Saturday, 22 August 2009

Windows Vista: Black Screen of Death Fix

The following are suggested fixes from various sources for the Windows Vista/7 Black Screen of Death (KSOD) problem.

Symptoms:
  1. Windows boots to a black screen with a white cursor/mouse pointer.
  2. Windows "Safe Mode" exhibits the same behaviour.
  3. Nothing else ever loads. Not even a log-in screen.
Solution 1: Delete Some Log Files.
  1. Use the vista DVD to go to the repair mode.
  2. From the same screen where you do the system restore, there's an option to open an administrative command prompt.
  3. That should open in X:\Sources or something like that
  4. Go to the windows drive by entering C:
  5. Now go to the windows event log folder on your machine (C:\Windows\System32\winevt):
    cd c:\windows\system32\winevt
  6. ren Logs Logs_bad
  7. mkdir Logs
This will create an empty folder for new event logs. Restart the system and cross fingers.

Solution 2: Edit The Windows Registry.
There apparently this a problem related to the Remote Procedure Call service (RPC) running under LocalSystem account instead of NT Authority\NetworkService account.
  1. On the affected machine, boot using the Vista Media and Select “Next” and then in the bottom left you will see “Repair your Computer”; select Next and then Select Command Prompt.
  2. At the command prompt, launch regedit.exe and load the SYSTEM hive, follow the below steps.
    • Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    • On the File menu, select Load Hive.
    • Browse to %WINDIR%\System32\Config Folder and select “SYSTEM”
    • Select Open.
    • In the Load Hive dialog box, type in “MySYSTEM” box for the registry hive that you want to edit.
  3. After the hive is loaded, modify the following key value per the instructions below: You will need to know what ControlSet the machine is currently running on, this can be determined by going to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\MySYSTEM\Select and find the “Current” value in the Right hand side. (Example: Current value is 1 then the ControlSet will be ControlSet001)
    • Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\MySYSTEM\ControlSet00X\Services\RpcSs (X is the Number from the Current Key from above)
    • Value Name: ObjectNameOld
    • Value: LocalSystemNew
    • Value: NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService
  4. Unload the SYSTEM hive by selecting the key “MySYSTEM” and then select File -> Unload Hive… menu item.
  5. Exit regedit.exe
  6. Reboot the system normally
Solution 3: Restore The System From A System Restore Point.
  1. Boot to the Vista media.
  2. Restore the PC to a restore point 1 month before the problem occured.
  3. Reboot as normal.
Solution 4: Dump Windows And Use Ubuntu
  1. Get hold of a copy of Ubuntu. Most Linux PC magazines will carry a copy on their cover disc or you can ask a friend to download it for you and burn it to a disc. You will find the Ubuntu download page at www.ubuntu.com Don't worry about payment. Ubuntu is completely free of charge to download and use.
  2. Boot the PC using your new Ubuntu installation disc. Select the option to try Ubuntu without changing anything on the PC. Once the desktop has loaded, navigate to your Windows hard drive.
  3. Copy anything from your Windows hard drive you want to keep on the a USB stick or similar backup device.
  4. Click the install icon and follow the instructions. You'll want to use the entire disc to rid yourself of Windows Vista entirely.