Update: The problem still exists ! Even with the earlier driver for my nVidia Card, instead of up-to-date version, my machine still has the boot-up sickness. Hah ! I am not the only one on the internet ! This is the awful Kernel Power Event 41 which many other people have also experienced. Microsoft do not appear to be able to resolve this for its customers, judging frmo their vague and unhelpful Knowledge Base article on the problem.
Since 09 August 2011, during which nVidia released updates for the GeForce 8600 GT card, which I am using on my 3D CG machine, and with subsequent updates to that one, my computer has been giving a lot of trouble at boot-up.
Basically, since the updates, my PC takes a very long time to process a boot into Windows 7 Home Premium, during which the monitor stays blank (dark, unlighted), and the hard disk activity light does not light up on the box, fooling anyone into thinking the system has shut down.
I found out that if I left it for 2-3 minutes, it actually continues processing and re-boots into windows, with an error message saying that Windows has recovered from an error and will notify of a solution when one is found, or something to that effect. In fact, doing the test re-booting several times, I even observed the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH for Windows 7 !
Otherwise, the machine operates fine after it boots into OS.
I even had my usual tech guy look at it, and the only thing he could do after 1 week was to remove the nVidia card and advise me to run the machine on the embedded Intel graphics accelerator chip. Paid him 80 bucks for his time, bah.
So, over the Halloween weekend, in which younger folk are partying while older folk like me fiddle around with hardware glitches, I uninstalled all the nVidia device drivers (latest, greatest ones, Bro).
I tried various re-installation configurations without the bluddy 3D Vision options, and PhysX options. Boot-up trouble persisted.
Uninstalled every darn bluddy nVidia item. Switch monitor source connection to motherboard Intel GAC plug.
Searched the nVidia website and went for the release version device driver of pre-09 August 2011. For my GAC, this would be:
I installed it using custom installation option, and only installed the device driver, nothing else.
Re-Boot. Re-Booting goes right through to OS, no hanging black monitor screen, no dark hard disk activity light, no longer booting-up, no blue screen of death, no re-booting.
And this is the Windows take on my working nVidia driver:
Moral of my story - device driver updates are not always the latest greatest thing to have.