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Windows 7: Windows 7 Home on a Dell Studio 540 Desktop repeated crash troubles

25 May 2011   #1
MSwhip

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Windows 7 Home on a Dell Studio 540 Desktop repeated crash troubles

I have been having serious trouble keeping my system stable over the last few months. I had to format HDD and reinstall the OS a couple of times and also restore it to factory settings another couple of times. Today im unable to do any of those. I have no support left from Dell on the page they used to have for doing the restore to factory settings.. I read somewhere they had discontinued support last April 24. The instructions on site to do a Dell Factory Image Recovery is no longer available either. Today i tried to follow the advice on how to do both and I get NO FACTORY RESTORE OPTION. The WIN SETUP does not load and i get this error message >> Status: 0xc00000e9 Info: An unexpected I/O error has occurred. and in Windows Boot Manager im given no options either and there the error code is Status: 0xc000000f Info: the boot selection failed cause a required device is inaccessible. This is driving me insane, i have tried to boot with the Re-installation CD that came with the PC. nothing doing. I tried to reboot with the "recovery disks 1 # 2" that i made at the beginning prompted by Dell which supposedly would haelp me boot in cases like this. Nothing happens. Tried the resource CD. Made an image recovery which says it has been done and saved on external drives i have.. but cannot or dont know how to use it for booting and/or re-installation purposes. I also made a back up copy of the whole HD. hard drives seem to be healthy according to what Windows itself tells me.
Either my ignorance is deeper of what I thought or Windows 7 Home 64-bit on my PC is really screwed or a combination of both.
Could anyone with experience walk me through this maze with simple steps that maybe could work?
Additionally which is the simplest and most proven way to come back from a windows crash?
If back up is not helping me under the circumstances, im lost for words as to how to cover my PC my future OS crashes

I would now appreciate any help i could get from generous persons willling to help. Im not too savvy with computers as im a pensioner who saw his first computer at age 45.

Note 1: PC is 15 months old and out of factory warranty.
Note 2: it does start in safe mode (I am using it to write this)


Thank you kindly


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
25 May 2011   #2
Dave76

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Is this the instructions for the Dell Factory Image Recovery: Dell Factory Image Recovery

Quote:
which is the simplest and most proven way to come back from a windows crash?
When you get your system stable and running good use a backup image program, there are free versions that work really well.
Keep the backup file on an external HD and restoring is easy.
Macrium Reflect

If you have a Seagate or Western Digital hard drive you can get a free version of Acronis, a very good image backup program, usually not free. You must have the hard drive in your system for these to work.
Not sure what hard drive you have?
D/L the free SIW - System Information for Windows, it will tell you just about everything in your computer.

Seagate DiscWizard
Acronis True Image Western Digital Edition Software
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2011   #3
MSwhip

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

thank you Dave for your response.
Regarding the Dell Factory restore i have a Windows 7 Home 64-bit OS. The link you gave me is for Windows Vista.
My storage options are:
Disk 0 and 1 inside the Dell Desktop tower. (so 2 HDDs in there)
Additionally i have a SansDigital TowerRaid external enclosure with 4 bays of which i have used up 3. Mu HDDs are: a 500GB Sata II Blue and a 2TB Western Digital Black Caviar both inside the tower and 7200. They both have the OS loaded.
The external enclosure houses a 2TB Sata II WD Green(variable speeds), a 1TB Sata II Hitachi Deskstar and a 1 TB Sata III Western Digital Black Caviar FAEX -both 7200 speed.

For added measure I also own a Thermaltake Docking station Dual Black Duet with both USB and Sata II interface which i use to hot swap disks when I need to. ( I also use it as an Extender or Expander Storage for the TV PVR).

You may ask how im having issues with crashes and reinstallations when i have all that storage and variety of disks
The answer is that i still have not mastered the art of backing up efficiently. I do have a full back up of the HD with the OS. But as i cannot boot Windows (other than in safe mode) I cannot recover and restore that backup into one of the PC drives. The saved backup copy is in the enclosure. I also placed the drive into the tower..but I cannot boot from it cause it has no OS on it. SO again im stuck between the rock and the hard place and feeling like what came first the chicken or the egg.

I am sure that a knowledgeable person would have already solved this issue in no time.

