• Creator
  • #2169074

    Dell Inspiron Win XP Blue Screen problems


    by ch473 ·

    My girlfriend has a Dell Inspiron 6000 running XP Home. She started getting BSOD problems recently. It seems to happen randomly, in the middle of running applications. Here is the message:

    A process or thread crucial to system operation has unexpectedly exited or been terminated…. STOP 0x000000F4 (0x0000003, 0x899BC5F0, 0x899BC764, 0x805C749A).

    After restarting, Windows boots up and runs fine. She has reinstalled Windows using Dell Recovery, updated all drivers and Windows updates, ran checkdisk for errors, reseated the RAM and HDD, and cleaned the fan (which runs loudly and gets very hot); just about everything we can think of.

    There have been no new hardware changes in years.

    I’m going to have her run HDTune to see if it finds anything.

    I’ve read a lot about this BSOD issue but I can’t really figure out exactly what the problem is. If the HDD is dying, would it still boot up and run? We’re thinking of getting a new hard drive, but would like to fix the problem without having to buy one (she’s in the middle of a huge research paper too…).

    Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.


All Answers

  • Author
    • #2947563


      by ch473 ·

      In reply to Dell Inspiron Win XP Blue Screen problems


    • #2947550

      Check the memory

      by rob miners ·

      In reply to Dell Inspiron Win XP Blue Screen problems

      You can test the memory by running Windows Memory Diagnostic that can be downloaded from If memory problems are found, try re-seating the RAM. If it doesn’t work, replace the defective RAM.

      If it is overheating it could be adding to the problems.

      Laptops run fast microprocessors that can generate a lot of heat. The heat is mainly vented out of the bottom of the laptop but ventilation effectiveness is reduced when the laptop is placed on a solid surface. A hot laptop can suffer from reliability problems and a system that overheats can fail.
      One way to help in this situation is to use a Notebook Cooling Chill Mat, something like this.

      And if you are feeling adventurous you could try this and reseat the CPU.

      If the CPU heatsink is not clogged with dust and lint completely, you can use canned air and just blow it inside the laptop through the openings on the bottom and on the sides. It might not work if your heatsink is completely clogged.

      Open the laptop case, so you can access the CPU fan and the heatsink.

      Carefully disconnect the fan cables on the system board and remove the fan. If the fan shows resistence when it spins replace the fan.

      Clean the fan and the heatsink with compressed air.

      I would also recommend removing old thermal grease from the CPU and applying new grease for better heat conductivity. 😉

      You can use the Hard Drive Makers Testing Utility to Test the Drive which can be downloaded from below.
      Hitachi / IBM
      Western Digital

      It may be time to backup all of the Data on the drive.

    • #2947547

      Same problem

      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to Dell Inspiron Win XP Blue Screen problems

      My daughters unit, the same model, had the same problem. After cleaning the very dirty fan, cleaning the heat pipe and fins, I cleaned off the thermal paste on the CPU and heat sink and reapplied new paste and the problem went away. I’ve since encountered a dozen Dell’s with the same problem and cured them the same way. Seems that Dell’s thermal paste is not as efficient as what’s acvailable on the market nor do they use enough. Keeping the vents clear of dust and dirt and away from obstructions will go a long way to keeping it rinning cool.

      • #2947521


        by ch473 ·

        In reply to Same problem

        To the first poster: We did reseat the RAM earlier today, and it has not crashed yet, but she’s gone to a computer lab for the night instead of risking the loss of data. Everything is backed up.

        To both: We’re going to run HDTune and the Windows Diagnostic shortly to see if the drive is overheating and if there’s any errors that checkdisk didn’t pick up.

        She started taking it apart to get the fan out but got overwhelmed by all the steps. The laptop was sprayed with air a week ago (and many times in the past), but only from the outside. We’ll clean the fan and heatsink well once we get it opened up.

        In your experience, what is the best way to remove the thermal paste? And any brands of paste you recommend?

        Thank you guys for the advice, I’ll report back.

        • #2947510

          Arctic Silver 5

          by rob miners ·

          In reply to Thanks!

          is what I have been using. It comes in a resealable tube and the instructions for it’s use can be found here.

          I normally use a piece of cotton cloth from an old sheet to remove the old grease. Carefully wipe around the edges and on the CPU to remove it all.

          Edit: To add link to the Service Manual

          Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance. 😉 😀

          If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TechRepublic Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as Helpful so that others may benefit from the outcome. 😉 😀 :-bd

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