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Windows 7: Fresh Install - Critical Error Notification sounds after every boot-up

28 Jun 2014   #1
rjsdavis

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 
Fresh Install - Critical Error Notification sounds after every boot-up

Hello to all

I've got a minor, but somewhat niggling little problem, that I'd like to resolve if at all possible!

I've got a Sony VGN-CR31S laptop which I've owned from new. It's about 4 years old now, and it was time to image back-up the drive and fresh install the o/s and software as it had become clogged up with crap, was running slowly etc.

Install was fine (back-up is also fine), however, there's always one piece of hardware, the Texas Instruments SD card port and controller that Win 7 can never find the correct drivers for, so this is always the one piece of hardware that sits there in Device Manager as an "unknown item" - I've had it before so wasn't surprised by this.

Probably, the one mistake I made was to run too many unnecessary Sony Vaio driver downloads from the Sony website (as I couldn't remember which driver installation cured it), and I noticed that after one of the reboots, the computer started making an unexpected "critical error" sound notification at the end of the boot-up sequence. There are no visible problems, the computer doesn't display any warnings, there are no blue screens, and nothing shows in Device Manager as being unknown or unidentified.

However, I am confident that this is driver related, as it occurred directly after installing three driver downloads from Sony. I've already uninstalled everything that I installed from Sony - it was things like the webcam capture software, utilities software etc etc - so there are no Sony programs sitting in my Programs and Features part of the Control Panel - there's nothing left to uninstall other than specific drivers and/or devices within device manager!

As I say, the computer reports nothing at all, it runs perfectly and I've now reinstalled all of the software and re-copied back all of the data, therefore, I'm not inclined to format and reinstall fresh again. It's just really annoying.

Even more annoyingly, I laid my hands on a white version of the same laptop, as I intend to give it to my daughter as her first computer at christmas. I've already cleaned and installed a fresh copy of Win 7, and this too is doing the exact same thing! Again, I did install some of Sony's files in an effort to cure the unknown "Mass Storage Device" which was sitting in the Device Manager, however, I had done this a month or two ago now and I had forgotten how I had cured the Device Manager missing driver issue - therefore, stupidly, went the same process until I eventually got to the same result.

Therefore, I actually two near identical Sony Vaio's with the exact same little glitch.

Is there a way of sourcing what is happening during the boot sequence that is triggering the computer to sound the "Critical Alert" chime?

Many thanks for any responses - much appreciated.

PS - it's worth noting that before I reinstalled the fresh copy of Win 7 in the last few days and installing these Sony driver files, my laptop never made this chime at the end of the boot sequence - ever! I have installed Win 7 from fresh before, as I recall when I first got the laptop it was running Vista and I got rid of that immediately - however, in all those years it never did this, but this time round, something I've done, or installed, is giving me this minor jip.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Jun 2014   #2
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

Have you tried booting to Safe Mode? Do you hear it then?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2014   #3
rjsdavis

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ComputerGeek View Post
Have you tried booting to Safe Mode? Do you hear it then?
Hi there

Thanks for the reply - I hadn't tried this. I've just done it, but not sure how useful this was, as when it finished booting in the safe mode, there was a large red "X" through the speaker in the system tray, and it stated that audio service had not been started when you hovered over it. Therefore, if there's no sound, I don't know that this helps to track it down at all!

Regards
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

30 Jun 2014   #4
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

Oops. I forgot that. But we can change it and tell Windows to start Audio drivers and services in SafeMode with Networking.

First, create a System Restore point.

Next, copy the code below into Notepad. Save as a .txt file, change the extension to .reg then double click the .reg file to add the additional SafeBoot keys to the registry

Boot into Safemode with Networking. On my Win 7 machine, Windows doesn't recognize the speakers are connected in Safemode (don't know why). But Windows does recognize an audio device when i plug earplugs into the headphone jack. I can then hear sound through earplugs while in Safe Mode with Networking.

