After more than three years without such problems, my PC suddenly crashes with the blue screen of death. It runs a few minutes after each restart, and then it's BSOD every time. Reboot requires unplugging from power and plugging back in.
The first BSOD message was
A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.
After that happened several times, the error codes started to vary. At this point, the PC crashes before anything useful can be done. It's the same in regular start-up or safe mode or "safe mode command line."
Configuration: Dell Dimension E510, Windows XP SP3, Office 2003;
Free versions of ZoneAlarm, avast, SuperAntispyware.
There have been no recent hardware or software additions/deletions.
I tried these things without success:
- Safe mode
- System restore to a week ago (I don't think the restoration completed, though, and fear an incomplete restoration might've made things worse.)
- Moved keyboard/mouse from display’s USB ports to PC's
- Virus scan but it couldn't complete (avast)
What can I do now? (I've read about disabling BIOS memory caching, but how do I do this?)
In particular, is there a way I can decide if it's a hardware failure or software problem? I suspect hardware because the first BSOD was in the middle of normal operation, but after that it happens at startup or shortly afterward.
In the event log at http://sites.google.com/site/zvkmpw/home, the first BSOD is about 10-7-2009, 2:22:00. Notice near there the entries about "A device attached to the system is not functioning" in a network context.