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After trying to Undo System Restore, Vista chokes


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#1 not2much

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 09:35 PM

I have a Vista Home Premium machine that I was trying to install CA Internet Security (from our ISP RoadRunner) that kept failing half way through. So I wanted to start over, so I did a System Restore to a couple days before I downloaded and tried installing it the first time. However, after the System Restore, the problem persisted, and I had other programs not working right, so I went back in to "Undo the last System Restore". It ran overnight and still never finished. After 16 hours, I turned the machine off.

Now, no matter what mode I try (safe, last known, normal, etc) it brings me to a black screen with my mouse. If I do nothing, the screensaver kicks in at its appointed time. I can't right-click, Ctrl-Alt-Del, F5, or use the windows key to force a menu.

If I use the "Repair my computer" from the startup menu, and then have it do Startup Repair, it finishes quickly, reporting no problems, and saying the OS is booting successfully.

I tried the Command Prompt on the Repair My Computer screen to do an sfc/scannow, but it won't run: Windows Resource Protection cannot perform the requested operation.

Since it says the OS is booting fine, I am hoping perhaps a certain file needs to be replaced (like a userinit or some logon file). When loading in safe mode, the last file listed before the black screen w/mouse pointer is crcdisk.sys, if that matters.

Any ideas? Is there a "Repair Install" for Vista that won't cause my programs to need reinstalling?

Edited by not2much, 05 August 2010 - 09:37 PM.


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#2 figgis41

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:34 AM

hi,,,, i have read about crcdisk.sys before ,, "crc" of crcdisk.sys stands for "cyclic redundancy check" and combined with "disk" tells us the system is doing a crc check on the storage subsystem, and is finding serious errors, generally with the physical disk itself,
but just another point here i always thought that when booting in safe mode the listing shows the last SUCCESSFUL item loaded, so in this case crcdisk.sys is not where the boot is failing ?? or am i wrong ??
just to be sure Try running chkdsk /r from recovery console. Make sure it completes cleanly x2, thats if you can get in.
just assuming this is a drive issue do you have it backed up ?? if so,, reading up on this i would not waste any more time and cut my losses and clean install the OS and reinstate the backups.
good luck.
Figgis,,,, LUFC

#3 not2much

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 04:32 PM

Yes, I agree that the last file listed on the safe mode startup screen has successfully loaded... maybe i should startup a working vista machine to see what comes after that?

No, there is no backup of the drive, however I have the ability to connect it to another machine and get off whatever I need to before reinstalling (or even to pull everything off - I have spare hard drives here I can use).

As far as the chkdsk /r - when I tried to do that from the "Command Prompt" option on the Startup repair screen, it told me it could not do it without unmounting the drive, as it was in use by another process (would that be the Startup Repair screen perhaps?). I didn't know what might happen if I allowed it to dismount, so I cancelled. It then asked me if I wanted to schedule the chkdsk to run the next time the computer was started, I answered yes, and exited. The computer restarted, but no chkdsk - just tried to start windows normally and I ended back up with the black screen with the mouse.

What seems really odd to me is that Startup Repair insists the OS is loading successfully. I feel like it is 99% loaded, but the last 1% - the part that would display either the welcome screen or the desktop itself just isn't appearing. I have other Vista machines here, if I knew what possible files it was trying to use to display that last 1% I could copy it over, or restore it from the recovery disk...... I'd even restore the registry manually if it would just bring me to a desktop.

Obviously if I must, I will use the recovery disk to restore the machine, and I will reinstall my needed programs, I just want to be sure I've exhausted other possibilities first. I am not nearly as comfortable with troubleshooting Vista startup issues as I am XP and earlier, unfortunately!

#4 figgis41

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 04:44 PM

hi,,, i understand what your saying,, but there is a time to stop and just take the easy option,,, i would seriously consider the backing up of the drive as your first priority now,,,, if this is successful then crash and burn,,, reinstall ,,,,
not an option i like to use quickly myself either as it smacks of defeat :huh:
i do know most IT company's in the UK take this option usually within 20 mins, so you have given it a good run.
good luck.
Figgis,,,, LUFC

#5 not2much

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 05:07 PM

hi figgis41 - here's what i'm going to do: make a full copy of the hard drive as it is. then i'm going to do a bootlog-enabled startup on a working vista machine to see what it is loading after the crcdisk.sys. then i am going to see if i can get the funky machine to also create a ntbtlog.txt file (not sure if it will) and then try copying the drivers needed after crcdisk.sys over. if it works, i've learned something, and if it doesn't i have the backup already made.

i have the time (everyone is out of the house this evening anyway), and i enjoy it. i will post back if anything progresses.