I knew about the free Acronis for owners of WD hard drives. Also WD has a proprietary software to manipulate their HDs which I have downloaded. Lets you even write 0 and 1 over a disk to totally erase it.

I was working on a Backing up sttrategy to have theser incidents covered. So i have a good idea of what it is i want to do in the future. My problem now is how to normally boot Windows sop i canh get on with the tasks. Right now the recopvery tools are not letting me either. repair the window installation. nor get a restore to factory status from Dell nor erven re-install Windows from scratch. Im stuck.
thart is the kind of help i need now. Ive read anumber of articles saying how easy is to boot windows in case of ccrashes I did create recovery disks when I first started with the new computer. Not even those are letting me do any recovery.
The Hard Disks themselves seem to be ok...they spin they dont make funny noises. Windows reports disks to be healthy, so it weems all there is to it is software trouble.
Dell Diagnostics reports disks to be ok.
I do have some error messages but unless you own a Dell probably would mean nothing to you, but just in case here they are:
When doing the "restore the factory settings process" the process i followed is:
1. start PC and hit F8 until isee the Advanced BOOT options menu....
2. highlight "REPAIR YOUR COMPUTER" <enter>
3. <next> and enter Administrator account
4. Click Dell Factory Image Recover and Dell Data Safe Local Backup... at this stage i get 2 options to choose from:
a) Use the latest available system image (recommended) ... and ...
b) Select a system image .... both a) and b) options are for the same image -NO FACTORY RESTORE option offered-

When doing the Re-installation the OS from the OS setup disk inserted in the CD-Rom drive... after the PC starts with the re-installation Windows CD then F12 to load the boot menu ... when I choose the CD-Rom drive and hit <Enter> ... I get the following error message "Status: 0xc00000e9 Info: An unexpected I/O error has occurred" (setup would not load)

Also Windows Boot Manager tab does not let me choose anything I get the following error message:
Status: 0xc000000cf
Info: The boot selector failed cause a required device is inaccessible.

Does any of that makes sense to you, does it tell you something helpful to solve my issues?

Thank you again
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 May 2011   #4
Dave76

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

The procedure to get to the Dell Factory restore will be the same for Win7 as Vista.
Go through the steps on that link and see if it will get you there.

What program did you use for the backup you have?
Windows? Or another program?

I wouldn't count on Windows or Dells hardware diagnostics.
D/L and run Western Digital Lifeguard– Quick Test and Extended Test, as soon as you can.

I have owned many Dells and have two still, among some others.

Click this link: Dell™ Studio 540 - Manuals
D/L all the Manuals.

Open the Dell™ Technology Guide,
Go to 'Restoring Your Operating System'
I would try 'Windows System Restore' - following the Vista instructions will get you there, almost the same as Win7.

This tutorial will give you some more information: How to Do a System Restore in Windows 7

You are using the same steps as on page 267 in the Dell™ Technology Guide, 'Using Dell PC Restore and Dell Factory Image Restore'.
If that is not working it may mean that the Dell Factory Image Restore may be corrupt or the restore partition may have been changed in some way.

Try: How to Repair Windows 7 System Files with System File Checker
Follow the instructions in the tutorial, if it says it can't fix/repair the problem, run it at least three times. It takes more than once for some issues.

Can you see any of the files in the D partition, should be the Dell Factory Image partition?

A 0xc00000e9 stop error.
This error can be caused by unplugging a removable storage device such as an external USB drive while the device is in use, or by faulty hardware such as a hard drive or CD-ROM drive that is failing. Make sure the CD-ROM drive is properly connected and then restart your computer.
Un-plug all un-necessary hardware, including external drives.
Try a new SATA cable for the CD-ROM.

Have used the CD-ROM successfully with other CD/DVD disks?
Your OS disk may be corrupt, try it in another computer if you can.

Is this the correct error you had 0x000000cf?
Quote:
The TERMINAL_SERVER_DRIVER_MADE_INCORRECT_MEMORY_REFERENCE bug check has a value of 0x000000CF. This indicates that a driver has been incorrectly ported to the terminal server.
Cause
The driver is referencing session space addresses from the system process context. This probably results from the driver queuing an item to a system worker thread.
This driver needs to comply with Terminal Server's memory management rules.
Have you had any actual Blue Screens?
Whether you have or not, follow these instructions:

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) Posting Instructions
Post the zip file here. this will have a lot of your system information and will help me find the cause and the offending driver.


