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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Troubleshooting Windows STOP messages
Last updated October 18, 2007
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STOP Messages literally mean Windows has stopped! These appear only in the NT-based operating systems: Win NT, Win 2000, Win XP, and Vista. Most are hardware issues. STOP messages are identified by an 8-digit hexadecimal number, but also commonly written in a shorthand notation; e.g., a STOP 0x0000000A may also be written Stop 0xA. Four additional 8-digit hex numbers may appear in parentheses, usually unique to your computer and the particular situation.

NOTE: Many users search this site for the word minidump which often accompanies these Stop Message errors. The fact that a memory minidump occurred tells you nothing except what you already know — that there was an error. It is the name of the error condition and its 8-digit number that help you determine the actual error condition.
If a message is listed below, but has no articles or explanation (nothing but its number and name), post a request on the AumHa Forums asking about it. STOP messages of this type are rare, obscure, and usually only of interest to programmers debugging their code. Real-life scenarios of a computer user encountering them are unlikely, so I’ve made it a lower priority to document them here; but we’ll be happy to address this in the Forum (which also will tip me off that I should add more to this present page).


Stop errors can be caused by just about anything, including poor quality audio drivers, incompatible video drivers, bad or corrupt hard disks, and faulty hardware such as bad RAM, dying motherboards, failing power supplies, etc. Stop errors may be triggered by an event such as plugging in a USB device, or they may appear to occur at regular intervals, or in association with some other event. Sometimes a stop error might appear to be completely random. If a stop error identifies a driver, the fault may not lie with the driver that was reported. Worse still, some errors can mask other critical errors, which means you fix one stop error and get another in return. In short, a stop error may be a symptom of some other problem. The real problem is to find the root cause.

Use Troubleshooting Tools
Use device manager to remove device drivers.
Use msconfig to disable services associated with any hardware and startup services that are not essential.
You may also find these articles helpful:

Use Diagnostics Techniques
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) - Sandra Lite is free for personal use. x64 is supported.
Perform RAM Error Checking
Quite often, stop errors are associated with dud RAM. That includes main memory, video and CPU cache memory. If you have more than one stick of RAM, start ripping the sticks out one at a time. If you only have one stick, you will need to find someone who can help you out with a spare stick that fits your machine.
Corrupt disks and viruses can cause all kinds of stop errors. Perform Virus Checking, even if you don't believe you have a virus or other malware, eliminate it as a cause early.
Also perform disk error checking.
Support WebCast: Basic "Blue Screen" Error Troubleshooting
In this session, we will cover the basics of "blue screen" errors, what they mean, and some common methods to troubleshoot the problems. We will provide some background information about blue screen errors, and we will talk about how to interpret the information, as well as how to recover from these errors.
If you believe that you have a memory problem, try How to Troubleshoot RAM Installations.

Think About Getting Desperate
Remove any new hardware such as RAM, hard disks and modems, etc.
Disable any new drivers and remove any recently installed software.

Get Desperate
Disable all BIOS caching and speed-up options.
Disable power management.
If you are over-clocking, don't.
Try a standard Microsoft VGA driver.
Ensure drivers and BIOS are the latest versions.
Visit the manufacturer’s website and try to locate up-to-date drivers.

Tear Your Hair Out
Disable any disk intensive applications such as antivirus software, disk or file defragmenters and backup programs.
Check the Event Viewer to see if there are any additional errors or warnings that might provide a clue.

Tear Someone Else's Hair Out
Take the machine to a dealer.

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