Possible KSOD (blacK Screen Of Death) Solution for Windows Vista

A few days ago, my Windows Vista on my notebook started to have the KSOD (blacK Screen Of Death) syndrome. This syndrome is that after typing your username and password on the login screen, you are presented with a black screen and a mouse, nothing else. When searching on the internet for solutions I found out that quite a few people experienced the same issue with all kinds of different solutions. I tried some suggestions like System Restore, file system check, registry changes etc etc, but nothing was working for me.

When you are presented with a KSOD, you can try to press the left SHIFT button a few times to trigger the sticky keys feature of windows. This will popup a window that contains a link. You can then click this link and from there you are able to launch different applications. Of course, if you disabled sticky keys, you are out of luck…

After wasting almost a whole day on trying everything I could think of, I stumbled upon a blog where they said that it might be related to the eventlog. To test this, I wanted to disable the eventlog. Unfortunately you cannot disable the eventlog from a running Windows because some other services are relying on it. I booted into “safe mode with command prompt”, because normal safe mode would also give me the KSOD. I disabled the eventlog and rebooted the machine and to my surprise everything worked :)

The next step was to delete all eventlog files from C:\Windows\System32\Winevt\logs, switch on the eventlog again, reboot and everything was again working :)

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60 Comments so far »

  1. amanda said,

    Wrote on June 21, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

    NONE of these have worked. I have repaired the registry using a program, done all the fixes listed here… I do not have or cannot find my disc and I do not have any recovery points.

    A little more info..

    I have Windows Vista Home Premium.
    The kid had an annoying popup so he used my admin password, then the black screen… dang kid
    Found and removed a virus, which is why I started with the registry repair first.

    check disc, malwarebytes, and spybot come back clean

    Tried all the fixes above, logs are changed, softwaredistribution is changed, etc. nada

    any other ideas folks? Thanks in advance!!

  2. whatalongsearchoninternet said,

    Wrote on September 14, 2011 @ 12:42 am

    Hi,

    changing the software_previous to software worked for me

    I was a bit confuse if it was in regedit or directly in directory (tried many linux livecd)

    Finallly I changed the files in the directory [C:/]windows/system32/config (which is not necessarily accessed via a regedit software)

    Bactrack 5 worked for me using the commend prompt:

    fdisk -l (to check if C or system disk is an NTFS disk and its name)
    mkdir /mnt/windows (create a “shortcut” folder into which mouting the disk)
    mount -t ntfs /dev/sda2 /mnt/windows (to mount the disk: for me, C: is named /dev/sda2 accoring to fdisk -l)

    then in /mnt/windows i had the same directories software and software_privious that Mr. Bakir, so i did the same and it worked!

    For the Linux commands explanation in backtrack, check this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsGlnhF7JbE

    Good luck :)

  3. whatalongsearchoninternet said,

    Wrote on September 14, 2011 @ 12:44 am

    of course, i’ve used standard linux commands:
    mv (to rename a file)

  4. jAH said,

    Wrote on October 5, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    Where are the damn recovery points when you really need them?

  5. Jay said,

    Wrote on December 25, 2011 @ 2:07 am

    M. Bakir said,
    Wrote on September 16, 2009 @ 10:21 pm
    here is a new solution for the Black screen of Death.
    Using the ultimate boot disk tools, used explorer to access the registery directory at C:|windows\system32\config\ found two registery files “software” and “software_previous” I renamed the “software” file into “software_corrupt” and the “software_previous” to “software”.
    Guess what! it worked.

    if it worked for you join my network
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/mbakir

    WORKED FOR ME
    DELL XPS M1330, WIndows Vista: KSOD after security update

  6. Voshi said,

    Wrote on February 18, 2012 @ 11:21 am

    M. Bakir solution worked just rename software_previous to software :)))))))) big thx

  7. Baltoeric said,

    Wrote on April 22, 2012 @ 6:30 am

    After spending 2 days trying to fix this issue for a friend of mine’s Vista 32 bit laptop, M. Bakir’s solution worked like a champ! Instead of software.previous, I had to use software.bak. Still worked perfectly.

    Thank you SO much!!!

  8. Graham said,

    Wrote on August 20, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

    I ploughed my way through various fixes on this site and others and to no avail. I was about to format the drive and start again when I did one last thing which was the PREVX fix I think and it appeared to work – until my son touched the top of the screen and it went black again. After all that effort (15 hours+ probably over 4 days) it was the screen cable into the back of the pc! I know, a stupid mistake, but in my defence the screen worked fine for the BOIS parts and the SAFE mode. I recken there were just enough pins connected to work the screen with 800X600 but when it finally went to the 1200X1600 or whatever when the windows desktop opened the last few pins on the connector weren’t in enough and it went black. Don’t want anybody else to forget this early in the list check.

    Cheers,
    Graham

  9. Rob said,

    Wrote on October 1, 2013 @ 9:10 pm

    Hello from “The Future” :) Well, I was at a loss with W7 KSOD – tried a stack of things that had previously worked on other machines and had to say that M Bakir’s fix – posted way back in 2009 and for Vista – actually worked for W7 in 2013. To get the fix done quicker and easier I would add two options:

    1. Use Hirens Boot Cd / Mini Windows XP to do the file moving / renaming.
    2. In W7 the two files are actually in different folders – they are both called software – the one in //system32/config/RegBack should be copied to //system32/config and overwrite the file there.

    AOK now – I was about to assume it was the graphics fried or some other hardware issue as all else had failed.

    Thanks M Bakir

  10. Ghozi said,

    Wrote on June 12, 2014 @ 3:09 am

    HELP, trying to use M.Bakir solution but “the action can’t be completed the file is open in another program”. what i must gonna do ? how to disable that program…

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