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One hell big of a problem regarding Hard Drives. Help me before I snap

Last response: in Windows 7
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July 9, 2012 8:44:29 AM

Hi.

I wanna get right to the problem.
Apparently, Windows is not able to boot and showing me an error called "boot bcd 0x00000f".
It's driving me INSANE. I have tried using the Windows 7 repair disk with automatic startup repair, that didn't work.
Oh, and I also tried these methods:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927391

None of them work, actually, they all led to the same problem, that Windows installation can't be located, there is no such thing as a C:. It's just referring to all of my action to X:/Windows. Everything is leading to the same loops OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
I tried bootrec /fixmbr/boot whatever you can think of of, NOTHING IS WORKING. I'M LOSING MY FREAKING MIND OVER HERE. I don't want to format ANY of the hard drives, there are very sensitive information stored there and I can't afford to lose them.
I tried the inevitable solution for my last resort and tried to install a new copy of Windows but, of course, I get this error "Setup was unable to create a new system partition" which is not even funny because I get it on both of my hard drives when I try to format on any of them, the Windows hard drive (not partition, I have separate hard drives for storing and Windows) and also the storing hard drive which DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE, why would it NOT let me install a new copy of Windows on a completely new hard drive.
I'm truly on the edge of losing my freaking mind over here.
Someone please help me before I do.
July 9, 2012 10:09:08 AM

Ughh, I'd be tempted to run a bootable linux distro to see if that can see your drives so you can back up your important information.

Just as an aside, my XP install recently died a horrible death and so I decided to try the windows 8 trial. I'm using a common Z68 chipset and still had to go into the BIOS and switch to IDE mode instead of AHCI for it to install. Might be worth trying that option in your BIOS.
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a b $ Windows 7
July 9, 2012 1:16:04 PM



First of all, a disclaimer. I can't tell what's going on with your system. I can provide some guesses and suggestions.

Some questions: This is a Win7 forum, but the article that you linked to is for Vista. Do you have Win7 or Vista? Do you have additional hard drives available?

Womble's suggestion is excellent. The very first thing to do is to protect your data. If you have access to another computer, and an external drive, do what womble says. Download a bootable distro like PartedMagic, boot with an external drive connected, and copy everything that you care about. Put it aside. If the rest of the process fries your drives, you still have your data.

Three things come to my mind immediately. A failed drive, a failed motherboard component, and booting from the wrong drive, especially if this is Windows 7. If your boot drive is bad, then you need a complete reinstall on a new drive. After copying off anything that you want to keep, you can run a test tool from your distro or download and run the manufacturer's diagnostics.

Windows 7 has an odd habit of putting the boot information on a drive other than the one on which you installed Windows. If your data drive was attached when you installed Win7, the installation may have put the boot record on that drive. Some approaches if this is it: Use the Bios to boot from the data drive, use a partition tool to see if both drives are marked active and if either has a hidden 100 MB partition at the beginning, or disconnect your data drive and try the repair install with the boot drive being the only thing attached to your system. If that drive is not actually bootable, this will make it bootable.

If everything else is good, consider the possibility that something on your motherboard is fried.

More questions: What is the history before you got to this state? Did it run for the previous year, day, or not at all? Were there two drives when you installed Windoze? Did some event happen just before it stopped working? I have a mobo failure myself: it runs, but after a lightning storm I lost the sound output.

Don't lose your mind. A series of test steps, and the worst thing that can happen is that you have to build a new machine. Which is fun. Start by making sure that you won't lose your important data.
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July 9, 2012 4:33:03 PM

Ok thanks everybody for the answers.

Firstly I want to answer your questions, Knott. I have read on a completely different forum that the BCD didn't actually change from Vista to 7, they are basically the same thing. I also did try what you suggested with the 100 MB partition that Windows saves its boot files in but that didn't work either. Thing is, it was all good and running the other day, and the next day I just fired it up to see it like this, I don't know what has happened, maybe 2 or more programs or something collided and messed up some stuff in the System files, I tried Googling some of the stuff I was doing but none of them were irrelevant.

