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BSOD with HD Failure is not always fatal...


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#1
Termie

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I'm writing this not as a call for help but possibly as a help for others, as I really thought this lap was a goner.

My son shut down his lap one night last week, and the next morning when he booted it up he got the BSOD, Unmountable Boot Volume, with an instantaneous reboot and black screen with the options to boot into Safe Mode, etc. The problem was that it would never boot into Safe Mode, Last Config, etc. at all...it would load the drivers and just sit there for a bit, then reboot and the BSOD would appear again...a vicious cycle. The stop code was 0x000000ED with a subset that had the first code change every time it came up, the second 0x0000006, and the last two 0x00000000.

Anyway...NOTHING I did could get it out of that. No Recovery disks were available, so I contacted HP for them (this lap is 3 years old, so I was very lucky!) I got them during the week. In the meantime, I had tried running HD diagnostics from BIOS and it indicated FAILURE #1-7. I assumed from that that the HD failed. I tried boot disks, HD diagnostic disks from Samsung (the mfr) and not a one of them would read from the CD/DVD drive. I would keep getting the BSOD and loop.

When the Recovery disks arrived, I tried those. Hope rose when the disk did run-though not like you would expect. Never got the chance to do a repair...it would give me a light blue screen only, with the message it was preparing the HD, then that would disappear, and the Recovery screen would come up, but nothing was there! No options, no menu, nothing.

FINALLY, after I'd downloaded yet more HD diagnostics (I was going to try that Seagate mentioned in an earlier post), I tried yet again with the Recovery disks. This time I finally was able to see progress...it gave me the a warning about losing all data during the recovery (no problemo, I don't care, just run, [bleep]!) and off it went, albeit very slowly. It hung, finally, at the Software Installation screen-"installing software, the computer may restart itself, do not shut off the computer." Didn't budge, and the HD light was out. I decided to NOT let it fry itself by leaving it on all night, so I shut it down. This morning, held my breath and booted it up. It took off from where I suppose it would have if it had rebooted itself. So far, so good...I've installed all XP updates and AV protection and I'm in the process of running a scan.

I'm still not sure what happened here, but I have a strong suspicion...when I took the cover off the hard drive to check it, get rid of any dust accumulation, etc., I noticed two things: The two screws that are supposed to hold it in place are missing from their holes. Combine that with a kid who doesn't know how to treat a laptop (the thing probably has a death wish) and I wouldn't be surprised if those two missing screws caused the whole thing. I don't know.

Oh...I do have ONE question. When I set up user accts, I didn't realize that I hadn't been using the System Administrator acct all this time, and so set a password for it. When I set up my son's limited acct, it told me I had to set up at least one Sys Admin acct before I could do that. Huh? I just did! Well I ended up setting a second Sys Admin for myself, not knowing the "real" Sys Admin was going to disappear from the start screen and only make itself available in Safe Mode. Now when I boot the computer, I get an error message from Windows LogIn about not being able to log it in (no password entered, natch) so how do I get that acct back so I can disable the password and get rid of that error message?
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#2
happyrock

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boot into safe mode on the System Administrator acct...go to control panel... user accounts and create a new user and give admin rights set a password for it...reboot...
you may have got by with just running chkdsk /r on the drive...if you ever have to reinstall windows again, format the drive first...
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#3
Termie

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Well scratch the screws idea, dummy me didn't realize the screw holes were for the back panel...DOHHHH

Anyway-

Not out of the woods yet. Come to find that the USB mouse doesn't work, in fact there are a few of the devices in DM that have ? on them, they aren't configured properly. When the lap first started up after I turned it on, I got the message that Intel 82801 something SATA...(?) Controller is not compliant with XP and will cause instability either immediately or in the future, continue with install? Y or No...I chose No. Kind of made me scratch my head and wonder why I was getting that msg.

When I discovered the USB problem, I searched Intel for USB controller drivers and all, but got confused in that regard as I'm not sure exactly what I'm searching for. Wrote down the #'s and all, and as I'm "late" for work, I'll have to deal with it later.

Wish I could've tried chkdsk Happyrock...but it never gave the chance or the choice. I would've tried that fixboot.ini I read about, or whatever it is now, but between BSOD loops and never being able to boot into Safe Mode, never being able to boot off of a CD, nothing...I don't know what else I could've done. At least it's running now...sort of. Crippled, but still running.
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#4
Termie

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Oh, and I assume that running a full recovery on it did format the drive before it installed the OS and software? It did sit at HD Preparation for a while before recovery.
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#5
happyrock

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go to the laptop manufactures website...support section... and get your ALL your drivers for your make and model...
start with installing your chipset drivers...then use the device manager to see any others you may need to install...then go to windows update and get any it says you need and be sure to check the hardware updates and include those as well...I would start with the harware updates first...then the patches...
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#6
Termie

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Thanks Happyrock...I've already applied the Windows Updates (but no hardware changes - I've been told those should only be downloaded thru the computer mfr's website-and have had problems in the past when I went thru any other source, be it Windows or the hardware component's mfr, as well-graphics, etc.) Will this matter?
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#7
happyrock

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you can get hardware updates thru windows updates as well as the manufactures site...
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#8
Termie

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I left off with this one (Lap Patient A) in a state of running, loading, etc normally (with the exception of getting that password error because I'd entered a pw for the main Sys Admin acct and it hiccupped over that) but no USB, no sound...search for the drivers.

I did, downloaded and installed what drivers were indicated, but it didn't make any difference. In the meantime, Lap Patient B started its downward spiral, so I left Lap Patient A alone, still needing (different?) USB/sound drivers.

