Author Topic: Reboot, or the unbootable system drive after power-switch mishap  (Read 2783 times)

Offline Cobra951

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Reboot, or the unbootable system drive after power-switch mishap
« on: Thursday, July 16, 2009, 03:45:39 PM »
Had just a wonderful night.  All the messing around with the iPod 2G from yesterday was with the USB cable connected.  When I finally disconnected it, it immediately went dead.  At first I thought it was just that I did something wrong, so I reconnected it and saw it come up in iTunes.  Everything looked fine.  So I ejected it in iTunes, and pulled the USB cord again.  Same thing.  Nearest as I can figure, the non-replaceable battery must have been a dud, or decided to die over the past couple of years on its own.  (2Gs were produced from late '06 to late '07).  In disgust, I shoved it across the dresser surface carelessly, and knocked off a gamepad, which proceeded to land right on a powerstrip's off switch.  The PC and external drives immediately went silent.  At first I thought I shorted something and killed the computer, but then I realized what had happened and breathed a (very short-lived) sight of relief.  The PC tried to go into XP, then gave me a dreaded Stop blue screen.  Unbootable volume.  Could not make it boot up at all, and going into WinMe on the other drive was no help.  Any attempts at a chkdsk would lock it up.  Booting from the XP CD and attempting chkdsk /P from the repair console quickly produced a short blurb to the effect that there were one or more unrecoverable errors on D:.  FUCK!

After a few suicidal thoughts, I bit the bullet and reformatted the drive.  It was fine, which means the sudden power failure came at a very bad moment, because there's nothing physically wrong with the drive (AFAIK).  I reinstalled my old XP just so I could go looking for a newer image of XP SP2 I had floating around on an external NTFS drive.  (WinMe is useless here.)  That took forever.  Pause to get 4 hours of sleep at 5 AM.

Found XP SP2, burning did not go well on my PC (old LG CD-RW drive sucks bollocks) and attempts to boot from burned CD went nowhere.  Used USB thumb drive to transport image to my Mom's PC.  Her Sony CD-RW drive rocks.  48X is so much better than 4X too.  Burned disc was fine.  Installed XP SP2 (the one plus from this unspeakable virtual tragedy), which brought up a good video driver all by itself (unlike original XP).  Set up firewall, AVG Free, Firefox and Audigy 2.

And here I am.

The big thing I have left now as far as drivers is this Promise Ultra ATA PCI to IDE card which has a hard drive and a DVD burner.  It's all full of yellow '?'s in device manager, and I'm not sure even what to search for to get drivers.  Any tips here would be much appreciated.

The other thing is how to get my Pioneer DVR-108 DVD-RW drive to behave as such.  It's listed properly in device manager, but I don't think Windows is treating it as anything other than a CD-RW.  Nero Express didn't even recognize it as a recorder, but that was under old XP (which is why I needed to try the LG POS to burn the other image).  Any tips here also very appreciated.

If I come across other things I think a few tips would help me solve faster, I will post again with a pleading smile.  In the meantime, wish me luck with rebuilding from the loss of years of accumulation, massaging and tweaking.  Fortunately, I've taken an "everything in 2 places" attitude to all my important data files (including pictures and music) since my other PC's electric dance a couple of years ago.

Offline scottws

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Re: Reboot, or the unbootable system drive after power-switch mishap
« Reply #1 on: Thursday, July 16, 2009, 04:35:22 PM »
If it's a legitimate copy of XP in any way, you can go on Windows update and do a custom update.  It should have drivers for at least some of the devices available.

Did you build your own PC or is it a brand like HP or Dell?  If it's a brand, you can go on the website and get drivers for your model.  Just install everything if you aren't sure what was in there.  If you built it yourself... well do you not know what you put in there?  You should have chipset drivers for your motherboard, a videocard driver, network card drivers, sound drivers.  Sometimes there are southbridge drivers for the I/O controller, especially for SATA controllers but even for IDE ones occasionally.  Flash card reader drivers if you have that.  That should be a good start.

As far as the DVD drive not being seen as such, I haven't seen that one before.  I'm no help there.  All I can think of is to look for a firmware update.

Regarding the iPod, Jennie's son has a first generation of the Nano and it doesn't last two days unplugged, even with no use.  My second generation one is fine though.

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Reboot, or the unbootable system drive after power-switch mishap
« Reply #2 on: Thursday, July 16, 2009, 05:23:27 PM »
The PC is a Dell Dimension 8100 from 8 years ago, but it's been upgraded twice and I've added this PCI to IDE card which I'm sure needs some sort of low-level driver.  It hosts a third HDD and a third optical drive.  The latter I can probably solve by removing the shitty LG CD-RW and hooking up the Pioneer DVR-106 to the standard channel in its stead.  The HDD is another matter.  I can't remember how I installed this card the first time, and I can't find any disc for it.  I'll create a restore point and then go see if Windows Update likes me.

