grrr and again grrr

Well… bad news.

Now there is nothing but BSOD when I try to boot my main computer.  This is an Nvidia driver problem, I believe.  But I can’t get past the BSOD on start up.  I am ready to use a shotgun on this thing.

At this point I am trying to figure out how to change out the driver with access only to the DOS command prompt.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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23 Responses to grrr and again grrr

  1. mhittle says:

    Father- one word, three letters….

    …Mac

  2. chironomo says:

    I understand that a 12-gauge is the preferred armament to use against an Nvidia….

  3. pbewig says:

    Boot the computer from a Linux live-cd distribution. That will bypass the hard drive and load its own video drivers. Then you can mount the Windows partition and do whatever you need to do.

  4. JBlevins says:

    If were going to keep and eat the Nvidia I would go with the 12-gauge, but in this case it is clear that you wish little to remain so I would go with an 8-gauge. Sure your shoulder will be sore but it will be well worth it.

  5. Joseph says:

    Can you log in via Safe Mode? hold F8 (I think) when you first switch it on and select ‘Safe Mode’.

  6. Moles says:

    Agree on the Mac comment as its a preferred medium for doing anything in my household, however as a Windows software engineer I understand your frustration. If you can get the data of the pc, reinstall everything from scratch, much easier and less stressful option to be honest. Get all the updates from M$ which there will probably be a bunch, then get your drivers in order (your network driver may need to happen first however to get the updates). After a day of reinstalling, you will be much happier when you go get the latest driver and it will work like a new PC for a while.

  7. Moles says:

    Agree on the Mac comment as its a preferred medium for doing anything in my household, however as a Windows software engineer I understand your frustration. If you can get the data off the pc, reinstall everything from scratch, much easier and less stressful option to be honest. Get all the updates from M$ which there will probably be a bunch, then get your drivers in order (your network driver may need to happen first however to get the updates). After a day of reinstalling, you will be much happier when you go get the latest driver and it will work like a new PC for a while.

  8. I will ban the next person who simply suggests switching to Mac. No joke.

  9. I cannot get beyond the BSOD unless it is to a repair window where I can bring up a DOS prompt? I am working entirely in DOS commands.

    Folks, I am not new to computers.

    I have even done a system recovery from the factory image. No joy.

  10. pb: Interesting suggestion. Hmmmm

  11. Boot in Safe Mode if possible (Safe Mode with Networking if you need to access the internet) and reinstall older drivers. Heck, if you can get into safe mode, just delete the video card from the hardware manager and reboot…it should reinstall things then.

    If you need to get into a DOS prompt, boot to your Windows CD. There’s an option to enter the Recovery Console, which is a protected DOS environment. If all you have is a Factory Reset CD, see if you can borrow somebody else’s Windows CD. Since you’re not doing a full installation, there won’t be a problem with incompatible CD keys or violating copyrights or anything…you’re just using it to access the recovery console, not install the OS.

    If the video card is PCI, see if you can move it to a different slot. Sometimes that can make a difference. So can simply reseating the card, just to make sure there isn’t an intermittent contact for some reason.

  12. mhittle says:

    Sorry Father :(

    That’s the one thingwe Mac users have in common … none of us can just be quiet about our Macs!

  13. THREEHEARTS says:

    desperate circumstances for desperate times, a forlorn hope try restore back before your trip to the UK. If push comes to shove try the Memorare it will work.

  14. THREE: I am thinking that the Litany of Saints with, perhaps, some sort of imprecatory prayers. Perhaps a Mass in Time of War?

    PS: I actually did those things, you know. I am not new to computers.

  15. BTW, all those advocating switching to Mac….if buying an entirely new system was a viable option, Fr. Z could buy a new PC for less than a new Mac. That doesn’t solve the problem he’s having with his PC, which, I would assume, is still perfectly capable of performing the functions he needs (at least, it is when the video is working.) As far as I’m concerned, fanatical Mac advocates do more harm than help for Mac’s image.

    Mind you, I’m posting this from my MacBook, looking at my MacBook Pro on the table in front of me, with my Lenovo behind me. People have personal preferences, and have application needs that may not be met by a Mac (yes, I have VM Ware Fusion and Bootcamp on this notebook, so I know Windows is an option on the Mac). One must use the right tool for the job, and sometimes the right tool is the one that’s available at the time.

    Besides, there are plenty of times when I prefer sitting in a Windows environment instead of a Mac environment. Like when I’m writing code for software that needs to run on Windows.

    A couple of last things I forgot in my previous post. If booting to the Windows installation CD, the option you’ll want is “R” and not “Enter”. It should pause to let you choose a different keyboard layout (5 seconds) and then give you a prompt. If there’s an admin password, it’ll ask you for that.

