This article was previously published under Q129845
For a Microsoft Windows XP version of this article, see 314103.
When a STOP message (fatal system error) occurs in Windows, it entersdebug mode for troubleshooting purposes. This appears as a blue screen andthe first few lines look similar to the following:
Stop 0x0000001e (c000009a 80123f36 02000000 00000246) Unhandled Kernel exception c000009a from 8123f26 Address 80123f36 has base at 80100000 - ntoskrnl.exe
The following are two procedures to assist you in identifying the cause ofthe STOP message before you contact Microsoft Product Support.
The Knowledge Base contains many articles that explain specific STOPmessages and often, resolutions to or ways to work around the problem.Search the Knowledge Base for at least the first hexadecimal number. Forexample, in the example above, that is "0x0000001e". It also may behelpful to search on the identified file name and other hexadecimalnumbers.
Saving STOP Messages to File
You can configure Windows to save STOP message information to a "dump"file, Memory.dmp. If you need to contact Microsoft Product Support, thiswill help you give us the specific information we need to identify theproblem.
Saving STOP message information to file is enabled by default in WindowsNT Server. However, for Windows NT Workstation, you must enable the optionmanually. This must be done prior to encountering a fatal error for theinformation to be recorded. To enable this feature, follow these steps:
In the System component of Control Panel, click the Recovery button.
Select the Write Debugging Information To check box.
Click OK until you are asked to restart the computer.
NOTE: The paging file must be at least as large as the amount of physical RAM that is installed in your computer, plus at least one megabyte (example: 32 megabytes of RAM is equal to a 33-megabyte paging file). Nominally, the paging file should be 11 megabytes larger than physical memory. The paging file must reside in the active partition. There must be enough free space in the selected location to write the memory dump file. By default, the memory dump file is written to the %SystemRoot%\Memory.dmp file. If there is not enough free space on the %SystemRoot% drive, you can redirect the dump file to another location that has enough free space. You can do this by changing the Dump File path in the Startup and Recovery options in Windows 2000 and Microsoft Windows XP, or by changing the Write Debugging Information To path on the Startup/Shutdown tab in Windows NT 4.0.
If a STOP message appears and a Memory.dmp file is created, a Microsoftsupport professional may be able to debug the dump file. Call MicrosoftProduct Support, describe the STOP message to the support professional andexplain that you have a dump file.
You may be asked to send your Memory.dmp file to Microsoft if the supportprofessional is not able to solve the problem over the phone. If so, compressthe file with an application such as PKZIP. Memory.dmp files usuallycompress significantly. Use one of the following options to upload thefile:
Send your compressed Memory.dmp file by FTP to ftp.microsoft.com. This requires FTP access to the Internet. The support professional will explain how to place your file on the FTP server. The server TCP/IP address is:
Back up your Memory.dmp file to tape using NTBackup and mail the tape to the support professional.
Copy the file to a writeable compact disc and mail it to the support professional.
If none of the above options are feasible, the support professional may be able to use Remote Access Service (RAS) to access your computer and examine or copy the Memory.dmp file. Follow these steps to prepare your computer for a Microsoft Support Professional to access it with RAS:
Create a temporary user account that a Microsoft support professional can use when accessing the Memory.dmp file.
On another server, create a share and give this new user account access to this share.
Copy the newly created Memory.dmp file to this new share.
If you don't have RAS installed at your site, install RAS on an Windows NT Server or Workstation. For security, you can install RAS on a computer and allow remote clients to connect only to that computer, not the network. If you do this, create the new network share on this computer and copy the Memory.dmp file there.
Allow the support professional user ID access to dial in to the RAS server.
Give the support professional the user name, password, domain name, server name, share name, and phone number for the modem line.