Vista crashes when sending email

Paging Drachillix

I’m doing my nut over this. On random emails, Vista (Home Premium) will crash with a STOP 0x0000000a (0x00000000 0x00000002 0x00000001 0x81883653) IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL message.

Delete the offending message and all is fine for a while… until the next time. I get the same problem in both PocoMail and PMMail 2000.

What’s particularly wierd is the BSOD. Microsoft’s KB is almost useless as usual.

Vista is fully patched. I’ve not tried the SP1 release candidate. I’ve got Office 2003 installed. I’ve tried removing the virus-checker.

System is a Shuttle SS31T 2 GB, MSI 8600GTS, 2x HDD in a RAID 1.

IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL is probably wrong. The error message is likely IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, which means a kernel-mode application or a driver is trying to access memory it didn’t own. Click the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL link on the left-side bar of this page. (I hate frames.)

For future reference, Googling the error message is generally a useful tactic.

Thanks - you’re quite correct, it is IRQL, a typo on my part. That site just refers you to various Microsoft KB articles. Google didn’t turn up anything useful. I forgot to say that the Event Log entry was similarly unhelpful. The nearest I got was a Compaq server with faulty memory.

This is a repeatable error - that is, I can save the errant email and when I resend it, the machine crashes.

It’s a conundrum.

Like Derleth said, it’s a driver issue. If it’s only occurring when sending an email, I’d guess that the network card driver is the culprit. Check to see if there is an updated Vista driver for your network chipset.

All drivers are up to date (video, chipset, NIC, RAID, sound, etc). Vista is fully up to date. It’s wierd and frustrating. And the Event Logs are bloody useless. I even pine for the old NT BSOD: you could tell what was causing the fault a lot more easily.

You may not consider this a useful suggestion, but try finding another (i.e. different brand from the one you have) network card. You can probably get a cheap USB card if you don’t want to go mucking with opening your case to install it. I had a motherboard-mounted Yukon chipset on a PC once that caused no end of problems every time the drivers were updated; going back to the oldest, Microsoft-written driver solved the problem temporarily, but I ended up dropping a cheap 3COM card in as a permanent fix. I never had another BSOD with that machine afterwards.

On the contrary. It’s a motherboard job though and there are no free slots, so USB it will have to be.

You rang :slight_smile:

I concur with the esteemed Derleth with an initial diagnosis of a driver memory allocation issue but I would serious wonder why it is only applying to email. As a quick test, could you try configuring Vista’s Windows mail client to your mail provider and see if windows mail has the same issue. If it does rolling back your nic drivers or a system restore rolling back to before the error was an issue may be helpful. Sometimes its not truly a bad driver but an update that did not apply properly.

My other $.02 worth would be is there a problem with your mail software. I am not familiar with those specific apps to comment without researching first, but if windows mail or outlook will handle it fine but you other mail apps crash I would suspect that app making an inappropriate driver call more so than a bad driver. Could the email in question have a virus or script that is freaking out your network handling?

Windows KB will not always shed much light when you are talking about something that is potentially not a windows problem.

Thanks. Unfortunately there is really no ‘before’ to which to roll back to as this is a recent installation and the problem has occurred sporadically ab initio. My initial thought was that it was a problem with PMMail 2000 - a very old app - and tried assorted techniques (compatability modes etc) to investigate, to no avail. Though why the simple sending of an email should cause a BSOD rather than just crashing the app is beyond me. The problem occurs once every once in a while and has occurred on a plain text message.

One other thing: I’ve done a full memory test which has found nothing.

A basic text smtp/POP3 email should not BSOD a machine under any circumstances, is there some specific reason why you need to use PMMail or just preference. It may be time to think about a different mail solution.

Give it a whirl in outlook, I’d bet you wont have the problem if PMMail is taken out of the loop.

I agree with the others: Take PMMail out of the loop. Install Thunderbird* and try that.

*(What’s the price? Zero twice.)

I have taken PMMail out of the loop: I tried another email client, PocoMail, and experienced the same problem. Therefore I deduce that the problem is not at the client end.

No, what you’ve deduced is that the problem isn’t with the email program. The problem is still at your end unless a Nasty Evil Server can cause programs on your computer to access bad memory addresses.

At this point, I think it’s a driver. It is vaguely possible you have physically bad RAM modules that flip enough bits pointers are getting corrupted, but that would be surprising in this day and age. You might want to try out Memtest86 to rule out that possibility entirely.

You are quite correct: I was talking of email client rather than workstation client. I’ve run a memory test which found nothing and have Vista’s driver verifier active. Of course, after happenning every 2-3 days, the problem has not recurred (touch wood).

“They X-rayed my head and didn’t find nothing.” – Dizzy Dean

(Sorry. It was just too classic.)

If its working with that alternative then great, your problem could very well have been pmmail. I am still hestitant to decisively say driver problem unless MS apps are having the same problem. The behaviors of third party apps are not always good indicators of a problem with windows. I would sooner trust outlook2k3 or windows mail to play nice with vista long before thunderbird or any other app. Even though some of those apps offer superior features and or security they are not as well tested to integrate seamlessly with windows like Outlook is.

So if you really want to call it busted, try outlook, if outlook is popping BSOD’s you definitely have a problem.