Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

Generic Errors Suck

Reinstalling Windows. I'm getting a "Page fault in nonpaged area" error. From googling around it usually means my RAM is bad (and here I thought all the recent crashing was due to some new driver or something I'd installed).

I'm running Memtest86 as we speak.

Thank god for two computer households, or I'd have NO clue what was going on. Well, either that or I'd be reinstalling Windows 98 just to get online and google around.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
It's never too late to fall in love with DSL.
Permalink KayJay 
January 13th, 2006
What?
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
DamnSmallLinux
Permalink KayJay 
January 13th, 2006
pourquoi?
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
>> Well, either that or I'd be reinstalling Windows 98 just to get online and google around.

Pour cela.
Permalink KayJay 
January 13th, 2006
Ohhhhhhhh.

That's the least of my problems, my RAM just passed memtest and now I'm running a diagnostic on my hard drive.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
It could be something as simple as a cable having worked loose in the machine -- I had one that kept dying on me with the same error as you're getting and it turned out to be caused by the IDE cable not being seated properly in my CD drive...
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 13th, 2006
I just double checked all the cables. The hard disk check readout got all weird... the incremental numbers froze and one of them started blinking (?!), so I quit the check, shut down the computer, and checked the cables. Now I'm running the disk check program again.

The computer worked just fine (except for the occasional crashing - the UI would freeze up from time to time on certain events, I'd assumed it was linked to some monitor calibration software I'd installed but wasn't sure), it's only when I tried reinstalling windows that I started to get these errors. At first I thought it was a smudge on my Windows CD and some files that weren't copying correctly, but that seems just fine.

If all else fails, I'll install Win 98 until I figure out what's wrong. (I'd do Win2k, but the sound card drivers are either 98 or XP, and half the reason I'm doing this is so I can get at certain audio apps.)
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
What are you using for checking the HD? I'd suggest fsck-ing it and use cfdisk to format it into FAT32 before re-installation. I still don't know why, but chkdsk and format on Windows failed to fix some bad sectors on one of my HD. The Linux equivalents seem to do it quite well.
Permalink KayJay 
January 13th, 2006
I once had a gameport joystick pad in my arcade machine that had three buttons on it that just WOULD NOT WORK. I tried new drivers, swapping for a new gamepad (same problem), reinstalling windows, installing a new soundcard...

...guess what it ended up being?

...just guess.



It was a faulty SlotKet adapter. I was using an ASUS SlotKet to connect my celeron FCPGA chip to a slot 1 motherboard. The entire system worked FLAWLESSLY except that 3 buttons on this specific brand of USB gamepad would not work.

When I swapped it out for an ABIT SlotKet, it worked fine.

I don't even want to go into the convoluted troubleshooting process that brought me to that conclusion, either, but it was the correct one, which I empirically demonstrated not only to myself but to several friends who didn't buy the story. :-)
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 13th, 2006
Is this a good quality mobo?
How old is it?
How many dust bunnies inside the case?

And..
You might try cleaning the edge connector on the memory -- use a "Pink Pearl" eraser.
Permalink example 
January 13th, 2006
I'm using a program by the manufacturer as found on the Ultimate Boot Disk. I did a few formats into both NTFS and FAT, and ran Spinrite 6 to check for physical errors on the partition(s) in question. I've deleted the partitions and re-created them. The only thing I haven't done yet is swapped them (I'm planning on making it dual bootable), so one or the other is always hidden.

Some guy said that his workaround was to start a Windows 98 install, but quit halfway through and then install XP, or something.

It could be an MBR thing, the only thing I changed between when Windows worked and now was hiding one of the partitions. (That and all the formatting & installing, of course.)
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
The mobo is pretty good, it's about 4 or 5 years old. There are a few dust bunnies, but it's not terrible.

I could try taking the RAM out and sticking it back in, though it did past the Memtest86 tests. I'll check that out after the HD test runs.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
I think I'm going to change my name to Generic Error.
Permalink Generic Error 
January 13th, 2006
"...it's only when I tried reinstalling windows that I started to get these errors."

Some more random and probably unhelpful advice: Try disabling the USB ports in the BIOS. (I have a machine that refuses to install XP if the USB ports are enabled, but once I've installed it I can then re-enable them with no trouble, although it will refuse to boot if my printer is plugged in but not turned on.)

It may also be worth disabling anything else that you don't need, unplugging extraneous hardware, etc. You may also want to try standing on one leg and waving your arms about, buying a new desk, or placing a turnip in the corner of the room -- when problems are this vague the solution could be pretty much anything.

It's no wonder "normal" people find computers frustrating. Still, at least we've progressed beyond having to juggle jumpers about to avoid DMA/IRQ conflicts... :)
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 13th, 2006
Computers are frustrating for a few days on end, and then they're fantastic until you do something else to upset them.

I unplugged all the USB stuff that's new. I even swapped video cards (the error said something about video something-or-other) to the old one. I know my USB mouse works because I remember being surprised that it worked during the install. I unplugged the printer and the USB hub.

My computer is pretty much exactly the same as it was during the last install, with maybe 1 or 2 BIOS settings changed, I think I futzed with the shared video memory when I got the new video card. I looked around for it and couldn't find exactly what I changed, though.

