Discussion:
Startup problems
(too old to reply)
scbs29
2018-07-20 12:03:43 UTC
Permalink
Hello all
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
started having problems booting up. It can take anything up to 5
or 6 tries before I succeed. This has been going on for 4 days.
There have been no changes to software or hardware for at least
3 months.

The problems can be any of :
1. Boot splash screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
2. The login screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
3. I log in and get bsod. I have had 3 bsod
IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL
MEMORY_MANAGEMENT
PFN_LIST_CORRUPT
4. I log in and the pc starts ok. After a period of time of a few
seconds or a few minutes the pc freezes. Need to switch off power.

If none of the above occurs the pc runs normally.

Following information I found on the web I tried chkdsk which
gave a clean bill of health and Win 7 memory checker which
also gave a clean bill of health.

Today I tried quite a few times to startup and eventually received a
message asking if I wanted to try a startup repair. I replied Yes.
I received a dialog stating
Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically
Problem signature
Problem event name StartupRepairOffline
Problem signature 01 6.1.7600.16385
Problem signature 02 6.1.7600.16385
Problem signature 03 Unknown
Problem signature 04 1549
Problem signature 05 AutoFailOver
Problem signature 06 1
Problem signature 07 NoRootCause
OS Version 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1
Locale ID 1033

The startup diagnosis and repair log showed no errors
except
System files integrity check and repair
Failed Error code 0x2

After this the pc booted up normally.

I have run virus checks with no problems reported.
I have also had some instances on shutdown being informed that it
was an unclean shutdown.
Also told on shutdown that there is a program stopping the
shutdown and to terminate the program before shutting down.
There is never any indication of what the program is.

Can anyone advise me ? Is the next step to boot from the
Windows 7 disk and try Repair installation ?
Should I seek professional advice ?

Packard Bell iXtreme X6620 UK
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 @ 2.5GHz
6 GBytes DDR2 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 2Gb RAM
Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit
MoBo Packard Bell EG43M
Direct X 11

TIA
--
remove fred before emailing
Weatherman
2018-07-20 12:27:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
Hello all
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
started having problems booting up. It can take anything up to 5
or 6 tries before I succeed. This has been going on for 4 days.
There have been no changes to software or hardware for at least
3 months.
1. Boot splash screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
2. The login screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
3. I log in and get bsod. I have had 3 bsod
IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL
MEMORY_MANAGEMENT
PFN_LIST_CORRUPT
4. I log in and the pc starts ok. After a period of time of a few
seconds or a few minutes the pc freezes. Need to switch off power.
If none of the above occurs the pc runs normally.
Following information I found on the web I tried chkdsk which
gave a clean bill of health and Win 7 memory checker which
also gave a clean bill of health.
Today I tried quite a few times to startup and eventually received a
message asking if I wanted to try a startup repair. I replied Yes.
I received a dialog stating
Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically
Problem signature
Problem event name StartupRepairOffline
Problem signature 01 6.1.7600.16385
Problem signature 02 6.1.7600.16385
Problem signature 03 Unknown
Problem signature 04 1549
Problem signature 05 AutoFailOver
Problem signature 06 1
Problem signature 07 NoRootCause
OS Version 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1
Locale ID 1033
The startup diagnosis and repair log showed no errors
except
System files integrity check and repair
Failed Error code 0x2
After this the pc booted up normally.
I have run virus checks with no problems reported.
I have also had some instances on shutdown being informed that it
was an unclean shutdown.
Also told on shutdown that there is a program stopping the
shutdown and to terminate the program before shutting down.
There is never any indication of what the program is.
Can anyone advise me ? Is the next step to boot from the
Windows 7 disk and try Repair installation ?
Should I seek professional advice ?
Packard Bell iXtreme X6620 UK
6 GBytes DDR2 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 2Gb RAM
Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit
MoBo Packard Bell EG43M
Direct X 11
TIA
Try removing and re-seating your RAM sticks.
Mayayana
2018-07-20 13:17:57 UTC
Permalink
"scbs29" <***@fred.talktalk.net> wrote

| Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
| started having problems booting up. It can take anything up to 5
| or 6 tries before I succeed. This has been going on for 4 days.
| There have been no changes to software or hardware for at least
| 3 months.
|

I think Weatherman's suggestion is a good idea to start.
If that doesn't work, try removing one at a time. You
could also try memtest86. I don't know whether windows
memory check is any good but I wouldn't trust it.

