Help ! Can't get my HD to Boot

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by pratzert, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Bad PSU (if desktop) can create all sorts of problems. The worst are the intermittent problems.
     
  2. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    I agree. A few posts back I mentioned a couple of other suspects that can cause various problems and not be indicated by the BIOS Beep codes. The PSU and the MOBO.

    I don't know exactly how to test each one. A new PSU will cost around $100 and a new MOBO $200. I may get them cheaper if I run across a deal on ebay.

    I think I "may" have a solution about testing the PSU. I have two, nearly the same Dell XPS desktop models..... maybe they both use the same PSU and I can try swapping them to see if that makes any difference. Perhaps that will either confirm or rule out that the problem is the PSU.
     
  3. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I believe the PSU relationship to the mobo & other components is like a car. A cars battery & alternator that is. In that a bad battery can kill a good alternator & a bad alternator can kill a good battery. So sorry to say ime if you carry out your plan you may make things worse. Albeit the odds are greater that the PC PSU harming other components is greater vs other components harming the PSU.
     
  4. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    zapjb,

    So how should I proceed? I have a multi meter... is there a way to test the actual output of the PSU to see if it's putting gout what it should? (I don't really know the specs to look for.)

    And how can I test the MOBO ? That seems like a nearly impossible task.

    Hate to have to buy a new/replacement PSU/MOBO if not necessary.
     
  5. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I don't know if there's a safe way. Possibly there is. Beyond my knowledge.

    Ime it is rare for a good PSU to damage other components. Personally the one thing I know I wouldn't do is put a possibly bad PSU into a PC I cared what happened to.

    Sorry I don't have a 100% safe way. But there's a lot of smarter people than I here at Wilders. Possibly they'll come in & clean up my mess.
     
  6. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    I have had no suspected PSU problems with my work desktop which is almost the same as my home unit which has gone wonky.

    My plan was to take the PSU from the working system and install it on the wonky system to see if the other PSU rectifies the problem(s).

    I don't think it would be a danger to the other components.

    How to check the MOBO is another matter.

    Not sure the MOB is the same..... maybe..... but probably not.

    But I can do the more simple thing first.
     
  7. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    Here is an update on the wonky desktop. I removed/disconnected everything I could and used my compressed air spar on everything. Vacuumed the entire desktop. I used a soft eraser to clean the contacts on the mem sticks. I reinstalled all the memory sticks and reconnected all connections but left out the DVD players and the video card. I kept getting a 6 beep error code until I plugged at least one of the DVD/CD players back in. Then it seemed to boot up OK. I plugged the other CD/DVD in and it was OK. Then I reinstalled the video card and all was OK. Then I plugged in the monitor, mouse and keyboard and all was good.

    Of course, I don't have don't have the Hard drive(s) since they are in the machne at work, but I used a Win 7 Boot CD and was able to boot the machine into Windows.

    So... for now.... the machine is OK. It could still be an intermittent PSU problem too. But I'll take what I can get.
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    That is a relief!
     
  9. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    Yes Sir !
     
  10. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    Here it is Tuesday Morning. It appears that the chkdsk /f completed successfully. The disk manager shows exactly the same info as above EXCEPT, now the disk no longer shows as "RAW" but as "NTFS".

    39 MB Healthy (OEM Partition) H: 9.12 GB NTFS Healthy (Primary Partition) I: 1388.10 GB NTFS (Active, Primary Partition)

    I am getting the nag screens about my copy of windows not being genuine and I need to activate it. I should have expected that since the Boot drive with WIN7 on it is the OS drive from Home. Anyway, it allowed the chkdsk operation to complete so I am happy about that.

    Since I resolved the problem with the home desktop, I will take the drive(s) back home and install them so I can work on them at a time when Brian K can give some guidance since we are on a much different time zone.

    What should I try next ?

    BTW. For kicks, I "Took Ownership" of the drive and looked around and saw a lot of folder and files.

    One of the Folders I saw was a "Users" folder.

    Is it possible that our Computer service company had merely created another "User" (me) instead of another actual partition? I see some .pst items under the user "Tim" but not nearly enough to account for the large number of emails I had in my outlook folders.

    Perhaps I should try having "Recuva" scan the drive to see what else it may see?

    If "some" of the .pst folders are there, maybe the remaining files are hiding somewhere that I cannot see them.

    In the "Backup" file on my data drive, is it possible that "if" there is not another partition and only another "user", that the emails may be backed up in the "Backup" file I have on that drive ?

    And lastly, I tried swapping the SATA cable to the original trashed drive just to see if it would boot and got an error message "A disk read error occurred." I tried using the BootRec commands and it still would not boot, then I tried Paragon's Boot Corrector and I still could not get the drive to boot. Error message says "Windows Failed to start" \Boot\BCD status 0xc000000f.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    pratzert,

    At least you can see the data in the partitions. Can you boot BIBM and...