After the HD test, I'll look in the BIOS again, then check the actual RAM stick, then try swapping out the USB mouse for an old PS2 mouse and disabling USB.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
You probably have a bad memory socket on your motherboard, or a cold contact on a transistor somewhere. I predict that replacing your motherboard AND RAM simultaneously will fix your problem, however costly that may be. :-)
Permalink Generic Error 
January 13th, 2006
Maybe, the Googling around I did suggests that it's usually a problem with physical RAM, even if it passes a RAM test. It's too bad I only have the 1 stick, I could try swapping them out one at a time otherwise.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
Mem tests are sometimes a good indicator but can miss things.

I guarantee it's some component-level electronic issue that will only be fixed by swapping out the entire board/RAM stick it lives on.

I've had LOTS of wacky hardware issues.
Permalink Generic Error 
January 13th, 2006
I hate hardware issues. You always end up buying a bunch of crap you don't need.

Now that I think of it, I may have burned out my RAM, I gently overclocked my motherboard to match the spec on the new CPU. There was some warning about RAM not standing up to overlocking as well as CPUs.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
Ooh, MarkTAW is an overclocker? I wouldn't have thought it.
Permalink AllanL5 
January 13th, 2006
HE'S FINALLY OUT OF THE CLOSET. HALLELUJAH.
Permalink Generic Error 
January 13th, 2006
When my PSU blew, and I thought my CPU went with it, I got a new CPU, but the clock speed is different from my old clock speed, so I set the MoBo clock speed to the speed of the CPU. I wasn't _over_ clocking my CPU, I was just setting the MoBo clock to match what the CPU was supposed to be. I was, however, overclocking the RAM.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
Yeah overclocking RAM is bad.
Permalink Generic Error 
January 13th, 2006
Yeah, that's what they told me when I did it. I'm a rebel.

So since the CPU was running at normal speed, the MoBo was made for overclocking with ease, and everyone keeps saying "It's the RAM", it's probably the RAM.

Ya think?
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
You can probably adjust the RAM timings in the BIOS. (It may be that this is the problem, and your RAM is still working fine but just having problems keeping up.)

If you can't directly modify the RAM timing you may be able to fudge the bus and multiplier frequencies to get close enough...
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 13th, 2006
I already reset the BIOS to the "safe" settings, went in and checked the CPU and RAM settings, and everything was really conservative. Still haven't found the shared video RAM setting, but at this point, I'm fairly settled on the idea of buying a new RAM stick. Heck, maybe I'll upgrade to a gig, I've been meaning to do that anyway.

I even turned off CPU caching and boy was that fun. Instead of getting an error in 20 seconds, I got it in a minute or so.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
You don't want to set the RAM to conservative settings unless you have also already done so for the CPU. It's not clear from your last post whether you've done that, unless I'm dense. :-)
Permalink Generic Error 
January 13th, 2006
Yeah, after I hit the "Reset everything to the safest setting" button, they were both set to the same thing.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
If you haven't futzed part of the RAM, which is most likely, you could try adding a wait state even if you're overclocking.

Overclocking on the whole is now a waste of time and I've given up buying processors and m/boards separately and only buy them in matched pairs now, let someone else do the testing.

And Generic is most likely right if the RAM has gone the socket has probably gone too. Testing the socket by putting a new stick in would not be a cool thing to do, not for the new stick anyhow.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 13th, 2006
Ugh. All the advice I saw for this kind of error was to put a known-good RAM stick to see if the error goes away.

Like I said - you end up buying stuff you don't need.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
I can't imagine why killing your RAM would automatically kill the socket too, but presumably you've got more than one slot anyway?
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 13th, 2006
Killing your RAM doesn't automatically kill the socket, but when you've got apparent memory issues that aren't solved by RAM swapping, then the socket is probably blown (and hence probably not good for new RAM).
Permalink Generic Error 
January 13th, 2006
Yeah, I've got 3.

But I thought you were required to stick it in a certain slot first, filling out in order after that.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
Depends on the motherboard, CPU, chipset, phase of the moon, etc. etc. Heck, a few years ago you had to put them in in pairs!
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 13th, 2006
How many is few?

I was considering swapping it into another slot just to see if it was the slot and not the RAM itself.

I've got a Win98 install going on now... I'm not sure what I hope to accomplish by doing this. Maybe just the ability to burn some stuff to CD before something really bad happens.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 13th, 2006
If a ram stick died on a motherboard the chances are it died because of heat rather than anything electrical that heat conducts back to whatever it can get to and if its hot enough and for long enough it can take out something else and create a crack sufficient to create its own hotspot so that when you stick a new thingy in it gets fried too.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 13th, 2006
Simon, you must be rewarded for packing that much knowledge in just 1 fricking sentence.

I hope this sentence atleast makes it to the sidebar ;-)
Permalink Vineet Reynolds 
January 13th, 2006
Just call me Proust.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 13th, 2006
Didn't he have a haddock?
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 13th, 2006
Mobo 4-5 yrs old... checked the battery?
Permalink trollop 
January 13th, 2006
The clock doesn't reset when I turn off the PSU, so I don't think it's a battery problem.

Anyway, a different Windows install disk seemed to do the trick.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 14th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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