"Analyzing Partitions" Hell: Fixes Don't Work

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Remm, Feb 7, 2009.

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  1. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    Have been using Acronis 11 (XP SP2) for many months, but this morning I entered "analyzing partitions" hell. Bailed with Task Manager. I have been trying to find the problem ever since (nine hours and counting).

    None of the suggested fixes have worked and I do not use Kapersky.

    - disabling Distributed Link Tracking Client (didn't work)
    - installing the latest Acronis drivers (didn't work)
    - running chkdsk volume:/r /f (wasn't the problem)

    Clue: Acronis acts normal in Safe Mode.

    As to the timing, the last time I used Acronis for a backup was on Jan 26th, and as soon as I was done, I enabled auto updates (the manual version of it so I could see what updates were available before allowing them). There were 54 updates. All seemed to go well and I have no idea if one of them is responsible for this problem or not, but I am not about to uninstall [/reinstall] 54 updates to see. And no, I can't clone the week-old clone over the present disk because I need Acronis to do that. And I can't boot from an Acronis CD b/c the one I made inside Acronis doesn't work. It acts like it's going to work, then it doesn't. (Which is why I CLONE verses do an image backup... but I clone to an external drive, and Acronis doesn't seem to like that much either.) But back to the problem for which I am complaining. :D

    The other thing I did since the last "good" use of Acronis was use Partition Magic to rename a few volumes... just the labels... did not resize anything or switch drive letters. I have used this vers of PM in the past with this vers of Acronis without a problem.

    Only one other program seems affected: Diskeeper 2008 is sluggish and taking a long time to analyze the drives, unlike previous behavior. But again, it's not the drive itself because it checked out with chkdsk, and also these programs work in Safe Mode.

    Btw, there are over 45 processes stopped in Safe Mode. How do I enable them 1 at a time in msconfig? (or a few at a time) Or is there a better utility to use? I cannot imagine rebooting 45 more times.... argh!! Thank god the History channel had on Universe all day long so I could look at something during all these reboots!!

    I know other people have also posted that the fixes haven't worked. I would ask these people if the problem disappears in Safe Mode?

    Thanks to anyone who can shed any light. o_O
     
  2. nb47

    nb47 Registered Member

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    Are you using CDs for backups? It's generally the worst way to do it , if so.
     
  3. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Remm:

    To troubleshoot you don't have to reboot 45 times while trying each service individually. Try the binary search method -- turn off half of the services to see which half contains the problem service. Once you know, turn off half of those and try again, etc. You can converge on the problem service fairly quickly this way; probably in fewer than half a dozen iterations.
     
  4. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    nb47: No, I am not using CDs as BU. <?> Using an external drive on USB. Was only saying I cannot get Acronis's "recoverable boot CD disk" to work, and never have been able to. Something about my setup seems to confuse Acronis. Maybe it's the small C:\ drive made for FAT and DOS, with OS on D:\ and various other drives for other purposes that follow.

    Mark.... will try your smart binary method of halves. But I'm not sure if this is a process or a service, or which program to use to do this. And I wanna make sure I don't disable something WIndows needs to boot and run. (I had the horrid experience of disabling userinit.exe a couple months back and had to do a complete repair of Windows.)

    So... msconfig? Or something like Process Monitor? Kill Process? Or are these only process managers while what I want to do is eliminate services? Thanks for your guidance.
     
  5. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    PS My USB ports stopped working at the same time

    I forgot to mention this, but my USB ports stopped working yesterday morning out of nowhere, just when this other problem crept up, and I feel they are related. Fresh into the morning boot, when I went to do a backup with Acronis, that's when I discovered the USB wasn't reading the external drive... which is what I thought was making Acronis take so long to analyze the partitions. But then after I unplugged the USB drive and rebooted, and just tried Acronis without any USB device plugged in, I had the same problem.

    So while I have been trying to discover the Acronis problem, I have also been coming at it another way of trying to solve the USB problem. I uninstalled the roots in Device Manager then rebooted, forcing it to reinstall all drivers. And it all looks dandy in Device Mgr. No sign that anything is amiss. (Even before I uninstalled the root hubs, it all reported as being normal.)

