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Fix the 0x0000008E BSOD once and for all

Fix the 0x0000008E BSOD once and for all

Looking under every rock

Users who are willing to tackle this exhaustive process will be in one of two situations: Windows functionally boots to safe mode with networking, or Windows does not functionally boot to safe mode with networking. We’ve provided steps for each level of system functionality, so proceed to the section that applies to yours.

Windows boots to safe mode with networking

You will need working installation media for Windows XP—a recovery CD will not do—and three CDs prepared with the following utilities:

HitachGST’s Drive Fitness Test (DFT) CD image
Seagate’s SeaTools for DOS CD image
Memtest86 CD image

To freely burn these utilities to CD, Icrontic has prepared a guide to accomplish the task. Once all three CDs are ready, proceed with each of the following steps in sequence. If you uncover a problem at any step, it is imperative that you remedy the issue before moving on. You may also find that resolving an intermediary issue eliminates the 0x0000008E stop error, so be sure to test Windows before continuing with additional steps.

  1. Evaluate the condition of your PC’s memory by testing it with Memtest86. If this fails, you need to replace your system memory and continue.
  2. Evaluate the condition of your hard drive by testing it with Drive Fitness Test. Should DFT fail to correctly function on your system, perform a long scan with SeaTools. If this fails, you need to replace your hard drive after archiving your information. If simple archival fails, Icrontic has prepared an emergency data recovery guide to account for this issue. Replacing your hard drive will require that you reinstall Windows.
  3. Evaluate the output of your power supply by testing it with a digital multimeter (DMM). If the power supply is producing insufficient voltages, it must be replaced.
  4. If all prior components have been replaced or given a clean bill of health, we have narrowed down the roster of possible culprits to three: A bunged up operating system, a faulty motherboard, or a faulty processor. It is rather unlikely that the processor or motherboard are to blame, so we will now troubleshoot the operating system.
  5. Now that we’ve reasonably identified the OS as the source of the issue, you need to enter Windows’ safe mode with networking. Download and run Trend Micro’s HijackThis application. Press the do a system scan only button and wait for the process to finish. A long list of checkboxes adjacent to various text entries will appear. Check every box and press fix checked. You may be prompted with a series of yes/no boxes, so be sure to answer yes to all of them.
  6. If removing startup items has failed to remedy the issue, boot back in safe mode with networking and access the device manager. Expand all the categories with the following labels: Disk drives, Display adapters, IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, Network adapters and Sound, video and game controllers. Right click on every device contained in those categories and uninstall the device. Also be sure to uninstall any drivers and software related to scanners, webcams and printers. Reboot the PC and attempt to return to your normal desktop. If you can successfully access your normal environment, you must obtain and install the newest drivers for your video adapter, sound card, motherboard chipset, and any printers, cameras or scanners you may have uninstalled.
  7. If driver replacement has failed to correct the issue, you must be absolutely positive that strains of the Vundo spyware, Smitfraud spyware and Rustock virus are not present on your system. Run the following tools/fixes in sequence to remedy any of these potential issues: A) Vundofix, B) Smitfraudfix, C) Rustock.B Fix.
  8. If these fixes have failed to correct the issue, you have effectively exhausted your options when it comes to troubleshooting the current installation of Windows. Please follow the “Windows does not load and/or does not appear to be installed” section of Icrontic’s reformatting guide. This guide will walk you through the process of backing up your data and reinstalling Windows from scratch.
  9. If you are still confronted with the 0x0000008E error after a reformat, you must now suspect your motherboard and processor. Each component must be replaced with an identical part to eliminate the possibility of fault without introducing new instability through introducing differing hardware.

If you have not already hurled your computer from an eleventh story window, it should now be functioning as intended.

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  1. LIN
    LIN Excellent. Thanks, Thrax. :thumbup :thumbup
  2. Your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Guy Wonderfully thorough post. I've never seen anybody try to tackle the 0x8E blue screen with such in depth troubleshooting. Looks like you covered all the bases, bravo!
  3. troll
    troll Excellent Thrax!

    Great Guide!
  4. Zuntar
    Zuntar Very nice, and an EXCELLENT use of many of the other guides!! Go Icrontic!!1
  5. Leonardo
    Leonardo Well done, well done.
  6. Asif I actually went and bought all new PC parts thinking it was my PC or my raptor hard drives. Got whole new spec parts AM2 CPU, DDR ram etc and the other day boom! blue screen again! So I took out the ram replaced it one by one and its all good because my pc would not even go into windows let alone show the bios!
    So now thinking its the powersupply I went and got a new PSU, from a Hiper 500w to a Hiper 630w. Hope that does something good!
  7. johndoe2009doe
  8. Broozm Hmm... Nowhere in the [excellent] long threads I have read has this step been suggested..If you can boot linux CD and access the info on the harddrive, then it has to be the operating system on the hard drive and possibly the drivers that load when the OS loads...? Correct?
  9. Thrax
  10. KC I can't believe you advised to check EVERY box in HiJackThis.
    That is NOT what that program is for.
    MOST of the entries are valid, you must know which ones are invalid.

  11. Thrax
    Thrax In this case, that is what the program is for, and there's nothing that can be deleted with HJT that cannot be run from the start menu. The 0x0000008E issue can arise as a result of executables that aren't playing nicely with the system. It happens all the time.

    Thank you for your comment, but you are unfortunately incorrect.
  12. Herrmann
    Herrmann Many thanks to Rob Hallock whose article helped me into fixing a recurrent BSOD issue on a newly assembled PC.
    I ran Memtest86 : OK,
    I ran HighjackThis : 8 suspect register entries and 2 suspect extras, which were fixed.

