Upgrade to Service Pack 4 Gets Me Blue Screen: Stop 0x000000A

I have a Dell Precision, 330, running Windows 2000 5.00.2195, Service Pack 3.  (Pentium 4 Processor at 1.7 gigahertz, with 512 ram.)

When I try to upgrade to Service Pack 4, I get the dreaded blue screen:

"xxx stop: 0x000000A (0xbad0b0bc, 0x000000ff, 0x00000000, 0x80416b89)


Address 80416b89 Base at 80400000,

Datestamp 4047db83- ntoskrnl.exe"

I can boot in safe mode, uninstall service pack 4, and the computer works as before.

I've checked out all the Microsoft reports I can find.  I have tried getting the machine to reboot without any start-up programs, including antivirus stuff.  I have the latest Dell Bios, which doesn't seem to let you deactivate cached or shadow memory.  I'm loathe to start uninstalling hardware, cause frankly, it's a pain and I just don't believe it's the problem -- no new hardware in years and the machine has always run perfectly.

I don't know what else to try.  Please help.
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Computer101Connect With a Mentor Commented:
PAQed - no points refunded (of 500)

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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:

Possibly the most annoying Stop error that you will ever see, essentially is a memory error caused by a driver or piece of software that has caused an error accessing memory, It can also be caused by defective/unsupported hardware, so pretty much anything :0(

When you get the stop error it will be accompanied by some information i.e.

Stop: 0x0000000A (parameter1, parameter2, parameter3, parameter4) IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL*** Address x has base at x - filename

The parameters refer to the specific issues that are involved:
Parameter 1 - An address that was referenced improperly
Parameter 2 - An IRQL that was required to access the memory
Parameter 3 - The type of access, where 0 is a read operation and 1 is a write operation
Parameter 4 - The address of the instruction that referenced memory in parameter 1

Make a note of the stop error ESPECIALLY the "filename" as this can point you to a defective driver or the software/hardware at the root of the problem. do a Google search on the "filename" To help you narrow it down.

This is what M$ has to say

>>Stop error 0x0000000A (Stop 0x0A) shows that there was an attempt in kernel
>>mode to touch pageable memory at too high a process internal request level
>>(IRQL). This error usually occurs when a driver uses an incorrect memory
>>address. Other possible causes of this error are an incompatible device driver,
>>a general hardware problem, and incompatible software.

If the "filename" above yields no results you need to do some basic troubleshooting

1. First check your Hardware is supported by Microsoft

2. Then Check you RAM either by swapping it out or using...

3. Use the following to discover what is on your PC and get ALL the latest drivers, start with your graphics card.
Everest Home Edition
Belarc Advisor

*****Links and Further Reading*****

Stop 0x0000000A or IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL


2000 - Troubleshooting "Stop 0x0A" Messages in Windows 2000 and Windows NT

XP - Troubleshooting a Stop 0x0000000A Error in Windows XP

XP - "Stop 0x0000000A Irql_Not_Less_or_Equal" Error Message During Windows XP Upgrade

Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
if that gives you no joy

How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade of Windows 2000

Repairing, Recovering, and Restoring an Installation of Windows 2000

Differences Between Manual and Fast Repair in Windows
Cloud Class® Course: C++ 11 Fundamentals

This course will introduce you to C++ 11 and teach you about syntax fundamentals.


Stop 0x0000000A or IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

This Stop message, also known as Stop 0xA, indicates that a kernel-mode process attempted to access a portion of memory at an Interrupt Request Level (IRQL) that was too high. A kernel-mode process can only access other processes that have an IRQL lesser than or equal to its own.

Interpreting the Message

The four parameters listed in the Stop 0xA message are defined in order of appearance as follows :

Memory address referenced
Type of access (0 = read operation, 1 = write operation)
Address that referenced memory in parameter 1
If the third parameter is the same as the first parameter, a special condition exists in which a system worker routine, executed by a worker thread to handle background tasks known as work items, returned at a raised IRQL. In that case, the parameters are defined as follows:

Address of the worker routine
Address of the worker routine
Address of the work item
Resolving the Problem

Buggy device driver, system service or BIOS. The error that generates Stop 0xA usually occurs after the installation of a buggy device driver, system service, or BIOS. To resolve it quickly, restart your computer, and press F8 at the character-mode menu that displays the operating system choices. At the resulting Windows 2000 Advanced Options menu, choose the Last Known Good Configuration option. This option is most effective when only one driver or service is added at a time.

