Vista SP2 Perpetual Black Screens of Death 0xc0000034

Three methods to fix the problem from Microsoft

By on 14 Sep 2009, 07:11 GMT
Windows Vista has been anything but a smooth ride since it was released, being plagued with a range of issues that managed to deteriorate user experience. Granted, the UX got a lot smoother with Service Pack 1 and SP2, but the service packs themselves can contribute to introducing problems, and even render the computer useless. It is the case of Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) installs that fail presenting users with the 0xc0000034 error message.

On September 11th, 2009, Microsoft published the KB article 975484 detailing the 0xc0000034 scenario for Vista SP2 failed installations. According to the Redmond-based company, the 0xc0000034 error message can only be generated after installing a Vista service pack. The software giant doesn’t mention Vista SP2 per se; however, Vista users that have attempted to install SP2 indeed came across this issue.

Specifically, after SP2 is done installing, the computer can either freeze or restart. In the eventuality that the machine reboots, the following error message will be presented on a black screen: !! 0xc0000034 !! 142/53007 (_0000000000000000.cdf-ms). Restarting the computer will generate the same error message on a black screen.

Microsoft offered no explanation as to what exactly goes wrong in order to generate the Vista SP2 perpetual black screens of death. However, it seems that the deployment problem is related to the boot process. The company offered no less than three methods for end users to resolve the issue. Essentially, customers affected by this problem will have to get their machine back to a bootable state.

Once the previously installed Vista SP is recovered, users can attempt to install SP2 again, while this time around making sure to follow the best practice guidelines for integrating a service pack. First off, make sure that all security solutions, antivirus and firewalls are disabled. Update all drivers for your hardware configuration and deploy all updates served through Windows Update/Automatic Updates. On older machines, also update the BIOS. Disconnect all external devices from your computer, including USB drives.

Now, fetch the Vista DVD and boot the machine from the installation media. Alternatively, you can also press F8 during the restart process, making your way to the Advanced Boot Options menu, where opting for repairing the computer as an Administrator.

Here are the Methods offered by Microsoft to fix 0xc0000034 Vista SP2 perpetual black screens of death:

Method 1: Restore your computer to an earlier point in time by using System Restore

System Restore will restore your computer to an earlier point in time before you experienced this issue and then it will restart your computer. To restore your system, follow these steps:

- Insert the Windows Vista DVD in the DVD drive, and then restart your computer from the DVD. Note When you receive the prompt Press any Key to boot from the CD or DVD, press any key on the keyboard to restart your computer by using the Windows Vista DVD.
- Select your language setting, and then click Next.
- Select Repair your computer.
- Select the Windows Vista installation to be repaired, and then click Next.
- Under System Recovery Options, select System Restore, and then press ENTER. Note: If the repair process detects a problem when it starts Windows Vista, it will run Startup Repair to automatically fix the problem. If this occurs, click Cancel, and then click View Advanced Options for system recovery and support.
- In the System Restore Wizard, click Next.
- Select the Restore Point that has a date before the date you received the error message, and then click Next. Note: In most cases, this is the latest Restore Point in the list.
- Click Next.
- Click Finish. System Restore will finish and restart your computer. Note: If you see the black screen and the same or a similar error message, you may have to repeat these steps and restore your computer to an earlier date.

Method 2: Use Startup Repair to try to repair any startup issues with your computer

Startup Repair will try to repair any startup issues in Windows Vista. To run the Startup Repair tool, follow these steps:

- Insert the Windows Vista DVD in the DVD drive, and then restart your computer from the DVD. Note When you receive the prompt Press any Key to boot from the CD or DVD, press any key on the keyboard to restart your computer by using the Windows Vista DVD.
- Select your language setting, and then click Next.
- Select Repair your computer.
- Select the Windows Vista installation to be repaired, and then click Next.
- Under System Recovery Options, select Startup Repair, and then press ENTER. Note: If the repair process detects a problem when it starts Windows Vista, it will run Startup Repair to automatically fix the problems. If this occurs, click Cancel, and then click View Advanced Options for system recovery and support.
- Click Finish when the Startup Repair has finished.
- Under System Recovery Options, click Restart. Note: If you see a black screen that has the same error message, try Method 3.

Method 3: Delete the poqexec entry from the SetupExecute value (advanced users only) Note: We recommend that you try Method 3 only if you are an advanced user.

To delete the poqexec entry from the SetupExecute (REG_MULTI_SZ) value, you must clear the value. To do this, follow these steps:

- Insert the Windows Vista DVD in the DVD drive, and then restart your computer from the DVD. Note When you receive the prompt Press any Key to boot from the CD or DVD, press any key on the keyboard to restart your computer by using the Windows Vista DVD.
- Select your language setting, and then click Next.
- Select Repair your computer. Note: If you are prompted to do a System Restore, select No, and then press ENTER.
- Under System Recovery Options, select Startup Repair, and then press ENTER. Note: If the repair process detects a problem when it starts Windows Vista, it will run Startup Repair to automatically fix the problems. If this occurs, click Cancel, and then click View Advanced Options for system recovery and support.
- Under System Recovery Options, select Command Prompt, and then press ENTER.
- At the command prompt, type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command:
Reg load HKLM\BaseSystem C:\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM
Reg Delete "HKLM\BaseSystem\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager" /v SetupExecute
Reg add "HKLM\BaseSystem\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager" /v SetupExecute /t REG_MULTI_SZ

- At the command prompt, type exit, and then press ENTER.
- Restart your computer.

Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 - Five Language Standalone (KB948465) is available for download here.

Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 - Five Language Standalone for x64-based systems (KB948465) is available for download
here.

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