Windows Stop Error TechGuide

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Windows Stop Error TechGuide

Post by Donutz on Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:58 pm

Windows Stop Error TechGuide

NOTE: All information given is given as guidance only. If the steps are followed correctly, no harm should come to your hardware, software, or any of your files. However, I will not be held responsible for any problems that occur due to following this guide; following instructions given are done so at the users discretion.

Throughout this guide there will probably be words that you don't understand the meaning off. Attached to the end of the guide will be a glossary of words and terms, with a simplified definition, the words in this will be highlighted in blue

Windows Stop Errors Guide Contents:
What are They?
Why do we have them?
What causes them?
I got a BSOD but didn't have time to see what it was. What do I do?
List of Stop Errors
What should I do if the fix doesn't work?
Glossary
Acknowledgements



What are they?

Windows stop errors, also called Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is what happens when Windows encounters a fault that it can't recover from. Stop errors are a feature in all NT based Windows Operating Systems, ie. NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7

Why do we have them?

They were introduced to aide in troubleshooting problems. When an error occurs and you are presented with a BSOD, you get 2 key pieces of information: the stop code, and the description. The stop code is written in hexidecimal, usually either in the format 0x0000000A, or sometimes shortened to 0xA. This code corresponds to a specific issue or issues, and so allows the user to find where the problem most likely lies

What causes them?

There are many causes to stop errors, however this isn't such a bad thing, because as I mentioned, stop errors are designed to help in finding the problem. Both hardware and software can cause the problems, but the most common errors are caused by faulty components, driver problems, or unstable overclocks.

I got a BSOD but didn't have time to see what it was. What do I do?

If you have admin access to your computer, you can find out the stop error code and message easily, though it can sometimes be tedious and time consuming, as there is a large list to look through, but we can shorten that time greatly. I will assume you know at least the date that the BSOD occurred

To find out what stop error you had, go the control panel, then administrative tools.

Open up event viewer. You will see on the left of the window a set of 4 folders, like in the picture below. Click Window Logs, then System.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

You will then have a window something like this:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Click the Date and Time tab, and it will sort the events in ascending order. Go through them until you find an entry that has a level of Error and has an icon with a white ! in a red circle next to it. It will say in the source column BugCheck. Click this and will say, in the box below, something along the lines of:

The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x0000007e (0xffffffffc0000005, 0xfffff88004badcf7, 0xfffff880021566a8, 0xfffff88002155f00). A dump was saved in: C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP. Report Id: 101110-24367-01.

The first hex value outside of the brackets, in this case 0x000007e, is the code that would appear on the BSOD, and the code which you will check against the entries in the list of codes below.


List of Stop Errors

Below is a list of stop errors, however, is not a definitive list. It contains only the most common ones, and will be updated with less common errors in time

It should also be pointed out that nearly all errors can be caused by faulty memory. Should you be having a recurring problem, and are receiving BSOD's regularly, I recommend first run memtest before reading on for your specific error, as some of the solutions, may not be should it be faulty memory, and that could mean assuming a Windows installation or piece of hardware is faulty, when in fact neither have the problem, it is your memory throwing up the errors.

Memtest is a tool which tests your memory for any errors. There are 2 versions: A bootable version, and one which can be run from a Windows environment. I would strongly recommend using the bootable one, as it is possible for your to experience a BSOD whilst it is running in a Windows environment, which will mean stopping and starting, or wasting more time

The downloads can be found here:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


The windows one can simply be run directly from the .exe file that you download, and left to run.

The bootable one must be burned to a disc as an image file. If you don't have a CD/DVD burner, then you can instead run this file to make a floppy disc or USB drive (should your motherboard support booting from USB devices) bootable.

Once you have your bootable version of memtest ready, restart your computer and boot from the device with memtest on, and allow it to run.

In both situations, either using the Windows or bootable version, the test should be left to run for at least 8 hours. Any errors in that time will indicate a problem with your memory. Should you have more than 1 stick of memory in your system, test each stick individually, by removing the others, and see if any specific sticks of memory are creating the errors. If it is only certain sticks that are causeing the problems, it is safe to say that it is the specific stick(s) that is(are) the root of your problem. If it fails with multiple sticks in, but passes each individually, it possible that you have memory that is incompatible with each other (or mismatched) or that your motherboard has a fault

Code: 0x0000000A or 0x000000D1
Message: IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Cause: Contrary to the message, this error doesn't have anything to do with IRQ. The error is caused by the Windows kernal, or more commonly, a driver, attempts to access memory that it does not have permission to access. You should be considering the drivers which you have installed, or not installed as the case may be. If you have recently performed an update to your driver(s) and weren't experiencing the problem before doing so, that will more than likely be the cause of your problem. Are all of your drivers certified to work with windows also? If they aren't, you will usually receive a message upon installation from windows warning you that the driver didn't have certification.

There is also an instance where the stop error may come up due to a bad sector in the page file, relating to a fault with the hard drive.