Secondly, to finally add some good news to the table, I have managed to copy all the important stuff to another HD using another PC, now I know I'm safe if I reached a dead end, but I would still like to dig in and rather fix the problem than just go the easy way, after all, it's gonna be a hard process for me to get Windows to the state I had it earlier (I have to install a huge amount of programs and apps etc. it would take me days...).

I also managed to run EasyBCD to fix the BCD store for the HD and the MBR as well, though I'm encountering another problem now, similar problem. The error is "Boot BCD 0xc0000098 (The Windows Boot Configuration Data file does not contain a valid OS entry.)". I already tried the Windows repair disk and that's useless as hell (it obviously can't find the OS to even try and fix it). So I'm asking for help again, I'm still trying to research the problem but I'm getting to dead ends.

Thanks all for trying to help.
Keep it coming.
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July 9, 2012 4:46:55 PM

have you tried configuring the BIOS to change your boot priority? Maybe your system is trying to read the X: drive first instead of the C: drive.
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July 9, 2012 4:49:23 PM

Another quick update, guys.
Apparently EasyBCD didn't do its job well. I'm trying some commands in the Command Prompt using the Windows Repair Disk and I'm seeing some stuff changed when I use some of the commands.

Now that I use this command to rebuild the BCD entirely "bootrec /RebuildBCD" the Windows finds the Windows installation successfully prior to using EasyBCD to fix the BCD store I had a message saying "Can't find installation files on disk" or something like that, but now after I try and add that Windows installation to boot list I get this error "Element not found.".

Now that I try this command "bootsect.exe /nt60 SYS /force" I get this message:

"\Device\Harddisk0\DR0

Could not open the colume root director
The parameter is incorrect.

No bootcode was successfully updated"


And when I try this similar command "bootsect.exe /nt60 ALL /force" I get the message that the bootcode is successfully installed but the problem is still there.


When I try to export the BCD store and try to remove it and built it from the 0, I get the error that it's not finding that specified location I'm looking for.

What can I do from there?
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July 9, 2012 4:50:18 PM

Tmanishere said:
have you tried configuring the BIOS to change your boot priority? Maybe your system is trying to read the X: drive first instead of the C: drive.


There is no such thing as X: drive. Windows is just referring to that in any command prompt I open, it's just its way of telling me it can't find any Windows installation files. + I already tried that option.
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a b $ Windows 7
July 9, 2012 5:23:22 PM

You can use the diskpart command line utility from the recovery console to arrange your drive letters properly, and ensure all the disks are present. From there you can try snooping around to see if there is a problem on your C: drive or just some pathing issues.

Is this a new installation of windows or an existing install that stopped working? Have you tried a reinstall? Did you unplug any additional hard disks during the install? Have you added or removed any HDDs?
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July 9, 2012 5:44:20 PM

Run hard drive diagnostics from manufacturer. Maybe it's a failing hard drive?
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July 9, 2012 6:02:25 PM

You say that you don’t want to format your drive. If I want to do a re-install, I never reformat mine. I just rename some of the key directories to something like “Windows.old”, “Users.old” & “Program Files.old”. Then I do a new install. “Windows Install” might rename some of the old directories anyway, if you don’t. Later, you can copy your important files from the old directories. Plus you should really have them backed-up on more than one other device, regardless.
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July 9, 2012 6:04:49 PM

Based upon what you describe here however, this reply is a close as I can come without more information.

I have seen this problem occur on previously installed Win7 moved onto another mainboard. If this was the case, then check the following:

- Drive type selection are correct for the previous install (IDE, AHCI, Raid)
- The System Disk reported in the bios are correctly seen.
- The post-up reports without errors prior to Windows login.
- All cable connections are tight and in the proper port locations as INSTALLED.

