Either my laptop is possessed or it really hates me.

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  1. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

    The culprit-

    Older cheap Toshiba Core2Duo laptop originally Vista upgraded to Win7. Recently, windows has been warning of imminent HD death, Spinrite confirmed.

    The victim-

    Me! I did not want to put any $$$ into this machine, but was convinced by the wife that a $90 hybrid drive was worth it.....WRONG!

    What the !@#$ happened?-
    Get the drive, turn off the pc (unplug and pull battery). Remove old but still functional 320gb and insert new 500gb. Boot to win7 disk and begin fresh install. Install stalls at black screen (with back light on). Wait ~1 hr, no progress so power down and restart. Can hear pc boot, but no screen and no back light. No reason for this at all. After many retries, I press on power button for very long time and screen comes on...YAY! Start install again. Now get widows didn't start correctly error screen, instructions on screen always lead back to same screen (0xb0000068 or 0xc0000001?). Nothing working, so I decide to put back in the previous damaged but still functional drive. Won't boot. If you try to "boot normally" it boot loops, if you choose repair you get same options as new drive with not actually repair available. Tried old vista recovery disk, same results. Right now, I'm making a insall usb drive, in case this is all a problem with the optical drive (not likely). My guess is that the drive wasn't failing, the sata interface or some other component was ?

    Can you help?


  2. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

    Confirmed! All the install usb drive did was get me to windows boot manager screen quicker. stll get-

    File \windows\system32\boot\winload.exe
    Status: 0xc0000001
    Info- The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.
  3. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues - Crazy peacock person -

    Have you tried booting from a live Linux CD?
  4. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

    Tried a linux based recovery solution as well as ebcd. Neither worked and both failed when attempting to access the drive (corrupt ramdrive?). I've RMA'd the new drive just in case. I suspect there's something on the MB that went during the windows install. Seagate customer support was a surprise pleasing experience! I was upfront and honest about what happened and they recommended they replace the drive even though there's a chance it wasn't their fault. Not only that, but the 2 people I dealt with were excellent. Refreshing! I guess the silver lining to this whole PITA?
  5. jradicle11

    jradicle11 That Guy VIP Member

    Do you have any other spare hard drives you can try to run the installation on?
  6. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

    I don't have a single 2.5" sata. Tons of old obsolete 3.5" and one 2.5" ide. My neighbor had an old 2.5 120GB so we tried it. That drive wouldn't even spin up. Dead! Maybe it's me?

    The additional kicker is Seagate is out of my drive, so it may be a while till I see the replacement. I've also started shopping for a replacement. If I see a good deal on a touch screen, i5 or i7 laptop, I might jump on it. I was hoping to wait till summer or fall for a new computer... Oh well!
  7. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator


    After all the rescue disks and futzing around, I got windows to install. I checked the memory Dimm's for the umteenth time, but this time decided to swap them in their slots. I have (only) 3GB on this machine, configured from the factory. The 2 GB in the bottom slot, the 1GB overlapping in the top. when I took out the memory, I noticed the 2GB Dimm was rocket hot. I put the 1GB below it and the machine booted and installed Win7. I canceled the Seagate RMA. Will probably have to replace that Dimm and maybe go 8GB? Right now, I'm posting from the machine while updating the fresh install and restoring from b/u....YAY!
  8. jradicle11

    jradicle11 That Guy VIP Member

    Congratulations, it's a Christmas miracle! I didn't think to have you run memtest which most likely would have identified a problem with your RAM. Oh well. Glad it's working!

    Edit: Wasn't Christmas when you got it working... oops
    pastafarian likes this.
  9. Davdi

    Davdi Well-Known Member Contributor

    Re the possible 8Gb upgrade: Only do it if you have 64bit windows, as 32bit versions can't address beyond about 3.5Gb (which is why so many laptops were sold with 3Gb) It's a Microsoft limitation, as the processor should support PAE (Physical Address Extensions). 32 bit Linux can definitely see and use 8 Gb.
    pastafarian and alostpacket like this.
  10. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

    The machine is functioning with some slight issues probably due to the memory. The Seagate hybrid drive did make a big difference in boot up time and some slight improvements in operating speed. I could replace the faulty dimm, but I would rather put the $$$ into a new device than sink it into old tech. I am running 64 bit windows, so going 8GB isn't the issue, $140 is. I would much rather put that $$$ towards a thin light touch screen win8 device with much better battery life than an almost 5 year old budget laptop.
  11. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

    I think it was both possessed and hated you. :pcguru:

    IMHO, definitely put money towards new tech :thumbup: Laptops have made some good gains in the last few years.
    pastafarian likes this.
  12. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    I've never met a Toshiba laptop that worked properly.
  13. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member Contributor

    a lot of trouble to go through just because you trusted some piece of software that thinks its psychic and somehow 'knows' your hard drive is failing. listen, a hard drive either fails NOW or it doesn't. the only time i know a hard drive is really failing is when they make odd noises (aka click of death, noisy bearings, or hard spin-up). if a hard drive is quiet, and operating normally, forger SMART or any of that jazz that just exists to sell hard drives to people gullible enough to believe it
  14. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

    The hard drive was failing. I trust Steve Gibson (Spinright) and have for years since I first met him. The drive was not acting normal. Not only occasional bearing noise, but serious lag when using cut and paste. SMART had totally failed and was no longer reporting at all. I lived with the issue for ~ a year, till it started getting worse. I didn't want to wait till the drive totally failed, probably while I wasn't home and would have to hear the complaints from the wife and kids. Spinrite found numerous errors on the disk and recommended back up and replace.

