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HD crashed with message unmountable_boot_volume. Need help!

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February 22, 2006 12:38:34 PM

Hi. My HD just crashed with error message unmountable_boot_volume. So
I boot up in recovery console using XP home CD provided by Dell. I then tried various methods but to no available. I firstly tried to fixboot then chkdsk /r but the completion got stuck at 39% for days. I tried fixmbr then fixboot then chkdsk /r but still stuck at 39%. I tried chkdsk /p, also stuck at 39%. I tried dir, copy some files to replace corrupted files, I failed to access the HD. I cannot change dir or do anything. How am I going to save my data? It's a maxtor drive. I tried diagnosing with Dell resource CD and powermax but all these softwares just tell me that the HD is failing or all test failed. I need to something to recover bad sectors
and allow me to access the HD. Well, please do not recommend booting up with options as I have tried all, safe mode, debugging mode, etc., it all comes to a blue screen message unmountable_boot_volume. I tried reinstalling using CD and hopefully it can detect old windows installation and repair it but it doesn't it recommend me to repartition and reformat.
Well, I believed repartitioning and reformating my HD means I will lose my data. Please, if anyone has any idea or ways, please advise.

Thank you.
February 22, 2006 1:19:11 PM

Run maxtors diagnostic software. It has better info on what is wrong and they will want you to run it before they RMA the drive. I have actually had HD manufacturers software restore the boot sector - but a lot more unsuccessful tried. If the drive is bad, Maxtor cross ships so you can install the new drive, do a fresh install of win xp on the new one with old drive disconnected (power or data - does not mater). Then connect the old one (be sure bios set to boot on new. You may get a "which os do you want to boot message - pick xp if you do. Then try to open the old drive and copy anything you can to the new drive then return the old to maxtor to avoid being charged for the new drive.

Full data recovery is possible and companies do it but it is insanely expensive so it is useually done only for high value business info.

Good luck.
February 22, 2006 1:26:54 PM

It always takes an event like this to convince someone the value of a good backup strategy... something as simple as a USB jump drive could have made this a non-issue.
Related resources
February 22, 2006 1:27:38 PM

To add to ms2005, next time, store your precious data off your OS hard drive, in case you hard drive corrupts (which is usually the OS drive than the data drive), you can safely reinstall your OS without worrying bout your data... :) 


_____________________
Dell Dimension 8400
Pentium 4 3.4GHz 2M
925XE motherboard
1GB DDR2 RAM 533MHz
36GB WD Raptor
160GB Maxtor DiamondMax 9
X850XT PE 575MHz/630MHz
Sound Blaster Audigy 2
February 22, 2006 1:44:47 PM

You got one of those 20GB or 40GB Maxtor drives. Press F12 at the dell "POST" screen, then choose "IDE drive diagnostics.". Call dell and give them the error code (which will be "Primary drive 0 Maxtor 6E040L0: Fail return code 7.")

I've seen it hundreds of times. No other way around it, trust me. Worked for Dell over two years. Ignore all other comments, they're wrong.

You'll have to pay OnTrack about 1 grand to recover so dont even bother. Low level formatting may fix the problem for a few days but data will be gone. These Maxtors' controller cards burn to a crisp, you'd need the card changed which again costs sometimes up to $1000 to do. Canadian data recovery companies are cheaper, use them if you are able.

I've dealt with these drives for several years. Take my word for it or waste time, money, and sanity by taking someone else's advice. Your choice.

Sorry for the bad news but unless that data is vital for your business it's not worth it. Go ahead and call Ontrack just to see though. If you tell them Dell refered you and you can get a discount. Don't tell them about me though. Remember try canada first if you can use em.
February 22, 2006 2:12:21 PM

Yep, you're focked! I do a lot of work on the side and have replaced several Maxtor drives in these Dell machines, 40-80GB. Most of them died within 6 months but after the stoopid suck ass 90 day Dell standard warranty. Who thought of that crap!?! :roll:

Data recovery services

It's of little consolation but all education has a price. Happend to me before a long time ago but I learned my lesson! Hopefully you didn't lose too much data but may I suggest:

External drive

Another Maxtor but ease of use can't be beat.
February 22, 2006 2:39:02 PM

Ya think it could all be a conspiracy with dell and maxtor drives?? :roll:
February 22, 2006 2:54:16 PM

Quote:
Ya think it could all be a conspiracy with dell and maxtor drives?? :roll:


