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Windows 7: Bad Image errors on boot

18 Jul 2011   #1

Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1
Bad Image errors on boot

Death Omen no.1
A few months ago it all started with a 400GB Samsung SpinPoint harddrive suddenly being shown in Windows as a raw partition without any data, when it in reality was holding a few hundred GBs of photos I've taken over the years.
I ran as many recovery procedures as I could, but had to come to terms with failure after saving 20-30 of the very oldest photos I had on the drive. It sucks, but I suppose you just have to live with it...

Death Omen no. 2:
Just before this weekend, the D-volume all of a sudden disappeared from "My Computer", while I was using the PC. This was a 1TB Samsung SpinPoint F1 7200RPM drive I bought in October of 2009, which contained my music, films and all of my backups (even backups of some of the photos that had been lost on the older 400GB drive that died earlier this year.
Disc Management in Win7 had renamed the volume "Missing", and listed the SMART status as "Failed".
I also checked the SMART status feature of SpeedFan and BIOS, but the drive was nowhere to be found. I immediately emailed the retailer, who accepted my request for a return under warranty this morning.
Preparing to send the drive back, I shut down the computer via the start menu.

Death Omen no. 3:
The moment I did this, the "Installing/Configuring Updates" screen we all know and loathe popped up, and Win7 was working on the first of seven updates.
Updates 2 through 7 can't have been big ones, as the computer seemingly turned itself off more or less immediately after the first update hit 99%.
Nothing new thus far, but then I turned the computer back on to print out the shipping label the retailer had provided me by email. I turn it on, and it goes through it's regular boot sequence, until I was supposed to have been looking at the Win7 desktop. I was met by a completely black screen, seemingly in an 800x600 resolution, and the mouse pointer.
Well that's peculiar, I thought, but figured it probably had something to do with the updates Windows had been installing, and thought it best to leave it be for a while.
I did the dishes and cleaned up, returning just more than half an hour later - to find nothing had happened. And the computer wasn't frozen either, as it was possible to move the mouse pointer.

The words "Oh, bollocks!" scrolled through my brain in a huge bold font. After a few attempted reboots, booting in safe mode with/without networking etc I figured I didn't have much left to lose, so I dug up an old Kubuntu Live-CD I'd had laying around since I was trying to be a computer-hipster quite a few years back and started it up with the hope of salvaging as much data as I could before the entire computer went sailing down poop-creek.

Linux - Oh, balls, not this again:

Kubuntu boots eventually, but I can't find my harddrive volumes anywhere. After utilizing my highly impressive Google-fu for a short while, I find out Kubuntu can't automatically mount drives, and after a few attempts manage to mount them manually.
However, I can't get to the data on them in any way. Some obscure error emssage about the drives not being mounted by "Hal" (whoever that ******* is) pops up. Again my Google-fu comes into play, and I find some workarounds for various Linux distros. None for (K)ubuntu though.

I went ahead and tried some of them either way, and got approx half-way through the process without issues with a couple attempts, and the rest just failed immediately.

Win7 boot, LogonUI.exe error:
I turn the computer off, and reboot Win7
After 5-6 minutes with a completely black image on the monitor in 800x600 the mouse pointer suddenly appears, along with the following error message:

I googled the error message and found various problems with equally varied solutions (though most commonly repairing with the Win7 CD), but didn't find any examples of issues with that specific DLL, though in some of the cases, other people's problems were remarkably similar to mine. They got it to work again though, their fixes didn't work in my case.

Win7 startup, userinit.exe error:
I press OK on the LogonUI.exe errmor message, and after some waiting I arrive at the well known blue logon-screen, though still in 800x600.
The following error message pops up:

I google the new error message, with far less results this time around. Without finding a "fix", I press OK, and it's back to a black 800x600 background and the mouse pointer. I figured I should give waiting another chance, and went to make dinner. More than an hour later I get back to find that yet again, there has been no progress at all.

The result is exactly the same if I boot in safe mode as well, with the exception of the error messages not popping up and "SafeMode" being written in all four corners of the black image on the monitor.
I've tried repair-mode, restoration points and the works with my Win7 CD, without any luck.

I'm all out of ideas now, so I'm putting my faith in those of you that have more experience than me in such matters. The Samsung F1 drive is allready on it's way back to the retailer, so that data is lost, but I would still very much like to salvage the remaining ~800GB of data on my other drives, so a clean Win7 install on the C-drive is not an alternative at the moment.


