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Bad disk errors and constant shut downs


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#1 Bryan A

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:29 AM

I have just finished cleaning my computer on the malware forums. However once again I'm getting disk errors and constant dsk chk being scheduled which only works for the next boot but problems come back right after that. Several program errors come up including i.point and msi.dll. I know it must be a registry and disk problem unless there is something that couldn't be detected and is still causing these problems. I'm at my wits end with this, I need to get everything corrected and back to running properly again. I've tried over and over to access programs and features but I'm not granted access. It just doesn't even try and go there and leaves no message as to why I can't gain access. Nearly every time I reboot I get prompted for another dsk chk run. When it runs there are hundreds of corrections made, but the next time I start up it goes through the same dsk chk process. I ran sfc /scannow from an admin prompt and it stopped after the first run and said that there are errors in the files but they could not be fixed. I've tried to find the logs from the run, and I can't open it, I'm denied access to the log. Please help me to get things working correctly again, I suspect that nothing short of a complete reload of Win7 will accomplish this. My concerns are that much needed and valuable things will be lost . I do not have an external hard drive nor another computer. The only thing I have in the way of external storage is a 8gb flash drive. Will this suffice to save favorites and pictures, music,? Here is the info on my computer: Acer Aspire x1301 Amd Athlon II x2 215, 2700Mhz, dual core Win7 64, I.E. 10

Edited by Bryan A, 08 January 2013 - 04:43 PM.

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#2 8210GUY

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:32 PM

Well the first thing I suggest is back up ALL the files you need saved, NOW, if you can't afford to lose them, then you need them backed up, regardless of what is going on with the system as a matter of course. Now that's been said, storage, your thumb drive has the space it has, and can hold that amount of data, so if you have more data than the drive can take, you will need to use other resources instead of, or as well as, the most likely option you have if this becomes needed is to burn it to disk, just create a data disk, that will take your files, you could also try compressing the files with a 3rd party solution, &-Zip is free and very good, simply right click on a file(s), or even the folder(s) containing what you need, and select to compress to x.7zip file (x being the name given to the file(s), which it always preselects this for you taking the name of the file being compressed, but it can be changed if you want), once you have achieved this then you know no matter what happens from then you have your important files safe, and a belt and braces approach is to have 2 or 3 back up's if they are that important just for extra peace of mind. Right now the drive that your safe, and you have been given the all clear from the pro's Re infections ? This sounds very likely to be a dying hard drive, the best way to check is identify the brand of drive you have, fastest way is probably click on Start - Control Panel - Device Manager, then expand the section that says drives, and take note of what it says, that will hopefully tell us what we need, if your not sure post back with the findings and we can guide further. Then go to the makers site and download their utility to run a health scan, if sfc was chucking back errors, this will certainly confirm if it is in fact the drive dying, and if this is the case, the ONLY solution is to replace the drive, and if yours has a hidden system recovery on it, you need to get this quickly and clone the dying drive over before it completely dies, because when it does, unless you have disks you wont be able to reinstall, which given your situation I would suggest doing anyway, because with the troubles your having, there's no way to know how messed up it will be, so a fresh start will give you the best start in this case IMHO, hope this helps.

#3 Bryan A

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:07 AM

I ran Crystal disk info and heres a screenshot of the results. I also used the disk management tool and that one reported the disks as healthy. My guess is that my hard drive is in danger of crashing for good. The problem with this is that I live on a veterans disability of $1038 per month and cannot afford to buy a new drive for awhile. So I guess that I will have to try and fit as much info onto the 8gb flash drive I have. Luckily most of my music and pictures are already on my smartphone. It has a 32gb external memory card, my question about that is it a reliable enough source to back up my favorites, docs, and some programs to? Also I tried to determine the maker of the hard drive by going to properties but the company name is not listed, just a very generic wording of disk drive and that's it. Pretty sad isn't it? I hope I can get you the copy of results from Crystal Disk. You should be able to see the results of the Crystal Disk scan in attachments. Please let me know what you think is best.

