This occasional bugcheck code 0x124 problem has been haunting my 64-bit Windows 7 since Firefox 3.6, going through all Firefox versions, till the latest one (10.0).

I followed all the steps described in this excellent guide to troubleshooting Stop 0x124:

  1. Ensured that none of the hardware components are overclocked
  2. Ensured that the machine is adequately cooled.
  3. Updated all hardware-related drivers.
  4. Updated the motherboard BIOS according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Applied all Windows 7 updates.
  6. Stress-tested all hardware components.
  7. N/A
  8. Cleaned and carefully removed any dust from the inside of the machine.
  9. N/A

Yet, the system will continue to occasionally bugcheck with BSOD code 0x124 only when attempting to resize or scroll the Firefox browser window.

This problem never occurs in any other circumstances and never occurs even with Firefox itself when run in Ubuntu 8 or 10. It always happens only with Firefox.

The actual BSOD dump is meaningless because it always leads to ntoskrnl.exe!

Which leads me to suspect that there might be a bug in Firefox that triggers a bug in ntoskrnl.exe?

Do you know of any such other report that may shed some light on this mystery?

Update: This problem is so weird that I started to suspect perhaps malware? This is despite the fact that I scanned my system with Malwarebytes and found no malware whatsoever. I decided to give Microsoft's Security Essentials a try. And look what it discovered after a 1/2 night run:

  1. Exploit:AndroidOS/CVE-2011-1823
  2. Exploit:Java/CVE-2010-4452
  3. TrojanDownloader:Java/OpenStream.BD
  4. Exploit:Java/CVE-2011-3544.AA
  5. Rogue:Win32/Winwebsec

This is mind boggling... I thought that Malwarebytes is good enough but apparently not. On the other hand, so many Java exploits... Could they really be responsible for the BSODs?

I will be tracking this and report back if I have new findings.

Update 2 weeks later: After the above cleanup, the problem went away. But then I disabled Microsoft's Security Essentials because it slowed down my computer too much... Sure enough, the problem returned today and so I ran Microsoft's Security Essentials full scan again. This is what it found this time:

  1. TrojanDownloader:Java/OpenConnection.PK
  2. Exploit:Java/CVE-2011-3544.BF


Update the next day, after I got another such crash: This time MSE was on all the time, so I was intrigued by the possibility that this isn't caused by malware after all? I performed a full scan by both MBM and MSE and didn't find any malware. Back to □ 1.

  • It sounds like a kernel-level driver error; probably your video adapter's Windows 7 driver. Have you tried updating it? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 12 '12 at 23:43
  • @techie007 Kernel level yes. Video driver impossible, as it always bugcheck 0x124 which leads to ntoskrnl.exe. – Eternal Learner Feb 13 '12 at 8:45
  • It seems the problem is related to a massive malware infection... I suggest you to create a Rescue CD and scan your Windows from outside Windows. If you search for "rescue CD" you'll find a lot of links. But there is a better solution imho: SARDU. It's a utility to build the rescue CD you want. sarducd.it If you have an access to another PC to create this Rescue CD with Antivirus, this may be the best solution for you. :) – climenole Feb 28 '12 at 16:17
  • User mode processes never cause blue-screens. Never! They may trigger them, and the browser being a trigger may even point to some remote exploit being employed on one of the websites you were visiting. But user mode code runs unprivileged and cannot tamper with kernel mode in a way that would cause a blue-screen. The exception to that rule is an exploit of a kernel mode defect that can be triggered from user mode. – 0xC0000022L Apr 16 '18 at 9:46

Some other troubleshooting tips:

1) Try in Firefox safe mode: may be the problem comes from an add-on or a plug-in (some plug-ins are not installed in the Linux Firefox version...)

If the problem disappear you near to find the culprit: a plugin or add-on

2) Try with another Firefox Profile

If the problem disappear this way just create a new profile and transfers your old profile informations to the new (check in the Ff help)

3) Try with another Windows user account

If the problem disappear at this stage, there's some setup or parameter of your profile in cause. (A security utility or some "eyes candy setup" for example...)

4) Try in Windows safe mode

If the problem disappear here, it's probably not an hardware problem (beware: this is not always true: say at 75%...)

How to delete a Firefox plug-in (not only disable) if needed.

In Firefox about:config set the plugin.expose_full_path parameter to TRUE

In Firefox in about:plugins you'll have the full address of the installed plugins

If a disabled plugin (in safe mode or otherwise) is suspected it's possible to delete the plugin (if needed) by deleting the file related to this plug-in (a "dll" for example...).

Hope this help. Let us know.

  • Thanks +1 for a great answer. Once upon a time, there were Windows 3.1/95/98/98se/Me which were all characterized by applications having access to the kernel's address space. With the intro of W2K (based on NT4), this problem seems to have been solved, as I never experienced this kind of application crashing the OS in Windows 2000 and XP. What happened to in Windows 7? or to Firefox? Does Firefox interact with the OS in the Kernel level? – Eternal Learner Feb 13 '12 at 8:49
  • 1
    You wrote: «Does Firefox interact with the OS in the Kernel level? » I don't know (unfortunatelly). The BSOD is related to ntoskrnl.exe: is it possible that this Bug Check hide some other errors not directly related to the kernel but a driver accessing the kernel? Say: a graphic card driver? Can you reproduce the same problem with another Web brower such as Opera or Google Chrome. Just to know if it's a Firefox problem or a more general problem... There's a recent know problem with Ff and AMD Radeon HD 62xx/63xx. The solution is to disable graphic hardware acceleration in Ff... – climenole Feb 13 '12 at 17:21
  • This is such a difficult problem to troubleshoot... Since this isn't a critical show stopper (but annoying nevertheless) I was tracking the problem, suspecting malware (see above updates). Getting rid of that malware (how did it get in?) initially seemed to have mitigated the problem, but it eventually resurfaced. Answering your question: No I cannot reproduce the same problem with any other web browser or application. The graphics card I have is NVIDIA GeForce 6200 LE (yes, I know it's old but I'm not a gamer). Another +1. – Eternal Learner Feb 28 '12 at 15:42
  • Yes, of course a web browser interacts with the kernel. But through well-defined interfaces. And with the exception of exploitable defects in these interfaces or the underlying system services, a user mode program (such as your web browser) cannot cause a blue-screen. To give you one example, some of the facilities for font rendering had exploitable defects that have meanwhile been fixed. If a website would have tried to abuse these underlying defects, Firefox would seem like the culprit. Another such example would be the NtGdiEnableEUDC exploit ... – 0xC0000022L Apr 16 '18 at 9:50

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