Failed WMP install leaves me in BSOD/reboot loop
December 31, 2005 11:05 AM   Subscribe

I attempted to install the latest Windows Media Player, it failed and asked me to reboot and try again, and now I'm locked in a reboot - blue screen of death - reboot loop. Help!

The blue screen is just after the Windows XP logo with the initial loading progress bar. BSOD flashes by (too quick to read) before rebooting again. On reboot, I'm asked to try starting in safe mode, safe w/network, safe w/something else, last good config, or normal. All options produce the blue screen and reboot.

I've reloaded BIOS defaults and removed an unused TV tuner card. Others seem seated properly on the mobo.

System is Athlon64 3200+, NVidia 6600GT, Asus mobo, 1GB ram.

Sigh. I don't want to reinstall XP just yet, so is there any other advice? Thanks!
posted by mumeishi to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Boot into Safe Mode!

Restore to sometime last week.
posted by k8t at 11:12 AM on December 31, 2005

Oops - you said you tried that.

Pop in the CD that came with your computer and see what options you have.

Have stuff that you didn't back up? Make a Knoppix disc, boot into Linux and recover what you need.
posted by k8t at 11:14 AM on December 31, 2005

You need to get into the Recovery Console. Do you have a recovery CD that you can boot from? If not, this will supposedly help you.
posted by jasper411 at 12:57 PM on December 31, 2005

Best answer: i know it's no help, but it makes you want to just sit and cry in a corner, doesn't it? how can installing a user app bork the os kernel? sigh...
posted by andrew cooke at 2:06 PM on December 31, 2005

Sounds like windows is trying to perform one of those file operations that must be done during reboot, and it's failing for some reason (maybe a driver that was loaded has opened the file). Try the steps in this kb article.

It says to create a "parallel" windows installation, but of course you could also put the hard drive in another computer, if one is available. Or, just reinstall XP and don't bother with the parallel installation.
posted by helios at 2:40 PM on December 31, 2005

When you say it failed, did Windows Update tell you this? Or did the installer application for WMP?
posted by mr.dan at 3:06 PM on December 31, 2005

Response by poster: Sorry for the delayed response here, but my net access is ever so slightly curtailed. (Thanks, Mr. Gates.)

k8t - Knoppix is a possibility for backup. Thanks for the suggestion.

jasper411 - Any tips for what to do in the recovery console? I got in there but it seems more unguided than I had hoped. The only thing I can imagine one would do in there is noodle around with drivers a bit, and I'm not sure what WMP might have done that I need to unwind.

andrew cooke - sitting and crying in a corner isn't the first response that came to mind :-) but I get your drift; why on earth is it so difficult for Microsoft to write software that works, or even installs without a major incident, when they own the stinking OS? Sigh.

helios - well, maybe, yes. Parallel installation... interesting but maybe more involved than I was hoping. I'd probably reinstall first; it's anyone's guess what would happen if I try to complicate things any more -- MS can't install their own software on their own OS without junking the boot.

mr.dan - I can't say for sure but I'm pretty sure it was the WMP installer. It went along for a while (taking its good sweet time, as usual) then said the install failed, and I might want to reboot and try again.
posted by mumeishi at 10:05 PM on January 1, 2006

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