Thursday, September 3, 2009

Black Screen Of Death (KSOD) and a possible cause

I’ve run into my second instance of a KSOD (black screen with mouse pointer and nothing else). Both are laptops and both had similar circumstances. User closed lid and attempted to restart on the next day. Both got Windows started but then encountered problems, shutdown and met the KSOD.

Theory: I believe what is happening is that the user has the system set to hibernate on the lid closing. This hibernation is occurring when an automated Windows update is in progress. The update then fails because of the hibernation and corrupts the system. Both systems get to CRCDISK.SYS and then die.

The only solution I’ve found is to reimage or reinstall. I tried all of the registry changes, sticky keys and booting from another source. No luck.

Solution: Upgrade to Win7, turn hibernate off and teach users to shutdown.

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