Windows XP/WinXP Intermittent BSOD
QUESTION: I have two different XP computers: Dell Dimension 8400 P4HT/1Gig running XP Home and Dell Dimension 9100 P4HT/2Gig running XP Pro. These machines are >7 years old and acting slow, so I rebuilt Windows on each one, allowing WindowsUpdate to bring the machines to current. In one case, I used a base XP-Pro-SP3 install disk. In the other case, I used XP-Home-SP2 install and then installed SP3. Now both machines have the same problem.
On boot, the machines will sometimes go to blue screen (BSOD) with Bad Pool Caller.
I searched for info on this fault and got general info suggesting driver problems. I found freeware called BlueScreenView that shows me *something* listing a bunch of files for each crash. The first three are highlighted:
ati2mtag.sys (video card driver for ATI Radeon X300)
So I'm guessing that my video driver is conflicting with the XP kernal. I uninstalled the video driver and the computer seems to work but isn't really capable until it is reinstalled. I checked the Dell website and this is the same ATI driver that they recommend for both machines "R119713.EXE" from 2006. I checked the ATI website and they have a bundle dated 2009 "10-2_legacy_xp32-64_wdm.exe" which installs some stuff, but doesn't seem to install a driver.
Both computers worked fine before reinstalling. Both work fine when they don't BSOD. When they do BSOD, I can reboot in safe mode, then shut down and 100% of the time reboot normally.
Can you advise me on how to fix this?
Thank you very much.
ANSWER: Hello Bob,
It would do both of us pretty GOOD if you pulled out BSOD files(numerical labelled files) from each PC so we could have a look at. It's located at the C:\Windows\Minidump directory.
Arrange the files in respect of "Date of Modification" and pull out the earliest ones that coincide with the BSOD incidences.
I believe the driver is not compatible with the current BIOS,the one you downloaded and installed (vendor version A05). It does restrict further older drivers I suspect. Not unless the BIOS is upgraded to (version A09) is installed to (Improve PCIE functionality) as it says on Dell.com would there be such conflicts.
I found a separate driver page that I believe would overwrite the current one in the Windows directory. Please go ahead and give it a try and get back to me:
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD,SAVE AND INSTALL
In the meantime, you have the freewill to decide whether to send the minidump files(duplicate the files, zip and attach them), please do so in PRIVACY mode so I could peruse it further. I am waiting for my next move, Bob.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
Thank you very much for the detailed help. As you requested, I pulled the minidump files from both machines. I wasn't sure how to attach them to this message, so I put them on my personal website: http://home.myfairpoint.net/vzeotxgl/index.htm
as a zip archive.
I downloaded the new driver, but haven't tried it yet. I wanted to get your next reply first.
Were you suggesting that I install a new BIOS? I see BIOS updates on the Dell website, but haven't tried that yet, either.
Again, thank you very much for your help.
The minidump report files indicate ATI driver corruption in the system32 folder in both Dell machines.
Please click on the link below to see for yourself. DOWNLOAD, SAVE AND RUN NIRSOFT BLUESCREEN
for the current minidump files located in the C:\Windows\Minidumps directory.
Follow the Help instructions within the link above. Then once you are done, you are free to uninstall the old ATI graphic card drivers and install the ones you downloaded. Please do install the drivers alongside Microsoft's .NET Version 1.1 Framework plus the latest release too.
In case you require the updated version then follow the link below but it would be essential that you install Version 1.1 first
Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2
Get back to me if you can my friend.
Good luck, Bob.