Normally, the blue screen of death contains a driver name, and some addresses; if you’re lucky, removing that driver will do the trick. But what if there is no driver name on the BSoD? And what if you don’t have all the skills to play with crashdumps and debuggers?

In this case, Autoruns comes to the rescue. This is a graphical tool that allows you to disable/enable drivers in a very easy way.

The strategy:

1. Boot into safe mode (since the system is crashing when you attempt to boot normally);
2. Start Autoruns, and switch to the Drivers tab;
3. Go through the list, and uncheck the drivers that are suspicious;
4. Close the program, restart and boot normally

The steps above will be repeated until the system is able to boot correctly.

When that happens, remember what were the last changes you applied, and try to enable some drivers back – until you figure out which one of them was causing the issue. More »

Is Vista SP1 really the shot in the arm your Vista system needs? We’ve spent many hours strapped to our benchmarking system in a caffeine and pizza fuelled haze to uncover these very interesting results.

We tested Vista:

* as it comes out of the box (RTM — or “release to manufacturing”)
* as it comes out of the box, with all Windows Update patches applied (“RTM patched)
* with the final SP1 service pack applied

Testing Setup

Although Vista SP1 has many documented improvements, we aimed to test a particular scenario which has proved to be a major problem for pre-SP1 users: file copy speed, particularly over a network. More »