System crashed after Vista updates, 32-bit recovery disk won't boot


My HP desktop has been freezing off and on after Vista updates for the past 6 months or so, but after the most recent update my system has completely crashed. I can't get anything to boot and keep getting the blue screen error stop error:0x00000050, which I read means there is a bad driver. I also got a BIOHD-4 error when I ran the system diagnostics. HP told me that means my hard drive is bad and I need a new one.

I couldn't get the recovery disks I had made to boot, so I downloaded the ones here. I still can't get the 32-bit recovery disk to boot, but the 64-bit disk did boot for me (my system is Vista 32-bit) and it did some start-up repairs and I actually got my desktop to load, but the system crashed shortly afterward. Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone can help me get the 32-bit disks to boot.

It won't help I'm afraid. The 32 bit won't do anything you didn't already do. It's just for fixing a broken boot process, not a broken OS.
Have you tried accessing the HP recovery partition with F11 as detailed here
Do I have any hope of recovering my old files or should I just accept that they're gone? The support person from Microsoft told me I could plug the hard drive into a working PC to make a back up of my files. Will that work?


Wow, I used the F11 prompt and was able to get it to boot into Safe Mode. I was given the option of going to HP Recovery Manager or into Vista. I chose advanced boot options and selected Safe Mode. What can I do from here?
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While you're in safe mode (or by using a bootable Linux like this, if that won't work), copy all of your user files onto external storage.
When you're happy that everything is safely backed up, try system restore from safe mode to a time before this started happening.
If there's no joy from that, you can use the "factory reset" route from the HP Recovery Manager.
When you get the option to format the Vista partition at reinstall, choose "full" not "quick" format. That will take hours extra, but remove all bad HDD blocks from any future use.
Thanks so much. I got my stuff backed up, but when I tried to enter the HP Recovery Manager I got the blue screen again. Is there any way to do a complete system restore from Safe Mode?
System recovery won't work from either Safe Mode or my desktop. I got my desktop to load from choosing Vista after I hit F11.


I used this fix and it worked to get rid of the BIOHD-4 error. Now when I run system diagnostics from the HP screen everything checks out fine. But I am still getting the blue screen error when I try to run system recovery if I try to boot without going through the f11 screen.
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Have you tried booting the recovery disks you made from the HP partition again, and using the 3rd HP option.
Yes, it won't boot from the disks. I was able to open the recovery disks I had made from my desktop and they have all the files on them, but I can't run them without getting the blue screen error. I tried putting them in the drive while I had the Vista desktop and restarting, but I'm still getting the blue screen.


Since the stop error code indicates there is a bad driver, should I try to update the drivers? Shortly before the system completely crashed (it was just freezing up) I got a message that I needed to update the graphics driver. Since I can access my desktop through the F11 screen should I try to update it, do you think it will make any difference?
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I tried rolling it back, but the roll back option was unavailable. The system is stable in Safe Mode -- I can leave it on for hours with no freezes. After getting the blue screen and restarting in safe mode I get the following info when I click on the box "windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown"

Problem Signature:
Problem Event Name: Blue Screen
OS Version: 6.0.6001.
Locale ID: 1033

Additional Information:
OS version:6_0_6001
Service Pack: 1_0

Does this offer any clues?

It seems that I can't use the recovery because any attempt to boot other than through the F11 results in Blue Screen and when I try to use recovery through the Safe Mode it needs to restart and I end up with the blue screen again.
Try getting the latest driver for your graphics card from the manufacturers website.
Also you only seem to be on SP1. That means your Vista is seriously out of date as regards critical security fixes.
Can you access WUD from safe mode ?
Safe mode w/ networking btw for WUD access. An update for your graphics might be listed as an optional update but only if you've agreed to allow WUD to download updates for non-MS software. You could try re-installing the lastet available from HP's website
I have no idea how I could have missed the Vista Service Pack 2 update, but I just downloaded it. The graphic driver update is available as an optional download and I will try to download that next.
Whew, what a nightmare. I have the PC up and running. I found this information on the Microsoft website, so it looks like my blue screen error may well have been tied into the fact that I didn't have Service Pack 2 installed (I was going to try to install Service Pack 2 shortly after all this started, but got derailed with all the other issues). I got the new service pack loaded and the new graphics driver loaded, but it started to freeze again on me so I decided to do a system recovery. My recovery disks worked after I had done all the other updates and I have the computer back to original factory condition.

Thanks for all the ideas! The folks at Microsoft and HP were telling me my hard disk was bad, and, of course HP wanted to sell a new one to me at a premium price.