If that doesn't solve the problem, look up the error
codes. Advice like running chkdsk rarely solves anything.
It's just generic advice, like, "Confirm that your TV is
plugged in". But error codes are extensive and can be
very informative. It will be 1 32-bit integer in base-16
format, followed by 4 more. Like:

0xC0054113{0x00003412........ etc.

The "0x" is just notation. The 8 characters following are
the number. Often the "high word", the first 4 characters,
represent a category.
I often just copy part of the whole error code text and
search for that. Usually someone has had the same errors
and reprinted them online as they looked for an answer.
VanguardLH
2018-07-20 16:43:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
started having problems booting up. It can take anything up to 5
or 6 tries before I succeed. This has been going on for 4 days.
There have been no changes to software or hardware for at least
3 months.
1. Boot splash screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
2. The login screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
3. I log in and get bsod. I have had 3 bsod
IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL
MEMORY_MANAGEMENT
PFN_LIST_CORRUPT
4. I log in and the pc starts ok. After a period of time of a few
seconds or a few minutes the pc freezes. Need to switch off power.
If none of the above occurs the pc runs normally.
Following information I found on the web I tried chkdsk which
gave a clean bill of health and Win 7 memory checker which
also gave a clean bill of health.
Today I tried quite a few times to startup and eventually received a
message asking if I wanted to try a startup repair. I replied Yes.
I received a dialog stating
Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically
Problem signature
Problem event name StartupRepairOffline
Problem signature 01 6.1.7600.16385
Problem signature 02 6.1.7600.16385
Problem signature 03 Unknown
Problem signature 04 1549
Problem signature 05 AutoFailOver
Problem signature 06 1
Problem signature 07 NoRootCause
OS Version 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1
Locale ID 1033
The startup diagnosis and repair log showed no errors
except
System files integrity check and repair
Failed Error code 0x2
After this the pc booted up normally.
I have run virus checks with no problems reported.
I have also had some instances on shutdown being informed that it
was an unclean shutdown.
Also told on shutdown that there is a program stopping the
shutdown and to terminate the program before shutting down.
There is never any indication of what the program is.
Can anyone advise me ? Is the next step to boot from the
Windows 7 disk and try Repair installation ?
Should I seek professional advice ?
Packard Bell iXtreme X6620 UK
6 GBytes DDR2 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 2Gb RAM
Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit
MoBo Packard Bell EG43M
Direct X 11
Disconnect all non-essential hardware from the PSU. For example,
disconnect all USB devices except for mouse and keyboard if those are
USB, disconnect power from the CD/DVD drive, and disconnect all hard
disks except for the one with the OS partition. The idea is to relieve
the PSU of some of its load to see if boot becomes stable. If so, time
to replace the PSU (and of a larger capacity).

Get and run memtest86+ (http://www.memtest.org/).

