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Article ID: 315223 - Last Review: January 30, 2013 - Revision: 3.0

This article was previously published under Q315223

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Symptoms

During the Windows startup process, the computer may stop responding (hang), and you may receive the following error message:
*** Hardware Malfunction
Call your hardware vendor for support
*** The system has halted ***
One of the following error messages may also be included:
NMI: Parity Check / Memory Parity Error
NMI: Channel Check / IOCHK
NMI: Fail-safe timer
NMI: Bus Timeout
NMI: Software NMI generated
NMI: Eisa IOCHKERR board x

Cause

This behavior can occur if a hardware component malfunctions, or if there are damaged or incompatible drivers installed.

Resolution

To try to resolve this behavior, use the following troubleshooting techniques. Because Windows can display only basic error messages when hardware malfunctions occur, troubleshooting can be difficult. Most equipment problems center around the motherboard, the RAM on a motherboard or on an adapter, or the cache memory on a motherboard or on an adapter.

To troubleshoot basic hardware problems, try one or more of the following:

Check the Adapters

Remove any adapters that are not required to start the computer and run Windows. In many cases, you can start your computer with only the drive subsystem controller and the video adapter.

If the error message does not appear, one of the adapters that you removed is the source of the problem. Reinstall each adapter separately, restarting after each adapter is installed, to see whether the error returns. If the error does not return after you reinsert all of the adapters, it is possible that one of the adapter cards just needed to be reseated. After your computer is running again, monitor the computer to make sure that the error does not return.

Solution

If reseating the adapters does not solve the problem, replace the adapter that is causing the error.

Check the Computer BIOS/Configuration

Verify that you have installed the latest revisions for your computer's BIOS or firmware configuration software. Go into the BIOS and set load Fail-safe defaults or BIOS defaults, disable any antivirus protection in the BIOS, and then set Plug and Play OS to No.

The type of hardware that your computer uses and the design of the motherboard determine what part of your computer's firmware can actually be updated. Various manufacturers provide diagnostic tools for troubleshooting.

Solution

Update the BIOS, the firmware, and/or the EISA configuration.

If none of these procedures isolates or resolves the issue, the problem can be narrowed down to the motherboard, drive subsystem controller, hard drive, or the video adapter. Advanced RAID or other caching controllers can have RAM, processor chips, or both that could also be the problem. If the simplest configuration contains one of these advanced adapters, resolving the problem may require use of additional troubleshooting or diagnostic software, possibly using duplicate hardware.

Check For Updated Drivers

For additional information about updating drivers and managing devices in Windows XP, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
283658  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/283658/EN-US/ ) HOW TO: Manage Devices in Windows XP

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbhardware kbprb KB315223
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