As a computer professional, you will be the ﬁrst line of response to help users when problems arise with their systems. You will need the knowledge to recognize and diagnose problem conditions, and you will need to respond to those problems with the appropriate corrective action.
System Stop Errors
System stop errors are errors severe enough to stop all processes and shut the system down without warning. File system errors, viruses, hard disk corruption, or controller driver problems can cause stop errors. Stop errors are rare in Windows XP and Windows 7, but when they occur, they are normally preceded by a blue error screen containing a summary statement about the error condition and also hexadecimal memory data. Because of the severity of the issue and the blue background, a stop error is often referred to as a “blue-screen error.”
Figure: A stop error.
Responding to Stop Errors
If you experience a blue-screen error, you should try to capture as much information as possible from the error summary information at the top of the screen. You can sometimes use this information to diagnose the problem. You can record the error codes and then search for the meaning of the error codes in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
You can also conﬁgure Startup And Recovery settings to perform a memory dump, which means that the system writes the contents of memory at the time of the stop error to a dump ﬁle on the hard disk for diagnostic purposes. You would need special tools and support from Microsoft technical engineers to interpret a dump ﬁle. To conﬁgure Startup And Recovery settings, go to the Advanced page of the System Properties dialog box and, under Startup And Recovery, click Settings.
If you want to prevent the system from restarting automatically after the stop error, reboot and press F8 during the boot sequence to bring up the Windows Advanced Options menu. Select Disable Automatic Restart On System Failure and allow the system to restart. Another way of preventing the system from restarting automatically is to change the settings for the computer. To do this, in Windows 2000 and Windows XP, right-click My Computer, and choose Properties. Select the Advanced tab, and in Startup and Recovery, click Settings. Uncheck Automatically restart and click OK. In Windows 7, right-click Computer, and choose Properties. Select the Advanced system settings, click Continue if prompted by the UAC, select the Advanced tab, and click Settings in the Startup and Recovery area. Uncheck Auto- matically restart and click OK.
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