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Windows 7: Win7 x86 Black screen after software/win update installs

26 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate (2 machines one x86 one x64)
Win7 x86 Black screen after software/win update installs

This is an older machine that was running XP flawlessly, then I decided to 'upgrade' to windows 7 to bring it up to the same OS as my other desktop. I installed windows 7 x86 (due to 32bit scanner drivers mainly) I have been having nothing but software install issues since then. It runs great as long as I don't do any required updates or don't install any software. It seems that on many software installs that require a reboot those installs will fail. It fails on windows updates and major software packages (my old adobe master suite cs4 was one that is required and won't install). I was able to get my printer, scanner and Microsoft office installed but none of those installs required a reboot.

When this black screen happens I am able to ctrl-alt-delete to restart, but at that point I can't use any safe modes (even command prompt fails). It only loads the first system file and then hangs endlessly. I tried to enable boot logging but that doesn't create a ntbtlog.txt as it should either. At one point in the recovery disk from windows 7 I was able to see it was reporting "bad patch" as the reason for the error but no further details on that. From that I can tell it's hanging very early on but can't find any information about others have similar issues.

To proceed with installs I have been doing system images prior to every install and then if it fails I revert back with the recovery disk. I am to the end of that strategy working though since I only have 6 large updates for security and windows 7 updates remaining and they all consistently fail. The biggest show stopper is the Adobe CS4 install, since this is a backup editing machine, and unfortunately this install always fails as well.

I tested out the computer just to be sure with a boot CD with CPU burn, HDD tester (both tested fine), memtest86+, and a pi calc for system burn in, everything from a HW perspective tested out fine. I tried to install latest drivers from asus and nvidia for mobo and video card, no change. In the bios I have tried every setting I can think of to no avail. Changed AHCI to IDE, no change. Disabled all non-essential mobo settings (serial/parallel ports, etc), no change. Tried setting APCI ACPI mode both enabled/disabled, no change. Changed the USB EHCI parameter, no change. I tried tons of other settings, slowing down memory, disabling every CPU or performance feature I could find, no change.

I have not yet tried to go back to XP x86 because I really hate that OS and it's issues after having Win7 x64 on my newer main machine. Any other ideas before doing this last resort?

Here are the machine specs:
Asus p5wd2-e premium mobo (latest bios installed)
pentium 805 @2.66ghz
2gb OCZ mem
XFX 7900GT
WD 74gb OS drive
WD 160gb storage drive
NEC DVD burner

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP


Please post the information from this topic:
I understand that you haven't reported BSOD's, but the reports will help us get started

Asus P5 series boards tend to have issues with RAM and Win7. DO NOT use the Auto setting for the RAM in the BIOS. Go to the RAM manufacturer's website (OCZ) and find the settings/timings/voltages and use those in the BIOS.

What make and wattage PSU do you have?

FWIW - anything old may cause issues for you. I would suggest this sequence:
- install Win7
- ensure all drivers are present in Device Manager
- apply all Windows Updates
- then start adding your programs. Use only the latest versions and check compatibility for all programs before installing them: Windows 7 Compatibility: Software Programs & Hardware Devices: Find Updates, Drivers, & Downloads
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate (2 machines one x86 one x64)

Before seeing the response I had done some more troubleshooting and given up on Win7 x86.

To answer the questions I have a 700w PS in the computer and I had timings set manually to 5-5-5-12-5 as stated by OCZ on the memory itself. Voltages were also manually set and increased because this is a water cooled machine that used to be WAY overclocked.

My solution to the issue was to install x64 version of Windows 7. I did the x64 install just as had been suggested which was also the same way I installed x86. And to my surprise everything works perfect (except my scanner that I will now have to use on my osx laptop).

The odd question now is what the heck is wrong with x86 that isn't compatible where x64 is. In my past experience with XP, Vista and Win7 the 64 bit versions were always the ones with the compatibility issues...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Oct 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP


Yesterday I had an issue with a system that had virus' affecting 2 of the critical system files (ntdll.dll and csrss.exe). Since I don't have a collection of system files - of I went on a hunt to find the critical system files for all flavors of XP, Vista, and Win7.

During my search I found that we didn't know of a single OEM that sold a 32 bit version of Win7. As a matter of fact, the only 32 bit version that I knew of was my own laptop! Also, interestingly, we don't find many copies of 64 bit Vista - seeing mostly 32 bit.

I don't know why this is, but the major OEM's have lot's of money to hire lot's of people who know a lot more than I do - so I'd have to wonder why they all chose to use only 64 bit versions of Win7?

Good luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win7 x86 Black screen after software/win update installs

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