I have a Dell, Optiplex GX280 using Windows XP. On June 9th, after working on photographs for about 12 hours, I walked away and went to bed. The next morning, I moved my mouse to get back to work and the PC had rebooted (?). I leave it on fifty percent of the time and do clean-ups about every three to four days with AVG-Anti Spyware, Ad-AwareSE Personal & Windows Defender.
I received the message enclosed, what I now understand to be, the dreaded blue screen of death! I run my antiques and collectibles business from that computer, so needless to say I'm TOTALLY FREAKED, since, I, as many others, had not made a backup disk! The first couple of times I tried to reboot in "Safe Mode", "Last Known Good Configuration" and was forwarded to the blue screen each time (I've tried it 4 times now). I don't want to risk losing any data (about 5000 photographs, payroll, everything!) by trying the wrong thing if any can be salvaged.
I'm a beginner, and am fairly sure that I'm computer illiterate, but can make my way around with very precise instructions (ok, I like gadgets and am pretty handy for a gurl). Otherwise, you are speaking another language to me. I'm on a limited budget, so any free or inexpensive solutions would reeeeally be appreciated. PLEASEpleasePLEASE HELP! wah.
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 to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed.
If this is a new installation, as your hardware or software manufacturer
for any windows updates you might need.
If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware
or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as chaching or shadowing.
If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart
your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup Options, and then
select Safe Mode.
Technical information:
*** STOP: 0x000000ED (0x82383850, 0xC0000006, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

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This sounds to me like some form of hard disk drive data corruption.  Given it boots to a stop error we can assume the device is working normally, so it is just the data it holds which has been damaged.

This can sometimes be caused by faulty RAM.  You can use MemTest 86 (www.memtest86.com) to check the RAM by making a bootable CD-ROM from the iso images you can download.  If this comes up clear, then a repair of your Windows install is probably in order.  If you don't have a backup of your files, I would reccomend taking the hard drive out, placing it in another computer (or external HDD chasis) and attempting to copy the files off before doing anything else.

Your Dell computer probably came with a recovery disk, this will revert the system back to the state it was in when you purchased it, so this may be the simplest method to regain a working Windows installation.  Keep in mind, the recovery process will format your hard drive (removing anything stored on it), so you will need to have a backup of your files before doing this, and will need to reinstall any software that didn't come with the computer when you took it out of the box.
Given the importance of your data (and lack of backups), I highly recommend that you try to create a backup of your disk to another disk or computer before attempting repairs. Best would be if you had another computer where you can plug-in the failing disk as a secondary disk, then copy your important files of. If that is not practical then create a bootable CD that can read NTFS disks (e.g. knoppix or UBCDwin, see http://www.knoppix.org/ and http://www.ubcd4win.com/), boot from that CD and copy your essential files to a USB disk or flash memory.

Since we don't know what the problem might be, creating a copy of your files is the first priority.
Here are some links that further explain this error:


running chkdsk/r can often fix it, but I would feel much better if you had a way to back up your essential files before attempting a repair.
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Boot off an XP CD, choose recovery console 'R'
At the console prompt, run the following

chkdsk /r

Try to reboot.
This is a VERY common problem, do NOT panic and do NOT try anything too drastic. We get between 5 and 10 into our workshop per week and successful recovery is very high, I would say 99% in our experience.
 1.The file system is damaged and cannot be mounted.
 2.You use a standard 40-wire connector cable to connect the UDMA drive to the controller instead of the required 80-wire, 40-pin cable.
 3.The basic input/output system (BIOS) settings are configured to force the faster UDMA modes.

If it be the connector cable problem then replace the 40-wire cable with an 80-wire UDMA cable.
If it's a BIOS settings problem then  load the 'Fail-Safe' default settings, and then reactivate the most frequently used options such as USB Support.
If it's a damaged file system case then:-
1.Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.

Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted.
2.When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
3.If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you must access from the Recovery Console.
4.When you are prompted, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.
5.At the command prompt, type chkdsk /r , and then press ENTER.
6.At the command prompt, type exit , and then press ENTER to restart your computer.

This takes a bit longer, but the system should boot back into Windows

Last Option if nothing works
if you are not successful then  you can reinstall the Windows XP on the same folder you data will not be affected only your applications will be affected which you might have to reinstall

good luck
here is my view :
1- backup your data first ! - as said , hook the drive to a working system, or use one of these to do it :
2-Now, with your data safe, you can play around.  needless to say, it can be almost anything (though it points to the disk drive), so let's test that first, to know it's status : pick the diag you need from here :
3- if this shows ok, you can run a chkdsk (as said)

note that running a memtest first is also one of my favorites to be sure about the basics...(also as said)
selvasolimarAuthor Commented:
THANK YOU ALL for all of your help! I've had severe thunderstorms (Corinth, TX) since last night and have been unable to try any of the suggested solutions. As soon as everything clears up, I will work on getting my data back. Will keep you posted. I'm looking for the XP CD in the meantime. THANKYOUthankyouTHANKYOU!
To alieghkhan:

If you read the authors original post you will notice it is a Dell GX280 which are built to a standard and this includes 80 wire IDE cables by default. Also, the chkdsk /r has already been suggested?
selvasolimarAuthor Commented:
Thank you DanoliSolutions, for mentioning the 80 wire IDE cables solution...that was the first thing that I checked after looking at the FAQs, andI figured out that the PC has the 80 wire IDE cables. My problem now is that I just moved into a new place and am unable to locate my XP CD. To save myself the headache and for the sake of time, is there any way that I can purchase it somewhere? (Dell? eBay? here?) Thanks again...SS
There are several ways you can go from here:

(1) Call Dell Support and request they send you an XP CD.
(2) Borrow an XP CD from a friend.
(3) Attach your disk as a secondary disk on another XP system and run chkdsk/r on that system.
(4) There is apparently a special recovery.iso bootable CD you can download. It is described in this other recent thread:
Look near the bottom for this section (to quote):
"I managed to get it fixed (woohoo!) via chkdsk using a file called recovery.iso which I sourced via a user at the UBCD forum (http://www.markharding.com/xp_recovery_cd/recovery.iso). Don't know much about the utility, other than it proved to be the most straightforward solution (easypeasy!). .."
You will need another working computer where you can create CD's from an ISO file (note: it is not the same as just copying that file to CD - post back if you're not sure how and mention the name of your CD writing software, e.g. Roxio v6).
I have never tried that recovery.iso CD myself, but that link still works, and I may give it a try soon just to learn more about it.
Please post back if you have doubts or questions.
OK, I gave that recovery.iso a try. I downloaded the recovery.iso and used it to make a bootable CD. It does boot and gets you to the recovery console (you will need the Administrator password) from where you can run the "chkdsk /r" command.

This solves the problem of not having the XP CD on hand. Since your PC uses IDE drives all drivers should be on this CD.

However, I want to caution again that (based on your statement that this is the only copy of many business critical files) even though running "chkdsk /r" has a very good chance of fixing the current problem, it is not foolproof. It all depends on what the real root cause of the problem is. I have seen cases where chkdsk can make things worse. My advice (and also by nobus) is to first recover/copy your data, then try chkdsk. Most likely, chkdsk will work without a hitch, but it all depends on how valuable those files are...

Good luck.
Although running a backup of data is paramount, you have to address each situation/job independantly.
In my experience, chkdsk /rhas never cause a problem whereas removing a disk, connecting it as a slave or usb external device has its on risks.

If a backup solution prior to repair is chosen, a preferred method is an inplace backup using disk imaging software such as Acronis, this an perform READ ONLY access to the disk whlie duplicating the disk contects to an external device, cd/dvd writer or across the lan.
selvasolimarAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately, this all happened prior to my scheduled vacation (6/24 thru 7/1/2008). I'll hit it hard and get it done once I get home. This was way too much to try to do before leaving. I can honestly say that this is the best money I've spent in a long time! THANK YOU so much for the help...talk with you very soon! ~Selva Solimar
selvasolimarAuthor Commented:
I'm so sorry to have "disappeared"... had some health issues to deal with. Unfortunately, hadn't had time to sit and fix anything but myself...LOL...so now that some of that is taken care of, I can address my PC! I will take the advice/instructions of r-k and nobus...will give it my 1000% tomorrow and patiently work work work. Will definitely post again...for help...or further instructions...and/or to do my happy dance! =) ~ Selva Solimar
Good luck with both :)
selvasolimarAuthor Commented:
Hi r-k...I am working on the ISO cd, however you mentioned that it is not like copying a regular cd (Quote: "You will need another working computer where you can create CD's from an ISO file (note: it is not the same as just copying that file to CD - post back if you're not sure how and mention the name of your CD writing software, e.g. Roxio v6).")
Ok...I have another working computer that creates CDs, but have no idea if from ISO files. Where do I find that info? The CD writing software that I'm using is Sonic Record Now! v7. Will that work? Thanks for your help. Selva
See this page for how to burn an ISO file with Sonic Record Now v7:

HP and Compaq PCs -  Using Sonic RecordNow! 7
selvasolimarAuthor Commented:
opps...I have put this questions in for points...I clicked on Ask A Related Question...thanks. *crossing her fingers that r-k will answer* =)
No problem, I will follow up in the new thread. I notice several people have good suggestions there already.

On a related note, I recently had occasion to use the "chkdsk /r" command on a computer that wasn't booting up. The symptoms were not identical to yours, but very close. it would start to boot, i.e. the XP logo appeared for a few seconds, then it crashed. Same thing in safe mode. I decided to try the boot CD I had made from the recovery.iso file (see my comments dated 6/20/2008 above). It booted correctly to the command prompt, from where I typed "chkdsk /r" and it ran the chkdsk for about 30+ mins doing various repairs, and the system has been starting normally since then. This doesn't guarantee success in every case but does show the chkdsk can be run with success from that boot cd.
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