Let me know if you get any results from the above methods.
There are more to try if these don't help.


For future reference:

How to Run a Startup Repair in Windows 7

How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2011   #5
MSwhip

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Thank you Dave for all your suggestions and coaching. After lots of thoughts I decided to start from scratch and -using Dell's Recovery disks that i d/l at the time I first got the computer- formatted the original DH a WD5000AAKS.

I saved all the links you provided me with for future references. I knew of the Free Acronis offered by WD for its disks. After some reserarch of the free options im inclined to use free paragon cause it is the one and only free software that I know of that offers differential 'backup' and the 'buble' to save a full hard drive including OS and all other files inside of it.
I would like to read ypur comments in case you are aware of others that may exist with that feature included, and also if you know of any downsides about the stated paragon software?

Thank you kindly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2011   #6
Dave76

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

You're welcome.

Sometimes it is best to re-install, good decision.

Paragon is an excellent backup software, you will be happy with your choice.

Let us know if you have any questions or further issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2011   #7
MSwhip

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Hi Dave:
Have had further problems since we last posted, so after a lot of trial and error I finally was able to restore ONE HDD (out of my array of 5) to restore the pc to Dell's factory specifications.
After that I added Avira Antivir Free Personal (had to disable Windows 7 Defender to avoid clashes). and downloaded into the HD. Firefox 5.0 (I have now used some version of FF for a couple years -I dislike IE-)
All this on Hitachi Deskstar 1 TB Sata II 32mb Cache. Curiously the other 4 are WD. You may ask yourself why did i install the OS on 2(now on 3) different HDD for the same PC. My idea was to quickly swap disks if one OS crashed. (I seem to have an attack of Murphy's laws over all this)


Now this is stable, second day after the latest restore. I want now to make my NEXT MOVE make an easily retrievable BACK-UP copy WITH the OS included.
Given all the available options i have thoroughly reasearched and your own suggestions my first question now would be. Which is the best route to save a 'very easily retrievable' BACK UP that i could re-install on an eventual next major crash?
Theoretical Options are:
1. My Win 7 Home 64-bit Bckup and Restore feature.(already loaded on this HD)
2. Macrium Reflect Free
3. Paragon Backup and Restore Free (I love the its 'bubble' concept to save the full HDD backup in there, OS inlcuded)

Current Hindrances:
a. given the problems I have been having i totallly distrust the status of any of the 4 WD HDD that have crashed on me. Before even installing them as Disk 1 inside the PC and/or on the SansDigital 4-Bay External Enclosure I want to make a clean back up copy.
b. although I have the option of d/l from WD the free Acronis software to deal with the HDDs, at this time all I could do would be to download it to the Hitachi, but that would serve no purpose for my most pressing Hitachi backup needs).

From all said it seems that my only option right now would be to use one of the methods to make a Backup copy inside the same Hitachi; although i have the feeling that if the Hitachi crashes the backup would be useless.

Additionally, at some point i would have to install the WD to deal with them. I want to sift through all the contents and uninstall the OS which is installed on 2 of them.
How do you uninstall the OS safely without trashing all the data on them? (obviously I will boot Win from the Hitachi to be able to work on all the WD HDDs).

Another future issue is that I want to start exploring with Ubuntu version 10.04 on this Windows PC. I have read very positive reviews about Linux and frankly I am getting worn out by al the Windows woes.

I am sharing all these thoughts to ask you the central question. if you were in my position what would you do to:

1. Save a CLEAN COPY of my just restored HDD which is easily retrievable (could you tell me where to read STEP by STEP procedure?, -unless you are willing to offer it yourself-)

2. Whatever you are able and willing to offer me about the future Linux issue, -have you experienced it yourself?-)

Thank you kindly for all your help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2011   #8
Dave76

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MSwhip View Post
Hi Dave:
Have had further problems since we last posted, so after a lot of trial and error I finally was able to restore ONE HDD (out of my array of 5) to restore the pc to Dell's factory specifications.
After that I added Avira Antivir Free Personal (had to disable Windows 7 Defender to avoid clashes). and downloaded into the HD. Firefox 5.0 (I have now used some version of FF for a couple years -I dislike IE-)
All this on Hitachi Deskstar 1 TB Sata II 32mb Cache. Curiously the other 4 are WD. You may ask yourself why did i install the OS on 2(now on 3) different HDD for the same PC. My idea was to quickly swap disks if one OS crashed. (I seem to have an attack of Murphy's laws over all this)


