I have been trying to get a friends computer running reliably off and on for over a month. The issue is an incompatability between vista, the mother board and video card. I did find a work around but it left the machine hamstrung. I had hopes a clean install of windows 7 would resolve the issue. It didn't and I am currently stuck on what else to try. The computer was originally put together by a small shop about the time vista appeared on the scene. Motherboard is an asus p5vd2-x. Processor Intel duocor. Video card: Nvidia GF-7300 She used the computer without problem for a couple of year or so but one day the video went wonky and the machine slowed to a crawl once I got it running again. After quite a bit of time I realized what had happened. The machine came preinstalled with the original vista before there were any nvidia drivers for vista. The builder had forced it to use the generic vgadrv.sys drivers. Eventually auto update installed an nvidia driver which crashed the system or slowed it down substantially. There are about 30 drivers for this card of different vintages. I didn't try them all but did try about a dozen different versions stepping through from the oldest to most current. None worked. I then tried doing a clean install of vista in about a dozen different ways to get to at least SP1. I tried the online upgrade, the stand alone upgrade and a variety of builds with sp1 and sp2 slipstreamed into them. All ended up at a ntoskrn.dll fault during install. I gave up and installed the original version of vista and forced it to use the generic driver. I turned off auto update so microsoft wouldn't again add the none functioning driver and crash the system once again. Lo and behold somehow microsoft managed to replace the driver again???? This time it did some strange stuff which forced me to completely redo the hard drive, replacing the mbr and wiping all data off the drive before repartitioning and reformating. I then proceeded to do a clean install of windows 7 rtm x86 ultimate. The install looked promising and proceeded normally to the final reboot then the screen went blank and the computer just sat there. I rebooted it a few times hoping the install would see something went wrong and step past the error. It didn't work. I then tried booting it into safe mode. I got a live screen stating "Setup is preparing your computer for first boot. and a few seconds later a message. "Setup cannot continue in safe mode.To continue installing windows reboot the computer." Safemode uses the generic video driver so this tells me the black screen problem is again associated with the nvidia drivers windows installs. I tried breaking out of the error message to set the default driver from within safe mode but was unsuccessful. I have poked around a bit in dos trying to find the inf files involved and/or the drivers being used but do not know the inner workings of windows well enough. Any suggestions appreciated.