Fearful HD problems, especially the one that occured today

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by stalker, Jul 26, 2004.

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  1. stalker

    stalker Registered Member

    Jan 19, 2004
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Uhh, something dreadful happened today.

    It is again almoust 100 % related to my hard-disk, and communication between hard-disk and other devices, and OS.

    1. It happened today, when I was copying some file from C:\ to E:\ partition. It was some 6 MB file, "encrypted container/volume", containg various personal data (i.e., files and folders), made by well-known and trusted application called Cryptainer PE (from www.cypherix.com). Well, the system just frozen in the middle of copying (similar to when KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR BSOD occurs, see number the paragraph number 3.), there was one window with "Disk is full" poping-up for few seconds (and it was/is more than 2 GB still free), and after that windows popup message, something like "External failure/exception, number C00000E4. Please, note that actual message displayed, including number is just for better imagination, I unfortunately didn't wrote it down, not I made screenshot of that window, as I usually do, well I couldn't actually.

    After I clicked "Ok" on that error-message window, the system was "blank", meaning, only desktop was displayed, and nothing worked. Shell was terminated, as well as all other programs running at that time. I couldn't even execute Task Manager with Ctrl+Shift+Esc. So, I rebooter with "reboot-button", but here comes the most scary thing.

    After rebooting, the pre-login window told me, that there is "no boot-disk available" (or something alike), and something about IDE related problem. I booted from floppy, but there was no disk (i.e. partitons) visible/available. Well, luckily after rebooting again, all seems to work normal again.

    And here is log entry from my Windows XP EventViewer:

    Event Type:       Error
    Event Source:    atapi
    Event Category: None
    Event ID:           9
    Date:                 26.7.2004
    Time:                13:38:07
    User:                 N/A
    Computer:         SYSTEM-F450J
    The device, \Device\Ide\IdePort0, did not respond within the timeout period.
    For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
    0000: 0010000f 00640001 00000000 c0040009
    0010: 00000100 00000000 00002a4d 00000000
    0020: 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
    0030: 00000000 00000007

    2. Let me also mention also one of the most common, resident and obvious problems, the FILE_SYSTEM BSODs (described in details in some other topic, I opened on Winforums:

    "low-level format" - whole HD only, or possible only one (the one damaged) partition

    ... which always occurs on these situations/events:

    - when RESTARTING computer (and usually not when shutting it down, or logging-off, but sometimes also ...)
    - AFTER "Saving your settings", and also few seconds AFTER "Windows is shuting down" popup window appears (yeah, I have set it to classic log-on)
    - Strange, if I first log-off (or use "restart only-windows" feature some programs offer), and then reboot/shutdown from that window (Options), BSOD DOESN'T occur.

    And it happens that always (one or more) of these files become corrupted (scandisk finds various errors)

    Ntuser.dat.log, Default.log, Security.log, Software.log, System.log (and in previous Windows installation also IconCache.db, and sometimes also AppEvent.evt, and SysEvent.evt files)

    in: D:\Windows\System32\Config\

    Well about all that related to FILE_SYSTEM error on shutdowns - isn't just some API that is "responsible" for shutting down/rebooting computer, so how could this API cause BSODs ??

    3. When I was wondering, and trying to figure out the reason/cause for all that troubles, I also try and disabled "disk caching" feature (Device Manager -- Drives -- Policies - !Enable write caching on the disk!), cause I thought, that caching could be the reason for disk corruption every time this BSOD occurs.

    Well, I turned it off, but first time copying files without caching feature, I noticed disk operations was just too slow, and as th most important one other BSOD with note: KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR occured, right in the middle of copying files (after OS freezing, that "announces" this kind of BSOD), so it seems this feature is better to remain enabled.

    I googled a bit for this particular BSOD, and actually found some references, but they were all to general, and nothing to do with my configuration and OS setup in particular ...

    But here is the main problem, after this KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR occured for the first time (in three years using this computer and hard-disk), it starts occuring also on other situations, usually when copying large files from one partition to another.

    Thanks for any hint about, or solution to my problems
  2. Close_Hauled

    Close_Hauled Registered Member

    Apr 24, 2004

    The first thing that I would do before you try tinkering with the disk is to back it up to another drive with Norton Ghost if you can.

