I've been having trouble with my Dell Inspiron 1420. I've just reinstalled Vista and have been going through all of the updates. There is one point however where my laptop has 90 something updates to install. I'm fairly certain one of these updates is responsible for my laptop not booting and I have to run a system restore to BEFORE I do the update to get it to work. How can I tell which update is the problem?
You can see the event viewer, for the period, at
Try looking at the c:\memory.dmp file generated during the BSOD using Windbg to determine what's crashing. If there's no memory.dmp file, make sure you enable a memory dump before installing the updates by following the instructions on this page.
I don't think system restore would delete memory.dmp, so you can probably do this after running system restore, or you can try running windbg from safe mode or copy the memory file to another computer (press F12 a bunch of times while the computer is booting before the Windows logo comes up).
Here's the official Microsoft instructions on how to debug a memory dump. Essentially, you'll need to install WinDbg, run it with administrator settings, set the Symbol Search Path under the File menu to "SRV*c:\symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols", and then use the Open Crash Dump option under the File menu to open memory.dmp. Once it loads, run "!analyze -v" to get more info on what caused the BSOD (it takes a few minutes - wait until it no longer says * BUSY * at the bottom.)
Once you do that, you can try googling the process that crashed the computer. If it's a driver for a device, you can avoid installing the update for that particular driver.