Laptop unable to boot, keep getting BSOD

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by psycopuppy, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. psycopuppy

    psycopuppy Geek Trainee

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    Ok folks, here is the thing. A laptop I'm working on got infected with a bad virus and was only able to boot into safe mode. Pretty soon the infection got so bad that it wouldnt even do that. Whenever I try to boot (in safe mode or normal) it loads for a minute or so and then the BSOD pops up saying UNMOUNTABLE BOOT DRIVE. I have tried using an external hdd to see if I could make it boot off of that (like a live cd) Nothing, all I get is a black screen with a blinking line in the upper left hand corner. I have checked on a couple of different systems to make sure that I created the boot disk properly. I did. I made sure that the laptop could boot from usb devices and I even made sure that it booted to the usb device. Now I'm stuck.

    So here is my question:
    1) Is there any way to back up the data on the laptop if I cant boot and using a live cd dosent work?
    2) Any other suggestions on stuff I could try to fix this?
     
  2. Ghostman 1

    Ghostman 1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you get into the Bios? And then set your boot order to CD/dvd rom drive.. If all else fails, you can remove the hard drive from the laptop and piggy back it from another host computer.. First set boot order to boot from cd, then using a Setup cd, you will be able to reinstall your operating system..
     
  3. psycopuppy

    psycopuppy Geek Trainee

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    I dont want to reinstall the os until I can get the data off of the system. I know that I'm going to have to reinstall the os eventually but I would really like to not have to take the chance that I will completly wipe the data off of it. I can try the piggyback method but I am going to have to go out and but the harware and I dont have a lot of money. And yes I can get into BIOS but what would be the difference between booting from a cd and booting from a usb? If one dosent work then surely the other wont.
     
  4. Wildcard

    Wildcard Big Geek

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    cube_ likes this.
  5. Ghostman 1

    Ghostman 1 Moderator Staff Member

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    What you need then is either BartsPE or Hirens Boot Cd... You can run Hirens boot cd and try to fix your Virus by running the antivirus program, or
    You can run BartsPE and run scandisk from inside BartsPE.. either one should work.. Last chance, if either doesn't work then you will have to piggy back the hard drive.. here is a link for what you need.
    http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=2020&cat=HDD
     
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  6. cube_

    cube_ Mega Geek

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    Hm, i like these suggestion i never though about that. What O/S are you running?
     
  7. psycopuppy

    psycopuppy Geek Trainee

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    hey guys, thanx for the help so far. question for you. If one version of a Live CD dosent work would another? In other words if I burn Ubuntu to a disc and that dosent work can I assume that something like Knoppix wont work as well?

    edit: the laptop is running windows 7, the computer im on now is running vista

    Edit part 2: So get this, I burned Ubuntu to a disk and tried booting the computer up that way. And it worked! Sort of...after about 15 minutes Ubuntu loaded and asked me if I wanted to try or install the os. I clicked try. The screen flashed a couple of times and it looked like it was going to work. And then it went black. All I see is the mouse. But it did make a noise like it was starting up (you know how Windows makes that chiming noise when it first starts up? Like that) So in a way I'm back to where I started when I first got this gig. Does this sound like a virus to anyone else? I'm beggining to wonder...anyway, I'm going to try rebotting from the cd and installing the os. Hopefully that will work.

    Edit part 3: ok a weird note here, when installing the OS it has a little check list. One of the requirments is that it has to have at least 4 GB of free space on a hard drive. I do know that this laptop hasent been filled up. I had to plug in an external hdd just to get to the next screen.
    Later; ok, I tried installing the Ubuntu OS on there but I was afraid I was going to wipe the data off of there if I did so I stopped that. Now I'm downloading systemrescuecd. hopefully that one will work. ttyl
     
  8. Wildcard

    Wildcard Big Geek

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    Hi,
    Not all linux distributions are the same. Some of them want you to install to a hard drive, but others were designed to be run right from the cd. Knoppix can be installed to the harddrive, but it was designed to be run from the CD and actually recommends it to be run from the CD. Also, some versions of linux have the ability to read a NTFS file structure and some cannot, it depends on the version and if they have the correct system files. The boot time for ubuntu sounds like it was taking a long time for you, when I have tried Knoppix, it usually only takes a minute or 2 to load to the desktop. I wouldnt install anything to the hard drive if you are hoping to recover data from it, theres a good chance something could be over written.

    Its possible that this could be a virus that has corrupted the boot sector, but it could also be that the harddrive has just died as well. Hard drives are only rated for a certain amount of life and the only thing for sure is that they will die at some point. I would try the rescuecd, not sure if it has any tools to check the health of the hard drive but if it does I would run a check on it just to see.
     
  9. psycopuppy

    psycopuppy Geek Trainee

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    Ok, so I am still waiting on that cable but in the meantime I tried connecting the hard drive to my PC and seeing if it would be able to find it. Nothing. I can feel it spinning but it wont show up under my computer, I also tried running the manufactures hard drive utility to see if it would be able to find the drive. Nothing. I then tried running a few data recovery programs to see if one of them couldf find the hdd. Nothing. Can anyone suggest something I havent thought of? If I run chkdsk will it scan all drives?