From online searching on "Packard Bell iXtreme X6620", apparently that
computer model came out around May 2010. That means the CMOS battery is
8 years old ... too old. Replace it. If you have customized the BIOS
settings, note them and reset the BIOS after installing the new battery
and then restore the custom BIOS settings.
VanguardLH
2018-07-23 03:58:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by VanguardLH
Post by scbs29
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
started having problems booting up. It can take anything up to 5
or 6 tries before I succeed. This has been going on for 4 days.
There have been no changes to software or hardware for at least
3 months.
1. Boot splash screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
2. The login screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
3. I log in and get bsod. I have had 3 bsod
IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL
MEMORY_MANAGEMENT
PFN_LIST_CORRUPT
4. I log in and the pc starts ok. After a period of time of a few
seconds or a few minutes the pc freezes. Need to switch off power.
If none of the above occurs the pc runs normally.
Following information I found on the web I tried chkdsk which
gave a clean bill of health and Win 7 memory checker which
also gave a clean bill of health.
Today I tried quite a few times to startup and eventually received a
message asking if I wanted to try a startup repair. I replied Yes.
I received a dialog stating
Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically
Problem signature
Problem event name StartupRepairOffline
Problem signature 01 6.1.7600.16385
Problem signature 02 6.1.7600.16385
Problem signature 03 Unknown
Problem signature 04 1549
Problem signature 05 AutoFailOver
Problem signature 06 1
Problem signature 07 NoRootCause
OS Version 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1
Locale ID 1033
The startup diagnosis and repair log showed no errors
except
System files integrity check and repair
Failed Error code 0x2
After this the pc booted up normally.
I have run virus checks with no problems reported.
I have also had some instances on shutdown being informed that it
was an unclean shutdown.
Also told on shutdown that there is a program stopping the
shutdown and to terminate the program before shutting down.
There is never any indication of what the program is.
Can anyone advise me ? Is the next step to boot from the
Windows 7 disk and try Repair installation ?
Should I seek professional advice ?
Packard Bell iXtreme X6620 UK
6 GBytes DDR2 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 2Gb RAM
Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit
MoBo Packard Bell EG43M
Direct X 11
Disconnect all non-essential hardware from the PSU. For example,
disconnect all USB devices except for mouse and keyboard if those are
USB, disconnect power from the CD/DVD drive, and disconnect all hard
disks except for the one with the OS partition. The idea is to relieve
the PSU of some of its load to see if boot becomes stable. If so, time
to replace the PSU (and of a larger capacity).
Get and run memtest86+ (http://www.memtest.org/).
From online searching on "Packard Bell iXtreme X6620", apparently that
computer model came out around May 2010. That means the CMOS battery is
8 years old ... too old. Replace it. If you have customized the BIOS
settings, note them and reset the BIOS after installing the new battery
and then restore the custom BIOS settings.
Oops, forgot to mention that you might want to run:

chkdsk.exe /r <drive>:

I've seen where a flaky sector (within a cluster) would manage to read
okay sometimes but fail other times. /r tests all clusters (whether
allocated or not), so how long chkdsk takes to complete the task depends
on the size of the partition (the <drive> spec).

The problem with /r should it find an iffy sector and mark it bad and
use up a reserve sector on the disk is that it only tests sectors within
the specified partition by the drive letter. It does not test the boot
cylinder of the hard disk (where is the MBR with its partition tables,
bootstrap code, and other data, or the UEFI sector if using that). With
magnetic media, dipole stress causes reduced differential in signal
strength over time unless the sector gets rewritten. The disk's
firmware will attempt re-reads of a flaky sector, and so will the OS, so
they compound each other until it takes something like 15 attempts
before a sector is considered too flaky. There are tools that will test
every sector on a hard disk by testing a buffer area, moving data to the
buffer, and then testing the sector where was the data whether it was
within a partition, boot cylinder, or unallocated space within a
partition. The idea is to refresh every sector to ensure the dipoles
are at their maximum field strength. Spinrite is one such tool but it's
a bit dated and a bit pricey at $89. HDD Regenerator is another such
tool but every more pricey at $99. HD Sentinel has a disk reinitialize
feature in its Pro version at $30. I've heard of but not used HDAT2,
DiskFresh, and DRevitalize.