    It isn't a hardware problem because the ports work in Safe Mode. Except the popup that asks what you want to do with the newly discovered device does not popup in Safe Mode, but I assume that is a service that gets disabled. The important thing is, as soon as I plug in a USB device, the drive appears in File Mgr (Explorer), and when I unplug, it disappears instantly.

    In regular mode, I can get the USB to eventually show up, but it takes a minute or more for the system to recognize it, the popup asking what I want to do never comes, and when I unplug the device, the "hardware present" icon stays in the system tray for another minute, before it disappears and I hear the sound XP makes when you unplug a device. IOW, it is acting sluggish just like Acronis and Diskeeper. Something is screwing with the Windows services that are responsible for both these things.... analyzing parttions and recognizing the USB hubs.
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Remm:

    I would start with MSCONFIG. Try the Diagnostic startup first. Click on the "Help" button for troubleshooting suggestions.

    MSConfig.png
     
  7. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    OK will check that out and report back in a bit....
     
  8. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    New problem: In msconfig I followed directions to disable everything but basic services as a starting point, and got an error message that I have to be logged in as an admin to do this. Uh.... I am the only person who uses this laptop and AM logged in as myself, with full admin privileges.

    I know some viruses can create havoc like this, so FTR, I have NOD32 running all the time, Spyware Dr. and SUPERAntispyware and an anti-Malware program I got from Major Geeks. And I have scanned my computer with all and am coming back clean.

    So I will check back here in case someone knows why XP is not giving me admin priv's, but I am off to google that.
     
  9. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    Msconfig worked anyway

    ..even though it threw an admin error at me, it performed the tasks. So thanks to your instructions, Mark, msconfig narrowed it down to a service, as the problem was not duplicated until services were brought into the picture. (Processes were allowed first, and Acronis analyzed the partitions fine.)

    So I am about to start in on the services. One interesting note... the USB hubs were not working while processes were allowed, even while Acronis was. So now it looks like those two problems are independent. I am going to fix Acronis first, then find the USB problem... will report back and thanks again. I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere.
     
  10. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Good! It sounds like you are on the right track.
     
  11. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    No luck... msconfig doesn't allow me to turn off services selectively, so I used Admin Tools --> Services but it just doesn't feel like this is how I'm going to fix this. Everything there has a legit purpose... modem driver, moden diagnostic, MS services for the network, IPSec services, etc.... I uninstalled a few spyware programs I had installed since the last good use of Acronis: Spybot S&D, SUPERAntispyware, ComboFix and Malware program, but that changed nothing.

    I think I am going to boot from a BART PE CD and restore an image from 2 weeks ago to the D:\ drive only (where my OS is)... though I'm not crazy about doing this as I've never done it. I use this freeware XML Backup software as an adjunct to Acronis, should my clone BU not work...

    Either that, or try doing a Windows Repair with the retail XP CD.
     
  12. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    Well, I used Backup XML to restore the Acronis-made clone of my OS drive, and it worked perfectly... the only thing is, the Acronis problem is still there, and the USB drives still don't work... even though they were all working fine for the last two weeks until yesterday, and this backup is from two weeks ago.

    I'm starting to wonder if I'm a victim of Cornficker.

    I'm also ready to just close the laptop and stick it in a corner, and use my desktop instead.
     
  13. nb47

    nb47 Registered Member

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    Msconfig doesn't stop me but only have antivirus running st startup anyway-make sure Acronis is enabled & 'started' on services.msc-might help.
     
  14. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    Thanks nb47, it was. I made sure all Acronis services were staying enabled.

    More bizarreness to report. As I said yesterday, after I restored a former clone of the drive from 2 weeks ago, the problems were still there. This seemed impossible since they only started two days ago, fresh out of the gate from a morning bootup. So how could they persist over a complete wipe and remake to a former image from 2 weeks prior, when everything was fine theno_O

    I booted into SAFE MODE to see if everything was still working there (it was), then did the selective boots again with MSCONFIG to verify that Acronis doesn't hang when win or sys processes are added, only when I add services to the mix.

    Everything was exactly the same, so I was going to give up for the night and I changed MSCONFIG to boot normally and was just gonna see where that left me. I got the admin error again, saying I don't have permission, and then I hit restart.

