Vista: Blue screen of death

To be honest it was expected. The install of Windows Vista RTM on my Dell D620 portable occurred without a hitch – no surprise given that the hardware is less than 3mths old. My Dell desktop was a different kettle of fish. Essentially I had the same driver issues as I’d experience with RC1 and RC2. The root of the problem was that my desktop has a nice 512Mb ATI Radeon X1600 PRO, however when installing Windows Vista RTM the drivers for this card that Microsoft kindly include are version 7.14 dated 21/8/2006, whereas the drivers on ATI’s site are 8.31 dated 2/11/2006. The 7.12 driver appear to cause the Vista install to hang on the driver being loaded; this promptly caused a blue screen of death. This then snowballed into the next problem; the blue screen on appears for about 1-2 seconds before the PC reboots attempting to continue with the installation. The only words I managed to read during this time period was “driver in infinite loop” or similar, which isn’t exactly very helpful. I eventually got Vista installed, but only by following these steps:

  • Replace the X1600 video card with the original Dell video card – NVIDIA g-Force 2 MX.
  • Install Windows Vista
  • Re-install the X1600 PRO video card.
  • On Vista starting, it will kindly detect the new video card, and install the old drivers supplied by Microsoft – there doesn’t appear to be a simple way to cancel this install, so if you reboot after this, then Vista will blue screen again, and you will have to go into Safe Mode and remove the graphics cards
  • Install the latest ATI drivers

I’ve now got Vista working with Aero on my Dell desktop. The final issue I have to solve is that the Dell originally came with a CNET ethernet card, which as expected doesn’t have Vista drivers 😦 Luckily Dabs sells D-Link DFE-530TX cards for under £10 – drivers for this network card already appear to be available within Vista.

Overall I’m happy with Vista on my portable, but unimpressed with Vista on a 4 year old Dell desktop.

~ by mdavey on November 18, 2006.

52 Responses to “Vista: Blue screen of death”

  1. Had the same problem with Vista (RC and RTM) and the X1600. Had to pop in another video card to complete the OS install.

    From some digging around, it seems to be just the AGP version having the problem, PCI-X version of the X1600 seems ok (?)

  2. I’ve got the same problem, but haven’t found a solution for it:( I don’t have my old graphic card (I gave it to my friend a while back).
    But why do u think it’s drivers issue? well,u can uninstall graphic cards drivers and let Vista install whatever it’s got and than just upgrade them….
    I don’t really think drivers are the issue,but I may have been mistaken.

  3. Please, someone help me, i´ve trying to install windows vista im my machine but with no success, instation starts very well, but after the fisrt restarting, after some minutes, the blue screen of the death appears, imponent, at my monitor. Did someone have this problem ??

  4. I got same problem. So i should unistall ati drivers, take out ati card. Put in nvidia card. Install vista. Take out nvidia put in ati and instal drievers?

  5. Yeah, same here with x1600 my x1300 works fine, in fact, I had to put the x1300 back in, install Vista, and then swap the cards, and then I’m good. I do find it a complete waste of time, and think this is something that ati and microsoft should fix before the final release… Wouldn’t a lot of people be upset if they couldn’t install Vista on thier VIsta ready PC’s. Not everyone knows how to pop out a video card and swap with another… Nor does everyone have one hanging around…

  6. I treid taking card out but the multi cable is plugged in it and it was hard to pull so i didnt get a chache to remove it. 😦

  7. I am getting the BSOD on my D620 during installation. How did anyone get past this? It runs the config and install and after reboot the 2nd time i get BSOD.

  8. Guys, I have the same problem, only with a Radeon 9800 pro 256mb video card. Same BSOD etc.

    I installed previous builds (then RC2 5744), but they didn’t seem to cause any trouble.

    I gues there’s nothing else to do but look for a different video card somewhere.

  9. same problem when running world of warcraft or other cool games, lol serves us all right for getting vista before its offical release

  10. Vista loads old X1600 drivers durring install causing blue screen
    – do install using a differnt card (i had an old 9200 kicking around)
    – download driver for x1600 (don’t install yet)
    – shut down pc
    – replace video card with x1600
    – restart PC
    – at this point vista will again install the incorect driver,
    its ok as long as you don’t reboot (if you do, then you’ll have
    to start up in safe mode for rest of the steps)
    – install the new driver for x1600
    – if the catalist software does not install properly, which happend to me
    – go to start menu > right click “computer” > manage > device manager
    > find the display adapter > driver tab > install driver manually
    > let vista search local ati directory of failed install
    – that should do it, wow i feel like in the old days configuring IRQs to get my sound card going, but only worse, cause in those days at least dos booted up fine without a blue screen…

    BTW if you can’t connect to the internet do the following:


    If prompted for elevated access try this:

    win key
    type: netsh (dont press enter yet)

    this will start an elevated net shell then do the rest of the steps above

    Yes this was one of the most painfull OS installs of my life

  11. Oh, by the way, did you get it to work forever? Is it not a trail version for instance?


  12. Do u have any other sugestions how to install Vista without replacing video card?
    I’ve heard that before the 2bd restart u should disable ur graphic card in the device manager…..Does anyboy know something about that?