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#4 paws

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:07 AM

Hi Bryan,

The output from your screen dump of the Crystal disk info indicates that you have a Seagate hard drive fitted to your laptop and my data sheets indicate it's probably a
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3750528AS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive
If this is the correct manufacturer then you can go here:
http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287

and download the Seagate disc checking and repair utility, burn it to CD (it must be bootable) and run first the short test and if it passes then run the long test (you can skip the accoustic test)

This will provide extra information for us to help you

Warning
please do not run these tests until you have followed the advice of 8210GUY and backed up all your data files and imaged the recovery partition at least of your hard drive.... if you can, then image the whole of the drive.

As to back up media and its suitability the advice we provide to our customers is to back up all important stuff on your computer daily,(dont keep all your back ups on the hard drive concerned as if it fails you will be in trouble) and we go further and say that if the stuff is important to you then you should have at least 3 back up copies of it, with at least one copy kept safe offsite on removable media

Remember a back up or image that has not been verified for accuracy, completeness, and reproducibility is not a reliable back up at all...

Checking disc integrity by use of this sort of software gives a good clue as to its condition however it can never be taken as conclusive...or indicative as to the future situation.... sooner or later all hard drives will fail at some time.
Post back when you have done these steps and one of us will advise the way forward.
Regards
paws

#5 8210GUY

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:39 AM

If this is the correct manufacturer then you can go here:
http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287

I don't know if it's just me, but when I click the links that the site you gave gives (if that makes sense lol), some of them don't work, they can't find the file\page they target.

But from the screenshot it is definitely a Seagate drive, Go Here, then input the following details; Serial Number: 6VP2C5XE and Model Number: ST3750528AS, complete the other parts and it will take you to the specific page for that drive, I also note they have a firmware upgrade for the drive, now I do NOT suggest doing that upgrade, not unless others think it would be beneficial, but I mention it as I had a Seagate drive once, and it was the one that had a flaw, and required the firmware updating before it became unusable. it was a big story all over the place, I didn't do mine in time, and they had to send it for recovery of my files (Finland I think it was), who then did the required upgrade and sent it back, it was all free as it was such a big flaw, but I have no idea if this could be something that makes a difference here.

And I am painfully aware of living off of disability myself, the good news is drives are not that expensive these days, and prices are falling nicely again after the floods caused a major shortage of them, where prices went through the roof for a while, but nearly all systems these days have DVD burners on them, and bulk packs of disks are not too expensive, probably $20 to $30 US, and that's for 50, so you could probably get a pack of 10 (assuming you don't have that much to store), to get an idea how much data you want to store, highlight file(s)\folder(s) that you want to save, then right click any highlighted file (if multiple files you only need click on one for this if the rest are highlighted as well) and select properties, it will then list the file size you want to save, repeat as needed and add the numbers together, then you can see how many disks you may need.

Then once you have some disks, follow This Guide to clone the system, then IF the drive does fail, you have what you need to get a new one working again, the other guys can guide far better than I can there, but it depends just what you need to clone, given all the probable corruption you have just cloning the recovery should be all you need, but out of interest click on Start - Computer, right click on the hard drive and see how much space is used\left on it, we can get a better idea of the amount of data you have to deal with.