    In View MBR, is MBR 1 Active?

    Do a BCD Edit to see if you can get the OS to boot...

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=492

    The BCD store should be in MBR 1.

    If the OS doesn't boot I'll get you to resize MBR 2 about 600 GB smaller and then search the Free Space for that elusive partition. But leave this for the time being.
     
  12. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Are you saying you have a bad SATA cable?
     
  13. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    di
    Hi Brian K.

    I must apologize... My home desktop seems to have taken a huge dump. I brought my drives homes and installed them, but it took several tries (4-5) before I could get the windows boot screen to pop up. I didn't get any beep error codes, but I still removed and reinstalled devices in the desktop. The AMI bios screen came up and said my AHCI port#3 was bad. Then I saw it was the AHCI SATA port the OS drive from work was mounted in. It said it was SMART capable but the status was bad. I went into the Bios setup and disabled SMART on the drive and Finally it booted up and I could still see the files on the OS disk from work. So I thought I would back up the files on the trashed drive again just for the heck of it. That's the first time I have seen any error message about the drive. I had even tested it using Seatools again today and it tested fine. Maybe this error has something to do with the PSU.... I really don't know.

    I put the BIBM disk in and tried to boot.... Nothing ! Then I started getting the two beep codes again, so I pulled and re-seated all the cards and mem sticks and video card several times. But when I tried to boot up the windows opening screen was freezing up. Then it started to just completely shut down. I went thru this several times.

    I did get it to boot once using the BIBM disk... and of course, I started getting a nag message saying the trial period is over for BIBM and I need to purchase a copy. But a couple of minuted after it booted, it shut down.

    Since it is completely shutting down, I think it's safe to say it's the PSU.

    So... I pulled out the drives once again and will have to proceed from work tomorrow.

    I think I will bring the desktop from work home so I can use it at home.

    AT this point, I have asked my wife to be sure there are no sharp objects close to me the rest of the evening.... I don't want to be tempted to stab myself. :.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  14. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    Hi zapjb,

    No, not a bad SATA cable, I meant that rather than physically pulling the drive out of the slot, I merely unplugged the SATA cable from Drive 0 and plugged into the other HD so I could see if it would boot. Which it did not.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  15. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    Now what ? I was trying to look at the VHD files again in the image and I mounted it and took a look around. Then I Unmounted it, but I did check the delete option assuming it would just delete the Mounted VHD. When I went back again to mount the VHD, there is no disk drive letter assigned and the entire space show as unallocated. I cannot get a drive letter assigned to it either. another odd thing is that the VD does not show a different color.

    Did I just destroy my image vhd ? I need it. I still see the VHD file in the windows image backup and in the properties it has 591GB in it. So is it still there and for some reason I can't mount it properly ?
     
  16. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Maybe this suggestion is not for now or for you. When I'm tired, stressed, upset, angry, unbalanced, too much or too little coffee etc. I don't work on a problem I can make worse. Believe me I learned this lesson many times. :)
     
  17. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    How true. I know I have to learn when to walk away for a while. I'm obsessed with this problem, but perhaps I should let it rest for a while.
     
  18. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    OK. I've cooled down a little.

    I have turned my efforts to trying to "undelete" the VHD file I stupidly deleted (accidently, of course).

    I bought a full copy of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, ran it, found the supposed lost VHD files and did a recovery to my WD external drive.

    When I tried to attach the VHD from the external drive, I got an error that the sectors didn't work with the recovery wizard. The external drive has 4K sectors and the recovery program is looking for 512 sectors. The Internal drive is in actuality a 4TB drive which probably also has 4K sectors. I have to check

    Apparently a pretty common problem, but one of which I was not aware. I tried to just copy the recovered file(s) from the external drive to the internal drive and it still wouldn't work. I don't know why it isn't working, but I'll try again. FYI... when the VHD is attached, all I get is an entire VHD with 1.38 GB of "unallocated" space. Very odd. Maybe caused by the size of the sectors.

    So I am running the recovery again on the DATAPART drive and will then place the recovered files on a different internal (2TB) drive drive in hopes I have really saved the Image/VHD. Not sure at this moment how much free space is on the drive, but I hope it's the 591GB I need for the VHD.

    I don't know if it will work, but I'll try. Maybe I have to restore the recovered files back to the original DATAPART drive, but I am concerned about overwriting anything else on the HD.

    This is getting absurd.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  19. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    pratzert,

    Any info for us?
     
  20. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    Yes! Here is my status at this time.

    Of course you know I boinked the Image file when I unattached form it and selected to delete the files assuming that it would be deleting the "virtual" files only. I had, more or less, restored my trashed OS drive once from the image and most certainly wanted to save it in case I needed it further.

