How to fix BSOD

Aug 16, 2015
I'm having BSODs on my XP machine every few weeks, typically  when it has been sitting idle for a few hours, but not always.
It's an XP SP3 machine, self-built.  AMD  Phenom II x4 995 @3.20 GHz, 4GB Crucuial Ballistix RAM.  MSI mobo, not overclocked but running "Super-Charger."
2 SSDs:   An OCZ ARC100 SSD 240GB, which gets cloned to a Samsung EVO 250GB weekly as my backup.

"STOP:  0x000000F4 (0x00000003, 0x8A9A4780, 0x8A9A48F4, 0x805D22DA)" is what it said this time.

I have replaced almost everything, including mobo, memory sticks, and cables to the drives.  I even disconnected a 2TB HDD to get it out of the equation. The BIOS is up-to-date as far as I can tell.
When it crashes, it messes up the directories on the main boot drive.  So, I keep losing a lot of data.  I can reboot from the backup drive, but I have had crashes that corrupted it as well.  Then, I am really frustrated.
The original corporate-license install disk is long gone.  I do have a new XP disk and COA, if needed, but I hate to go that route because I have so many useful programs installed on this business PC.
After the BSOD it says it is writing a data dump file.   A search for *.dmp gives a lot of old dumps from Firedox and other programs, but nothing with a recent date.
I don't speak BDOD code language very well.  Would someone kindly help me get this thing stabilized?
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Michael FowlerSolutions ConsultantCommented:
This could be RAM. If you have more than one card try removing one card and see what happens and then test the other card(s) until you either identify the issue or confirm you RAM is not culprit.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also, since there are no more security updates, it could also be a root kit virus which cause BSOD shutdowns. Try TDS Killer (Kapspersky) to look for root kit viruses.
BoerneAuthor Commented:
Thaanks, Michael.  I have swapped out 3-4  memory cards

John, I will give that a try.
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BoerneAuthor Commented:
John, it wouldn't let me boot.  c:\windows\system32\config\system  was the problem.
I need to try to fix that before I can go ahead.  It suggested using the Repair function from my windows CD.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If it won't let you boot, and you do not have the installation CD, then you may have to use the new CD to reinstall Windows (back up first). I am fairly sure you cannot use the new CD to repair the old installation. You can try, but be very sure to back up first.
Ravi AgrawalCommented:
The folder points to a corrupt windows registry.

If your system is acting unstable, then you can try restoring the registry to an earlier one from system restore.

If all fails, then you can restore the windows default registry at the time of the installation but that will require you to perform a repair installation of all programs.
post the dmp file - you find it in windows \minidumps
to copy it, hook the drive to a working system, or boot with a live cd - like knoppix :      

here the fix for :   c:\windows\system32\config\system  was the problem

windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:  \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
An easier way is to boot from a Bart PE CD (or UBCD4Win CD) and use the file manager for manipulating files. Here  the procedure :
1. rename c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM to c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM.bak
2. Navigate to the System Volume Information folder.
it contains some restore {GUID} folders such as "_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".
The restore points are in  folders starting with "RPx under this folder.
3. In such a folder, locate a Snapshot subfolder. This is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder:  C:\System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RP1\Snapshot
4. From the Snapshot folder, copy the following file to the c:\windows\system32\config folder
6. Exit Bart PE, reboot and test

Use a fairly recent restore point from at least a day or two prior to problem occurring .

** you can add the other hives also with this procedure       BARTPE            UBCD4WIN
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
The .DMP files are usually in C:\Windows\minidump
If you give us the dump files then we could look into them and say what exactly did cause the BSOD.
Have you updated the firmware of your SSD drives?
Does this problem reproduce if the OS is on HDD?

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BoerneAuthor Commented:
First, I copied the Registry from the backup SSD (Samsung) to the primary drive (OCZ) using Hirens, but the primary drive would still not reboot.  Thanks to Ravi for translating
Second, booting from the secondary drive, I manually copied all of the newer data files from the primary drive to the backup. What a PITA to do manual incremental backup!
Third. I cloned the backup drive to the primary using Partition Wizards "migrate OS to SSD/HD" utility.
Fouth, I tried booting from the primary drive and it was fine. So, I am up and running again.

However, I still don't know what caused the Registry to get corrupted in the first place. Probably a read/write error, but I don't know how to find it.

There are no .dmp files in the directory.
How do I turn that on?
I see there are some new suggestions. I will try them this evening
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
In system properties (right click on My Computer - Properties - advanced system properties - advanced - startup and recovery). Configure it to create minidumps.
BoerneAuthor Commented:
It's set for "Kernel memory dump"  so, I should change it to "Small memory dump (64 KB)," right?
yes - that's correct
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
BoerneAuthor Commented:
Noxcho said: Have you updated the firmware of your SSD drives?

I checked and found that the OCZ drive had a "mandatory" firmwqare update as of Jan 2015.
I'm trying to download it, bit it seems the executable is for WIN 8/7.  Grrr.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
You need a machine which has Windows 7 on it. Neighbor or friends?
BoerneAuthor Commented:
I have a win 7 machine.
Will it not install itself on the wrong machine?
BoerneAuthor Commented:
I suppose I could temporarily attach the OCZ to the Win7 machine long enough to do the update
ha- you never told us it was an SSD
you know that with an SSD + XP you need to install trim software ?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Yes, you need to slave this drive to that Win 7 machine and perform the firmware upgrade there.
BoerneAuthor Commented:
Please pardon my absence here. I am traveling and haven't been near the problem computer.
I will be back next Wednesday.
I do appreciate the help I have received.
I need to get back to the computer to apply the suggestions.
Thank you.
BoerneAuthor Commented:
I'm defeated for the time being.  I am going to replace the OCZ with another Samsung EVO 850 250GB SSD.  
That will give two identical SSDs. then i"ll see if it stabilizes.   I will try updating thte OCZ art another time on a Win7 machine.  Thanks to all for their troubleshooting guidance.  

I will close this thread now, but I will go on to check to see if the minidump has anything useful in it.
If it does, I'll be ba-a-ack.

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