#6 Bryan A

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:52 AM

Well I sent my pictures, fvorites, music and contacts to a flash drive. I've got so many problems right now, but somehow I think that although the hard drive isn't in great condition hopefully it can hold out for at least a month. Anyway, right now I can't do many things I need to do, like windows updates, I can install lost of them but there are a few that just will not complete. I checked and researched this and tried a couple of fixes but no go so far. Another thing and one of the reasons the updates are failing is that I get an error message every time I restart. It sys that msi.dll is missing and because of this I can't do updates and some other windows operations. I've looked up fixes for this but I can't do things right now because of this. Like system restore, it won't complete because of error "(0x80070017) C:windows\system32\catroot2\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\catc" (no quotes) I really need to find out how to repair the missing msi.dll problem. Also sfc \scannow will not go any further than scanning the drive but cannot perform repairs because of errors in the system, I think this is also because of the msi.dll file missing. Frogive me for being a little vague and unprecise, I've been trying to find solutions all day and I'm very tired. I'm at teh point where I'm ready to try the repair disk I created months ago. By the way here is the info on how much room is available. C: drive properties: Free space 555GB Used space 129GB. Here are teh partitions on the C: drive Recovery Partition has 13.67GB free of 13.67GB available and the other minor partition is 100MB with 70MB free. My question about them is why does the recovery partition have no dadta on it? The 13.67GB are not being used for anything according to the report. Also when I first bought this computer I didn't see right away where it instructs me to make my own system restore disks. I had already made some accounts for family members and logged in on one. It wasn't very long before I saw my mistake and the ncreated the recovery disks, is there any problem possible because I delayed for a couple of hours? I would think not but I'm not sure. Hopefully these disks will work correctly when I need them. . I also read while trying to find a solution to the missing msi.dll files that someone else had the same problems and finally took his system to get it repaired by techs. Bottom line is that he didn't need a new drive, his problems were because of mistakes with the registry which got compounded by trying to repair things voer and over. I'm hoping thats the case with me. I tried to find a recent registry cpoy but had deleted them weeks ago. Please see if you can help me with the msi.dll problem. I downloaded a zip file with the msi.dll file on it but don't know how to correctly install it and if it is the right one for my system. I did do the Seagate upgrade on my hard drive with no problems whatsoever. However the cpoy of the diagnostic disk I downloaded from them did not run when I tried it.

#7 8210GUY

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:55 AM

TBH there is no fix in the world if the drive is dying, and the scan you showed above suggests this is the case, but to keep trying various "fixes" could possibly in some freak case make things worse, IMHO you need to run the diagnostic and prove just what the drives situation is before doing more, apart from saving files that are needed that is.

You didn't mention which utility you tried to run but failed, there are 2 available which do the same thing, one runs in windows like an installed program does, the other needs burning to a disk, then booting to that disk and run in DOS mode, this is the version paws suggested above, probably because it can't be influenced by any other processes that would be running in windows, the file you want to download is "SeaTools for DOS Diagnostic" which will download as an ISO file.

This file will need burning to a disk to use, if you have disk burning software it should be as simple as double clicking that ISO file and the software should jump up and burn it for you, just accept and follow any prompts it comes up with.
Should you not have such software installed I suggest getting and installing ImgBurn, it's free and very good, it is confusing to start doing specific types of burning, but that makes no difference here, simply double click the ISO file once the software is installed, and this will jump up and offer to burn it for you, just accept all it throws at you, be aware it will eject the disk when burnt, and will want you to insert the disk again (if on a laptop anyway, otherwise it auto does this), it checks the disk and confirms if it was a good burn, once done then this disk can then be booted to, and you can then scan the drive from it, hopefully this should work fine for you.

#8 Bryan A

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:52 PM

Well the system got so bad that I had to try and do a recovery from the start up back up disks I made after buying the pc. Forst I tried the built in recovery with the partition on the hard drive, unfortunately this didn't go very well and the rpoblems with shut downs and errors continued. So then I did the full recovery with the disks and that at least got me back to where I was when I first bought the pc. I loaded my favorites installed some things I needed and then went to the Seagate source you suggested. I made burned the diagnostics disk and ran it, the long scan showed that there were indeed sectors that were damaged, I ran the repair tool and every one of them was repaired. Actually what happens is that because every drive has 200million available tracks for use when an attempt at recovery is made the drive then replaces those b ad sectors with vialbe unused, new ones. The data on those sectors is lost. THankfully for me there were only about twenty that were corrupted. After repairs the long scan was run again and i got a complete clear bill of health from Seagate. Now I'm not ignorant enough to think that I now have a drive that is as good as new, but I should be able to continue using it till I can afford to replace it with a new one, probably in a couple of months. So I must now keep my fingers crossed that it will hold up till then, fortunately I now have the boot disk for Seagate Drive checks asnd can run it periodically to keep posted on the health of my drive. So now i must rebuild and reload things i couldn't save on my back up medium. I want to thank you very much for providing me with much needed info the Seagate tools and i also hope that others may be able to save their drives from complete failure until they too can replace them.