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\AudioEndPointBuilder]
@="Service"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\Audiosrv]
@="Service"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\MMCSS]
@="Service"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\{4d36e96c-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}]
@="Sound, video and game controllers"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2014   #5
rjsdavis

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Thanks for this reply - appreciated.

Am always reluctant to fiddle with the Registry, so what does this code in your last post actually do?

Also - once this is done, if the Cirtical Error sound doesn't go off at the end of the boot sequence, what will that actually tell us? Or, if it does still go off, what does this tell us?

Regards
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2014   #6
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

I appreciate your concern. And that's always wise re: the registry.

If alert sound doesn't occur in Safe Mode, you'd know it's a result of a service or driver used in Normal boot not Safemode which could help reduce the focus of things to look at.

But makes me think, try a "Windows Cleanboot" first. I believe audio should be running during a cleanboot. How to perform a clean boot in Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2014   #7
rjsdavis

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ComputerGeek View Post
I appreciate your concern. And that's always wise re: the registry.

If alert sound doesn't occur in Safe Mode, you'd know it's a result of a service or driver used in Normal boot not Safemode which could help reduce the focus of things to look at.

But makes me think, try a "Windows Cleanboot" first. I believe audio should be running during a cleanboot. How to perform a clean boot in Windows
I was just getting ready to do this - and it's stopped (!)

I don't know why.

Only three bits of software have installed since I created the original post - two Adobe Flash Player updates, and a restoration of an old version of RealPlayer. Only other things that have changed on the system are a series of Office 2010 updates on the 10/7 (auto Win updates), and a smaller number of Win 7 updates on the same date. They are either Updates or Security Updates for Win 7.

I'm now scratching my head - albeit very pleased that the noise has disappeared! I just don't get it... PS - it's not a audio codec / speaker thing either, as the laptop plays the normal Windows logon music as it finishes booting just fine - it's just stopped playing that critical stop noise for a reason I just can't ascertain.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2014   #8
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

First, and most of all, glad to hear that it stopped!

I happened to get a critical notification myself the other day when i started up! (just one time though). For my case, I found the error in the Windows System Event log (a USB driver failed to load).

If it happens again, check for any Warning or Error events around the time it occured.

Right click My Computer->Manage. 1) Expand Event Viewer->Windows Logs->System 2) Click on Filter Current Log.

Then check the Error and Warning boxes and click OK. Skim the events.


Attached Thumbnails
Fresh Install - Critical Error Notification sounds after every boot-up-p1.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2014   #9
rjsdavis

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Thanks for this - I've just checked the logs:

Critical - one instance of a "Kernel-Power" - which it states was due to an unclean shut-down or loss of power (which can't be right at all, as this has never happened since I reinstalled from fresh)

Error - I've got 116 events! The most common one is NTFS - Event ID: 55 - apparently reporting that the file structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable (which again cannot be correct as it runs perfectly). Actually, now that I think about it, I think that this is connected to the external USB drive that I used to back-up the primary drive - I often get "do you wish to format your drive" across all five partitions when I connect it. So, it's not that... The only other one that seems like it might be right is:

LogName: System / Source: Schannel / Event ID: 36888 / Level: Error / User: SYSTEM / OpCode: Info
The following fatal alert was generated: 10. The internal error state is 10.

Warning: 28,367 events! Too many to even skim when I don't really know what I'm looking for...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2014   #10
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

Yea, one problem with the log events is there's often a lot of "noise". Many of the warnings/errors posted may not even be relevant to the problem at hand. And no guarantee your problem is creating a log entry.

So, in the future the process is: if critical notification sounds happens again, note the time as shown on your computer's clock. Use time stamp on each log entry to just look at entries posted around the time the problem occurred. See if anything looks relevant (e.g. a driver load failure, as was in my case) or if the same error is consistently logged each time the problem occurs.

You can also clear all current events by right clicking the log and selecting clear log.


Attached Images
Fresh Install - Critical Error Notification sounds after every boot-up-2014-07-18_230625.jpg 
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 Fresh Install - Critical Error Notification sounds after every boot-up




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