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Windows XP fatal exception - will not boot

by fiulot / February 1, 2009 1:51 AM PST

My wife has a 2005 Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop with Windows XP Pro. She started to print a document and the ink level screen popped up, showing that one of the ink cartridges was low; she moved the cursor there, clicked, the paper jammed and the screen went haywire. She fiddled a bit and then shut down.

Since then, when I turn on the laptop the Dell logo appears briefly and then I get a message that begins with ?We apologize for the inconvenience ?. ? and shows several start up options. The first is Start in Safe Mode and the last starts Windows automatically in 30 seconds. If I do nothing, thereby choosing the latter, in 30 seconds I get the blue screen:

A problem has been detected and ?.

Technical Information:
*** STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x6A371878, 0x00000005, 0x00000001, 0xF838DEO3)
*** atapi.sys - Address F838DEO3 base at F838B000, datestamp 41107b4d

If I turn the computer off, turn it back on, and press F8, I get the Windows Advanced Options Menu with the several start up options. The first option is ?Safe Mode?. If I click on that ? or on any of the other options ? I get the blue screen again with the same message shown above.

Note that data recovery is not a problem: I have an outside hard drive that backs all the data daily.

I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you!


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that is a 0x000000D1: DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL ...
by Edward ODaniel / February 1, 2009 4:46 AM PST

error and is normally caused either by bad RAM (use memtest86 to check your ram) or by a race condition that occurs in the ACPI power management code.

If the same address is shown each time for atapi.sys I would bet on it being the RAM.

Most of the "fixes" offered involve updating to the latest or re-installing the latest Service Pack and if that is not possible because the computer just won't boot into Windows then you are left with attempting a repair installation (if your install CD is at the same Service Pack level as what is currently on your computer) or by wiping and re-installing.

A sample of some of the fixes can be found at this link then locate and click on D1: Driver IRQL... in the menu down the right side of the page.

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Windows XP fatal exception - will not boot
by fiulot / February 1, 2009 6:23 AM PST


The Dell reinstallation CD comes with SP2. My wife does not recall whether she downloaded SP3. Supposing she did not and I run the Dell reinstallation CD, will I lose all other software installed? If yes, do I have any other alternatives besides wiping the hard drive & starting over? If she did install SP3 and I run the Dell reinstallation CD, will this make things worse, such as making it more difficult to wipe? Will appreciate your comments.


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