Windows Vista and XP BSOD Problems

I’m seriously afraid of doing anything in Windows Vista anymore.

This time, my gripes have nothing to do with user interface hiccups or random app usability snags. No, this house has been suffering through Blue Screens of Death for the past week. There’s seemingly no rhyme or reason to them… seemingly, not actually.

This afternoon, when my Web browser was getting ready to access my Logitech Webcam (USB) via Flash, Windows decided to choke and give me some kind of IRQ conflict BSOD. Could be a hardware problem, could be a software problem – but it’s a problem (my problem) nonetheless. I’m getting ready to chuck this machine and start fresh.

…if Apple’s desktops weren’t so damn expensive, they may have been a viable option at this point.

No matter, I woke up to this other (power related) BSOD the other morning – and everybody who was watching my live stream got to see it hours before I did:

Vista BSOD Morning

Ergh. Maybe this is an urban legend, but wasn’t Windows Vista supposed to have killed the Blue Screen of Death? I realize that most crashes are caused by video drivers, but the fact that I’m running NVIDAs in here doesn’t help the situation (as NVIDIA’s drivers have proven themselves to be anything but reliable, stable, or half-as-solid as ATI’s).

So, to let Vista off the hook for the moment – Ponzi’s install of XP has decided to go haywire as well. For her PC, it’s all tied into whenever she inserts a CD or DVD into her drive:

XP BSOD Evening

Why can’t we all just… get along?

49 thoughts on “Windows Vista and XP BSOD Problems”

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  5. On Vista, did you report the problems to Microsoft using the Problems and Solutions applet? Did you go back through the last Windows Updates and try to uninstall the updates? Did you try rolling back the drivers on your Logitech webcam to an earlier version?

    If none of those things help, e-mail me and I’ll see if I can’t point you in the right direction.

    -Rob 🙂

  6. interestingly enough I had two BSOD episodes in the last two weeks which occurred when I put a disk in the dvd drive on in my laptop. Im running XP and these are the first two BSOD’s I’ve had on any of my systems in .. years.

  7. Hi Chris, I came across your live feed randomly online tonight and wanted to know how I can chat live with you? When I click on the live feed link, i can see you but it won’t let me type in the chat box…? Am i doing something wrong?
    Jen

  8. Anyway — i was going to tell you to take the leap and get a MAC! I bought the 24″ imac a few months ago and it is THE BEST decision I have ever made. Well, maybe not “ever” but computer-wise it was. I don’t know NEARLY as much about computers as you do and it was a snap for me. Once you get one you’ll wonder why you waited so long!

  9. I have only had 2 crashes/lock ups with Vista and both were related to a MMORPG game, so I can’t really fault Vista.

    Outlook 2007 and the realtime search rock! I can’t live without it. Yes, I cannot get Windows Mobile 6 to work, but I have read about several people whom can, so I can only think that I installed something in the wrong order or a munged install, but this is not a show stopper for me. I have many applications that install, and yes there are features that don’t work 100% like they used to, but slowly the companies are coming out with patches that are addressing this.

    I seem to remember the exact same thing when I went form 95-98 , 98-2000 and 2000 to XP.

    I have accepted this as the nature of the beast and have just come to terms.

    Dual booting is for those and are able to separate the hemispheres in their brains better then I.

    Linux! No way!

    Mac – perhaps some day.. I did make a prediction that within 5 years.. I would be using a MAC and I have about 3 more years…

  10. Apple hardware is really not that expensive when you compare a comperable machine. About a 200.00 premium on average, but I think being able to run OSX is worth it.

  11. Hello,

    I, too, have had a few BSODs with Windows Vista, but mostly due to issues with beta versions of device drivers—using production-level drivers seems to have resolved that issue. I did experience severe performance problems on one computer over a several day period, and it turned out the problem was with a bad hard disk drive data cable on which one of the connectors was no longer firmly in contact with the cabling. Replacing that cable resolved all the problems.

    Is this the same computer you spilled coffee on? If so, maybe it really should go back to Gateway for service. Perhaps the damage was to more than just the video card, and sometimes problems do not manifest until several days or even weeks or months after a computer has been damaged by a liquid or from smoke.

