Black Screen of Death II

Diogenes's picture

It was a little over one week ago that I was finishing off the homepage renovations when my notebook computer completely locks up - not even a mouse or keyboard response. I have to press on the power button for about 10 seconds (this is like 10 minutes in internet time) before the laptop shuts down. I power up again.

MBR error appears in white letters on a black screen. I try again.

Disk read error comes up this time, in white on black. This is a bad sign,very bad.

Us old-timers call this the Black Screen of Death (BSOD). It is a sign that either the hard disk has failed or the operating system has been corrupted.

This is my 3rd BSOD in five years. Dealing with BSOD's on a Microsoft Windows system is a royal PITA.

burntChip (42K)

I attempted to use the recovery disks that I made, but they don't work. Then DVD reader on the desktop didn't work either. It has a fried chip.

So I set out to make a recovery CD with the remaining CD recorder in the desktop. In downloading the software for this, it appears that the desktop system picks up a virus that manifests itself by generating bogus Google searches.

It turned out to be a bogus file called wdmaud.sys that was planted in the C:\Windows\system32\ directory. Very clever bugger. Simply deleting the file makes the problem disappear.

I read somewhere that Google was infected with this virus, when, for a couple of hours, every Google link produced triggered a warning screen. It seems a number of web servers were also infected with this virus. Web administrators were busy changing passwords and cleaning up directories afterwards.

The laptop is up and running again, but I'm still downloading plugins, driver updates, etc. in an attempt to get the system back to to where it was 10 days ago. And I trying to figure out a good backup strategy. It's just not that straight forward with Windows.

There is so much to blog about now.