Inaccessible boot device


Q

qwerty

Just encountered this in Windows 2000 professional.

No hardware or software changes to computer in past month. Computer ran
and terminated normally yesterday, now I get the inaccessible boot device
error no matter what I do, including trying to start in safe mode, start in
dos command prompt, anything.

What are some steps I should take to fix this, in order of increasing
severity.

FWIW, computer has a C: drive with mostly O/S files, and a D: drive with
most of the program data.
 
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D

DL

Is the hd detected in the bios?
Any bios beep codes?
If you know the make of hd, visit manu.web site and download their hd
checking utility.
Maybe your hd has failed, or mobo
If your hd is'nt detected you wont be able to access any mode.
 
P

Pegasus \(MVP\)

qwerty said:
Just encountered this in Windows 2000 professional.

No hardware or software changes to computer in past month. Computer ran
and terminated normally yesterday, now I get the inaccessible boot device
error no matter what I do, including trying to start in safe mode, start in
dos command prompt, anything.

What are some steps I should take to fix this, in order of increasing
severity.

FWIW, computer has a C: drive with mostly O/S files, and a D: drive with
most of the program data.

First step: Boot the machine with a Win98 boot disk
(www.bootdisk.com), then run ntfsdos /L:MN, then
check if you can see files and folders on drives M: and N:.
You can get ntfsdos.exe from www.sysinternals.com.
 
Q

qwerty

DL said:
Is the hd detected in the bios?
Any bios beep codes?
If you know the make of hd, visit manu.web site and download their hd
checking utility.
Maybe your hd has failed, or mobo
If your hd is'nt detected you wont be able to access any mode.

I ran chkdsk from the recovery console, and it found "one or more"
unrecoverable problems.

I then made a diagnostics disk from the WEstern Digital web site. Ran
the diagnostics and they came up clean.

Restarted computer and after the Windows 2000 splash screen, I got a
screen I'd never seen before, where a three-step chkdsk process ran. At
the conclusion of that, the screen went black and the computer again
rebooted.

This time, it started fine, going right to Windows.

My Norton Antivirus 2004 had run just yesterday, with a definitions file
from yesterday, finding no viruses. I'm doing another scan of the
system right now.

So I *think* I'm okay.

Except this computer has never done that before, and I'm worried about
why I'd get a consistent inaccessible boot device error, that would then
disappear after I ran diagnostics that found no errors.

Any ideas what happened, and what my next step should be for complete
peace of mind?
 
M

Mistoffolees

qwerty said:
I ran chkdsk from the recovery console, and it found "one or more"
unrecoverable problems.

I then made a diagnostics disk from the WEstern Digital web site. Ran
the diagnostics and they came up clean.

Restarted computer and after the Windows 2000 splash screen, I got a
screen I'd never seen before, where a three-step chkdsk process ran. At
the conclusion of that, the screen went black and the computer again
rebooted.

This time, it started fine, going right to Windows.

My Norton Antivirus 2004 had run just yesterday, with a definitions file
from yesterday, finding no viruses. I'm doing another scan of the
system right now.

So I *think* I'm okay.

Except this computer has never done that before, and I'm worried about
why I'd get a consistent inaccessible boot device error, that would then
disappear after I ran diagnostics that found no errors.

Any ideas what happened, and what my next step should be for complete
peace of mind?


Open Event Viewer and check for any abnormal indications,
such as STOP errors. Since an anti-virus scan has been done,
do the same with Spybot S&D or Lavasoft Ad-Aware for any
malware that might have been inadvertantly downloaded. Do
a SMART check on the HD but it will probably turn out OK.
 
D

DL

At this stage I would ensure I had full data backups
Perhaps this is a sign of a bad/dry connection?
Its a while since I used the WD utility, if it has an intensive test option
I would run this.
Presumably your sys clock is not loosing an inordinate amount of time? -
caused by failing battery
 
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P

PC

qwerty said:
I ran chkdsk from the recovery console, and it found "one or more"
unrecoverable problems.

I then made a diagnostics disk from the WEstern Digital web site. Ran
the diagnostics and they came up clean.

Restarted computer and after the Windows 2000 splash screen, I got a
screen I'd never seen before, where a three-step chkdsk process ran. At
the conclusion of that, the screen went black and the computer again
rebooted.

This time, it started fine, going right to Windows.

My Norton Antivirus 2004 had run just yesterday, with a definitions file
from yesterday, finding no viruses. I'm doing another scan of the
system right now.

So I *think* I'm okay.

Except this computer has never done that before, and I'm worried about
why I'd get a consistent inaccessible boot device error, that would then
disappear after I ran diagnostics that found no errors.

Any ideas what happened, and what my next step should be for complete
peace of mind?

Qwerty

Two machines I've done come to mind:
Both displayed weird boot up symptoms.
Both showed errors when using 'chkdsk/r' from the recovery console.
Both took an inordinate amount of time to chkdsk.
Both drives came up clean with their respective makers low level (hardware)
diagnostic's.
Both drives showed errors in the file structure using the makers file
testing routine even though the hardware test was OK (Seagate)
No virus's/malware were detected on either drive when mounted as a slave in
a testing PC.

In both cases 'after backing up user data' the drives were zero'd out
(makers utility to write 0's to every part of the drive)
Windows was then installed using the standard routines (boot from CD).

Neither machine has played up since, one is now over two years since, the
other 3 weeks.

In my opinion the file structure got so screwed up 'nothing' would have
fixed it.
As to the cause.................................................?

Conclusion
Backup your data.
Wipe the drive, test the drive with the makers utility.
If the utility reports it's clear, reinstall.
If the utility reports 'anything' wrong replace the drive. <note the full
stop, there is no other option and it's senseless to try when errors are
reported.

Cheers
Paul.
 

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