    Also, one note. When I first plugged the hdd in the pc went really slow and I saw a screen I usually only see if I decide to run chkdsk on system startup. You guys think this my pont to anything?

    edit: also, at times the hdd will show up in bios but other times it wont.
     
  10. violetblueskies

    violetblueskies Big Geek

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    okay first off this guy is just trying to get his data off.
    assuming his hdd is sata based on his last post.
    simply connecting it to a desktop with a working os and with sata power/data connections would suffice.
    little issues like needing to take ownership if his files are private wouldn't be a big deal.
    there is the possibility that his hdd has a password lock installed by the laptop but not as likely.

    "I tried connecting the hard drive to my PC and seeing if it would be able to find it. Nothing. I can feel it spinning but it wont show up under my computer, I also tried running the manufactures hard drive utility to see if it would be able to find the drive. Nothing. I then tried running a few data recovery programs to see if one of them couldf find the hdd. Nothing."

    thing is, if your hdd doesn't show up in the bios then none of those softwares will find it either so of coarse they will say they can't find it.

    "Also, one note. When I first plugged the hdd in the pc went really slow and I saw a screen I usually only see if I decide to run chkdsk on system startup. You guys think this my pont to anything?"

    your probably talking about the chkdsk scan when you first plugged it up it recognized in the bios and the os on the desktop saw issues that needed to be addressed on that laptop drive so it initiated a scan.
    also a failing drive can slow down the boot up process to windows because windows tries to communicate with the faulty drive and has to wait on it.

    "edit: also, at times the hdd will show up in bios but other times it wont."

    tell tale sign of a failing drive.

    aside from all this what you need to make sure of before doing anything with the laptop drive is...
    make sure its recognized in the bios first. if the bios doesn't see it then other software like the os, manf hdd utilities, data recovery, etc won't see it.
    when you do get it to recognize i would attempt to use windows to access the drive and get as much as your data off quick as possible.
    not sure what kind of data your trying to recover here but it makes a difference in the amount of time it will take to recover.
    if its like documents and pics you may be able to make it out before it craps out on you again.
    if its like movies, games, etc. chances are you may need to lose out on it.

    if your drive is badly intermittent in detection in bios then you may want to look into freezing the drive.
    if freezing makes the drive work then you have a small window of time to get your data and get out.
     
  11. psycopuppy

    psycopuppy Geek Trainee

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    you would think right?

    dosent matter, I know the password in any case
    the thing is that sometimes it does show up in bios. Sometimes.
    Ok so the freezer trick works...kinda. Bios will show it, but then it runs chkdsk on the disk. After running chkdsk (which I cant bypass) it will boot normally but I still cant see the drive. I'm thinking my only option is to wait on this cable that I ordered that will attach the hard drive to the computer via usb. What I'm hopping will happen is the freezer trick will work with a usb cable, I can find the dam hdd, and get the files off of it (which is mostly pics) what do you guys think? will this work?
     
  12. violetblueskies

    violetblueskies Big Geek

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    when you say you can't see the drive do you mean any drive letters?
    does windows recognize the drive and install drivers for it?
    best checked by looking in disk management settings.
     
  13. psycopuppy

    psycopuppy Geek Trainee

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    I'm saying that when windows boots sometimes there isnt a second hard drive. It dosent show anything in Bios, it dosent show anything when it starts up. As far as the machine is concerned it isnt there. Then again sometimes it dose see the second hard drive. It shows up correctly in Bios, it shows up correctly when it is first starting up, it even shows the correct drive letter when it is running chkdsk.

    dont ya just hate these pain in the ass problems I come up with?
     
  14. LiquidFlames

    LiquidFlames Geek Trainee

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    So, to simplify - sometimes it works.. sometimes it doesn't. I hate to be the one to break it to ya. That hard drive is toast... or at least in the oven on its way to being toast. Recovering anything from it, especially with it only sometimes showing in BIOS, is going to be quite a feat. You have tried just about every trick in the book. The only other thing I can think of, which is compeltely crazy, is to use this tutorial:

    http://www.wikihow.com/Swap-Hard-Disk-Drive-Platters
     
  15. violetblueskies

    violetblueskies Big Geek

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    yeah i agree as well.
    if your saying it works when you freeze it then chances are your drive has mechanical problems.
    the data errors are probably a result due to the mechanical problems.

    when recognizing it from bios:
    it would be ideal to boot into an environment such as a dos like environment or similar.
    i don't know about linux much but i think it would read ntfs file system.
    also i think os's like windows like to read the drive content and folder structure which might cause it to hang.
    whereas, places like dos, linux dos area only access what they are told to.
    the idea is to go from post with the drive recognized to quickly getting to this point.
    from there a batch file could be created that runs a command to copy files.
    this is working within the short time span your drive has while its working.

    or you can go to the extreme and take it apart but man good luck with that one.
     
  16. psycopuppy

    psycopuppy Geek Trainee

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    yeah taking it apart is beyond my skills (and pay grade! :p ) either way, the lady that this laptop belongs to found out that best buy will replace the hdd for free so I guess you could say this thread can be closed. Thats ok, I've got two other computers that need to be fixed. Thank you everyone that helped out on this. Look for more threads from me in the future!
     

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