Troubleshooting Windows XP install BSODs
Constant Blue screen errors while attempting to install Windows XP are generally caused by hardware or media problems. The most common hardware-related installation issue is faulty memory chips, which can cause havoc to any XP installation. Overheating or a dying or defective hard disk are other common causes. A severely scratched or otherwise faulty XP install CD may also cause stop errors.
First, check your CD and clean or replace it as necessary. Your next step should be to test your system memory for errors with a diagnostic program.
To do this obtain the Windows Memory Diagnostic
, or Memtest86+
memory diagnostic programs on floppy or CD we mentioned earlier, and use it to boot your system and test the memory. If either of these programs shows any errors in your memory, you have likely found the source of your troubles.
Chances are you will need to purchase new memory. For more information on faulty memory and memory diagnostics, see PCstats Guide to diagnosing bad memory .
Now it's time to test the hard drive for errors. Visit the website of your hard drive's manufacturer and download their drive diagnostic utility software. Every major hard drive company makes a utility like this freely available. An example is Maxtor's PowerMax software available here . Follow the included instructions to install the software and test your drive(s) for errors.
If no errors were found in memory or with the hard disk, you need to ensure that your processor is not overheating. Make sure the fan on the heatsink is in working order and reboot the computer, pressing DEL repeatedly on startup to go into the BIOS setup screen.
Let your PC run on this screen for an hour or so, checking back to make sure it has not crashed. If a PC crashes on the BIOS screen, it generally means the processor is overheating for one reason or another.
As a final measure, you can remove all unnecessary hardware from your system before attempting to install Windows XP again. Power off the computer, remove the case and remove all hardware except:
Mouse & keyboard
(And obviously the processor and power supply must still be connected also)
Attempt to install XP again. If it works correctly, you can troubleshoot the remaining devices from within Windows.
===================================================Basic troubleshooting for all BSOD errors
First off, note down all relevant information when you see a BSOD flash across the screen. This includes the error number and friendly name from the 'bugcheck' section of the stop error (see above), and any file names specified in the 'driver information' section.
If the BSOD comes up on the screen for a split-second before the PC restarts and wipes all the useful information away, we need to change some settings within WinXP. In most cases, it should be possible to stop your PC from automatically restarting when it develops a major error, allowing you enough time to jot down the BSOD error message. If you are using WindowsXP, right click on my computer > Properties > Select the 'Advanced' tab > and under 'startup and recovery' click the 'settings' button. This will open a new window, and under the 'System Failure' heading, uncheck 'Automatically restart.'
Continuing on, attempt to restart the computer normally into Windows. If the BSOD occurred while booting Windows, you may be taken to a troubleshooting menu and will have to select 'attempt to start Windows normally.' If your computer starts correctly, continue using it and store the error information for later reference. If the BSOD reoccurs at random or irregular periods, see Section D below on troubleshooting intermittent stop errors.
If your system does not start correctly or the stop message happens again, reboot the system. When the POST (memory checking) screen comes up, press F8 repeatedly. This will bring you to the Windows advanced options menu.
In the Windows advanced options menu choose 'safe mode' to attempt to boot into Windows Safe mode. Safe mode loads Windows XP with a minimal set of drivers and no automatically loaded software. If faulty software or drivers are causing your BSOD problem, safe mode should load correctly. If safe mode loads correctly, refer to Section A below on 'troubleshooting software stop messages.'
If safe mode does not load correctly, and/or you get the same stop message upon attempting safe mode, it's time to try the 'restore last known good configuration' option in the advanced options menu.
Restart your computer, pressing 'F8' again to load the advanced options menu and select 'last known good configuration (your most recent settings that worked).' This uses Windows XP's built in system restore utility to restore the most recent save point, which should be the last time you installed any drivers or other software. If your system boots normally after this operation, hopefully your problem has been fixed.
If you are still receiving a Blue Screen Of Death after the above procedures, or if system restore was disabled on your system, note down any new information on the error and start thinking. Did you install any new hardware or software just before this problem occurred? The driver information section of the BSOD may help with this.
If you did install new hardware or software, and you think you know what it might be that is causing the problem, this gives you a big boost in resolving the situation.
Otherwise, proceed to the advanced troubleshooting sections below. Chances are your error is hardware or system file based and will require more effort to repair.
For more information please click hereThis post has been edited by synz: May 29 2007, 08:16 PM