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky

  12. Chris…My BSOD have been related to my Logitech Quickcam Communicate STX. Turns out the driver is unsupported in Vista. Once I removed the software, the BSOD’s disappeared. FYI.

  13. Most interesting…had a network-related BSOD last week on a fresh+updated install of XP. My first in several years. I think I may see a pattern…

  14. I had to give up on Vista on my “Vista Capable” Dell laptop. Constant BSODs all due to Intel Video driver. Upgrading driver made it worse. Had to revert to XP, not happy. If MS+Dell+Intel can’t create a stable platform for the OS then I think Vista has huge problems facing it.

    Compare this to an ancient Inspiron 3800 which went from 98->2000->XP without the slightest hiccup. Of course it’s on Ubuntu now.

  15. You serious about expensive Apple hardware? I have a quad core Mac Pro with two 2.66 GHz Xeons in it, and 7 GB RAM. A similarly configured Dell would have cost me $400 more, and the Mac Pro let’s me run XP, Vista, OS X, and Ubuntu. 😛

  16. Just upgraded my HP Pavilion laptop from XP to Vista. HP supplied two upgrade discs. One had Visa and the other had a Bios flash and all of the other software and all of the new drivers necessary for my machine. The upgrade was a clean install and went without a hitch. When I was done, the HP monitoring software checked for newer drivers which were uploaded and run. It went like a charm with no problems at all. HP has done it the right way. So far I have really enjoyed Vista so much so that my thoughts of buying a Mac have dimmed. I think that Vista upgrading, along with the driver selections, has improved immensely from when it began, however it still gets a bad rap by a select few.

  17. If you’re thinking about ditching it, you should try Ubuntu Linux on that PC 😀

    If the thing’s screwed anyway, there’s not much to lose by installing a free-of-charge operating system to it, is there? Would be a nice experiment, and you’d be surprised by the quality of the newest release.

  18. You are lucky, and this is XP Pro, at least your error screen stays up. With me it just pops up then continues on to reboot the system. Then a completely worthless message from MS saying no fix or idea which driver or whatever.

  19. I have been running Vista since it was available on MSDN and have not had any BSOD issues. I have to believe that if this was a big problem more than a few people would be complaining, we would be hearing about this in the mainstream press.
    Don’t get me wrong, it may very well be a problem with Vista, but I have to ask, what has been done to your system that is making it BSOD on a regular basis?
    I have a Dell notebook with an NVidia card running Vista Ultimate – no problems. I have one “odd” piece of hardware – a Novatel XU870 card that connects to Cingular. The flakyest piece of hardware is the Microsoft lifecam nx6000. But that does not bring the entire machine down when it has a problem.

  20. Rage is my response, but not at Vista. Without necessarily defending Vista, I would like to point an angry finger at the software and hardware suppliers. They haven’t done their homework at all and they have just sat around shooting spitballs in the office while nice people have innocently converted to Vista, completely unaware of the desperate, sweating gauntlet they are about to run. Windows XP drivers and Windows XP software rarely run right under Vista, simply because Vista has been rewritten and runs in a different way. The blue-tinted, deathly screens that appear in Vista are simply Microsoft saying to the programmers, no, no, no, you didn’t do it right, please get it right.

    The programmers have failed to learn everything they should have learned about Vista and they are proceding by a process of trial-and-error, using living human beings as their guinea-pigs. It’s easily possible to blame Microsoft for this state of affairs. Anyone who has ever read a Microsoft data sheet for interfacing with Windows, or worse yet, a manual for programming in Windows, knows the face of danger. Such documents are written for Martians, not earthlings, with a formality and arrogance that kill absolutely any possibility of comprehension.

    Logitech and ATI have slipped up before with their drivers, but now they are falling on their butts trying to cope with Vista protocols, and Microsoft looks guilty. It’s not that Vista is bad — Vista is good — but no one can figure out how to access Vista within the guidelines because the guidelines supplied by Microsoft are almost anti-guidelines.

  21. Chris,

    I’ve been having that driver power state failure gizmo on my Vista laptop for a while and using a full memory dump and Windows Debugging Tools, it told me that the Virtual PC network driver was the culprit. I uninstalled the Virtual Network Driver from my network connections and no more BSOD!