Incompatible device driver, system service, virus scanner or backup tool. If you encounter Stop 0xA while upgrading to a newer version of Windows, it might be caused by a device driver, a system service, a virus scanner, or a backup tool that is incompatible with the new version. If possible, remove all third-party device drivers and system services and disable any virus scanners prior to upgrading. Contact the software manufacturers to obtain updates of these tools.

For additional error messages that might help pinpoint the device or driver that is causing the error, check the System Log in Event Viewer. Disabling memory caching of the BIOS might also resolve this error. You should also run hardware diagnostics supplied by the system manufacturer, especially the memory scanner. For details on these procedures, see the owner's manual for your computer.

If your system has small computer system interface (SCSI) adapters, contact the adapter manufacturer to obtain updated Windows 2000 drivers. Try disabling sync negotiation in the SCSI BIOS, checking the cabling and the SCSI IDs of each device, and confirming proper termination. For enhanced integrated device electronics (EIDE) devices, define the onboard EIDE port as Primary only. Also, check each EIDE device for the proper master/slave or stand-alone setting. Try removing all EIDE devices except for hard disks.

If the message appears during an installation of Windows 2000, make sure that the computer and all installed peripherals are listed on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). For more information about the HCL, see "Additional Resources" at the end of this chapter.

Microsoft periodically releases a package of product improvements and problem resolutions called a Service Pack. Because many problems are resolved by installing the latest Service Pack, it is recommended that all users install them as they become available. To check which Service Pack, if any, is installed on your system, click Start, click Run, type winver, and then press ENTER. The About Windows 2000 dialog box displays the Windows version number and the version number of the Service Pack, if one has been installed.

Occasionally, remedies to specific problems are developed after the release of a Service Pack. These remedies are called hotfixes. Microsoft does not recommend that you install a post-Service Pack hotfix unless the specific problem it addresses has been encountered. Service Packs include all of the hotfixes released since the release of the previous Service Pack. The status of hotfix installations is not indicated in the About Windows 2000 dialog box.

For more troubleshooting information about the 0xA Stop message, refer to the Microsoft Support Web site, using the keywords winnt and 0x0000000A. For information about this resource, see "Additional Resources" at the end of this chapter.
kurtfilmAuthor Commented:
Thanks, everyone, but I have read ALL of Microsofts reports on the problem.  I'm hoping someone can actually read the error report I typed in and start to zero in on the specific problem
Your ntoskrnl.exe seems to have a problem. You might try this


"3920 » How do I perform an in-place upgrade of Windows 2000?

If a repair does NOT cause your computer to operate normally, you may wish to try an in-place upgrade, a last resort before reinstalling. The in-place upgrade takes the same time as a reinstall.

To perform an in-place upgrade:

1. Boot the CD-ROM (or boot disks).

2. Press Enter to install a copy of Windows 2000.

3. Accept the License Agreement.

4. If setup does NOT detect a your installation, an in-place upgrade is NOT possible.

5. When prompted to repair the existing installation, press R. Setup will perform an in-place upgrade"


"4508 » What does a Windows 2000 in-place upgrade change and not change?

I described performing an in-place upgrade in tip 3920 » How do I perform an in-place upgrade of Windows 2000?

When you perform an in-place upgrade:

1. Service Packs, hotfixes, and IE upgrades are rolled back.

2. Default registry values are restored.

3. Default permissions are reapplied.

4. COM and WFP are reregistered.

5. Plug and Play devices and the HAL are re-enumerated.

6. Drive letters are changed based upon the current drive and partitions. See Q2324048 - How Windows 2000 Assigns, Reserves, and Stores Drive Letters.

