My windows XP SP2 suddenly stopped working. It flashes a BSOD even in

  • secure mode with network
  • secure mode without network
  • last known configuration

How should I try to investigate what's going on?

If I start in safe mode in command line, I can see a black screen with the cursor flashing about 20 times, and then the BSOD appears again.

Note: I have not installed new hardware/software

update: I cannot read the BSOD message. However, I tryied to repair the installation by reinstalling winXP to the same partition, and the windows partitioner stated the partition has unknown type. However, I was able to boot a fedora livecd, and see the partition table (it says it is an ntfs), and see most of my files.

I also did a smart test, and it failed (2 pending sectors on my HDD, is it enough for getting another with a warranty change?)

  • What is the BSOD code at the top of the screen? – Wesley Oct 30 '09 at 19:48

It seems highly likely some part of your hardware has failed.

Best case, one of your RAM sticks is gone, but you have more in there. Worst case, your CPU or entire motherboard has blown.

First thing I'd do is see if it works without one of the sticks of RAM inside, just swap each one out in turn and see if it gets better if you have more than 2.


If you have not changed the software or hardware (you're certain it's not viral, etc), then you could start off by blaming the hardware. RAM going bad, CPU cooked, etc.

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