  22. I have added a new way of describing bad, depressing problems in my life. I say “Life just handed me a steaming pile of Vista” and everyone knows that things are rough.

  23. Hardware conflicts, or maybe your PC doesn’t meet Vista Requirements.
    cuz my Vista machine is working fine, since last February, without turning it off 😉

  24. I feel your pain. I had the same problems and more about a year and half ago using XP. There are no easy answers but I found a better way to go was with Linux. I use the Ubuntu distro but I bet their are several others that could also do the job.
    There was a few weeks spent learning but the things I had to learn were used to make the system better not to fix it every other week.
    You might want to give it a shot, what have you got lose at this point?

  25. I’m actually running Vista on a Mac Pro (dual-booting, testing .NET apps on Vista). With a decent gfx card, Vista runs the best on this machine as any of my actual PCs.

    But I don’t think Chris should get a Mac because he’s having a few teething issues with Vista config. It would take a far more philosophical change than this. It would be like changing a bicycle for a Segway because you got a flat tyre!

    He’s a Windows guy through and through, and Mac OS X Tiger would be FAR MORE of a shock to his system than Vista.

    As for the “Macs are more expensive” myth… It’s about a half/half myth/reality. I’ve bought Macs. I’ve bought Dells. Some lines the Mac is actually very well priced. For others you’re paying about a 10% premium for similar specs.

    A quick guide:

    MacBooks – very good value, if you don’t need to play WoW (integrated graphics doesn’t cut it). Very little Apple premium.

    MacBook Pros – High Apple premium, maybe 20%. You’re paying for the sleek metal styling, so how much is that worth to you?

    iMac – pretty good value. Just ask Jason Calacanis, who just bought 30 of them!

    Mac Pro – very good value, if you need the power. The 3.0GHz quad Xeon (Woodcrest) that I’m using actually worked out cheaper than an equivalent spec’d Dell came to. And it runs Mac OS X (which the Dell can’t) ***and*** Vista perfectly. Yes, it cost a fair bit ($3000) but then so did a professional grade Dell. Bang for buck the Apple was cheaper.

    Conclusion: You got to know what you need and are willing to pay for.

  26. I have vista on a Acer notebok and it has a major snag in that it knocks the wireless router signal down from excellent to poor as soon as you instigate any security ( I use WPA2) even setting to WEP knocks the signal down. Using no encription give a 5 bar excellent signal.
    Secondly, Windows Media centre does not recognise that a TV tuner is attached. I can run it on the supplied software but not on Media Centre as I would like.
    Any suggestions on both would be appreciated.

  27. Hey i have the same trouble past 2 weeks. I started blaming my wife for screwing up my pc….
    I get retarded reasons for BSOD
    Memory Management
    Driver Power State Failure
    Just finished a clean install and loaded it up i got another BSOD after windows automatic updates something about IRQ

    Rob if you read this HELP!!!!

  28. Your time has value, if you want to want to wrestle with Windows on a daily basis it’s costing you money.

    Surely, at one point that lost time more than equals the additional cost (real or imaginary) of a Mac Pro.

    Mac OS X isn’t perfect, but it’s nowheres close to the morass that is Windows Vista. Perhaps Leopard will push you over the edge.

  29. I’ve been using Ubuntu / Linux for several years, and it never crashes, ever. If I need XP, I run it in a virtual machine, where XP can BSOD harmlessly. Oh, also, on Linux / Ubuntu: no viruses, ever. No spyware, ever. Compare this to the $100,000 weekends that occurred at my previous employers, as the IT team recovered from massive virus infections of Microsoft Servers, coupled with the bizarre per seat Microsoft software costs, and I fail to understand why any rational business would yet be using Microsoft products.

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  31. I’ve been advising people to wait until service pack one or two before even thinking of getting Vista. And the more I see here and other places, nothing has changed my mind on that.
    Me and others have found literally hundreds on things that are wrong with Vista. I find it a lot worse then XP when it came out so far.
    Look here for just ‘some’ examples
    http://fsmcomputers.googlepages.com/whynottogetvista
    I think the info speaks for itself. Next upgrade I will probably try a mac or a dedicated linux machine.