The following is NOT changed:

1. Installed components and programs.

2. Passwords.

3. Third-party registry entries.

4. The computer's role.

NOTE: If you upgraded your computer from Windows NT 4.0, profiles were stored at %SystemRoot%\Profiles. The in-place upgrade creates a \Documents and Settings folder and changes the registry profile to point to it. To fix the problem, use the Registry Editor to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList. For each user, there will be a SID sub-key and a Value Name of ProfileImagePath. Change the string value to point to %SystemRoot%\Profiles\<UserName>."

Then apply SP4
kurtfilmAuthor Commented:
Okay, so I "repaired" windows 2000, then reinstalled the patch.  Same blue screen, same error message.  Any other suggestions?

Keep in mind, the computer runs very well on Service Pack 3.  It's just when I load service Pack 4 that I get the blue screen.
Ummm then don't use SP4 or

Go here

Next click on "Find Microsoft Windows updates"

In the frame on the right select your OS from the list then click on the Search button.

Now in the list click on "Critical Updates and Service Packs" and install all those you want except the SP4.

Next get back to the list and click on "Recommended Updates" again stay away from SP4.
kurtfilmAuthor Commented:
Well, yeah, but a) it seems like that's kind of a short-term fix and b) other patches won't stick either like "816093: Security Update Microsoft Virtual Machine (Microsoft VM)", which strike me as pretty crucial.
Then look at your hardware as the possible problem. Lots of things can affect the problems you define. It could be a memory issue, HDD issue, Motherboard and/or CPU and/or Chipset issues or any of the hardware drivers. I am afraid you may need to take the tedious route and do things one at a time to find where the problem resides.
kurtfilmAuthor Commented:
Yeay I agree, Ug
kurtfilmAuthor Commented:
I really don't believe it's hardware.  Been into computers long enough to have a gut feel about these things.  Computer is just too stable with SP3 to be hardware, in my very very humble opinion.

Is there some technician, somewhere on the planet, who can read the ridiculous blue screen message and actually say:  "This is where the problem is, specifically."
You need to do this on your own mahcine

try this

How to Use Dumpchk.exe to Check a Memory Dump File

Gathering Blue Screen Information After Memory Dump in Windows 2000 or Windows NT

Download Pstat here
Pstat.exe: Process and Thread Status
Just some extra information.

During the boot up process each drive is loading into memory and started. When a blue screen occurs in the boot up process, there is a 99% chance that the driver failing is the next driver in sequence and not the one reported in the bluescreen, so in your case ntoskrnl.exe is not likely to be the failing driver.

When the computer boots up into a blue screen the first thing you need to do is boot up in safe mode. If you can get into safe mode then use systemk information to see the drivers that are loaded, or are supposed tp be loaded. The key thing here is to find the driver loading AFTER ntoskrnl.exe.

One other thing regarding ntoskrnl.exe, because this is the actual kernel (OS), it is responsible for loading the drivers 9kernel drivers) on boot. This is probably the only exe, that could show a failure out of order. If you can see the drivers installing, through a safe mode boot, you may want to watch which one is loading when the error occurs, and if it is not after the kernel loads, then it will be the one after the last... so if it shows msdisp.vxd and the blue screens, it will be the driver after msdisp.vxd that is actually failing.

During boot the blue screen typically occurs when a driver is loadind. The blue screen will show the last complete driver or app in the memory space. This is usually correct after a system has completed the boot process, but during the startup a failed driver will not complete it's load process so the blue screen will report on the last successful driver loaded.

I know this is a reach.. but I saw a similar problem occur on a computer.. Cannot remember the specifics but we were able to get it to work.  It turned out to be a firmware / bios issue. Check on dell.. put in your service tag and make sure you have the latest bios upgrades and firmware. If you have any special devices you have added to the PC, chech their drivers as well..

Good Luck
My guess is that this has to be a known issue with Dell. My first suggestion would be to call them and see what they say. BTW, I've seen several Dell machines blue-screen when installing Win2k SP4 with a similar error.
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
PAQ & NO refund
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