  13. Model: ATI Radeon X1300 PRO
    OS: Vista Home Premium

    Same issue as stated above.

    Downloaded/Installed latest version of Catalyst from ATI.

  14. Model: Ati Radeon x1600 PRO
    OS: Vista Ultimate OEM

    Same as above… And same solution… What a god damn pain…. fuckin microshit…

  15. […] biggest problem came from my ATI Radeon x1950pro video card. Apparently there are some issues trying to do a fresh install of Vista with the card already seated in the machine. I tried […]

  16. i have same problems but always when i’m trying to play song with media player and view picture , i dont know whats up , but my pc is very capable for this version

  17. FIX: After the reboot going into the setup for the last time do this. Press Shift+F10 to open a command window. Run C:\windows\system32\devmgmt.msc this opens the device manager. Disable both the primary and secondary video card controller drivers.(You have about 60sec to do all of this) After that be amazed as the vista installion finishes.

  18. Did anyone successfully try this yet?

  19. Guys, I tried it, and it didn’t work. In fact, my whole windows xp install is now fckd also…

    Krumpak thanks alot.

  20. What the heck did u do? This fix came directly from microsoft support. This has worked with a AGP x1600 before. Would anyone like to see the official notes? email me at

  21. I get blue screen on last step but i got a bfg8800gts 640mb her eis pic of bsod

  22. Here is the error code can someone tell me what is wrong?

    0X0000008E (0X80000003,0x8A5B38E4,0X8F7FF954,0X00000000

  23. I have a gateway notebook and I’ve tryed to sprint aircards and I get the bluescreen when I connect to the internet. The only thing I can do is turn the computer off and back on.

  24. I have done install but after it Vista goes into BLue Screen every start. And it gives same error
    Have anyone found solution for it?
    By the way I have radeon x1900xt, but Vista does not let me to install new drivers, it crashes right after start and in safe mode i can not do that.

  25. Well it looks like the Vista x ATI difference has claimed another victim. My Dell Dimension 8200 and ATI XL1600 fails with the blue screen of death at the end of the Vista install. I have not tried to use a different video card to test this. As usual MS has created a new community of “have not”. Oh and thanks for all of you for sharing you dicoveries.

  26. I really hope everyone at Microsoft, from Gates down to the janitor gets cancer of the gonads and their appropriate spouses get raped. That goes for the men too. Letting a product like Vista go out when all the people with ATI cards can’t install it? What do I have to go out and buy a cheap video card to intall their $260 OS? Well f**k them very much. I hope all my dreams come true within a year.

  27. Thank god I found this site!!! I was having the same problem with my x1600 blue screening on the second phase of install. I thought possibly it was my HDD, so I swapped in a slightly larger one I had in another PC and it still didnt work. Found this site, put my old (AWESOME AT THE TIME) ATI all in wonder card in and installed like a charm. After finding this site, I googled “vista install x1600 errors” and there are alot of us floating around. everyone should just go to their local computer shops (ie bestbuy) who has a gracious return policy where u can take the video card out of the package and still return it within 30 days. WISH EVERYONE LUCK… linux still 0wns!

  28. For anyone with ATI X1600 blue screen problem like me, the advice:
    by Trooper January 31st, 2007 at 5:38 am

    “Vista loads old X1600 drivers durring install causing blue screen
    – do install using a differnt card (i had an old 9200 kicking around)
    – download driver for x1600 (don’t install yet)
    – shut down pc
    – replace video card with x1600
    – restart PC
    – at this point vista will again install the incorect driver,
    its ok as long as you don’t reboot (if you do, then you’ll have
    to start up in safe mode for rest of the steps)
    – install the new driver for x1600
    – if the catalist software does not install properly, which happend to me
    – go to start menu > right click “computer” > manage > device manager
    > find the display adapter > driver tab > install driver manually
    > let vista search local ati directory of failed install
    – that should do it, wow i feel like in the old days configuring IRQs to get my sound card going, but only worse, cause in those days at least dos booted up fine without a blue screen…”

    IT WORKS LIKE A CHARM….Thanks alot Trooper

  29. Another victim!!! I have a pair of ATI X1900XTX in crossfire mode. NO other graphics card on hand. Now, I did get Vista to install correctly. I guess luck was with me there. But, about 1 in 3 boots I get the dreaded BSOD. Vista comes up each safe mode reboot (with network) and tells me it is ATI and to install their latest drivers. YOU CANT in safe mode so its a hell loop. Ok, I finally get lucky and boot normally, install the latest and greates from ATI, reboot and BOOM there’s the blue screen again. What a nightmare. If you have an ATI card DON’T VISTA until they work this crap out. I’ve also gotta gripe about my $$$ound Blaster X-Fi Platinum and Gigaworks 7.1 surround. I cant get anything out of it but stereo. Latest Creative drivers seem to be alpha version with no software… What the hell was I thinking installing a new OS that hasn’t even had a service pack released yet. !#()%*!#$)%*!!!!!

