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Windows 7: BSOD Stop Code F4

13 Mar 2013   #1
cosmikdebris

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
BSOD Stop Code F4

Hi , I am running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on a Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook. My Windows has been crashing periodically since I purchased the laptop several months ago. I have contacted Dell for technical support and everything they have recommended (factory reset, Windows re-install, updating drivers) has failed to rectify the issue.

In the past I would receive STOP code 0x0000009F, but I have not received this error in recent weeks. Last week my system crashed with the following message:

Atheros PCIE ethernet controller error: "Check cable connection"
Intel PXE MOF: Exiting INTEL PXE ROM
No bootable device - insert book disk and press any key

Based on what research I have done with this message, it may indicate hard drive failure.

The most recent crash occurred last night. The OS suddenly failed - I could not open any programs or task manager, and explorer.exe would not respond. Then I saw a blue screen with the STOP code 0x000000F4. It generated a kernel-mode memory dump which I have attached.

I would greatly appreciate if anyone would take some of their free time to analyze the crash dump so I can solve this headache. Thank you!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Mar 2013   #2
koolkat77

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10 Home 64Bit
 
 

Welcome to Seven Forums

Is the firmware for your SSD up-to-date?

Check for one and see if the stability returns.

Perform a System File Check to check the integrity of all protected Windows 7 :
  1. Click on the start
  2. Type CMD on Search
  3. Left click and Run as Administrator
  4. Type
    Code:
    SFC /scannow
Full tutorial here:Check your hard drive(s) for errors by running chkdskNumber down items at start-up. Keep only your anti-virus, this also improves the time for logging into windows.We recommended Microsoft Security Essentials from a strict BSOD perspective. Is most compatible & provides most stability compared to other antivirus app/Internet Security Software.
warning   Warning
Do not start the free trial of Malware Bytes; remember to deselect that option when prompted.


Run a full scan with both (separately) once downloaded, installed and updated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2013   #3
cosmikdebris

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Hi koolkat, thanks for your reply .

I do not know if the firmware on my SSD is updated, how may I check this?

All the tests came back positive. Scannow found no problems, chkdsk showed 0 bad sectors, and virus scans came up zero threats. What do you recommend next?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Mar 2013   #4
koolkat77

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10 Home 64Bit
 
 

Does this link help: Driver Details | Dell US
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #5
cosmikdebris

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

While the .pdf in the download does explain well how to update the firmware, I am still unsure of how I should go about checking my current version. Sorry, I am not too knowledgeable with hardware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #6
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

cosmikdebris, maybe I can help with the SSD firmware update. What SSD make and model do you have now? To find what firmware you have now, click the start button and in the search box type device, click on device manager, when in device manager click the arrow next to disk drives to expand it. It will show all your hard drives. Right click your SSD, and select properties, click on the details tab, in the middle of that page will be a box labeled device description, click on that and it will expand to a long list. The second one in the list is Hardware ID, click on that. At the end of the line will be some numbers, that is your firmware. It will look like the one below. You will notice I have a Samsung 830 hard drive and my firmware is version CXM03B1Q. Please tell me what your firmware is and the manufacturer and model/and size of your SSD. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Attachment 259541
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2013   #7
cosmikdebris

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Hi essenbe, my SSD is Samsung PM830 mSata 32GB, firmware CXM12D1Q. Thank you for your help .

UPDATE: Windows crashed again. Sadly no blue screen or crash dump. I suddenly lost all functionality while I was using it. I could not open programs or task manager and the desktop icons flashed, then I was left with the wallpaper and a movable cursor and nothing else. I shut down before a blue screen appeared.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2013   #8
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cosmikdebris View Post
Hi essenbe, my SSD is Samsung PM830 mSata 32GB, firmware CXM12D1Q. Thank you for your help .
I have searched, and am unable to find new firmware for your SSD. Did your SSD come from Dell? It seems that the PM830 is a Samsung SSD made specifically for Dell computers and has Dell firmware on them not from Samsung. That is why the Samsung Magician will not/can not recognize it or Samsung updates don't recognize it. Samsung will make hardware for OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) like Dell, but the drivers and updates come from the OEM, not Samsung. This is fairly common in the industry. What is not that common is that these OEMs do not keep up with firmware updates for those items. It appears Dell is in that category. In my reading it appears that these drives have caused problems with some computers and are made to Dell specifications and do not perform as well as the Samsung drives. You may find this, from the Dell communities interesting. I realize you don't have an Alienware computer, but the drives are from the same place.
Unable to firmware update samsung ssd that came in r3 - Alienware Forum - Alienware Club - Dell Community

EDIT: I have asked someone who works for Dell to take a look and see if they may help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2013   #9
cosmikdebris

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

This is very interesting. So basically I am using an inferior SSD, lol nice. Do you think this may be causing the crashing? The reason I am asking this is because I have contacted Dell again, and now that they see that I have called them 6.02e23 times in the last month they agreed to send a technician to inspect my hardware/drives, and I'm wondering whether he should replace my Hitachi HDD or the Samsung SSD. I don't have much confidence that he will know that himself after my experience with tech support (excuse my cynicism, haha)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2013   #10
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

I understand perfectly. I can't give advice on what to replace or repair. I'm not there and can't see exactly what is happening. I would advise him to do something about your SSD though. Try starting off telling him you want it replaced with a new computer. It won't work, but it is a good starting point for negotiations. My advice, is be nice to the repair guy. If it is like it used to be, he does not work for Dell and has only minor control over what happens. He is usually a computer repair person who sub contracts through Dell as well as others. In other words, he is the only one who can help you, don't make him mad. The ones I have had dealings with are not the greatest technicians, but do try and want to help. If you can get both drives replaced do it. But, back up your personal data first and see if the tech will let you return the drive after you have wiped it clean. They usually will. They understand. Just explain the problems you have been having and let him determine what to do. And ask him nicely to explain why, that you would like to understand. be sure to let us know what happens, and good luck. Anything else you have questions about, feel free to ask. But, you did the correct thing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BSOD Stop Code F4




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