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Freezing at Windows logo, and during "driver load" screen in Safe Mode boot


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#1 robenk

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 07:20 AM

Greetings to all, and thank you in advance for any help you can provide. I hope this isn't too longwinded or dull to read.

My system is Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit on a Dell Inspiron 560 tower. GPU is a Radeon HD 5450, and processor is IntelCore2Quad q8300 2.5 GHz.

(Edit: The system is now 4 years old, and there is no Recovery or Installation CD since I bought the tower via the Dell website with the operating system already installed.)

About 8 months ago, the system suddenly became very sluggish, taking a few minutes to fully boot, and about 20 seconds to open a folder in Windows Explorer, or open a browser etc. I posted on www.spywareforum.com and a wonderful helper on there took me through a bunch of scanning and repair programs to try to fix it. None of them resolved the issue, although they did find things to repair still, so that is good. Then I decided to use the Windows Disc check disgnostic tool.

After 9 hours, it was done, with various non-readble files and "bad sectors" and such, and the system was restored to almost full working order. There were still occasional bouts of periodical hangs, where the HD would seem to labour, and then free up again, but for all intents and purposes, it was good to go.

Over time, until now, these infrequent periods of hanging continued, twice returning to the sluggish state, after which another disc check and bad sector recovery run would restore it again.

Yesterday the hanging got quite bad, and now it stalls at the Windows Logo, with the same HD labouring "sound", i.e. a rhythmic half second of activity with nothing inbetween. After about 10 minutes, it throws up a bluescreen stating something about "graphical driver failed to load" with a memory dump, and then tries to restart, with the same process happening again and again.

I tried rebooting in Safe Mode, and during the "loading windows drivers" screen with white text, it would get stuck, and labour again.

So now it's not loading even to the point where I can run the repair tool. How ever, I have Linux on a partition which I never use, and loading that up to test, it boots fine and runs with no problems. But that is very outdated now.

There have been no recent software or hardware changes. So maybe these "bad sectors" have finally taken over xD.

I hope that has made it clear. Thank you very much for your time.

Kind regards

 

Roben


Edited by robenk, 05 August 2014 - 08:47 AM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:51 AM

I suggest that you move any valued data from that hard drive.

 

Then...I suggest that you attempt to run the long diagnostic from the following link...on the drive, after reading the Guide for doing so.

 

Guide, SeaTools For DOS - http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/SeaToolsDOSguide.pdf

 

SeaTools for DOS Download - http://www.seagate.com/support/internal-hard-drives/consumer-electronics/ld25-series/seatools-dos-master/

 

Bad sectors...are usually an indicator or existent/coming problems with a drive.  The chkdsk /r tool, which is NOT a hard drive diagnostic but a file system tool, concerns iteself with bad sectors which are on the partition being checked.  It does not concern itself wiith anything other than that partition and if it finds files stored on bad sectors...it attempts to move such files to other hard drive areas.  In any case, the point I'm trying to make is that chkdsk /r is not a hard drive diagnostic tool, it's a file system tool.

 

At the conclusion of the SeaTools diagnostic, a status will be posted.  Please post this so that all may see the result.

 

Louis



#3 robenk

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:23 PM

Greetings Louis, thank you for your reply. Should I also choose it to repair the defects it finds, or just post a scan log?

Edit: The scan finished, and I tried to save the log to a USB drive as it instructed, but I guess I did something wrong, since a .txt file cannot be found. How ever, I did take pictures of the log with my phone, and I can post the links to them here. I hope that will suffice. I didn't choose to repair anything yet.

2014_08_05_20_33_21.jpg

2014_08_05_20_34_53.jpg

2014_08_05_20_35_18.jpg

 

Thanks very much


Edited by robenk, 05 August 2014 - 03:09 PM.


#4 hamluis

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 04:55 PM

I did not say "repair" anything...I just want to know the final verdict of the long diagnostic relative to the condition of the drive.  I nned no logs :).

 

Simply put...did the drive fail or pass the diagnostic?  Looking at the first item you posted...the drive failed both the short and long diagnostics.

 

Since I am not a tech of any sort, moving this topic to Internal Hardware for suggestions/recommendations about the hard drive.

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 05 August 2014 - 04:59 PM.


#5 robenk

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:38 PM

Ahh I see xD. Well, at least one step is out of the way. Thank you for helping to get the ball rolling.

 

Cheerio!

