Diagnosiing Windows BSOD Stop code (possibly bad CPU)

Posted on 2006-06-01
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I posted a question last week regarding a hardware disaster with my PC (the title of the thread was "Narrowing down the bad component in a system that won't power on."  Per the responses I received, I ordered a new motherboad and new RAM.  I also bought a new power supply.

This evening, I reassembled the PC with a new mobo, new RAM, new power supply, and was pleased that it posted the way it ought to, detected the CPU correctly, detected the RAM correctly, detected all my drives correctly.  However, it would not start Windows:  instead, just as it finished the posting process and was about to load Windows, it would reboot itself.  (NB:  I have Recovery Console installed on the hard drive, so I do get to the screen that gives me the choice between starting Windows and starting Recovery Console.  Then, when I choose Windows, it goes into the reboot.)

After a cycle of that, I tried to get it to start in Safe mode, but that didn't make a difference.  Then I tried to get it to start in Last Known Good Configuration.  That didn't help either.  Finally, I tried booting from a Bart PE CD, and that's when i got far enough to get a BSOD (after Bart PE gave me the message about checking system configuration):

A problem  has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error screen, restart your computer.  If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed hard drives or hard drive controllers.  Check your hard drive to make sure it is properly configured and terminated. Run CHKDSK /F to check for hard drive corruption, and then restart your coomputer

Technical information:

STOP:  0x0000007B (0xF8984528, 0xC0000034, 0X00000000, 0X00000000)

I doubted that there was a virus involved, but I did restart the PC, and the same thing happened -- I got the same BSOD with exactly the same Stop code.

Finally, i disconnected my hard drive and tried booting again off the Bart PE CD.  Got the same BSOD and the same Stop code.  That indicates to me that the problem is not the hard drive at all.

Since everything else is new, and since I get the stop code even without a hard drive as part of the system, my conclusion is that the CPU got fried, along with everything else in my computer.  Is there some other explanation I am missing?  I searched this site and I found that this kind of Stop code can occur when a hard drive is inaccessible, or the mobo is swapped out, but if that were the cause in this case, then the PC would be able to run Bart PE without problem.  Moreover, the solution recommnded when swapping the mobo is to do a repair install of Windows -- which I don't think I'll be able to do given the inability to even get Bart PE running.  However, I will try that and report back here.

Question by:mitch10021
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    Well ... the symptom you're having is not uncommon with a new motherboard (new chipset, etc.) ==> HOWEVER, the fact that Bart PE does the same thing is not good (as you know).   In my experience this indicates either a bad CPU or a bad motherboard (and yes, I've received NEW bad motherboards).

    Since your POST code is running, the CPU is running at-least-mostly Okay.   I'd download MemTest-86+ from, create a bootable floppy (or CD), and see if it boots and runs okay.   If so, then your CPU is okay => and it will also tell you if your memory is generally okay.

    If that works, then the problem is either the motherboard or the memory.   Post back with the results and I'll suggest what to try next.

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    This is what MS says :;en-us;324103

    So with the newmotherboard you used your old hard drive ? Unless its an exact replacement of your motherboard ( chipset even the rev ) you should at least do a repair installation of your OS. I would stronly recommend a fresh installation..

    repair installation :
    fresh installation :
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    Testing is a good idea.

    Also try booting from Knoppix or Ubuntu CD.  Bart PE is still basically Windows.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Make sure the bios is updated, also set it to fail safe settings to see if that helps...That is if you have the Award bios.  
    If not then I'm sure there is some part in there that will allow you to set it to default.  

    If you have 2 ram modules you might want to try one or the other to see if that gets you any further.

    A good way to rule things out is to not have anything hooked up to the system to see how far you get.
         -start with just the mobo, 1 ram stick, cpu, graphics card, cdrom, powersupply - if it gets all the way through the bios try the bart pe or the other cd boot os's if successful continue
         -next put in the hard drive -boots to hard drive?...
             *yes - good to go, start putting in other devices untill it gets the error again
             *no - same error - could be bad hard drive - blank boot or failed to boot repiar/refresh install of OS will get you past that
         -once booted to windows continue to add devices untill error occurs or you are fully operational.

    Also if you are having random errors and nothing seems to rule it out double check your motherboard mounts and make sure that no part of the motherboard is touching the case.  Always use the longest studs given with the case.  I have seen on a motherboard that a circuit stud didn't get clipped and it grounded itself to the case which caused for all types of wierd errors.

    Good Luck
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    something coming to my mind is heat : did you install the heatsink properly ?
     check also the cpu temperatures in the bios (after it powers down) - here  alist of max temperatures :

    Author Comment


    After I posted my question I figured I would try a repair install of XP.  So I put my install CD into the drive (fortunately I have a slipstreamed CD with SP2), reconnected the hard drive (can't reinstall without a hard drive) and powered it on. But I also decided to go into the BIOS and select Optimized Default Settings for safety.  I forgot that this would change the boot order -- and before I could stop it, the machine booted off the hard drive and brought me to the screen where I choose between XP and Recovery Console.  It is only up there for 5 seconds so it got past me and continued to boot -- and I got to the screen that said, essentially, "Windows didn't boot normally last time, what do you want to do this time?"  So i chose Safe Mode, thinking I would wind up with the BSOD again.

    But I didn't.  It booted into Safe Mode.  No BSOD.  Once I was in Safe Mode, I reinstalled the chipset drivers (it's the same chipset as the old mobo but i figured it wouldn't hurt to reinstall anyway), and rebooted, and it worked fine.  Other than resetting the system clock, everything is back to normal.

    I'm thrilled, of course, but I still cannot understand what caused the repeated BSOD in the first place.  

    Incidentally, so far Windows hasn't even noticed the change in motherboard -- theWindows  Activation feature hasn't accused me of installing it on a different computer.  At least not yet.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    Well, the optimized defaults probably resolved the primary issue.   I'm surprised Windows hasn't required re-activation, but don't complain :-)
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    That is very interesting indeed. I can only assume there was a good OS corruption in first place. Check for activate windows button under all programs. The notification might have been disabled but you still may need to reactivate. Speaking to some friends in delhi doesnt hurt :) They are usually very helpful. When they sense i am upset i think they are hanging up on me :) just my opinion :) it may be the phonelines lol :)

    glad your problem was fixed.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    Does the new motherboard have on-board ethernet, sound, and/or video?   If none of these are on-board, and you're using the same chipset, you may not have made enough changes to trigger the re-activation requirements.   Otherwise, I'm surprised it hasn't given you the activation warning -- but if it doesn't, you're fine.

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