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BSOD After Reinstall... possible bad component(s)?


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#1
lando622

lando622

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Windows XP Home updated to SP3
Intel Core 2 Duo 2200
2GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer 6400 DDR2
320GB Samsung Spinpoint HDD (exact model escapes me at the moment) with two partitions: 80GB Windows partition and a 200+GB data partition
GIGABYTE GA-G31M-S2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard (F4 bios)
Integrated Graphics

This is as a secondary system primarily for e-mail and word processing and had been working fine for about a month until we started having boot-up problems. After scouring the web chasing down error messages and getting the system back to a usable state, I ended up doing a repair install of XP that worked fine for a day or so until a new round of errors hit. I did a complete XP reinstall and updated everything fine through SP3 and the latest IE updates.

Everything worked perfectly for about 2 days and now Iím getting the following error (had it before latest install, too, I believe): ďThe Windows Logon Process System Process Terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc0000135Ē.

Just prior to this error showing up on a BSOD, Iíd seen various taskbar error balloons pop-up telling me certain files were corrupted and to run chkdsk. At least two chkdsk cycles were run with a multitude of errors having been found and corrected. Now, I only get a boot-up BSOD after the Windows green status bar loading graphic.

Having gone through troubleshooting steps to include reinstalling the OS several times over the past week, Iím thinking that I may have a hardware component acting flaky. Iíve run memtest for several hours when the system was working, and no memory errors were reported. Iím wondering if the hard drive is bad and had downloaded some testing utilities, but didnít have a chance to run them before my system went haywire again.

Iím thinking that I need to recover my data and do an install on a new drive to test out a different one if no other gremlins are identified. Something in my system is causing XP to be unstable, and Iím spending too much time on it without making any headway. As soon as I get comfortable that itís working properly after a day or two, some type of system file or other error appears that BSODís my system. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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#2
Neil Jones

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Defective Hard Drive is the most likely cause when you see files being reported as corrupt. You'll often find that if you replace the drive and clone the installation over to the new one it'll suddenly become extremely happy again.
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#3
lando622

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Thanks for the advice. I'm hoping that if I clone the drive, no files are actually corrupt, but that's probably hoping for a bit much. I'll post back after I give it a try tonight and see what happens.
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#4
lando622

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I swapped drives and got the same error, so I went ahead and booted up one of the mfr's drive utilities that said the new drive checked out fine after several hours of tests. I then did a repair XP install and am reloading my drivers.

I ran a limited battery of tests on the original drive, but haven't found any errors. I was hoping something would jump right out and be obvious, but no luck so far.
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#5
lando622

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Hopefully final update... new drive seems to be working smoothly after repair install and downloading all the XP updates since SP1. No problems through day of use and multiple reboots following updates.

No errors in the Dr. Watson log and things are going well. I plan on doing a complete reformat of the other drive to test it out later on as it's still new and I'm thinking that something went haywire when the partitions were created on it that led me to swap it out.
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#6
lando622

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Update... in the middle of the night, I saw my computer in the middle of a chkdsk scan and watched it complete then go through a reboot cycle until it hit another BSOD. I was able to load into Safe Mode but didn't see anything in the Dr. Watson error log (no error shown in Dr. Watson and no log file created).

I turned off the option to reboot on failure to see if a log file would be created if it happened again, and was able to load normally after choosing "Last known settings that worked" option at the Safe Mode menu. My wife called to say that it was on another blue screen this AM.

After a day of successful operation, it locked up. Now, I'm thinking it has to do with the last XP update or two that installed last night, and when I get home today, I'll try to go through and undo those updates and turn off automatic updating and let it go again. There were updates that took place at 8 PM and again at 11 PM last night. I'm pretty sure that we did a reboot cycle after the 8PM update, so I'll start by undoing whatever the last of the updates was. I had success updating through SP3 and several of the follow-ons. I have to think that I'm getting close.

On the good side, if it turns out to be one of the updates that took place after I went to bed, I can rule out a bad hard drive (the original one I removed) and avoid the hassle of wiping it for RMA.
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#7
lando622

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Another update (in case any of this thread shows up in searches for similar errors): I think I've isolated the cause of the BSOD's to a bad RAM stick vice an XP update, hard drive error(s), other software errors or any device driver conflict.

My system has 2GB of RAM in the form of two 1GB sticks of Crucial Ballistix Tracer memory. I removed the stick in the second RAM slot and had two days of trouble-free operation. To me, this indicated that I either have a bad RAM stick (easy fix thru warranty) or a bad motherboard RAM slot (harder fix due to having to take apart entire PC and swap out for a new board).

Yesterday evening, I swapped the two sticks of RAM. I removed the one that seemed to be working fine for the past couple days and replaced it with the other one. I was hoping to see some kind of BSOD to immediately validate my suspicions, but everything was working smoothly for several hours before I went to bed. I was leaning toward a bad motherboard RAM slot at that time.

Waking up this morning, I was never happier to see a BSOD, and the error code was one that looked familiar (didn't write it down this time, sorry). I re-booted, and everything started up fine. I then shut down my PC and swapped the two sticks of RAM again. This time, I put the suspected good stick in the second RAM slot and put the suspected bad stick aside for the time being. My thinking here is that if the PC runs fine for a day or so in this configuration, I can verify that the motherboard slots are working properly and isolate my problems to the one suspected bad stick of RAM.

The only downside (other than all the hourse spent troubleshooting) is that my 90-day window to return to NewEgg just passed a couple days ago, and I'll likely have to work thru Crucial for a replacement.

I'll post again when I'm confident that I've gotten it right or if something else comes up.
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#8
lando622

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To close this issue out, RMA'd bad RAM stick to Crucial and received replacement. Have had it running in my system with the other stick (2 1GB sticks for total of 2GB) for 10 days or so without a hiccup.
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