    For some reason when it booted, Acronis worked, and so did my ports. Everything seemed fine. So I brought up MSCONFIG to see how it had booted, and it had NOT kept my setting to boot normally, it was set to boot selectively, but with all things checked WIN, SYS, Services and Startups... which is how it booted the time before [when things hadn't worked]. <!?>

    So I started writing in a text file, the sequence of things that have happened but I suspected if I tried Acronis again, it would hang like before. And 20 minutes later, after having done nothing but write in that text file, that's what happened. It hung. So the problem was coming and going. o_O

    I booted again... and Acronis was fine, as were my ports. <?!> With all this booting I had used CodeStuff (my startup manager) to disable just about everything from auto-startup so I could start things myself. I was just manually starting NOD32 and Zone Alarm Pro, though I usually have Spyware Doctor running too, I wanted to simplify things so I left it off (though it ran once by accident and Acronis worked fine so it isn't the problem.... it just slows me down cause it takes so long to come up).

    I figured it's either a conflict, corrupted file or a worm that has been there all along (like more than 2 weeks ago), but wasn't acting up until recently. So I once again installed Spyware S&D, SUPERAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes to run deep scans of the system... plus my standard NOD32 and Spyware Doctor. All came back clean. Acronis was still working, as were my ports.

    Since it didn't seem to be the fault of the MS updates I had downloaded in Jan (since the clone was clean of them and was showing the problems anyway, intermittently), I'd re-enable the manual version of auto update, and got my OS patched up.

    And when I shut down last night, Acronis was still working, as were my USB ports... and this morning when I booted, all still working.

    I am still booting selectively in MSCONFIG (though everything is checked) but I have most everything disabled in StartUp with my StartUp Mgr. If I were reading this I would say for sure it has to be one of the proggies in StartUp causing the problem, but I have had this same mix of programs starting up together for months without problems. Nevertheless I will continue to search for the culprit and report back, because I fully realize I have not helped anyone else yet who is having this problem, including me!! I don't like NOT knowing why suddenly everything is working, because it could all go south again until I fix whatever is wrong.

    So I will follow-up and I'll let this forum know what I find in case it can help someone else. I HOPE IT WILL!!
     
  15. nb47

    nb47 Registered Member

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    Well , someone here far more knowledgeable than I should be along to help you-has me stumped ! Or try Acronis message chat-might help. Good luck!
     
  16. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    I've gone back to your original post to ask whether you restored the backup you made just before the updates?

    The value of older backups is that you should be able to restore them one after another as they get older to find when the system was last stable.

    From a stable system, you can apply all the updates and see if the problem returns. If it does, it's an update problem. If not, you have an up-to-date system without problems. You then need to make a new image and install any programs or other updates and confirm that the system stays stable.

    I think this should be much more satisfactory than trying to turn off processes or services or startup programs on a system that is unstable.
     
  17. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    Hello JMK, yes, I restored the only BU I had, which was from 2 weeks ago, just one day prior to doing a slew of MS updates. The system was stable then and after the updates, as it only started giving me problems a couple days ago.

    However, upon restoring that image, the problems persisted. Then the problems began coming and going... even in the span of 20 minutes and without doing a reboot or even using any program except notepad.

    Upon subsequent reboots in and out of MSCONFIG, Acronis and the USB ports suddenly worked again, without a clear reason as to why. Today they were also working. I have been using the computer all day (for work) and it's been fine. I didn't have time to troubleshoot today, and kind of wanted to let it be for 24 hrs since it's working right. :D But I do want to know why it's working now and wasn't before, and will pursue this until I find the answer.

    As an aside, I did discover the reason for the MSCONFIG error, reporting I did not have admin clearance. Seems it was a Zone Alarm setting in my case.
    (Program Control -> Program tab -> find System Configuration Utility [that's what msconfig is called] and click on the single green bar under the Trusted column to change it to 2 green bars for Trusted.) For those with an HP printer it can be an HP file, and for others it's a McAvee file.

    FTR the MS updates have been eliminated as a cause. The system ran fine for 2 weeks with them, and upon restoring the old image I reinstalled the updates once I knew they weren't to blame.
     
