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Computer keeps crashing w/ BSOD "bad system config info"

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Hi, I'm new here and was hoping someone will be able to help me out.

My computer has been crashing constantly the past few days, to the point that it is impossible to use. It will freeze up, BSOD, and then attempt to restart. I have not been able to use it for a couple days now because it hardly ever boots up right now.

The error codes I get from the blue screen are: BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO

***STOP: 0x00000074 (0x0000000000000002, 0xFFFFF8800277AED, 0x0000000000000002, 0xFFFFFFFFC000014D)

In case it matters, here are some other notes:

  • When I try to boot it, it only comes on about 5% of the time (and then crashes within a couple hours). Usually, it will not boot up. Sometimes it goes to a black screen that says "Operating system not found"

  • It has crashed in safe mode, and will sometimes not boot in safe mode either

  • The crash seems to happen when I'm using Google Chrome and/or Windows Explorer (but then again I almost always am anyways). I uninstalled & reinstalled Chrome, there was no change.

  • I thought at first it could be a virus (I do use the computer to watch porn & save pictures off the Internet). I was able to boot it in safe mode and I ran a full system scan with Norton 360. It did not find any problems.

  • I have tried the startup repair tool it gives the option to use sometimes when trying to turn on. It does not find any problems. When I click to view details, it gives the error code: "0x0, hard drive could not be found"

  • As far as I know, all software is up to date. I have never made any hardware changes to my computer, nor have I recently installed any new software, etc.

  • The laptop is a Sony Vaio w/ Windows 7 home premium 64-bit that is about 3.5 yrs old, and I use it constantly. I have never had a problem with it before, it has hardly ever even frozen.

  • I noticed two weird things recently: 1) About 2 weeks before the problem started, I noticed the computer was waking up on its own. I usually put it in "Sleep" mode instead of fully shutting it down, and I would walk into my room and find that it had turned itself on for no reason. 2) Also starting about 2 weeks before the main problem, Windows Explorer would lag sometimes while going through pictures, which never seemed to happen before.

  • I did remember making a system recovery disc (or something like that) when I first got the computer, because it told me to. I don't know what it does, how to use it, or if it would even be of any help, but I was able to find it so I do have that.

Of course this all started literally the day after I ordered an external hard drive online, so right before I was able to back up all my data :( It figures that this would happen now. (but it was also right after my school semester ended, so that was kind of good timing I guess lol)

If you have any idea exactly what the problem is, or whether it sounds more like a hardware, software, or virus issue, please let me know. I'm desperate. I do know a little bit, but I'm no computer expert. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Hopefully I won't lose any files or have to take the computer to a shop, but let me know if I should. Thanks!

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Hopefully I won't lose any files or have to take the computer to a shop, but let me know if I should. Thanks!

Best case scenario ? - Take your computer to a shop. - Well, - you did ask.

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