Some know btkrnl.sys intimately. Others are more familiar with mup.sys. I have only just recently been introduced and I’ve been following it ever since, hoping to discover its secret; hoping to determine its whereabouts. Funny thing is that btkrnl.sys is not even the star. It’s more like the scapegoat. Thrust into the public’s eye to take the blame for another offender.

I was running a script under cygwin. It was going to take a few hours, so I thought I’d grab a snack. After an hour or so, I returned to view the progress and found my machine locked up. It appeared to be running, but no screen, no keyboard, no mouse, no interactivity. The lights were on, but nobody was home. I was sure it was the result of the script slowing the response, so I gave it a few mins hoping it would whirl into action. Nothing. I resigned to a reboot and found that nothing I could do would bring it back.

It continued to ask if I wanted to restart in safe mode, LKGC or normal mode. Always ending in a flash of BSOD and it would start the vicious cycle again and again. I tried all ways. The only information I received was that in each case of safe mode, it seemed to hang on btkrnl.sys.

I used the F5 move during boot up to gain access to the BSOD with this as the offender:

STOP: 0x00000024 (0x00190203, 0x86D59820,0xC0000102,0x00000000)

So I reached out for btkrnl.sys and was affronted by site after site, forum after forum of troubled users. In most cases, the prognosis was grim.

There were a few power users out there that formulated what appeared to be successful re-ignitions, but no solution has worked for me. I tried the recovery console, only to be told that I had no access to the drive. I tried to disable the mup.sys or btkrnl.sys file only to be told that my registry was corrupt. I tried setting my BIOS to its defaults. I tried pulling peripherals and re-inserting. I tried updating my ESCD. I even tried knoppix to login sans-windows to no avail. The only thing I have not tired is to slap my laptop HD into my desktop as a slave. I purchased a connector, and I wait eagerly for its arrival, so that I can give it a shot. At this point, I have nothing to lose. I am moving forward in the direction of enslaving the drive into my desktop. I hope to have it doing more than cooking and cleaning.

I will let you know. Is this is a Microsoft issue? When all is said and done, I plan on turning over to Linux.

Well its now 5 months later and I am finally updating this post. As I mentioned just above, I was waiting for an IDE laptop to PC connector. It arrived and although I followed the ‘limited’ mfg directions, I failed to get my desktop to recognize the drive. I put the connector away and let the dust settle for another 2 months. Then I found a USB IDE laptop to PC connector and for good measure picked up a new drive.

My expectation was to attempt to reclaim my old drive with the USB IDE connector and if that failed, I would install the new drive. The USB connection was somewhat successful in that I was able to now see my laptop drive through my desktop via the USB connector, but the data was unreachable. At this point, I gave up on the old drive and simply installed the new drive into my laptop. Well, as luck would have it, that was unsuccessful as well. As I attempted to re-install Windows XP, the point where it finds my hard drive and begins the format or install process, it fails to recognize that there is a drive.

I send a message to my laptop mfg, Sager, explaining little more than the fact that my BIOS sees the drives, but Windows does not. They respond with an attached HD controller and instructions, which I follow to a successful end to a lengthy issue.

Now I have two 100GB drives in my laptop, but I lost the data I had. I may be up and running, but I still cannot say what caused the issue nor what I might have done different to salvage my data. I guess I chalk it up to being sure to back up more often than I currently do.

I sure wish the ending solution were more sexy, but down and dirty has its place.