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Article ID: 329284 - Last Review: September 23, 2011 - Revision: 4.0

This article was previously published under Q329284
For a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 162363  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/162363/ ) .

SYMPTOMS

You may receive the following Stop error message in Windows XP:
STOP: 0x0000009C (0x00000004, 0x00000000, 0xb2000000, 0x00020151)
"MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION"
The four parameters inside the parentheses may vary.

CAUSE

This behavior occurs because your computer processor detected and reported an unrecoverable hardware error to Windows XP. To do this, the processor used the Machine Check Exception (MCE) feature of Pentium processors or the Machine Check Architecture (MCA) feature of some Pentium Pro processors. The following factors may cause this error message:
  • System bus errors
  • Memory errors that may include parity or Error Correction Code (ECC) problems
  • Cache errors in the processor or hardware
  • Translation Lookaside Buffers (TLB) errors in the processor
  • Other CPU-vendor specific detected hardware problems
  • Vendor-specific detected hardware problems

RESOLUTION

Use the Windows Error Reporting tool

When this error occurs, use the Windows Error Reporting tool. With this tool, you can send the error report directly to Microsoft, and then the tool will report back if a fix or a workaround is available. To use this tool, follow these steps:
  • Click Send Error Report when you are prompted to send the error report to Microsoft.
  • If a fix or a workaround is available, click More Information after you send the error report to Microsoft. This helps you obtain the fix or information about how to work around the issue.
If a fix or a workaround is not available, you can contact Microsoft support try to help resolve this issue. For information about how to contact Microsoft support, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/ (http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/)

Contact your hardware manufacturer

Your best bet may be to contact your hardware manufacturer or a computer hardware technician for help with troubleshooting this issue. The manufacturer may have some additional steps to try to diagnose this problem. The manufacturer will be able to determine whether the hardware has to be repaired or replaced.

MORE INFORMATION

A machine check exception occurs when Windows XP and your hardware platform cannot recover from a hardware error so that the system can continue to run successfully and reliably. More specific diagnosis of machine check exceptions is difficult, and there is no general solution. Contact your hardware manufacturer or a computer hardware technician for help with troubleshooting this issue.

Machine check exceptions are frequently caused by one of the following conditions:
  • You are running the processor or mainboard beyond its specifications. For example, you are overclocking the processor or bus. We recommend that you run your hardware at the manufacturer-rated speeds.
  • Noisy power, overstressed power strips, outmatched power supplies and failing power supplies can destabilize your computer. Make sure that you have a stable, reliable power supply to your computer.
  • Extreme thermal conditions caused by the failure of cooling devices such as fans may damage your computer. Make sure that your cooling devices are all working.
  • You have damaged memory or memory that is not the correct type for your computer. If you recently changed the memory configuration, revert to the previous configuration to determine what is wrong. Make sure that you are using the correct memory for your computer.
Note Your hardware may support additional error logging features that capture the machine check exception and suggest a more specific solution.

The Pentium and Pentium Pro processors provide a mechanism to detect and to report hardware-related problems such as memory parity errors and cache errors. To signal a hardware error, the processor signals the detection of a machine check error by generating a machine check exception (Interrupt 18). Windows XP reports that the error occurred and displays parameters that you can use to decode the exception. Contact your hardware vendor or processor manufacturer for information about the Machine Check Architecture, or see the Intel Pentium Pro Family Developer's Manual - Volume 3: Operating System Writer's Manual.

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbresolve kberrmsg kbprb kbprod2web KB329284
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