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Windows STOP errors

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Windows STOP errors

My Windows 2000 system is being plagued by terminal STOP errors, including 0x000000E8, 0x0000000A, 0x00000050 and 0x00000037. There appears to be no pattern governing this particular collection of errors. The errors can occur on boot-up, or during normal operation.

I've actually performed a fresh-install of Windows 2000 twice, and the problem still recurs. I've performed memory testing and got the all clear. I've also swapped RAM just to test if that was the problem, and that hasn't worked either.

The security and application event logs do not have any information that would help diagnose the crashes.

I'm beginning to suspect it's caused by a windows security update, as the problem only kicks in a few days/weeks after a fresh install. If this is the case, any ideas on what to do? Or any other suggestions of what to do?
14 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Windows STOP errors

As the STOP codes are random, I would suspect a faulty mobo myself. Had something similar on an XP Pro PC recently, changed all the parts I could (disk, mem, graphics), tested memory for 24 hours using memtest86+ (don;t use the microsoft mem test as it''s seless) tried with the minimum hardware installed (unplugged everything including USB connections on mobo, floppy etc and still I got random blue screen stop pages and this was during a fresh install of XP.

The only thing left was the mobo, and once that was changed and all the existing hardware re-fitted the system was stable and running fine.
pjemmanuel
Grafter
Posts: 349
Registered: 05-04-2007

Windows STOP errors

I've had similar errors like these on my PC over the last year. I went down the road of changing out memory, changing video cards, disabling SMART on the hard drive, uninstalling bits of hardware - none of which really helped matters much.
Even a reinstall of W2K, as you've found, didn't help matters much. The reboots are completely random, although I never got one at start up, it was always when the machine was on - either busy or idle it didn't matter.
I did notice that when I removed most of the peripherals the PC was more stable. I noticed that occassionally, the voltages from the power supply were off specifications quite a bit (Asus mobo - Probe software). Using the hardware monitor in the BIOS, I shut down the monitoring of the voltages and the machine became rock solid. I replaced the PSU a couple of months ago, re-enabled the hardware monitoring and I haven't had a problem since.
If you have monitor software available - or even a monitor in the BIOS setup, it may be worth having a look there.
Just for further info, the specs for an ATX PSU state that the voltages must remain within +/- 5% of their values.

HTH
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Windows STOP errors

Quote

Just for further info, the specs for an ATX PSU state that the voltages must remain within +/- 5% of their values.

HTH


What voltages are the different rails supposed to be at? I know there's a 12V one, but no idea what the others are.
pjemmanuel
Grafter
Posts: 349
Registered: 05-04-2007

Windows STOP errors

The rails and the tolerances are: -
12V (11.4 - 12.6)
5V (4.75 - 5.25)
3.3V (3.135 - 3.465)
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Windows STOP errors

+5v, +12v, +3.3v are the main voltage rails with the highest current

-5v -12v, +5v SB are also used but draw a very low current, the SB is the standby rail to support things line wake up on lan or power up from the keyboard/mouse when the PC is off or in standby mode.

All should be within +/- 5%, with the high current rails tending to be lower than the stated voltages but should still be within 5%.
pjemmanuel
Grafter
Posts: 349
Registered: 05-04-2007

Windows STOP errors

I believe that the -5V line has now been removed from the ATX specifications.
Also to correct myself, the -12V (not the +12V though) has a higher tolerance of +/-10% rather than 5%.
I neglected to mention these rails, as many hardware monitors on the Mobo only look at the +12V, +5V and +3.3V. If the OP's issue is one of power stability, it is most likely to be one of the +voltage rails, the -12V and -5V have such small power draw in comparison to the others that their effect should negligible.
To rule out such a problem, if it's available in the BIOS, switch off the monitoring of the +5V and +3.3V rails, leave the +12V alone for the time being, and see if the machine becomes stable.
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Windows STOP errors

Quote
To rule out such a problem, if it's available in the BIOS, switch off the monitoring of the +5V and +3.3V rails, leave the +12V alone for the time being, and see if the machine becomes stable.


Why would voltage monitoring be the issue? Wouldn't it be underlying fluctuations in the rail itself?

In any case, I've disabled Windows Update and, for the moment, had no more STOP errors. As they were random anyway, that's not really proof of anything, but I'll post back here if they resume, along with the relevant voltages.
pjemmanuel
Grafter
Posts: 349
Registered: 05-04-2007

Windows STOP errors

sterndale wrote:
Quote
Why would voltage monitoring be the issue? Wouldn't it be underlying fluctuations in the rail itself?