If these are correct - then the problem lies with the disk actuator arm not returning to the proper start-up sector/position. A mechanical problem. The disk will need to be replaced. There are some disk utilities made by the disk OEM's that can check for this very issue. Sometimes it can be redirected to the proper physical position placement with those utilities. If it is a real failure then recovery of the data is the best you can do.

If you can be more precise in describing the exact conditions that led to this, you can get more definitive answers from those here trying to help you. There are a few conditions with HDD's in common than can lead to an improper diagnosis without ALL the facts. A simular issue does not mean a simular problem.. when it comes to HDD's. Good Luck!

You can also try this link: Use the UPGRADE option ONLY!!!
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/how-tos/how_repair_fau...
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July 9, 2012 6:27:33 PM

There is something I find confusing in the information that you have provided. You say Setup/Install was “unable to create a new system partition". You also say that you do not want to re-format and that you can access the files. The point is: you do not need to create any partition, because you already have one (at least). After renaming the key directories, you should be able to install over the same partition/file system. Be careful though that you put it on the correct partition. If you have multiple disk drives, like I have, you might want to temporarily unplug the others because depending on how you once had you boot order, you could end up having the boot files on a different disk drive (someone else mentioned this), like I have also had. It still works, but if you change the boot order, then you may end up with something like you currently have.
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July 9, 2012 6:30:25 PM

OK I've encountered another breakthrough.

Somehow the Windows repair disk managed to "fix startup problems causing Windows from booting" and now that it did that, I can boot into Windows successfully.

HOWEVER, everything is atleast 50 times slower, meaning, booting alone from the "Windows starting..." screen till it reached the desktop took about 1 hour, I tried to run System restore to atleast see if I can restore the system and that is still loading till this moment, I don't even know if I can reach it. I don't know what kind of problem is this but now that I use the repair disk to hopefully use the system restore it just says it can't find the Windows installation files eventhough I can successfully boot into Windows, slow but successfully.

I don't know what should I do from here.
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July 9, 2012 6:37:31 PM

SOunds like you have bad sectors. Try running chkdsk /r and see what it says
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July 9, 2012 6:48:07 PM

I don’t understand what your PC set up is. You say that everything is 50 times slower. Are you saying that the disk drive reading is 50 times slower? Or, are you referring to the CPU or GPU?
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July 9, 2012 6:51:43 PM

Also I would look at the power supply. That condition (really slow I/O) is classic for an underpowered 12v bus rail.
Once you do recover this, do yourself a favor and uninstall and then reinstall your system chipset drivers.
Those chipset drivers can and do get corrupted from an undervolt condition, if you find this to be the case.

NOTE:
Also the disk actuator arm can be in a position flutter with an undervolt condition during any read/write attempts.
Having seen this issue progress thus far. I'd look into your power supply ASAP.
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July 9, 2012 6:55:59 PM

Yes, you could have bad sectors on one of you disk drives, and the read/write head has to keep retrying. You should get quite a bit of repetitive noise if that be the case. The OS can often work around those. I have some on one of my drives. With your system, I would be tempted to install onto the other drive (no reformat or new partition needed). You should be able to do a dual boot.
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July 9, 2012 7:13:20 PM

deathengine said:
SOunds like you have bad sectors. Try running chkdsk /r and see what it says


I did try that earlier, it reached a point on about 20% and said error encountered and stopped.
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July 9, 2012 7:32:25 PM

To encounter an error of "failed attempt" on a disk scan for sector errors can also be another symptom of the disk not getting enough power.

