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Vista will not boot following update of nvidia driver

Hi

I just updated the driver of the nvidia 8600 video card in my Dell XPS 1530 running Vista Ultimate.

This seems to have made the PC unbootable. Here are some observations:

1. I cannot boot from HDD nor installation disk, in safe mode or otherwise.
2. The HW diagnostics return an 075D error when performing a test on the HDD. I find the coincidence of suddenly finding myself with a faulty HDD just after updating the driver most odd. Even odder then that I can't boot from the CD.
3. Typically, the PC reaches a point and then just hangs. If I accept its suggestion of repair it tends to end up with a a big cursor arrow in the screen, sometimes not.
4. Booting from the HDD in safe mod ewith command prompt it always stops after installing crcdisk.sys. If I boot from the disc it stops after disk.sys.

I am at a total loss and this is really disastrous - any help much appreciated!

SorryState (more than ever)
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SorryState
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SorryState
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2 Solutions
 
alikaz3Commented:
try hitting F8 just as the system starts to load the OS. You should be able to select "last known working configuration", try that and see if the system starts up again.

If it does, make sure you got the correct driver. Nvidia has recently released new notebook video drivers - they weren't supporting the notebook video chips before. Confirm that you have downloaded the notebook driver, and not the desktop 8600 driver.
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:
alikaz3:

The PC cannot find a working configuration - it hangs in the "Microsoft Corporation with green vertical moving lines" screen. I have tried all available startup settings.

It especially worries me that it will not boot from the installation CD!

I am pretty sure that I DL'd the notebook drivers - however, I cannot find out as I cannot boot the PC.

Thanks
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alikaz3Commented:
First, did you have the correct nvidia driver? (the notebook version)

As for the hard drive, if your hardware test returned a hardware error with the drive, then it is probably malfunctioning... do you have any other hard drive tools you could boot with and test the drive? You could burn a copy of the ultimate boot cd, and run the hard drive tools on there. Do you hear any weird sounds coming from the hard drive? (like a metal against metal screeching sound, or repeating clicks)
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:
I cannot determine which driver I have as I cannot boot the machine up. But if it is a hard drive error would I not be able to boot from the installation CD?

The coincidence of updating the driver and the hard drive failing at the same time just seems too much. The machine started acting weird immediately following the update.

I actually did create an Ultimate Boot CD. I am, however, somewhat at a loss as to which tools to try!

There are no weird sounds or smells from the PC.

Thanks
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:
An update:

I managed to boot up from Knoppix 6.0. Here I am able to see the files. I wonder if I can roll back the nvidia driver from here?
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nobusCommented:
>>  I managed to boot up from Knoppix    <<   what was the solution to boot from cd?
you can test your disk by hooking it to a working PC, and test it there; find all diags you need on UBCD :
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

i suggest to run a ram and disk test on your system, to be sure about the basics, then we can move on to repiaring your OS
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:
Well, when I boot from Knoppix I of course get a knoppix system running. It can see the Dell Media Direct files but not the Vista partition - perhaps because of there being different file systems?

I have also boote dfrom UBCD but to tell the truth I have no idea what to do with all the facilities or how to apply them.

The Dell internal hardware diagnostics say there is a HDD error. I am wondering if the driver install can have either provoked it or may be causing an error that the diag utility interprets as a HDD error.
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nobusCommented:
because you posted that you cannot boot from CD....
in knoppix you can access NTFS files - no problem
you can run the disk diag you need from ubcd (as i posted)
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:
OK - what should I run from ubcd - I have no idea how to use these utilities.
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nobusCommented:
the disk diagnostic, as i posted
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:
Well it's just that there are 17 programs under Hard Disk Tools / Diagnostics  :-)

The Drive Fitness Test v4.09 found no error.

The Salvation HDD Scan and Repair could not find a disk

Dell's own internal hardware claims there is a disk error called 075D

If the hard drive really is fried would I then not be able to boot from the installation CD?
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:
Here is another diagnostic from Aida:

It says "Impossible geometry, cache OFF. fe3f Hard Disk Drive.

It then proceeds to display properties of the hard disk partitions, after which it says "Cannot detect ATA <2-6>

Can a driver install cause the PC to lose sight of its hard drive or is it pure coincidence?
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nobusCommented:
well - you did not post the drive brand, so i cannot suggest one.
you have to look what drive it is, and run the diag for it -  they are all on the CD
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nobusCommented:
did hitachi not tell you the brand, or model ?
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:
Ah ... its a Samsung HM320JI.