If your disk is an SDD, dipole stress is not an issue because an SSD
doesn't use magnetic media to record data. SSDs use masking to redirect
bad memory blocks to reserve blocks. When the reserve gets used up, the
SSD immediately and catastrophically fails.
G Ross
2018-07-20 17:12:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
Hello all
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
started having problems booting up. It can take anything up to 5
or 6 tries before I succeed. This has been going on for 4 days.
There have been no changes to software or hardware for at least
3 months.
1. Boot splash screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
2. The login screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
3. I log in and get bsod. I have had 3 bsod
IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL
MEMORY_MANAGEMENT
PFN_LIST_CORRUPT
4. I log in and the pc starts ok. After a period of time of a few
seconds or a few minutes the pc freezes. Need to switch off power.
If none of the above occurs the pc runs normally.
Following information I found on the web I tried chkdsk which
gave a clean bill of health and Win 7 memory checker which
also gave a clean bill of health.
Today I tried quite a few times to startup and eventually received a
message asking if I wanted to try a startup repair. I replied Yes.
I received a dialog stating
Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically
Problem signature
Problem event name StartupRepairOffline
Problem signature 01 6.1.7600.16385
Problem signature 02 6.1.7600.16385
Problem signature 03 Unknown
Problem signature 04 1549
Problem signature 05 AutoFailOver
Problem signature 06 1
Problem signature 07 NoRootCause
OS Version 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1
Locale ID 1033
The startup diagnosis and repair log showed no errors
except
System files integrity check and repair
Failed Error code 0x2
After this the pc booted up normally.
I have run virus checks with no problems reported.
I have also had some instances on shutdown being informed that it
was an unclean shutdown.
Also told on shutdown that there is a program stopping the
shutdown and to terminate the program before shutting down.
There is never any indication of what the program is.
Can anyone advise me ? Is the next step to boot from the
Windows 7 disk and try Repair installation ?
Should I seek professional advice ?
Packard Bell iXtreme X6620 UK
6 GBytes DDR2 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 2Gb RAM
Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit
MoBo Packard Bell EG43M
Direct X 11
TIA
One of my win7's did similar about a week ago. It would get nearly to
"enter password" , shut down and reboot. Did that continuously.
After trying all the simple remedies, I finally hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and
got somehow to the system restore prompt, restored the last restore
and everything has worked fine since.
--
G Ross
scbs29
2018-07-22 13:18:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
Hello all
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
Thanks for the advice.
Memtest86 gave a clean bill of health.
This morning the pc booted as far as the login screen then when I
entered my password it rebooted and froze at the boot splash.
I then tried unpluggiing all except the system disk and now when I try
to boot tne pc emits a continuous high pitched beep and doesnt get to
the boot splash.
I think I need professional help.
--
remove fred before emailing
Paul
2018-07-22 13:36:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
Post by scbs29
Hello all
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
Thanks for the advice.
Memtest86 gave a clean bill of health.
This morning the pc booted as far as the login screen then when I
entered my password it rebooted and froze at the boot splash.
I then tried unpluggiing all except the system disk and now when I try
to boot tne pc emits a continuous high pitched beep and doesnt get to
the boot splash.
I think I need professional help.
Leaking caps ?

Could be inside the ATX PSU, or
could be on the motherboard around
the CPU socket area or next to the
DIMM slots.

My thinking is, the machine kinda works
when one of four cores is in usage. The BIOS
probably uses only one core. When handed off
to the OS and four cores are used, it becomes
unstable because of the extra electrical
load.

That could be a problem with VCore regulator,
VDimm regulator, or the ATX PSU.

Your errors smack of memory errors, yet the
memtest86+ test finished. The memtest86+
test can be run with one core or four cores.
The latest version support multi-core operation,
and maybe that will add enough stress to tip
over memtest.

http://www.memtest.org/

V5.01

Added experimental SMT support up to 32 cores
(Press F2 to enable at startup)

HTH,
Paul
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-07-22 16:22:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
Post by scbs29
Hello all
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
Thanks for the advice.
Memtest86 gave a clean bill of health.
This morning the pc booted as far as the login screen then when I
entered my password it rebooted and froze at the boot splash.
I then tried unpluggiing all except the system disk and now when I try
to boot tne pc emits a continuous high pitched beep and doesnt get to
the boot splash.
I think I need professional help.
Can't speak for you, but as for your computer ... (sorry, couldn't
resist!)

When you say you unplugged all but the disk, you didn't unplug your RAM,
did you? Some mobos will complain (in fact I think most will) if you do
that.

Might be worth checking your mobo's manual for what continuous beep
indicates, if there's a table of what various beeps mean.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Never be led astray onto the path of virtue.
scbs29
2018-07-30 10:16:03 UTC
Permalink
Thankyou all for your advice.
After my last post, my pc started behaving itself, booting with no
problems for 3 days.

The pc contains 2 hdd, 1 Tb partitioned as PQSERVICE 12 Gb, SYSTEM
RESERVED 100 Mb, C: (o/s partition) 459.45Gb and D: 459.96Gb.
The second hdd is E:, 1863 Gb.

After the 3 days, for 2 days, when I started up I received a message
that the E: drive needed checking for consistency. The check was done
with no errors. After this on both days the pc booted successfully and
I had no problems.
Then when I tried to access the disk, although it was shown in File
Manager, I received that the disk was corrupt or not accessible. Again
this seemed to clear itself the next day and I have had no prolems
with the disk since.
This mornng I again received the message that the hdd needed checking,
again there were no errors and the pc booted successfully.

