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BSOD, Blue Screen Death, NT4.0, SP3

Posted on 1997-08-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I get a BSOD much more often than I think is normal.  Seldom can I run more than a couple of hours without a BSOD,  I do recall one time I went 2 days without a BSOD.  Normal to me is running months without a BSOD.  It occurs most of the time when I am running Netscape (ver 3.01 or 3.03) or running Eudora Pro, ver 3.0.  Both are the NT versions.

I am running on a Micron Millennia Pro 200 serial number 1 (this may have something to do with the problem).  OS = Windows NT 4.0 SP3 and Windows NT 3.51 SP5 (similar problems in both operating systems).  128 Mbytes RAM (64 from factory and 64 PNY), I had the problems before installing the extra 64 MB of RAM.  2-2GB SCSI drives installed by Micron.  The workstation came with a Diamond video card, Micron would not sell the machine with a Matrox card.  I need dual monitors and the Diamond doesn't support dual.  I am running dual Viewsonic 21PS on dual Matrox Millennium cards with the latest drivers from Matrox.  I have a Micron installed USR 28.8 modem.  I don't think Micron tested the machine after installing the modem, because it didn't recognize the modem until I installed SP5 for NT3.51.  The modem still gives an event error when booting NT3.51.  I am running FAT file system.

Some of the BSOD error messages are "Page_fault_in_nonpaged_area",
Kmode_exception_not_handled", Irql_not_less_or_equal", "fat_file_system".  I normally log off at night, but leave the system powered up.  Several times I have came back in the morning and I have a BSOD error.  The Watson log shows mostly "access violation" errors with a few "illegal instruction" errors.

A number of times I have received a low virtual memory error and then things lock up.  I have 128Mbytes of RAM and the paging file size is set to 250-300.  I have 778MB free on
my paging file drive.  When I have been able to get to the task manager during this error, there is no where near this much memory being used.  Besides if the system can not run with this much memory, most machines would have the same problem.

I have several theories as to the cause, but nothing I can duplicate.
1.  It may be the video cards or drivers - several times I have received the "page_fault_in_nonpaged_area" error when moving an icon.  I have used these same monitors and cards on many other NT systems (non Micron) in the past and have had maybe less than 5 BSOD on 30 machines in 2 years.  The only problem would be a compatibility problem with Micron & Matrox.
2.  It may be some bad chips.
3.  It may be the modem, but why the BSOD when the modem is not running.
4.  May be the operating system, but why with both NT3.51 and NT4.0.

I still have a couple of months left on my warranty, but would like to solve the problem so I am not without a machine while the machine is in the shop.  If the problem can not be solved Micron will be getting a machine back.  Micron suggestions have all been things I tried before talking to them.

Has anyone had the same problem or does anyone have suggestions.

Thank You for any help.
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Question by:rdcarlson
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Accepted Solution

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mjkloiu earned 200 total points
ID: 1781484

I just noticed you said you have had the problems from the start...take out the original RAM first, using only the RAM that you bought and installed after purchasing the machine.
Although it will run slower, does it still crash?
Be sure that the RAM types are compatible...make sure that both are EDO or Non-EDO RAM (Im not sure what your CPU would use). Also be sure that the BIOS is set for this speed of RAM.

If there are problems with your machine, Netscape will often pick them up! Update to a newer version of netscape if possible...even try just running it if you still want to keep your old version.

If it were my machine I would forget about the Video Card as being the problem....it just does not sound like it is connected.

Failing all this, I would take the machine back before your warantee runs out...at least swap the motherboard over.

What programs are you running when you get the "out of virtual memory " error?
Also try reducing your page file to 139 Meg and see what happens. (Its illogical, I know, but it is worth a try).
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Author Comment

by:rdcarlson
ID: 1781485
It is hard to give a grade until I test the suggestions.
I will try removing the original RAM.
I did load the latest version of Netscape, no change in the conditions.
I don't recall which programs I was running when I got the out of virtual memory errors.  I know I got it one time when running Netscape.
I have had replies from other users saying they had a similiar problem.  One fixed it by replacing the motherboard, another one traced it to a faulty cache module.
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