Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


BSOD driver irql not less or equal boot loop

  1. #1


    Posts : 8
    8.1

    BSOD driver irql not less or equal boot loop


    I've recently come into a problem booting up my laptop. Just downloaded the new nvidia drivers and rebooted my laptop. Now im getting the bsod and I can just make out that it says driver irql not less or equal before it reboots and goes through the whole process again. I've tried using an installation disc to try the automatic repair or whatever its called but after about 10 tries it keeps telling me windows couldn't fix the problem. Is there any chance of recovering what I had? I've tried a system restore but it keeps telling me I need to select my operating system (?).

    Any help would be great!

    (Sorry for any typos; had to type this on my phone.)

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    India
    Posts : 2,097
    Windows 8.1 Industry Pro B-)


    Hi there PDENNER and welcome to the forums,

    In order to analyze your problem we need to look at the DUMP files which are located in your "C:\Windows\Mindumps\" folder (replace C:\ with the drive letter in which your OS has been installed).

    Now since you cannot access your Desktop, do the following thing.
    (Please Note that this is a vague procedure which I performed a few months ago so sorry for any typos :P )

    1. Pop in your installation disc.
    2. At the repair page, goto Advanced options. (Most likely it is Advanced options, but incase you do not find it, please look up a bit to find it. )
    3. Click on the option containing the Command Prompt.
    4. When the command prompt opens up, type in "Notepad" without quotes and press enter.
    5. A notepad will open up.
    6. Now, goto File -> Open or press Ctrl + O to open a dialog box.
    7. Insert your pendrive, and navigate to the above Minidump folder.
    8. Copy the files like you do in Windows and paste them inside the Pendrive.
    9. Now, create a zip file and upload the dump files here so we could take a look at them.

    This trick could also be used to Recover the data from the hard disk. You could plug in an external HDD and copy all the required files as well in case you plan on formatting the system.

    Btw, can you access safe mode by pressing F8 when the computer is booting up? Also, at which point of boot are you getting the BSOD?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 8
    8.1


    I can't seem to get into the DUMP folder...when I open the "open" dialog in notepad, all I see is the removable disc (USB drive [now apparently called C: with ~14 GB]) and the Boot drive (29 MB..?? [now the x: drive]). Any help? (Pressing F8 does nothing apparently.)

    When I boot up normally, I see the normal loading screens + a "preparing automatic repair" screen in which the dots in a circle spin 1.5 times before going BSOD.

    Thanks!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    India
    Posts : 2,097
    Windows 8.1 Industry Pro B-)


    Quote Originally Posted by pdenner View Post
    I can't seem to get into the DUMP folder...when I open the "open" dialog in notepad, all I see is the removable disc (USB drive [now apparently called C: with ~14 GB]) and the Boot drive (29 MB..?? [now the x: drive]). Any help? (Pressing F8 does nothing apparently.)

    When I boot up normally, I see the normal loading screens + a "preparing automatic repair" screen in which the dots in a circle spin 1.5 times before going BSOD.

    Thanks!
    You are not able to find your Windows directory in any of the drives? o.O That is very strange. Run the following command in the command prompt to check your Windows Filesystem "sfc /scannow" .(Without the quotes).

    Furthermore, are you able to see your drive sizes correctly inside the open dialog box?

    And let me know the result.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 8
    8.1


    Yeah..I mean I can find a Windows folder in the Boot (X: ) drive but there aren't any other drives. In the X: drive, there isn't any mindumps folder, and the drive is only 32.7 MB (!!). When I do sfc /scannow, it pauses before saying "Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service."

    Like I said in the OP, I think this has to do with my Nvidia drivers. Is there any way I can use the Intel CPU graphics (HD 4000 or whatever they're called) just to boot to the desktop and fix the Nvidia drivers?

    Thanks!

    EDIT: One more thing: when it throws the BSOD, I've determined it says: DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (iaStorAV.sys). Googled it and it says something about the Intel Rapid Storage Technology? Hope this helps!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    India
    Posts : 2,097
    Windows 8.1 Industry Pro B-)


    Without the dump files, it is like searching a needle in a haystack.

    On opening the open dialog box, can you see other data which you might have on your system like the Songs or movies?
    On booting via the installation media, I don't think that the drivers which are stored on the HDD are utilized for storage and other functions.

    Also, see if you can enter the safe mode by following these instructions for your laptop :- HP Support document - HP Support Center

    Also, generally these days OEM's provide a way in the BIOS to disable the external graphic card. I currently don't remember the BIOS options for the HP laptops but you should be able to get it done through the given below generic instructions :-

    1. Open up the BIOS menu.
    2. Goto advanced settings. (The Below option might also be present in the main settings rather than the advanced settings)
    3. There should be an option to utilize only the Intel or Inbuilt graphic card or only the external one and one more option of Automatic (Most Likely).
    4. Set the option to utilize only the onboard graphic card.
    5. Save the settings and reboot and see if you could get onto the Desktop.

    Post your results over here
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 8
    8.1


    Wow...fiddled around in the BIOS (scary stuff) and I turned off Secure Boot and I'm back on my desktop working like normal! Sweet! Any way I figure out what was wrong so I can make sure to fix it? When I go to the C:\Windows\Minidumps folder, its empty...would love to fix any problems now that it's working.

    I think what happened was that I have a mSSD cache that's for startup and then it boots to the HDD. I think that's how it works but regardless, thanks!

    EDIT: Also, any reason why/why not I should/shouldn't have Secure Boot enabled in the BIOS?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!


    Just my 2....

    The X: drive is usually a RAM drive started by Windows (or another OS) to load the "live" OS (the recovery thing that you booted into) into RAM so you can work on the system. It'll contain the minimum amount of files to get the "live" OS running - and will not include anything from the actual OS installed on the computer (usually in the C: drive) - including the minidumps.

    Most often what causes this problem is updating the UEFI/BIOS. When doing this, the UEFI/BIOS will revert to it's default values - so if you installed Windows with Secure Boot turned off, then it'll revert to Secure Boot turned on (when you update) and you won't be able to boot.

    Interestingly, I haven't noticed this issue until recently. I wonder if it's been present in Win8 all along, or if I've just never noticed it (and have wiped/reinstalled a number of systems because of this)? Regardless, it's now a part of my checks when I get a system that won't boot. I chanced upon this in a Win8 system that had been downgraded to Win7 - so the checks will be done on any Win7 or above system.

    Secure Boot is a great feature, but I don't suggest reinstalling just to get the benefit of it. Should you decide to reinstall the OS in the future, then take the steps to enable Secure Boot before reinstalling Windows.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    India
    Posts : 2,097
    Windows 8.1 Industry Pro B-)


    But I remember that, when I was facing such similar problem with 8.1 , I just did the same thing and all my drives were visible during that time in the open dialog box in the notepad which enabled me to recover the files and then format the laptop again completely.

    Dunno why in this case the drives were not visible, that is why I gave that small mini guide on recovering the files. I will test this one again once I find a PC unable to boot up.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!


    I would think that it depends on the exact nature of the problem.
    I suspect that the drive being visible or invisible would depend on the exact nature of the problem.

    I have noted that on some of these, I'll occasionally get an error relating to a missing file that ends in .efi (the UEFI files).
    If it doesn't recognize that, then it doesn't see the drive (probably due to an error earlier in the boot).

    If it does recognize that (and gets a bit further in the boot process) then it will recognize the drive and you'll be able to recover files from there.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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