There are 3 utilities from Samsung.

SHDIAG lists 4 drives (1, 2, 3, 4) and says Unknown or None to all four.

HUTIL v1.2.1 finds nothing

HUTIL v2.03 says 0:  V: 8086 D: 2829 Primary Master Samsung HM320JI

When I run self test it says Servic Code => AJ22 Not Ready HUTIL doesn't support this model
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alikaz3Commented:
nobus thanks for responding, I've been busy.

I think this is definitely the video driver causing this issue, as that was the only change you made to the machine before the crash. I've been investigating workarounds, here's a few:

"Im not sure if you're still having problems, but I encountered the issue today and during the boot I enabled loading non signed drivers in the F8 menu. Booted right up. This is on Vista Ultimate 64 bit edition, shouldn't matter but I did want to mention that. Hope it helps."
http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=607761&st=15

If you have Daemon Tools installed: "I've solved the problem. I just deleted sptd.sys from <WINDOWS>\System32\Drivers\."
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/itprovistasetup/thread/a2ed1ff1-3c60-4cfd-ac4e-72f22b180093/


My best guess is that the driver did not install correctly, and the system blue-screened and rebooted (either during install or the next reboot). Vista then did it's automated startup repair, and either due to an error with the startup repair program, or conflicting video driver files installed, the OS was broken. This justifies in my mind that a file corruption (or possibly MFT corruption) occurred, and is tripping those hard drive tests.

My next course of action would be to backup any files you need, and wipe the hard drive completely. Then try your recovery disks again - if there isn't any hardware problems, you should be able to recover from there.
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Lukasz ChmielewskiCommented:
try to change the sata ahci mode in bios to IDE and see it this sees the disk
maybe it will boot or see the cd
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alikaz3Commented:
The recovery disks should always work in my eyes - regardless of what data is on the disk, which makes a bad hardware diagnosis justifiable. Recently though I saw this proven wrong. I had a compaq laptop a few weeks ago that would not boot, or let me boot into the recovery disks or even a standard windows xp disk (black screen with flashing cursor). I tried everything including hardware tests, and finally I had to wipe the drive (with it attached to another system). After wiping the system booted into the recovery disks just fine, and has been working properly ever since. Vista is picky, and the Dell recovery partition is convoluted as well - so that's what I'd rule out next.
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alikaz3Commented:
>>try to change the sata ahci mode in bios to IDE and see it this sees the disk
maybe it will boot or see the cd

That's something worth a try, but I don't think it will help. The existing boot partition has the AHCI drivers installed already, and so should the restore disks (all the new Dell's i've seen are this way). If thats the case, changing this setting won't do anything.
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:

"Im not sure if you're still having problems, but I encountered the issue today and during the boot I enabled loading non signed drivers in the F8 menu. Booted right up. This is on Vista Ultimate 64 bit edition, shouldn't matter but I did want to mention that. Hope it helps."

---> Tried this in vain

In the BIOS I am strongly warned against the change to IDE as they say it might not do terrible things and be difficult to change back. Is there truth in this or should I go ahead and try?

The thread above led me to another thread that recommended disconnecting the HD and booting from the disk. I actually removed the HD and was able to boot up. I then replaced the HD but windows is unable to locate it. Does this indicate that I am doomed?
 
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nobusCommented:
At this point, it can be the disk, or the disk controller (mobo)
that is why i suggested in my first post to test your disk on a working system - which is the easiest way to go further
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:
If I stick this hard drive into a similar PC and boot up, can I in any way damage the other PC?

Do I need to change anything in the BIOS?
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nobusCommented:
if the drive is connected as slave (for ide disk) no
if the drive is sata, just connect it.
no bios change needed
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:
The disk did not work on the other machine either.

Is this definitely a hardware error or can the driver update possibly have rendered the disk unreachable?
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nobusCommented:
>>  can the driver update possibly have rendered the disk unreachable   <<   i have never come across that - so no

you did not try to boot from it?   you should leave the boot disk, and connect it as slave, as posted
if you did so (sorry - not clear from the above) you have a bad disk.
if you need more assistance, please post
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SorryStateAuthor Commented:
Hope you find it fair to split the points ...
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