 

Roben



#6 robenk

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:50 AM

Hmm, it failed the test in the same way again, although I again didn't choose to repair anything. Does a fail of both the long and short tests like this mean it is no longer fixable?



#7 zingo156

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 02:40 PM

The drive definitely appears to be failing... Drives that have bad blocks are 17 times more likely to fail catastrophically within 60 days than drives that have 0 bad blocks. Since you mention you have already run chkdsk and those have reported/fixed bad blocks multiple times and the bad blocks are still occurring, it is quite safe to say it is time to replace the drive, at least this would be my recommendation.

 

Bad blocks can be caused by many things such as: bumping the computer causing something called a head crash, if this happens you can damage the platter causing bad blocks or worse, destroy the head. It could be caused by a tiny bit of dust that got through the air hole which can cause damage to the platter. Hard drives are mechanical moving parts that fail over time.

 

Likely windows has data that is in bad blocks that can no longer be recovered even by running chkdsk, when this happens a new hard drive and a windows re-install would be the best way to go.

 

I recommend you backup all of your data and replace the hard drive, then reload the operating system. The easiest way to backup your data would be to boot the computer to a linux distro and copy your important files off to an external hard drive or usb drive.

 

I generally recommend linux mint: http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

 

NOTE: since you have bad blocks, data copy may be slow or fail on some files. You may have to copy file by file rather than trying to get entire folders.

 

After you backup all of your data, if you wish to try and continue to use the hard drive (even though I recommend replacing it) you can try to use MHDD with re-map option enabled. I will post the instructions for that test below in a new post. NOTE: do not use the drive to store important files or back everything up frequently as the drive is no longer considered "reliable"


Edited by zingo156, 06 August 2014 - 03:18 PM.

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#8 zingo156

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 02:47 PM

If a hard drive has a smart status warning or the drive is questionable this test may be of use NOTE this test does not work with AHCI or Raid sata operation. It must be done with IDE, ATA, or compatibility mode:

 

Before running this test it would be a good idea to backup any data that you cannot afford to lose. This test uses the hard drive at 100%. If the drive is failing or has problems it is possible for the drive to fail suddenly especially during heavy use as this test will do. It is unlikely but still I recommend backing files up to be safe. Here are the instructions to run the test:

 

The first step will be to burn MHDD to a disc as an image (cd preferably). MHDD Can be found here: http://hddguru.com/software/2005.10.02-MHDD/  Click the Last version of MHDD, CDROM iso-image download and burn this file directly to a disc.

 

TO CHANGE SATA OPERATION: (You may need to use your keyboard arrow keys and enter key if you can not click to change settings).

After burning the disc, restart the laptop and start tapping f2 or f1 or delete right away to get into the bios. There you should see System Configuration, expand that by clicking the + button (or using your arrow keys and enter key). In that list there should be something called Sata operation. (Sata Operation may also be by itself in that first screen list)

Click on sata operation and take note of the current setting to the right it will probably be set to AHCI it will need to be switched back to this after MHDD is done running. Select ATA, compatibility or ide mode and then click apply. Save and exit the bios, or if apply was the only option you can use Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart.

COMMON BOOT MENU/BIOS keys: https://support.fixmestick.com/hc/en-us/articles/201577043-How-to-get-to-your-Boot-Menu-or-your-BIOS-settings

 

Now with the burned disc in the drive after a restart, start tapping (F12 Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo), (F9 HP), or (Esc HP, Samsung, Sony) on the keyboard (or change your boot options to boot to cd/dvd first). This will bring up the boot options menu. Select cd/dvd/cd-rw drive and hit enter.

If this worked correctly and booted to mhdd you should see a screen that says Microsoft windows 98 startup menu. You can let the timer run out or just hit enter on option (2 . Start computer without SCSI support).

 

Now you should see a screen with numbers, most of these will not have any device listed behind them but one number should for example on my dell computer number 6 has WDC WD1600BEVT-75A23T0… and at the end a number in white which is the size of the drive.

Example: If your drive is a 500gb I would expect that number in white to be somewhere around 500,107,862,016 or close to. Find the correct drive to test then on the keyboard type the number in front of the drive (in my case it was 6) and then hit enter.

 

Now you should have a screen with MHDD> and a blinking cursor.

Hit F4 on the keyboard 1 time and this will open a mini menu, use your arrow keys to highlight the remap option, hit enter to select it and then use your arrow keys again to change it to "enabled" After enabling re-map hit enter to go back to the menu, now use your arrow keys to highlight the "time out" option, hit enter on this and change the time out to 2 seconds by using backspace and then typing in 2, then hit enter to go back to the menu, now hit F4 again to start the re-map test.