Can I assume that the hdd is on its way out and needs replacing ?
Could this be the cause of my earlier problem ?
Post by scbs29
Hello all
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
started having problems booting up. It can take anything up to 5
or 6 tries before I succeed. This has been going on for 4 days.
There have been no changes to software or hardware for at least
snip
Post by scbs29
Problem signature 06 1
Problem signature 07 NoRootCause
OS Version 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1
Locale ID 1033
TIA
--
remove fred before emailing
Ed Cryer
2018-07-30 11:23:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
Thankyou all for your advice.
After my last post, my pc started behaving itself, booting with no
problems for 3 days.
The pc contains 2 hdd, 1 Tb partitioned as PQSERVICE 12 Gb, SYSTEM
RESERVED 100 Mb, C: (o/s partition) 459.45Gb and D: 459.96Gb.
The second hdd is E:, 1863 Gb.
After the 3 days, for 2 days, when I started up I received a message
that the E: drive needed checking for consistency. The check was done
with no errors. After this on both days the pc booted successfully and
I had no problems.
Then when I tried to access the disk, although it was shown in File
Manager, I received that the disk was corrupt or not accessible. Again
this seemed to clear itself the next day and I have had no prolems
with the disk since.
This mornng I again received the message that the hdd needed checking,
again there were no errors and the pc booted successfully.
Can I assume that the hdd is on its way out and needs replacing ?
Could this be the cause of my earlier problem ?
Try disabling the E drive, reboot, see what happens. If it's okay, carry
on for a few days.

If all works error-free, you'll have nailed your problem. After that
it'll be a question of finding out what's wrong with the E drive. Badly
installed? Drivers corrupt? Sectors dying? Let us know, and we'll guide
you through.


Ed
Paul
2018-07-30 13:11:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
Thankyou all for your advice.
After my last post, my pc started behaving itself, booting with no
problems for 3 days.
The pc contains 2 hdd, 1 Tb partitioned as PQSERVICE 12 Gb, SYSTEM
RESERVED 100 Mb, C: (o/s partition) 459.45Gb and D: 459.96Gb.
The second hdd is E:, 1863 Gb.
After the 3 days, for 2 days, when I started up I received a message
that the E: drive needed checking for consistency. The check was done
with no errors. After this on both days the pc booted successfully and
I had no problems.
Then when I tried to access the disk, although it was shown in File
Manager, I received that the disk was corrupt or not accessible. Again
this seemed to clear itself the next day and I have had no prolems
with the disk since.
This mornng I again received the message that the hdd needed checking,
again there were no errors and the pc booted successfully.
Can I assume that the hdd is on its way out and needs replacing ?
Could this be the cause of my earlier problem ?
Post by scbs29
Hello all
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
started having problems booting up. It can take anything up to 5
or 6 tries before I succeed. This has been going on for 4 days.
There have been no changes to software or hardware for at least
snip
Post by scbs29
Problem signature 06 1
Problem signature 07 NoRootCause
OS Version 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1
Locale ID 1033
TIA
HDTune - Health tab

http://www.hdtune.com/files/hdtune_255.exe

Sample of a disk drive in good health.

Loading Image...

*******

The second health check is the Benchmark (read-only) curve.
If you see a 50GB wide swath of disk delivering 5-10MB/sec
of bandwidth, that's a "bad spot" and can have lots of
reallocated sectors in it. Unfortunately. the SMART statistics
are best at predicting failure, if errors are spread uniformly
over the platter surface. If the platter is bad in only
one spot, the health indicators can continue to indicate "good".

Here, a user compares two different drives from the same
batch. A sick one on the left. A healthy one on the right.

https://superuser.com/questions/945741/hdd-performance-spikes

There could be other explanations for the one on the left,
but the one on the right tested OK, so that eliminates
a lot of coincidence cases. The downward section at 37% of
the way across the surface, is cause for concern. It's not
dead, but that's a bad spot that could cost a file or two.

The benchmark curve on the left, is how we detect trouble
before it gets to the "SMART warning" stage.

*******

SMART is not a perfect scheme, but it's what we've got available
to us.

