I struggled with this laptop nearly for two days. It would work fine in safe mode but any registry changes were lost at next boot. RAM test came out fine. Scanned with Kaspersky Rescue Disk & it found a few minor adware. My suspicion was a rootkit or a bootkit, but testing with GMER, Rootrepeal, Hitman Pro & TDSSkiller revealed nothing.
Re-wrote the Master Boot Record from recovery console on Vista DVD still no joy. Re-created the MBR using Testdisk & Bootice but still 0x0000008e at statrt up, by this time I was having nightmare about all sorts of stop errors.
This morning I thought I need try something else, I thought what ever it is, it is loading at boot so may be it is in the Vista BCD. So I recreated the BCD and voila it booted up in nrmal mode. Yes!! Yes!!
Here is what I did:
Booted from the Vista DVD and chose Advanced Recovery Options, at the command prompt typed in
bcdedit /export C:\bcd-bak
C: (moved to C drive)
ren bcd bcd.old (if you get error try attrib bcd -s -h -r before this command)
press Y and hit enter and you should see
That's how I fixed that 0X0000008E