System Crash (STOP error), General Advice for End-Users

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Summary

This Knowledgebase article provides general advice for end-users about System Crash (STOP error).


More Information

Under certain circumstances, your server may stop responding (hang) and an error message similar to the example below may be displayed on a blue screen. The message shows the text “STOP” followed by an error code, and four parameters in parentheses:

STOP error_code (parameter1, parameter2, parameter3, parameter4)
Optional_error_message

This type of system failure is a rare event and is the result of an unexpected and unrecoverable problem within the Windows kernel or one of the system’s drivers. It is sometimes referred to as a “Blue Screen of Death” (BSOD).

To identify the root cause of a System Crash, it is necessary to perform an analysis of a dump of the virtual memory at the moment the problem occurred.

To ensure that such information can be generated, Neverfail recommends that both the Primary and Secondary servers be configured to produce a complete memory dump when a System Crash occurs. It is prudent to make sure that the disk location specified for the full dump is capable of storing a file, which can be as large as the total amount of virtual memory configured for the machine.

If a System Crash occurs, and one of Neverfail Heartbeat’s components is implicated, the first course of action is to take note of the “STOP message” that accompanied the BSOD. The stop message consists of a stop code and four parameters. The stop message is displayed as part of the information on the blue screen at the point of system failure and should be recorded if possible. Failing that, the stop message can be extracted from the machine’s system event log when it reboots. The dump file should be compressed and stored safely in a temporary location.

The stop message, in combination with size of the compressed dump file and additional diagnostic information described in Knowledgebase article #146 - 'How to Retrieve the Neverfail Heartbeat Logs and Other Useful Information for Support Purposes', should then be sent to your normal Neverfail support contact. As part of their initial response to the problem, your support contact will specify whether the dump file is required and specify a means of delivery.

Further remedial steps will be advised at this stage towards getting the Primary or Secondary server operational. If the system failure occurred on the Primary server, it would be worth reviewing the steps required to re-establish the server pair in the online documentation.


Applies To

All Versions


Related Information

See also, Microsoft knowledge Base article 129845 - 'Blue Screen Preparation Before Contacting Microsoft', for additional relevant information.

KBID-147

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