The iPod pisses me off almost as much as the PC blowup.  I spent most of yesterday fucking around with iTunes, the iPod, and just learning everything I needed.  Then it ends up a complete waste of time.  Replacing the battery, if that's all that's wrong, costs way too much.  This in no way enhances my opinion of Apple.  Why no user replacement?  I'm still hoping there's something I'm being stupid about, and that the gadget is really OK once I figure it out.

Thanks!

Offline scottws

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Re: Reboot, or the unbootable system drive after power-switch mishap
« Reply #3 on: Thursday, July 16, 2009, 06:44:12 PM »
The fact of the matter is that you can't really count on lithium ion batteries very much past three years.  Some make it far longer, some just that long.  It indeed sucks that Apple decided to build the battery in such a way.  The iPod is very much a really fucking expensive disposable device.

But really it is par for the course with Apple.  I had to replace a hard drive in an old PowerBook G4 once.  It took a friggin hour.  You have to unscrew almost every visible screw, and some are torx some are multiple sizes of phillips.  You take the whole top off, which was a chore even with all the screws removed because of these fucking clips they user, and then these rails.  What a pain in the ass.  Even to change RAM on the new MacBooks you have to take out the battery, and then get a really tiny, short screwdriver and remove this metal strip in the side of the battery compartment.  Then there's these little levers that pop out the RAM.  It's just Apple's way.  It's like they build them never to mess with them.

The inside of a Mac is so foreign to a PC guy it's not even funny.  They have all these wierd shaped riser boards going off in different directions at different heights.

I saw that Microsoft is coming out with a new Zune.  I'm not in the market in any way for a new player, but the new Zune looks pretty slick.

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Reboot, or the unbootable system drive after power-switch mishap
« Reply #4 on: Thursday, July 16, 2009, 07:06:43 PM »
I wasn't in the market for any such thing.  I don't want to blame Sandy in any way, because she was just being extra nice giving me a toy that retailed for $249 when new.  (2Gs are $50-90 now, used, according to what I read.)  And it was new.  Still-sealed clear-plastic box.  I'm not going to tell her it had anything to do with 2 wasted days.  I'll just tell her I found out it was defective or spent, and let it go at that.

I am in no rush to get any Apple notebooks, MacBooks, PowerBooks, or whatever.  Trust me.  But thanks for the heads up.  If I were to buy a portable player, it would be a Zune way before an iPod.

Well I've now installed Office 2003 and VLC media player.  (No codec hassles, yet to come with the currently crippled WMP.)  I guess I'm there in terms of overall needed functionality.  Next are pleasantries like bittorrent client, burning and image-mounting software.  Oh and of course EAC and LAME.  Tomorrow.  Now I'm spent.

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Reboot, or the unbootable system drive after power-switch mishap
« Reply #5 on: Friday, July 17, 2009, 11:40:50 AM »
Automatic Updates seems to like my XP version.  I let it download updates, but chose to install manually.  After installing most of the shit-ton it downloaded, I rebooted and everything is peachy.  Now AU wants to install SP3.  Should I let it?  Pros?  Cons?

I'm assuming ffdshow the best way to get myself some reasonable and safe codec support.  Agree?

Offline scottws

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Re: Reboot, or the unbootable system drive after power-switch mishap
« Reply #6 on: Friday, July 17, 2009, 12:41:50 PM »
I run SP3 and suggest to deploy it.  It's not like SP2.  It's more like a rollup of the "shit-ton" of security and critical updates since SP2.  I keep a redistributable version on my thumb drive and usually install it first thing.  That way you don't get the bullcrap where you get a bunch of SP2 updates and then install SP3, which installs all those updates again.  I haven't actually verified this myself, but one of my co-workers claims that a SP3 machine uses about 100 MB more RAM than a SP2 machine.  But I don't know if that's a SP2 with no updates machine or an SP2 with all updates except SP3 machine.

Regarding ffdshow... use ffdshow-tryouts instead.  ffdshow isn't updated anymore.  But yes, ffdshow-tryouts is a very good compilation of directshow filters.  I also use the Haali Media Splitter.

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Reboot, or the unbootable system drive after power-switch mishap
« Reply #7 on: Friday, July 17, 2009, 01:19:17 PM »
. . . the bullcrap where you get a bunch of SP2 updates and then install SP3, which installs all those updates again.

Regarding ffdshow... use ffdshow-tryouts instead.  ffdshow isn't updated anymore.  But yes, ffdshow-tryouts is a very good compilation of directshow filters.  I also use the Haali Media Splitter.

Yes, that's the bullcrap I just went through.  OK thanks.

I remember the bit about tryouts now.  You mentioned this once before, and I had forgotten.  Will track that down.