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Windows Debugger on Vista

I'm attempting to run Windows Debugger on my new Inspirion 518, as I keep getting the "blue screen of death."  Unfortunately, I can't get past the step that tells me to open a minidump file. 

 

  Open a minidump file: expand the File menu, select Open Crash Dump, select the desired dump file and click Open.

Note:    

The system usually stores minidump files in either: C:\WINNT\Minidump\ or C:\Windows\Minidump\.

 

I do not have either of those file strings on my computer.  Can anyone help?

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Re: Windows Debugger on Vista

It is c:\windows\minidump, make sure it is not hidden.

 

That said, a BSOD will not always create a dump file. When you see the BSOD does it say that it Dumped Physical memory at the bottom of the Bluescreen, depending on what is causing the failure,windows may be unable to create the dump file.

 

do you have more info on the BSOD

specifically:

the 0X error code

A_DECRIPTOR_IN_CAPS

Some filename such as iastor.sys

 

or does the BSOD change all the time? (in which case i would look at memory first)

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“It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”
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Re: Windows Debugger on Vista

Here is what it said the last time it happened:

 

STOP:  0x000000F4(0x00000003, 0x868D1A50, 0x868D1B9C, 0x01C58400)

 

Does that help at all?

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Re: Windows Debugger on Vista

Maybe, it does not include filenames or anything.

 

The issue appears to be related to the harddrive, or the harddrive controller on trhe motherboard (software or hardware related). This may explain why you cannot find the dump files, since if there is an issue with the harddrive, the system may be unable to write them. See this microsoft KB Article related to the BSOD as you describe it

 

Do you have RAID or multiple hard-drives?

 

Make sure you have no external harddrives, thumbdrives, or media cards connected. If you do see if it will still happen when they are not present. Also make sure you do not use some sort of mounting software to mount ISO images.

 

Try the following:

  • Update the BIOS (controls SATA controller)
  • Update the Chipset
  • Update the Intel Matrix Manager Software (if applicable)
  • Swap SATA cables (may be a cable issue)
  • Swap SATA port where theharddrive is connected
  • Run an sfc /scannow (in case it is a system file issue)

 

If after that it still happens, reinstall windows (preferably PCRestore), then update all drivers etc. Ifit reoccurs there is certaoinly a hardware issue (likely harddrive or motherboard)

 

Hope this helps

 

 

Message Edited by Astrophel on 10-22-2008 12:25 PM

http://www.capitaltechmd.com

“It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”
- John Wooden (1910- )

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Re: Windows Debugger on Vista

My apologies, but half of what you wrote is greek to me.  I am not a computer administrator and am not familiar with the termanology that you wrote.  Can you help explain in more detail?

 

Try the following:

  • Update the BIOS (controls SATA controller)
  • Update the Chipset
  • Update the Intel Matrix Manager Software (if applicable)
  • Swap SATA cables (may be a cable issue)
  • Swap SATA port where theharddrive is connected
  • Run an sfc /scannow (in case it is a system file issue)
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Re: Windows Debugger on Vista

of course, my apologies

 

The first three are updates available at support.dell.com, the download pages have specific instructions on how to install the updates (not difficult).

 

BIOS Update for I518 can be found here

Chipset Driver update for I518 can be found here

Intel Matrix Manager for I518 can be found here

 

SATA cables are the data cables that connect the harddrive to the motherboard

SATA port is the port on the motherboard thet the SATA cable plugs into

Swapping the SATA cables and the ports they are plugged into will require going into BIOS and activating other SATA ports, you may want to skip this for now.

 

SFC is the microsoft Sytem File Checker utility that compares critical windows files on your computer to the original ones that are on the Vista CD. see here on how to run SFC /Scannow on a Vista computer (Note in step 5 you only do part A).

 

Hope this clears things up a bit.

 

One last thing, just in case you have a bad harddrive, you can run a harddrive diagnostic:

 

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. As the computer boots, press <F12> after the LEDs on the keyboard light up green.
  3. When the Boot menu appears, highlight the Boot to Utility Partition option, and then press <Enter> to start the 32-bit Dell Diagnostics.
  4. Choose Custom test
  5. Choose harddrive
  6. Note all errors

 

Hope that is more clear

 

http://www.capitaltechmd.com

“It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”
- John Wooden (1910- )

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Re: Windows Debugger on Vista

So, I've done the updates and there were no changes.  I haven't swapped out any cables or ports yet, but I did run the hard drive diagnostic (everything passed with no errors) and the SFC Scan.  The Scan did come back with some errors, but the directions are unclear to me on how to fix the errors.

 

This link, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929833, is supposed to tell me how to fix the errors, however, it asks me to enter a file path to fix and I don't know how to find out what that is.  Any suggestions?

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Re: Windows Debugger on Vista

bump

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