    You have a tough one there. I will chew on it when I get home from work. Hopefully someone else will have some ideas by then.

    Close Hauled
  3. f123

    f123 Guest

    Depends on the speed of the PC and total size of the HD. Best option is to image the entire HD for backup. Then remove the primary and secondary IDE channels. Reboot PC. Let windows reload the drivers. Make sure the primary and secondary IDE channels are operating in DMA mode. Go into BIOS and verify that all devices connected to IDEs are running in DMA (or AUTO) mode.

    Copy a large folder (500MB to 1.5GB) from one partition to another partition and record the transfer time. The throughput speed should be at least 10MB/second. Go to pcpitstop and run the full test. Post the full result here.

  4. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Denton, Texas
    I agree with the advice posted above: First and foremost, get the data you have to have off that drive, by hook or by crook.

    We had a similar situation about 3 weeks ago, and after a reformat and reinstall, our similar issues disappeared--turned out not to be hardware failure. What you're describing can be caused by (among other things) power failures and surges, but at any rate, it's imperative that you act quickly, because I'm betting that OS doesn't have many reboots left.

    Good luck!
  5. stalker

    stalker Registered Member

    Jan 19, 2004
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Thanks you all !!

    The problem is, I do not have second drive to back-up all.

    Though I back-up my crucial stuff on CDs regularly (downloaded mp3s, various articles, notes, forum post's collections, etc.), so some big crash wouldn't "hurt" me so much. I am slowly thinking of "low-level-formatting" the whole HD (to repair the tough bad-clusters, see my other topics), and make a fresh partitions.

    Then copying everything back as it was. It already did it once (though only for E:\, my music files partition after formatting it with Windows FORMAT command), and it was not so time-consuming, as I expected.

    Yeah, and I have only 40 GB ...

    Again, I am very grateful for your quick responses !!
  6. f123

    f123 Guest

    Option #1
    If you suspect a bad HD, then you need to purchase a replacement HD and reload windows. It's only $30 to $40. Now attach the old HD as the slave HD and copy important data from the slave (old) HD to the new HD.

    Option #2 (recommended if you suspect software issue and cannot fix the problem)
    You can always create another small extended logical partition at the end of the old HD. Transfer important data to this partition. Now use Bootit ng (free for 30 days) to image the other partitions including the OS. Wipe the other partitions. Now create one large primary C partition BEFORE the extended logical partition. Install windows to the C partition.

    Note that you still have the old image files on removeable media for restoration to another hard drive.
  7. stalker

    stalker Registered Member

    Jan 19, 2004
    Ljubljana, Slovenia

    Well, at the last, I think I've finally found the answer on my FILE_SYSTEM BSODs (the reason for loosing my nerves so many times, driving me to so many modifications, tests, reboots, etc), after so much time passed by. The problem persisted for almoust a year in this, and in previous Windows installation.

    The mentioned FILE_SYSTEM BSOD occured on every shutdown or reboot, right after "Windows is shutting down" window appeared (in case of "classical logon"), and I thought it is some HD, IDE or other devices, error causing it, but especially, I assumed, it was probably HD related problem (I suspected one bad cluster on my D:\ partition) causing it, but I was wrong.

    Of course, I also thought, what if it is some software conflict or interference causing it, and I actually "blamed" (and uninstalled) so many other "low-level" applications (appearantly non-problematic), using/installing drivers, ActiveX components, registering COM servers, etc, but it never starts appearaing right after installing some of mentioned software, or stoped appearing after uninstalling it. So it was really the mistery.

    Then I found out recently, that when I completely disable my antivirus's real-protection service (I already tried and disabled it partially before), BSODs weren't occuring anymore.

    It looks like this ugly FILE_SYSTEM BSODs was caused by my (preety nice though) Computer Associates EZ eTrust Antivirus antivirus software !!

    Well, now I am 100% sure, it was my CA EZ eTrust Antivirus antivirus software (well-known and trusted) causing it, and I suppose it was particulary its real-time file protection's (opening, closing, executing) fault/bug causing it.

    Cheers all, happy to solve the big mistery ...
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