[SOLVED] Windows 10 BSOD shortly after startup

Mar 13, 2021
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Hey! I've been having some issue with a laptop (Acer Aspire A515) constantly crashing, giving the stopcode 'CRITICAL PROCESS DIED.' I was afraid that there was a hardware issue, but the system is stable in safe mode. I'm not very knowledgeable with this kind of thing, everything I've tried hasn't really helped.

I have:
  • Reinstalled windows
  • Failed to install Ubuntu
  • Checked the motherboard for visibly damaged components
  • Swapped hard drives with one from a functional computer (I'm not sure, but the Intel Optane stick inside may be the issue with this, the pc didn't detect any boot options from the replacement drive)
None of which worked.

My first thought was maybe bad drivers, which may be true, but I don't really have a way to find out. Windows crashes long before anything can be done, and safe mode disables unnecessary drivers. Is there some way to troubleshoot using the Command Prompt startup or something?
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
you would think it would boot from sata if sata mode was set to AHCI
What is 1st in boot order? does it have windows boot manager there? I haven't got a lot of experience with the rst with optane boot choice, only seeing it first a few days ago.

can you remove the optane? its acting as a cache drive for the hdd and likely would have the boot files on it to speed hdd up. I would expect PC looks at its first.

https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/608239/disabling-rst
 
Reactions: jnickels218

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Failed to install Ubuntu
what happened to make it fail?
I only ask as using 2 different OS and having problems , its unlikely to be a software problem. Looks like hardware.

critical process died is actually an error caused when a number of windows system files fail. It isn't easy to narrow down unless you have the file name, as it can be a file associated with logon, or boot info, or your user. Any one of which will cause WIn 10 to crash if they do.

did replacement drive have windows on it?
 
Reactions: jnickels218
Mar 13, 2021
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what happened to make it fail?
I had Ubuntu on a USB drive, running the install off of it. When I reached the point to manage partitions, it would freeze. I tried it a few times and that's always where it froze.


did replacement drive have windows on it?
The drive I was using had both Windows 10 and Ubuntu on separate partitions, which would normally provide an option to choose which to boot from, as it does on the computer it came from.

Considering those points, it sounds like there may be an issue with storage. At the time I thought the Ubuntu installation crashed because of the CPU maybe being damaged (which, if true, would suck), but crashing on partition management and not recognizing SATA boot drives seems to be at least a little correlated. The PC would boot from USB but not SATA.

I don't know if it's worth mentioning, but in the BIOS I have the options to change SATA mode between either "RST with Optane" or "AHCI." The PC will only boot when set to "RST with Optane."
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
you would think it would boot from sata if sata mode was set to AHCI
What is 1st in boot order? does it have windows boot manager there? I haven't got a lot of experience with the rst with optane boot choice, only seeing it first a few days ago.

can you remove the optane? its acting as a cache drive for the hdd and likely would have the boot files on it to speed hdd up. I would expect PC looks at its first.

https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/608239/disabling-rst
 
Reactions: jnickels218
Mar 13, 2021
3
0
10
0
What is 1st in boot order? does it have windows boot manager there? I haven't got a lot of experience with the rst with optane boot choice, only seeing it first a few days ago.
Yeah, the only thing within the boot order was the windows boot manager.
can you remove the optane? its acting as a cache drive for the hdd and likely would have the boot files on it to speed hdd up. I would expect PC looks at its first.
Good idea, I hadn't considered that. I removed the optane and attempted to boot, which gave 'No boot device detected.' Not super surprised at that.

With the optane removed and sata mode set to AHCI, it gave 'Default Boot Device Missing or Boot Failed,' telling to insert recovery media and use the boot menu. At least it's something new.

Assuming that the previous windows installation required the optane to boot or something along those lines, I tried the alternative HDD without optane and set to AHCI, which returned with 'No boot device detected' once again.

Then, as a shot in the dark, I changed the boot mode from UEFI to Legacy. Restarted, and viola! It gave me the expected boot device menu, options between Windows 10, memtest, and Ubuntu like I originally expected from this hard drive.

For now, Ubuntu seems stable, which is enough for me!

Attempting to boot into this hard drive's windows 10 installation gives some weirder results, though. I would chalk it down as an unrelated issue, since the entire reason this drive has two OS was because its version of Windows 10 began to fail. I never really used either of them, so just bad luck I guess.

Thanks for the help!

Edit: I've put the Optane stick back in with boot mode left on Legacy and it doesn't seem to have caused any issues yet. I'm no expert so I have no idea if the optane will still function as-is, running Linux or otherwise. It's there at least, placebo optane if nothing else.
 
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