It does its best to read & write but falls just shy of enough power to correctly signal across the bus. It may now be corrupted across multiple disk sectors. A finished scan will not fix the problems which reside elsewhere in your system. Fix the root cause, then recover the drive as best as you can. Unplug anything else on the 12v rail, then see how the drive responds. To do less is inviting a total failure of the drive due to stress.
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July 9, 2012 7:33:21 PM

If it is that your hard disk magnetic surface is failing and that you have just experience the effects of a number of new bad sectors, then you are going to have to run some software which disables those sectors from being used by the filing system. Chkdsk should work. If the hard disk magnetic surface has badly deteriorated, then you may need to scrap the drive. You could, as I have done on an old drive, work out roughly where it is, and then partition it out from use, so that you could at least get some data use from it. HDTune will show you where they are.
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July 9, 2012 7:45:35 PM

Thanks Omi3D and DW-UK for the replies. I have already tried replacing SATA cables/power cables and that didn't do anything, I tried to boot from the HD from a completely different computer and that didn't work either. Somehow the repair disk is now acknowledging the Windows installation and I am now running an automatic startup repair, it says it's "Repairing disk errors". I don 't know where that will lead but it has been running for about an hour now with nothing. Will update if anything changed.
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July 9, 2012 7:54:08 PM

Chkdsk:
If you get too many “Unreadable File Segment” errors or the scan stops progressing at a certain % point for too long, the drive is probably bad and will need to be replaced.
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July 9, 2012 8:13:41 PM

The drive is attempting to record the file table as it exists now. depending on size, expect that to take up to 3 hours but probably 1-2 if its not too bad. You should really give the entire picture a new inspection. I suspect you are still underpowered. Depending on the amount of HDD's & other devices (CPU, video card, DVD, etc) you should determine a proper power supply rating that gives you at least 50 watts more than needed at ANY one time. Overhead is large in burst modes of some devices and this could lead to the temporary condition of insufficient power. Enough to cause exactly what you are seeing. HDD's are always the first to suffer in an undervolt condition.. temporary or not. If your scan shows too many issues, than replace the HDD as DW-UK mentioned. Be aware any new drive can see the same issues if the undervolt condition is not remedied. Best hopes to you!
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July 9, 2012 8:13:49 PM

It's been running for over 2 hours now. I don't know if I should stop it or just give up and format the disk.
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July 9, 2012 8:58:47 PM

What power supply, CPU & Graphics Card?
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July 10, 2012 2:35:30 AM

Probably my last update to this thread.
After hours of repairs I gave up to installing a new copy of Windows, which resulted in "fatal errors" in both hard drives somwhow. I re-installed Windows again on the 2nd hard drive and this time both hard drives became "unusable" making them completely obsolete.
I used another hard drive which has Windows installed on it and booted from it to find out I can't access neither of the hard drives unless I format them, in other words, I have lost 1.5TB of valuable files and projects I have collected and made throughout 8 years.
I will be making my stop to my local computer hardware store to pick new hard drives soon.
Thanks everybody for the constant help.
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July 10, 2012 2:51:58 AM

Sounds like a failing hard drive controller on the motherboard, what type of motherboard do you have the early p65-h65 chipset is prone to failure.
if you have separate high speed ports you could move the hard drive to those.
Another reason for all your problems is possible bad power supply or bad ram to test bad ram you need to run memtest86.
Bad power supplies are hard to test even with testers unless its dead i have had bad power supplies test good in my shop but new motherboards picked up power spikes so running a diagnostic such as a bootable cd with speedfan on it you can monitor voltages and temps.
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July 10, 2012 6:32:49 AM

You could try one of those SATA to USB converters/caddies. They are quite cheap. While the drive is on USB, you might be able to recover something. Run some other disk check/recover application so as to track down the cause. Such information, acquired from your experiences, may be valuable to others.
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a b $ Windows 7
July 10, 2012 12:40:10 PM

XYMan said:

I used another hard drive which has Windows installed on it and booted from it to find out I can't access neither of the hard drives unless I format them, in other words, I have lost 1.5TB of valuable files and projects I have collected and made throughout 8 years.

There's an app for that. Set those drives aside. Once you have a stable system to work with, download one of many recovery tools and go get your data back. This can be as simple as recovering from a de-formatted (not a word) partition with something like EASEUS Partition Recovery to a three-day sector-by-sector scan and attempt to re-build files.
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