win32k.sys 5.1.2600.6046 (KBKB2436673) Win XP BAD_POOL_CALLER BSOD bug & workaround

Summary: replacing win32k.sys 5.1.2600.6046, which was presumably installed during an update in October 2010, with older 5.1.2600.5976, seems to have resolved a severe BSOD-on-close problem under Windows XP. This is a report of a problem I haven't seen reported, and what appears to be a solution, not a request for support. I can supply memory dumps.

Problem with Blue stop screen on Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop (AMD TL-50 dual-core Turion 64 X2 mobile, 2GB RAM). 32-bit Windows XP Pro SP3 with latest patches.

Problem probably caused some weeks before end of December 2010, not noticed as the machine was hibernated rather than switched off. In late December machine was switched off many times systematically to troubleshoot this problem; about 9 times out of 10 it displayed a stop screen invoking BAD_POOL_CALLER. After reversing some recent changes (removing programs and a print server driver) and a system restore to 2 weeks back the problem remained the same. The Microsoft VERIFIER.EXE was run to restrict all drivers; blue screens now came with mention of win32k.sys. The machine was then restored to its previous state from a backup and the 3 possible types of memory dump were generated and analysed with DUMPCHK.EXE. The large full dump file mentioned win32k.sys, which was reported as dated in October 2010 (the smaller dumps didn't identify this file). win32k.sys was version 5.1.2600.6046. On a hunch I restored a previous version, from a backup, 5.1.2600.5976 (simply copied the one file into C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 in Safe Mode). This seems to have eliminated the stop screen problem. I haven't tried other pre-6046 versions of this file.

The Microsoft update that installed the offending driver is KB2436673. This update wants to reinstall itself until cancelled.

I don't know if the problem was due to my particular configuration, other installed drivers, etc., but replacing the newer by an older version of win2k.sys seems to have eliminated the problem with no visible consequences.

KB981957 update wants to install win32k.sys version 5.1.2600.6033; Haven't allowed it.

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Last updated March 26, 2018 Views 1,376 Applies to: