A new issue affecting both Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows XP Service Pack 3 is causing the two operating systems to display Black Screens of Death to end users. Critical system errors are no strangers to the Windows operating system, and neither Windows XP nor Windows Vista makes exception to this rule. Generally marked with the reference Blue Screen of Death, the stop errors causing the operating system to shut down, or restart the machine in order to prevent damage, and the critical system errors in Windows have reached a status of ubiquity and even managed to spawn derivations such as the Black Screen of Death.
Used in reference with the Reduced Functionality Mode introduced in Windows Vista as a direct result of the Windows Genuine Advantage mechanism detecting a non-genuine copy of the operating system, the Black Screen of Death is in fact a multifaceted labeled which can successfully be used for both Vista SP1 and XP SP3. According to Microsoft, both Vista and XP, updated with SP1 and SP3 respectively, are susceptible under the right configuration to enter into a coma and prevent any access from the end user.
“Consider the following scenario, you have a multiprocessor computer that is running Windows Vista or Windows XP, the computer has exactly 32 processors and you resume the computer from hibernation (S4),” Microsoft said. The Redmond company revealed that, in this case, either XP SP3 or Vista SP1 running on multiprocessor machines will stop respond and present the user with a black screen. The Black Screen of Death is displayed upon the resume from hibernation action. Such a process will successfully block Vista SP1 and XP SP3, the operating systems requiring a restart in order to regain functionality.
According to Microsoft, a range of platform versions are affected including Windows Vista Business, Enterprise, Home Basic, Home Premium, Starter, Ultimate, Windows Vista Service Pack 1, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, XP Professional and XP Service Pack 3. Both the 32-bit and the 64-bit editions of the operating systems enumerated above are impacted by the glitch. At this point in time, Microsoft has a hotfix available.
“A supported hotfix is now available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in the KB951126 article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next Windows Vista service pack that contains this hotfix. To resolve this problem, submit a request to Microsoft Online Customer Services to obtain the hotfix,” Microsoft recommended.
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