Sign in to follow this  
zircon

"Bad Pool Header" BSOD

Recommended Posts

Today, I installed new drivers for my nVidia Geforce en7600gs graphics card, because Team Fortress 2 said I needed to update them. I went to the site and grabbed the latest ones. After some finagling (uninstalling old ones, reinstalling new ones), I got them working - the latest beta version. Within two hours of installation, I got an "IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL" (something like that) BSOD while using FLStudio. This never happens, normally, but I had recently reduced my page file to 512mb (since my phys ram was upgraded to 6gb.) I increased the page file, and then uninstalled the graphics drivers to install the latest STABLE non-beta release. OK! 4-5 hours later, system is stable, then while I was simply talking on Pidgin and I got a BSOD mid-sentence that said "BAD POOL HEADER". Supposedly, this is a driver issue, but I'm using the latest drivers from nVidia to begin with!

I haven't changed any other hardware, and I emphasize I haven't had any problems in the course of my normal computer usage otherwise. I did install new RAM about 2-3 weeks ago, but that did not cause any problems. Two BSODs in the same day after installing new drivers seems too coincidental, but I don't know what I'm supposed to do to find stable drivers if the latest official ones aren't stable. I don't even remember what version I was using prior (my system was pre-configured and built in early '07).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be any number of issues. The new driver could be conflicting somehow with a different driver installed on your system. It could be conflicting with the old drivers you uninstalled if they weren't uninstalled properly. It could be that the new driver has a problem with a specific program that it wasn't tested with. It could even be that it's a one-time, random occurrence (with that specific driver).

It's hard to diagnose a problem like this with just one instance to go on (I'm not counting the original BSoD, since that was with a beta driver, and you aren't using it now). Keep track of what you are doing, like the programs you have running, and see if it happens again. If it does, get the information displayed, like the type of error, and if it is displayed, the file that caused the BSoD (sometimes it will display a file name towards the bottom; that is the file that caused the BSoD, though it doesn't necessarily mean that specific file caused the problem). One time means it could be anything. More than one time means there's a problem.

Alternatively, you could try rolling back to the driver you had before (approximately, but you updated for a reason, so I doubt you want to do that), or you can try updating some of the other drivers on your system, such as the sound drivers. That might help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's just, I don't ever get BSODs with this machine unless there's a serious problem. That's why I'm worried it's not just a one time thing. I decided to try rolling back to some older drivers that were closer to the date the computer was built, in the hopes that maybe it was just an issue w/ the newer ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're running the 64-bit edition of Window XP Professional, right?

The pool header message does sound closely related to a memory problem at the device driver level; memory pools have a memory pool header structure to track memory allocations.

Things to try:

1. Increase the paging file to at least 2048 MiB (2 GiB) and see if that solves the stability problem. Disabling it or reducing below a certain level (use performance monitor to figure out what works for your system) wastes physical RAM, due to how memory is requested and managed anyway.

2. Try reducing the hardware acceleration, or set it to none, and endure slowness.

Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP

1. Click Start, click Run, type desk.cpl, and then click OK.

2. Click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced.

3. Click the Troubleshooting tab, and then move the Hardware Acceleration slider until it is one notch to the right of None (the Basic acceleration setting).

4. Click OK, and then click Close.

5. If you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

You could gradually increase the hardware acceleration.

3. Do a chkdsk c: /F

Requires a reboot, may fix corrupted/damaged files that contribute to problems.

Any leftover software related to the previous graphics card? The software and drivers should have been uninstalled prior to removing the hardware. If it's an internal graphics card, disable it in BIOS.

Similar problem:

http://www.techspot.com/vb/all/windows/t-55153-Another-BSOD-Bad-Pool-Header-thread.html

nVIDIA tips:

http://nvidia.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/nvidia.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=22&p_created=1096486168&p_sid=g7TUqc-i&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MSwxJnBfcHJvZHM9MCZwX2NhdHM9MCZwX3B2PSZwX2N2PSZwX3NlYXJjaF90eXBlPWFuc3dlcnMuc2VhcmNoX25sJnBfcGFnZT0xJnBfc2VhcmNoX3RleHQ9YnNvZA**&p_li=&p_topview=1

Analyzing minidumps is another chapter:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315263

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not using XP64 right now actually. This is my XP32 partition. I already did increase the paging file to 2048mb after my first blue screen. I also did uninstall the old nVidia display drivers before installing new ones though. I guess I will wait and see what happens. Thanks for the tips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so I got another serious error with that rollback. So I ran Driver Cleaner and COMPLETLEY uninstalled ALL nVidia drivers, then installed the latest again. I got a BSOD just 10 minutes ago using FLStudio. IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so let me just make sure I understand. You got the error after upgrading the driver. Then you downgraded it and still got an error. And now you've brought it back up to the most recent driver and it's still giving you an error.

If the above is true... well, hm...

Do me a favor and check the Event Viewer (Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Event Viewer) to see if there were any errors logged from right around the time it BSoD'd you, specifically in the System and Application sections. That might give a clue if there are.

Second, we can't discount the possibility that, by sheer bad luck, either your motherboard or RAM has gone bad and it did so when you did the update by coincidence. Unlikely, but it's worth investigating. If you can, try starting Windows in Safe Mode and run your programs again, including FL Studio, and use them for a while. If nothing happens, it's likely a driver issue. If something does happen, it's either a system or hardware issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do me a favor and check the Event Viewer (Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Event Viewer) to see if there were any errors logged from right around the time it BSoD'd you, specifically in the System and Application sections. That might give a clue if there are.

No errors. However, it seems like it's a RAM issue. I ran a bunch of Prime95 tests. The CPU-intensive test turned up no errors. The RAM test did, consistently (on CPU1 though, not CPU0, for some reason.) Each of the dumps from the BSODs were quite different too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMFG... bad RAM again. I already returned one set of bad RAM a month ago. Can't believe this stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully that solves it. I can imagine what it's like to be without a computer for all the things you need it for. Like Team Fortress 2 :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OMFG... bad RAM again. I already returned one set of bad RAM a month ago. Can't believe this stuff.

What brand were they..? Were they generic, off-the-eshelf sticks or a known variety..? I'd be surprised if they were Kingston mem sticks, they always worked for me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OMFG... bad RAM again. I already returned one set of bad RAM a month ago. Can't believe this stuff.

Advice: check your power supply. If your power supply isn't consistent with its output, the power fluctuations can damage sensitive hardware. RAM is especially prone to damage due to a bad power supply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How do I "check my power supply"?

You'd really need a multimeter to check out a power supply.

How are you handling your RAM when you get it? ESD can be pretty common with computer components if you aren't careful. Just ground yourself and then handle the RAM or use an antistatic wristrap or mat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welp, after extensive RAM tests via Memtest, looks like one of the sticks are bad. I did a few passes on one of my old sticks; no problems. Tried one of the new ones; no problems. Tried the other new one; 16 errors while running Memtest overnight. All on "test 5" consistently. Just RMA'd a minute ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this