I'm running a Dell Inspiron 531 with Windows Vista Home Premium 32 SP1, upgraded to 4 gb RAM. This computer is not a heavy-demand device, being mostly used for e-mail, CD creation (Nero 7 Essentials) and light graphic design work. It has Zone Alarm Security Suite on it, as well as CCleaner and Defraggler..
My problem is this: Twice in the past two weeks, it has crashed, giving me the dreaded blue screen Memory Dump. The first time, I was able to recover by running the Dell driver CD which has system diagnostics on it. I ran the entire symptom tree and the computer passed everything. The second time this happened, I did the same thing and it had no effect. I can boot into Safe Mode, but it will not boot the normal OS.
Is anyone else having this problem and, if so, have you any ideas as to what I can do without losing all of my data?
If this problem started after upgrading the memory, remove the new memory and replace with the original memory chips. If the problems go away, the new memory is either bad or incorrect type for your model. Crucial.com can give you reliable info on the correct memory. You should also run the extended hard drive diagnostics which are separate from the system diagnostics. Have you tried booting to your vista dvd? Since you are able to boot to Safe Mode, there might be something--driver or program--that is loading that is causing the problem. Check your Hardware Device Manager for driver problems. With Vista you should not be using any utilities like Defraggler and CCCleaner. Uninstall them and any other utilities in Safe Mode. Disable Zone Alarm temporarily since that is also known to cause problems with Vista. Do one thing at a time so you can find the culprit.