I thought Windows Vista was supposed to be more stable than XP. Last night I experienced not only my first bluescreen in Vista, but also my first reboot-bluescreen-reboot-bluescreen... cycle in Vista.
Don't Try This at Home
I was installing Alcohol 120% because I needed a program to burn my Ubuntu iso. Near the end of the installation, a red UAC dialog pops up asking if I wanted to install an unsigned driver. After I click yes, Vista bluescreens. "No big deal", I think, "I'll just reboot Vista and everything will be fine".
Just Try Rebooting
Well, I reboot Vista and immediately after I log in, I see a little icon appear in the system tray, and it's installing drivers. Frantically, I look for a way to stop it to no avail. About 10 seconds later, Vista bluescreens again. At this point I'm still not too worried because I think to myself, "I'll just start in safe mode; then I can run system restore." So I choose safe mode from the boot menu. Even before I can log in, while it's loading drivers, Vista bluescreens. "Okay", I think, "Now I'm really screwed."
Stuck Between a Sniper and a Hard Place
What I do next has almost no chance of success, but I do it anyway because I can't think of anything else. I boot Vista normally, and then I have about 10 seconds to fix the problem before Vista bluescreens again. The situation is similar to when I'm playing Day of Defeat: Source, and I know there's an enemy sniper looking for me outside, but I go up to the window anyway to try and snipe him first.
A Shot in the Dark
Recovery options exhausted, I try booting from my Vista installation DVD, not knowing anything about the recovery tools available. I'm pleasantly surprised to discover that there's an option to run system restore. I choose a restore point just before I installed Alcohol 120%. Vista reboots, I hold my breath, 10 seconds pass uneventfully, and then I exhale. I'm saved.