just an issue of it not hitting the Dell site yet. Still, I don't understand why one shouldn't be able to download a driver directly from the manufacturer's website-is my card "special" in some way, made specifically for Dell? Is it a true Soundblaster card, or is it a cheap imposter?

As an aside, I also happened upon new drivers/software for my nVidia GeForce 8600 graphics card. Do I dare?????

Thanks for reading this far. I hope somebody can give me some clues as to what I screwed up, what I should or should not have done... what might have been going on with those BSODs-maybe somebody out there recognizes that bad pool header and stop code. I'm thankful that things seem to be working now, but I really would like to understand just what went wrong.
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#2
Termie

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Followup to the above...although I do have my sound back, every time I try to use my audio console to adjust anything (increase treble, etc.) I get a Microsoft message "Console Launcher has encountered a problem and needs to close..."

<sigh>

Back to square one, I guess.
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#3
The Admiral

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I have a Dell XPS 410, and from my experience with my older HPs, I have to wonder if downloading the software directly from Soundblaster's site was the cause of my problem. I don't understand why, but I know that HP insists you download driver updates from THEIR site (and even certain device manufacturers will tell you so), so I assume that perhaps Dell is the same. However, on checking Dell's site, this driver is not listed, even though it IS the right driver for the card, I'm 100% sure on that. It's a pretty new driver (3/14/08), so it might be just an issue of it not hitting the Dell site yet. Still, I don't understand why one shouldn't be able to download a driver directly from the manufacturer's website-is my card "special" in some way, made specifically for Dell? Is it a true Soundblaster card, or is it a cheap imposter?

It is a true SoundBlaster card. As for the drivers, our (Dell's) drivers could be different than Creative's for one of three reasons: 1) We could have discovered a conflict with another piece of hardware installed in the system, and did not release SoundBlaster's driver. 2) We could have discovered a conflict with another piece of hardware installed in the system, fixed it, and submitted it to Microsoft for WHQL testing. 3) We could have discovered a conflict with another piece of hardware installed in the system, fixed it, and released it to the public on our support.dell.com website. Many manufacturers flip over getting drivers from the component manufacturer because it was either tweaked by the computer manufacturer, or it is untested on the manufacturer's systems. This is especially the case with laptops, because everything is proprietary to some extent. Dell tweaks the nvidia drivers on laptops to better integrate with Dell's QuickSet utility, as well as providing hotkey support. Same for the audio drivers. Yes, download the new driver. If nothing else, you can remove it and put the old driver back on.

Edited by The Admiral, 05 April 2008 - 10:07 AM.

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#4
Termie

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Thank you for your reply, Admiral (btw, cute baby!)

So are you saying I should go ahead and install the new driver (from March 2008) from Creative's site? I have to admit I'm really leery of doing that since it's what I did in the first place and then all heck broke loose on me as described above. I recall that not long after I got this system in September, during a Windows Update, it did have a Creative Soundblaster update included with the other critical/recommended updates, and I do recall updating that along with the other Windows files. Just for S&Gs, this morning I ran Windows Update and sure enough, as I expected, that previously-installed Soundblaster update was included again (even though a glance in my update history told me it had been already successfully installed a few months ago.) I was tempted to do that update but decided against it since I found that my console was not working properly, afraid that installing the update on top of that might add more problems.

At this point I"m not sure what to do. I've considered trying to repair the files and drivers with the original software disk or do a reinstall from the disk (it gives me about 4 different options on it) and then try the Windows Update install, or just go to Dell's website and see if that same update is there, and do it from that site.

Interestingly, the folder and driver update files that I had saved to my hard drive have disappeared into thin air. I cannot locate them anywhere. Restore shouldn't have taken those off, should it, especially since the execution failed?

At this point I'm not even going to THINK about nVidia's update.
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#5
The Admiral

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The baby is my sister. Isn't she a doll? :)

I think you should start fresh. Uninstall the program and the drivers. Run an sfc /scannow from the command prompt. Install the drivers from the Creative site, THEN install the Creative program. What you were describing was a problem with the program. "...but the control panel would not respond to my commands-for instance, changing the mode from Gaming to Entertainment, etc. Something was obviously wrong with the install." If you install the drivers first, the program will install over the top, not touching the driver, but associating everything correctly. In the Windows Update, is the creative update an optional update, or is it recommended? Even if it was a really important update, it's old, and you should have the newest driver regardless. The update would not be on Creative or Dell's site: it is a Microsoft update to the Operating System.
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#6
Termie

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The WinUp program was listed under optional hardware:

Creative - Sound - Creative X-Fi Audio Processor (WDM)
Date last published: 7/10/2007
Download size: 10.9 MB
Creative Sound sofware update released in June, 2007
System Requirements
Recommended CPU: Not specified.
Recommended memory: Not specified.
Recommended hard disk space: Not specified.
Get help and support
http://support.micro...ect/?target=hub
More information
http://winqual.micro...iverid=20060955



It's the same one that I had installed back in December when it appeared on the update list.

What I have recently discovered when reading the further details (iow, the freakin instructions! GAH!) I *think* I should have disabled the device from Dev Man before installing, I'm not sure, as the instructions themselves are somewhat confusing; first it says to install the driver, then to uninstall the driver, then to reinstall (see below.) WTH?? I also note the first line about not installing the driver for SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio-when I look in system information, it tells me I have a Creative X-Fi Audio Processor (WDM). What I bought, and what was listed on my invoice, was X-Fi XtremeMusic. Should it not say that in my Sys Info?


This download supports the following audio devices only:

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty®
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi


Do not install this driver for Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio.

To install the driver, do the following:
Download the file onto your local hard disk.
Double-click the downloaded file.
Follow the instructions on the screen.

To uninstall the driver, do the following:
Click Start -> All Programs -> Control Panel.
Double-click the Device Manager icon.
Double-click the Sound, video and game controllers option.
Right-click the Creative SB X-Fi option, and select Uninstall.
The Confirm Device Uninstall dialog box appears.
Select the Delete the driver software for this device option.
Note: This check box must be selected to avoid reinstallation issues.
Click the OK button.
Restart your computer.

To reinstall the driver, do the following:
Double-click the downloaded file.
When the message You must restart your computer to apply these changes appears, click the Restart Later button.
Follow the instructions on the screen.


Once again, thanks so much for your help. You're so right, your baby sister IS a doll! Love that smile!

Edited by Termie, 06 April 2008 - 07:14 AM.

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#7
The Admiral

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Termie,

Dell recommends *not* installing any *optional* updates unless doing so under the direction of a Dell Technician. We are currently having a problem with a wireless card, that when optionally updated through Windows Update, causes a blue screen. Optional updates are just that - optional. They can help, but they can also hurt. If it's not broke, don't fix it.

The card you have is a SoundBlaster ExtremeMusic. This doesn't expressly show up under device manager, for whatever reason. It's probably because it doesn't actually care about your sound card, just the codec itself.

The instructions that are given on the Creative site are not instructions for putting the driver on, simply a reference for how to do certain tasks, like installing, removing, and reinstalling.

That pic is a year and a half old.... she's so big now! But not anywhere near as cute.....
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