Paul
Char Jackson
2018-07-30 14:44:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
Can I assume that the hdd is on its way out and needs replacing ?
Could this be the cause of my earlier problem ?
In addition to the other advice, I would also check Event Viewer for
disk issues. I had a situation a few years ago where I had a flaky SATA
connector and Event Viewer was reporting well over 60,000 communication
issues with that drive. I had assumed that the drive was dying, but
reseating the SATA connector completely resolved the issue.

Drives vibrate and SATA connectors aren't great to begin with, plus they
are only rated for about 50 insertion cycles. The whole thing is a
recipe for failure.

Quite possibly not your problem, but it's always good to check Event
Viewer when you're having issues. Just remember to resist the urge to
delete any of the event logs. Instead, take a moment to learn how to
filter the logs so they show you just what you want.
--
Char Jackson
scbs29
2018-08-10 14:16:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
Hello all
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
started having problems booting up. It can take anything up to 5
or 6 tries before I succeed. This has been going on for 4 days.
There have been no changes to software or hardware for at least
3 months.
1. Boot splash screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
snip
Windows 7 disk and try Repair installation ?
Should I seek professional advice ?
Packard Bell iXtreme X6620 UK
6 GBytes DDR2 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 2Gb RAM
Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit
MoBo Packard Bell EG43M
Direct X 11
TIA
Thanks once again for all of the advice and help.
When I got my pc up and running, out of curiosity I ran a frag
analysis (Auslogics) on my E: drive. The results showed a block of
about 250Gb containing 3 files which were completely fragmented.
These were old system backups, but I didnt think they took up that
much space.
I then ran the defrag on the disk and nothing happened, the block was
not defragged although the rest of the disk was.
I deleted the folder containing these 3 files and since then, apart
from the disk not showing up in File Manager which sorted itself out
on the next reboot, I have had no problems at all.
I realise that it is only a week since I did this, so it is still
early days, but possibly these files were the root of the problem ?
I carried out Seagate and HDSentinel tests on the drive and there
were no problems found.
--
remove fred before emailing
Paul
2018-08-10 14:26:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
Post by scbs29
Hello all
Literally between switching off at night and restarting next morning I
started having problems booting up. It can take anything up to 5
or 6 tries before I succeed. This has been going on for 4 days.
There have been no changes to software or hardware for at least
3 months.
1. Boot splash screen appears and the pc hangs. Need to switch off
power.
snip
Windows 7 disk and try Repair installation ?
Should I seek professional advice ?
Packard Bell iXtreme X6620 UK
6 GBytes DDR2 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 2Gb RAM
Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit
MoBo Packard Bell EG43M
Direct X 11
TIA
Thanks once again for all of the advice and help.
When I got my pc up and running, out of curiosity I ran a frag
analysis (Auslogics) on my E: drive. The results showed a block of
about 250Gb containing 3 files which were completely fragmented.
These were old system backups, but I didnt think they took up that
much space.
I then ran the defrag on the disk and nothing happened, the block was
not defragged although the rest of the disk was.
I deleted the folder containing these 3 files and since then, apart
from the disk not showing up in File Manager which sorted itself out
on the next reboot, I have had no problems at all.
I realise that it is only a week since I did this, so it is still
early days, but possibly these files were the root of the problem ?
I carried out Seagate and HDSentinel tests on the drive and there
were no problems found.
You still have the SMART data to look at in HDTune.
To see if the drive is actually healthy.

At the very least, you should do a full backup of the disk.
You cannot store this on the disk itself, but place it on
some other, more reliable disk drive. That is your insurance
in case more problems now manifest themselves.

I doubt it has anything to do with the files directly.
But opening up that space, may have resulted in some
defragmented files moving to the space you've opened
up, a space with fewer storage problems or something.

Paul
VanguardLH
2018-08-10 22:46:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by scbs29
When I got my pc up and running, out of curiosity I ran a frag
analysis (Auslogics) on my E: drive. The results showed a block of
about 250Gb containing 3 files which were completely fragmented.
These were old system backups, but I didnt think they took up that
much space.
I then ran the defrag on the disk and nothing happened, the block was
not defragged although the rest of the disk was.
I deleted the folder containing these 3 files and since then, apart
from the disk not showing up in File Manager which sorted itself out
on the next reboot, I have had no problems at all.
I realise that it is only a week since I did this, so it is still
early days, but possibly these files were the root of the problem ?
I carried out Seagate and HDSentinel tests on the drive and there
were no problems found.
Defragmentation can only use the non-reserved parts of a partition.
With NTFS, there are journaling files that cannot be moved. You think
there is a big chunk of continuous free space where a file could get
moved into to defrag it. However, the file is too large and has to jump
over the journal file(s).

