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UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME
#1
Yeah. Having a computer problem and I'm hoping some of you can help, either from some experience or perhaps you guys have better Google Fu then me.

I forgot to shut down my computer the night before and woke up with it still running. I noticed it was running slow and attempted to restart it, only to have it crash on me. Since then it has been booting up with a UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME error. We've tried to run System Restores with the Windows Installation Disk but every time we do so it simply hangs after selecting "repair your computer" doing.. outright trying to reinstall Windows simply causes it to freeze.

Normally most of what I've been reading would lead that to being a bad harddrive, except when I run the cmd prompt chkdsk it recongizes the harddrive, runs through all the checks, recognizes all the space and such, the harddrive light in the computer still comes on.. and comes up with 0 bad sectors. For all I can tell the harddrive seems to be fine. So we're a bit stumped as to what to do now. (I admit it would be nice if the harddrive wasn't broken, as we aren't made of money at the moment.)

almost all of this was done by Alexia who knows how to handle this, so I might have inaccurately explained something. I believe I said it mostly correct though.
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#2
Maybe the partition table's hosed. Low-level formatting usually fixes this, but you lose whatever that was installed before.
The Best Medicine > Magic. Because SCIENCE! can prove the former.
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#3
I wonder if it could have been possible malware that somehow made Windows unbootable. Usually, a sign of a dying hard drive is a ominous loud "click, click, click" sound. But as you mentioned, chkdsk was able to scan the drive and reported no bad sectors. That means there is a chance the hard drive itself might not be going bad, but the Windows OS somehow became so corrupted that it can no longer boot up.

Before the system became unbootable, did you download and install any sort of free program from any website, such as a game or similar?

I also need to know what kind of programs you ran before heading off to bed as well.
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#4
Given that Windows froze up while trying to repair the volume, I doubt if it's malware. However, I have firsthand experience of hard drives acting up because of a bad power supply, and when that happens sometimes the partition table goes south.
The Best Medicine > Magic. Because SCIENCE! can prove the former.
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#5
RAMChYLD Wrote:Given that Windows froze up while trying to repair the volume, I doubt if it's malware. However, I have firsthand experience of hard drives acting up because of a bad power supply, and when that happens sometimes the partition table goes south.

That would be likely, or perhaps a loose or faulty power supply cable.
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#6
huckleberrypie Wrote:
RAMChYLD Wrote:Given that Windows froze up while trying to repair the volume, I doubt if it's malware. However, I have firsthand experience of hard drives acting up because of a bad power supply, and when that happens sometimes the partition table goes south.

That would be likely, or perhaps a loose or faulty power supply cable.
Angel did say that the power supply was recently replaced. I wonder if the new PSU could be causing the problem? Perhaps the replacement isn't powerful enough or it's a generic no-name PSU.
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#7
Wanted to thank you all for the replies so far, and how helpful they have been. I'll update you all as soon as I can on what's going on. Won't be able to try stuff for a few hours.

cpd2009 Wrote:
huckleberrypie Wrote:
RAMChYLD Wrote:Given that Windows froze up while trying to repair the volume, I doubt if it's malware. However, I have firsthand experience of hard drives acting up because of a bad power supply, and when that happens sometimes the partition table goes south.

That would be likely, or perhaps a loose or faulty power supply cable.
Angel did say that the power supply was recently replaced. I wonder if the new PSU could be causing the problem? Perhaps the replacement isn't powerful enough or it's a generic no-name PSU.

Oh, no.. we made a point of getting one even more powerful then the one it came with.. we had to get a new case and everything for it.

*gets up to check what it is*

It's um.. a EVGA 500w?
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#8
Angel Wrote:Wanted to thank you all for the replies so far, and how helpful they have been. I'll update you all as soon as I can on what's going on. Won't be able to try stuff for a few hours.
You're very welcome. Smile

Angel Wrote:Oh, no.. we made a point of getting one even more powerful then the one it came with.. we had to get a new case and everything for it.

*gets up to check what it is*

It's um.. a EVGA 500w?
500 watts? It should be able to power your PC then, unless the hard drive power connectors aren't hooked up properly. There is also the very remote chance the PSU would be bad, but EVGA is known to be a reputable brand of PC components.

I'm still curious as to whether it's a software problem though. I still need to know if you installed anything downloaded from the internet prior to the PC becoming unbootable. The PSU is a good brand, but something corrupted the hard drive, and the drive appears to be fine other than the unbootable Windows OS.

[strike]Off topic question here, but the entire case was replaced? Though I wouldn't buy an Alienware PC myself, the standard Alien-like cases do look rather cool. Smile[/strike]
EDIT: just remembered that Dell systems have proprietary power supplies, and if you want a different one, you have to get a new case since a new PSU won't fit in the stock Alienware case. Otherwise, shipping the system back to Dell for a new PSU can be a pain since you don't have a computer for a week or so. :/
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#9
500w? Are you sure that's enough? For gaming rigs I recommend no less than 700w, 850w if you're going SLI.

When Sally was still using a 620w PSU from Enermax, she kept crashing and having a corrupted HDD. She also generated an insane amount of heat. Switching to 850w not only made her run cooler, but all the problems I had with the hard disk corruption and crashing went away.
The Best Medicine > Magic. Because SCIENCE! can prove the former.
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#10
The system came with a 330w that worked for 2 years before it stopped being enough, and we did calculate all of the power needs to the computer with one of those online calculator things. 500w is more then enough, we gave ourselves a lot of breathing room. I mean more would be better, but this one definitely is enough.

Quote:EDIT: just remembered that Dell systems have proprietary power supplies, and if you want a different one, you have to get a new case since a new PSU won't fit in the stock Alienware case. Otherwise, shipping the system back to Dell for a new PSU can be a pain since you don't have a computer for a week or so. :/

Yeah, I loved the case.. but yeah. It was even a Alienware computer designed to be "console" like so any power supply would buy would force us to buy another case. I do miss the case though, it was really cool.

(Still haven't tried anything. It's happening though.)
It's fun to say berry! I berry talk all the day through!
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