Stop error message in Windows Server 2003 SP2: "Stop error code 0x0000000A (IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL)"

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Article ID: 979128 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

On a computer that is running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2), you receive the following Stop error message:
STOP 0x0000000A (parameter1, parameter2, parameter3, parameter4) IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
Then, the computer restarts automatically. This issue usually occurs when one of the following conditions is true:
  • This computer hosts many virtual machines (VM).
  • The maximum size of the working set for the operating system is decreased by using the SetSystemFileCacheSize function.
Note
  • The parameters in this error message vary, depending on the configuration of the computer.
  • Not all "Stop 0x0000000A" errors are caused by this problem.

CAUSE

This issue occurs because a process allocates its memory by using the MEM_WRITE_WATCH parameter. When the operating system terminates the process, the allocated memory is freed. However, a write watch-related flag in the EPROCESS structure is not reset. Therefore, the freed memory is accessed, and you receive the Stop error message that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section.

RESOLUTION

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Prerequisites

To apply this hotfix, your must be running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) on your computer.

Registry information

Restart requirement

You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.

File information

The English (United States) version of this hotfix installs files that have the attributes that are listed in the following tables. The dates and the times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The dates and the times for these files on your local computer are displayed in your local time together with your current daylight saving time (DST) bias. Additionally, the dates and the times may change when you perform certain operations on the files.
Windows Server 2003 file information notes
  • In addition to the files that are listed in these tables, this hotfix also installs an associated security catalog file (KBnumber.cat) that is signed with a Microsoft digital signature.
For all supported x86-based versions of Windows Server 2003
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirement
Ntkrnlmp.exe5.2.3790.46852,500,09624-Mar-201015:49Not ApplicableSP2
Ntkrnlpa.exe5.2.3790.46852,310,65624-Mar-201014:38x86SP2
Ntkrpamp.exe5.2.3790.46852,351,61624-Mar-201014:38Not ApplicableSP2
Ntoskrnl.exe5.2.3790.46852,459,13624-Mar-201015:48x86SP2
For all supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirement
Hal.dll5.2.3790.4354280,06424-Mar-201016:29x64SP2
Ntkrnlmp.exe5.2.3790.46854,614,14424-Mar-201016:29x64SP2
Ntoskrnl.exe5.2.3790.46854,540,92824-Mar-201016:29x64SP2
For all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2003
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirementService branch
Ntdll.dll5.2.3790.44551,646,59224-Mar-201016:29IA-64SP2Not applicable
Ntkrnlmp.exe5.2.3790.46856,582,78424-Mar-201016:29IA-64SP2Not applicable
Wntdll.dll5.2.3790.4455775,16824-Mar-201016:29x86SP2WOW

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information about the memory management functions, visit the following Microsoft Tech Web sites:
General information about the SetSystemFileCacheSize function
General information about the VirtualAlloc function
For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Properties

Article ID: 979128 - Last Review: January 9, 2012 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, when used with:
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
Keywords: 
kbfix kbexpertiseadvanced kbautohotfix kbsurveynew kbqfe KB979128

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