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Windows 7: BSOD occurs at boot up unless two hard drives are connected


01 Jan 2012   #1

W7 64 bit
 
 
BSOD occurs at boot up unless two hard drives are connected

I'm not sure if this should be in the BSOD, hardware, or software section as it involves them all really. Please move if appropriate.

OS: Windows 7 64 bit retail
Hardware approx two years old. OS install between 1.5 and 2 years ago (upgrade from XP). Repair install performed two days ago.

Requested permon report etc attached.

I intended to have my computer set up so that:

-Hard Drive 1 (small SSD)
*Windows 7 hidden partition
*C Drive with usual Windows files plus some programs

-Hard Drive 2
*Partition containing other programs especially large ones (games)


Recently I disconnected Hard Drive 2 which SHOULD have only non-Windows files on it. With this Hard Drive disconnected, Windows BSOD's during boot (just after the lights recombine to form the Windows logo). This problem is solved by reconnecting Hard Drive 2.

BSOD code:

0x000000F4 (0x0000000000000003, 0xFFFFFA800FB3B30, 0xFFFFFA8005FB3E10, 0xFFFFF8000337A300).

Is there a way that I can fix this so that I could use Windows with only Hard Drive 1 connected?

More details following, but the above describes the effects of whatever the problem is.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Things I have tried:

- Turn on computer with only Hard Drive 1 connected, wait for BSOD and restart, then run system repair (tried multiple times as recommended in many places online)

- Perform repair installation. I had to connect both Hard Drives in order to boot into Windows.

- Turn on computer with only Hard Drive 1 connected, wait for BSOD and restart, then use command prompt and follow instructions in options two and three in the URL below. Honestly, I don't really know what it was doing. My understanding is that it was using the bootrec and bcdedit commands to rebuild whatever Windows needs to boot up. Option two had no effect, i.e. computer worked with both drives attached, but not with only Drive 1. Option three made it worse - a BSOD occurred even earlier during boot up and I got a message about something in Windows/system32 being corrupt or missing, and it was impossible to get Windows running even with Drive 2 connected. Running the repair disk auto repair feature returned things to the usual problem.

Recovering the Windows Bootloader from the DVD - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki



As I said, I don't understand what the above process was doing exactly but it seems to me that because it didn't repair the problem, the cause is something other than this BCD thing?



I'm not sure if this could be part of the problem but my partitioning isn't quite what I said above. Hard Drive 2 has two further partitions, the last one in particular could be an issue:

-Hard Drive 2
*Partition containing other programs especially large ones (games)
*Partition with a few large videos on (from when I had a capture card)
*Hidden Partition. This actually contains a clone (using Acronis). I had completely forgotten about this clone, it was a backup. As far as I remember, it's a clone of the only hard drive (so it had the OS on it) that I had in this computer before I got a SSD. So I guess that this is actually a second Windows installation with the same product key etc. I would delete it but I don't want to stop the computer working even with Hard Drive 2 connected.

I asked about this elsewhere and was told to wipe Hard Drive 2. I do not want to do this because (1) I'm trying to fix this problem without losing installed programs and files/data, and (2) I can still boot into Windows by connecting Hard Drive 2 - if I wipe it then the computer won't be operational at all.


If this problem is due to some Windows files or whatever missing from Hard Drive 1, then I'm looking for a way to just put them there and make sure Windows knows where to look for them. After the computer is running fine from just that Hard Drive I could move on to thinking about deleting things from Hard Drive 2 (mainly that clone...).


Sorry for the long post but I'm guessing that this may be a complicated problem so I tried to provide as much information as possible, please ask if I missed anything relevant. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

01 Jan 2012   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Asacpi.sys

The pre 2009 version of this driver is a known bsod cause.
Quote:
Please visit this link: Asus tek computer inc. -support- drivers and download p7p55d le

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. -Support- Drivers and Download P7P55D LE
ASUSTeK Computer Inc. - Motherboards- ASUS P5K-VM

Scroll down to the utilities category, then scroll down to the "atk0110 driver for windowsxp/vista/windows 7 32&64-bit" (it's about the 12th item down).

Download and install it.

Go to c:\windows\system32\drivers to check and make sure that the asacpi.sys file is date stamped from 2009 or 2010 (notbefore).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2012   #3

W7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
Asacpi.sys

The pre 2009 version of this driver is a known bsod cause.
Thank you for the reply.

Mine was pre-2009, I downloaded atk0110 from the page for the P5Q Pro (my motherboard) and asacpi.sys is now stamped 2009. BSOD still occurs at the same point during startup if I disconnect Hard Drive 2.

I'm not sure if the BSOD code was always the same because I only recorded it once (the code I posted earlier in this thread), but after updating that driver it is different:

0x000000F4 (0x0000000000000003, 0xFFFFFA8005904920, 0xFFFFFA8005904c00, 0xFFFFF800033c5300)

The last three terms in the brackets have changed. I have attached the new perfmon etc files - I'm not sure if they're useful but it is a different code.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


01 Jan 2012   #4

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

BCC F4 is a "critical process of thread" has terminated.

