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Everytime we run visual studio 2008 - our computer restarts. The error we are getting in the event log is as below.

error code 000000f4 parameter1 00000003 parameter2 85b0ada0 parameter3 85b0af14 parameter4 805d13b6

Tried everything - from OS upgrade (XP), to harddisk format, but no solution. The same visual studio applications are running fine on other systems.

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To what OS did you upgrade? Besides if it's a hardware problem as Wil suggests, there might not be a "solution" other than replacing the defect part – Ivo Flipse Mar 4 '10 at 9:20
Could be that VS is the only application which stretches the O/S into the limits of its memory, and the bad memory is causing the crash? – Stabledog Mar 4 '10 at 13:28

000000f4 errors are hardware related and very hard to track down.

I would start by unplugging everything possible, excluding screen, keyboard (no mouse, unless you need it) and video then turn on your machine and try going in to safe mode.

Start Visual Studio. If it works, it most likely is down to a device (could be anything). Try updating the drivers for everything you use and/or start unplugging and disabling items until you discover what the problem is - I personally would unplug everything excluding keyboard, video and power, then try plugging devices in one by one until I see the crash.

If however visual studio does not work in safe mode, it could be because of hardware failure - in particular you will want to check for faulty memory (use memtest86+) or hard drive (go to command prompt and type CHKDSK /F. - You may want to try both of these first, before you disconnect devices or do anything else.

Lastly, if you are still having problems, as you say you are using XP and I do not know the age of the machine, it may be worth looking for fault capacitors -

Blown capacitors -

Blown capacitors can be the cause of many "random" problems which appear to be completly unrelated, very annoying and hard to diagnose.

alt text

The top should be almost flat (with slight indents out embossed sections depending on specification... look at the middle one) but you do not want to see any big bumps such as the first one or any leakage as the last one.

Finally, if that is not the case, the last thing I can think of is a problem with power unit - however, this would not be just when you run Visual Studio, this will be any time your system is strained / under demand... This one is a stretch, but the last thing I can think of.

I hope this helps you!

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Guess it's time to upgrade to that new PC they always wanted! – Ivo Flipse Mar 4 '10 at 9:21
Thanks for the answer. Well the PC is just 2 months old. Its a core2duo computer with 1GB RAM. I dont suspect any hardware issue as the only time the computer crashes is when running Visual Studio. If you want i can attach the dump file generated. Upgrade of OS was basically installing the latest xp service packs. Pls help....we are stuck :-( . Forgot to mention that RAM test and chkdsk have already been done. – pratik Mar 4 '10 at 9:50
Do not rule out hardware (or at the least, drivers causing problems in the hardware). Even thought Visual Studio is brilliant - it is still software, and no software should cause a bluescreen. Some hardware simply pushes hardware to the maximum and can bring problems like this to light that you may not know existed. – William Hilsum Mar 4 '10 at 9:56
"some software simply pushes hardware..." surely ;) – ChrisF Mar 5 '10 at 12:03
@ChrisF +1 - Long few days without much sleep :( (Mind you, im not the best even with sleep!... Too old to edit ) – William Hilsum Mar 5 '10 at 19:38

I've seen crashes like this before that have turned out to be a memory problem. If you have more than one memory stick and they don't need to be in pairs, try removing one stick and test again. If it still crashes put the first memory stick back in and take out the second one, continue for each memory stick in the system.

If you can't separate the memory (single stick, or two sticks that work as pairs), the only way properly test is buy/borrow some compatible memory and swap it out. Failing that, I think Ultimate Boot CD has a memory testing utility.

Disclaimer: Make sure you follow ESD protection before thinking about opening your PC, and consider any warranty you might have before opening the PC.

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