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Major startup problems and steps taken


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#1 Maladon

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:20 AM

I will try to be as concise as possible. 2 years ago I upgraded my gaming system and put in 2 10k Raptors and had them in a RAID array to appear as one drive. The old hard drive with everything on it was left in just as extra storage should I ever need it.

Fast forward to Friday. I was out of town for a week and had turned the computer off. (usually leave it running). I turned it on and it booted into Windows. Then everything froze and the HDD light was running. After a couple of minutes of this, I got irritated since even CTRL/ALT/DEL did nothing and killed the power. (I know..)

I turned the machine back on and it wouldn't boot. It told me to use the install DVD to fix the error. I tried to do this and it told me it couldn't automatically fix the computer. Looking at the diagnostic report, it said "missing OS loader." I tried to restore from a system restore point. It found only one, so I used it. It turns out it was the Windows on the original hard drive that hadn't been used for 2 years. I was able to boot into Windows off of that disk. I have tried to get the other to work. I used EZBCD (sp?) and tried to rebuild the MBR (this is getting to the limits of my computer knowledge), I replaced winload.exe and then it told me hal.dll was missing. Addressed that and it told me kdcom.dll was missing. I have tried F8 and done last known good configuration

That is where I am at this point. I don't know what I could have done to make all this happen. I know the drive is still funtional since as a RAID, it would either work or not. I can browse to Diablo 3 and even though it isn't installed in the version of Windows I'm using, I can play it off of the RAID drive and access other stuff, such as documents.

It sounds like I'm going to have to just do a reinstall on the RAID drive of Windows unless someone can help. So I have a couple of questions. Do I save the stuff I want off of this drive, format it in the functional copy of Windows and then reinstall Windows on it? Is it recommended to get the RAID array taken off and just have 2 sep. hard drives?
What is the best way to back stuff up and restore it. Even if I could get that version of windows to boot once and do a system image or backup it would be better than having to try and manually move everything. I may have to take it to a shop to get this done.

Please give me any thoughts or suggestions. I'd love to boot into my newer Windows and keep rolling but it sounds like that might not be the best. If I do have to reinstall, what is the best way to transfer over the data. I know I can manually move the photos but how do I move emails, Itunes stuff (I know I can redownload anything, but have an ass of apps and would rather not.) I have been trying to fix this for hours and hours and am quite frustrated.

I have not used the Bootrec option someone mentioned here:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-system/automated-startup-repair-fails-cannot-find-os/81789756-858e-4adc-a25b-2c0d0c234e0d

Edited by Maladon, 16 June 2012 - 11:24 AM.


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#2 everready

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 04:10 PM

Hi Maladon,

First of all if you do not have backups make then now. If you can, create a backup of your data on the RAID using the OS on the "old hard drive" that you can boot from. Once booted from the "old hard drive", go to Backup and Restore and create a backup using a external drive if you have one. Select "let me choose" what to backup and pick the RAID drive data you want to back up.

If that is not an option, try copying your profile and data files from the RAID drive to the "old hard drive" for back up. As far as moving email, we would need to know what email client you use in order to advise. The iTunes stuff is a little difficult since the iTunes client on the RAID drive is needed to consolidate the iTunes library prior to copying the iTunes folder to an external drive. Might be able to use the iTunes client on the "old hard drive" if one is installed there?

Check out this very good write up on how to move your iTunes music to a new computer.

I assume that you have a RAID controlled by your motherboard BIOS. Windows install disk should be able to recognize that RAID and look for an operating system . So, once your data is secure, try disconnecting the power to the "old hard drive", and boot using the install DVD. Select repair computer and see if it can find an operating system on the RAID. Then try a startup repair, then a System restore.

If the above does not yield any results try following the instructions you have linked to regarding Bootrec.exe tool. Try /fixmbr then /fixboot first then try the /BebuildBcd option.

As far as how to configure the system, in the event you have to rebuild, that is really up to you. A two disk RAID in my opinion doesn't offer much additional performance. I boot off a Intel SSD, then I have two separate hard drives, one used for data the second for backups. That how I roll.

Hope this helps

#3 Maladon

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 04:41 PM

Thanks for the tips. If I'm understanding I want to make it look like the RAID drive data is part of my current functioning windows and backup from there, correct? What all should I copy? I get the users/my documents and can figure out Itunes. I also have photos backed up to dropbox and picasa. I am using windows live mail btw. When I copy everything over to an external drive, do I also copy to the old hard drive? I guess I'm not understanding how to integrate it into the current functional windows and then make it look like it belongs there enough to make it part of a backup.

Each Raptor is 500G and the old drive is as well. What size SSD would you recommend? I am a gamer, but utilize Steam a lot so uninstalling and reinstalling to some extent isn't a problem, but only to a point. Would you recommend using the raptors in non raid as a data and backup drive, or with the low price of storage, get 1 TB data and 1 TB backup in addition to the SSD.

