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Bad ReadyBoost Memory Stick Wreaks Havok

March 20, 2009

I had been having incredibly bad stability issues with my the PC in my home office. They were so bad that I gave up on trying to use the PC until the problems were fixed. At times the PC would not even boot and inevitably each session would end with a Blue Screen of Death and a hard stop error. Among those stop errors were 0x00000024, 0x000000D1, 0x0000007A and 0x0000007B and one time the source was identified as NTFS.sys, but they were really all over the board.

Several hours long sessions on the phone with Velocity Micro, they systems manufacturer and hours of memory and hard drive tests failed to reveal a cause. The system was ultimately approved for return to the manufacturer for testing there.

As I was getting ready to send in the system I noticed that there was a 2GB USB memory stick that I had been using for Vista’s ReadyBoost that I had inserted into a USB port on the back of my monitor. I removed and attempted to reformat it because I would no longer be needing it for ReadyBoost while the PC was in the shop. The reformat failed… on several different machines.

I thought perhaps this might be the source of my problems and so far that hypothesis has been born out. I have had no crashes in the approximately four days since I removed the USB key.


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