Wayne from Estill Springs, TN writes

  I’m experiencing intermittent problems with startup and have to reboot two or three times before achieving a successful startup. I get what I call the “blue screen of death”. Here are the specifications of my computer with the problem:  Make/Model: HP A-6347-C.  RAM: 4gb (2 gb x 2).  OS: XP (Previously Vista).  Attempted Solutions without success:  (1) Replaced RAM (4 1gb with 2gb x 2).  (2) Replaced motherboard battery.  Any suggestions that I might try to alleviate the problem would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your consideration. (Phone Number redacted) You may address  this in your daily newsletter.  

Hi, Wayne.  Thanks for the great question!

First off, I offer you a mini-tip for free.  When you post your information on a public (or semi-public, in the case of Worldstart, basically any place where other people can see your info), it’s a good idea not to post your phone number.  The people at Worldstart, all being exemplary human beings, won’t do anything bad with it, but there are others who would.  So just do yourself a favor and be careful.

As to your BSOD problem, here goes.

This does not indicate a problem with your computer itself, but rather with your operating system.  If you are experiencing the same problem with both XP and Vista, then you’re probably dealing with a line of code in another program that is interfering with your OS.  I had a similar problem once.  Once or twice out of about every five boots, I’d get the BSOD, and the explanation line (which I’ll show you in a screen shot in just a second) said that there was something in my virus detector, AVG, that was interfering with Windows.  I simply uninstalled and reinstalled AVG, and everything worked fine after that.

The place to find that information is on the second line of the BSOD.  The first line will say something like “A problem has been detected on your computer and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer”.  Then the next line, outlined in red on the following screen shot, will outline the problem.  If it references a specific program, like mine did, then simply uninstall and reinstall the program and that may fix the problem.  If it doesn’t, if it says something like this one does, Google it.  I Googled the phrase in this one (driver_irql_not_less_or_equal) and found out that it’s about a program driver that is referencing an invalid address.  So when Windows tries to “call” that address, there’s nothing there.  A little like calling a disconnected phone number.

So, the good news is that you don’t have to buy a new machine.  The bad news is that, depending on the content of the explanation, you may have to uninstall or reinstall a program or maybe Windows itself.

I hope that this helps!

~ Randal Schaffer