  18. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    Just an update: I completely uninstalled Acronis, and believe the problem it was having analyzing partitions is due to possible drive errors... which would explain why the USB ports work wonky every so often, and why Diskeeper can't analyze volumes without a huge lag, and why the computer suddenly becomes sluggish on occasion to my commands. For example, I will right-click on the WLAN sys tray icon to disable online access, but the menu selection ("Disable") doesn't highlight and clicking just hangs the popup window so that it sticks there.

    I believe Acronis was just responding to a bad disk, even though it checks out as healthy from all the diagnostics services I ran... EXCEPT I get a curious response from chkdsk on the OS volume (D: in my case). It would find the MFT needed repairing, but the next time I'd run chkdsk, it would find the same error, even though it assumedly had repaired it.

    So I used testdisk.exe, and had it test D:\. It said the boot sectors were all fine, but when I had it check the MFT it asked if I wanted to repair it from the mirror. I said yes. Then I ran it again and it said, "Both MFTs seem okay but they don't match. Use chkdsk."

    So I ran chkdsk again (booted from BARTPE CD), and this time it found indexing errors, which it said it fixed, and MFT errors. (See image.)

    After a boot into Windows, I used testdisk again, and got the same message that the MFT's seem ok but don't match, and to use chkdsk.

    And every time I DO use chkdsk, it tells me the MFT had errors...

    So it seems unrepairable and I'm wondering is this is what's caused all the problems. It would explain why the clean restore from a prior backup when everything was fine, would have continued to show the analyzing problem in Acronis, since it isn't the files, but the drive itself. It would explain everything but one question: if it is due to drive error that Acronis had trouble analyzing the drives, and the USB ports get weird... then why when I either 1> boot into Safe Mode, or 2> turn off all MS Services in MSCONFIG, both Acronis and the USB ports work fine??
     
  19. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    I was suspecting a drive problem after you last message.

    I think the safest and fastest test is to buy a new hard drive and restore the two week old image to it. Do the updates and then see if anything goes wonky. If not, it was indeed a drive failing in a very creative way.

    I've seen drives fail in strange ways. I had one in one of my notebooks that ran fine, but when I tried to install a program, it woud lock up. CHKDSK said it was fine, etc., but I couldn't intall anything. Then it did a few other strange things and I replaced it. No problems since.

    Let us know how this turns out.
     
  20. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    Well, I got a new hard drive and restored my image... am having exactly the same issues. Boy have I had it with this... It looks like the only thing to do is start with a complete reformat of the original drive, and install the entire system from scratch, first the OS, then program by program.... and even then I won't know if it will fix it. I *imagine* it would, as long as it isn't a system board problem. Like I mentioned before, the Dell diagnostics program that came with the laptop (runs in command line mode outside windows) said all the hardware is fine.
     
  21. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    I'm wondering if your problem(s) aren't actually power supply related.

    The fact the USB ports keep disappearing makes me wonder this or if the internal USB hub has a problem. Power problems especially if it is a noisy power supply (electrolytic cap going high, leaking) can cause really weird and bizarre problems in electronic goods.

    Are you running this on battery or mains? Are you able to measure the voltage on the USB ports - should be 5v and if you can lay your hands on a 56 ohm 0.5 watt resistor, see if you can measure a steady 89mA +/- 5%

    Going from a virus perspective, if you have system restore switched on, virii love to hide in here and respawn themselves. The only way to smack the pesky thing on the head is to;

    1. Run the A/V malware checker etc whilst in Windows SAFE mode.

    2. Delete the system restore cache.

    Reboot into normal mode.

    Not all services can be started in SAFE mode, though you can try from a command prompt using netstart service_name.

    You may also have a RAM problem, if due to heat this is going flaky memory management won't work very well, causing the page file also to not work very well or any of your programs.

    Colin
     
  22. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    Thanks for your response, Colin. Don't think it's a PSU problem, but that was a good thought. PSU is quiet as a mouse, and if it were a PSU issue, I'd expect the problem(s) to be expressed ad-hoc in different ways rather than repeating the same pattern of USB flakiness and certain actions (like clicking on the network sys tray icon) slow to respond. If a PSU, I'd expect uneven behavior expressed outside these issues as well... perhaps accompanied by an occasional BSOD.

    As for the memory, I had the Dell diag sftw run all of the extended tests from outside Windows and it came back perfect. I did the full route of tests, not just the prelim quicky tests.

