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Windows 7: New build started going to windows repair on startup, but reboot works


18 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
New build started going to windows repair on startup, but reboot works

Interesting dilemma started occurring. Long post, but weird circumstances require details.

Been working on a custom build for a client. Everything is going great up until it's deliver to the customer time (of course). I purchased 160GB WD blues for OS (going to set up in RAID 1), but found out I got some bad drives. Working fine for a couple weeks with no issues, but bad blocks started popping up, so ran them through the WD diags and they failed.

Having not had much luck with WD Blue series, I decide to go with WD Red's for the OS. I put a RAID 5 array and a separate RAID 1 for backup storage in the machine, all using WD Red's and they really work well. Research online said they are good for OS drives, so picked up a couple 1TB's and imaged the existing 160GB partition to one of the 1TB Red drives. I decided not to kick off the mirror on the OS drive until the customer was happy with the setup. Once satisfied, the plan was to perform one final image, then kick off the RAID 1 and handle all future support via remote.

This was last night and this morning I shut the box down, no issues. Fast forward to getting it hooked up onsite and it says it can start, so it goes into Windows repair. I let it run for 2 hours and it gets nowhere, so I put in a Windows 7 install disc and see if the repair works from DVD. Goes into the same never ending repair cycle, so I just hard reset it and when it gave me option for repair or start normally, I choose the latter. Amazingly, it boots to desktop. Check eventvwr and no errors at all, so I'm hoping it's a fluke. Restart the box from OS and it goes into the same Windows repair loop, but another hard reset and it boots to desktop again. Repeated this a few more times just to replicate the issue and same thing every time. Cold boot or restart from OS and it goes into the repair loop, but a hard reset will put it at the desktop.. every time. So I'm figuring bad drive, which doesn't make much sense with the symptoms, but I figure it can't hurt at this point. so I image it real fast, pop another 1TB Red in from a different batch and pull the image back down. Reset button from the TI Image screen and it boots. Restart from OS, it goes into the same repair loop.

I'm at a loss at this point. I'm hoping it's just the Red drives, but it really doesn't make sense if they are the problem. I'm going back onsite to check it again soon, but figured I'd pass this one to the gurus to see if they'd seen it before. Tons of searching for an answer hasn't yielded any results and I've never seen this before in any of my travels.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H with latest BIOS
Windows 7 Professional x64
Western Digital 1TB NAS Red Drives in RAID mode

It literally started presenting right after I dropped the working image onto the new drives, but only after it went through a bit of travel (albeit securely and without any incidents). Will report back after trying some WD Black drives I used for testing some of the images off of it that I know work, but hoping that someone has maybe seen this before in the interim.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Aug 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

May I ask why you're using dated RAID, for what benefit to your client? All we see here are problems with RAID which offers no appreciable benefit I've seen and isn't even redundant since most users lose all data if they lose one drive. You certainly don't need it for size nowadays.

If you'll post back a screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image we can look over the config to see if it anything is obvious.

I'd also run a few Startup Repairs from Disk to see if it finds anything. I'd also run a Disk Check and HD Diagnostic
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2013   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

The problem isn't RAID related to clarify. The config is all based on customer request, so it is what it is. If the arrays were part of the equation here, I'd be considering them as a factor. I could replicate the issue with and without the raid drives connected.

The issue is a single OS drive in this bizarre loop. I've not mirrored it yet, so definitely something else other than RAID.

Drives all look fine from a disk management perspective. All the eventvwr logs are clean. The interesting thing I noticed is that there were no entries for an unexpected reboot, so the failed boots never got to that point. I forced at least a half dozen hard reboots, but none popped on the logs. I'll try the startup repairs from disk again to see if that yields any results. I let the first attempt go 2 hours before I started digging in, and the other attempt about 30 minutes. Do you recommend a certain amount of time to let them run without finding any issues?

Will run the WD diags on the drive. The issue followed the image to another drive, so I didn't think both would be bad. Will also try to drop a known working image on some different drives to see if it follows.

Do you think it could be BIOS related? I flashed to the newest version, but it was before this presented, so not sure if it could "flake out" as it were. If it helps, I did notice an extra soft reset while it was going through the boot process which seemed out of sorts. Meaning it would post, run through the typical startup actions, then soft reset once right when I would typically expect it to fire up the OS. It's upon this subsequent bootup it fails and attempts to repair the failed startup. Sorry for leaving that piece out. I've been going over the sequence to see if I can narrow down the fail point.