The box
1x Asus M2V Motherboard
1x AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ 2.5GHz Socket AM2
2x Crucial DDR2 PC5300 1024MB CL5
2x Corsair Value S. PC5300 DDR2 2GB
1x Sapphire Radeon HD 4650 1GB DDR2
1x Samsung SpinPoint 120GB 7200RPM
1x Samsung SpinPoint 400GB 7200RPM (Borked, formatted as a 31GB RAW partition for some reason)
1x Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB 7200RPM (Borked, on it's way back to the retailer)
1x Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB 7200RPM

Win7 Ultimate x64

In advance, thank you for all your help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2011   #2

Windows 7 64b Ultimate

Hello Pkekyo, welcome to SF! That sounds messed up!
Next steps depend a bit on how important it is for you to salvage data on the remaining HDD's.
If that is paramount.... take out the disks, get to a second PC (or a friends, or a shop) and copy all th stuff you want saved on something (depending on size, a new external HDD or whatever).

If the data is important but not that important.... then I'd suggest to stop looking at the HDD's. Chances are slim that all of them would break down in this manner. I would suggest a usb or DVD installatio of W7 with which to boot your system and then do all the HW tests we know. Lots of tut's on that here.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2011   #3

Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Thank you.

I have "solved" this problem, by buying new harddrives (1x 60GB SSD and 1x Samsung 2TB HDD) and installing Win7 after disconnecting all other harddrives.
This way, I have at least managed to get a hold of the data on the Samsung SpinPoint 120GB drive that formerly served as my system drive. My best bet is that somehow the updates Windows applied completely borked the windows install.

I'm currently in the progress of salvaging as much data as possible from my former C-drive so I can take the drive out and store it, should I ever need to recover data from it in the future, same goes for the 400GB Samsung drive.

As for the final 1TB drive that soiled itself I'm hoping the retailer will ship it back to me after inspecting it and refunding my money, so I can have professionals attempt to restore at least the 2-300GB of photos I had on it.

Now that I have a fresh Win7 install, however, I have run into a couple new problems.

1 - No sound. Probably due to driver incompatability, installing a new Realtek driver now.
2 - My Asus M2V motherboard has three SATA slots. Two SATA2 connectors, and another one sitting by itself marked "SATA RAID". Now, I need to be able to use this one as a regular SATA port, but it's nigh impossible to find drivers for it, except for some obscure Linux distros.
I would highly appreciate it if anyone were able to help me out with this issue.

Thank you for replying, MvdB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Jul 2011   #4

Windows 7 64b Ultimate

I'll look into that... but am still worried. Again, what is the chance of multiple HDD's messing up at the same time...
I would do some Hardware testing, specially on your mobo to be sure. Before you think you can safely copy from the old to the new.

The other possibility is malware... which has to be scanned and detetcted first thing if you connect your old hdd to this new W7 install... so please be careful
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2011   #5

Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Well, the new driver solved the audio issue.

I had the same suspicion as you, but I have scanned all connected drives with both anti-virus and malware clients - neither found a trace of anything fishy.
Both the mobo, CPU, GPU and PSU are in their final days now, I just have to keep this computer alive until I can afford buying new components.

Again, thanks for helping me out. If I can just get the third SATA port to work I'll be all set
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2011   #6

Windows 7 64b Ultimate

I'm a bit baffled by your question. On the ASUS site your board is said to have:
2 x Serial ATA with RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD
1 x Serial ATAI/II

You should be able to connect to all three. No extra drivers. Whether y use the RAID posibility is an entirely different question.. but a mobo with RAID means 2 RAID uses two disks (identical disks)... so I don't get how you'd think there is only 1 RAID connector?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2011   #7

Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1

On the motherboard, you have two connectors standing together, labeled SATA
Then, separately on the opposite side of the motherboard, there is a single connector labeled SATA RAID01

If one applies common sense to this, one would assume that the single connector has something to do with a RAID setup, and the two on the opposite side of the motherboard are regular SATA connectors.
Of course I might be wrong, as Asus doesn't seem to have been thinking too logically when they designed this quirky piece of fecal matter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2011   #8

Windows 7 64b Ultimate

Strange... but are the slot types identical? Iow, is it the exact same type of connection? If so, I would just connect a HD. You should not need a separate driver for that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2011   #9

Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1

It is, the SATA cable fit right in and I have allready attached the 1TB drive.
It shows up in BIOS, but it seems Windows doesn't want anything to do with it.

To clarify:

- The two SATA-ports right above the IDE-ports work just fine, and are labeled "SATA"
- The SATA port standing alone in the center on top of the mobo in the picture is labeled "SATA RAID 01" and won't work as explained above.

I also have another issue, with Win7 freezing up when I attempt to copy files between harddrives (to back up everything on the older drives). No error message or BSOD, it just freezes and the speakers go "DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURR".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2011   #10

Windows 7 64b Ultimate

Just checking, don't be insulted, but, for that new disk that is recognized in BIOS but not in W7... have you followed these steps (start with step two) Partition or Volume - Create New

Sounds as if you did not allocate the disk yet....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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