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I have a Dell Precision T4500 that recently started blue screening with a various STOP errors including:


The system is configured as:

  • 12GB RAM
  • 1 x Xeon E5450 @ 3GHz
  • NVidia GeForce 8800 GTS 512 (MSI NX8800GTS T2D512E)
  • Dell PERC 6/i SAS RAID Adapter
  • 2 x 76GB Seagate SAS Disks

When this started happening I had been running Windows 2008 64 bit Server Standard Edition for roughly a year with no problems. The hardware is unchanged from day one and there have been no major software updates to the machine (i.e. new applications or dev tools).

I noticed that the BSOD's only happened when I was running VM's in Virtual Server 2005 R2.

I then decided to flatten the machine and install Windows 7 64 bit with Virtual PC 7 RC thinking that there may be 'Windows rot', and I fancied getting back to a client desktop OS again.

Again I encounter the same problem where if I start VM's in Virtual PC the machine does a BSOD shortly afterwards (within 2-3 minutes).

I also created a new Windows 2003 VM under VPC just to eliminate the chances of a VM gone bad, but that causes a BSOD as well.

If I use the machine without running Virtual PC (or when I used the old Windows 2008/Virtual Server build) everything is good and it never BSOD's. Even under serious memory use (running at 10-12GB) the machine is stable.

The machine from day one has 12GB of ECC Fully Buffered RAM configured as:

  • 4 x 1GB Dell supplied
  • 4 x 2GB Crucial supplied

I've run the machine with just the Dell and then the Crucial memory but the result is the same which would indicate that the RAM itself is probably fine.

I've also flashed the latest BIOS as well.

Does this sound like a hardware fault, either CPU or motherboard?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would try upgrading your BIOS and/or looking into what type of hardware virtualization settings are. According to this (Intel) website your CPU supports Intel Virtualization Technology which your VM's should be able to use. It would be curious to see if you install Sun's Virtual Box and then see if the blue screens continue or try turning off the virtualizatioin support in the BIOS. If the blue screens continue do I would suspect something in the hardware with virtualization support which a BIOS update may be able to address.

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BIOS is up to date but will experiment with Virtual Box and the VT support. Thanks. – Kev Oct 8 '09 at 15:43

It could be hardware. But since your older W2008 build is stable, I'm guessing "broken driver" or a configuration problem. I'm not sure how you could pinpoint and fix it.

BTW, good job on keeping the older system install around. Maybe you can compare its drivers/versions with those of the broken installs and pinpoint a problem.

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Mentioned that the older 2008 build wasn't stable, when running it + Virtual Server 2005 R2 it blue screened as well. – Kev Oct 8 '09 at 13:51
you said it's stable under the "old Windows 2008/Virtual Server build" ... is this wrong? or are you talking about an earlier version of VS2005? can you roll VS back? – quack quixote Oct 8 '09 at 17:02

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