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Strange Booting Problem


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4 replies to this topic

#1 kjunguy

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:05 PM

Hello all from South Louisiana.

I am working on a computer for a friend and I've come across a problem I've never seen before. It's a Dell Inspiron 530 desktop running Windows Vista. When the computer is off then turned on it will go through the initial Dell splash screen then the screen goes blank and stays that way. Hard drive indicator light doesn't even flicker. Otherwise everything is still running meaning the fans, power supply etc. If I shut it down, either by unplugging or holding the power button, then restart, but go into the bios first, not changing anything, save and exit everything boots up just fine. If I do a restart instead of a shut down the unit reboots just fine. Really has me scratching my head.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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#2 AustrAlien

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:13 PM

Please run a little test for me ...

Start the computer from cold. When you see the Dell splash screen (before the screen goes blank), press the <Pause/Break> key to stop (pause) progress .... and wait about a minute. Now press the <ENTER> key to continue. Does Windows load successfully?

I am thinking you may have a problem with the hard drive being slow on the uptake when starting up cold ???
  • If this is the case, we will need to take a closer look at the hard drive's condition.
How to obtain hard drive S.M.A.R.T. data on a Windows system and then paste the report into a forum post
  • Download the GSmartControl installer application:
    • Go to the GSmartControl - Downloads page.
    • Scroll part way down the page to where the current version available for download will be displayed.
      Posted Image
    • Click on the link to download the installer file to your computer.
      (There may be a mirror link there also which will enable you download the file if the main download link does not work for some reason.)
  • Double-click the downloaded application to run it and install GSmartControl on the computer.
    Note: Vista/Win7 users, right-click > Run as Administrator
  • When installation is complete, run GSmartControl:
    • Start GSmartControl from the Start > Programs menu.
  • When the interface has loaded and scanning for hard drives is complete, click on the hard drive icon to select the device.
  • Go to Device on the top menu > View Details, and a new Device Information window will open.
  • Click on the Attributes tab to display the S.M.A.R.T data values.
  • Near the bottom of the window, click on View Output and a new Smartctl Output window will open.
  • Right-click anywhere inside that window > Select All.
  • Again right-click in that selected area > Copy.
  • Now paste that in a reply to your topic.
    Note: Please enclose the pasted report in CODE tags so that the spacing/formatting is preserved (to make it easier for all to read).
    • Firstly, click on the "Insert code snippet" button Posted Image
      You will then see the "start" and "end" code tags (highlighted in dark blue/selected in the image) in the text box.
    • Click between the two tags to insert the cursor between the tags and then press <Ctrl+V> to paste the report there.

Edited by AustrAlien, 23 January 2013 - 08:16 PM.

AustrAlien
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#3 kjunguy

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:05 AM

Thanks for the quick reply. Below is the info you requested.


smartctl 5.43 2012-06-30 r3573 [i686-w64-mingw32-vista-sp2] (sf-5.43-1)
Copyright (C) 2002-12 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Model Family:     Western Digital Caviar Blue Serial ATA
Device Model:     WDC WD3200AAKS-75L9A0
Serial Number:    WD-WMAV21400217
LU WWN Device Id: 5 0014ee 0abb75b59
Firmware Version: 01.03E01
User Capacity:    320,072,933,376 bytes [320 GB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   8
ATA Standard is:  Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
Local Time is:    Thu Jan 24 08:59:51 2013 CST
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status:  (0x84)	Offline data collection activity
					was suspended by an interrupting command from host.
					Auto Offline Data Collection: Enabled.
Self-test execution status:      (   0)	The previous self-test routine completed
					without error or no self-test has ever 
					been run.
Total time to complete Offline 
data collection: 		( 6600) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities: 			 (0x7b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
					Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
					Suspend Offline collection upon new
					command.
					Offline surface scan supported.
					Self-test supported.
					Conveyance Self-test supported.
					Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities:            (0x0003)	Saves SMART data before entering
					power-saving mode.
					Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability:        (0x01)	Error logging supported.
					General Purpose Logging supported.
Short self-test routine 
recommended polling time: 	 (   2) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time: 	 (  79) minutes.
Conveyance self-test routine
recommended polling time: 	 (   5) minutes.
SCT capabilities: 	       (0x303f)	SCT Status supported.
					SCT Error Recovery Control supported.
					SCT Feature Control supported.
					SCT Data Table supported.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x002f   199   199   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       19560
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0027   134   129   021    Pre-fail  Always       -       4283
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       307
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   172   172   140    Pre-fail  Always       -       220
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x002e   100   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   056   056   000    Old_age   Always       -       32427
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       295
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       149
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       307
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   114   088   000    Old_age   Always       -       29
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   036   036   000    Old_age   Always       -       164
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   200   194   000    Old_age   Always       -       16
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0030   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       60
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate   0x0008   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
240 Head_Flying_Hours       0x0032   058   058   000    Old_age   Always       -       31104
241 Total_LBAs_Written      0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       27176994221
242 Total_LBAs_Read         0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       78661349298