    The 2 following sites helped in indetifying those entries:

    I stopped at that step of the curing process, as the issue proved to be solved.
    The problem encountered was a reboot when attempting to login as admin or regular user on an AMD PC running XP Pro SP3.

    Great article.
  13. Herrmann
    Herrmann Add to my previous post
    Unfortunately, BSOD occurred again after 5 days of normal run.
    I ran HighjackThis again : OK
    I ran SmitfraudFix : some suspect entries that were fixed (after Register backup)
    I ran CCleaner and fixed incorrect entries
    Still erratic BSOD.
    BSOD indicated faulty portcls.sys : even if this is not the only possible cause, I disabled Onboard Sound in BIOS yesterday.
    So far, the PC run OK.

    PC configuration is:
    GA-MA790FXT UD5P mb
    Phenom II x4 955, no oc
    2x1Gb DDR3 12800 OCZ Platinum
    HDD WD RE3 250Gb

    Next step: I'll update Sound drivers (new version 2009/07/09)
    Some useful stuff there:
  14. Herrmann
    Herrmann As a conclusion:
    I upgraded Realtek driver for onboard audio from Gigabyte support page (http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/Driver_Model.aspx?ProductID=3005&ost=xp#anchor_os) and then re-enabled onboard audio.
    The PC runs OK and sound is OK too.
    So, for GA-MA790FXT UD5P owners encountering BSOD at login (XP SP3), I recommend the upgrade of Realtek driver, in the case onboard sound is enabled.
    Thanks for the valuable information I found here.
  15. Thrax
    Thrax I'm glad you ofund a solution Herrmann! I'm glad -- even if it was a pain for you -- that you also helped prove that this BSOD can be a result of anything.
  16. Imants These all steps we can make after system restore in safe mode! But thanks anyway... :)
  17. propedor
    propedor I noticed pages 2 and 3 are strangely similar
  18. Thrax
    Thrax That's because the processes are similar for the scenarios outlined at the beginning of each page.
  19. GrumpyGrizz I have Vista and my computer started going wonky a few days ago, BSOD, rebooting by itself,not loading, so I found your site and after running the tests, the only thing that would show up was a memory error when both sticks were in the MB. I then took out one and ran the test and it was fine, thought stick in there was problem, but no, when I tested it it passed. I can now load computer when one stick is in(I've tried both separately)and both work and also put them on different posts and they work SEPARATELY, but when I put both on together, computer won't boot up, it gets a bit in and then reboots itself.Any ideas?
  20. Thrax
    Thrax Some memory sticks just plain don't play friendly with one another. I've definitely had that happen to me before. Your best bet is to simply replace both sticks with a kit and be on your merry.
  21. GrumpyGrizz Thanks for the quick reply Thrax, does this happen even if they played together fine for 2.5 years(no married jokes)
  22. Thrax
    Thrax You know, come to think of it, it could easily be a memory controller or motherboard issue. I think the safest bet is to borrow some memory from a friend if you can, and then run memtest again. If memtest comes up clear, I would go ahead and replace the memory (no married jokes!), but if it comes up bad, I would take a closer look at the reliability of your motherboard.
  23. GrumpyGrizz Thanks again, I'll give that a try and see what happens.

  24. Brian Requena Thrax...Very good tutorial, thank you for putting in the time to shed some light on this issue.
  25. JOSEPH please help me...please i try to do every thing and this blue screen is so bad i can't play any of my games...it wouldn't stop if there is a download that i can get please help me please help and not free scan things! Please help me so badly.
  26. Samuel I have a severe problem with the 0x0000008E

    I am unable to run any repair or recovery, and am unable to enter in safe mode.

    I decided to just abandon my files, and reformat the computer but that will not even run. I put in the Vista disc and push the key to boot from the disc, but after selecting my language and clicking install it just crashes again and brings me back to the blue screen of death.

    Vista is my operating system and all the guides seem to be for XP, or they ask you to do things to fix the computer, and I am unable to do anything, even reformat. What can I do? Thanks.
  27. troll
    Samuel wrote:
    I have a severe problem with the 0x0000008E

    ...I put in the Vista disc and push the key to boot from the disc, but after selecting my language and clicking install it just crashes again and brings me back to the blue screen of death...

    Hi Samuel.
    Sounds to me like you have bad ram, use another computer and burn a copy of memtest 86+


    Boot it on the defective computer and see if your ram is bad.
  28. Corey Reformatting isn't your only option if you can't boot into windows, surely.
    I'd first attempt manually getting rid of start up items through something like UBCD4Windows or Vista PE.

    I didn't see virus scans mentioned either, this should be one of the first steps in the elimination of any error like this, as you don't need to boot into windows (its in fact more effective outside of windows) to perform these...

    If you can find a way to run chkdsk, or sfcscan they could also prove helpful.

    Just some ideas
  29. Superstition I've had a "scattered, popcorn screen" for a year or so. And then after about eight months, updated my graphics card internally and soon got the screen + BSOD and got this Stop #:

    0x0000008e (0xc0000005, 0x82885cc0, 0xa9093b14, 0x00000000)

    And so after about a month with that, I rebooted my OS System from manufactor date. The reboot worked for about a day, and now the issue is back. I can't do streaming sites like YouTube or anything. And it's really becoming troubling to me because I could be working on something in Photoshop, etc. and it'll cause me to lose all my work.

    I looked up the # and it told me it was memory/RAM. Is this the issue or not?

    I run a Windows Vista. And this issue has been happening for over a year. =/ It's a more complicated story than what I've posted.
  30. Dan I've had a screen BLUE and got this Stop 0X000008E (0XC0000005,0X84AA16E1,0XAO56BD08,0X00000000)

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