Coming back to work on A, instead of searching for more drivers, I decided to try another recovery instead. I have to note that each recovery I've done (and it's been 4 or 5) has gone smoother, more normally, and this one did too...until it came to the "Software Installation screen" where it seemingly hung. Maybe I was too impatient, but after an hour or two of it on that screen...I just don't recall any recovery I've done in the past taking that long. So the screen says it's supposed to restart. I give it a "nudge." Well I'll be...I have the drivers and sound and USB working again! Progress!

It does its thing, loads Windows normally again, but the minute I get onto the desktop, it flips back into the "Software Installation." Gah! It's left for another day (today.)

So I tried the tip given to me in another post (for B) about taking out the battery and leaving it out (I haven't done a hard reset until now) and depleting the capacitors, then firing it up wo battery. Well it worked, and I get to the normal blue screen you see when it's new...(Please wait while Windows prepares to start), the personal info/registration, the whole shebang. THIS hasn't happened before. I'm ecstatic until I get to the user screen, choose my account, Windows loads, and....blip!

Back to Software Installation. Then the danged thing shuts down. :)

Why is this thing now looping into Software Installation like this? It didn't do it before...grrrrrrr :)

Am I not giving it sufficient time to load? Oh, should I NOT have the USB mouse plugged in (am I forcing it to do something it's not yet ready for? In the middle of what looks to be the normal recovery installation, it pauses and asks me if the manufacturer has given another separte disk, so I wonder if it's recognizing the mouse but doesn't have the drivers for it.)

Edited by Termie, 16 August 2009 - 07:45 AM.

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#9
happyrock

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I can't work on 2 different computers in the same thread...it just leaves me dazed and confused and I DON'T have the time to reread the whole thread to try and figure out whats what...
please start a new topic for your sons problem...
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#10
Termie

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I'm so sorry, Happyrock...this thread IS on just the one lap. The other is in another thread. I've edited it to hopefully make is clearer. (I mentioned the other just because I haven't looked at this one in a week, and that's the reason why.)
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#11
happyrock

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In the middle of what looks to be the normal recovery installation, it pauses and asks me if the manufacturer has given another separate disk

this sounds like its asking for a driver disk...
but this

Why is this thing now looping into Software Installation like this

may be some bad sectors in the drive
lets run chkdsk /r on the drive...

do these steps one at a time and try to boot up in between...if it boots normally stop running the rest of the fixes they won't be necessary...

go here..download the following file: rc.iso....then run chkdsk /r from the rc.iso cd...

if you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files go here and get burncdcc ..a small FAST no frills iso burning program...

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start by clicking on BurnCDCC.exe
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its rc.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

make sure in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....put the cd in the cd drive..boot your computer....


when you boot from rc.iso you will get a blue screen and it will say setup is loading files...
then it will say its starting windows...
you will get to a screen that says ...do you want to install windows or 2nd choice it to repair windows..
press r to repair...you will get to a ...C:\>.......this is where you type in chkdsk /r

type in chkdsk /r press enter
note the single space before the /

While chkdsk is running you will see a light blue window with a dark blue band at the top and bottom. or a black dos box depending on on which cd you use... Chkdsk will display the specific stage it is checking as well as the percentage of completion of the stage. You cannot do anything else on your computer while chkdsk is running. When chkdsk is finished, it will automatically reboot your computer.

NOTE this can take a long time to complete..it may even appear to hang or get stuck at a certain % for a couple of hours...then complete...it may even back up and go over the same area...this is normal...let it run...there are 5 stages
DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER WHILE RUNNING CHKDSK or you can have severe problems...
remove the rc.iso cd and reboot...if it does not boot into windows

boot from the cd again...
then type fixmbr press enter...reboot
no joy ....boot from the cd again...
type in fixboot press enter...reboot
nojoy...boot from the cd again...

Type in bootcfg /scan and press enter

if it says total identified window installs: 1

Type in bootcfg /rebuild and press Enter...

It will identify your XP installation...type Y once you see this prompt.

You will be prompted to enter the load identifier...type in Microsoft XP Home Edition or Microsoft XP Professional depending on whichever version you have...press enter

You will be prompted to enter the load options...type in /fastdetect and press Enter

Type in exit and press Enter

remove the cd and Reboot
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#12
Termie

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Ok, will do above - but one question, when you say to enter the load identifier, you give 2 choices-Home Edition or Prof....this lap is running Media Center...will that change things? Should I just use Home?

Yes, asking for another disk made me think it was wanting a driver disk as well. HP sent me the complete 2-disk recovery set and as I recall, that's all there was in the first place. I was thinking the USB mouse plugged in was the cause.

I'll be back a bit later this afternoon or this evening with the results (I have to go to work now, so I won't be able to complete this until afterwards.)

Thank you so much for your help with this...and patience with me, too. I don't know how you guys do it, tackling all these problems.

I can't right now (short $) but next pay day I plan on making a contribution to the site (you do take PP, right?) and to anyone else reading/experiencing, I encourage you to do the same! I am really grateful having this site and its staff available to come to when I have problems!
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#13
happyrock

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you give 2 choices-Home Edition or Prof....this lap is running Media Center...will that change things? Should I just use Home?

yep...it won't change things
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#14
Termie

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Wellll..that was short. I ran the disk from boot and it behaved exactly as you said it would. I pressed R. It came back with "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer" and to make sure they were connected etc.

I know there's a HDD in there. I saw it. It runs XP (albeit haphazardly) on the system. Is is possible this is related to the Dxs I ran from the Setup utility (F10) that told me there was a HD failure 1-7? Should I get a new drive? Or might it be something else?
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#15
happyrock

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that was what I was afraid of...the drive is bad...we have a couple of choices left...

remove the drive and slave it to a working computer and save any data...then replace the drive with a new drive and reinstall your OS...
you can also try puppy linux to save any data...puppy linux loads and runs in ram only any if you want I can give you instructions on how to do it...
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