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Unmountable Boot Volume - IDE Device Failure

By palilley ·
would be extremely grateful for any help or guidance.

I am not a tekkie - but have now spent many (many!) hours trying to recover from the Windows blue screen message "Unmountable Boot Volume"

have tried "self help" via the net - and see that i am not on my own with this problem!

some background - Dell Dimension 8400 (18 months old), Windows XP.

i've tried the recovery Console stuff (chkdsk, etc, etc) but no joy. Ran the disc diagnostics and got the "error code 7" reply. Now i cant get into the Windows Recovery Console, since it says it can (no longer!) find the hard disk (help !!!)

have run the Dell self test diagnostics - and got the following message

"Error Code : 0F00:136C. Msg:IDE device failed: Blank media is present in optical drive"

i'm now going round in circles - between various articles on the web, Dell's website (hopeless !!) and very long-winded diagnostic tests on the machine.


ANY HELP, GUIDANCE, SANITY OR JUST COMISERATIONS ARE MORE THAN WELCOME

THANKS

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All Answers

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Probably bad hard drive

by Mr.Wiz In reply to Unmountable Boot Volume - ...

You've probably got a bad hard drive. I'd replace it and see if that takes care of the problem. Other possibilities are a bad system board.

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problem fixed - Thanx

by palilley In reply to Probably bad hard drive

dear wiz - thanks for the advice.

Thankfully managed to fix the problem without resorting to screwdrivers and buying new kit.

see my reply to Col

thanx again

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OK as you've already run the HDD Testing Utility

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Unmountable Boot Volume - ...

You know that there is a problem with either the Controller for the HDD or the HDD itself.

What you now need to do is remove that HDD from that computer fit it to another computer and check it again with the same diagnostic Tool, if it still comes up as bad you have a faulty HDD but if it comes up as OK you have a faulty controller on the M'Board for the HDD.

Col

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Thanx for your help now fixed

by palilley In reply to OK as you've already run ...

Col - thanx - but since problem now fixed. I felt that the disc was OK - just some problem booting up XP. I tried various iterations of booting up from disc, chkdsk, fixboot and so on - and finally it limped thru to Safe Mode.

one thing that might help others - i found i had 2 XP Re-installation discs (2 Dell machines purchased) - when i used the one from the machine with the problem - i got the re-boot to work. Maybe co-incidence, maybe not.

Have since "System restored" to an earlier date, backed up some important stuff - and now all seems OK

fingers crossed

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same problem

by sean In reply to OK as you've already run ...

Hi Palilley,

oh my gosh, i have the same exact computer as you and the same exact problem.. im going crazy!! how did you fix this? i saw that you said you solved the problem by safe mode, but with the help of the XP reinstallation cd.. I have the one that my dell came w/, but when i boot w/ the cd, it says that "setup did not find any hard disk drives installed".. and when i try to boot w/ safe mode, nothing happens.. same darn blue screen.. AHHHHHHHH! any input would be very appreciated!

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Fix

by palilley In reply to same problem

Hi Sean,

sorry you are suffering as i did - took me 30-odd hours to fix.

i cant recall the exact sequence - so, be careful and no guarentees! I need to add that i am no "techie"

as i said, it only booted thru via Safe Mode when i used the XP Installation disc that has some text on it like "includes SP2" - check yours. It was only when i used this that the system could "see" the hard disk - up until that point, i had the same message as you - "cannot find any disc attached"

Then from memory, it was chkdsk, followed by fixboot - and then into Windows via Safe Mode.

Sorry i cant be much help - but by this stage i had stopped writing down the steps - and doing it by instinct. Probably dangerous technically - but worked for me!

good luck - and let me know if it works / or if i can help further.

rgds

Paul

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update

by sean In reply to Fix

Paul.. thanks for the help, but after a long grueling 48 hours of trying everything i took it to a "teckie".. apparently my hard drive totally burned out.. i couldnt recover any data and i couldnt even reformat it.. so i replaced my hard drive and am starting from scratch.. if you are still using your existing dell hardrive, i would back up your data.. the teckie says that the Maxtor drive that dell computers come with have a tendency to crash often..

again, thanks for everything and take care..

sean

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update

by sean In reply to Fix

Paul.. thanks for the help, but after a long grueling 48 hours of trying everything i took it to a "teckie".. apparently my hard drive totally burned out.. i couldnt recover any data and i couldnt even reformat it.. so i replaced my hard drive and am starting from scratch.. if you are still using your existing dell hardrive, i would back up your data.. the teckie says that the Maxtor drive that dell computers come with have a tendency to crash often..

again, thanks for everything and take care..

sean

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Unmountable boot volume in Windows XP.

by jan.klobusnik In reply to Unmountable Boot Volume - ...

Cause:
This issue can be caused by a corrupt boot.ini
This issue can also be caused by a bad hard disk drive
Answer:
Corrupt boot.ini file
To resolve this issue you will need to boot into the recovery console, additional information and help with getting into the recovery console can be found on document CH000627.
In the recovery console type chkdsk /p to check to see if the disk drive is bad or marked as dirty. See our chkdsk command page for additional information and help with this command. If errors are located during the check skip to the next section.
If after performing this check it is unable to locating anything wrong with the hard disk drive, reboot the computer.
If after performing this step the computer still has the same issue, reboot the computer and load back into the recovery console.
Once back into the recovery console type chkdsk /r to locate any bad sectors and recover any data. If errors are located during the check skip to the next section.
Once completed reboot the computer to determine if this has resolve your issue.
Additional information and help with the boot.ini file can be found on document CH000492.
Note: If after running either of these chkdsk commands your computer is able to successfully boot into Microsoft Windows XP make sure you have all the latest updates for your computer. Additional information about running Windows update can be found on document CH000545.

Seriously corrupted or bad hard disk drive
If while running the above steps you encounter errors with the hard disk drive and/or the above steps do not resolve your issue it is likely your hard disk drive is failing or has already failed. To determine if this is the case it is recommended you run the Windows XP setup, delete all partitions, recreate the partitions, format the hard disk drive, and reinstall Windows XP.

If errors are encountered during the creation of the partitions or the format process it is likely that the hard disk drive is bad and it should be replaced.

Hard disk drive buying tips can be found on our hard disk drive buying tips page.
Additional information and help with installing a PC IDE/EIDE hard disk drive can be found on document CH000413.

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Be VERY careful

by ozi Eagle In reply to Unmountable boot volume i ...

Hi,

The advice to format the HDD is very dangerous, because it will destroy all data on the disk, if it works.
If a HDD is OK and you test it this way, then - POOF- bye bye data.

Do what Col suggests, above.

Herb

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