Heh, I think Dell is the definition of conspiracy! :twisted:
February 22, 2006 3:28:20 PM

this probably won't work since chkdsk refuses to past 39% but since you can't do the repair see if you can install windows over istself you might be able to access disk long enough to save some of your data
February 22, 2006 3:35:45 PM

Or.. just stick that drive in another XP-PC that is working to see if any data is salvageable.
February 22, 2006 5:21:04 PM

Quote:
Yep, you're focked! I do a lot of work on the side and have replaced several Maxtor drives in these Dell machines, 40-80GB. Most of them died within 6 months but after the stoopid suck ass 90 day Dell standard warranty. Who thought of that crap!?! :roll:

Data recovery services

It's of little consolation but all education has a price. Happend to me before a long time ago but I learned my lesson! Hopefully you didn't lose too much data but may I suggest:

External drive

Another Maxtor but ease of use can't be beat.


Actually the 80GB drives werent bad--until Maxtor SATA came along. Completely different issue altogether though, those drives controller cards were worse than faulty and only had the problem for about a 22 day span of time. Rest of em are good. Still--I've said it once, I'll say it again. This time just to be sure that everyone understands, I will put it in big letters for you:

All computer companies use the same parts.
Only remember that Dell has better testing standards than most, and Sony tests "cheat" by aging the system artificially. It's the warrenty that counts, Dells are only good if they have a good warrenty.

Period. Never, never ever buy a cheap Dell. Wanna go cheap? Buy an E-Machine. Dell is only great because it is good. Anything less than $900 from Dell is not worth it. I currently work for a third party company that offers extended warrenties for multiple brand systems. Our company sucks. From the stories I hear the HP and Sony warrenties suck too. Now if you know how to chat online with service reps at HP it isn't all that bad...but the warrenty is less forgiving than Dell. Toshiba has a decent warrenty and Apple (which I admit I have no personal experience with--only numbers, statistics, and surveys) has a magnificient warrenty.

How did I get off subject so far??? Sheesh...
February 22, 2006 5:22:01 PM

Quote:
Or.. just stick that drive in another XP-PC that is working to see if any data is salvageable.


Ahh yes that might work. Do it quick--before the drive gets too hot. Sooner the better too.
February 22, 2006 5:35:50 PM

Thanks for all your advice. I have a 160Gb HD. To back up I need another big HD not to mention the hours involved. I did back up months ago on several DVDRW about 40Gb but it is not updated and a lot of work is lost. I cannot afford using recovery consultation. Well, I was thinking about sticking that drive into another XP-PC but I can't caused its still under Dell's warranty and any attempt to dissamble the PC will make it void. However, I also believed the booting from XP CD and then accessing the current drive is similar to sticking it to another XP-PC.
After the booting from XP CD, that drive is unreadable because its NTFS system is corrupted and XP CD asked me to repartition and reformat it. I think sticking it to another XP-PC will find the drive unreadable also. I need a utility software that fix and recover bad sector. I have a Western Digital HD once (40Gb) which has similar crash and I went to WD website and download its diagnostic and utility software. Their software actually conduct a scan and a HD recovery sector by sector. This software is booted from diskette and running on caldera dos. I think the WD software is able to do so because it was developed specifically for WD HD. I remembered then I also tried to stick to another XP-PC, the drive was deemed unreadable. In the end my HD was readable and accesible though my Win XP need reinstallation (corrupted). However, maxtor do not provide such utility sofware. Any idea how I should proceed?
February 22, 2006 5:59:04 PM

"Well, I was thinking about sticking that drive into another XP-PC but I can't caused its still under Dell's warranty and any attempt to dissamble the PC will make it void."

Nope, not under dell. All the others yes but not dell. Don't volunteer that you've done it of course and don't break anything but I assure you it will not void your warrenty unless you do something stupid (like drop the hard drive or rip the ide cable). Put it back the way it was when finished though.
February 22, 2006 6:02:54 PM

chkdsk /r does it. Remember most likely the hdd CONTROLLER card is defective not the drive itself, which is why it locks up after a certain point. Don't worry about the surface scan, put the drive in another pc and copy it that way. Better yet make a bootable thumb drive and copy files using the OS on the thumbdrive. Just set USB legacy on in the bios and change boot order to have USB drive selected first. That'll work too. Look up the "Ultimate Boot CD" in google too, maybe that'll do.
February 22, 2006 6:11:04 PM

Chance are, that Hard Drive will be RMA'd.