    As an addendum to how this machine hates me? The touchpad is now acting up. The left button is all but inoperable. It's had issues in the past, may have to crack open the case to find out why. One thing is certain, i's had it's last cash injection...ever!
    Speed Daemon likes this.
  15. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator Guide

    Glad to hear you device is back up and running. I have heard good things about the Win8 touchscreen tabs and/lappys.

    I am running Win8 right now and it is pretty decent. Takes some time to get used to, especially since i use Microsoft for nothing... :p
  16. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    I beg to differ. S.M.A.R.T. is not only legitimate, it's a very useful extension to the ATA and SCSI interfaces. When I was in corporate IT we used it to monitor every HD in our data centers, hardware willing. We also used it to a lesser extent (but in a larger scale, thousands of drives) on the desktop computers that had enterprise management software running on them. Right now my home NAS box is keeping close watch on the four drives in it, and I can see the progress of them failing (I kicked over the NAS box while it was running :() sector by sector. This is quite useful to me!

    Like it or not, you must trust the "software" (actually it's the firmware inside the drives themselves) that supplies a virtual CHS and/or LBA interface to the (S)ATA, SAS or parallel SCSI interface (still found in some data centers). Even before S.M.A.R.T., modern ATA and SCSI drive firmware managed physical disk allocation structures that were far more complex than the legacy CHS numbering scheme indicates. And on most drives there was a spare cylinder (or two) on the drive that was used to replace bad physical sectors with good ones on the "spare" track(s). This was (and still is) completely invisible to the computer user, even when using the excellent SpinRite software that pastafarian mentioned. Call it what you like, but it really does work! :)

    BTW, the Click of Death was something that affected Iomega brand 100MB floppy drives that were popular in the mid to late 1990s. Newer fixed disk hard drives (not to be confused with removable media hard drives that have been in use since the "Winchester" IBM mainframe drives in the 1960s) can make clicking sounds that are more audible now mostly because drives are getting quieter. This is NOT a click of death; it's a perfectly normal recalibration process that in now necessary for the microscopic tracks on the gigabyte and terabyte drives to read and write data reliably. Yes, this can put the drive "on hold" for a little while, especially with external USB drives IME. If it's a problem, people can buy multimedia (or "A/V") HDs that are made to be more responsive for use in DVRs and other applications.

    I hope you don't take offense. My only intention here is to spread the correct information and to debunk myths that help nobody. Nothing personal. :)
  17. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

    I do believe the IBM DeskStar line of HDs had their own version of the "Click of death" -- this is where I first heard the term. It was the beginning of the end of them in the HD business before they spun everything off the Lenovo. But man that's an interesting story -- never knew that term started with IOmega. I used to think Zip and Jazz drives were gonna be the future. But they seemed to mess that up badly heh.

    I agree though, S.M.A.R.T. can be helpful. I keep an eye on it for my NAS especially.
  18. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

    Got everything working, then the touchpad went wonky. It randomly goes crazy making the pointer fly all over the screen. Though it's supposed to be defeatable via software or a function key, that's not so anymore. Add to that that the only way to get a usb mouse to function is to remove the synaptics touch pad driver. This also removes the touchpad wrist protection making typing a real chore. I wanted to wait for a touch screen pc, but this is all but unbearable now. With the insistence by the wife, we bought this-

    IdeaPad Y400 Laptop - 95232FU - Dusk Black: Doorbuster | Lenovo | (US)

    No touch screen, but a significant upgrade in power. She gets video editing capability, my son and I get gaming.
  19. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    IBM isn't out of the mainframe computer business, or the software business. IBM divested themselves of the consumer PC part of the business, which is understandable. Ever since Compaq made the first PC clone, IBM's share of that market has dwindled. The Deskstar (which is now owned by Hitachi, not Lenovo) problem may have been called "click of death" in error, out of ignorance. This may be due to the use of the name "Deathstar" because it has "death" in it.

    Yup. It's there, no extra charge. Might as well take advantage of it. I still try to run my hardware into the ground, which is easy to recover from with a RAID 5 array. These days my #1 HD problem is that I have a growing collection of drives that have nothing wrong with them other than having not enough capacity for my needs.
  20. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

    Nice lil lappy IMHO.

    Quad Core i7 Ivy, discreet graphics, 8GB 1600Mhz RAM.... everything a growing droid needs.
    pastafarian likes this.
  21. mysticspiral

    mysticspiral Well-Known Member

    Possessed :D
  22. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

    At this point, I'd have to say both.
  23. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member Contributor

    all i know is there are a lot of people on many forums saying that S.M.A.R.T. had claimed their drives were 'imminent failure predicted' but they boot and run just fine...

    S.M.A.R.T. reminds me of the Check Engine lamp in my car. sure, it can mean problems ahead, but many people drive with the Check Engine lit and the car or truck runs just fine--mine included
  24. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

    In this case, smart wasn't reporting anything. It stopped functioning. The drive was also showing other issues, the worst being extremely slow performance. And yes, I checked the drive for fragmentation. I've trusted Steve Gibson ever since I met him years ago. When his Spinrite program says the drives not redeemable, I believe it!
  25. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    It sure looks like your HD is a write-off. If stuff like S.M.A.R.T. aren't working, the controller board on the drive is probably in the process of dying. The drive electronics is the point of failure surprisingly often. Constantly shrinking circuitry is great on the digital end, but not so good for the analog circuits that controls the R/W heads.
    pastafarian likes this.

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