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Windows 7 anomalies + Unmountable boot volume randomness

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi.

I'm having issues with the dreaded "UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME" BSOD, and I can't solve the problem because I don't even understand what in the world is going on.

First, let me just say that not only did I have an AV program running 24/7, but I am also very careful with what goes into my computer and what doesn't, so there was no way in hell that these problems were caused by viruses.

This is a PC I built 2 years ago for gaming. It runs W7 x64, HDD is a 2TB WD Black, and it has always worked just fine... until I got started with a project that required heavy video editing and VFX work a few months ago. Since then, I've had more problems with this machine than I can count.

After a few weeks of work the anomalies began. First, the PC started taking longer to boot, sometimes taking over an hour getting past the "Starting Windows" phase, but over the course of a week or two it went back to normal boot times, even though I made no hardware or software changes at all. Then, it started showing me random bluescreens out of nowhere. Even when it was just idling on the desktop, and again, that problem eventually went away as well. A few days later, whenever I logged into windows, every single running process would just crash and windows just froze on the desktop and refused to do anything at all.

After that, I had a few days of apparent stability until a window popped up in my face. It said something along the lines of "Windows has detected a critical error. Please save your work now. The computer will automatically restart in one minute." I had never seen such a thing before, but save my work I did, and the computer restarted. It posted correctly, but when it tried to boot into the OS, windows was nowhere to be seen. It just wasn't there. The W7 installation disc didn't detect any installations. The W8 disc didn't detect any OS to upgrade from. The files were there, but the OS was not.

I booted the PC from my laptop HDD, backed up my files, formatted the drive and did a clean W7 install. It seemed to be working perfectly for a few days, but as soon as I got back into my work, the problems came back, and now, whenever I tried to boot, I got an UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME BSOD right after the windows logo. So, I ran procedure, chkdsk and fixboot. And they worked. For two days. Now, I am getting the BSOD most of the time. Sometimes it will boot into windows and as long as I don't turn it off or restart it, it will work perfectly, but if I do, I'm gonna have to deal with the bluescreens again. Sometimes it will boot on the second try, but others it will only get past the BSOD on the 20th or 30th time.

So, essentially, what the hell? Is this machine alive? Or maybe it doesn't like video editing? I have also considered that this might be the HDD's dying breath, but I have owned WD Black drives for years, and I've never had one break down on me? But again, I don't discard the possibility.


What should I do? Is there any solution to this? Should I keep playing bluescreen roulette every day with my computer? Or should I take it apart, sell it, and get a mac?


Thank you
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Normandy
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post #2 of 9
    Sounds like disk access problems to me.  The most common causes of this are poor SATA connections or a failing disk drive.  Next time you get the computer to boot successfully, take a look at the HDD's SMART status with CrystalDiskInfo (standard edition) and post a screenshot of it.  If it is listed as "Bad", you should get to backing it up immediately if you don't have your important data already backed up.
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xFyre View Post

Or should I take it apart, sell it, and get a mac?

    Please no.  Video editing is a lot easier on a PC; you have a lot of programs and codecs available for working with video files in uncommon formats, and a lot of exclusive but great video processing software like VirtualDub and AviSynth for cleaning up low quality video.  Not to mention how flexible the PC platform is, both for expanding and for legacy support (down the road).
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Will do. I will run that as soon as I manage to boot the damn thing and I'll get back to you.

Thanks
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techie007 View Post

    Sounds like disk access problems to me.  The most common causes of this are poor SATA connections or a failing disk drive.  Next time you get the computer to boot successfully, take a look at the HDD's SMART status with CrystalDiskInfo (standard edition) and post a screenshot of it.  If it is listed as "Bad", you should get to backing it up immediately if you don't have your important data already backed up.
 
 
    Please no.  Video editing is a lot easier on a PC; you have a lot of programs and codecs available for working with video files in uncommon formats, and a lot of exclusive but great video processing software like VirtualDub and AviSynth for cleaning up low quality video.  Not to mention how flexible the PC platform is, both for expanding and for legacy support (down the road).

Here are the results from CrystalDiskInfo. I had to use my laptop's HDD as the boot drive as this one just refused to go into the OS. Also, the first time I booted the machine, the 2TB drive wasn't accessible, if I clicked it, it just wouldn't open, the needle sounded like it was stuck in a loop going back and forth and there was no usage data at all, it looked like an unformatted drive from within W7. I thought that was the end, but the second time I started W8, it automatically repaired the drive and it came back to life.

Here are the results:

Normandy
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Normandy
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Surprise. After I backed up my data and W8 did that spontaneous fix on the WD Black drive, I tried booting from it again and the bluescreens are gone, the PC starts normally every single time. I am still getting those two warnings on CrystalDisk, however.

What do you think about this? I don't really feel like wiping the drive and going through reinstalling everything on an HDD that might fail anytime soon, so should I just back up my work every day, wait for it to break down completely and RMA it when it does?
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post #6 of 9
I feel you should RMA it ASAP while its still in warranty.

If you have work that you haven't saved or you're currently working on, try loading Command Prompt, and type 'sfc /scannow' without the quotation marks.
Windows will try its best to find and fix corrupt system files.

Next, type 'chkdsk /r' and then enter 'y'. This will let Windows check, and repair your file system. The warnings will still be there because the drive is physically damaged but this way it will try and fix most of the issues.

But I'd still vote for 'RMA that thing ASAP' because that's the only way to ensure that it won't crap out on you while you're doing something.
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volvo View Post

I feel you should RMA it ASAP while its still in warranty.

If you have work that you haven't saved or you're currently working on, try loading Command Prompt, and type 'sfc /scannow' without the quotation marks.
Windows will try its best to find and fix corrupt system files.

Next, type 'chkdsk /r' and then enter 'y'. This will let Windows check, and repair your file system. The warnings will still be there because the drive is physically damaged but this way it will try and fix most of the issues.

But I'd still vote for 'RMA that thing ASAP' because that's the only way to ensure that it won't crap out on you while you're doing something.

Thanks. I will email the store right away and RMA the drive.

As for your suggestion, I ran chkdsk a while ago and it completed successfully. Just now however, I tried to run scannow and it froze at 15% with a "Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation" error.

Thoughts?
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post #8 of 9
    Reading your HDD's SMART data, I say that the HDD is done.  Time to replace it.
 
  • Read error rate: 158,378 (hex 26AAA) <- this is why the computer would take so long to boot sometimes
  • Pending sectors: 16 (hex 10) <- not good
  • Unncorrectable sector count: 1 <- not good
  • UltraDMA CRC error count: 60 (hex 3C) <- indicates a minor SATA communication problem, watch this number on your new HDD
  • Write error rate: 24 (hex 18) <- HDD failed a total of 24 writes even with the CRC/retry loop, indicates a serious media problem

    If you've got important data on the drive, leave it powered off until you get a new drive to copy the files onto. thumb.gif
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
The data is safe and sound and I've sent an RMA request to the store I bought the drive from. If it's gotta go, it's gotta go.

Thanks a lot for all your help!
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Normandy
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