So, your going to have to take that hard drive out of the system, when you get the new drive. And then send it back in the same box the new drive came in.

So your going to disassemble the PC case to get to it.

Unless they really want you to send the whole unit to them.

Guess it really depends on how they handle RMA's.
February 22, 2006 6:20:09 PM

Don't know what the deal was with the Dell drives, just know they didn't work! They were all IDE Maxtor drives though.

All companies do use the same parts, so build your own! :D  Let's see, 3yr warranty on CPU? Check! 3 year on hard drive? Check! 3 year on video card? Che... well one anyways but that's why there's BFG!

I don't know who started that 90 day warranty thing but for a $399 PC I guess you can't expect too much. You do get what you pay for!

Have you tried the Maxtor utilities?

Power Max
February 22, 2006 6:51:21 PM

Hi Mate,

If it were me i'd be ordering an identical mode drive from Dell and then very carefully removing the controller off the good drive and replacing the fautly one on the dud drive (hence you need the exact same model one) and hopefully you will be able to get yourself a decent drive like a Western Digital and not lose too much of your data.

Considern a RAID solution for the future mate with disk mirroring you have two drives and if one falls over you can just buy a replacement and you wont lose your data... there are plenty of SATA, IDE and SCSi raid solutions on the market by Intel, Adaptec and Promise to name just a few.

Also don't buy a name brand PC mate theose computer companies are all crooks make one up yourself and put the best parts you can afford into them and you will get more life out of your system.

Cheers
February 22, 2006 7:13:17 PM

Hi dakiwi. Thanks for advice. I am bit behind here and I hope you can clarify a bit. I am not sure what is a controller or what controller are you talking about. Please explain. I think the Dell HD is plugged to a IDE slot built-in to the motherboard. So it's integrated.

As for RAID, please enlightened me as I have just got myself a ATA133 RAID card for another PC because one of its IDE slot on the motherboard (integrated mobo) is not working. The funny thing is when I plugged my CDRW to the RAID card, it could not detect, giving message error! firmware not ready! after IDE scan .. at boot up. When I plugged in the HD, it works. So is EIO ATA133 RAID card is not able to run a CDRW drive? There is also many settings which I do not know what it means particularly on configuring the RAID. Please advise on any site that can enlightened me on RAID. Thank you.
February 22, 2006 7:26:26 PM

Unlike popular belief, the controller card I am refering to is the one that is physically a part of the drive casing (on the bottom sometimes visible), the true controller card. That requires an electrician or Engineer to replace, I wouldn't even try. That's why the data recovery would be so dang expensive.
February 22, 2006 7:38:17 PM

Quote:
funny thing is when I plugged my CDRW to the RAID card


RAID's are for hard drives. You can't make a CD/DVD disk as a RAID.
February 22, 2006 8:41:05 PM

Hi. No wonder the RAID card does not recognise the CDRW drive. I just want to buy an ide card to enable me to extend my ide devices. So bought a "IDE card" which is RAID. If RAID is only for HD, then what should I get if I want to add DVD drive or other IDE devices. I thought the RAID card would handle any IDE devices.Thanks for your info, Grimmy. I would never open up the part of HD casing unless the HD is totally not working.
February 22, 2006 8:43:31 PM

Well those cards are there so you can install faster HD's for faster data through put.

You could remove all HD's from your Primary/Secondary IDE channels.. 40 or 80 pin slot, and just use those for your CD/DVD drives.
February 22, 2006 8:54:08 PM

That's what I did. However, I cannot get the concept why RAID would not deal with dvd drive because it would make it more flexible. In fact, it should be able to deal with any IDE devices. Anyway, I need some advice Grimmy. I have downloaded a RAID controller software and it has create, delete and rebuild disk array. I has RAID ID, etc. I do not know how to set them and I did not alter anything. The thing I worry is whether RAID will burn my HD. The RAID came with a ATA133 cable but I use back my old cable (existing) which I believed is ATA100. Is it OK to do so?
February 22, 2006 9:01:36 PM

Simply put a RAID is disk subsystem, for performance.

A CD/DVD drive can't read/write as fast compared to even old IDE drives.

To help you understand RAID Levels - Copy/Paste :D  :

RAID 0 - Speed
Level 0 is disk striping only, which interleaves data across multiple disks for better performance. It does not provide safeguards against failure. RAID 0 is widely used in gaming machines for higher speed.

RAID 1 - Fault Tolerance
Uses disk mirroring, which provides 100% duplication of data. Offers highest reliability, but doubles storage cost. RAID 1 is widely used in business applications.