#9 8210GUY

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

Well at least we have the confirmation, your drive is dying, simple as that, so there are 2 serious things you must do ASAP, backing up data, burning to disk as well if needed, because you may get no notice of the drives last breath, you could go to turn on and that's it, gone, so make sure (daily at a minimum) you are backed up with the files you can't afford to lose. Now really the most serious thing you should do, and that's make a clone of the recovery section at a minimum, but that said you mention you made recovery disks when you first got the system, that "may" be enough, well done on doing that, most don't, my problem is I don't know exactly how such disks work, my fear is they still need the recovery section to be on the drive, my hope is they contain enough info to put the recovery onto a blank drive, basically cloning the old drive to the new, hopefully someone who knows about these disks more than I do can say for sure here. But you are correct about the "repair" that was made, it simply marks bad sectors as unusable, BUT, there will be more and more of these appearing until the drive basically fails, so my fingers crossed for you, I hope it keeps going long enough for you to get a new drive.

#10 Bryan A

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

I appreciate all the help and info I get from here and will be taking measures to protect my system as best as possible. Right now all I can do is download the info on how replace hard drives and copy data from old to new. Because of financial limitations I can't just buy a new hard drive or a back up external drive now. All I have for back up is a 8gb flash drive and my phone that has a 32gb sd card with 20gb free. Recently my phones sdcard has not been accessible from the pc. Only once in a blue moon does it show the usb connection available to open the drive on the pc. I'll try a differant usb cable to see if that will work. My question about what files to copy is should I make the partition from my pc that has recovery files on it be my main priority? I also have copies of back up disks I made when I first bought this computer along with an apps and drives back up disk made at the same time. I'm just praying that this drive will hold out for a couple of months until I can afford a replacement. Do you have any preferences for a particular make or model of a hard drive that is reasonably priced? I would think that 500gb-1tb would be more than fine, also a back up exteranal drive.

#11 8210GUY

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

I will try and get a better idea if the back up's you made when you first got the system are enough to clone a new drive, I can't say personally as I have never used such disks.

The question as to what files to copy, that is down to you in essence what you want to back up is EVERYTHING that you can't afford to lose, anything that can be put back on, or downloaded again after the new drive goes in are not worth worrying about really, especially when space is an issue, when I deal with mates systems who need stuff saving, I simply save their entire My Documents folder, and if the music pictures and video's are not inside the folder I save those folders as well, but only if they are not already inside the Doc's folder.

How much of that you can do is purely how much space you have, a quick way to get an idea of size is to right click on your My Doc's and select properties, it will then tell you the size of the contents, then you can compare that to what you have.

There are a couple of things that can be done to increase space, first pictures, if you have lots of these, sign up to an image hosting site, such as Photobucket, it's free, then upload all your pic's there, and assuming you don't want these visible you can select to make the album(s) private, this can be used to store any pic's, video as well, and could save you a lot of space depending how much you have, then you only need to worry about music and documents, or anything else that has to be saved like favourite's, the other possible way to go is to compress the files before backing them up, 7-Zip is free, easy to use, and effective most of the time, on rare occasion's it can't reduce the file size, but it could be a great help if needed.

As to drives, there are probably 2 that most will suggest, Seagate, and WD (Western Digital), my preference is WD, but depending who you ask they will have their favourite, but most would agree these are what most would look to, but as a thought, I completely understand about money, I'm in the same boat, but as a thought, you could get 2 drives, to start with get a 200gig or so drive, install to that, you will then have a stable system again, and maybe enough space for the rest at this time, but my reason for this thought, is the smaller drives are cheaper, so you would be able to afford that well before you could afford the one your thinking of, then you could get a 1TB later when money is more available.

