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BSOD loop: The video driver failed to initialize


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06-Oct-2008, 05:57 PM #1
BSOD loop: The video driver failed to initialize
I've got a problem with a friends computer.

It is a Dell Inspiron 1300 with Windows XP Home
It has a video card built into the mobo...default Dell graphics kind of thing.

Anyway I was working on the computer because it was slow. I disabled a lot of unnecessary items in msconfig startup, and uninstalled some unwanted software. Then I restarted, all was okay. I uninstalled some more software, such as AOL, and the AOL connectivity Assistant (or something like that), and it said I needed to restart in order to delete all temporary files.

We I restarted and while windows was loading (immediately after the boot screen with the scrolling bar) it gave me a Blue Screen of Death.

"A problem has been detected and windows has beend {fecal expression} down to prevent damage to your computer.

The video driver failed to initialize
the usual BSOD suggestions

Technical information:
*** STOP: 0x000000B4 (0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00050000)
..."

I have tried all start up options including Safe Mode, Last known good config, etc. All result in the same error.

I have even tried a Windows Repair with the install disc. It copys the files over, then restarts after you take the disc out like normal, then when it should start the windows installer to finish the repair it hits the same error again.

Thanks for your help in advance.
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06-Oct-2008, 11:55 PM #2
Welcome to TSG!

Did you try Enable VGA Mode?
If you can get booted into windows, check this KB:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/240369

If that doesn't work, try re-installing the video driver. You can remove it and let Windows re-detect it (follow the Graphics Card manufacturers instructions as if this is a new install), or use the update driver/roll-back driver options from Device Manager.

HTH

Jerry
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07-Oct-2008, 08:03 PM #3
I have tried Enabling VGA Mode... which results in the same old error.

I would love to reinstall a video driver.... but how should I do that? The best I can get is the recovery console (shell) through the Boot Disc.
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08-Oct-2008, 04:44 AM #4
When you tried all options, did that include Safe Mode with Command Prompt? If that works, you could try running system restore:
How to start the System Restore tool at a command prompt in Windows XP

About the only thing I can think to do from the Recovery Console would be to rename the driver files for your video card -- if windows can't find them it might force it to use the Standard VGA driver built into Windows. This is what Safe Mode and Enable VGA Mode are supposed to do though, so I'm not too sure that would work.
You would have to know the names of all the driver files though. If you have the exact model of the graphics card someone can probably get the names off of their system, or you could download the driver and get the names from the download.

It may be the built in VGA driver is corrupt. You could try replacing it in Recovery Console from the CD. I've attached a screen shot of the commands.
To do this boot into the Recovery Console. This should leave you at a C:\Windows prompt. Enter the following commands:
map
-- Note the drive letter of the CDROM drive (Red in attached screen shot)
cd system32
ren vga.dll vga.dllold
ren vga.drv vga.drvold
cd drivers
ren vga.sys vga.sysold
expand d:\i386\vga.sy_
cd ..
expand d:\i386\vga.dl_
expand d:\i386\vga.dr_


Exit, and then try Safe Mode and/or Enable VGA Mode.

You could boot with a live CD or connect the drive to a different PC and restore the registry from one of the Restore points in the System Volume Information folder using the guide in this post.
Live CDs
Ultimate Boot CD for Windows
Knoppix
Ubuntu

The last option would be to do a repair install of Windows from the CD. More info at this thread.

HTH

Jerry
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BSOD loop: The video driver failed to initialize-rc1vga.jpg  
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08-Oct-2008, 09:09 AM #5
Thank you very much for that response, as I think replacing the built in driver might work out for me... we'll see when I get home tonight!

Can I start system restore from the recovery console? Or does it not act like command prompt completely?
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08-Oct-2008, 09:22 AM #6
I've never actually tried it, but the MS article I linked above says it can't be run from the Recovery Console. Going to have to try it just to see, but I'd tend to believe them on this.

It's a "subset" of the full command prompt. It has some commands that the regular command prompt doesn't, but is also missing many features.

Good luck. Hope that does get it going enough to get in to windows in some fasion.

Jerry
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08-Oct-2008, 08:43 PM #7
OK, here's the dealio:

First I tried replacing the VGA drivers with recovery console. Very nice directions by the way. Unfortunately that did not solve the problem.

Tried safe mode with command prompt again... nope.

Also, I have tried a reinstall/ repair. Looking at your guide, it works until "Part 4" when it gives the video driver error again on boot.

Now for the interesting part. I downloaded UBCD and burned it etc, and tried it on one of my working computers. It worked fine. I put it into the "broken" computer, and it doesn't work. It gets to the "Starting CD... ok" part then reboots shows "Starting CD.... ok" again, reboots etc in a LOOP!

Now I am thinking that maybe the video card has gone bad? hmmm.

So I looked through my burnt CDs and found an "OpenSUSE 10 live CD". It boots just fine into the GUI, and functions. I don't think this OS will help solve my problem though? (If it can please tell me what I should do!)

I am currently downloading Knoppix on a 1.5 MBPS DSL line... will take some time. If you have suggestions please let me know! Thanks!
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09-Oct-2008, 02:34 AM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by computmaxer View Post
Also, I have tried a reinstall/ repair. Looking at your guide, it works until "Part 4" when it gives the video driver error again on boot.
So it gives the error before the Windows XP logo screen appears? The logo is a 640x480 16 color bitmap...

