Installing Windows 7 RC x64 with NVidia graphics card

Over the last few days I have been testing Windows 7 RC (build 7100). I have to say that I think it is a fantastic operating system and I am really looking forward to the final version.

I’ve been installing it on several machines, including my laptop, workstation and as of yesterday, my Media PC. I hit a fairly major snag with the last install. After the initial setup screen the setup process started to ‘Blue Screen’ showing an error with NVLDDMKM.dll. This prevents the setup from completing and the system just loops round continuously blue screening.

The system is a MSI Media Live machine. It has an AMD dual core Opteron and on-board NVidia graphics. The problem is caused by the pre-release NVidia driver that is included with this build of Windows 7. I’ve noticed previously on other machines that after installing Windows 7, one of the first updates it installs is a new NVidia graphics driver.

I thought I may be stuck – or have to try and fudge in a new driver, or just revert to the 32-bit version of Windows 7. The solution was actually much simpler. The system was still connected to my Plasma TV over an HDMI connection. When I moved the machine and connected it to a standard VGA monitor, the system stopped blue screening and setup completed fine! The system then installed the new NVidia drivers, I reconnected it to my Plasma over HDMI, and it works fine!

Strange issue, which I’m sure will be fixed when newer drivers a bundled with Windows 7. I hope this saves someone else some hassle!

Ben Nichols
BN Information Security Limited