    I never run on battery, always AC. (I did this to save my battery in case I ever needed it. As it turns out I shouldn't have bothered... I got this laptop 1.5yrs ago, and the battery won't last 5 minutes now, even though I only used it 2 or 3 times, literally, since I've had it.)

    As for System Restore Services (that's interesting how nasties use it), in my last go-round, I found that disabling that service along with System Event Notification seemed to make the USB ports work consistently, and I thought I solved the problem of at least narrowing down what services were causing the problem. But then to dbl chk I disabled ALL services BUT those two, and the USB ports worked fine. That's the problem with this problem... it isn't consistent and the results might be repeatable 3x in a row, then suddenly it all changes again.

    The moral is, I had that service disabled, so it's interesting you mentioned it. I have not run the spyware or malware programs from SAFE MODE and will try that tonight.

    No, I don't have any kind of meter to measure charge, and wouldn't know how to read it correctly, I'm guessing. But I'll keep that in mind.

    Thanks for your constructive suggestions.
     
  23. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    My error; I didn't mean noisy as in it sounds noisy, I meant noisy in that it isn't smoothing the AC mains properly and causing spikes and interference, which DC components really don't like. On an oscilloscope you would see fuzziness around the wave forms, a bit like a jumper that has gone all frizzy. :D

    Colin
     
  24. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    Ah-ha! Well, I wish I had one of those and knew how to read it. :)

    What I'm feeling is that it has something to do with the MBR/MFT records or a closely related problem. And I think it stems from Acronis never having been comfortable cloning to an external disk, or maybe it's just confused about something else on my system.... maybe because i have a small c: drive that's FAT and the OS is in D:\... I don't know, but I always got weird little errors, even before all this happened.

    It has always worked flawlessly on my desktop, where both the original disk and clone are exact replicas and internal, but on the laptop the clone disk is external AND not a laptop drive AND larger... though I always clone "as is" without making it proportional.

    But like, I could never boot from the Acronis rescue CD on the laptop. It would start to, then it would hang. And I cannot boot from the external clone, which is the whole reason I was cloning... so that if something happened to the internal I could just tell the BIOS to boot from the external... then fix the problem by cloning the external back to the internal. Aconis doesn't like anything about this, in my experience. For example, I could not boot from the external, even when the internal drive was unformatted (as it was yesterday when i popped in the new drive). It starts to boot from the external, then hangs just a few seconds into the welcome screen and reboots the computer, starting a cycle of rebooting.

    And even before all this came up when I would clone to the external, sometimes the process would not end cleanly or right... like Acronis would say it's done, then I'd unplug the USB external and reboot... and every time I booted after that (for days until I finally tracked down a fix), I'd get an Acronis blue screen so far into the boot that would say "Autopart Completed" or something like that... even though I shouldn't have been getting ANY Acronis message at that point. I finally edited a registry key, which stopped that behavior.

    But between not being able to boot from the Acronis CD; not being able to boot from the external clone; the weird little messages; and now this... which I know is tied to the MFT errors when I run check disk... it's like something was copied over that is confusing the disk.

    But I will try scanning for nasties tonight in SAFE MODE when I'm done working. And if I don't get anything there, I am going to be rebuilding from scratch, starting with a reformat. Then the OS and all updates... then my necessary programs (it'll take months to get them ALL on but I'll load the basics), minus Acronis. Once I dbl chk that everything is okay I will image the drive using XML Backup so I can return to this state in the future.

    In the meantime, anyone want a brand new Seagate 250GB 7200.3? :D (J/K... but I really DO like the 120GB 5400 that came with the laptop better because it is perfectly silent. The 7200 has a very slight clicking when it seeks. Can't hear it if there is any ambient noise, like the laptop fan or TV, but I work in silence and find it distracting.) I'm wiping it, taking it out, and putting back in the 5400 tonight. -- thanks again for your help.
     
  25. Remm

    Remm Registered Member

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    Well, I couldn't boot into Safe Mode so I never tried the scan from there. It would start to boot into SM, then just hang there after scrolling the DOS screen as it does when it's entering that mode.