~not2much

#6 Broni

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 05:56 PM

If Windows stop loading at crcdisk.sys file, it often means hard drive trouble.

Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 (or http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/ind...ive+diagnostic)
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), and make the CD bootable.

NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, unfortunately, you're out of luck, because Toshiba doesn't provide any diagnostic tool.

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#7 not2much

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 04:45 PM

In looking at the ntbtlog.txt file, it is not stopping on crcdisk.sys, that is just the last one that appears on the screen before the screen goes black and I get the arrow/mouse. In fact, it appears that all the drivers are loading successfully. But I don't know anything about the startup sequence of Windows Vista to know what files get loaded / initiated after the drivers. When the screen goes black, and I get the mouse/arrow, then I get a spinning circle for a moment (as if the welcome screen is going to appear) then just the mouse, and the welcome screen doesn't come up.

What about putting the Vista Installation disk in - assuming I can lay hands on a Vista Home Premium SP1 (which is what this computer has), can I do a repair install like we can with XP? (and not lose the programs)

#8 Broni

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 09:18 PM

Yes, you can perform repair: http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/88236-re...tall-vista.html

However, I'd test your drive first anyway, so you won't be wasting your time.

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#9 figgis41

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 07:06 AM

Yes, you can perform repair: http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/88236-re...tall-vista.html

However, I'd test your drive first anyway, so you won't be wasting your time.

hi,,, my thoughts are the same,,, i think the drive is guff and is going to fail soon, you have backups, quote from my first post,,,
""crc" of crcdisk.sys stands for "cyclic redundancy check" and combined with "disk" tells us the system is doing a crc check on the storage subsystem, and is finding serious errors, generally with the physical disk itself,"

i think you are out of luck as regards the drive maybe.
Figgis,,,, LUFC

#10 not2much

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 08:34 AM

the drive passed the hardware test with no errors ( i connected it to another machine and ran the test there). the crcdisk.sys is the last item that displays when booting in safe mode even on my working vista machines, and the ntbtlog.txt from this funky machine shows it loaded fine, as did the drivers that followed it, so i really think my alarm at that being the last file listed (in my initial post) was premature.

i have a vista home premium retail disk w/sp2 on it (this machine had sp1, hoping that won't make a difference?) i've got the drive backed up, i'm going to try the repair installation today.

#11 not2much

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 08:38 AM

Just took a look at the link Broni posted on the Vista Repair install, but it is for running it from within the Vista UI. I can't get into Vista on this machine to do that, I need to repair it by booting to the retail disc, like with XP, but it doesn't look like that is possible?

#12 Broni

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 10:39 AM

it doesn't look like that is possible?

Unfortunately, not.

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#13 figgis41

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 01:50 PM

hi,,, if you have a full vista disc you can clean install using your product key on the pc.
Figgis,,,, LUFC

#14 not2much

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 09:36 PM

After exhausting every (and I do mean *every*) possible idea I could find that even came close to sounding like it might work, I finally gave up and reinstalled. I feel like the machine beat me, and I really don't like losing! But at least I can move on to other projects now.

In reviewing the log files from the date/time when the machine first had this issue (of seeming to load but leaving me with a black screen with just the mouse - to review for anyone who didn't follow the whole thread) I may have found a clue:

This all started when I was trying to undo a System Restore. Well, the log files indicate that at that same time, there were updates installed that were waiting for a restart.

Not that there is anything at all to do about it now as I have reinstalled, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Would the two operations that both needed restarting to complete, have scrambled each other and done this to the machine... I just wonder.

Well, thanks to all who chimed in on this thread. I appreciate your opinions and advice!
~not2much

#15 Broni

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 09:41 PM

Hey, sometimes, there is no other choice, but to reinstall....

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