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Windows error, please help computer crashing

Last response: in Windows Vista
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September 11, 2008 5:22:24 PM

We built this pc almost 2 years ago. Its been great. Yesterday we played BF2 for 4 hours with no problems until last night we went to shut it down and it said it had to install windows updates before it shut down, ok so we did that. Now the computer would crash after a few minutes playing. Now we get windows must shut down errors.
We have done the memory test, tried to restore to a week ago, and also tried windows repair. Now we cant even get into windows most of the time. After about 10 attempts to get into windows this morning, I was able to burn my pictures and important docs to cd luckily.
I figured the windows is just corrupt so as a last resort I decided I would just do a fresh install of windows. I deleted the partition and started fresh with the install disk. It starts loading windows and at about 10 minutes in I get a "a problem has been detected and windows must shut down to prevent damage". How can windows have a problem when I havent even finished installing it yet?
I get this "IRQL_not_less_or_equal".
and a stop error.
I feel the update that installed corrupted my computer but we tried restoring to last week and it's still having the same problems. There has been no hardware changes since we installed the 8800GT 6 months ago.
My pc is dead in the water, can anyone tell me why windows wont install?

September 11, 2008 9:19:54 PM

UPDATE

took 3 of the 4 memory sticks out and left just one. It now seems to be loading windows just fine. Seems to be a bad stick of memory.
September 11, 2008 9:24:58 PM

Can anyone tell me whats the easiest way to find out which of the other 3 sticks is bad?
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September 12, 2008 2:03:32 AM

Put them back in one at a time... that's the best way. Once it fails, then you'll know right away which one is bad.
September 12, 2008 12:00:45 PM

There is a good chance your memory is fine. There is a well known bug that on some systems will stop a vista install if you have more than 3 gig of ram installed http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929777

was this the error message: STOP 0x0000000A (parameter1, parameter2, parameter3, parameter4)
IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Anyway the fix is to install with 2 or less gig and then apply the hotfix and then put back the extra ram. It could still be a bad stick, this bug does not affect all systems, but don't assume that until you explore the hotfix.

You should also check your ram specs - be sure it is getting mfg spec voltage from the bios.

Hard to say about the original problem but checking your ram is a good idea in case that caused it. Then again that may have been an unrelated anomaly.
September 12, 2008 5:30:30 PM

Hey thanks for the help. I added one at a time and found the bad one right away. So now I'm running on 3 sticks. I am going to apply the hotfix right now to make sure though, and then add the 4th stick and see if I get a stop error again.

(EDIT)
On second thought, the stick has to be bad because I had vista installed already with the 4 sticks in there and running. It suddenly started crashing and then I couldnt even get into windows, thats the reason I was re-loading windows to begin with.
September 12, 2008 5:56:33 PM

Ok so I downloaded and applied the hotfix, rebooted, then shut down, added the 4th stick, restarted and boom, STOP ERROR.

I definately know the ram is bad now. Thanks so much for your help.

Northerdude, I have the ram set to 2.2v, which is manufacturer spec. Thx
September 12, 2008 6:10:44 PM

No problem... glad we could be of assistance.
September 12, 2008 8:26:22 PM

Yep, sure sounds like you got it. Interesting that all of this started immediately following an update. Perhaps just a coincidence.
September 12, 2008 9:54:03 PM

notherdude said:
Yep, sure sounds like you got it. Interesting that all of this started immediately following an update. Perhaps just a coincidence.


Yeah, we took turns playing battlefield 2 for about 4 hours straight Saturday morning, then we shut down and it applied updates and then we went on to play again later and it crashed about 4 times in a row, then we tried COD4 and it crashed too, then we started getting the stop errors, just like that. We were overclocking the memory a little to 866mhz, but it should have been fine. We have since put it back to 800mhz.
September 13, 2008 12:20:47 AM

One more possibility: some mobos have a hard time running 4 sticks of ram. They can run 4 sticks but not always at rated speeds or timings. If you tested your sticks by putting them in there 1 at a time and found one that by itself would not boot then you can forget about this but if you put in three and then the 4th one failed you should try them each individually - I mention this because you did say the memory was OC at one point. 4 sticks overclocked might well cause a problem.
September 15, 2008 8:45:21 PM

notherdude said:
One more possibility: some mobos have a hard time running 4 sticks of ram. They can run 4 sticks but not always at rated speeds or timings. If you tested your sticks by putting them in there 1 at a time and found one that by itself would not boot then you can forget about this but if you put in three and then the 4th one failed you should try them each individually - I mention this because you did say the memory was OC at one point. 4 sticks overclocked might well cause a problem.



.....but your forgetting that I've had the 4 sticks in there overclocked for months, without a single error. This all happened in one day.
The suspected bad stick caused stop errors by itself, paired with another stick, and as the 4th stick. Any configuration with that stick caused stop errors.
September 15, 2008 9:57:43 PM

Quote:
Any configuration with that stick caused stop errors.


Agreed, bad stick.

I was pretty sure that's what it was but I like to cover all the bases and sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what someone has tried from these forum summaries.
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