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Windows XP Blew up on me - how to diagnose problem


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#1
rogpeter

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Hey everyone, I'm having a problem I've never seen before and I don't know how to deal with it. My computer just restarted itself for some unknown reason... when it gets the the XP loading screen, the bar moves for a while, and then there's a very brief flash of the blue screen of death, then my computer restarts again. It can cycle like this indefinitely.

So I try the last configuration that worked... does the same thing. Then I try safe mode... does the same thing again (only no XP loading screen in safe mode). Then i try to load from my other install of XP (it's a very clean install that I use for audio recording)... it stalls indefinitely at a black screen after the loading screen and Windows still never starts up. (The second install of XP is on a partition of the same drive as the first.)

So... where do I go from here? I can't even get XP to load up, so... I don't have any idea how to go about fixing this.

Any suggestions?
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#2
rogpeter

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Okay, I used my digital camera to take a video of the flashed BSoD, and here's the error I got:

UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME

I checked out the BSoD Codes post and it said the following:

The kernel mode I/O subsystem attempted to mount the boot volume and it failed. This error might also occur during an upgrade to Windows XP Professional on systems that use higher throughput ATA disks or controllers with incorrect cabling. In some cases, your system might appear to work normally after you restart.

Possible Resolutions:

• If using higher throughput ATA disks and controllers, those capable of data transfer rates above 33.3 megabytes per second, replace the standard 40-pin cable with an 80-pin cable. Using an 80-pin cable is optional for transfer rates up to and including 33.3 megabytes per second, but is mandatory for higher transfer rates. The additional grounded pins are required to avoid data loss.

• Some firmware enables you to force higher transfer rates even when you are using the incorrect cable type. Your firmware might issue a warning but allow the startup process to proceed. Restore the default firmware setting for ATA cable detection.

• Problems that cause 0xED errors might also cause Stop 0x7B errors. For more information about 0x7B Stop messages, see "Stop 0x0000007B or INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE" earlier in this appendix.


Unfortunately, I don't think this helps my situation. My hdd is SATA, so I don't think the ATA stuff applies (let me know if I'm wrong). Any ideas?

Edited by rogpeter, 01 September 2005 - 12:37 AM.

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#3
darth_ash

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Follow the steps below:
  • In your BIOS set CD-ROM has 1st Boot Device.
  • Insert XP Setup CD, to boot from CD.
  • After the intial loading of drivers is over, on the Welcome to Setup Screen with 3 options; Press R key, to "Repair XP installtion using Recovery Console".
  • On the next screen you will be asked to choose your Windows installtion, choose the one that is causing the problem by typing the number beside it.
  • Now you will be prompted for the password of Administrator, enter it; If password is blank, just press <enter>.
  • First we will check for any errors on the Hard-disk.
    Type: chkdsk /r /f
    Press <enter>.
  • Next, type: fixboot
    Press <enter>.
  • Reboot and try if Windows loads normally.
I would also suggest you download UltimateBootCD, and run run some HDD diagnostic tools and some Virus scans (to check for boot sector viruses)

Edited by darth_ash, 01 September 2005 - 01:41 AM.

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#4
rogpeter

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Thanks a lot for the response. I've been trying to walk through your instructions, but I've been running into problems. When I try to repair Windows, it doesn't get past the initial Examining XXXXX MB Disk 0 at ID 2 on bus 0 on viasraid... screen.

I'm going to download the UltimateBootCD and see if I can get anywhere with that. What tool do you suggest I run?

Also, thanks a lot for your help. I really appreicate it.
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#5
rogpeter

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Okay, an update. Here's everything that I've tried so far (none of it has worked). I've got two hard drives installed. One is a Seagate and one is Hitachi. The Seagate drive is the problemed one. It houses my two installations of Windows.

I can't use the Windows Repair strategy. The computer freezes. Pretty much anything that I try to run ends up freezing it.

I ran a Seagate disk check utitlity from the UltimateBootCD and it tells me I have a bad connection, and that's it's probably the cable. But I've tried switching cables and that's gotten me nowhere, so I really don't think that's the problem.

I installed Windows on the other hard drive (after unplugging the offending hdd). I thought that maybe I could start up Windows and then access the files from the other drive to at least save some data. But when I tried starting up Windows this time, it hangs (I'm assuming this is when it tries accessing the potentially crappy drive) and won't load.

So I'm back to square zero. Any suggestions on where I can go from here (even if these suggestions are just helpful ways to recover any data I possibly can). Or let me know if I'm screwed. The drive should still be under warranty, but that almost seems like more of a pain than just buying a new drive.

Thanks for any help.
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#6
wannabe1

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Hi rogpeter...Welcome to G2G!

I know this sounds like a long shot (and probably is), but I've run into nearly the same problem a couple of times in the last couple of years. Check both the HDD and the MOBO for bent or broken pins in the IDE connectors.

wannabe1
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#7
rogpeter

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Hey thanks... and thanks for the advice. But how do I check that? I know that the bent pins (if they are bent) aren't on the mobo, because I've tried switching the cables to different drives, but it's the same offending drive. I've narrowed down every possibility for bent pins everywhere but on the hdd itself. But how do I check for that on an SATA hdd?

I don't really know.

Thanks again for the advice.
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#8
Alex_Harris

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Although this is a Windows forum, if you think that the hardware is fine and the issue is with the OS and you dont want to lose the data, try downloading a program called Knoppix. Knoppix is basically a complete OS on cd. You can boot off the cd, run programs access files etc etc. I think the website is here: Knoppix
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#9
rogpeter

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Oh my god, you're brilliant! I've even used Knoppix once before...

I tried it, and it worked! Nothing else would get me far enough to even look at the hard drive. I can now at least save my data and just get rid of the hard drive (even though I'm still not sure what the problem is with the drive... if it works in Linux, why wouldn't it work for Windows?).

Anyway, thanks a lot, Alex, for the very simple but very awesome solution.
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#10
gerryf

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you could also drop the drive in a different machine and run chkdsk /r on it from that machine....
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