'BOOT FAILURE' new HD Or Vista?


K

krootbert

Ok here is the spec lowdown;

I have an ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Mobo with 1016 Bios, 4600+ X2, 2GBs of
some HQ matched pair Cosair ram, 7600GT & an Audigy 2 platinum ex
PSU is a 700w FSP
I have now 3 SATA hard drives - one Seagate 400GB with XP on it, one
Seagate 500GB with Vista HP on it & a 250GB WD drive that is a non
bootable drive.
I also have 3 IDE drives - x2 Maxtor 120's & one Maxtor 250
No RAID configurations
No boot manager in place, OS installs are separate to one another
AFAIK, i'm aware of the volsnap.sys issue, but seeing as that only
affects shadow/restore points of which i never use, i dont see that
being a problem (?)

Current spec is rock solid, no BSODs or crashes etc under XP

Installed Vista, rebooted several times like it said and all was well,
enjoyed Aero some ;) got Truecrypt installed and NOD32, ran through
some windows updates/drivers and rebooted like asked
Abruptly recieved 'BOOT FAILURE PLEASE INSERT SYSTEM DISK'

Rebooted Again with same result. Then i rebooted into XP and ran
HD-TUNE on The 500GB with a full scan and all came up green. SMART had
highlighted some 'issues' according to HD-TUNEs own util, but stats to
my other Seagate were similar and that has been running fine ever
since i installed it early summer.

Powered off and changed SATA cable on Vista driver and plugged into
different slot - booted into vista just fine. Hooray! figured it was
just a dodgy cable ;) but after rebooting another time it switched
back.

Popped in Vista DVD and went to repair option. Ran the auto check
option and it said all was well. Read the log for this and it
supposedly confirms the boot record/MBR/Whatever is absolutely fine :|

Shutdown for the night! Next morning powered back up and was greeted
with the BOOT FAILURE issue (was thinking it was a cold/warm boot
sorta issue till this point). Booted into XP and ran the seagate tests
online with the 500GB'er. All 3 SMART/Short/Extended tests come up as
100% fine :|

AFAIK all these SATA drives are SATA-II. This shouldnt cause me any
issue should it? I have ASAKA latch cables to them all, though i have
tried an ASUS supplied cable on the vista drive to no avail.

Anything i could be missing?!? :O or is it time to RMA? ;)

I have also tried the beta 1805 bios which includes a firmware update
to the SATA chipset. After reinstalling and a reboot after the sound
drivers later it reverted to the same stage again :(

In terms of software i am installing Truecrypt, NOD32 and the Creative
Drivers. In the first instance i had gotten nod32 and truecrypt on
fine, but after a subsequent boot it failed. on the second
installation i had only gotten the Creative Drivers in before it
failed once more.
 
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J

JW

I don't know what Trucrypt and Nod 32 are, Have you tried reinstalling Vista
without adding them?
 
K

krootbert

I don't know what Trucrypt and Nod 32 are, Have you tried reinstalling Vista
without adding them?

Truecrypt (www.truecrypt.org) is effectively an open source Bitlocker
and NOD32 is a vista fully compatible viral scanner.

It could well always be the beta sound drivers, but i have yet to find
a single post with any kind of boot issues on the Creative Vista
forums as of yet. I might try installing without any other software
and rebooting a few times to see if it holds up
 
K

Kerry Brown

At what point did you receive the BOOT FAILURE message? Was it before or
after the Windows boot manager loads. It sounds like a BIOS error message
during the POST. If this is the case it is a hardware issue and nothing to
do with Windows or drivers.
 
K

krootbert

At what point did you receive the BOOT FAILURE message? Was it before or
after the Windows boot manager loads. It sounds like a BIOS error message
during the POST. If this is the case it is a hardware issue and nothing to
do with Windows or drivers.

It occurs just after the point the BIOS chooses which drive to try &
boot on. Interestingly, if i set the BIOS boot order with one of my
IDE drives that completely lack any kind of active or boot partition
ever, with the Vista drive next up it appears to consistently boot. Or
at least it the 4 times i tried it.

Its all just kinda odd given the health checks i've ran across the
drive. Freak bug with this particular mobo & drive combi perhaps? I
shall investigate further ;)
 
K

Kerry Brown

Try inserting a delay in the POST process. Some BIOS' have this setting. If
not try setting the floppy drive seek option to on. It may just be a timing
issue with the drives initializing.
 
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R

Richard Urban

If you left the IDE drives physically connected when you installed Vista,
that may well be the source of your problem. Vista always will write some
boot code to the first IDE drive it identifies.

Your boot order is set for drive C: but the code resides elsewhere.

This is a known condition that has been identified and discussed here
frequently. It does not occur with all M/B's.

The fix is to reinstall Vista with the IDE drives disconnected.

--


Regards,

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User
(For email, remove the obvious from my address)

Quote from George Ankner:
If you knew as much as you think you know,
You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!
 