    Another thing you might want to try while in the recovery console is to run a disk scan (chkdsk /r, I think) to make sure the data on the drive is ok. I would assume the restore would have taken care of that, but it might not have. If the drivers occupy drive space that is corrupted, that could cause the problem.

    Another option is to try a different video card, if you have one.

  16. What BSOD message are you getting? Does it give an actual error code (e.g, IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL or INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE, or even 0x000000e5)? Do you even get a chance to read it, or does it automatically reboot before you get a chance (in which case I’ve taken video of the computer crashing to read what the dump screen says)?

    Can you boot to safe mode? If not, where does it seem to be failing, aroung the MUP or AGPxxx file (which is where it always seems to stop for me in these situations)? Do you have any peripherals connected? USB memory sticks? Sometimes these can gum up Safe Mode. It would be unusual (but not impossible) to not be able to boot into safe mode, and to me would point to hardware failure (hard drive or video card), not a driver problem. Which is why I suggested swapping out video cards and scanning the drive.

  17. kmart says:

    If you believe that it was a weather related incident that caused all this in the first place, it could acutally be physical damage to some component. Power surges are nasty. As you’re problems seem to be most centered around your video, you could try checking the capacitors on the graphics card and see if they are blown. That can cause some funky intermitant problems. Since everyone else seems to be focusing on software problems it could be worth a check.

  18. I wasn’t kidding when I said I would ban people dragging Mac into this thread. The point here is to solve the problem with this machine, not some other machine I don’t have.

  19. Lori Ehrman says:

    I know nothing on this subject so I will just pray for you Father.

  20. moon1234 says:

    First:

    Windows XP does not have DOS at all. When running windows and you see the “DOS” box it is the command interpreter. There is NO DOS involved.

    Second:
    When booting to the Windows XP CD the option is called the “Recovery Console” it is also not a protected DOS mode.

    Third:
    Disabling the video card drive is very simple from the Recovery Console. To save my typing it all out, please read this article. Disable the video card driver in the Recovery Console.

    Fourth:
    Reboot the computer, go to the display control panel, settings tab, advanced button, adapter tab, properties, driver tab, click the uninstall button.

    Fifth:
    Reboot. Then download the proper driver and install. Reboot, login and reset your screen resolution.

    Send me an e-mail if you want and I will send you my phone number and can help you over the phone. Fixing this sort if issue is one of my primary job responsibilites.

  21. moon1234 says:

    First:
    Windows XP does not have DOS at all. When running windows and you see the “DOS” box it is the command interpreter. There is NO DOS involved.

    Second:
    When booting to the Windows XP CD the option is called the “Recovery Console” it is also not a protected DOS mode.

    Third:
    Disabling the video card drive is very simple from the Recovery Console. To save my typing it all out, please read this article: http://www.elitesolutions.info/SmarterTicket/Customer/KBArticle.aspx?articleid=292 Disable the video card driver in the Recovery Console.

    Fourth:
    Reboot the computer, go to the display control panel, settings tab, advanced button, adapter tab, properties, driver tab, click the uninstall button.

    Fifth:
    Reboot. Then download the proper driver and install. Reboot, login and reset your screen resolution.

    Send me an e-mail if you want and I will send you my phone number and can help you over the phone. Fixing this sort if issue is one of my primary job responsibilites.

  22. Brian Day says:

    The fact that you can work in a DOS prompt when booting into the Windows CD and using the repair option means that the video card works. If the video card was bad, then there would be no display at all.

    Fr Z, you say that you cannot get past the BSOD on start-up. It implies that you cannot boot into safe mode, but I don’t want to assume that is the case. Can you get into Safe Mode (F8)? If you can get a display in DOS mode you should be able to boot and get a display in Safe Mode.
    Make sure you hit the F8 key early enough in the start-up routine to get to safe mode.

  23. becket1 says:

    Take my advice Fr. I have dealt with Windows plenty of times. I even built my own systems.

    Fr. From someone who uses both Windows and Linux and has reinstalled operating system plenty of times. My advice!
    1. Backup Everything
    2. Do a fresh clean install of Windows on either a whole partition or split partition your drive. One for Windows and second for backup
    3. Then Reinstall all drivers, ex: video card, soundcard, modem, etcc
    4. After drivers reinstall all backup data, unless you keep it like me on a separate drive
    5. Then begin reinstalling your apps
    6 Then after apps installed, do a quick disc cleanup, then defragment your drive. Both disc cleanup and defragment under Accesories, System Tools.
    7. Finally install antivirus. Try AVG Free or Avast Personnel. Both are free and powerful. But ONLY install one Antivirus!.
    8. Then install Spyware or Malware software like Spybot etcc.
    9. Finished Happy Computing!.