Sunday, October 14, 2007

Vista start-up crash solved

Ever since I installed Vista on my Sony VGN-AR21S it has randomly crashed about every third re-boot. Task Manager would show the 'system' process using 98-100% processor utilisation. After about 10 minutes all 2Gb of memory would get used up and Vista would crash with a BSOD, typically a kernel in page error. I partially solved this problem by hibernating rather than shutting down the machine. I think I have now solved the problem.

 
 

I downloaded the excellent Sysinternals Process Monitor (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx) which provides a full display of the individual executables running as part of the system process. Process Monitor showed that ndis.sys!NdisInitializeWrapper was consuming all the processor time and memory. This information indicated a network driver problem.


 

The machine has an Intel Pro 100/VE Ethernet card and an Intel Wireless 3945ABG Wi-Fi card. I downloaded the latest network drivers from the Intel web site and installed them. I then used device manager to delete both network devices. Device manager then re-detected both network cards. Having done this the machine appears to start-up without any problems.


 

It's really annoying that neither the Microsoft nor Sony update sites offer these new network drivers.

5 comments:

Yums said...

I ran into the same issue on my HP Pavilion dv9000 series laptop (dv9200 CTO) this morning.

For no apparent reason all of my processor/ram was being slowly consumed by ndisInitializeWrapper.

I am in Safe Mode now and I just downloaded the latest driver from Intel's website
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/filter_results.aspx?strTypes=all&ProductID=2259&OSFullName=Windows+Vista*+Ultimate%2C+32-bit+version&lang=eng&strOSs=156&submit=Go%21

Going to try to install now and see if that fixes the issue.

Yums said...

Intel Driver Update Fixed it!

That worked. Updated the driver for the pro/wireless 3945ABG and sure enough, Vista booted with no problems.

What an unnecessary waste of an hour. Thank you for posting the fix.

Andrew Jones said...

I'm glad it helped you! I wasted hours with this problem too. It's really frustrating that the new drivers are not available on Windows Update as it is a clearly documented bug with the old version of the drivers.

Yums said...

Well it looks like the issue is back again this morning. Same thing were the ndisInitializeWrapper starts consuming all of my Processor and fills up RAM.

I made no changes to any driver or software since updating the Intel pro/wirelss 3945ABG driver yesterday.

Any ideas on what else is causing this?

Yums said...

FIXED IT!!!

So it turns out that the issue was also related to Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1. I found the solution here and this is where I found out what was causing the problem.



Basicaly, I booted into Safe Mode again, and disabled the Network Monitor Protocol Driver in each network adapter by clicking on Properties and unchecking the box.

I then rebooted as normal and no more insane CPU usage! Just to be safe I then uninstalled Network Monitor 3.1. Nice tool, but not worth risking this happening anymore.