Fix: Either:

1. Reinstall your drivers. The most common cause are video drivers, chipset drivers, peripheral drivers (mice, keybords, printers/scanners etc) and sound drivers. Begin by reinstalling the drivers for those 3 components, ensuring that you fully remove the old ones first. If you have a prebuilt system, these will either be on a disc which came with your computer, or obtainable from the manufacturer's website

2. Run the windows repair tool. This is on your windows installation disc, or, if you have a prebuilt computer, there is usually either a disc that came with the computer with this on, or a button to press at boot up to enter their own repair tool. Refer to your computer manual for how to do this.

3. If none of these work, run your hard drive manufacturers utility for checking your hard drive. You will have to go to your specific manufacturer's website, as each have their own specific piece of software for their drives. If it throws up any problems, your hard drive is at fault and will need to be replaced

Code: 0x00000050
Message: PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA

Cause: Hardware or software attempted to access either memory which didn't exist, or data which didn't exist. This is caused by a memory problem, either faulty memory, or an unstable overclock

There is also an instance where the stop error may come up due to a bad sector in the page file, relating to a fault with the hard drive.

Fix: If you are running an overclock on your memory, before continuing, set your memory to stock settings. Run memtest to check your memory. There are 2 versions of memtest, 1 which works from a Windows environment:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

and one which is bootable:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

You will want to burn the bootable one to CD as an image file. Make sure all overclocks are off, then start and let the test run for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Any errors in that time will indicate bad memory

If you were overclocking and no errors came up, chances are your overclock was unstable, so fix them, either by dropping them down, or changing the appropriate settings.

If none of these work, run your hard drive manufacturers utility for checking your hard drive. You will have to go to your specific manufacturer's website, as each have their own specific piece of software for their drives. If it throws up any problems, your hard drive is at fault and will need to be replaced

Code:: 0x0000003B
Message: SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION

Cause: The problem is caused when a piece of software has a race condition present in the code. Usually the software that is the culprit is driver(s), the majority of the time early release or beta versions of drivers. The "flaw" in the code can also be artificially caused by overclocking.

Fix: If you are overclocking, either remove the overclock, or take the correct action to make the overclock stable. If you are not overclocking, remove all beta drivers, and install the latest stable release. Also reinstall all recently installed drivers, making sure, in both cases of reinstalling from beta and normal drivers, that you fully remove all old drivers first.

It may be possible with this particular error that it is impossible to fix if you have brand new hardware (recently released by the manufacturer) until they release a revised version of their drivers. Once they do so, and you update them, the problem will possibly go

Code: 0x0000007B
Message: INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE

Cause: The problem is exactly what the message says here, Windows is unable to boot from the selected device. This message generally only occurs of you have and are using a RAID controller or SCSI card, and haven't installed the drivers at all, or properly.

Fix: Install the controller drivers, which will be found either on software supplied with your device, or online through the manufacturer's website. If you are unable to boot into a Windows environment, put the hard drive in a system without a controller, or remove the controller from the current system, boot, then install your drivers. Put the controller back in, and see if you are receiving the problems again.


Code: 0x0000007E
Message:: SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED

Cause: As the message suggests, an exception was not handled. The majority of the time, this is caused by either a corrupt system file, or faulty memory

Fix: Begin first by running memtest to check the memory. Although there are two versions, a bootable one and one which can run inside a Windows environment, I would recommend the former, as if your Windows installation is corrupt, it may through up false errors. Download the bootable version of memtest from here:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

and burn to a disc as an image file. Restart your computer, and boot it up from that CD. Memtest will begin running. Allow it to run for at least 8 hours or overnight. If any errors occur in that time, you most probably have bad memory.

Should memtest come back without errors, boot from your Windows disc and run repair. It should repair the corrupt file(s)

Code: 0x00000076
Message: PROCESS_HAS_LOCKED_PAGES

Cause: This is another problem that is caused by a driver fault. It occurs when a driver uses memory, but does not then free the memory up properly after its operation.

Fix: Reinstall drivers. It is not as easy as the other 2 where the types of drivers that cause the problem can be narrowed down quite so easily, so you will have to get the drivers for each component 1 at a time, and reinstall them until you no longer experience any problems. Make sure you fully uninstall the old drivers first.

Code: 0x000000CB
Message: DRIVER_LEFT_LOCKED_PAGES_IN_PROCESS

Cause: See error above
Fix: See error above


Code: 0xC0000218
Message: UNKNOWN_HARD_ERROR

Cause: The error occurs if a registry hive could not be loaded. This would indicate the registry data on your hard drive is corrupted, or got corrupted when loaded into memory. The root cause is usually hardware related, more often than not due to memory.

Fix: Restore your registry. If you are running Windows XP and you are able to log into windows, use the following guide to do so: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

If you are unable to log into windows, use the following guide: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

If you are running Vista/7: Restore to a previous point, if you are able to.

