I started getting the blue screen of death yesterday. Here's the setup:

  • Dell Precision laptop
  • Main hard disk is an SSD
  • No recent hardware or software changes, except I did Windows update yesterday morning.
  • Happens even if no external hardware plugged in
  • Can go an hour or two before it happens
  • There are no recent files in Windows/minidump

When the crash happens the Windows Startup Repair utility runs. If I click details it says: "Root cause found / Boot configuration is corrupt / Partition table repair / Result: failed, Error 0x490"

I'm thinking this might be a startup issue after the crash, and not really a root cause. But it does point to a disk problem, maybe, maybe not.

Can anyone tell me how to diagnose and repair this issue?

Edit, more info:

The blue screen flashed by quickly, but the stop code appeared to be 0x000000F4.

There are only old files in c:\windows\minidump

When it happened, the system got slow, the mouse pointer was replaced by a spinner, the video flashed, slowly application windows disappeared, then finally got the blue screen. This time it happened right after I tried to send an email, so it could be network-related, but I'm still thinking disk problem.

Edit 2

The dump from smartctl for the SSD: https://gist.github.com/ccleve/5496414

The dump from my second hard disk: https://gist.github.com/ccleve/5496511

  • Please post the BSOD information. You can verify if the problem is a disk problem by running a S.M.A.R.T utility of your choice. Be sure Windows is configured to create the minidump file. – Ramhound May 1 '13 at 15:33
  • Can you suggest a smart utility? Which one should I use? – user237815 May 1 '13 at 15:58
  • You will have to decide which utility you want to do on your own. Be sure you get one that supports SSD hardware. – Ramhound May 1 '13 at 16:09

The smartctl output for your SSD tells you what is the problem:

==> WARNING: This drive may hang after 5184 hours of power-on time:
See the following web pages for firmware updates:

The first referenced page tells:

Crucial has recently offered a firmware update 0309 for its Crucial m4 SSD series drives. The update is in response to issues brought to Crucial's attention for BSOD occurrences with the SSD, causing the system to require a restart. Based on Crucial's review, the issue was related to a few drives and only affected the system after 5,000 hours of actual "on-time" use. Following the initial reboot, the system then requires subsequent restarts after each additional hour of use.

You have firmware version 0009, which is affected by the problem, and 5674 power-on hours. So you need to go to the Crucial firmware update page, download the firmware updater and install the update (the current version for your model seems to be 070H). It would be best to power off and restart the computer before starting to do this, so that you get a full hour before the next hang (getting a hang during the firmware update might brick your SSD).

  • I think that did it. System has been up for 2.5 hours now. – user237815 May 1 '13 at 21:39

Check your windows update history to determine if you have this update installed: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2823324

it was issued at the beginning of April, and has since been pulled back by MS due to the BSODs you mention.

Here is the MS support information on the problem: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2839011

short answer, remove the KB2823324 update if present.

  • Excellent suggestion, but no go. I removed the update, rebooted, and after an hour got another BSOD. – user237815 May 1 '13 at 15:43

When Windows gets BSOD, it usually will display code. Look for STOP Code when next time your Windows gets BSOD and paste it in your question.

Also this TechNet Post might give you some insight about code and their meaning.

  • Stop code posted above. – user237815 May 1 '13 at 15:59
  • @user237815 By looking at few lines of dump, it looks like that this issue has something to do with drivers of SSD. Are you using any customer driver ? Also, are you getting this just code ? I am not using SSDs but I would be surprised if you are just getting hex code and no error string. Can you write down or take picture .. of whole STOP code ? – JackLock May 1 '13 at 21:42

What type of SSD is it? I had a very similar issue with an OCZ drive in a dell laptop - had random blue screens and lock ups - turns out the SSD was faulty and had to be RMA'd.

The stop code was related to memory and not storage so it was difficult to find the problem.

  • It is an OCZ. It's been working fine for more than a year, though. I wonder if they develop problems over time. – user237815 May 1 '13 at 13:24
  • 1
    @user237815 - SSD disks have a limited number of writes. Run a SSD utility to verify the status of your drive. – Ramhound May 1 '13 at 15:32
  • Oops, not an OCZ. Crucial. See dump above. – user237815 May 1 '13 at 16:50
  • Ye the one which we had an issue with was in a collegues laptop - he kept getting random BSODs and lock-ups. It happened for a few weeks then it died completley and was inaccessable. – leinad13 May 2 '13 at 15:51

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