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Uh-oh 'blue' screen of death on Windows 2000 Professional

Have an older IBM-type clone which worked OK for 3+ years running Windows 2000 Professional software. Also have installed SPY-BOT, AVG anti-virus, & SystemShield & SystemMechanic from IOLO.COM. System has 3 hard drives, CD-ROM. System info shows

Processor: X86 Family 6 Model 6 Stepping 2, authentic AMD

Windows version: 5.0 build number 2195 service pack 4

Total memory 512MB Free memory 90MB

Also use mainly Mozilla Firefox browser & Opera browser which are both up-to-date. Could NOT install Google Chrome due to incompatibility with 2000Pro. IE6 will load & update windows software but not allow installing updated IE versions due to incompatibility.

Had very few problems & surfed the internet daily with Wi-Fi adapter via USB port. All of a sudden after the browser had been running for a while, the 'blue' screen of death appears and this is the message:

***STOP BAD_POOL_CALLER beginning dump of physical memory. Physical memory dump complete. Contact your system administrator or technical support group.***

I do NOT have the Windows 2000 Professional CD or installation disk as I got this computer from a friend, very reasonable. I cannot afford to tie up much money to repair. If I spend a lot of money, I would rather just get a newer system at a pawn shop, etc. I am on limited income & budget, being retired. I am fairly good with technical details.

I would prefer to upgrade to Windows Vista which is what I have running on my laptop since I can't afford Windows 7 software.

Any ideas would be appreciated as to how to solve this dilemma or remedy my 'blue' screen errors so the system will run as it did in the past, although having a slow processor. I've seen pretty cheap software CD's on eBay but they are for 'educational' or 'school' applications. I do not qualify in that regard, but do run a personal online ministry on a shoe-string budget.

I've looked into GNU/Linux & Ubuntu FREE software via FSF.ORG but have never installed this optional software, having always used Microsoft before.

Thanks in advance for any advice, ideas, or solution.

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I am not clear about your win2000 error. I use OSX and Linux haven't had a win 2000 machine in quite some time.

However the 2nd part of your question for Linux i should be able to help with or at least offer my opinion.

Ubuntu Linux is quite nice, i like the LTS (long term support) version. Linux Mint is also very nice, i have grown to like Linux Mint better as they continue to support gnome desktop and some other things I like.

Both distros are easy to use, and can be downloaded and burned to CD.......

You can try out either one of these distros booting from CD and choosing Live CD mode, it will run slow from CD but will allow you to explore how the operating system works and feels.

If you choose to install you should back up first, at least back up all personal info/doc music etc..... once installed on your hard drive the master boot if modified, making it more difficult to remove it completly. If not using windows 2000 anymore you can choose to erase the hard drive and do a complete install of the linux distro of your choosing. If thinking about getting a new computer Linux is worth a try.

Some packages should be installed in the software center, such as restricted extras for codecs etc..... music programs, K3b CD buring app and Gnome-DO which is kind of like quicksilver for mac...... quite a few other free programs too. Gpodder for example for my podcasts.

So give the live CD a try first see how you like it. I have been using Ubuntu for many years and now Linux Mint.

I even installed Ubuntu on my parents aging laptop and they like it just fine for a few years now. For web browseing and email it will work fine.

The only other thing i would suggest is upgrading your RAM..... 512MB will work with linux but is considered a minimum. Using a lighter distro like Xbuntu (XFCE desktop) for systems with low memory could be tried as well.

You will get prompted for updates on the regular basis, this is normal.

You should also download the iso files to burn to CD directly from the Ubuntu or Linux Mint web sites.

Hope this info helps. Linux will take a bit to get used to, most people i know find it easy to use, more secure and once explored like it more then their older computers that came with windows vista .

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Mint is my flavor of choice also.I would suggest that the OP can find inexpensive copies of this distro (under $5) on ebay in case his unit will not permit him to download and burn iso files. He should be sure to get the 32 bit version for compatibility reasons. +

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Whenever I get these in my shop the culprit is usually the hard drive, but the type of stop code you are getting can be caused by a variety of things...Bad Memory, Bad Drivers (specifically video card and network adapter), USB Devices amongst others. The fact that you're running 3 drives may increase the chance it's a drive problem, depending on how they are set up. I would start by pulling everything that you don't need to boot the system and give it a go. If that fails I would try running windows in safe mode (if you can even get that far) by mashing the F8 key during startup. If you get the safe mode menu I'd start by disabling the requirement for signed drivers and see if you get in. If that fails mash the F8 key again on restart to get back into the Safe Mode menu and this time select the safe mode option. Go to the hardware menu and check your video and LAN card drivers to verify you are current on the version. If you can get to the web to check this, post here and I will check for you.

After this things get trickier.

I would suggest downloading a copy of Hiren's Boot CD and burning it to disc. Boot from it and use the hard drive tools to check your hard drives for errors...which may take hours. If no errors are found run the memory tests, which WILL take hours...in fact if you have an extra, known working, RAM module laying about I would swap out the current module to save time.

Guesses from past experiences with this problem -

If you recently ran a windows update, installed software, added a USB device or made a change to the system that you can recall, well, that's likely the problem. Sadly if it came out of nowhere and you did nothing to alter the system any way you will likely be staring at a HDD or RAM failure.

Best of luck.

Cheers.

Chris

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Soon as I saw IOLO, I immediately cringed in fear that some one may be over doing it with the registry tools. In fact it cleans the registry too well. I'm not saying IOLO is a bad tool for anything else, but messing with the tools too often can ruin your copy of windows. Just re install Windows and pray it isn't your HDD, other issues with BSOD can be RAM, I think Brian and Christopher nailed it right on the head. Please don't mess with the registry using 3rd party programs.

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