Vista boot/blue screen issue
by blondefletch - 12/22/07 6:14 AM
Ok, I'll try and get to the point, this is a long issue and I am quite simply fresh out of ideas. I have had no problems booting vista to date before experiencing this. I'm normally pretty aware of having the newest updates for my laptop, whether that be updated hardware drivers or windows updates.
Yesterday, whilst searching the internet, I downloaded the trial version of Alcohol 120%, a cd burning software. I got it from the offical site. As I ran the install, and 'OK'ed all the UAC warnings the computer stalled and promptly crashed. I had time to notice a windows update icon running in the startup bar, but was not sure at the time if that was related...
The computer reset with the error recovery screen, and I chose the 'Start Windows Normally' option. The computer went through to the startup screen, I typed in my password, it loads up my desktop to the point where there is a single icon in the taskbar and then promptly throws up a jittering blue screen. The computer restarts again. No matter what I try, it blue screens on this point and restarts.
Now despite a pretty dim view I have of Vista, one thing I heard it excelled in was data recovery options. Yet none of these help me. I have already done the following to end up witht he same result:
1. Running in Safe Mode (w/ Networking and w/ Command Prompt)
2. Running from the recovery console and the Vista DVD the Startup Repair package
3. Running the Dell Boot Diagnostic suite for my laptop.
4. Ran a hard drive testing package which includes a 'chkdsk' style scan, with no error
As I ran the various safe modes I noticed that only one icon will load in the taskbar before the blue screen appeared. When I ran the safe mode with networking, the computer took a little longer than usual to crash. In other words I had enough time to click on the mystery icon to find out what it was...
A status bar popped up for a split second with an 'Applying to BIOS' caption underneath.
Am I screwed?
It looked like a BIOS update, making me realise that the windows update that was in progress just before my laptop crashed the first time might have caused the crash. If it was updating my BIOS during the startup process, there is no way to stop it using conventional 'boot diagnostic' tools. Yet the desktop doesnt stay up long enough for me to do anything about it through there.
What else can I try, a boot log wont extend right through the startup procedure where the problem lies, in safe mode or not. Any Ideas?
Or as a last resort, I need to take out all my essential information before wiping the thing and starting again. How can I extract my files to say a USB key without booting the OS, my hard drive is only partitioned with a vista recovery point.... Can I boot from that btw?
Sorry to leave you with such a long essay. Thank you for your time