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Posted: 3/8/2010 9:47:35 PM EDT
Every single time my wife downloads updates for Windows, our laptop goes to bluescreen.  We've had the darn thing less than a year and it does it almost every time.  Sometimes if I restart enough it works it though but right now it goes to Bluescreen and just quits with a "Stop" message.

Any suggestions?  It indicates I should hit F8 at start-up to start in safe mode but hitting F8 doesn't do anything.

Thank you for any help,
Scott
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 2:27:32 PM EDT
Most likely it's one specific update that keeps causing the problem.  The first thing I would do is use System Restore to roll-back to a known, working date.  Once in, change the Windows Update settings to let you pick and choose which updates to install.  Once you have that done, go through and install one update (or a few) at a time and reboot until you find the culprit.
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 4:15:57 PM EDT
Thank you for the reply, the problem is that I can't even get there.  It does its usual start-up, the "Dell" with status bar goes, then another status bar appears and then it goes to bluescreen.  It used to keep rebooting itself but this time it the error message is "STOP: (some unGodly-long series of numbers and letters, etc.)"  Then it just sits there.

It indicates that I should hit F8 to start in safe mode but hitting F8 when restarting does absolutely nothing.  F2 and and F12 go to the same menu.  

Thank you again, I appreciate your assistance,
Scott
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 5:05:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 6:12:19 PM EDT
Great, hopefully it's still under warranty.

Thank you, I appreciate your input,
Scott
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 6:27:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/9/2010 6:28:30 PM EDT by pdg45acp]
I just fixed a blue screen, not update realated but it came out of nowhere.

Bad sector on the hard drive.

If there is any way you can boot to a CD that had checkdisk, like UBCD4WIN or Active Boot, it might take care of it, if not boot to the Windows CD and do a repair.
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 6:59:18 PM EDT
If I'm going to do this myself you're going to have to pretend I'm a toddler with absolutely no knowledge.  I can get to the Setup menu and that's about it.  If you can tell me how to run the Windows CD from there I'm all ears (or eyes in this case).

IIRC, my wife sent out a sort of animated birthday card back in September and that's when this started happening.  Someone suggested I remove anything affiliated with that and once I did the problem stopped, however, since that time, any time Windows updates are downloaded, it goes through this crap.  It's just never stopped dead like it did this time.  If I could at least start in Safe Mode I'd remove the last update and see what happens, I just can't get there.

I appreciate all the input everyone,
Scott
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 8:25:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By cruze5:
i've worked on thousands of computers.  and i've never seen one computer blue screen just from windows updates.    To me it sounds like your system has other issues.      possibly bad memory or worse,  i would suggest taking it to have it looked at


It can and has happened:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10452064-245.html

I would suggest following pdg45acp's advice and try running a CHKDSK and, if that fails, attempting a repair installation:

Instructions here:

CHKDSK

Repair Install

Try these before taking your computer in to get looked at.  PC repair shops are like any other repair shop.  There are unfortunately a few unscrupulous places that will try to convince you to spend $$$ on tests & parts that you don't really need.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 8:30:38 AM EDT
There is at least one update which causes a bsod because of a virus/rootkit.   Might be worth scanning it for infections.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 8:52:58 AM EDT
If some of your keys are multifunction, the F8 might require you to use a Function "Fn" key also to get it to work.  My Gateway is that way.

An Nvidia update install by Windows Update drove my machine crazy so I rolled it back and have had smooth sailing ever since (Windows 7).

Good Luck.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:07:42 AM EDT
Roll back the drivers if possible.  Do not install hardware drivers from Windows Update unless absolutely necessary.  They're typically old, limited functionality drivers and can cause problems.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 3:24:30 PM EDT



Originally Posted By Scotter260:


If I'm going to do this myself you're going to have to pretend I'm a toddler with absolutely no knowledge.  I can get to the Setup menu and that's about it.  If you can tell me how to run the Windows CD from there I'm all ears (or eyes in this case).



IIRC, my wife sent out a sort of animated birthday card back in September and that's when this started happening.  Someone suggested I remove anything affiliated with that and once I did the problem stopped, however, since that time, any time Windows updates are downloaded, it goes through this crap.  It's just never stopped dead like it did this time.  If I could at least start in Safe Mode I'd remove the last update and see what happens, I just can't get there.



I appreciate all the input everyone,

Scott


I take it from the statement that "it's less than a year old" that it is running Vista. If so print this out , read it thoroughly and then proceed.



Insert the Windows Vista DVD into the DVD drive, and then restart the computer.



During the startup process, repeatedly press <F12>.



In the Boot Device Menu, press the <Down Arrow> to select "Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive", and then press <Enter>. If the Boot Device Menu does not appear, restart the computer and repeat step 2.



When the Press any key to boot from CD or DVD screen appears, immediately press any key to start the computer from the Windows Vista DVD. For example, immediately press the <enter> when the" Press any key to boot from CD or DVD screen appears". If you do not press a key immediately, the computer may not start from the Windows Vista DVD. Instead, the computer may try to start the currently-installed copy of Windows Vista. If this situation occurs, restart the computer, and then repeat steps 2 and 3.



When Windows Vista starts from the Windows Vista DVD, other screens may appear during the startup process. If other screens appear, accept the default options, and then continue to the language settings screen.



On the language settings screen, click the appropriate language in the Language to install list, click the appropriate time and currency format in the Time and currency format list, click the appropriate keyboard layout to use in the Keyboard or input method list, and then click Next.



On the lower-left corner of the Install now screen, click Repair your computer.



If the Windows Vista Setup program detects any problems on the computer, click yes when the program displays the following message:



"Windows found problems with your computer's startup options.

Do you want to apply repairs and restart your computer?"
Start with that if it fixes you problem great, if not we can go on to other things.



 
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 4:30:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 4:47:23 PM EDT
Thanks for all the replies.  I didn't mention it but this is a laptop.  From what I've read on the errors it may be more common with laptops.  Also, I ran both a memory test and a system test.  The memory test was fine and one error came back on the system test, I believe it was a "5300:1028 BIOS - get convertor etc.etc.etc."

I then called Dell and the tech walked me through checking it and he said, "Your operating system is no good, we'll send you a new hard-drive and memory sticks (I think he said sticks, had some trouble understanding him)."  

I asked him if it was something either I or my wife could have caused and he stated that it wasn't possible for us to have caused it.  I told my wife and apologized for chewing her out all these months to stop "downloading the damn updates!"

I may try iNeXile's fix as he is correct that this is Vista.

Thanks for all the suggestions but I guess I should have just gone to the source in the first place.  Dell was very helpful but I swear, when a person has computer frustrations, the last thing they want to do is decipher an English-As-a-Second-Language person's take on english.  Very polite and helpful to be sure but equally difficult to understand.

Scott
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 9:59:51 PM EDT
Yeah, it sounds like an OS issue.  While I have seen computers blue screen from Windows updates, it's generally caused by an issue that was pre-existing on the computer, like a virus issue.  Windows updates are supposed to make your computer safer and more reliable...you should pretty much always install Windows updates when they are available.  Your wife was right to install the updates.

When you get your new drive, install it and install the OS from the original Vista CD Dell provided you, it's usually the lime green or lite blue or whatever color Dell was using that month.  Once the OS is installed, download and install an antivirus like AVG Free.  Once the OS and AV is installed, install all Windows updates.  Once you get there you can install any other software you want.

Also, I would look into installing Windows 7, it has proven to be a nice OS, even pre SP1.
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