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Blue Screen problems (BSoD):
A system crash is usually accompanied by a blue screen with a stop code and other technical information.
e.g. Stop 0x0000000A or IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

This one means a kernel interrupt request level (IRQL) was too high.
It is typically due to faulty or incompatible hardware or software or a faulty device driver.

Stop errors can be caused by just about anything, including poor quality audio drivers, incompatible video drivers, bad or corrupt hard disks, and faulty hardware such as bad RAM, dying motherboards, failing power supplies, etc. Stop errors may be triggered by an event such as plugging in a USB device, or they may appear to occur at regular intervals, or in association with some other event. Sometimes a stop error might appear to be completely random. If a stop error identifies a driver, the fault may not lie with the driver that was reported. Worse still, some errors can mask other critical errors, which means you fix one stop error and get another in return. In short, a stop error may be a symptom of some other problem. The real problem is to find the root cause.

Because the cause of the crash can be any number of things, the message displayed can vary greatly. Many of these error messages can include the words "minidump" or "Physical memory dump" which unfortunately doesn't tell us much.

Keep in mind that these error messages can indicate a wide variety of problems. Before taking your PC to a shop and paying a professional to have a look at it, it's a good idea to try and rule out some of the more trivial (and easily-fixable) problems such as spyware/adware, a virus, or Windows registry issues.

These XP crashes usually produce a stop code. e.g.
Stop 0x0000000A or IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

When you get one of these Google the error code.

 Demystifying the 'Blue Screen of Death' at
 Troubleshooting Windows STOP Messages
Lists of STOP codes:
  Windows XP Blue Screen of Death STOP Codes - Geeks to Go Forums
  Windows XP Stop Errors
  Windows XP Stop Messages
See Also:
Service Pack 2 Installation Problems
WindowsXP News Group at
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last updated 3 Dec 2002