Monday, March 12, 2007

Blue Screening Vista

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.


Somian said...

hey i had EXACTLY the same problem but i cannot find the restore option on the vista DVD. anyway, i found a way how to prevent windows from isnstalling the alcohol drivers at startup. I just removed my (laptop) DVD Drive, booted in save mode, deleted the alcohol-install folder and rebooted normal. After this installed alcohol again (but without the driver now).
the installation was NOT successfull and automatically removing the rest of alcoholon my system! yay :D

Somian said...

AAAH! WTF? inserting the drive causes the system to bluescreen again! waah! how can i remove drivers manually?

ryan said...

Somian you are a GENIUS! I spent 4 hours trying to solve this problem and was about to give up, your advice to remove the DVD drive from my laptop saved me!THANKYOU!!

Navadvipa Chandra said...

Thank you- you saved me much anxiety and trouble.

Weston said...

heck ya somian, i was tripping after finding no option for "last known config", no bootable repair install option. tried disabling pnp with no luck.. removed the drive on my desktop and boom.. i could actually fix the problem

Jason said... really are a genius!! I kept getting an automatic reboot mysleft and the bluescreen in which I was unable to boot up in safe mode. After reading your comment I disabled my DVD rom drive and rebooted in safe mode successfully. Then I ran the Auto Recovery program built into Vista and it recognized the last driver download, which was Alcholol.... I restored it prior to the Alcohol driver downloaded...rebooted in normal mode and everything works great. Vista also informed me that the restore was successfull. Thanks a Ton! You were the only person who posted this valuable info that I could find. Everyone else was trying to delete .sys files that I couldnt' even find. Thanks man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NVHA said...

Oh my god! I've just got exactly your problem! After installing Alcohol120%, there is a warning about something with driver, I clicked "NO" without thinking, so, u knew what happened :(

That's my roomate's PC, he must be crazy if he know it. So I tried to repair, restore, check memory...(with stupid Vista DVD), cant believe it, i have not enough spaces on C: to reinstall Vista (6GB and i got 5GB, grrr). Nothing work, i spent 3h in worrying, confusing, want to break something

Hopelessly, i found some guys to talk, no one can help, but a friend gave me an advice: u should restart,F8,and try LAST KNOWN GOOD CONFIGURATION! Unbelievable! It's done, no dead blue screen, anymore, IT'S WORKING! I think it's a easy way to kill this stupid problem, anyone did it?!