 

You should be able to see the computer start scanning, each block represents 255 sectors (130560 bytes) on the hard drive. What we are looking for will show up on the right side of the screen.

There is a list on the right which shows numbers:

<3

<10

<50

<150ms

Etc…

 

Anything below the <150ms is a slow sector or a problem sector. Slow sectors <500 or >500 will slow down the computer. If there are a lot of these one after another (several 1000 or more) the drive should probably be replaced. Also if you have any at the end that were marked as UNC this means the drive has uncorrectable errors and the hard drive should probably be replaced.

Basically if you have any sectors that are below <150 (green) let me know and if possible the total number of them. If you can take a picture and post it here even better :)

 

If all of the sectors were ok and fell within the range of:

<3

<10

<50

<150ms

Then the hard drive is ok, if there are only a few that are slow <500 or >500 the hard drive should be ok to use.

 

After you are done testing you will need to go back into the bios by restarting the computer and tapping F2, F1, Delete (or whatever key gets you into bios). Go back to Sata Operation and change it back to the default which probably was AHCI.

Then restart and the computer should boot again.

(If you are getting a blue screen and the computer restarts go back into the bios and confirm that Sata Operation is set to what it was before changing it to IDE, ATA, or compatibility).

 

What re-map does: This option if enabled attempts to move available data from a bad block to a good block and tells the hard drive to disable the bad block (or replace it from the reserve list), the hard drive controller should then add the bad block to a black list (list of blocks that the drive will not write to). This is a good option for drives that have available free space that have many bad blocks that can cause many problems including: BSOD bug check 0X7A etc. During a scan with re-map enabled a BLUE block after a bad block indicates re-map was attempted.

 

Frequently asked questions MHDD> http://forum.hddguru.com/viewtopic.php?t=5


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#9 zingo156

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 03:01 PM

QUICK NOTE: MHDD may take a long time to finish depending on the actual condition of the hard drive. The longest I have let it run is around 2 months. If you begin to see a lot of UNC errors it is still possible the drive can be re-used but I do not recommend it. There is a thread you can follow where we have just finished an MHDD run with re-map and erase delays as well as a zero write... You can check out the progress on this thread here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/541315/hdd-failing-or-some-type-of-virusmalware/

 

The particular drive in question has had 5400 reallocations so far, this means that 5400 bad blocks have been identified and re-mapped by spare good blocks from the reserve pool, currently it shows no more pending bad sectors which is a good thing... Whether or not the drive will be usable still remains a question, the OP is in the process of loading the OS.

 

DON'T Follow the instructions in that thread as they may not pertain to your particular case. This is just one case where MHDD may or may not make a failing drive usable again. It is possible but not recommended. The best option is always to replace a drive that is beginning to show signs of failure.


Edited by zingo156, 06 August 2014 - 03:10 PM.

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#10 zingo156

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 03:14 PM

Sorry, one more quick thing: you can get recovery media from dell, sometimes for free, sometimes they charge around $20 US. If you go the new drive route (recommended), you will need to get recovery media. You can go to dells website and use your service tag to get the discs:  https://www.dell.com/support/diagnostics/us/en/04/nondiagnostichome?~ck=mn&


Edited by zingo156, 06 August 2014 - 03:14 PM.

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#11 robenk

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 03:42 PM

Greetings Zingo156, and thank you for your detailed reply!

I understand what needs to be done. I am thinking then, that the partition I created a long time ago with Ubuntu Linux 10, is working fine because it is a generally unused and thus undamaged area of the hard drive? I tend to game a lot for long periods, and I've had an issue in the past where a particular folder in the Steam directory on the Windows parition became corrupted and could not be accessed, or moved or deleted, without the computer freezing. Could that have been because that area of the hard drive that the steam files were written to, got worn out from extensive use? Or is this just general wear and tear?

 

I say this because the tower itself has been stationary and worked fine for 3.5 years, and then suddenly went straight to being sluggish one morning, back when it all started. How ever it has never been cleaned, so most likely dust and/or wear and tear.

If I do do the remapping process, will this affect both partitions, or just the Windows partition? I ask because this computer is used by everone in the house, and whilst the down time during the remapping is one thing, if there is a possibility of total failure, will that mean of the whole drive, or just that partiton? Currently the Linux partition is usable, although I don't want to update to the latest version in case anything goes wrong and I have no operating system at all :)

Thank you very much for your time.