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num  Test_Description    Status                  Remaining  LifeTime(hours)  LBA_of_first_error
# 1  Short offline       Completed without error       00%         0         -

SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1
 SPAN  MIN_LBA  MAX_LBA  CURRENT_TEST_STATUS
    1        0        0  Not_testing
    2        0        0  Not_testing
    3        0        0  Not_testing
    4        0        0  Not_testing
    5        0        0  Not_testing
Selective self-test flags (0x0):
  After scanning selected spans, do NOT read-scan remainder of disk.
If Selective self-test is pending on power-up, resume after 0 minute delay.


#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:37 AM

Sorry about the delay getting back to you. I have been examining the S.M.A.R.T. data from other hard drives of the same model (WD3200AAKS) trying to understand what it is about your particular hard drive that may be causing the odd startup behaviour that you have noted. I will ask James Litten to take a look at the topic: He may be able to shed further light on the matter.

Attributes relating to failing/failed sectors on the hard drive:
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   172   172   140    Pre-fail  Always       -       220
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   036   036   000    Old_age   Always       -       164
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   200   194   000    Old_age   Always       -       16
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0030   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.

220 sectors have been confirmed and marked as "bad" and reallocated (their use replaced by spare sectors).
16 sectors are currently reported as problematic/unreadable and awaiting further action.

Based solely on the above, the hard drive is failing and should be replaced as soon as possible! :exclame:


This value is of some concern:
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       60
The UDMA_CRC_Error_Count of 60 may be indicative of a problem with cabling &/or connections.


Comparing your hard drive's value with that of other hard drives, the following stands out as "unusual":
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x002f   199   199   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       19560
It seems to me that the Raw_Read_Error_Rate value of 19560 may be indicative of a problem with your particular hard drive, but perhaps James will have something to say about that.
  • Normally I tend to ignore the raw value of this attribute as its meaning and relevance is somewhat obscure, and the value is often large, but in this case the value is obviously different from that of all the other hard drives of the same model that I have examined.

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#5 James Litten

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:35 PM

Hi

I've got nothing to add to AustrAlien's analysis.

As for the original problem, it sounds like it might be some CMOS corruption or a bad battery.

When you go into the BIOS, is the time and date correct? If not, try replacing the battery.

You can also try changing an innocuous setting in the BIOS like maybe change the time by one minute or change the last item in the boot order. Then choose to save the changes and reboot (this may clear any corruption in the saved data of the CMOS). Then shutdown and see if it starts correctly. If it still does not, try resetting the BIOS to defaults.

AustrAlien is absolutely correct in saying that the drive is going bad and needs to be replaced ASAP.

If you have anything important on it, copy it to someplace else. If you have any difficulty doing that let us know.

James

EDIT:
As a side note, I think that Raw_Read_Error_Rate is a direct consequence of the Reallocated_Sector_Ct being 220 since they probably failed reads lots of times before being reallocated but it's hard to say for sure with that attribute. Also note that the drive has been powered on for over 3.7 years :)

Edited by James Litten, 25 January 2013 - 12:37 PM.





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