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Thread: Multiple PCs BSoD during boot

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    Question Multiple PCs BSoD during boot

    Is anyone aware of a virus or somesuch doing the rounds at the moment that would cause XP to BSoD during boot? I'd normally put this down as just one of those things, but I've seen it happen on 3 separate PC in the past week...

    First, a neighbour calls to say their PC is stuck in a loop while booting, however they can occasionally (maybe once per 10 boots) get in. I took the PC away and tested the HDD and RAM with no errors, but I just nuked the disk and reinstalled XP for them, so no real clues on that one.

    However, a couple of days later, my Father calls with the exact same problem. His PC stalls while booting (the progress bar under the XP logo stops a couple of times) before the BSoD. If I try and boot into Safe Mode, I'll get the usual flurry of drivers being loaded, and it'll then just hang. The Samsung HDD test does find 3 errors on his HDD, so it could be that.

    Yesterday, a friend call with a third instance of what seems to be the same problem.. This one will get a BSoD almost immediately as the XP logo appears, and will BSoD if I try and boot into Safe Mode. The RAM tests fine, but I can't get the Samsung HDD utility to run - it crashes when I boot from the Samsung CD I burned with an Out of memory error??. The Seagate HDD tools get a bit further, before reporting a SMART overheat problem (tho the HDD is cool to the touch currently). If I ignore that error and allow it to proceed to the tests, it crashes back to the DOS prompt with no error after a few minutes.

    So, I'm baffled.. all 3 PCs exhibit the same BSoD shortly after XP starts to load. I believe the RAM is ok on them all, and the system HDD is a little suspect on another.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    JJ

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    Re: Multiple PCs BSoD during boot

    Power outage/brownout/spike or dirty power?

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    Re: Multiple PCs BSoD during boot

    Quote Originally Posted by smargh View Post
    Power outage/brownout/spike or dirty power?
    ..causing the BSoDs? I doubt it - all 3 machines exhibit the same problems at their original homes and at mine.

    Or, are you suggesting that power problems may have caused whatever the problem is that's causing the BSoDs to now occur? Again, it seems unlikely that 3 people would experience this at 3 separate locations on 3 separate days. Agree?

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    Re: Multiple PCs BSoD during boot

    Well, it's perfectly reasonable for a couple of HDDs to have problems around the same time with no common cause aside from just dumb luck.

    Bad power can cause borderline (or also healthy) PSUs to fail in a non-obvious way, which could definitely cause BSODs.

    That "out of memory" error is probably just a quirk of the HDD testing software - some of them don't properly work on all PCs.

    Again, it seems unlikely that 3 people would experience this at 3 separate locations on 3 separate days. Agree?
    You haven't said how far apart these locations are. The same street? Same town?

    If you put the HDDs into a running PC, what does the online Speedfan SMART analysis say?

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    Re: Multiple PCs BSoD during boot

    Fair enough.. There's enough distance between the 3 PCs homes to assume there's no link, but point taken.

    Moving HDDs to other machines is my next step, cos I'm currently desperate to find some clue or link between them. None of the owners are, shall we say, advanced users, so the possibility of a virus or malware getting onto these machines is certainly a possibility - hence my original question.

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    Re: Multiple PCs BSoD during boot

    Quote Originally Posted by smargh View Post
    That "out of memory" error is probably just a quirk of the HDD testing software - some of them don't properly work on all PCs.
    That's true.. I moved the HDD to another machine and got the same problem. Both machines have 4GB of RAM, so it seems HUTIL v2.11 can't handle so much RAM.

    But, I tried an older version v2.10 of HUTIL and it worked fine, and confirmed the HDD has S.M.A.R.T errors, so it's going back to Samsung.

    Jon

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