This also has another advantage, if your forced to reinstall, you don't have to mess around with saving files, as long as you save all files to the larger drive when you get it, you will find it a great help, the other reason is the OS drive is the most vulnerable, so infections, or any other OS drive issue serious enough to cause data loss, your main files will be on the other drive, this does not mean the other drive can't be hit the same way, but it's the OS drive that is the most likely problem area.

And don't forget, you can burn files to disk as well, if you want help with that just say, but if you let us know what size is shown under the method above, it will help get a better idea of what's the best way to go for you.

#12 paws

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 03:57 AM

Hi Bryan,
8210GUy has asked me to drop by and comment on backing up your Recovery Partition and making a System Image if you can.

I understand that you have make a Recovery disc ion your Win7 computer, but I'm not clear if you made a System Image....

If you want a tutorial on either of these two then take a look here:
http://www.howtogeek...c-in-windows-7/

There are links in the above that will take you to a step by step on how to make a System Image if you haven't made one yet.

From what has been said it may be that your hard drive is dying....

One thing we can be sure of is that all hard drives, die, sooner or later, so that's why the back ups and system Images and Recovery discs are so widely recommended.

It is recommended that you do all you can to create the DVD's for a Repair disc and a System Image whilst your hard drive is still working...... do it all at the one hit if you can, don't turn off your machine til its finished... the number of bootups that your hard drive may survive is difficult to estimate but it could be several or more, or it could be none!

Once you have secured your position with burning your DVD's then we must consider the next steps.... if it is going to be a while before you can get yourself a new hard drive and reinstall everything from the DVD's you made then you could decide to give your hard drive and Windows a rest and continue to use your machine free of charge by running it from a live distribution of Linux.
Take a look here:
http://puppylinux.or.....g Started.htm

Puppy will run entirely within RAM and will not read or write anything to your hard drive (unless you tell it to...) in fact the hard drive does not even need to be present in your machine... Puppy will run quite happily in RAM and of course its free....

It will allow you to use the Internet send/receive email etc and open photos and create documents etc that you can save to a memory stick if you want.

Its a fully fledged operating system but its not Windows, so does things a little differently , but its easy to pick up...just remember one click not a double click to open things, and if you usually use a wireless connection for your Internet, plug in an Ethernet cable before you boot into Linux so Puppy will be able to install the right drivers for you, so it will all work correctly.

When you download the Puppy it will come as an .iso file and you will need to burn this to CD (its only a tad over 100Mb in size) BUT YOU MUST burn it as an "image" a copy just won't do.... use ImgBurn and it makes it simple
available free from here:
http://www.imgburn.com/

Hope this all makes some sort of sense, but as always if you have any questions... just ask.... and one of us will do our best to help
.Regards
paws

Edited by paws, 14 January 2013 - 02:54 AM.
typo


#13 8210GUY

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:08 AM

Thanks for dropping by paws :notworthy: There is one important question I have yet to ask, Thanks to paws for reminding me, does this system have any warranty on it ? Needless to say if it does then just save the files that can't be replaced, and send it back under warranty for them to sort, but no matter what the state of play, and that counts everyone even if all is well, you are still well advised to do as paws has guided. B)

#14 Bryan A

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

Hi Guys, and or Gals. I've just gotten back home from the hospital. I got very ,very ,sick last Sunday evening and went to emergency. I found out I had gall stones (over 30 of them) an infection in my bloodstream and another staph infection. Needless to say it has been a very uncomfortable week indeed. I went into surgery on Tuesday and then spent the next five days recovring. So I'm just now seeing your responses and getting to the point where I can make sense of what I'm reading. I'll have to get some disks for burning the needed things for both system image and recovery disk and the linux operating system disk. Thanks for your help and I'll get back when I can.

#15 paws

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:35 PM

Hi Bryan. Just a brief note to wish you all the best for a good recovery, You take care now. Regards paws




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