Windows Blue Screen of Death problems – Thinkpad T42p – 0x0000008E

by oneafrikan on April 3, 2007

On Sunday I went into the office to do some work, hoping for some quiet time to really get productive and clear the decks. So, I boot up the Thinkpad T42p laptop, go put some water in the kettle, come back, and the machine is still booting up… weird… So I let it run, log in, and then I get the dreaded blue screen of death. The machine reboots, and the process continues about 5 times. Very weird.

So I log into the machine with Safe Mode so that I can set the blue screen of death not to reboot (that way you can take down the error message for debugging purposes) and it runs just enough to let me do that before blue screening again.

So I jump onto the spare machine running in the office, Google the error code (0x0000008E (0xC0000005, 0x8054B234, 0xAEA70844, 0x00000000)), store all my findings in delicios (delicious is a great long term memory!), and come up with “KERNEL_MODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED“, which basically means that I’ve got a RAM problem.

First thing I did was take out my extra 1GB of RAM, as that was the most likely candidate, to see what happens. Lo and behold, no blue screen. Offpissing, not weird.

So then based on my reading, I download the Microsoft diagnostic tool which enables you to create a bootable disc that runs some diagnostic tests for you, and it turns out that one of the 6 tests fails one out of every 3 times (yes, I ran the diagnostic for about 4 hours while I tidied the office, packed the bookshelf, sorted hardware, and did some financial admin). So RAM it is.

Anyways, what a bugger – supposed to be genuine IBM RAM which is only a year old, and it’s giving up the ghost – the blue screen of death is not something one would regard as a joyful experience!

Take home for you:
Start debugging with this.
The “0xC0000005: STATUS_ACCESS_VIOLATION” means there is a “A memory access violation occurred.“.

Funny thing is the laptop seems to be running faster on 1GB of RAM… go figure ;-)

One comment

Yes, 0x0000008E / 0xC0000005 combination is a RAM issue. If you get
0xC0000005 in the error message it has something to do with memory or DEP.

by Alan on September 15, 2009 at 7:26 pm. Reply #

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