Quote:
Originally Posted by computmaxer View Post
Now for the interesting part. I downloaded UBCD and burned it etc, and tried it on one of my working computers. It worked fine. I put it into the "broken" computer, and it doesn't work. It gets to the "Starting CD... ok" part then reboots shows "Starting CD.... ok" again, reboots etc in a LOOP!
So the Ultimate boot CD logo never appears? That logo is a 640x480 256 color gif...
And I believe the CD does an Automatic Reboot on error, so you never see the blue screen error.
Enable VGA mode is 640x480...
I have 1 Win XP Pro SP2 system where Safe Mode is 800x600, but another is 640x480, and a WinXP Pro SP1 system Safe Mode is also 640x480...
The strange thing is both SP2 systems are MS Virtual PCs, so you'd think they would be identical. Only difference is one was installed using a WinXP disk slipstreamed with SP2, the other was a WinXP RTM install that had SP1 then SP2 applied.
Quote:
Originally Posted by computmaxer View Post
Now I am thinking that maybe the video card has gone bad? hmmm.

So I looked through my burnt CDs and found an "OpenSUSE 10 live CD". It boots just fine into the GUI, and functions. I don't think this OS will help solve my problem though? (If it can please tell me what I should do!)
Not familiar with with SUSE, but I'm wondering if it goes from the text mode display used by the BIOS/Recovery Console to 800x600 or higher resolution, bypassing the 640x480 mode.
Could be the video controller is bad at that one resolution, which Windows uses at some point for every boot scenario, which causes the error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by computmaxer View Post
I am currently downloading Knoppix on a 1.5 MBPS DSL line... will take some time. If you have suggestions please let me know! Thanks!
I know both Knoppix and Ubuntu have switches you can add that set the resolution, but i don't know enough about either to know if those are entered before the display is switched to a graphics mode or not, or how to recompile either to bypass using a 640x480 mode.

If you have a floppy disk it might be interesting to use a Win98 boot disk and load the ansi.sys driver, which can be used to switch graphics mode from a DOS window. Or Google for vga test software that would let you see if the video works at 640x480.

One more thing to try. I added the /noguiboot switch to my boot.ini and it seems it went from text mode straight to 1152x864. The welcome screen on some system may be at 640x480 though.

So, boot into the Recovery Console
enter bootcfg /add
it will scan the drive for Windows installations
enter the number of the one it finds (1)
Enter No Gui Boot for Load Identifier
Enter /fastdetect /noguiboot for OS Load Options
Exit the Recovery Console. The system should stop at the OS Choices screen, No Gui Boot should be the top choice, already selected (if not, use the arrow keys to select it).
Cross your fingers, and hit enter (appropriate sacrifices to the Windows PC gods can't hurt at this point)

Jerry
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09-Oct-2008, 07:44 AM #9
Just tried the No GUI Boot option... didn't work. I was really hoping it might.

The Windows Logo Boot Screen always shows, with the scrolling bar on the bottom. The error always appears directly after that.

The Ultimate Boot CD did not show any graphic however.

Later today I will try a Knoppix and a few other live CDs to see what I can get to work. I will also look for some VGA test software, but if you find anything first let me know.

I think we're getting at least a little closer, thanks!
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09-Oct-2008, 08:22 PM #10
Had someone else look at it today. He seems to think that Windows is "hosed" and just plain needs to be reinstalled.
What do you think? do you think that is the only solution?
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10-Oct-2008, 06:43 PM #11
It may be hosed, but the fact that the UBCD works on another system but doesn't work on this one has me leaning towards a hardware problem.

You could try a repair install, it shouldn't affect your data (backup your data first using the SUSE Live CD just in case). You would have to re-install any Windows Updates that are not on the CD.

If you have access to another Inspiron 1300 you could try this drive in the working PC -- if it boots then it's a good indication of a hardware problem.

One thought, have you tried connecting an external monitor? If you can set the system to use the external only, and not the laptop screen, that might make a difference. I'm sure there is a key combination to switch displays (check the user guide), and there may be a BIOS setting to choose LCD, LCD/EXT, or EXT for output. Just make sure it works with both enabled first, at least as far as the F8 screen. I know of one person who set it to EXT Only in the BIOS and then had no display as the external VGA port was bad. Couldn't even get back to the BIOS to switch it back until someone gave him the keystrokes to do it blind.

If there is an S-Video out you could try that as well.

Or check that it is not already set to use both -- it may be failing because it can't initialize the external display, but I don't think that's too likely.

Reseting the BIOS to Factory defaults/Safe defaults is another remote possibility.


HTH

Jerry
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13-Oct-2008, 10:42 PM #12
Just an update:

I think I have finally accepted the fact that the best solution is to just wipe the drive. I have already connected it to another computer to back up personal files.

So unless anyone else has any last ideas that will save me the time of reinstalling everything, that's what I'll have to do I guess....

Thanks, Max
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15-Oct-2008, 01:07 AM #13
We'll keep our fingers crossed for ya. Had a similar issue in this thread that a re-install solved. Bigest difference is the UBCD4WIN did boot on that system.

Good Luck,

Jerry
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15-Oct-2008, 02:18 PM #14
I do think it is very odd that the UBCD didn't boot... BUT...
Knoppix did without a problem and so did Ubuntu and openSUSE 11. I don't see how it could be a hardware problem if those boot.
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