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Burky

Windows refuses to boot and my files are corrupting

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Hi,

 

I have a serious problem with my computer I think.

 

The whole story (below) is very long, but the summary is that my Windows keeps refusing to boot, and every time I re-install, I find that an increasing number of my files are being corrupted. After 3 installations in two days I have made no progress and lost many files and have given up, so I’m asking here.

 

My settings are stable, and I am memtesting my ram right now at stock settings.

I idle at around 33 degrees and load (dual) at 48 degrees.

All the cables are plugged in correctly.

I am almost certain I have no viruses: a month ago my computer was clean, and since then I haven’t had the internet.

I run Windows XP Home.

The settings I was running are as shown in my sig, only that the ram is running 237mhz @ 3-4-4-8 (sorry, but I've not had the internet in a month so I couldn't update my sig.)

 

*******

 

Yesterday I was interesting in trying out Linux, so I put in my old 80gb IDE hard disk, and unplugged my SATA ones (shown in my sig).

(The point in using a different disk was that I would have no operating system clashes and all my data would be safe on my SATA disks if anything went wrong.)

 

So I installed it onto my IDE disk, and Linux worked fine, so I shut it down, and plugged back in my two SATA disks as well and booted into Linux again.

When it loaded, and I went to look at my disk drives, it told me that all 4 partitions on my two SATA disks were unmountable.

 

This worried me, so I shut down, and tried to get into Windows. Now for some reason, it wasn’t dual-booting – I was obliged to boot Linux. So I unplugged my IDE hard disk, with Linux on, and booted up again with just the two SATA disks plugged in, only now I get an error (after verifying dmi pool data) saying it cannot boot off the disk. I cleared the CMOS as shown on this site.

 

Fortunately (I thought), I have a 10gb OS partition on my hard, so I just decided to re-install windows as it’s not too much hassle. I reformatted the partition to NTFS.

When in Windows, it requested to a checkdsk scan, and when it did this, it said on the screen “repairing orphanned file” many times, and the files listed were all the files I had in my computer.

 

I immediately installed the latest motherboard and vga drivers, and started to re-install all my old programs. I quickly checked my files and they all seemed to be intact.

However, after I rebooted several times, after finishing various installations, I got the message (after verifying dmi pool data) saying “error no operating system”.

 

I left it overnight and continued again today. The same message still appeared, so again I cleared the CMOS and tried – no luck still. So I proceeded to install windows again. This time during the partitioning, the partition that I installed onto before was completely blank.

I installed onto the other SATA hard disks 10gb OS partition, just in case the other hard disk was faulty. When I loaded windows, it didn’t do the checkdsk scan again, it just loaded windows up straight away.

I went to look at my files, some were ok, but many were corrupted and would not open properly, and some videos files had even merged with others, so that when I played them, I got some strange 7 hour long mix of various films and tv shows.

 

I started copying all the files, which were intact onto my second hard disk, so I would have a backup in case any more got corrupted. In the middle of copying – no more than 15minutes after the windows installation had been completed – it suddenly rebooted (I did not tell it to) and again, (after verifying dmi pool data) I got the message saying it couldn’t boot off the disk.

 

Because of the reboot, I was suspicious about my overclocking settings, so I cleared the CMOS and loaded the optimised defaults, and proceeded to reinstall windows. Again, the 10gb OS partition was completely blank, and for some reason Windows made me reformat it to NTFS twice.

 

When I finished and got into windows, most of my files had been corrupted. I did an hours worth of dual-prime at stock settings just to see if it was very unstable, but there were no problems so I assumed it was ok. After installing the drivers and rebooting, I could not boot up windows again.

 

********

 

So what is going wrong?

Since Windows is getting corrupted on both hard disks, I doubt my hard disks are faulty.

My processor is running at stock speeds and the problem is still occurring. My ram is being tested right now (at stock speeds), and after an hour there are no problems yet – I will leave it to run another 5 hours or so just to really be sure.

I doubt it's my power supply since I've been using this for 9 months now (with SLI at one point) with no problems. It has 34A on the +12v rail which is adequate.

This leaves me thinking, could it be my motherboard which is doing something wrong?

 

Please give your suggestions or advice on what I can do now, I am stuck for ideas.

 

Also if anyone knows of any good software which could help recover the files I lost (~120gb), I would appreciate it.

 

Thanks a lot,

 

Burky

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Fresh install of windows onto SATA drive, where any other SATA drives connected?

Not running a RAID 0?

No disks in the drives?

Boot order correct in BIOS?

 

May just want to try 'initial build'.

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That's a sad and frustrating story to read...

 

Even if you think it's unrealistic: have you ran any diagnostic tool to make sure that the two hard drive haven't for some reason been damaged?

