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Dell Dimension 4400 OS boot issues

by PDNaylor / June 29, 2004 10:16 PM PDT

I'm working on a Dell Dimension Desktop 4400 for a client of ours. What it does is when you start the machine, it goes through the memory test, and all of that. When that is all done, it loads up to the boot menu, where you can choose to boot into Safe Mode, Last Known Good Configuration, etc. However, if you choose any of these choices, it gives you the impression that it will boot properly. But after a small amout of time, it flashes a blue screen (too quick to even know what it says), and reboots the machine. After the reboot, it takes you back to the bootup menu. You can choose any of the choices, but it does the same thing for each one. It's running Windows XP Pro, and I could use some assistance.

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Re: Dell Dimension 4400 OS boot issues
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 29, 2004 10:31 PM PDT

1. Did you call Dell?

2. Some added memory or devices can cause this. Uninstall such and try again.

3. New malware can damage the OS. You can try a repair install.


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''Automatically reboot''
by Cursorcowboy / June 30, 2004 1:01 AM PDT

1. When starting Windows XP, a black startup screen may briefly appear and then the computer restart for any of the following reasons [Q314466]:

a. A fatal system error (STOP error) causes the computer to stop.

b. The Automatically restart option is selected under System failure in the Startup and Recovery dialog box in "System Properties" (click to see an example screenshot).

c. The paging file is smaller than the amount of physical memory that is installed on the computer, or there is insufficient free space on the hard disk to write the error dump file (Memory.dmp).

Note: Stated in this article, and I believe incorrectly, a STOP during a system boot is perhaps the only time this anomaly occurs. However, please refer to Section II below as I believe that anytime a anomalous STOP occurs during system operation as described there, can also be cause for a sudden reboot besides those outlined in the aforementioned.

2. The important information about a blue-screen (STOP) error message, which may not always provide conclusive answers and may only be a symptom of another problem, is the STOP code followed by its four parameters. E.g.: 0x0000000 (STOP Code), (Parameter1, Parameter2, Parameter3, Parameter4) -- where any of character in a parameter may be represented by any alphanumerical figure. Generally, you will find these parameters meaningless since the parameters (arguments) are not covered in any of the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) articles. However, they can be viewed only with a system which has a kernel debugger installed.

3. STOP messages typically fit into one of the four following categories:

a. STOP messages caused by faulty software occur when a driver, service, application, or system component introduces an exception. For example, an application or driver attempts to perform an operation above its assigned IRQL or tries to write to an invalid memory address. A STOP message might seem to appear randomly, but through careful observations, you might be able to associate the problem with a specific activity. Verify that all installed software in question is fully Windows XP Professional compatible and if not, locate and install the latest updates.

b. Installation STOP messages that occur during setup - For new installations, installation STOP messages typically occur because of incompatible hardware, defective hardware, or outdated firmware. During an operating system upgrade, STOP errors can occur when incompatible applications and drivers exist on the system.

c. STOP messages caused by hardware issues - Occurs as unplanned event due to defective, malfunctioning, or incorrectly configured hardware.

d. "Executive Initialization Stop" messages appear only during the relatively short Windows executive initialization sequence, generally before the Windows Logon dialog box. Please read the content of this TechNet article to glean an education concerning this subject.

Note: The article "Windows XP restarts when you try to shut down your computer (Q311806)" describes the process where may experience a problem during startup that causes a STOP error message to appear but too briefly to record.

4. As an additional troubleshooting option, you can configure your system to write an entry in the System Event Log when a "STOP" message occurs. To enable STOP message Event Log reporting:

a. In Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, System, Advanced and then in the Startup and Recovery box, click Settings.

b. In System Failure, verify that the "Write an event to the system log" check box is marked.

5. When a STOP error occurs, Windows displays a STOP message related to the problem, followed generally by one of two events:

a. Windows XP Professional becomes unresponsive.

b. Windows XP Professional restarts your system.

6. If Windows restarts the system immediately after a STOP message you might not be able to record STOP message information quickly enough. You should disabling this behavior if you want to record STOP message details before using recovery options such as "Driver Rollback", "System Restore", or "Recovery" since this information could be helpful to analyze the root causes after addressing the symptom(s) of a problem. To disable unexpected restarts caused by STOP errors:

a. In Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, System, Advanced and then in the Startup and Recovery box, click Settings.

b. Click to clear the Automatically reboot check box.

7. With the "STOP" code information (Click to see an example screenshot), go to the "Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN)" library and search for known issues. Enter the STOP code (Example: Stop (0x00000074 0x00000003, 0x00000002, 0x80087000, 0xC000014C) ) in the box labeled "For solutions containing... (optional)", at the top of the frame on the left side and then press the "green" right arrow labeled "Search now".

8. "Common STOP" error messages discussed in the Microsoft TechNet library. In the left window frame, click the particular STOP item interested.

9. Supplemental reading:

a. "Blue Screen Preparation Before Contacting Microsoft (Q129845)."

b. "How to Troubleshoot STOP Error Messages After Enabling Advanced Power Management (Q237673)."

c. "HOW TO: Configure Recovery Techniques in Windows XP (Q307973)."

d. "How to Gather Information After a Memory Dump (Q314084)."

e. "Troubleshooting "Stop 0x00000077" or "KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR" (Q315266)."

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Re: Dell Dimension 4400 OS boot issues
by Edward ODaniel / July 1, 2004 12:55 AM PDT

If you cannot get into regular Safe mode, then try Safe Mode with Command Prompt. If this works, then you can use the REG command to turn off the auto reboot on error.

At the Safe Mode Command Prompt log on as administrator. Type the following at the command prompt:
REG /QUERY HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Crashcontrol /v Autoreboot

You should get a value of either 1 or 0. 1=true; 0=false, therefore if it is 1 then do the following:
REG /DELETE HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Crashcontrol /v AutoReboot
REG /ADD HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashContron /v AutoReboot /t REG_DWORD /d 0

This will turn off the automatic restart on error option, so that you will be able to see the error message when you get the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death).

If you can't boot to Safe Mode with Command Prompt try the Recovery console and make use of the BATCH command available.

In case you are unfamiliar with the Recovery Console here is a link to the commands available and what each does:

Good Luck.

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