BSOD error 0x0000008E in Windows XP SP3


Oct 28, 2014
RE: Dell Optiplex 170L desktop. XP PRO SP3

This 9+ yr old PC has rarely given any problems. I ran Auslogics defrag on C drive, and for the first time selected the option "move system files to beginning of disk".

At next boot up, Windows starts to load and then stops, showing BSOD error > Stop: 0x0000008E ( 0xc0000005, 0x805E0EB3, 0xAF90F93C, 0x00000000 )

Windows XP Blue Screen Troubleshooting | Dell US

These two errors indicate that a program running in the kernel encountered an unexpected condition it could not recover from. They have identical troubleshooting and resolution steps, and you will probably need to use the Windows Debugger to find out what caused the error.

Things to check:

If the Blue Screen message mentions a driver or library file, figure out what driver or application that file is part of and update or disable it.
Update the system BIOS to the latest available revision.
Uninstall any recently installed programs, and roll-back any recently installed drivers.
Run diagnostics on the computer's memory.

The Dell diagnostics lights A,B,C, and D are all green which is good.

I ran Windows Diagnostics from the Resource CD and all tests passed except - IDE device failed > blank media or no media is present in optical drive > error codes 0F00:026C / 0F00:046C / 0F00:136C. ( I know one of my optical drives is buggy )

From the Dell Reinstallation CD ( XP SP2 ), I accessed the Recovery Console and ran chkdsk /p which "found one or more errors on the volume". Ran chkdsk /r and the process finished without any problems.

I'm not familiar with DOS and need help with other commands which may resolve this.... ie bootcfg, fixmbr or fixboot.

After exiting DOS, tried to boot from last known good configuration and got same BSOD error. I also tried to boot in Safe Mode but the PC freezes while files are loading.

I've found the following links but not sure which should be used.

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

Repairing Windows XP in Eight Commands « Icrontic

Repairing Unbootable XP Systems with One Command

Based on your experience, what do you suggest?

thanks for your help,


PC system details:
Dell Optiplex 170L desktop
CPU: Intel P4, 2.8GHz
Ram: 2GB
OS: XP Pro SP3
Security software: Online Armour firewall, AVAST
The STOP Errors seem to point to a RAM issue... suggestions are to reset the RAM modules, or replace them, the first should be done, but the second, if you were not having previous RAM issues, it's not likely that replacing them would achieve anything.

The next error codes (0f00 136c) seem to indicate a bad hard drive as you have already been adviced online...(I found your post on another forum), but that doesn't seem logical if all you did was to defragg the hard drive. Try running the FIXMBR and follow with FIXBOOT from the Recovery Console. Just type fixmbr and press Enter and follow with fixboot... bootcfg requires your type in the boot.ini text manually so that is out of the question since fixboot renews the boot.ini file automatically.

One other option would be to type the path to the System Restore executable (rstrui.exe) in the Recovery Console... I have never had to do it, but I read it on a Microsoft forum, for full description click on the link
if it runs System Restore that should solve it, but it may not work because it may require administrator authentication according to the user that mentioned it... and he must have hit a wall, but you have nothing to lose by attempting it, since something that doesn't work for one user can work for another.

If it doesn't work, see if anything here works.
Recovery Console commands

Windows XP Professional Startup options

Windows XP Professional To start the computer in safe mode

From the three links you posted: The first one seems the only option that would deffinitely work. The Eight commands are the same you can use from the Recovery Console to repair the Boot Sector, and are just as promising as executing fixmbr and fixboot. So if these commands don't work, the Repair Install may be the only solution.

Another possibility is a program named RegResWiz (Registry Restore Wizard) that included in the Hiren's Boot CD... It executes registry backups that are automatically saved in the
C:\System32/Config folder... If your system has saved backups it should solve the problem, but if it has not, it will not help.

The Hiren's Boot CD also includes the tool Keyfinder to recover your Windows XP product key serial if you should need to recover it but on a Dell computer it should be on the COA sticker. Sometimes the product key is not needed for Repair installs but better type it in a piece of paper to have it ready to use. If you have doubts about losing personal files with a Repair installation, that is a remote possibility... I have done quite a few repair installs, and have never lost a single file during them, but still if you want to backup your files, you can do it from the Hiren's Boot CD. If you have enough space in your Hard Drive, you can create a new partition with the included tool named Minitool Partition Wizard.. next move your files from C:\Documents and Settings\your user\My Documents, to the new partition.

Installing Windows XP - Full tutorial

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

Repairing Windows XP in Eight Commands « Icrontic

Repairing Unbootable XP Systems with One Command


Oct 28, 2014

Hi Chicano,

Thank you for the detailed analysis. I'll try using the System Restore executable (rstrui.exe) in the Recovery Console first, then go with FIXMBR and FIXBOOT. This makes sense since selecting the option to "move system files to beginning of disk" for the defrag may have been too much of a file shuffle.

Doing an XP Repair Install appears to be more invasive and will save that for last.

That said, what about saving the existing MBR file just as a precaution before running FIXMBR? Is that possible?

Also, any chance of ruining the data on C drive if doing FIXMBR? Wondering if I should clone C drive first before attempting FIXMBR? I do not have recent data backed up.

There is also the possibility of running the System File Checker (SFC /Scannow) from the Recovery Console the same way you can attempt to run System Restore... I haven't had luck finding the path to SFC.EXE... I'm on windows 7 right now and the path seems to be different. See if you have better luck, or you can search for the file in your hard drive from the Hiren's Boot CD.

You can save the MBR.. but I don't think it would be necessary since the Recovery Console can rebuild it new and free from coruption.. still if you want to save it, the Hiren's Boot CD includes different disk, partition and recovery tools among which you may find one that can save the MBR or Partition Table, one of those tools named Disk Genious may have that capability.

There is no risk of harming your data on C with fixmbr, that's done in a part of the Hard drive that's apart from the disk partitions.

Again the Hiren's Boot CD includes tools for cloning your system partition

Hiren's Boot CD / USB

Hiren's BootCD From USB Flash Drive (USB Pen Drive)

Launching Hiren's BootCD from USB Flash Drive


Oct 28, 2014
Yeah, previously tried finding details on running sfc /scannow at the Recovery Console command prompt but nothing yet.

I'll do a backup and then FIXMBR..... thanks for the clarification......


Mar 12, 2012
While this error can be removed in many ways, the most effective ones are listed below as follows.
1. Restart your computer. The BSOD might just be a fluke.
2. If you recently installed a software/driver, that change could trigger the error. If that's the case, revert to the previous settings and see if the blue screen re-occurs.
3.Check your RAM to ensure it's not damaged.
4. If you have not applied any recent updates, apply them as soon as they come along.

More information on the 0x0000008E error code:

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