  30. Personaly I think Vista sucks and We all should get Our money back, I recently bought a new laptop with Vista already installed, pfftz, has been nothing but a head ache, whats the return policy at Best BUY as its about to go back!!

  31. I was able to upgrade from xp to vista ultimate with ATI x1600 no problems. my problem started weeks later with BSOD nvstor.sys. I hear its related to display drivers, but it only goes to BSOD seconds after contecting to wireless internet and the only NVIDIA driver I can find in PC is an ethernet driver….
    Anyone have any comment of fix for this??

  32. I have had to LOL and shake my head feeling like I have found my friends from the days of NT4.0 and yea thou I walk through this valley of the Blue Screen Of Death I shall fear no microsoft for you are all with me. OK So The only solution for now, and it is not a completed solution by any streach of the imagination, is to boot to safe mode then go into control panel-administrative tools- services, right click on the ATI External Event Utility and select properties, use the drop down menu to set the startup type to DISABLE, click ok and get the hell out of there or better known as reboot your system. I’ve booked marked the site so I’ll be around for a bit. I can not tell you how much this feels like the 80’s all over again unless you were there……

  33. My new Dimension E521 was delivered at the weekend, complete with Vista pre-installed. You would expect to be able to take it out of the box, connect it all up and start enjoying the Vista experience, wouldn’t you? Think again. As soon as the desktop screen appeared, with a welcome message, it crashed. The blue screen of death appeared momentarily (saying something about an unknown error), then the PC tried to re-start but hung up in the process. I manually re-booted it but now it won’t do anything much. The desktop appears but, if I click on anything, that little revolving circle appears indefinitely and Task Manager tells me that Explorer is not responding. this is a brand new system from Dell. Their support staff are trying to tell me that my software is not compatible with Vista (I haven’t loaded any software). I am going to get them to take it back and refund my money.

  34. i m bloody pissed off with my PC..cant find the farking problem. I ve changed & updated my 3d card to a 128 bit but the farking PC blue screens when i load “company of heros”. i need help…is the VISTA causing all these problems? how can i fix it..bloody microsoft pricks…if u read this…solve this shit NOW

  35. I have a similar problem. Some of my games are incompatible with Windows Vista, so in order to run them I have to use the drivers for Windows XP. However this causes a blue screen every time I try to shut down my pc so I have to press the on/off button after my pc has reboot in order to shut it down. Will this harm the hardware or software of my pc?

  36. I get the same lol with my 256MB 8600GT XXX. A real pain in the ass.

  37. Thanks for this, finally was able to install Vista. Tried many times months ago and gave up, microsoft were no help they didnt know what the problem was. Tried again yesterday and luckily i came across this post which solved my problem.

  38. I got the same problem with the final version of Vista (home premium). However I use a Nvidia Geforce 4 5500 or something like that with 256mb RAM. I’m not going to bother trying to fix it, I’ll just put some nice shiny Linux distro on instead. I think it was the same blue screen of death, it just goes round and round in an infinite loop now. I was doing a clean install by the way, because I couldn’t upgrade over Windows XP Pro.

  39. I think the problem dont must be related to VGA drivers. My friend buyd a brand new Packard Bell notebook and from the start he had bluescreen problem and he was studyed informatics ,but couldnot fix it. I buyd 2-3 weeks ago anew MSI notebook ,also with Vista and it have also this problems. It crashes average every 2 hours. I dont know how was possible that firms in big releasing shiiit and nothing happens them. Reinstalling ,repairing from cd ,nothing helps. And the drivers to comp are also on the vista recovery cd ,so its not relax, will be not easy get functioning fully this comp after changing to XP. Vista = Tamagochi

  40. I have the same problem with a nvidia geforce 7800 gtx. My solution: installed XP and threw my expensive Vista in the trash. Ergo, fewer problems remaining.

  41. I’m currently having similar issues. Trying a clean install of Vista Ultimate OEM on an AMD x64 3.2Ghz 4 gig ram, MSI Nvidea 8800 Ultra, WD SATA Raptor 150Gig HD, SATA DVD burner

    Vista loads off the DVD fine, first reboot I get BSOD just after the scrolling loading screen. Would this be the Video or SATA driver? I don’t have another video card to try as my old machine was AGP.

  42. My laptop Dell Inspiron 1720 had the same problem twice within 10min.
    I really don’t know what to do. It doesn’t have even one month

  43. how do i go back to my xp??i dont want vista….i also have the blue screen… scared…my laptops sony vaio vgn-n130g…i just upgraded…but then the blue screeeeeennnnn…
    plz help me some one plz

  44. I get the blue screen as well in order to “protect data”… symantec virus scans and adaware come up with a clean comp… does the blue screen say something about a memory dump for you guys? Is it possible to downgrade to XP? Let me know please im going crazy!

  45. Memory dump file should go to %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP, as per the setting in control panael/system

  46. I had several probs with vista and bsod. So used vlite, integrated .nfo file from updated display driver (x1550) then i removed all default display drivers of vista and builded a new copy of os. After that installation continuing without bsods. Its the only way to install vista without pulling out cards.. 😉

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