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Thread: HOWTO: fix nvidia BSOD during Vista RC1 setup

  1. #1
    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    HOWTO: fix nvidia BSOD during Vista RC1 setup

    Both Vista pre-RC1 (5536) and RC1 (5600) shipped with the buggy nvidia 95_64 vista drivers. On certain nvidia cards like my 7900GX2 this causes a BSOD during the device installation phase, reporting an error in nvlddmkm.sys.

    The latest 96_33 drivers work, but you are unable to install them normally or boot into safe mode because Vista cannot complete setup correctly.

    Here's how to fix that.

    Requirements:
    1) Dual-boot machine with Windows XP running on another partition.
    2) Administrative privileges in XP

    I performed this fix using the x64 version of RC1
    Phase 1:
    1) Download the latest 96_33 Vista drivers from nvidia
    2) Extract the contents of the driver file to a directory (I used WinRAR for this).
    3) Open a command window in the driver directory and enter the following:
    Code:
    mkdir expand
    expand -r nvapi64.dl_ expand\nvapi64.dll
    expand -r nvd3dum.dl_ expand\nvd3dum.dll
    expand -r nvd3dumx.dl_ expand\nvd3dumx.dll
    expand -r nvlddmkm.sy_ expand\nvlddmkm.sys
    (You might just need nvlddmkm.sys, but I replaced the other files as well to be sure.)
    You end up with a new directory called expand that contains the files you need to replace.

    Phase 2:
    1) Perform a clean install of Vista RC1 on a fresh partition.
    2) Critical After the setup process has expanded the installation files the machine will reboot. You must select 'Earlier version of windows' and boot back into XP at this stage.

    Phase 3:
    1) Since the Vista files are secured with an SID that XP doesn't know about, you need to take ownership of the relevant files.
    2) Turn off simple file-sharing in the Folder View options.
    3) Navigate to <VistaDrive>:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository
    4) If you are using a desktop graphics card, the files that have to be changed are in nv_lh.inf_185bb110. It appears that nv_aw.inf_d8327a6a contains the files for laptop cards. This fix was performed on a desktop altering just the files in the nv_lh directory. If in doubt you can alter both sets.
    5) Back up the relevant folder in case you screw something up.
    6) For each of the files to be changed (the files with the same name as the ones in the expand directory you created above) right-click, select Properties and click the Security tab. Click on Advanced and then Take Ownership. Change the owner to the admin account that you are logged on as. Click OK. R-click and select Properties->Security again, then click on Add, add your account and click Full Control.
    7) Finally, copy the new 96.33 files across to overwrite the old ones.

    Now restart your computer and let the Vista install proceed. The driver will still report itself as 95.64, I would advise performing a proper driver update to the new ones.

    Final Phase:
    Send an angry feedback to Microsoft asking why they allowed this buggy driver build to make it into the Realease Candidate.

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    Attempting your fix now ... THANK YOU for posting this!

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    Great documentation, this worked wonders and comepletely worked.


    NO..there is no SLI support yet, but at least I could get my dual-monitor working with Aero, AND the kicker was that I also got my TV Tuner/capture to work when Leadtek has discontinued support on my card.

    My system.....

    Mobo : Foxconn C51XEM2AA
    CPU : AMD x2 4200+ (socket AM2)
    RAM : 2 Gig Corsair XMS
    Hard drive : WD 120 (SATA 3.0Gb/s)
    Video : XFX 7950 GX2
    Sound : Creative Labs Audigy 2 ZS
    TV Tuner : Leadtec WinFast TV2000 XP Deluxe
    Primary Monitor : Dell 2407WFP
    Secondary Monitor : Dell 1905FP


    The ONLY difference is that I went with the 32-bit Vista, so the files I needed were slightly different, but the same actions were needed.
    Nvapi.dll
    Nvd3dum.sll
    Nvlddmkm.sys

    Also, Instead of dual-boot, what I did was install Vista on a fresh hard drive, and then after the Expanding files . . Features . . Updates . . the system goes into a reboot cycle. POWER OFF here and stop. Next, move the Vista disk as a secondary disk in my main XP Professional machine setup and manipulated the files in phase 3 through XPPro.

    The trick is replacing the files you need BEFORE the Vista goes through the “Completing Installation” phase.

  4. #4
    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirski57 View Post
    The trick is replacing the files you need BEFORE the Vista goes through the “Completing Installation” phase.
    Which makes me wonder about the whole 'driver security in Vista' thing. I thought it might choke when it couldn't verify the files against the hashes in the cat file, but no...