If you are unable to restore Vista/7, or the fix(es) for XP didn't work, then you have 2 choice:

1. Format and reinstall Windows
2. This may cause problems, but it is possible that it will work. You will need another computer with the same version of Windows that you have, or another installation of the same version of windows that you have. You will need to back up the working registry from that machine, and copy it over to your own.

If you are running XP, to do this, follow this guide: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

If you are running Vista/7, use this guide : [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Once you have windows working again, it would be a good idea to then test the memory of your computer using memtest. There are 2 versions of memtest, 1 which works from a Windows environment:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

You will want to burn the bootable one to CD as an image file. Make sure all overclocks are off, then start and let the test run for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Any errors in that time will indicate bad memory


Code: 0x0000001E
Message: KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED

Cause: A kernal-mode process attempted to execute an unknown processor instruction. This is caused by a driver or hardware problem.

Fix: Reinstall all drivers, 1 at a time. If that fails to fix it, you will need to test each component. Do so by first using memtest to test your memory. There are 2 versions of memtest, 1 which works from a Windows environment:


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

and one which is bootable:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

You will want to burn the bootable one to CD as an image file. Make sure all overclocks are off, then start and let the test run for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Any errors in that time will indicate bad memory

If that comes up with nothing, you will need another computer with compatible components which you know works, and 1 at a time swap components into the other system until errors occur.

Code: 0X000000ED
Message: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME

Cause: There are 2 possible causes for the problem, both of which are related to the hard drive.

The first, some IDE hard drives will write data to the cache out of order to increase the speed at which they work. This can cause integral parts of a program or the operating system itself to become damaged if the system loses power, or there is an unexpected shutdown.

The second is if the SATA controller is toggled from ATA to AHCI, or vice versa, in the BIOS. ATA and AHCI need different drivers, so swapping from one to the other will cause problems, as the drivers are not installed

Fix: You will be able to tell which problem you have, by the type of hard drive that you have

If you have the problem with the IDE drive, you must first run the windows repair tool. To run this, put your Windows installation disc into the disc drive and boot from it. There will be an option to repair/fix a windows installation. Do so, then try rebooting into windows.

You should now be able to boot into Windows. Disable write caching. To do so:
Right-click My Computer, then click properties
Click the Hardware Tab
Click Device Manager
Click the + sign next to Disk Drives
Right click the drive which has your operating system installed on it, and click properties
Click Disk Properties tab
Uncheck the Write Cache Enabled box

If you are running Windows Vista/7, Device Manager is in control panel as its own area, you don't need to go to system

If it fails to fix it, and you can not boot into Windows at all, you will have to format your hard drive and reinstall Windows, as it is too badly damaged.

If you are experiencing the problem with a SATA Hard drive:

Go into the BIOS, and change the SATA controller configuration back to whichever it was by default. Boot using your windows installation disc, and run the repair tool and let it fix any errors that may have been created, then try to boot into Windows.

If that does not work, run the hard drive utility for your hard drive. Each manufacturer has their own, which should be used for their drives only, and no other utility for a different manufacturer's drive should be used. Go to their website to find it. Remember that each is bootable, so you will either need to burn the file to a disc in a bootable file format, to a floppy disc, or to a USB device, should your motherboard BIOS support booting from a USB device. If it fails, your hard drive is dead, and you will have to get a new one. First contact your manufacturer if the drive is still under warranty, as they will replace it for you free of charge should it be faulty, and is still under warranty.

If the test passes, but you can not boot into Windows, you will need to format your hard drive and reinstall Windows

What should I do if the fix doesn't work?

If it is the first time you have seen such an error, and haven't received one since, it is possible it is a 1 off occurrence, so don't worry about it unless it happens again.

If you see the problem regularly and none of the fixes worked, either create a post explaining your problem and that you have followed this guide, or contact your computer manufacturer.

Glossary

Exception: Specific conditions which change the flow of program execution

Exception Handling: Programming Construct which is designed to handle the occurrence of exceptions

Hexidecimal: A type of computer code that uses only the AASCII values 0-9 and A-F

IRQ: Interrupt Request. This refers to interrupting the bus lines used to signal an interrupt

Kernal: The part of the operating system which links the hardware and software. It works in very low level language

Multi-Threaded: A term given to programs which are capable of utilising more than 1 processor or core. They will see increased performance with a greater number of cores

NT: Microsoft NT based operating systems. These include all windows operating systems from Windows 2000 to Windows 7

Programming Construct: Basic commands, statements and elements in a programming language. This doesn't mean general rules of languages or processes

Race Condition: A race condition is a problem caused by a problem in the software which causes 2 signals or pieces of data to race to get to influence the output first. Think of it like two people, each with half a message, trying to get to someone who does not know the message. If the second half of the message gets to the recipient first, it will not make sense and will cause confusion. The chances that a program is coded to have such an error is increased greatly with multi-threaded applications

Registry: A database of settings and options in Windows

Registry Hive: A collection of entries in the registry
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