RAID 2 - Speed
Bits (rather than bytes or groups of bytes) are interleaved across multiple disks. The Connection Machine used this technique, but this is a rare method.

RAID 3 - Speed and Fault Tolerance
Data are striped across three or more drives. Used to achieve the highest data transfer, because all drives operate in parallel. Parity bits are stored on separate, dedicated drives.

RAID 4 - Speed and Fault Tolerance
Similar to Level 3, but manages disks independently rather than in unison. Not often used.

RAID 5 - Speed and Fault Tolerance
Data are striped across three or more drives for performance, and parity bits are used for fault tolerance. The parity bits from two drives are stored on a third drive and are interspersed with user data. RAID 5 is widely used on servers to provide speed and fault tolerance.

RAID 6 - Speed and Fault Tolerance
Highest reliability, but not widely used. Similar to RAID 5, but performs two different parity computations or the same computation on overlapping subsets of the data.

RAID 10 - Speed and Fault Tolerance
A combination of RAID 1 and RAID 0 combined. Raid 0 is used for performance, and RAID 1 is used for fault tolerance.
February 22, 2006 9:45:28 PM

Yep that is the drive controller i was talking about replacing and it can be done reasonably simply if you take good care with the boards as you take them off the drives lol

I myself use a RAID1 (i wrote RAID0 in another thread lol i always get confused between 1 and 2) with my system.

All a RAID adaptor is is a SCSI, SATA or IDE card that plugs into your PCI (some plug into the PCIe) slot on your desktop PC and you use that in conjunction with your ide port on your mobo to run your CD/DVD etc.
February 22, 2006 11:13:53 PM

Thanks for the reply. I knew about this RAID ID but then when I plugged in my HD to RAID card, a RAID ID is not in array and RAID adaptor 2.
I do not know what this means. Can I set this RAID ID or is it automatically assigned?
February 23, 2006 12:02:42 AM

Quote:
Thanks for all your advice. I have a 160Gb HD. To back up I need another big HD not to mention the hours involved. I did back up months ago on several DVDRW about 40Gb but it is not updated and a lot of work is lost. I cannot afford using recovery consultation. Well, I was thinking about sticking that drive into another XP-PC but I can't caused its still under Dell's warranty and any attempt to dissamble the PC will make it void. However, I also believed the booting from XP CD and then accessing the current drive is similar to sticking it to another XP-PC.
After the booting from XP CD, that drive is unreadable because its NTFS system is corrupted and XP CD asked me to repartition and reformat it. I think sticking it to another XP-PC will find the drive unreadable also. I need a utility software that fix and recover bad sector. I have a Western Digital HD once (40Gb) which has similar crash and I went to WD website and download its diagnostic and utility software. Their software actually conduct a scan and a HD recovery sector by sector. This software is booted from diskette and running on caldera dos. I think the WD software is able to do so because it was developed specifically for WD HD. I remembered then I also tried to stick to another XP-PC, the drive was deemed unreadable. In the end my HD was readable and accesible though my Win XP need reinstallation (corrupted). However, maxtor do not provide such utility sofware. Any idea how I should proceed?



If you are on RAID / SATA it is most likely and possible that you have crashed file system, and otherwise there is no damage to HDD.

You can make QUICK format and recover after the data from that drive.

Listen for any unusual squeeking noises.

Get yourself another hard disk drive and load the os!

Set this drive as a slave see if you see any data.

For as long as drive is operational and spins you could recover the data. Once the drive have a "hole" it is very costly to recover.

Likely you've lost the drive

Then you have two options to recover the data using Dmitriy Primochenko excellent software:

http://www.dposoft.net/regnow/hdd.html

http://abstradrome.com/products/hddreg/151/836527464/hr...


1. using the program to "repair sectors" with no data loss (U$ 60.00) by booting from CD

http://www.dposoft.net/regnow/hdd.html


2. Recover data from NTFS using (60.00)

GetDataBack Data Recovery
Get the new version 3.01 now - all the proven functionality, plus better interface, improved bad sector handling, easier three steps instead of five, faster recovery engine.

http://www.runtime.org

http://www.runtime.org/gdbnt.zip

3. make CD using BartPE and play wih it ftp://dl.xs4all.nl/pub/mirror/nu2files/pebuilder3110.ex...

