Without the exact Stop Error message (the bad_pool_data error message
has more to it than that), I can't tell you for sure. If you added no
new software or hardware (or drivers for your hardware), I'd suspect a
hardware problem. I'll give you general hardware troubleshooting steps,
but if the machine is under warranty you should call support
1) Open the computer and run it open, cleaning out all dust bunnies and
observing all fans (overheating will cause system freezing). Obviously
you can't do this with a laptop, but you can hear if the fan is running
and feel if the laptop is getting too hot.
2) Test the RAM - I like Memtest86+ from click here. Obviously, you
have to get the program from a working machine. You will either
download the precompiled Windows binary to make a bootable floppy or
the .iso to make a bootable cd. If you want to use the latter, you'll
need to have third-party burning software on the machine where you
download the file - XP's built-in burning capability won't do the job.
In either case, boot with the media you made. The test will run
immediately. Let the test run for an hour or two - unless errors are
seen immediately. If you get any errors, replace the RAM.
3) Test the hard drive with a diagnostic utility from the mftr. Download
the file and make a bootable floppy or cd with it. Boot with the media
and do a thorough test. If the drive has physical errors, replace it.
4) The power supply may be going bad or be inadequate for the devices
you have in the system. The adequacy issue doesn't really apply to a
laptop, although of course the power supply can be faulty.
5) Test the motherboard with something like TuffTest from
click here. Sometimes this is useful, and sometimes it isn't.
Testing hardware failures often involves swapping out suspected parts
with known-good parts. If you can't do the testing yourself and/or are
uncomfortable opening your computer, take the machine to a professional
computer repair shop.