Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Windows and error messages

People say Linux is difficult to use because when something goes wrong, the error messages are too cryptic. I disagree.

I recently installed new Nvidia drivers for Windows 7 and ended up with computer stuck in reboot cycle. Blue Screen Of Death flashed for a fraction of a second. I understand Microsoft wanting to get rid of the notorious BSOD, but I don't see how hiding the error message altogether helps anything. Of course F8 on boot helped and I got to see the BSOD and it's message. It said something about Nvidia and booting with "latest working configuration" (or something like that) worked. Great.

Couple of boots after (and after Windows had updated its SATA-drivers) I got the same reboot cycle with flashing BSOD. This time the latest working configuration didn't help so I went to see the BSOD. Here it is:
An user friendly error message
I'll also type out the technical information in case someone searches Google for help, as I did.
*** STOP: 0x0000007B (0xFFFFF880009A9928,0xFFFFFFFFC0000034,0x0000000000000000,0x0000000000000000)

My searches didn't right away give me a direct answer on what to do, but I found out this has something to do with SATA (and Windows had just updated SATA-drivers... hmm...). I went to BIOS, changed all the SATA buses from AHCI to IDE and Windows booted up nicely.

Of course this was after couple of days of troubleshooting from Linux. I ran ntfsck and all the other rescue tools I could think of. I also tried all the tools from Windows installation disc.

So... I'm just wondering why the error can't say for example "Can't read system disk" or something other less cryptic than 0x0000007B.

Totally different story is my problems after buying a new motherboard which instead of BIOS is an EFI one. Windows didn't start up, only rebooted the computer without any error messages at all. Nothing on logs either. After couple of days of rescue discs and such I found out the reason was an unpartitioned 500GB HDD. I set up an partition table for it and Windows booted up just fine.

Anyways... Linux has always told me what exactly is wrong. If my skills haven't been good enough to fix it, Google has always found a solution. I've known what to look for.