    I purchased, and used, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro and was able to "undelete" the files in the WindowsImageBackup folder. Or so I thought. The files, including the VHD files were in the folder, but when I tried to attach the VHD to browse the files again, there was nothing to look at. The Virtual disk that showed up in Disk Manager showed the entire 1.3TB drive as "Unallocated". Yet the data in the WindowsImageBackup was 591GB. IT may have something to do with where on the disk they were expected to be stored, but I could not se any of the files/folders in the image. That was ulcer time again. Unfortunately, the Image files was located on my DATAPART drive and was never backed up, so it's apparently gone.

    I turned my attention to exploring exactly what was in the Windows "Backup File" I had made. I explored in depth and discovered that thee was a rather large Outlook.pst file sin the Outlook folder. I could not really see exactly what was there, but it was large (10GB).

    Next, I downloaded Seagate "SeaTools" and checked my original OS drive and it failed the SMART test. I know that this test sometimes gives a false positive so I moved on to some more advanced tests/repairs and got a message that I needed to try the SeaTool for DOS. I plan to try that to see if I can get the drive to get cured.

    BUT.. before I did that, I figured I had not much to lose, so I "Restored" the "Windows Backup" to the trashed OS drive since it at least seemed to hold onto files properly. It just won't boot.

    Lo and behold, I could see the Outlook.pst files and I soon found my lost emails, addresses and calendar in the folder. I was able to look at them using SysTools PST Viewer and so I immediately backed up the Outlook folder.

    I have accomplished my main goal of recovering my emails, address book and calendar so I figured I would now use SeaTools for DOS and see if I can repair the drive enough to play around with it a little to see if I can actually find anything else of interest on the drive.

    I do not plan to use the drive after I see how the SeaTools for DOS works out. But I am going to try at least to investigate the drive as much as I can.

    Now.... how I managed to actually save/backup the Outlook folder I don't know. But I did have a backup and even have most, if not all, of my documents backed on my external HD.

    I am now thinking that the computer service company that my employer uses, may not have set up a separate partition with me as the user, but rather just added me as a user in the common partition, which is why I could never manage to see another partition.

    I don't know if I'll ever figure it out, but I am still going to try.... I hate not knowing what went wrong and why. I would love to still be able to recover an intact Image that I had of the OS drive.

    And now that I have Macrium, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be doing a Macrium image backup at LEAST once a week.

    I am pretty much safe for now, as I am using Comcast emails mostly and leaving the emails on the server and not downloading them onto the desktop.

    Once I get low on the Comcast server space, I may download them and save the PST files in a safe location.

    Oh.. almost forgot..... I still have to deal with whatever is wrong with my Home desktop.

    I still suspect it's the PSU.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  21. paulderdash

    paulderdash Registered Member

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    Some good news. At least you recovered what you needed.

    I was fearing the worst :)

     
  22. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    Yes, it seems like I have recovered what I was after. Of course, it would have been nice to be able to "wake up" the drive and get it to boot. But it is what it is.

    Yesterday I tried to do an image of the trashed OS drive onto my external drive which had the most free space, but when I came into the office this morning, I had a message that the destination drive was out of space.

    I really wanted to do another backup of the drive before I started messing around with SeaTool for DOS, especially since I don't have my other image any longer.

    I may try doing the Macrium image onto DVDs, but it will take a LONG time. Using the external drive as a destination was very slow, taking 10 hours Plus, I won't be at work to put in a new DVD when needed.

    I still have that 4TB internal HD, maybe I should try backing up onto that.

    I also have to go thru the process of setting up Outlook on my new work desktop and then figure out how to load/merge all of the previous email, calendar and contacts into it.
     
  23. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    pratzert,

    We haven't finished our tests with BIBM to see if we can get the OS to boot. See Post # 211.
     
  24. pratzert

    pratzert Registered Member

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    Hi Brian K.

    Yes.... Sorry, I got sidetracked when I deleted the backup image by mistake.

    I have every intention of trying that before I try Seatools for DOS.

    I have been getting dire warnings from Windows that the drive is about to die and to back it up.

    I'll try the BIBM thing as in Post #211 tomorrow. I hope the BIBM disk doesn't give me warning about my trial being over. I know it hasn't been 30 days since I downloaded it and burned it onto a CD, so I don't know why it was giving me that message.

    In the meantime, do you have any ideas of any way to get my deleted image back in working order?
     
  25. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    pratzert,

    I've tried to replicate what happened to you. You had the image mounted and during the unmount process you were offered a "delete" option. Is that correct? I didn't see a delete option.

    So you have undeleted the folder but it doesn't work? The .vhd can't be mounted?
     
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