    So I shut down, deleted the partitions, took out that drive, put back the old one, (it's quieter, so as long as I had to rebuild...), deleted all partitions, re-created them, and reinstalled the OS, then DELL drivers (Vostro 1000).

    Right away it started acting funny. I was getting the keyboard lag and had to uninstall ATI CCC again (which is a Dell-distributed program to go along with the ATI driver that runs the Raedon card that got put back when I was installing all the Dell drivers). Then I was plugging in the USB external drive, and got the same weird loooong lag before it would recognize it.

    Got disgusted and shut it down (this was Fri night). I didn't boot anything yesterday. I needed a break.

    This morning I booted it with a little more patience and a fresh attitude, wanting to make sure I wasn't creating problems or seeing them where they didn't exist.

    I got the keyboard lag right away, and went into Task Manager only to see that the ATI CCC file was active, even though I had uninstalled ATI CCC. So I disabled the process, then went to the Search Files & Folders to delete it manually from wherever it was. The file is ati2evxx.exe.
    The Search box (with Advanced options checked and all files available rather than hidden) could not find it! I made sure I spelled it right, checked to make sure no files were hidden, then tried again. Nope. I was going to take a screenshot to prove I spelled it right, but instead I searched for ati2* to try to find it that way.

    Nope.

    I had JUST disabled this service, I KNOW it is present, yet Search cannot find it! And mind you, nothing is installed on this computer but the OS from a slipstream CD I made from my original Dell OS CD, Dell drivers from the Dell site (which I had downloaded previously to my external, then copied back to install from the internal), and XP-Antispy.

    So I booted from BARTPE and ran checkdisk. It found no errors on D:\ (OS is there).

    Booted back into XP and ran testdisk.exe (mentioned by me in an earlier post), and had it check the MFT records, cause that's what was screwed up before, and I wondered if they were already screwed up again, even at this early stage. The sftw said "they match perfectly."

    So I decided to push on... I figured there might be some weirdness going on, but at least the drive seems to be ok and maybe the search thing was.... I don't know. I had no explanation.

    So I copied over FF & got online to DL GnuPG for TBird, and while reading the webpage the computer just DIED. Screen just went BLACK. The AC light was still lit, but it's like it just stopped working. Not even a BSOD.

    I reboot. Get a BSOD that says Windows shut down to prevent damage, and UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME then the spiel about "if this is the first time you've seen this screen reboot, and if not, make sure any newly installed hdw and sfw is okay and boot into Safe Mode if necessary and make sure all Win updates are installed, and disable BIOS shadowing or caching and hold your freakin' breath and try to reboot again lo-hoo-hoo-ser" ... then it has the "Tech Info" memory addresses that were fnarked.

    I reboot. I get the same screen.
    I reboot. I get the same screen.

    I boot with BARTPE and run checkdisk and it finds a gazillion errors (of course) in indexing and everything else from yo mama to my daddy. It says it fixed them. I run it again. It finds no errors.

    I reboot.

    I run the testdisk.exe proggie again b/c I suspect the MFT table has really screwed the pooch now. I'm right. Instead of the nice little "your files match perfectly" it says "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!" (translation: "Your files seem ok but they don't match. Use chkdsk.") which was the same error I had originally.

    And now, like Clint Eastwood, I have to ask myself something. Not if I feel lucky, cause I'd have to be a complete idiot. I have to ask myself if it really is the laptop dying after just 1.5yrs of perfect service, or if I should not have switched back to the old drive, and tried the rebuild on the new one instead. If you will recall (and I'll be shocked and impressed if you do), I did not try a clean install on the new drive... only restoring the old image.

    So I shut down, then restarted holding down the fn key, which starts Dell diagnostics in DOS mode. (I ran this before and it said the system board, vid, RAM etc were all peachy.) Said the thing could fly to the moon and back with one stick of RAM held behind its system board.

    So like the bum-ridden dawg this laptop has turned me into, I am "trying one more thing".... but I would really like input from anyone who had the kindness to read through this saga.

    I am putting back in the NEW drive, and installing the OS from scratch. THIS time I am NOT going to be installing ATI CCC or any of the newer DELL drivers. Just the older ones that worked with the system 1.5yrs ago when I first installed XP. (It came with XP, but I always wipe/reinstall)

    That's all for now.
     
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