Win7 x64 BSOD, no text on desktop or menus

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by Sweet Clyde, May 20, 2012.

  1. Sweet Clyde

    Sweet Clyde MDL Novice

    May 14, 2012
    13
    2
    0
    #1 Sweet Clyde, May 20, 2012
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
    Hi, my 3 month old Windows 7 x64 machine is acting strangely, here are my symptoms:

    BSODs say BAD POOL HEADER
    personalization is missing from login box
    desktop icons have no text beneath them, some apps won't start
    text in menus has disappeared
    dialog boxes have no text
    can't access start menu, unable to run cmd as admin

    I've run sfc /scannow, it says no problems found.

    I have Vista on a separate partition that I can boot from. Is there something I can do from Vista to repair Windows 7? Have my personalization settings become corrupt? Thanks very much.

    specs:
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Retail (haven't updated to sp1 yet)
    Intel Core i5 2500K @ 3.30GHZ not overclocked
    Corsair 8gb ram
    Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard Rev. B3
    Gigabyte R685D5OC-1GD video card
    Seasonic M12II Bronze 620W power supply
    3 SATA hard drives
    Malwarebytes free antivirus
    Comodo Firewall

    example pics:
    start menu s.jpg
    explorer window s.jpg
    menu.jpg
     
  2. Xircal

    Xircal MDL Novice

    May 20, 2012
    7
    0
    0
    This is essentially a driver problem. But let me explain what "Bad Pool Header" actually means to give you a better understanding of it.

    The smallest hardware memory allocation unit is typically 4096 bytes and is called a "Page". Memory is divided into pages by the operating system and allocated to processes during system operation.

    However, device drivers and the kernel do not need large chunks of memory and therefore the system allocates a few pages in advance and combines them into something known as a pool. It keeps track of which pages belong to which processes by means of the header. When the header becomes corrupted for whatever reason, the system halts with a Stop error a.k.a. blue screen or BSOD to prevent damage to the machine and you get your "Bad_Pool_Header".

    Annoying though they may be, BSODs should be looked upon favourably because they protect the PC by shutting down the operating system. If they didn't , the machine could suffer a race condition and possibly catch fire.

    The problem for users is tracking down the culprit i.e. the driver which is causing the system to halt.

    Looking at your screenshots, I would hazard a guess that the problem lies with the graphics driver though I could be wrong. If you can give me the parameters which are the figures in brackets after the Stop error which in your particular case will be 0x00000019, I'll try and track it down for you. Which graphic drivers do you have installed at the moment?
     
  3. PhaseDoubt

    PhaseDoubt MDL Expert

    Dec 24, 2011
    1,448
    278
    60
    #3 PhaseDoubt, May 20, 2012
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
    Start it up in safe mode and see what happens. If it's a driver issue this may help diagnose that.

    Can you use system protection to restore to an earlier time that wasn't having problems? Do you have a system image from an earlier time that had no problems? Do you have backups of your data? If not, you might want to make one or more.

    If all else fails and you can't eliminate the problems, you can always wipe your drive and reinstall the OS. Or if you have OEM restore disks you could use them.
     
  4. Sweet Clyde

    Sweet Clyde MDL Novice

    May 14, 2012
    13
    2
    0
    #4 Sweet Clyde, May 20, 2012
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
    (OP)
    Thanks for the reply.
    @PhaseDoubt, I get the same behavior in Safe Mode. I've tried restoring to an earlier date but it doesn't help either. I don't have a system image or backups. I tried a repair install but got an error saying it couldn't continue.

    @Xircal, below are the parameters you asked for from my last two BSODs.

    I think I have AMD Catalyst 11.10 graphic drivers installed. I did try to downgrade to the drivers that are on the cd that came with my card but I'm not sure it was successful because I can't see most windowed text in Win7.

    I can boot into Vista which is on a different partition. Can I do anything from Vista to solve the problem?

    Thanks again for the help.

    badpool.JPG
    pagefault.JPG
     
  5. PhaseDoubt

    PhaseDoubt MDL Expert

    Dec 24, 2011
    1,448
    278
    60
    #5 PhaseDoubt, May 20, 2012
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
    Make copies of all data you feel is important, wipe the drive and reinstall Windows. I suggest you make it a habit in the future to make periodic backups of your data and have a system image or two in the event you system does this again.

    If you can get to your Windows 7 data from within Vista you can make copies of it from there.
     
  6. Sweet Clyde

    Sweet Clyde MDL Novice

    May 14, 2012
    13
    2
    0
    @PhaseDoubt, I usually do make backups, this was a pretty new Win7 install. I was using Vista til now. I just got my Win7 setup the way I like it and this happened. What exactly went wrong? Thanks.
     
  7. Xircal

    Xircal MDL Novice

    May 20, 2012
    7
    0
    0
    #7 Xircal, May 21, 2012
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
    OK, what you have here are two BSODs, not one. The first one is caused by win32K.sys which is the "Bad_Pool_Header" and the second by ntoskrnl.exe and called "Page_Fault_In_Non-Paged_Area". You're not seeing the second one because the system will have been halted by the first.

    The parameters indicate that the pool block header size is corrupt.

    The file called win32k.sys is the driver which is responsible for handling the kernel side of the Windows sub system which includes the GUI (Graphical User Interface) infrastructure of the operating system, Windows Manager (user), GDI (Graphical Device Interface) and Dx thunks to dxg.sys a.k.a. DirectX.

    What I suggest you do initially is to use MSCONFIG to copy win32k.sys from C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386 directory to C:\WINDOWS\system32 and overwrite the existing file. Do you know how to do that?
     
  8. PhaseDoubt

    PhaseDoubt MDL Expert

    Dec 24, 2011
    1,448
    278
    60
    Absolutely no idea what happened. But since this is "new" installation, I'd consider it a failed installation and start over. You'll likely be much better served to download the .iso file from this forum and just do it all over again. What's happening to you shouldn't be happening and you may never pin it down. Also, if you fix it today, will it ever happen again? Keep in mind, it wasn't happening for a short while so something in your installation blew up.

    Personally, I'd ditch Vista altogether. I can see dual booting with Linux, but 7 and Vista are so close why keep what's basically an outdated version of a newer OS?