The monitoring isn't the issue, as you say, the flutuations may be. The monitor is supposed to issue a warning (or shut the computer down) when the fluctuations are ouside of the specifications - I found in my situation that the 'warnings' were manifesting themselves in the form of a variety of seemingly unrelated STOP errors as you've been getting - incidentally, mine also started following an automatic update, but it would seem that this may have been a coincidence.
When I shut down the hardware monitor for the 5V and 3.3V rail, the STOP errors ceased. I have since replaced the power supply and reinstated the hardware monitors, the machine is still stable.

I've only mentioned the PSU because of my own experience. As you've probably found already, if you search the web against the STOP errors you are getting, you'll find statements such as "Bad memory", "Failing Mobo", "Incompatible hardware or software" and so on. In all of my searches, I never once came across one that mentioned the PSU.

These STOP errors are annoying when you get different, random errors at random intervals - I hope you can sort yours soon.
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Windows STOP errors

Well, no more STOP errors since disabling Windows Update, but for what it's worth, this is the state of my mobo:


Field Value
Sensor Properties
Sensor Type ITE IT8705F (ISA 290h)

Temperatures
Motherboard 36 °C (97 °F)
CPU 29 °C (84 °F)
Aux 35 °C (95 °F)
Maxtor 6Y160P0 17 °C (63 °F)

Cooling Fans
CPU 2766 RPM
Chassis 1241 RPM

Voltage Values
CPU Core 1.50 V
+2.5 V 1.94 V
+3.3 V 3.31 V
+5 V 5.03 V
+12 V 11.97 V
+5 V Standby 3.14 V
VBAT Battery 3.06 V


They look fine to my untrained eye.
pjemmanuel
Grafter
Posts: 349
Registered: 05-04-2007

Windows STOP errors

Quote
They look fine to my untrained eye.


They certainly look pretty much spot on - at least that rules out the PSU as the problem. Trouble is, now you are back to looking for a needle in a haystack again. You've already done the memory, the rest of the trouble shooting guides suggest (for 0xA at least) removing recently installed hardware/software - which no doubt you haven't changed anything recently anyway.

Good luck, I hope you get it sorted.
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Windows STOP errors

You have faulty RAM,

or least part of your memory is not behaving itself.

see if you can "borrow" some from someplace and try again.



/ I know this seems overly simple as a response, but trust me, you have some dodgy RAM issue going on there, or, you could have a screwy driver in windows trying to do something it should'nt,

if it was me, I would get a small cheap hard drive, take my existing drive out, replace it with the new one, install windows, see if I get the errors still, if not - then bingo, whack my old drive back in, re-install windows, bobs me mums brother so to say.

however, if errors remain, then it's time for some new RAM.

bish/bash/wallop.


//// don't question jesus it only makes him mad.
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Windows STOP errors

Well, after a temporary hiatus, the STOPs have restarted. So it wasn't Windows Update (though that did seem to be aggravating it). That leaves me with two options:


    * Faulty graphics card
    * Faulty mobo

Is there any way of testing these? E.g. a Graphics Card memory tester, for instance?


Quote
You have faulty RAM,

or least part of your memory is not behaving itself.

see if you can "borrow" some from someplace and try again.


I've already tested the RAM, both using MEMTEST86+ and by swapping it out completely and using two new sticks. No difference.

Quote

if it was me, I would get a small cheap hard drive, take my existing drive out, replace it with the new one, install windows, see if I get the errors still, if not - then bingo, whack my old drive back in, re-install windows, bobs me mums brother so to say.


I can't see how this is different from reinstalling afresh on the existing drive (which I've already done, twice). Unless it is the drive itself that is causing the errors (which I doubt, because it's not failing any SMART tests).
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Rats

Well the STOP errors have continued. A new mobo for me I think...
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Windows STOP errors

For what it's worth, here's the solution (in case someone else ever gets this problem and happens to scan the forums):

My motherboard is rated to take PC3200 memory, so I have two 512MB PC3200 DIMMs in it. However, it turns out that the mobo is only rated for 400 MHz (DDR) memory from certain manufacturers. My memory are just cheapo OEM sticks. The DIMMs themselves are perfectly fine, because they pass all memory tests, but they're clearly not 100% compatible with my motherboard.

The solution? Notch down the memory speed in the BIOS to 333 MHz (DDR) and everything's stable as a table. And I'm a happy man, finally. Cheesy