#12 zingo156

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 04:27 PM

The linux partition could be unaffected if there are no bad blocks where it is installed. Bad blocks affect only the files written to the bad blocks. What happened to the steam files is likely due to steam having files no longer readable in those bad blocks, the data has been corrupted or is unreadable. Most likely this is just general wear and tear.

 

Re-mapping will only try to read what data it can from a bad block, move that data to a new block, and then in theory the data would be accessible again. If the drive fails catastrophically, it would mean all partitions on the drive could be affected.

 

Re-map is generally safe to use but again BACKUP data first just in case. Also a re-map may or may not make windows bootable again. In theory it should at least help with the laggy load times because the bad blocks should be re-allocated which means new blocks take their place. After succesfully re-mapping bad blocks the next step would be to try and repair windows if the computer did not boot. Chkdsk already tries to read data from bad blocks and move it in the same manor that re-map would from MHDD, I just don't know if those blocks are then re-allocated or not.

 

The other option that might be a good idea in your case (multiple users and partitions) is to buy a new drive and attempt to clone it. The new drive would have to be the same size or larger to clone, you can't clone to a smaller drive... Cloning would copy everything on the current drive to a new drive, then you could try and repair windows on the new drive without worrying about it failing.


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#13 robenk

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 05:24 PM

Thank you for explaining. I am currently not in a position to buy a new hard drive, as I lost my job a while ago, but am starting another next week, so maybe in a few months I shall have some money to spare. But I am downloading and will burn and try to run the Linux Mint operating system. I assume when booting into that system via the DVD, much like booting into the SeaTools DVD, it will run a virtual operating system off the Windows partition? Thus allowing me to access the same files and transfer them to, say, a USB memory stick that I plug in? I don't really know how it works, but a heads up before I try would be much appreciated :).

Is there any way of transferring files from the Windows partition to the Linux partition, in case Windows continues to fail to boot, but the drive does not fail as a whole, and the LInux partiton is still available? I guess I can Google that myself :P.

And I just realised that one method of transferal is the method I think I understand in my first paragraph. I was just thinking of a way to do it directly, but I don't think these partitions can "talk" to each other, since neither appear on each other's "My Computer" page.

I have been meaning to buy a new computer once I have the money, and then transfer data from this one to the new one, but that's a good while away. I did read through that thread you mentioned, and solid state drives do sound appealing, albeit more money for less space, but it's not something I can consider at the moment anyway.

Thanks very much for the help so far!



#14 zingo156

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 05:39 PM

I wouldn't copy files from the windows partition to the linux partition if they are on the same drive, since the drive has a problem, it isn't a backup plan.

 

If you already have linux on the hard drive, you can probably boot to that and copy files to an external drive. You should have access to the windows partition from linux. From there you can copy and paste the "users" folder which should contain all user(s) data to an external drive and or a flash drive.

 

If you can not see the windows partition from your linux install, then burn Linux Mint from the download above and boot to that as you would if you booted to the seatools tool. You should be able to copy files from the windows partition to an external hard drive directly.


Edited by zingo156, 07 August 2014 - 07:32 AM.

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#15 robenk

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 12:02 PM

Greetings Zingo156

 

Thank you for the heads up. Unfortunately I have run into another problem. After downloading the .iso via the Linux partition, I quit for the night and shutdown the PC. This morning when I turned it on, it threw up a "Error: Uknown File system. Grub Rescue>" prompt. I remember this from the first time I installed Linux, and read up on why it happens and how to fix it, and succeeded back then.

But I have no idea why it's doing that now, and I have tried to follow the same instructions, but it requires me to boot via a live CD. I still have the DVD I burned Ubuntu 10.10 on, but on running that, it ran very slow, and on loading the desktop interface, it wouldn't connect to the internet, which is mandatory for reinitiating the Grub Loader. I tried following some intructions for doing it at the "Grub rescue" prompt, but with no success. I have no idea why it suddenly started having extra problems.

I am currently on my old Netbook, which works fine, but doesn't have a DVD drive. I'm thinking of just packing it in and waiting until I can buy a new harddrive/system. But if there are any ideas you can throw my way, I'd be very grateful :P.

Thanks very much.


Edited by robenk, 07 August 2014 - 12:03 PM.





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