Question about Dell Dimension 9150 (DIM915MIN) PC Desktop

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Session 3 initialization failed - Dell Dimension 9150 (DIM915MIN) PC Desktop

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  • Douglessd
    Douglessd May 11, 2010

    You have not given us much to go on here :) I assume you are getting this message on a blue screen when you boot your PC. If so it can be a very complex problem. If this problem occurred with out you changing anything on your system then you probably have a hardware failure. If you are trying to reinstall or upgrade your system then you probably have a driver problem. You may need to download a new driver from your hardware manufactures web site.



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Ok, after countless hours searching and sleuthing for this issue, I could not find a resolution...until now. This is my first post ever on a technical forum, so be gentle to me. I will probably never reference this form, so you if this helped you, please let me know by sending me comments to my email at:
Technical Symptoms: Blue Screen (BSOD) Session 3 Initialization Failed (Session3_Initialization_Failed) STOP 0x0000006F (0xc0000034) This BSOD would load for both normal and safe mode. The operating system in question was Windows XP Home SP2.
Reason: The issue occurred after I ran a virus scan using a PE boot disk that deleted the C:\windows\system32\smss.exe system file.
Resolution: By using the "dir smss*.* /s" at a DOS prompt from the PE boot disk, I was able to search the whole computer for any available files and it found a clean version in a directory. So to fix the issue I copied C:\windows\$ServicepackUninstall$\smss.exe to C:\windows\system32\ using a PE boot disk.
Acknowledgements: , this link gave me a hint that it may be smss.exe (even though it references win2000). Upon looking at the antivirus logs, sure enough the smss.exe was found to be infected and deleted it as it could not disinfect it. I'm assuming if I did not have a virus free smss.exe file on the C: drive in another folder, I may have to pull it from a CD or find it online.

Posted on May 19, 2010

  • RLCODTech Sep 22, 2010


    Thanks for this posting. I had a continuous boot loop after running some antivirus tools and after finally getting the error code and searching for a fix I ran across your response. I used my UCBD disk and was able to search and find the file I needed. The only difference was the file copied was c:\windows\NT$ServicepackUninstall$\smss.exe. I recommend than everyone use the dir smss*.* /s command at the dos prompt to get the exact file name needed to copy.

    Thanks again because without your post I was stuck.


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This is more often than not a driver issue.

Hit F4 as the computer is booting up and boot it to the utility partition to run the dell diagnostics. If no hardware failures are detected it may be a piece of recently installed hardware with a bad driver.

Boot the computer into safe mode and uninstall and remove all newly installed hardware and deleting them from the device manager.

If that doesnt fix your problem, it could be a boot sector related virus. Boot the computer back into safe mode and run a virus scan by going to If none are detected the easiest thing to do will be to restore the computer to factory settings.

Make sure to back up all data files to a cd or external storage medium and make sure to scan them again for viruses before loading them back onto your computer.

You can restore the computer back to the orignal factory settings by hitting ctrl+F11 while starting up. NOTE!! Restoring will cause a loss of all data on the computer and return it to the condition when you first got the computer.

Have fun and remember to scan your backups for viruses after backing up your files. And make sure to do it in safe mode.

Posted on Jul 12, 2009


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