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Offline DaveMorton Topic starter
United States WWW Global Moderator
Posts: 2792
Rank: Certified
Comfort the Disturbed! Disturb the Comfortable!

I've been working on personal PCs now for nearly 30 years, and today I've run across a situation that is completely new to me. Shocked

My Sister sent her laptop over to me a couple of weeks ago, with a BSOD on startup. She's not a "guru", but she's pretty tech savvy, so she had tried all the usual things first, such as trying safe mode, last known good configuration, etc. The model is a Compaq Presario F500, with XP installed, rather then the original Vista OS. She had a VERY nasty virus months ago that wiped out the OS, and since she got the laptop used, she had no recovery disks, so she bought XP, and I installed it. It worked great, no hassles till a few weeks ago, when she got the BSOD. So far, this is probably an all-to-familiar story. But this is where it gets interesting.

I first tried all of the available options for startup, just to verify the problem, and sure enough, BSOD with each attempt. Ok, fine. I pulled out the drive (it's a SATA drive, so easy to attach to my box), checked it for viruses, ran several disk scans, looking for a potentially crashed/crashing drive, and got a completely clean bill of health. At this point, I backed up her documents, just to be on the safe side. Replaced the drive, put in the XP CD in her drive and fired it up to attempt a system repair. GOT A BSOD!

At this point, I decided to backtrack a little. I checked for stuck fans and other signs of overheating, and found that one of the RAM chips was almost too hot. I could touch it, but not for more than a couple of seconds. So I pulled out the RAM, slipped it into a compatible, known good laptop and ran a RAM test. One of the chips (I had forgot to mark the "hot" one, so I'm not sure it's the same one, though I'm reasonably sure it is), so I ordered 2GB of RAM for her computer. Got a great deal, too. Doubled her memory for less than a replacement OEM chip would cost. Smiley

Ok, the RAM arrived today, so I installed it, reset the CMOS as a precaution, and started it up, adjusting the BIOS for "safest" performance, and noticed an HDD test in there, so I ran that while I was at it. Test passed, so all seems good. Fired up the computer without the install CD, just on the off chance that this was the problem. Nope! Still getting BSODs. Sad

Ok, back to the install CD. Tried to run the Repair option, got to the screen where you select the OS to run. Picked the only entry... Yup! You guessed it! BSOD!

Reboot, tried to do a format and re-install (usually, my "last resort". Got to "searching for installed Operating Systems..." - BSOD. headbang

Took ten deep, calming breaths. Took another ten... Went out for a smoke...

I'll spare you the rest of the pathetic details.

This is the very first time I've ever seen a BSOD when in the install disk. I find it rather odd, and more than a little unsettling. Has anyone ever run into this before?

BTW, the only useful information from the BSOD is BAD_POOL_CALLER - And that's not really all that helpful.
Posted March 23, 2012, 05:00:51 AM Logged
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Offline Data
United Kingdom Administrator
Posts: 5291
Rank: Certified

Sounds like a hardware problem.

Have you tried to read the last minidump file?

From my memory and in XP I think it's located in:

c:\windows\minidump\

It might have the last dump file it made when it crashed in windows, and posibly might point to the problem.
Posted March 23, 2012, 11:26:47 AM Logged

Offline sybershot
United States WWW Posts: 1429
Rank: Certified

Quote
This is the very first time I've ever seen a BSOD when in the install disk. I find it rather odd, and more than a little unsettling. Has anyone ever run into this before?

I ran into BSOD when in the install operation before once due to a bad install disk ( also it was linux not windows), However I like Data believe your situation is a hardware problem.
If you cannot get to the dump files, I would start by testing the hard drive by installing the os on her hard drive while the hard drive is connected to your computer.
Posted March 23, 2012, 13:00:13 PM Logged

Offline DaveMorton Topic starter
United States WWW Global Moderator
Posts: 2792
Rank: Certified
Comfort the Disturbed! Disturb the Comfortable!

I've tried Googling "BAD_POOL_CALLER", and everything I found included references to Kapersky and ZoneAlarm, neither of which were installed on the box. Oddly enough, though, every single reference to this particular BSOD also happened to be a laptop of either HP or Compaq make. Odd.

As an update, I've put the HDD back on my computer and re-partitioned/formatted it, and then put the drive back in the laptop and installed XP. Everything went off without a hitch, so while I'm still confused about the issue, the point is now moot. Smiley Now I have to find compatible drivers for the thing again, since this model never had the option for XP from the manufacturer, and some of the Vista drivers won't work in XP. I did that when I installed XP last time, but Sis can't find the thumb drive I saved the drivers on. Sad Oh well!
Posted March 23, 2012, 13:16:53 PM Logged
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