While I suspect it is software related, I would run a malwarebytes scan just to be sure.

I so think there is something (perhaps hidden) on the 2nd HD that the OS needs to run. and without it it crashes with the F4


Please download the free version of Malwarebytes.
Update it immediately.
Do a full system scan
Let us know the results at the end.



Malwarebytes : Download free malware, virus and spyware tools to get your computer back in shape!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2012   #5

W7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
While I suspect it is software related, I would run a malwarebytes scan just to be sure.
Hmm, I didn't think this was malware related either. But... I can't open malwarebytes.

I installed it just now but I can't open it, I've tried using the desktop shortcut and also clicking on the mbam.exe in C:\Program Files (x86)\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware -nothing happens.

I also tried changing the name of mbam to iexplorer, explorer, userinit, and winlogon as suggested here:

How to use Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware to scan and remove malware from your computer

It also suggested using rkill so I tried that. It took several attempts to open it before it would stay open, and then it said it had terminated these processes:

C:\Windows\SysWOW64\findstr.exe
C:\Windows\SysWOW64\grpconv.exe

Malwarebytes still will not open.

I fully scanned my computer a few days ago with Avast! but it found nothing.

Edit: Actually, the Avast scan found several "Decompression bombs" that couldn't be scanned but they're mostly installation files left over from Firefox and Acronis etc. The only names I don't recognise are:

C:\Windows\Installer\1433fe.msi
C:\Windows\Installer\1433fe.msi|>Binary._53626858B3C8D223B7E0CB38029AD1BD
C:\Windows\Installer\1433fe.msi|>Binary._53626858B3C8D223B7E0CB38029AD1BD|>setupapp9x.exe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2012   #6

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Raptor77 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
While I suspect it is software related, I would run a malwarebytes scan just to be sure.
Hmm, I didn't think this was malware related either. But... I can't open malwarebytes.

I installed it just now but I can't open it, I've tried using the desktop shortcut and also clicking on the mbam.exe in C:\Program Files (x86)\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware -nothing happens.

I also tried changing the name of mbam to iexplorer, explorer, userinit, and winlogon as suggested here:

How to use Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware to scan and remove malware from your computer

It also suggested using rkill so I tried that. It took several attempts to open it before it would stay open, and then it said it had terminated these processes:

C:\Windows\SysWOW64\findstr.exe
C:\Windows\SysWOW64\grpconv.exe

Malwarebytes still will not open.

I fully scanned my computer a few days ago with Avast! but it found nothing.
Forgive me for saying so but I never got infected till I used avast. Long since gone. Perhaps you can run an online scan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2012   #7

W7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
Forgive me for saying so but I never got infected till I used avast. Long since gone. Perhaps you can run an online scan
Whatever it is, it's not easy to get rid of. Avast can't find anything, Malwarebytes not opening, rkill not working, online scanners don't find anything.

I might try to fix it again later but I think at this point I'm probably just going to grab some files and then wipe both hard drives and do a Windows installation from scratch. Irritating considering how many programs I have installed but it might well be the easiest fix.

Thanks very much for your help.

PS - how did you know to suggest updating asacpi.sys in your first post in this thread? I might as well learn something from this!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2012   #8

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Raptor77 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
Forgive me for saying so but I never got infected till I used avast. Long since gone. Perhaps you can run an online scan
Whatever it is, it's not easy to get rid of. Avast can't find anything, Malwarebytes not opening, rkill not working, online scanners don't find anything.

I might try to fix it again later but I think at this point I'm probably just going to grab some files and then wipe both hard drives and do a Windows installation from scratch. Irritating considering how many programs I have installed but it might well be the easiest fix.

Thanks very much for your help.

PS - how did you know to suggest updating asacpi.sys in your first post in this thread? I might as well learn something from this!

Ascapi.sys is Asus power utility and a really well known cause of BSOD's. Anyone who does BSOD's looks carefully for it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2012   #9

W7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
Ascapi.sys is Asus power utility and a really well known cause of BSOD's. Anyone who does BSOD's looks carefully for it

Ah right. Thanks again for all your help. I ended up formatting and installing Windows from scratch so it's definetly all on one drive now.


I'll mark this as solved as the fresh install fixed it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2012   #10

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Raptor77 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
Ascapi.sys is Asus power utility and a really well known cause of BSOD's. Anyone who does BSOD's looks carefully for it

Ah right. Thanks again for all your help. I ended up formatting and installing Windows from scratch so it's definetly all on one drive now.


I'll mark this as solved as the fresh install fixed it.
Usually does. Good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BSOD occurs at boot up unless two hard drives are connected




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