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Microsoft, Windows Server 2003, SP2, 32-bit edition, MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION

Posted on 2007-08-06
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On a previously very stable Windows Server 2003 SP2 (32-bit) machine I am now getting a BSOD titled MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION with the data being STOP 0x0000009C.  There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to when this error kicks in but it's usually not more than 20 minutes after booting.  There have been absolutely no hardware or software changes on this machine.

I have browsed the MS Knowledge Base and found an article on a very similar error but it only relates to the 64-bit edition of Server 2003 so I am at a complete loss on how to solve this problem.  The machine is critical so can anyone help me with this?

Thanks,

KP
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Question by:KhaiPi
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by:Demokin
ID: 19639677
I have found this article that relates to 32 bit Server Systems: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/835768

Other than that, this looks like some sort of Hardware based error.  What is this box running hardware wise?
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Expert Comment

by:ocon827679
ID: 19640154
Machine checks are just that - machine checks.  Most of the time it is an indication of a hardware problem.  You say that it happens within about 20 minutes of a boot.  Sounds like an overheating problem.
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Author Comment

by:KhaiPi
ID: 19641255
Thanks guys...

It's a dual Xeon 3.4GHz machine with a 3Ware 9550SX SATA II RAID controller and 4GB RAM.  If it is a hardware problem, how do I figure out which piece of hardware is causing the problem?  I can hardly replace the 3Ware controller when we rely on the array 24x7.  Could it be a memory fault perhaps?  I could replace that I suppose but it would be a costly exercise.

Anyway, I have submitted a request for the hotfix listed in the article Demokin pointed me too but I doubt it will help given that I am already running SP2 and I think that hotfix was released prior to that.  But I'll wait and see how it goes unless you can indicate how to determine the root cause of the problem.
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by:ocon827679
ID: 19641399
Do you have maintenance on the equipment or is it under warranty?  If yes, then have your maintenance people come out and run diagnostics.  
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Demokin earned 2000 total points
ID: 19641424
I found this article that talks about stop codes and has a brief section on the error that your are getting. http://wiki.djlizard.net/STOP_errors

At the end of the section there is a link that will tell you what to look for in the event logs which may be a task in itself if it is shutting down every 20 minutes. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;889249

If you think it is the memory you could try running Memtest86: http://www.memtest86.com/

Hopefully the event logs will tell you something and you will get lucky but I think in the end, you are basically going to have to go through each component and make sure that it is the one that is not causing the errors and I understand how hard that is going to be in a 24x7 shop.
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Author Comment

by:KhaiPi
ID: 19728380
Hi Demokin,

I have accepted your answer because I managed to locate the occasional event in the Event Log relating to the Quantum DLT-S4 tape drive attached to this machine after reading the article you referred to.  Thankfully re-installing the driver for it appears to have solved the problem.  The machine has been up for about a week now so it looks good.

Thanks,

KP
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