  32. MacroCrap !

    BSOD on ‘Switch User’, ‘Log Off – Log In’ (either same user or another), ‘wake from sleep’ and this on 5 boxes running Acer MBoards (P5LD2-VM and P5VD2-VM), with 3.4 GHz Dual Cores, min 1 Gb RAM (NOT overclocked), SATA II’s, properly burned-in (I’ve been a ‘techie’ for 25-odd years now), Windows update nightly, yada, yada, yada.

    Fortunately the servers are running latest Linux production kernels …

    I’ve held the view that one should not implement a M$ O/S prior to the 1st SP and, so far, that is as much a law as Moore’s.

    6000+ programmers and this is what they can come up with – what a bunch of wankers. You know, I relocate staff to the HR pool for MUCH less than that; I must be a BOFH.

  33. A MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION is normally caused by a hardware failure. I’d check to make sure that you’re running the latest BIOS and some BIOS’es have a feature where you can load “safe” defaults. I’d try that first. My dad just ran into this type of blue screen on his machine and resetting the defaults back in the BIOS fixed the problem. Might be worth a try.
    Cheers
    Dean.

  34. I’m really getting tired of reading articles and comments who fault Microsoft and Vista in particular because their 3rd party video card drivers, printer drivers, scanners, etc. don’t work on Vista or cause problems or in this case BSOD’s. Third party hardware and drivers are the sole responsibility of those hardware companies. Microsoft has had this product available in beta to everyone including these 3rd party companies in plenty of time for them to write and test drivers for Vista.

    If drivers are non-existent or crappy, write a letter or article blaming these companies directly. Stop blaming Microsoft and bad mouthing Vista. Put the blame squarely where it belongs.

  35. Yes, Vista is really unstable, it hangs on me randomly, many times with BSOD, many times just freeze! I hate it, will have to dual-boot with Ubuntu soon

  36. Ok, let’s go.
    I tried Windows Vista and I disliked it. Slow, a lot of eye-candy things but they requires services that cost a lot of hardware, and I can’t be upgrading my computer once a year.

    Mac is a very stable and powerful system, but is expensive. Someone said before that is half true. Yes; but I’m afraid of some Mac, because upgrading a sole component will cost higher.

    My solution? Ubuntu Ultimate. I know isn’t easy to configure the first time, and sometimes you must deal with .conf files, but when you finish, the system will not go down. No spyware, no malware, no virus and the system goes wonderful faster in a 1,1 GhZ machine. I know it has a 256 MB Nvidia GeForce card, but that’s the best component the machine have. Beryl is the eye-candy that I need, and Vista *try to* copied. Is really annoyer that Vista requires 1 GB RAM for some little animation go smoother and Ubuntu does the same or better with 256 MB. And yes; I tried Vista, in a 2,26 GhZ machine (not the last, as you can see) with 512 MB RAM, and the system was slower than a rheumatic snail.

    I recommend you buy a Mac or use Linux.

  37. As Troy said, it is typically the drivers from those that aren’t keeping up to speed with advances in technology. I use Vista x64 and the only problems I have had are due to poor support for peripherals that require drivers.

    Vista isn’t designed to run on slow 1.1 GHz computers with 512 of RAM (or even a 2.26GHZ) although it can. Everything is going to bottleneck with such small RAM anyway, read the reccomended specs and if you don’t have them don’t cry. I just built a system running AMD x64 5200 with 4GB RAM and 256MB Geforce 8600GT video card with twin 320 GB SATA HDD on a Gigabyte GA M57 SLI S$ mobo and it all goes as sweet as can be.

    The only episode I have had was with a BSOD related to a PCI card that I used temporarily that had crap drivers. Removed the card ran the repair off the install disc and all has gone well.

  38. If you use crappy hardware with crappy drivers, expect to reap what ye have sown.

    For me, not a single BSOD on Vista since November 2006 – and that’s on my development box that stresses the OS to its limits. BTW, the “BSOD” is a bug check – ever heard of the Mac OS kernel panic? Same thing.

    They happen. Even on Apple’s own mightier-than-thou platform running such robust applications as FCP. (Hmm, FCP must be the texting abbreviation for F*ck Up.)

    Just more fanboy nonsense grounded in fantasy.

    I can see it now – please, please give me a BSOD – I’ll throw the worst hardware I have at you – I need the photo for my blog (or, more accurately, trog – my troll’s blog).

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