I defer to anyone that has had success with the repair features on Windows 7 as to how long you should wait before assuming it's just not going to work. I've not had much experience with it.

Thanks for the quick response.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Aug 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

I asked to see Disk Management, not whether you thought it was okay. We tend to see things others don't after reading tens of thousands of them.

If the problem is with Windows 7 installed to a single HD, then unplug all other HD's to see if prob persists, if so do the repairs and tests with only it plugged in. If not, add back each HD or data array to see which is affecting it.

Startup Repair running so long could point to a failing HD, so do the maker's HD Diagnostic and full Disk Check.

Be sure you are running Startup Repair from disk and not the autostarted one which depends on System files that might be awry.

I'd also run SFC /SCANNOW Command
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2013   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

As the Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H has a uEFI/BIOS firmware.
How to install Windows 64 bit on a uEFI/BIOS firmware:
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with
or
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 8 with
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2013   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Went back onsite today and the issue is cleared. Have absolutely no idea what the issue may have been or may still be. I pulled some more images of the OS drive while there, so going to do some more testing as to possible root cause. I tried at least a dozen times to get the symptom to reoccur, but nada.

I did fail to mention I'm quite familiar with NT and hardware, so while I appreciate the expertise, I did explain my steps to eliminate what I could at the time. At this point, I am in agreement with you as to it likely being hardware related and not OS.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I asked to see Disk Management, not whether you thought it was okay. We tend to see things others don't after reading tens of thousands of them.

If the problem is with Windows 7 installed to a single HD, then unplug all other HD's to see if prob persists, if so do the repairs and tests with only it plugged in. If not, add back each HD or data array to see which is affecting it.
I stated that I replicated the issue with and WITHOUT the other drives connected, so there's that. I guess if you could discern something out of looking at a screen grab of a single volume in disk management, I need to brush up.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Startup Repair running so long could point to a failing HD, so do the maker's HD Diagnostic and full Disk Check.

Be sure you are running Startup Repair from disk and not the autostarted one which depends on System files that might be awry.

I'd also run SFC /SCANNOW Command
Manufacturers diags pending still until off hours this weekend. SFC completed. Will run it through the startup fix from media just to see if it locates anything when I go back onsite. Since the issue cleared, I wanted to check some other things instead of letting the machine run through the check from disc.

I'll mark this as resolved, but still not sure at all what the issue was. Most bizarre case I've seen as of late. Not a single event in the logs indicating a failed bootup or an unexpected restart is the strangest piece. This is the first time I actually hit the wall hard enough to go looking for outside resources to throw in their input.

I appreciate the input and suggestions for sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

We needed to see Disk Mgmt with all volumes plugged in as it says in tutorial. Often this is enough to see the problem, another reason why this is the top tech site on the web. We have the top experts in every field here to learn from.

Please come back and see us when you'd like to coooperate, not debate us and withhold key pieces of the puzzle because you don't think we need them or want to pretend you are too advanced for us.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2013   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

As a matter of professionalism, you sir.. need work. I'd like to think someone with 40k posts would be able to at least absorb what troubleshooting has been done already and what is relevant to the issue . Instead, you immediately go into condescending mode and imply the poster is some form of uncooperative, antagonistic, know it all?. Seriously, go back and read the posts. It's all there. I just wanted to see if anyone recognized the symptoms.

I would definitely like to hear from some of the other top experts, because you aren't showing any skills here other than running through A+ grade level suggestions.

That said, I'm gonna bite since I don't believe you have any idea on this one (and the fact you seriously come off as some form of angry cartoon character.) Here's the disk management screen. If you can pull root cause out of this, I will buy you a cookie and bow to your superior intellect.


Attached Thumbnails
New build started going to windows repair on startup, but reboot works-untitled.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

I would have the Windows 7 HD in Disk0 position.

The solution to your problem is likely in the many other steps I suggested which you haven't completed yet, since these have solved similar issues when they've come up over the years.

I'm sorry you feel I didn't provide help the way you wanted, but we have certain procedures here which always work best, and tend to bridle when they are ignored.

I'll ask some others to look at your thread since you're not satisfied with my help.

Unsubscribed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2013   #10
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

I will pass on this one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 New build started going to windows repair on startup, but reboot works




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