IT Dummy needs help again

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Active Member
Jun 16, 2003
Hi- I have 2 problems which are driving me insane.
(1) The PC closes down and restarts at random. This happens whether I am on the net or, for example, working on a Word document.
(2) I keep getting the message 'Instruction at '0x0000500 referenced memory at 0x0000500. The memory cannot be read. Click OK to terminate program. Click Cancel to debug program'. Clicking either closes down whatever program I am using.
I am on Windows XP Pro and on BT Broadband. I have run the anti virus program AVG.
Can anyone help please before I am carted off by people in white coats? Thanking you.
Both your problems seem memory related to me.

Faulty memory can cause random re-booting (having said that, there are other things that do this too!)

But the second problem also points to memory as it is having a problem reading a specific portion of your memory.

There are various software memory checkers you can download for free, but they do not always pick up every fault. If you can find a computer repair shop with a Ramcheck module to test your memory that is the best hardware memory tester available. Not all repair shops will have them as they are an expensive tester, mine cost me £3,000!

Run you system monitor control and add the memory snap in. If you cannot run it ,
click start, run then type mmc. and click console add/remove snap in
Add active x snap in system monitor control.
add memory ,available megabytes
paging file% usage
If the first is less than 4mb you have a memory problem.
If the second is over 20 you have aproblem too
if the third is over 99% then you have a serious memory problem.

Hope this helps..
Referenced memory errors are very rarely (IMHO) physical errors in RAM.

Could be you are short of usable disk space for Windows to temporarily store stuff.

It is much more likely that this is a software problem and the error is because a program is putting something into a memory location and then later trying to do something stupid with it. Windows spots the conflict and you get the warning message.

Most likely a recent program installation or an update. Anything you have put on? Do you have Windows Update on automatic? Can you track back to when it started happening?
I wonder do you have adobe acrobat installed? If so take it off, then try it. Had this problem for a while with a friends machine, we later re installed with the latest version of acrobat and all was well.

Thank you all for your replies. After trying just about everything and failing to cure the problems, I left the pc with a local repair shop. They said I had a corporate version of XP Pro and needed to re-install XP (bought from them). I got pc back and then remembered a friend had worked for Microsoft. He said there was no such thing as a corporate version of XP Pro and proceeded to remove additional memory which had been installed by the repair shop. This allowed SP2 to be installed and presto, everything seems to be back to normal. So, it was a memory issue after all. Thank you to you all.
Probably didn't need the extra memory but if it's compatible there's no need to remove it - it can only help performance (and wouldn't prevent SP2 being installed, it was the version of Windows you had already that was doing that).

Yes there was a "Corporate" version of XP Pro it was originally a development version where the serial key to install was mass pirated. It was actually a release version of XP but acquired the pseudonym 'Corporate' from its alledged source. The serial numbers used to install it are all spotted by SP2 and it refuses to update other than the security fixes and "Windows Genuine Advantage" tool which if it had been installed would have been telling you to go get a legal copy! As other software is nowadays expecting SP1 and SP2 to be installed it is likely this is where the conflict was coming from.

Good to hear it's fixed though.
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