We've all had to deal with it. You know your computer has an inexplicable issue when it hangs
mid-air while doing some important or resource-consuming task. It has been a problem for as
long as anyone could remember, but nothing was really done to help the user or even the geeky
computer technician pinpoint the exact problem behind that mysterious random STOP error or
Expect that to change. In the pre-RC1 and RC1 builds of Windows Vista, people have noticed
something new. Machines which would often never STOP when running Vista would all of a sudden
shut down with a mysterious error code 0x1A. Already there has been a fiasco over why build
5600 was certified as RC1 when this particular error would constantly rear its ugly head.
The error is triggered by a new bugcheck which was added into the RC1 branch and merged into
the RTM line of builds. When Windows normally requests a zeroed page of memory, the memory
manager tells your machine to completely zero out a page of memory before allocating the zeroed
memory to the thread requesting it. In all OSes prior to Vista 5536, this process would go
unchecked. However, a recently added check to 5536 involves actually checking whether or not
the pages which were to be zeroed actually were zeroed out. Should the check find memory pages
which were supposed to be zeroed out but in fact were not, it would trigger your 0x1A STOP
error or any other error dealing with memory corruption. By RTM, it will have its own error
code (TBA) and name: PAGE_NOT_ZEROED.
The problems which cause this error are almost always hardware related. It will most likely be
one of three things: poorly seated DIMMs, bad RAM, or bad memory management on your
motherboard(Intel) or processor(AMD). It could arise from bad drivers, though the odds of that
are unlikely. Should you see the error, follow the usual hardware reseating guidelines such as
checking for dust or burned contact points. Even your power supply could be the source of the
Good, well-seated hardware makes for less hangs, and in the future, less blue screens in Vista.