Originally Posted by SpikedCola
Woohoo, ended up being a bad stick of RAM. Easy fix.
PS. Anyone know if they fixed the "nvlddkm.sys driver f'cked up, but restarted successfully" error in Vista?
Not sure if this is what you are referring too......
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.
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
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:
mkdir expandexpand -r nvapi64.dl_ expand\nvapi64.dllexpand -r nvd3dum.dl_ expand\nvd3dum.dllexpand -r nvd3dumx.dl_ expand\nvd3dumx.dllexpand -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.
1) Perform a clean install of Vista RC1 on a fresh partition.
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.
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\FileRep ository
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.