How to fix Windows XP BSOD problem

Question

Hello.

I've had this PC for about two years. The BSOD problems started

occuring about 8 months ago, and slowly progressed to being

more frequent.

Before I describe the problem, here are the PC's system specifics:

**************************************************************

**************************************************************

Operating system Microsoft Windows XP Professional

System Manufacturer VIA Techologies, Inc.

System Model VT8601

System Type X86-based PC

Processor x86 Family 6 Model 11 Stepping 1 GenuineIntel ~1097 Mhz

BIOS Version/Date Award Software International, Inc. 6.00 PG, 11/22/2001

SMBIOS Version 2.3

Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS

System Directory C:\WINDOWS\System32

Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume2

Total Physical Memory 384.00 MB

Available Physical Memory 252.96 MB

Total Virtual Memory 1.28 GB

Available Virtual Memory 1.05 GB

Page File Space 922.94 MB

Page File C:\pagefile.sys

Hardware components

Model WDC WD150AB-00BVA0

Bytes/Sector 512

Media Loaded Yes

Media Type Fixed hard disk

Partitions 3

SCSI Bus 0

SCSI Logical Unit 0

SCSI Port 1

SCSI Target ID 0

Sectors/Track 63

Size 13.99 GB (15,019,361,280 bytes)

ATAPI 48X CDROM

SAMSUNG CD-R/RW SW-248F

S3 Graphics Inc. Savage4

Adapter RAM 16.00 MB (16,777,216 bytes)

***************************************************************

***************************************************************

My IDE hard drive is divided into two partitions:

The C drive is about 3 GB and is for the

operating system only. The remaining 11 GB

are for my programs and files. I normally format

both partitions to be FAT32.

Immediately after a new installation, I configure the PC

for optimum performance, meaning that I disable graphic

and sound effects, screen saver, hibernation, pretty much

anything that will give me more memory and save processing

time.

Now for the problems:

Everything during boot up goes smoothly. Then the

loading Windows XP screen shows up, with the little blue

bar below the logo that slides for the loading process.

The screen then turns black and then, instead of the blue "welcome"

screen, I get the BSOD that says the following:

STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}

The registry cannot load the hive (file):

\SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE

or its log or alternate.

It is corrupt, absent, or not writeable.

Beginning dump of physical memory.

Physical memory dump complete.

Contact your system administrator or technical

support group for further assistance.

I located this "SOFTWARE" file, which appears

to be a text file, but it's file size fluxuates

as you view it in the window.

Let it be known that I've encountered this BSOD

quite often. 8 months ago I would get it every

three or so weeks. And as that time passed, I would

see it more frequently. Now, for the pass 3 months I see

this BSOD at least once a week (I know that's terrible).

And I don't do that "safe mode" "recovery" stuff. I

have everything on the D drive apart from the operating

system. So I simply reinstall Win XP. (It's getting to the

point where I'm starting to memorize the registration number

that I have to input for the OS).

But just recently for the first time I got a new BSOD

upon startup which said the following:

A problem has been detected and Windows has been

shutdown to prevent damage to your computer.

UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME

If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen,

restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow

these steps.

Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly

installed. If this is a new installation, ask your hardware

or software manufacturer for any Windows Updates you might

need.

If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed

hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as

Caching or Shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove

or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to

select Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe Mode.

Technical information:

*** STOP: 0x000000ED (0x823CF030, 0xC000009C, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

The following "symptoms" are my own opinions of what I think

is causing the BSOD, but I can't pinpoint the problem, which

is why I'm asking for help:

1. Too many programs are installed. Since my C drive is a 3 GB

partition, I reserve it only for the operating system, which

is close to 2 GB. However I install all my programs on the

D drive. I usually install the same programs and I never had

problems installing and running them in the past, but more

recently, I noticed that everytime I installed a new program,

the sooner I ended up with the BSOD, even if I remove the program.

2. My hard drive or memory is getting old. Before I waste money

on something that's probably not the problem, I need some

insight as to whether they are the problem and why.

Basically, I'm NOT looking for info on how to "fix the problem."

I normally "fix it" by reinstalling the operating system.

I'm looking for ways to avert getting these types of BSOD in the

first place.

***************

* 2 questions *

***************

1. When I get the BSOD, and all the files I need are on one drive

separate from the operating system, and all it takes is a simple

installation of its programs, why should I worry about "Safe Mode",

"recovery" and "editing the registry" when a simple reinstallation

of the OS will do?

2. What can I do to minimize getting BSOD in the first place?

Thank you.

PS If you're reading this, I'm probably reinstalling Windows XP ;)

Answer

This question was answered on October 16, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Well from what you're telling me is that you formatted your hard drive with FAT32 on a Windows XP machine That is your biggest mistake right there Windows XP is designed mainly to use the NTFS file system You are going to have format and re-install Windows XP and be sure to use NTFS.

Good luck!

Need Help with this Issue?

We help people with technology! It's what we do.
Schedule an Appointment with a location for help!

Author

Posted by Student of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on October 16, 2003