Good luck ..
February 23, 2006 4:22:56 AM

great info. i've been looking for an easily understood comparison of raid configurations.
February 23, 2006 10:33:14 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the reply. I knew about this RAID ID but then when I plugged in my HD to RAID card, a RAID ID is not in array and RAID adaptor 2.
I do not know what this means. Can I set this RAID ID or is it automatically assigned?


I'm not totally experienced on IDE RAIDS, since I've only my system with 1 hard drive.

I have some/very little experience on SCSI RAID once on NT servers. Ran so good I can't even remember how it was totally setup, and lasted a long, long time (24/7/all year). I do remember it was in RAID 5, one drive went out, we put in another, and it rebuilt itself. Of course there was more involved in just sticking a new drive in it's place.

I believe the IDE card or bios for the RAID ID does that automatically, since it is grouping them to act like 1 array or separate arrays of drives.

Athough the other thought I had, it's also possible in where you plug it in (physical serial port) that determines the ID of that drive as well.

But as far a RAID Level, is what you set/detmine.

Of course this is my speculation/guess :oops: 

Perhaps somone else could answer that question in better detail.
February 24, 2006 12:01:56 PM

Thank you very much pcriq! The HD that crashed is not on RAID or SATA type. It's on IDE (motherboard). I had a little trouble trying to understand your advice due to lack of knowledge. I have tried with 2 softwares one is dp (diskpatch) which create a boot disk and the other one was paragon 4.0. It does have the ability to make my HD accesible again in command prompt or dos mode. I do not care much about windows as I can reinstall again but some doc, program code and others. I do not want to partition it and reformat it as this will cause me to lose a lot data even if I tried to recover using data recovery software. I also believed the HD is full (maybe that's the reasons it failed). My HD is ntfs type.

Maybe I failed to make my HD accesible again because I do not know how to use this software. I noticed most of them seek an image back up of my HD which I don't have. All of them has a scan disk with read and write test but the HD is still inaccessible after running them. I believed my ntfs partition table has corrupted. I will try the software you have recommended and see let you all know later.Thank you.

Update: I have downloaded hr151.exe (HDD regenrator) but when I installed on another PC, it failed with message "the window installer service could not be accessed. This can occur if you are running windows in safe mode or if windows installer is not correctly installed." I am not sure how to fix this. Any idea?
February 24, 2006 12:25:34 PM

Quote:
Hi. My HD just crashed with error message unmountable_boot_volume. So
I boot up in recovery console using XP home CD provided by Dell. I then tried various methods but to no available. I firstly tried to fixboot then chkdsk /r but the completion got stuck at 39% for days. I tried fixmbr then fixboot then chkdsk /r but still stuck at 39%. I tried chkdsk /p, also stuck at 39%. I tried dir, copy some files to replace corrupted files, I failed to access the HD. I cannot change dir or do anything. How am I going to save my data? It's a maxtor drive. I tried diagnosing with Dell resource CD and powermax but all these softwares just tell me that the HD is failing or all test failed. I need to something to recover bad sectors
and allow me to access the HD. Well, please do not recommend booting up with options as I have tried all, safe mode, debugging mode, etc., it all comes to a blue screen message unmountable_boot_volume. I tried reinstalling using CD and hopefully it can detect old windows installation and repair it but it doesn't it recommend me to repartition and reformat.
Well, I believed repartitioning and reformating my HD means I will lose my data. Please, if anyone has any idea or ways, please advise.

Thank you.


this problem is solved with a raid card, my on-board raid drivers with my old chaintech wouldent install or run, bought a $20 card and solved all my problems.
February 24, 2006 12:36:47 PM

Hi. I am sorry but I cannot open up my PC as it is under warranty. Can't send it to repair before I get the data out.
February 24, 2006 1:01:58 PM

you lost your data. this problem cant be fixed without a total format. this is why i allways say to backup your data weekly.
February 24, 2006 1:47:52 PM

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/199 this sounds quite like urs coz it has STOP 0x000000ED UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME, but if ur not using FAT32 it wudnt help, might be worth a look theres a few pages on how to fix it, sorry if my post is out of context i dint hav much time to read this topic i just saw UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME and remembered that from that article i read a bit ago
February 24, 2006 4:54:40 PM

Why don't you try SpinRite on that hard drive?

I have had 100% success with it in ascertaining whether a hd is failing (developing bad spots/sectors), or the OS is screwed up.

Run it level 4 for data recovery; should take 24-30 hours. It will transfer your data to good sectors as it goes along on its' task.

When done, see if it boots.
!