Sunday, January 25, 2009
Fix blue screen of death listing nvstor32.sys as the problem
I have an HP Pavilion dv9000 laptop, and in the last two weeks it's been experiencing the dreaded Microsoft blue screen of death at random. Every time it crashed, the data dump would start and I would see "nvstor32.sys" listed as the driver that caused the problem. After getting annoyed to the point where I had to fix it, I did a quick Google search and found a blog entry by someone having the same issue with a Pavilion dv6000. It seems to be caused by nvstor32.sys, which is an nVidia driver for your IDE controller. Changing the driver to the generic Microsoft driver seems to solve it. Here's how to change it on Windows Vista:
1. Right-click the My Computer icon and select Manage
2. Click on Device Manager in the left pane
3. Expand the "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers" by clicking the + to the left of it
4. Look for the nVidia entry, which should be something like "NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller". Right-click it and go to Properties
5. To verify you selected the correct entry, go to the Driver tab and click on Driver Details. You should see nvstor32.sys listed in the driver files
6. On the Driver tab, click on Update Driver
7. Choose "Browse my computer for driver software"
8. Select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer"
9. You should see an option called "Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller". Select that and click Next
This will change it so the generic MS driver is used rather than the problematic nVidia nvstor32.sys driver. This is how I chose to fix my problem.
I did find another blogger who reported a software update would solve the problem. However, the download link he posted was to another blog, which then had a download link but that link wasn't to any official site. www.nvidia.com does provide software downloads, but the only ones that I could find appeared to require you to know what type of motherboard you have, and I didnt' feel like figuring that out. If you want to go that route, version 5.10.2600.995 is supposedly the one you want.
*UPDATE 2/5/09 - Since following these steps to change to the generic drivers on the day of the original post, I haven't experience the blue screen of death since. It hasn't quite been two full weeks yet, but prior to reverting to the generic drivers the BSOD would happen multiple times each day. I have experienced a few times where the computer will hang for a few minutes as if it's going to crash, but then it'll come back and act normally.