STOP error when CD-ROM is connected
Posted on 2004-11-15
I'd like some help to salvage this Win2K SP4 system, please. I walked into work one morning to find my computer crashed with a STOP error: "page_fault_in_nonpaged_area". I rebooted it, to find the same error recur slightly after the graphical Win2K Startup screen with progress bar comes up. The only safe mode option that will boot is "Safe Mode" (without networking). I have not recently changed anything on the system.
Someone suggested that it is a problem with the RAM, but this is not true. I booted it from a live Linux CD (i.e. heavy RAM usage, entire OS in RAM) and copied all my critical data off the HD to a network location. Then I used another live Linux CD to run memtest, which I allowed to flog the memory bit by bit for over an hour, returned no errors. But just in case, I decided to open the case and swap out the 256 MB RAM modules individually. To make a long story short, it appeared to do no good, so I stuck both of the modules back in and rebooted. Windows booted just fine! I used it for a few days with no more problems. Then I noticed that my IDE CD-ROM wasn't working, realized I had bumped the cable loose when messing with the RAM. When I reconnected the cable and rebooted, there was the STOP error again. When I un-connected the CD-ROM, it boots fine again. So that's the problem.
I figured I'd just re-install Win2K from scratch, but I get the same error a short way into the text mode portion of the Windows installer, running from the CD! Absolutely ridiculous. Any way of salvaging this thing? Again, I don't want to buy new hardware because Linux runs beautifully from the RAM, off the CD-ROM drive. Any hot fixes or patches you know of for this mess, besides trashing Windows and using Linux?
Thanks a lot for your help!