Windows 7 Machine Unable to Boot

By JesseM
Jan 15, 2010
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  1. I tried running Rainbow Six Vegas 2 on my laptop a couple hours ago and I was in the middle of reducing the video settings when the screen went crazy with purple triangles and green dots and the works. My computer met the system requirements. The computer wasn't frozen, I could hear noises responding to mouse movement. When I restarted, everything was good until after the "Starting Windows" screen went away all I got was eternal blackness. I tried all the options in the Windows Startup Repair including System Restore with no avail. I can boot the computer in safe mode. I tried running BIOS diagnostics and it didn't find any problems.

    Any ideas?
  2. IvanAwfulitch

    IvanAwfulitch TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 239   +11

    It could be one of two things I believe.

    1) A corrupted graphics driver. This would explain how you got into safemode ok. Safemode uses the built in Windows graphics drivers, not the Nvidia or ATI drivers.

    2) You corrupted your Windows install, but somehow got into safemode. This would explain why a system restore did nothing.

    What I would do is try going into safemode and updating your graphics drivers. I know Windows 7 does a lot of the work, but sometimes the automatic stuff it does isn't thorough enough. It'll only do what's good enough not what would be perfect.

    You need to find the graphics card you have, and download the new drivers from the manufacturer's website. If this solves everything, great! If not...step 2.

    Reformat. If you've somehow managed to corrupt your install to the point where it isn't bootable or reparable, then you're kind of screwed. If you can access vital info in safemode, save it any way you can. External drives, USB Flash cards, burn stuff onto discs, email all important email and other documents and stuff to yourself so it's in your inbox when you're all set up again...etcetera.
  3. JesseM

    JesseM TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 258

    Thanks IvanAwfulitch for your reply.
    I'm leaning towards the graphics card. I'm not sure, but I think booting in safe mode makes the onboard video card override the other one (nVidia Quadro FX Go1400). I'll try reinstalling the driver for the card and get back to you.

    EDIT:
    After downloading the driver from nVidia's website, uninstalling my driver, and restarting the comp, I tried reinstalling the driver. It told me there was no compatible hardware. This is beginning to sound really bad... Did I fry my card?

    EDIT 2:
    Windows Update installed the driver for the video card, but when I restarted my computer it was stuck on black again. I find it odd that Windows acknowledges the card, but is unable to use it. Something to note is that the driver that Windows Update installed was 60MB (which installed) while the one from nVidia's website was 130MB (which failed to install).
  4. JesseM

    JesseM TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 258

    Update:

    When I try booting (not in safe mode) I now get BSOD's at startup mentioning the file "nvlddmkm.sys", and after some research all I can tell is this is somehow related to the video card. Anybody know the cause of this BSOD?

    Now get this: when I try booting with the onboard graphics card (again, not in safe mode) I still get the BSOD, just like if I were to boot using the nVidia card. This leads me to think that it is a software issue, not hardware.
  5. IvanAwfulitch

    IvanAwfulitch TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 239   +11

    Check up on this forum post:
    http://forums.nvidia.com/lofiversion/index.php?t72651.html

    There are some pretty interesting examples of fixes surrounding nvlddmkm.sys. One of them is a BIOS option being Re-Enabled. Something called NVIDIA GPU Ex. Another post suggests going into the device manager, manually uninstalling the driver for the card (and probably disabling/uninstalling the onboard), and then manually reinstalling the drivers. Apparently, the guy suggests that Windows has a generic nvidia driver, and that when you try to update, it doesn't always overwrite the dlls properly/at all, and this is what causes problems for him.

    It seems like 2 viable options to look at.
  6. JesseM

    JesseM TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 258

    Thanks for your reply.

    First of all, I do not have the option "NVIDIA GPU Ex" in my BIOS setup, so that method will not work.

    Secondly, I have tried many times to uninstall/reinstall manually my video driver without success. When I uninstall it and then restart, Windows will automatically reinstall it without asking me. Also, if I try to run the nVidia driver executable it will tell me that it couldn't find a driver compatible with my hardware. This could be because Windows already installed the driver (which renames my video card to "Standard VGA Graphics Adapter") or some other unknown reason.
  7. JesseM

    JesseM TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 258

    OK, I just now (after a week of trying) successfully booted my computer, not in safe mode. I uninstalled my graphics driver and followed these steps to create TdrDelay with value 0.

    However when Windows boots up, Windows automatic update installs the driver for the card. When I restart, it's back to where it started.

    To make sure the problem isn't with an incorrect driver, could someone please point me to a driver for Windows 7 for nVidia Quadro FX Go1400? Thanks.

    EDIT: I disabled Automatic Updates, so that is no longer a problem. I'm having trouble, however, finding a driver for my video card that works with Windows 7. I'll update if I find one and give it a try.
  8. JesseM

    JesseM TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 258

    I just formatted the laptop's hard drive and re-installed Windows 7. The problem is still there. I'm beginning to think again that the video card is shot. I'm going to try installing XP to see if that works, and if it doesn't then I'm sure it's a hardware problem.

    Sucks, these cards are selling for around $200+ used on eBay.... What a ripoff. Might as well just get a new laptop.
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