In the past, and to get around the unmovable journal files, I saved a
backup image, formatted the partition, and restored the image and did
the defrag. Another solution I remember reading was to open a command
shell with admin privileges and run "fsutil usn deletejournal /d c:".
That deletes the journaling, do the defrag, and reboot.

Journaling maintains a persistent log of changes on the drive. You can
delete the journal files but they get regenerated. More info at:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-server-2008-R2-and-2008/cc788042(v=ws.10)

You would first defrag then delete the journal files and then do another
defrag. The journal files will get recreated but at different spots, so
there might be enough space between the new journal files within which
your large files will fit. However, because the files are so huge, a
couple breaks in them (i.e., more than 1 fragment) won't much affect the
time to access them. For example, you might have a huge video file but
having multiple fragments won't affect playback since all players have a
buffer to read ahead in the video file to ensure smooth playback.

The defrag didn't do anything because those files were defragmented as
best they could be using whatever layout that defrag tool prefers to
use. You didn't say which defrag tool you used, and different ones use
different layouts which compete with each other resulting in one defrag
changing the layout for a different defrag tool.

"Completely fragmented" doesn't say how many fragments were encompassed
by each of the 3 huge files. The OS doesn't have any 250GB sized file.
Even with 3 files occupying 250GB, the OS doesn't have any files sized
at 66GB. Those 3 files are data files, like backups, zip archives,
videos, ISO images, VHD files for virtual machines, and the like. Those
data files aren't involved in booting Windows. While getting rid of
them solved the problem, the problem is still lurking. You worked on
something unrelated, the computer now boots okay, but nothing you did
addressed the problem. In fact, on the next reboot after the file
deletions you said the problem remained: the drive was unseen on the
next boot.

You did not mention if you have yet bothered to run chkdsk.exe with its
/r option to test the sectors on the disk. Defrag doesn't move any
files that don't have over 1 fragment or those already that fit within
the layout the defrag tool likes to use. Since the system files rarely
ever get moved to a different sector, they never get rewritten to
refresh those sectors. All magnetic media loses retentivity (i.e.,
signal strength wanes) due to dipole stress. Data isn't written
permanently into the disk but as magnetic moments on the disk. Take a
couple of magnetic sticks and put them on your desk. If the norths and
souths align then the sticks push away. If they are not aligned, the
sticks pull toward each other. Magnetic dipoles do the same on disks.
There is magnetic stress that will unalign them over time, so those bits
do not produce as high a signal strength on reading them until
eventually they are too unaligned to read reliably. Magnetic data needs
to get refreshed: data read, media erased, data rewritten. That
realigns the dipoles.

There are many tools to refresh a magnetic drive (e.g., Spinrite @ $89,
HDD Regenerator @ $100). However, as a cheap but not thorough check,
you can first use "chkdsk c: /r" as I previously mentioned to check if
each sector is reliably readable. If flaky, the data gets moved to a
pretested sector and the old sector is marked bad. That will check the
readability of the disk. It does not refresh the dipoles if the result
is okay because that means the data never got rewritten.

Most system files are never rewritten, so the magnetic media for them
never gets refreshed. The good tools that do refresh (rewrite to
realign the dipoles) cost money, enough that you need to consider
whether to buy the tool and see if it helps with reliability of the
drive or to buy a new drive. For techs, this type of software should be
in their software toolbox because it would get applied across multiple
drives hence making the software affordable per device. It's like the
plumber that buys all his tools to use for multiple jobs, not buying all
the tools needed for just one job and then doing the same for every job.
I've heard of but not used MHDD (free) but it's old (2005) and
discontinued but that doesn't mean it stopped working. I'm using 40tude
Dialog to post to Usenet and its author abandoned it back in 2005. I
have HD Sentinel but only the Standard version for monitoring the health
of the HDDs and SSDs. The Pro version ($30) can do a surface scan which
includes their "reinitialization" method (another wording for refresh).
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