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Last night after resolving a hijacked hosts file issue on my Vista desktop, I got a bluescreen (that I couldn't catch the details of) and my machine rebooted. Recently I've been having "Display driver stopped responding..." errors (question) that may or may not be related to the current issue. When my machine starts up, it posts up to the "Verifying DMI pool data" section, where it hangs. What I'm trying to do is rule out what hardware is not causing the problem.

I can boot to my Vista install DVD, and navigate around in there. I ran the Windows repair utility, which reports nothing wrong. Being able to get to this point, can I safely assume that there are no issues with my motherboard, memory, hard drive, power supply, and video card? I'm thinking/hoping that this is either a BIOS or Windows issue and not hardware-related. Thanks.

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I would agree that it would be extremely unlikely to be hardware issue relating to your motherboard, memory, power supply, and video card. It is possibly, but unlikely, that it is a hardware issue relating to your hard-disk.

Since you mention a hijacked host files, I assume this was caused by a virus, so I start from there and would do a full scan for virus (especially boot sector virus). You will need an Anti-virus cd/dvd to do this.

When you are booting from the DVD you are obviously not trying to boot off the hard-disk and hence are bypassing one area which is known to cause this error message.

Also, make sure you don't have anything connected that the machine could be trying to boot off (USB drive, removable hard-disk etc).

If that doesn't cure it, assuming vista is the only operating system, you can try repairing the boot sector (see for more details)

It is always a good idea to backup anything you want before trying this.

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Thanks, I just needed a sanity check. I'm planning to run chkdsk just in case, but since the Windows repair utility came back clean several times I'm hoping the HDD is ok. – Raven13 Nov 2 '11 at 21:45
bootrec /fixmbr did the job. Thanks for the help, sorry I can't upvote your answer (yet). – Raven13 Nov 3 '11 at 0:53

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