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Vista Won't Load/HD won't allow other HDs to load


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#1
Cribby

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Hi!

I'm usually able to solve any computer software/hardware related problem until this week.. I was having some issues with Vista for a month... random sketchy errors and random restarts. I used an anti-virus program and found some nasty critters. A few days later my computer randomly restarted, and once I was able to sign on and go onto my desktop, the screen would get jumbled and restart.. The next time I restarted it ran the chkdsk utility to check for drive errors and once it got to 99% it would hang forever and not continue. After that troubleshooting method, during my next restart I wasn't even able to get past the loading stages of vista (black screen after the progress bars or/and automatic restart.) I came to the conclusion that my vista boot was corrupt.. so I put in my vista cd and tried to execute a boot repair. The repairs were taking too long (I left it overnight) so I decided to shut it down. I tried to repair it again the next day, but the cd wouldn't boot past the loading green bars screen and if it did, it would show a black screen.. I'm seeing a pattern here.

I managed to install vista on another drive, by only having that other drive connected. Everything was successful. I thought perhaps I'd still be able to access the corrupt drive as a secondary or at least be able to transfer all files from it.. but that's where my current issue lies. I've tried to read up on it online, but it's very odd to me:

I can access vista from the other drive when the 'faulty' one is not connected.
I can fully access and load the vista cd when the 'faulty' drive is not connected.

which is normal..but for some reason when the 'faulty' drive is plugged in

I cannot load past the loading part of the cd...and I can't get past the loading screen of the vista from my other drive.

Weird! Having that drive connected won't allow me to access anything vista related for some reason...but disconnecting it works. And yes, my boot settings are correct. :) Why is this happened and what can I do to fix it.. or at least be able to access that drive's contents? I'm pretty sure the HD itself is in working order, because it does come up in bios, etc. I tried loading vista again from the faulty hd in every possible option...with no success. I tried disabling automatic restart and got a blue screen with this error:

unmountable_boot_volume

with 0xC0000185 as the second figure. Is this part of the problem?

My specs:

2 GB DDR memory
Asus Maximus Motherboard
Radeon HD 3870
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#2
wannabe1

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Hello Cribby...

You describe the classic symptoms of a failed HDD. A failed drive may still show in the BIOS if the controller board still reports it's there...that does not necessarily mean the drive is still functional. Bad sectors is the usual culprit when you see this behavior, bad bearings on the platter spindle can also cause this.

You might try running diagnostics on the drive using the HDD manufacturer's diagnostic software. Doing that will sometimes help if you are looking at bad sectors.

As silly as this may sound, putting the drive in the freezer for a couple hours may allow the drive to function long enough to recover your files if the bearings are causing the problem. I've used this technique a number of times on drives that would not otherwise function and it really does work. Be sure to put the drive in a zip-lock baggie if you try this method.

In any case, it sounds as though the drive is suffering some type of mechanical failure. Sloppy bearings can cause bad sectors, so the two kind of walk hand in hand.

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#3
Cribby

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If it's a failed HDD, would that explain why I can't boot from my other HDD while it's connected to my MB? I'm not completely convinced that it's failed, partly because it still recognizes that Vista is on it and it tries to boot (unsuccessfully.) when it's the only HD connected.

I'm going to inspect the cabling, and take a closer look at the drive itself. I'll try running it or at least having it as a secondary HD on another computer.. (For some I have a feeling this might work.) I'll also run the diagnostic software like you suggested.

Thx.

Any other suggestions?
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#4
wannabe1

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About the only other reason it would exhibit the behavior you describe is if the "faulty" drive was assigned the same drive letter as the good one. This is not a common issue, particularly with Vista.

The fact that the machine will boot with the "faulty" drive not connected and will when it's not smells suspiciously like a bad drive. I've run into the problem quite a bit lately and Seagate drives most often. Is your drive, by chance, a Seagate?
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#5
usasma

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This'll depend on how far you get into the boot sequence and how your system was setup. The system may boot from one hard drive, then transfer control to the hard drive that has Windows installed on it.

To test this, you'll have to run bootable diagnostics on each of the hard drives. Here's a link on how to get started with bootable diagnostics: http://usasma.vox.co...iagnostics.html
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#6
Cribby

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I just tried it on another system...same deal.. although I was able to at least get the cd running. I'm going try and see if I can access it on a machine that doesn't use Vista..

[bleep].. 1TB gone to waste. Does that freezer trick really work? Right now, I'm unable to access it from both PCs as a secondary machine.. not sure how I can copy the contents from it.. How do they do it at data recovery places? I'm intrigued!
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#7
wannabe1

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Is it a Seagate drive? They had a firmware issue on their drives that caused them to fail. If you have one of the affected drives, a firmware update may take care of the problem...it's sure worth checking into, though once the drive has failed, it's pretty tough to get it going again. The problem drives are the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 series 1TB and 1.5TB drives.

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#8
Cribby

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Is it a Seagate drive? They had a firmware issue on their drives that caused them to fail. If you have one of the affected drives, a firmware update may take care of the problem...it's sure worth checking into, though once the drive has failed, it's pretty tough to get it going again. The problem drives are the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 series 1TB and 1.5TB drives.

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Meant to answer your question before.. yes it is a Seagate drive. I ran the tests on the link provided and it said the model is affected, but the serial is not.. hmm I beg to differ, hah. Guess I'll have to contact them
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