Computer help forum: Blue screen o' death at startup: What to do?

by: ItalianAl February 21, 2013 2:08 PM PST

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Blue screen o' death at startup: What to do?

by ItalianAl - 2/21/13 2:08 PM

Ok, I just went to storage and picked up my older desktop that I bought in 2005. It is a Windows XP system, and I upgraded its RAM memory to more modern standards a few years ago, so it should still be a viable computer for most tasks. It has the Pentium 4 processor.

This computer was taken out of regular use about late 2009, and it sat in my closet unplugged til last March(2012) when it was taken to storage. It was placed inside a plastic bag so that no dust would effect it before being taken to storage, and after unbagging it, it has no dust on it. But it did get dusty when being stored in the closet from 2009-2012. I needed to access previous tax info.

So I plug it in, try to start it up, but after the initial Dell screen, it switches to the blue screen. I've never seen that screen, and it was only about 45 minutes ago that I read the ominous news that this screen is named the "blue screen of death", or BSOD.

Here's what it says:

A Problem has been detected, windows has been shut down.

IRQL_Not_Less_Or_Equal(sounds like something the Riddler would say to Batman!)

Blah, blah, blah

Technical info

***STOP: 0x0000000A (0x00038000, 0x00000002, 0x00000001, 0x804ECACA)

Beginning dump of physical memory
Physical memory dump complete
Contact system administrator for assistance, blah, blah


So I went online with my other, newer computer and searched to figure out the problem. It led me to a troubleshooting site that talked about the 0x0000000A issues, and said it could be hardware or software related(that narrows it down!)

Then it said, "make sure to back up any and all important data before taking these troubleshooting steps". Well, thats just dumb, because the stop screen is preventing me from getting into the computer in the first place, so I cant back up anything at this point!

I did try going to safe mode, as recc on the blue screen as an option, but it always leads me back to the blue screen. At first it just said "Beginning dump of memory", but after the 2nd or 3rd time trying safe mode to get in, it started showing the "Physical dump complete" message.

Any ideas as to what this is? Again, it seemed to be working fine before being taken out of use, and has been sitting unplugged ever since. It was a very hot summer in that storage unit though.

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