I'm going to end up taking it to a shop since there is a new type of drive potentially involved as well as the removal of the RAID.

I hope I'm making sense about how to backup the stuff off the old drive. I haven't played Skyrim in a while, but don't want to start over.

Thanks for your help and I hope you don't mind answering more questions. It seems I have some event every couple of years and end up upgrading something. I'm at 6 gigs of Ram and an HD5870. I doubt I will touch either of those since this will cost enough, but input is welcome.

#4 everready

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 05:19 PM

Hi again Maladon,

>>If I'm understanding I want to make it look like the RAID drive data is part of my current functioning windows and backup from there, correct?<<

You are just using backup utility on the "old hard drive" to back up RAID drive data to external drive. This is only to keep your data safe in the event the RAID drive boot is not repairable and reinstallation is necessary.

>>What all should I copy?<<

When you select "let me choose, see if RAID drive is present first. If so, expand the drive and select your Documents, Music, Video, Desktop, Links, Contacts, Downloads, all the data you find important.

>>When I copy everything over to an external drive, do I also copy to the old hard drive?<<

No, just the data from the RAID drive. Do not make an system image as it would be an image of the "old hard drive"

If RAID drive is not present, then try copying your profile and data files from the RAID drive to the "old hard drive" for safe back up

>>What size SSD would you recommend?<<

I was just saying that's how I got my system set up. You can do whatever your budget allows. I got a 80GB SSD with all operating system and programs install. All data files are on a 500GB HDD, and I backup to a 750GB HDD.

After you backup, then try disconnecting the old hard drive power and boot up with install disc. Then try to repair the RAID drive as I outlined in the pervious post if possible.

Let us know how it goes.

Hope this helps.

#5 Maladon

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 06:15 PM

The RAID drive is fully browse-able. I think since the majority of the data for the game is online, as I said, I am able to play Diablo 3 even though it has never been officially installed as part of the old drive's Windows, so I'm sure there are registry entries etc. that are missing, but for whatever reason, it works. I don't mind since I'm not off again until Tuesday. I'm happy I have a copy of Windows to boot into and thankful that I can play.

With all the missing files and then drivers, I'm wondering if I was exposed to a virus. I use MSE and Malwarebytes. What is the forum's consensus on those two utilities and is there anything else I should use? I don't really want to get into a resource hog like Norton.

Anything else I need to know?

Thank you for your help. Aside from the fact that you are the only person to provide any feedback at all, I very much appreciate your responses. I'm better now, but when this first happened, I can assure you it was not the computer that was bleeping. I work the early shift this week, and so I bid you good evening and look forward to checking your answer tomorrow. Please feel free to offer any other opinions. I don't know if you are a gamer, but feel free to weigh in on the specs.

One more thing: how do you keep your backup current? I think I'd prefer a solution where it backs up every night or something, rather than in real time to avoid the performance hit. Thanks again.

#6 everready

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:33 AM

Hi again Maladon,

>>I was out of town for a week and had turned the computer off. (usually leave it running).<<

A windows 7 computer needs to be rebooted on occasion, some updates require rebooting to install. When you update the new software is written to disk. Any old code (such as dynamic link libraries or DLLs) already active in system memory usually remains untouched. Only when you restart do you flush out all the old code and load the new, updated software from your hard drive.

Assuming that you use automatic updates, IMHO I think that the computer was trying to install some updates when you decided to force the computer to shut down, resulting in system corruption.

>>With all the missing files and then drivers, I'm wondering if I was exposed to a virus. I use MSE and Malwarebytes.<<

You can scan the RAID drives if you have anti-malware/anti-virus software on the "old hard drive". MSE and Malwarebytes are the two utilities I use and I find them fully adequate.

>>One more thing: how do you keep your backup current?<<

I use the Windows 7 backup utility to weekly backup all data, and I create a system image every two weeks. With that I can recover the entire system with an install disk if necessary. Additionally, any weekly intermittent file/folder problems I take care of using previous versions.

>>Thank you for your help. Aside from the fact that you are the only person to provide any feedback at all, I very much appreciate your responses<<

Your welcome. It is the weekend and some regular forum members are out taking a well deserved break.

Hope this helps

Edited by everready, 17 June 2012 - 12:10 PM.


#7 Layback Bear

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 08:47 AM

211 members have read your post and saw that everready was doing a great job instructing you. Myself I didn't want to get in the way when the repair was going so well. Note, I reboot at least once a day.

#8 hamluis

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:07 PM

FWIW: It's the quality...of the advice given...that should count most when seeking assistance, not the quantity of responses. Twenty persons saying the same thing as the first person...doesn't change the quality of suggestions/advice, attempts to assist.

Louis




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