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Blue Screen - Hardware malfunction

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by BBKingfan, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. BBKingfan

    BBKingfan

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Operating System:
    Windows XP Home
    Hi,
    This is my first post and is the main reason I registered for this forum.
    About once or twice a day my Dell Dimension 4700 with XP shows me the Blue Screen. It says Hardware Malfunction, Call your hardware vendor for support. Parity check / memory parity error, the system has halted.
    I am looking for suggestions on how to fix this. When this blue screen appears, I have to reboot and hope it doesn't do it again while I'm in the middle of something important, like typing this!
    Thanks for any suggestions. I'm guessing it is a common problem on older computers. Mine is about 7 years old.
    Thanks!
     
  2. DirtyPolo

    DirtyPolo Inactive Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Malvern, England
    Operating System:
    Windows 7
    Computer Brand or Motherboard:
    Asus P5K Premium Black Pearl
    CPU:
    Intel Q6600 @ 3.3GHz
    Memory:
    2GB OCZ Reaper + 4GB Crucial Ballistix
    Graphics Card:
    ATI Radeon HD6950 - Unlocked to 6970.
    Hello and welcome to CHF!

    Does the blue screen show any error codes, or references to file-names? The message you quote says to me that it could be a RAM problem. What are the circumstances of when this problem occurs? Is it randomly, or during intensive tasks such as gaming or watching video?
     
  3. BBKingfan

    BBKingfan

    Joined:
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    Operating System:
    Windows XP Home
    Thank you for the reply.
    It is a pretty random issue, but the computer does freeze up often when I have just a few windows open. I think the blue screen happens more often when several things are open. I had more RAM installed a year or so ago. The memory is only 80 gig so I got an external hard drive to store all my pictures and other stuff that takes a lot of memory. I have about 60 gigabytes used out of 80.
     
  4. BBKingfan

    BBKingfan

    Joined:
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    Operating System:
    Windows XP Home
    I also wonder if my startup is too busy. When I open msconfig, there seems to be a lot of software in the startup. I do not know what the info other in the other tabs means. That could be one problem, a lot running at startup, but I am not sure how to correct that. The blue screen doesn't have an error code, just the info that I typed in my question.
     
  5. DirtyPolo

    DirtyPolo Inactive Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    640
    Location:
    Malvern, England
    Operating System:
    Windows 7
    Computer Brand or Motherboard:
    Asus P5K Premium Black Pearl
    CPU:
    Intel Q6600 @ 3.3GHz
    Memory:
    2GB OCZ Reaper + 4GB Crucial Ballistix
    Graphics Card:
    ATI Radeon HD6950 - Unlocked to 6970.
    Okay, does the crash happen at start-up or throughout the day? I think you've already said randomly though.
    It wouldn't hurt to un-check things from the start-up that you don't need, just to help increase the start up speed of the system at the very least.

    Unfortunately this is a pretty vague error status, and it is just as vague in other Microsoft OS's. There could be any number of things causing this issue. How long has this problem been persisting? I assume it started lately, as I can't imagine any sane person going a year with daily crashes :p

    the general cause of this issue can be followed back to any component with some form of memory, so that includes graphics card, CPU, motherboard, RAM, etc. So it is hard to know instantly what the problem is.

    Lets start from the basic and easiest steps. Do you have the external drive plugged in when this crash happens? Or does it still happen when the drive is disconnected?
    Secondly, (and this may be a bit of a nuisance), if you boot in to Safe Mode (tapping either F8, F10, F2 or Del during start up - each system has a different key :p), does the crash still happen?

    If it still does then I would think we would need to look into the hardware in the system.

    Edit:
    Just to put the vagueness of this error into perspective. Researching around, there are lots different people complaining about the same issue. The culprits found range from, wireless cards, graphics chips, the battery in the laptop, the Ethernet card, the RAM, the motherboard, hard drives...

    The main interesting thing seems to be that they are mainly talking about Dell machines, not sure if this is a coincidence or proof of a common problem during manufacturing.

    I would say try the first things I suggested, and also make sure your drivers are up to date, mainly the Graphics drivers.
     
  6. BBKingfan

    BBKingfan

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    Operating System:
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    It happens with and without the external hard drive plugged in. I haven't tried safe mode, but will do that and also check the drivers. Thank you!
     
  7. PseFrank

    PseFrank Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    Edit to reflect that DirtyPolo posted while I was still typing.

    Hi BBKingfan, welcome to Computer Help Forums.

    There are a few possible reasons as to why you are getting a blue screen error..commonly known as a.. (BSOD).
    Do you see an stop error code on the blue screen...looks something like this....0x0000008e. If you do, could you please make a note of it, and post it here.

    As well as the above. If you are happy to go inside your computer then please do the following:

    • Turn off your computer and disconnect anything and everything connected to it. Especially the power lead!!
    • Now push and hold in the power button for 4 or 5 seconds to dissipate any static electricity.
    • Turn your machine on its side and remove the side panel.
    • Carefully remove each stick of ram in turn. It's likely that you have four slots, but may only have a couple of sticks of memory (RAM).
    • If you have a graphics card installed, remove it and then reseat it.
    • Check all the cables to make sure you have good connections.
    • Replace a single stick of ram in the slot nearest the CPU.
    Plug everything back in and test to see if the computer runs ok.

    • Repeat the above step for each and every stick of ram. (Just test each stick on its own)
    Please let us know how the above goes...

    In the meantime it would be helpful if you can give us the stop code.
     
  8. BBKingfan

    BBKingfan

    Joined:
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    Operating System:
    Windows XP Home
    I don't see a stop code. Unless I get brave, I'll have to have some help removing the ram and graphics card. I've never done any work inside other than blowing it out. I'll give it a shot!
    Thank you:jump:
     
  9. PseFrank

    PseFrank Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    Operating System:
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    To see the stop error code you need to stop the computer rebooting after a system failure.

    Go...Start > Control Panel > System > System Properties....Click on the advanced tab, under Startup and Recovery click Settings, and uncheck (Remove the tick) the automatic restart. Then click OK.

    Next time the computer blue screens the error codes will be visible.
     
  10. DirtyPolo

    DirtyPolo Inactive Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    640
    Location:
    Malvern, England
    Operating System:
    Windows 7
    Computer Brand or Motherboard:
    Asus P5K Premium Black Pearl
    CPU:
    Intel Q6600 @ 3.3GHz
    Memory:
    2GB OCZ Reaper + 4GB Crucial Ballistix
    Graphics Card:
    ATI Radeon HD6950 - Unlocked to 6970.
    Hi BBKingfan,

    If you have checked safemode and updated the drivers, then let us know if you require any assistance and steps on how to reseat the components. It is fairly simple but must be done correctly.
     
  11. BBKingfan

    BBKingfan

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    6
    Operating System:
    Windows XP Home
    The automatic restart was unchecked when I looked there. Thank you
     

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