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    I can confirm that this bug still exists with the new 5728 installation. Microsoft is still using the older nvidia drivers. This fix did allow for installation, however.

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    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanmcgpa View Post
    I can confirm that this bug still exists with the new 5728 installation. Microsoft is still using the older nvidia drivers. This fix did allow for installation, however.
    AArgh! Thanks for the info, I was planning to install 5728 tomorrow. Now at least I know I'll have to hack the install yet again.

    And 57xx releases are supposed to be 'RTM' class ... While this was initially nvidia's fault, what really annoys me is that there's no fail-safe system that will allow setup to complete. And it's simply unacceptable that the same buggy drivers are still included despite MS being warned about the problem.

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    Anyone know of a direct link where I can mail Microsoft about this problem?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by charleski View Post
    And it's simply unacceptable that the same buggy drivers are still included despite MS being warned about the problem.
    But it's still beta software - you have it to test and feedback these things so that they can be fixed before MS start to charge people for the software (well, unless you bought into the £1.50 charge...). My point being that when using beta software you should expect issues like this - I know it's not what you want to hear, but I'll put money on this being the standard response to people complaining about bugs from Microsoft.


    When it gets released and is still buggy, then you can start complaining!

  9. #9
    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splash View Post
    But it's still beta software - you have it to test and feedback these things
    1) I informed MS about this problem at the start of the month.
    2) 5728 is an RTM candidate. The time for excuses about how it's just a beta are long past my boy.
    3) The lack of a fail-safe fall-back to a standard VGA mode represents a fundamental flaw in the design of the setup process.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by charleski View Post
    1) I informed MS about this problem at the start of the month.
    2) 5728 is an RTM candidate. The time for excuses about how it's just a beta are long past my boy.
    3) The lack of a fail-safe fall-back to a standard VGA mode represents a fundamental flaw in the design of the setup process.
    1) Good for you - I suspect that a lot of people are installing and whining without submitting the bugs.

    2) It may well be an RTM candidate but it's still beta. It's beta until it goes gold and is released to manufacturers. I fully agree that at this late stage of development it's shocking to see these kind of bugs, but that doesn't change the fact that it's still beta.

    3) I fully agree, but MS do warn about this on the download page - I've not installed it as yet (at work at the moment and it's going nowhere near any of my live boxes) so I can't really comment on any issues with 5728, but I'll have a look-see on one of my test boxes at home later. You don't have to install this, and anyone installing a beta OS as their main OS might want to rethink how desperately they need to see Vista.

    Just my $0.02.

    For information on submission of bugs see http://www.vistabase.co.uk/bugreport.htm (that's for seanmcpga)
    Last edited by Splash; 25-09-2006 at 01:16 PM. Reason: added bug submission link

  11. #11
    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splash View Post
    1) Good for you - I suspect that a lot of people are installing and whining without submitting the bugs.
    And when they ignore the warnings and reports and allow a critical error to persist I'm going to get annoyed. A simple google for 'setup bsod nvlddmkm.sys' reveals that people were having similar problems back in January, all related to the underlying design flaw that doesn't allow the built-in drivers to be disabled if they're buggy.

  12. #12
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    And when Vista finally gets released and the bug is still there THEN you get to be angry. Don't get me wrong, I'm not flying the flag for Microsoft at all, and Vista will not be used in live environments that I support for a while after it's released. I fully expect the initial release to be buggy as hell, but it's what I've come to expect of Microsoft (among others).

    A point made on Slashdot today - beta is the new alpha, RC is the new beta. And for once I kinda agreed.

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    This is how I fixed it

    After installing and getting the BSOD, I booted to the DVD and ran the Command Prompt from the repair utilities window, I browsed to c:\windows\system32\drivers\ and "Deleted" the nvlddmkm.sys file and rebooted, upon reboot I was able to finish the installation since Vista didnt find this file so it used a generic driver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by it2k View Post
    After installing and getting the BSOD, I booted to the DVD and ran the Command Prompt from the repair utilities window, I browsed to c:\windows\system32\drivers\ and "Deleted" the nvlddmkm.sys file and rebooted, upon reboot I was able to finish the installation since Vista didnt find this file so it used a generic driver.
    Thats actually a much quicker way of doing it.
    Great post !
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    I just installed RC2 on a 6150 motherboard and it didn't blue screen this time

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChronoReverse View Post
    I just installed RC2 on a 6150 motherboard and it didn't blue screen this time
    Thanks for the post. Ill be doing the same on a 6150 once its finished downloading
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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