B

Bit

I have this issue too, and it is most certainly something that Vista is
doing.

I have a dual boot system, WinXP and Vista. I just installed Vista.

Now, sometimes (not everytime) when I reboot Vista, I get a BOOT
FAILURE message. If I boot (and reboot) XP, I *NEVER* get this problem.

The BOOT FAILURE message is coming from the system BIOS. It indicates
that the BIOS can't find anything to boot. This means that "something"
has happened in the system that is preventing the BIOS from being able
to read LBA 0 from the hard drive.

In my case, I suspect that this problem is caused by a faulty driver.
I'm running the WinXP SoundMAX (AD1980) driver for Vista since braindead
Vista doesn't support this sound card. I rebooted Vista many times
before installing the older XP sound driver with no issues. It seems
the issue *may* have started after using the older driver.

I suspect that this driver (or something else new in Vista) is leaving
something in hardware in an unstable state on a reboot. When I get this
BOOT FAILURE message, I can Alt-Ctl-Del or press the RESET button, but
the system will not boot. If if power off the on, then the system boots
fine. This is why I suspect that Vista or a driver has left one of the
devices in a state that causes the HD to not read correctly on reboot.

I'll try removing the old sound driver and see if the problem goes away.
But this is something that only Vista is doing (XP does not do it), and
it means that basically rebooting Vista causes this issue that prevents
the HD from being read. Again, it doesn't occur on EVERY reboot.

Bit.
 
J

JW

Have you tried going into your BIOS as Kerry suggested and setting your CD
ROM as the primary boot device this will give your VISTA HDD more time to
spin up at boot time to full speed which may be the cause of your problem?
 
R

Richard Urban

If you are getting a boot failure that early in the boot sequence it has
nothing to do with any version of Windows, Linux, OS/2 or any other
operating system.

--


Regards,

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User
(For email, remove the obvious from my address)

Quote from George Ankner:
If you knew as much as you think you know,
You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!
 
B

Bit

If you are getting a boot failure that early in the boot sequence it has
nothing to do with any version of Windows, Linux, OS/2 or any other
operating system.

As a general rule yes, but as a blanket statement not always true.

Remember, I'm not having trouble with a power up boot, I'm having trouble
with a REBOOT - which means Vista has already run once.

It is very easy for Vista (or anything else) to possibly leave a device in
a state that can survive a reboot (it's rare but a definite possibility).

Say for example (this is just hypothetical) that the sound chip was left in
an unstable state on Vista reboot, and now the device is banging away on
the PCI bus waiting for some form of request or response. A BIOS reboot
does not always know how to cleanly reset every single device in the system
- it only knows how to reset what it's been programmed to do (which is
typically only motherboard chipset devices).

And I *have* had this issue before with an early linux driver for a SCSI
card. After a reboot, the teardown of the SCSI driver left the SCSI device
in a totally weird state, so upon reboot the SCSI device failed. The only
workaround was to turn off the power and restart from zero power. So this
can happen as I've been-there-done-that. :p

Like I mentioned before, I am using an older WinXP sound driver, which I
forced to install using WinXP compatibilty mode. Since this sound driver
has not been tested with Vista it could very likely not shutdown clean and
leave something "dangling" in the system on reboot. I'm going to disable
it, and see if the issue goes away.

Bit.
 
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R

Richard Urban

I ran into a computer a few years ago that retained information during a
reboot. It caused all sorts of "different" problems. It turned out to be
defective RAM. The ram was not flushing during reboot as it should. A
shutdown allowed the RAM to flush totally.

Changing out the RAM solved the problem. And yes, the original RAM tested
good with any test I threw at it - including using a hardware RAM tester.

--


Regards,

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User
(For email, remove the obvious from my address)

Quote from George Ankner:
If you knew as much as you think you know,
You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!
 
J

JW

Are you saying that if you shutdown and turn the power off that Vista will
always boot but if you are running Vista and do a restart that it will not
always reboot? If yes then I suspect that your MOBO and your Power supply
are not in sync on the reboot or that you need a bigger power supply. I had
a similiar problem last summer with XP after adding another SATA drive and
ended up replacing the power supply with a new bigger one since sometimes I
actually had to unplug it in order to get my system to boot.
 
B

BitBasher

Very close, but if I restart vista (reboot) then *sometimes* it does not boot.
To be precice, something is preventing the BIOS from booting from the HD on
some Vista restarts.

But, if I boot WinXP and restart it over and over, I do not get this issue.
This only happens with my newly installed Vista partition.

I did not add any new hardware, and the powersupply on this system is well
overspec'd for my hardware (this system is not highend, so it's not sucking
lots of power).

I need to spend more time on the next failure to attempt to diagnose what's
causing the problem, but I doubt it's the PSU since I would suspect that a
faulty PSU would also cause WinXP problems and other instabilities.

Bit.
 
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J

JW

Is there any indication of problems in the Vista event logs?
Have you checked to see if you have the latest BIOS for your MOBO?
 

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