It just won't boot

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)' started by rghollenbeck, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. rghollenbeck

    rghollenbeck Senior Member

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    My ASUS (quad core) Windows 7 (64 bit) machine just won't boot. It has 1.75 TB hard disk space: one 1 TB Western Digital HD, and a defective (stock) Seagate 750 GB HD (unplugged and disconnected because of defect).

    My first guesses about the possible cause(s):

    1. Bad hard drive: No, because the BIOS recognizes the hard drive and Windows files can be read. It just won't boot.

    2. Bad memory: after two passes, the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool didn't find any memory errors. after the test, it automatically reboots, but it just won't boot.

    3. incompatible driver(s): No, because it won't even boot with the original installation disc or boot disc. It just won't boot. Besides, I haven't installed anything (hardware or software) recently. I was working on a Word document when it crashed. The stupid machine just won't boot.

    4. bad video or video driver: No, because I tried to boot in Safe Mode with command prompt but I got the same problem. The logo displayed, so it is possible to display graphics. Once I even got into Safe Mode and it looked like Windows (GUI), not like DOS. But when I selected Recovery, it went back to reboot, and it just won't boot.

    5. Something I don't understand: probably

    6. Bad motherboard: maybe

    7. Your idea. . .

    After several unsuccessful attempts to start in safe mode and safe mode with command prompt, I changed the default boot drive to the DVD drive and placed, alternatively, the installation disc and a boot disc created with an image of a working boot disc. Pressing F8 or F9 during boot-up, I got various boot failure messages. Here are two of them:

    "If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe Mode.

    Techical information:

    *** STOP: 0x0000003B

    (0x00000000C0000005,0xFFFFF8000D002F8C,0xFFFFF88005135E50,x0000000000000000)"


    What happens is, it starts to load and it says "Loading Windows" and the Windows logo appears pulsating. Then the "no signal" message appears from the HDTV I'm using as a monitor, then the power supply fan and/or the hard drive kicks into high gear (I'm listening to the sound--I think it's the fan), and then it starts the POST test again. This loop continues no matter what I do--even when I try to boot from the hard drive, or from a boot disc, or from the original install disc.

    Upon another attempt to load, I got this error:

    "Windows failed to start. . ." and other words too. It had a full page of words, but the following are important:

    "\windows\system32\boot\winload.exe" and "0x0000001"
     
    #1 rghollenbeck, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  2. TorrentG

    TorrentG Banned

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    Hi...

    Sounds like failed capacitors on the motherboard to me. Check them with a flashlight for any brown leaking substance near the top and base. Look for any bulges in them as they should be perfectly flat and not rounded to the touch.


    When caps fail, it produces exactly the type of conditions you're experiencing.

    See if you can take the HDD out and attach to another system. Then go to \Windows\Minidump, .zip the files in there, and attach the .zip here.
     
  3. rghollenbeck

    rghollenbeck Senior Member

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    Thank you. I'm covered under "black tie protection" at Best Buy, but that doesn't cover a $100 back-up of the hard drive. If I can prove it's a motherboard problem, such as a faulty capacitor, I'll be able to restore my system for free. I'll open the case and check it out. I really hope you're correct. If you are, I won't need a back-up. As soon as I get this data back I'll upload it to Norton Online Backup, or Carbonite, or something.
     
  4. rghollenbeck

    rghollenbeck Senior Member

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    Yes, I thought about swapping the drive into another machine, but all my other machines and their drives are IDE and this drive is SATA. I don't know how to convert an IDE machine into one compatible with SATA drives.
     
  5. TorrentG

    TorrentG Banned

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    You'd need an add-on Silicon Image type card to do that.

    As a side note, if you have Norton/Symantec on there, that is extremely notorious and causes the most outlandish issues of all types, including what you're experiencing - minus the boot from DVD problems of course - which is the only thing that makes me think there's something more than that like the caps.

    If it wasn't for your DVD drive booting issues, I would say Norton is responsible for sure - and somehow, believe it or not, it still may be at fault here. It's that bad.
     
  6. rghollenbeck

    rghollenbeck Senior Member

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    "\windows\system32\boot\winload.exe", etc.

    I wonder why a 64 bit OS would have and use a subdirectory under "\windows\" called "system32"? Why not, "system64" or simply, "system"?

    Odd, don't you think?
     
    #6 rghollenbeck, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  7. TorrentG

    TorrentG Banned

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    Nope, not odd. All the drivers are in Windows\System32\drivers with the exception of a slight few in the SysWoW64 folder.

    System has another purpose already and System64 doesn't exist.
     
  8. rghollenbeck

    rghollenbeck Senior Member

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    You were very right! I wasn't supposed to open the case because it is under warranty and they have security tape on it. But when I went in to Best Buy, I mentioned your post and the Geek Squad guy opened it up and said, "Yep, blown caps. We're gonna have to send it in." I still have to pay for the data recovery because I don't have any other machines capable of using SATA drives. I have many computers with IDE drives. It's cheaper to pay for the data recovery than to buy a new computer just to recover this data. I don't know how much it costs to buy an "add-on Silicon Image type card." I didn't even know about such a thing until today.

    Anyway, I'll get a new motherboard and a new hard drive for free thanks to you.
     
    #8 rghollenbeck, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  9. TorrentG

    TorrentG Banned

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    You're quite welcome. I've been around the block long enough to know the deal. Something tells me that without this thread here and the knowledge gained by it, you would have never ever been told that by them.

    Enjoy the new gear when it arrives. :)
     
  10. rghollenbeck

    rghollenbeck Senior Member

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    Now I'm thinking that the blown capacitors may have fried the original hard drive. I may never recover that data, but I will have more than double my hard disk capacity--from 0.75 TB to 1.75 TB! The kit to make that terabyte hard drive into an external HD is more expensive than the drive itself. I'll just keep it in the machine as extra.

    I wonder if there is some open source software "out there" to automatically mirror one drive on to another as some kind of redundancy. I remember back in the Novell networking days they used to talk about "RAID" ("Random Array of Inexpensive disks"?). Is that still done? Or, Maybe I can just upload my entire drive to my website which has unlimited disk space, then delete from the website programs, etc., that don't need to be backed up because I have the original installation discs.
     
  11. TorrentG

    TorrentG Banned

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    No, the hard drive did not cause the failed caps and can not do so. It's cheap and faulty electrolyte formula used in cheap caps, purchased by motherboard maker trying to save costs. The formula for them was stolen and copied wrong, and thus, create failures early on when they should last very long. Cheap China knock-offs, instead of high quality from Japan.

    Yes, RAID is very much extensively used nowadays for sure.

    I am betting that the hard drive never had an issue at all, but I know nothing about it, so it's just a guess.
     

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