XP Operating System - Blue Screen of Death - Bad Pool Caller

Posted on 2009-04-13
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Customer System:   Dell Inspiron Destop, 1 GB RAM,  Seagate 250GB SATA hard drive, 3.2 GHZ processor, Windows XP Media Center.   Initial call was for failure to boot due to damage hive file SYSTEM.   Pulled drive and backed up data.  Am able to read drive in normal way.    

Issue:  Attempting to repair the system using OS Disk from Dell.   System boots from DVD and gets to the first screen where option to launch recover console or proceed to Windows installation options are pressented.    Regardless of which choice is made (either Recovery Console or Proceed to Windows Install/Repair), we get to BSOD with error BAD_POOL_CALLER.     Have tried multiple keyboards, mice, monitors, etc.   Reseated memory and ran chkdisk on hard drive using another computer with hard drive mounted on USB.    Created new copies of Dell XP Media Center Edition OS disk and tried with it, but get same error.  Looking to see if anyone here has experienced this or knows what it is.   While I can read the hard drive externally, it makes sense that it is potentially a hard drive related error because in both options, (R for recovery console, or proceed SETUP), the next step is to access the hard drive.    Thanks in advance for any assistance that can be provided.
Question by:geekygirl63
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Expert Comment

ID: 24130888
If your hard drive tested fine outside the system having trouble then you may have some bad memory modules.  If you have more than one installed then you may want to try removing one module and trying your install.  If you get the same error then swap the module thats installed.  Also try a different RAM slot as I've seen them go bad as well.

Expert Comment

ID: 24130922
It is because it is a Dell.  I have returned about 3 Dell laptops because they were malfunctioning and a Dell desktop just because I hate Dell.  They have the worst customer service.  I was on the phone for over 3 hours and people kept telling me I could get a full refund and others told me I would have to pay a restocking fee.  So don't even bother with Dell Customer Service.  I am guessing that it is probably just your Disk that you are trying to use.  Get a Windows Vista System Builders DVD and install that on it, it should work just fine.

Author Comment

ID: 24131022
Thanks for your comments.    To Sublifer:   Tried different memory modules but not slots, so I will try that and let you know what happens.     Scarsremained:   As an owner of a IT Services Company I see alot of systems with hardware problems.    Of all the systems I see, Dell is at the lowest percentage of those with problems.  I own three Dells and two Gateways.     As far as the Windows System Builders DVD, I am assuming that is Vista OS.   This system is not VISTA ready and the customer does not desire to upgrade.   I found another thread related to my problem which I believe may be the solution, and will try that and let you both know what I find out.

Thanks for your comments.
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LVL 66

Expert Comment

ID: 24131442
You should be able to make a decision on the HDD's integrity, by looking in your Event Viewer....DISK/NTFS/FTDISK errors should be in the System Log. Even try a chkdsk with no switches for a status report....

Author Comment

ID: 24132061
johnb6767 - I have been able to read the drive outside of the system and have run chkdsk with it attached as an external drive.    Can't get past the blue screen when attempting to boot and run repair on the OS.    I found a thread posted by you in October 2007 regarding this same error and you suggested using BartPE or UBCD4Win to boot form and atttempt to restore registry files from the system volume.   I am going to try that as well because the initial failure of this system is the corruption of the SYSTEM hive file.  

LVL 66

Accepted Solution

johnb6767 earned 500 total points
ID: 24133694
Cool. Guess I helped without realizing.....

Remember, just cause you can read the drive, doesnt mean a 100% health check...... Keep an eye on the logs.....

Author Comment

ID: 24141795
Yep definitely understand that.   Getting a new hard drive today to test a load with.   If it loads free of BSODs then I will pronounce the hard drive's time of death.    I will let you all know what happens!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31569548
Hard drive was the problem:  Although the data was readable, its integrity was not good enough to support an operating system load!

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