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Blue Screen of Death error - Attempted to replace hard drive but cannot Boot from CD

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Blue Screen of Death error - Attempted to replace hard drive but cannot Boot from CD

  • Hello,

    I have a Dell Dimension 2400 running Windows XP that is about 4 years old now (everything is oem except for upgraded RAM from one 256mb to two 512 mb, PNY brand installed about 6 months ago). Recently my computer began going to a blue screen stating " A problem has been detected and windows must now shut down to prevent to damage to your computer equal not less or equal ... Technical Information: STOP: x00000000A(0x00000020, 0x00000002, 0x00000000,0x804F9F45) Beginning dump of physical memory ..." etc. (the blue screen is shifted to the left so it is difficult to read everything). The BOS came up intermittently and after a restart it was fine, but it began getting worse and now comes up immediately when Windows starts up. When the windows would run properly I could not use many of the programs (virus scan or anything that required accessing files, I also could not download anything), because it said the files were corrupt.


    I thought that my hard drive failed or I had a virus. I was not too concerned with losing what was on the hard drive. So I thought I would by a new hard drive and start fresh. I purchased a western digital caviar se 250GB. I installed it and have attempted to boot from the CD included with the new HD and with the OS reinstalling CD from dell (I entered the set up menu to change boot sequence to the cd-rom first). It cannot boot. It says press F1 to retry or F2 to enter set up. Perhaps I have other issues with the CD-rom, motherboard, or ??? However, everything was working fine before the BOS began appearing. I have tried everything I can think of (which isn't much, as I know little about this sort of thing). I am becoming very frustrated with it and appreciate any help that might be offered. I have tried to include relavent information, but please let me know if you need more information. Thank you very much.

  • When you replaced the drive, did you advertently loosen the cable for the cdrom? This happens frequently. If your drive is ide, you need to make sure the jumper for the drive is set to CS, not MA. If you have sata, there is no jumper. I would ron the diagnostics and especially the memory. You could even try running with the original memory or just 1 of the chips you have.
  • Thank you for your response.


    I checked all the cables and everything is secure. It is an ide drive and I have set the jumper to CS. I tried each memory individually and the old 256, but they all had the same result.


    The dell screen comes up and then a black screen comes up with flashing white dash in the left corner. I can hear the cdrom drive running, but it makes an odd blip sound like is searching the disc but cannot read it or something (the disc has no scratches and is clean). Then it says press F1 to retry etc. When attempting this with the old hard drive the same thing happens, but after the black screen the windows XP does boot (I assume from the hard drive). It can only make it to about the welcome screen when the blue screen comes up.


    How do I run diagnostics? Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks for your time.

  • Here is a link to software for your model      You can test it and see what may be wrong. Did you see if you had all your diagnostic lights working? You may have a bad cdrom drive or bad ribbon cable, I just replaced a cable on a machine that ran windows fine but died when trying to update windows from cd
  • All of the diagnostic lights were fully lit green. I reconnected the old HD and by chance it was able start windows. It could read the Dell xp reinstallation cd in the cd-rom so that appears to work okay. It wouldn't allow me to reinstall from the cd because it is SP1a and the pc has SP2. I decided I would remove SP2 and then see if I could reinstall from the cd. It removed SP2 and then attempted to restart. Upon restart it will now bring up a black screen with some safe mode options. Anything I choose results in the BSOD coming up immediately. I probably shouldn't have removed SP2 because now it looks like I have only worsened things. Any thoughts?

  •  Remove the ram you added 6 months ago and see if it boots ok. This does sound like a memory problem. Removing service pack 2 sometimes does mess things up. I would try and reinstall the operating system again with that PNY memory removed 

    Message Edited by tdark on 03-06-2008 10:31 PM
  • Now that you have some progress, it is important that you download and run the diagnostics that I linked you to. Once you determine your hardware situation, then you can continue with the software. Without that, you may be wasting your time. And if you know your memory is good, it will be a lot faster reinstalling the OS.
  • I have finally conquered this machine and got it up and running again. I was able to run the diagnostics and determined that I had multiple problems. First I found that one of the RAM was bad as it failed the MATS test and the March A test. I tested them both one at a time and in each of the slots to be certain it was just the one RAM and was independent of the slots. So that explained the initial blue screen problems and corrupt file problems. I have contacted PNY and sent the RAM to them since it has a lifetime warranty and hopefully they will replace it soon.


    My DVD-Rom had also bit the dust and this is why I was unable to boot the OS from CD onto the new hard drive. When I ran the diagnostics it kept saying that I needed to insert a CD with digital data in order to do the test. Despite trying several CDs it could not run the test. It appears to have been unable to read the CDs at all. I purchased a new Samsung DVD burner with lightscribe (which I am pretty excited about trying out) and was able to boot from the CD with no problems. I think it was just a coincidence that it went out when the RAM problem came about.


    I tested the old hard drive and it was fine. I decided to install the new 250 GB drive as the master and add the old 80GB drive as the slave (I plan on putting music and picture files on it). I purchased an additional hard drive bracket and dual IDE cable (good deal on eBay) to install both of them.


    I have everything back together and updated and as soon as I get a new RAM from PNY I will be as good as new.


    Thank you very much for your time and help.



    Message Edited by whigyboots on 03-17-2008 05:09 AM
  • Thanks for leting me know I was on the mark about you having bad memory and a bad optical drive. A lot of people never come back and post the resolution. This will help others with similiar problems in the future.

    And I am glad to been of assistance