Even if (one more) you think the PSU is alright: have you tested it for stability? A sudden reboot or shutdown, and even malfunctioning hardware could still mean you have had bad luck concerning the PSU.

 

Recovering software? Sorry, I hope someone else has good recommendations, but I've never been in need of it, so I haven't tested and explored that field.

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Fresh install of windows onto SATA drive, where any other SATA drives connected?

I have only two SATA disks, both were connected at all times during the windows installations.

Not running a RAID 0?

No.

No disks in the drives?

I assume you mean floppy drive: I don't have one so no.

Boot order correct in BIOS?

Yes, right now it's set as cd-rom, hard disk...

May just want to try 'initial build'.

I'll try that tomorrow, if there are no other suggestions first. I'd sooner put that off though as my case is small and it's awkward to do.

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Even if you think it's unrealistic: have you ran any diagnostic tool to make sure that the two hard drive haven't for some reason been damaged?

I haven't run any tools. Is there any way I can do that without having to do it in windows?

I could try running such a tool in Linux, but last time I tried it wasn't recognising the disks with the problems.

I don't have an other computers which are SATA compatible, so I can't test them that way.

Even if (one more) you think the PSU is alright: have you tested it for stability? A sudden reboot or shutdown, and even malfunctioning hardware could still mean you have had bad luck concerning the PSU.

I don't have a spare PSU to try out instead. I could put it in another computer, but it would be an old socket A computer, so it wouldn't be pushing the PSU hard. I also wouldn't want to ruin that computer as well.

Is there another way I could test it? Perhaps it might be worth taking the PSU or my entire rig to a computer shop.

 

Thanks for all your help so far.

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I have only two SATA disks, both were connected at all times during the windows installation

 

 

Well thats you're problem!!! If you are not installing a Raid Array 0 or 1 unplug one of the sata drives and one optical drive and reinstall windows. I'll bet you get a good result!!!

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I don't see why that would make any difference, but I'll try it soon.

 

I have a really big problem now though.

My parents wedding photos, etc, of which I had the only copy were on my hard disks, and only 130/300+ are still intact.

I really need to know about some good software recovery software.

 

So far I've run chkdsk and tried recovering using command prompt, but I couldn't make any progress.

 

If someone knows some good software then please tell me, thanks a lot.

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It makes a huge difference I have had the same issues leaving more than one drive attached! 1 opical drive 1 HDD I bet you have a sucessful install! Thats unfortunate but we all seem to learn the hard way! The only way around that is to maybe take the drive that the stored files are on and istall the O.S on the other drive with you're data drive unhooked and after you reformat winblows you migjht be able to plug that drive back in and acess you're files and transfer them to disk. Or it may corrupt that install as well and you're only option at that point is for proffesional data recovery!

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Hi.

I re-installed Windows on my IDE disk after reformatting and then plugged in my SATA disk, and so far windows is continuing to boot up with no problems.

However, many files are still corrupted, so I am looking into what I can do to solve that right now.

I have a quote from a professional data recoverer, but it was £75 = $115, but I will probably have to do that I guess.

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Unfortunately, it sounds like that may be the case. One of my harddrives (my oldest - 80gb IDE) began doing that a couple of months ago - each time i rebooted, it was worse and worse. I tried to save some of the files, and some are intact, but many are still corrupted. Turn on SMART in the bios, just to make sure that neither disk is failing that. If they are, your disks are going on the blink (re: my WD Raptor), and once you get all your data off, try running a re-0ing program such as AutoNuke to reset your harddrives back to their "factory" status - as a plain and simple format does not do this to them (the data is still left there, and just overwritten as you install new programs/files - the difference is that the boot table gets wiped, and so it appears that there is nothing on there).

 

Be aware that using such a program will systematically go through all your currently connected drives, and do its thing - so make sure you have ALL the data off them (corrupted or not) first. It seems to have saved my 80gb from its corruption-issues...the WD is long since dead though.

 

Good luck getting those photos off there >:(.

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When . hits the fan I always use GetDataBack NTFS, helped me recover data after i formatted, erased the partition, created a new one over that and formatted again ^_^ it's really great.

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Guest Kobalt
I don't see why that would make any difference, but I'll try it soon.

 

I have a really big problem now though.

My parents wedding photos, etc, of which I had the only copy were on my hard disks, and only 130/300+ are still intact.

I really need to know about some good software recovery software.

 

So far I've run chkdsk and tried recovering using command prompt, but I couldn't make any progress.

 

If someone knows some good software then please tell me, thanks a lot.

Ontrack makes trial version so you can see if it can find the stuff you need....

http://www.ontrack.com/software/

Of course, to get the files back, you have to pay a price for not backing up...

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