Exception OE ... at 0028: ... in VxD ---
Posted on 1998-11-17
I get random exceptions almost always saying one of:
An exception OE has occured at 0028:C0050058 in VxD --- ...
An Exception OE has occured at 0028:C0005136 in VxD VMM(01) ...
Addresses differ but the OE and 0028 and the driver are consistant. BTW, what is this virtual device driver "---"? I assume VMM is the Virtual Memory Manager device driver.
In the fully loaded system the exceptions occur at any time, but can be forced very reliably when running large disk-intensive CPU intensive jobs. The OE exception can be produced reliable but not predictably by:
1) Trying to run MS backup of HD disk to HD disk invariably causes failure part way through.
2) Scanning a larger (say 128 MB) file into Corel 8. It can take the exception during scan or well after the scan is complete while Corel is manipulating the files.
* HP Vectra XA 5xx series motherboard latest Bios update from HP installed.
* Adaptec 29 series ultra wide SCSI Controller Latest Bios update, win 98 drivers and latest Adaptec ASPI layer.
* Seagate C-drive UW scsi HD 4 Gig, currently one FAT32 partition
* Quantum D-Drive 4 Gig HD, currently one FAT32 partition
* Plextor SCSI 12-PLEX CD ROM
* Sony 8x SCSI CD ROM
* USR Winmodem 28.8 upgraded to 56k.
* Creative Labs SB AWE 64 sound card.
* HP Scanjet 4c on HP SCSI card (removal doesn't help)
* Matrox Mystique 4 meg latest bios upgrade and Win 98 drivers
* 16 megs to 160 megs 60ns EDO DRAM (Tried varying amount swapping and substituting to check for bad RAM).
Windows 95 had been working very well for some time when it began to act up with increasingly frequent system freezes (defined as "screen image looking fine but mouse, keyboard, and CTL-ALT-DEL do nothing"). Assuming some files had been corrupted by power interruptions or occasional lock-ups, I reinstalled windows 95 and latest drivers from everywhere and thus began the new problems I am writing about now. The random "freezes" became less frequent but the aformentioned blue-screen OE exceptions erupted. I tried upgraded to windows 98 and the freezes went away completely but the new problems persisted. I repartitioned and reformatted the disks and did a clean pure Windows 98 install(at least 6 times now). To me this means no DOS and no earlier version of windows loaded. Each time I reinstall, the problem seems to creep back in as more software is loaded and for the life of me I can't tell exactly when it starts.
Usually, I start with Win 95 with its native (MS supplied) hardware support with all hardware installed. This sets up all but the modem and scanner which I install from the mfr's disks.
I have tried starting by loading win98 with just the Adaptec controller and Matrox card installed and adding cards as I load software that uses them. I had LOTS of problems when I tried this and concluded the best bet was to put in all hardware and let win98 put the drivers in with the initial install.
I can't pinpoint when OE exception problem actually begins. It seems that the larger apps are the ones that cause the problems so early testing is inconclusive. I can say that right after the windows 98 is installed I can run microsoft's backup program and get infrequent OE exception failures of the type described. I have heard that MS backup is a bit flaky to begin with and I'm not sure if if is an indicator.
After 98 is installed and hardware is present, I use system tools to verify that there are no conflicts in the hardware and plug and play devices, I install HP IIIp Printer driver, HP Scanner software (Deskscan II, Visioneer Paperport), and Communicator 4.5. At this point, things seem stable except for Communicator which likes to crash itself regularly. IE is worse and seems to like to take the system with it so I don't use it.
Usually at this point the system seem rock solid except for Communicator. So I continue.
Every time I reload the OS I am convinced that the latest change solved the problem. I continue gradually loading software and customizing my configuration: Microsoft Office (w/o Office itself and Word 6), MS Word 7, Corel 8, Adaptec EZ-SCSI 4.0 and its latest upgrade to 4.01b, Soundblaster Software, Rapid Comm Fax, Caere OCR software, winzip, McAfee virus scan 3 and lastest dat files (McAfee says the system is clean - all files including zipped ones), etc. At some point every time things start to deteriorate.
The pattern is always the same. Each time the problem slowly creeps back in. First once. Then once more hours or even days later. Once the failures start, they seem to get more frequent the harder I use the system. I can't say exactly when it starts and can't pinpoint the offending product or driver. It seems to be different every time. Once it begins, eventually the system becomes too unstable to use and fails every half hour or so while in active use of any kind. Larger tasks such as making and editing large scanned documents with Corel 8 and Deskscan II always fail at some point.
Things I have tried:
1) REGISTRY: I've checked the registry using MS's diagnostic tool and also verified that there are no conflicts for IRQs etc. Everything is PnP and usually sets up fine.
2) CORRUPTED FILES: I use system file checker to verify that none of the checked files are corrupted or missing, none ever are. I tried reinstalling 98 over the existing one and the reinstall could not be completed due to crashes and hangs - reformat again....
3) DRIVER UPDATES: I tried installing more recent drivers than the ones that come with 98 in some cases,
4) POWER MANAGEMENT: I disable power management in windows and in the bios,
5) L2 CACHE: I disable the L2 cache,
6) DESPERATE GROPING AT STRAWS: I copied certain win 98 *.vxd driver files not normally installed into the c:\windows\system and ...system\VMM32 as someone online suggested,
7) FIDDLE WITH VIRTUAL MEMORY SETTINGS: I disabled virtual memory management and changed the drive used to D: rather than c: (this seemed to make it worse, maybe),
8) BACKING OUT: I removed printers and recent software installed,
9) MEMORY TESTS: I ran mucho memory testers and tried different SIMMS and different amounts of memory - no effect,
10) DISK TESTS: I ran scans on the disks with each format and a few extra using the adaptec SCSI utilities,
11) COPROCESSOR- PRINT DRIVER CONFLICT: I disabled the math coprocessor (this prevents many programs from running so I can't see if it helps. Some have alleged that certain printer drivers diddle the coprocessor off while other programs are using it and cause system crashes),
12) VIDEO CARD TESTS: I have run every video card tester I can find and checked the VRAM repeatedly. I tried various video modes.
13) SWAP MB: I tried substitution of an identical motherboard and memory chips from another Vectra VA 5xxx.
14) DISK PARTITIONS AND FAT TYPE: I tried reformatting using FAT vs VFAT.
15) CPU OVERTEMP: I have an extra fan directed on the CPU to keep it well cooled.
16) HIDDEN CONFLICTS: I disabled every unused COM port and the IDE controller in the system bios and in windows. There are three unused IRQs and several DMA channels. There are no conflicts.
16) SHOWED THE PROBLEM TO SOMEONE ELSE: I took several cold showers and griped about the problem to my girlfriend. Then, in desperation I showed her how it worked. (You know, somethimes when you show people stuff it makes the problem go away just to make you look like an idiot.)
17) WASTING TIME: I searched the web and Microsoft's site for clues on every hardware and software product I am using. This was less helpful than step 16.
Anyone have any other ideas? I am totally out. Note, email notification should go to firstname.lastname@example.org to get to me sooner.