This is one Stop Error that has been giving me nightmares. The error occurs after 5-10 minutes of heavy activity on my Windows XP SP2 system. The activities can include Win RAR Maximum compression or compiling a big movie using Windows Movie Maker.

Initially, I thought it was due to overheating of the CPU as the error would always occur after 4-5 minutes and it could be avoided if the operation was run through a pause-resume cycle. However, the BIOS did not report any overheating event. The temperature was a bit high, but certainly not beyond the recommended limits. Then, I thought that my system must have got corrupted, so I dual booted with another clean install of Windows XP SP2. But, the problem existed there as well.

Next, I tried booting into safe mode and doing the RAR compression there. This worked and I seemed to be nearing to the culprit – a driver error. I would not mind to do RAR compressions in safe mode, but Windows Movie Maker would not work in Safe mode. So, I had to resolve this error. I started scrolling the time backwards, trying to recall when was it that problem didn’t exist and what changes (Hardware/Software) I had made since then.

I pin pointed the Blue Screen of Death error to the additional 512 MB DDR Ram module that I had recently installed. So, I took out the new chip and tried to run the processes. This worked and the annoying IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error was no where to be seen. I tried the same with just the other chip on and the error didn’t reproduce there either. So, the problem seems to be a case of incompatibility between the two RAM chips. Strangely though, they are at peace with each other as long as a three way heavy Job (CPU, RAM & HDD) isn’t executed.


I have switched the RAM chips to single channel mode. Currently, a test run with heavy stress is under action. 9 Minutes into the RAR Compression & all is OK up until now.

15 Minutes gone, still no Stop Error. Another thing that I did, was reset the BIOS settings to Optimal.

After 27 minutes of non-stop compression, the process has finally come to an end. The good news is that, the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Stop Error did not surface.

Switching to Single Channel mode does negate some amount of the performance gain as the Intel Processors do benefit from the Dual Channel mode. But, that is a very minor issue compared to what I had been facing. All is well that ends well.

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