Now this is stable, second day after the latest restore. I want now to make my NEXT MOVE make an easily retrievable BACK-UP copy WITH the OS included.
Given all the available options i have thoroughly reasearched and your own suggestions my first question now would be. Which is the best route to save a 'very easily retrievable' BACK UP that i could re-install on an eventual next major crash?
Theoretical Options are:
1. My Win 7 Home 64-bit Bckup and Restore feature.(already loaded on this HD)
2. Macrium Reflect Free
3. Paragon Backup and Restore Free (I love the its 'bubble' concept to save the full HDD backup in there, OS inlcuded)
Have seen issues with using Win7 Backup and restore, I would not recommend it due to reliability.

I use Acronis free version for my backups, Seagate and WD, as long as you have one WD HDD connected in your system you can use the WD Acronis for backup and restore. Even for your Hitachi.
If you think at some point you won't have a WD HDD or you just want to have an independent backup app, I would recommend Macrium Reflect and Paragon, in that order.
Both are very good, have used them myself, so you have good options listed.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MSwhip View Post
Current Hindrances:
a. given the problems I have been having i totallly distrust the status of any of the 4 WD HDD that have crashed on me. Before even installing them as Disk 1 inside the PC and/or on the SansDigital 4-Bay External Enclosure I want to make a clean back up copy.
b. although I have the option of d/l from WD the free Acronis software to deal with the HDDs, at this time all I could do would be to download it to the Hitachi, but that would serve no purpose for my most pressing Hitachi backup needs).

From all said it seems that my only option right now would be to use one of the methods to make a Backup copy inside the same Hitachi; although i have the feeling that if the Hitachi crashes the backup would be useless.

Additionally, at some point i would have to install the WD to deal with them. I want to sift through all the contents and uninstall the OS which is installed on 2 of them.
How do you uninstall the OS safely without trashing all the data on them? (obviously I will boot Win from the Hitachi to be able to work on all the WD HDDs).
I always keep the OS and programs on one partition and all my data on another partition. These can be on the same HDD or different HDDs.
One of the reasons is, if I decide to re-install the OS, the OS can be re-installed to it's own partition and my data will be safe in it's own partition.
With backups, of coarse.

If you have your OS/apps and personal data on the same partition, then you need to copy your data to another partition or HDD, then you can format or delete the partition.
Be sure that your boot files are not on that partition before you format or delete it, your system won't boot without them.

Check Disk Management for the partition with the 'System' designation. That is the boot files.

When installing multiple OSs on multiple HDDs the boot files will be on only one of the partitions. Unless you disconnected the other HDDs when you installed the OS.
You also may have the 'System reserved' partition on one of the HDDs, this will have the 'System' designation which is the boot files.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MSwhip View Post
Another future issue is that I want to start exploring with Ubuntu version 10.04 on this Windows PC. I have read very positive reviews about Linux and frankly I am getting worn out by al the Windows woes.
The system boot files will usually be taken over by the Linux grub, which will make it difficult to remove Linux and still have Win7 be able to boot up.

If your going to install Linux, the best way to ensure your Windows 7 will always boot with or without Linux installed is to disconnect all other HDDs and have no other OS on the HDD, then install Linux.

To select the OS you want to boot you can use F12 (for most computers) during the BIOS startup to select the OS you want.
Just select the hard drive in BIOS for your default OS, this will always boot without any interaction.

This will make removing or re-installing either OS much easier.
It can be very difficult to recover the boot files for Win7 if you install Linux and then later remove it.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MSwhip View Post
I am sharing all these thoughts to ask you the central question. if you were in my position what would you do to:

1. Save a CLEAN COPY of my just restored HDD which is easily retrievable (could you tell me where to read STEP by STEP procedure?, -unless you are willing to offer it yourself-)

2. Whatever you are able and willing to offer me about the future Linux issue, -have you experienced it yourself?-)

Thank you kindly for all your help
Here are a couple of tutorials for Macrium reflect, other programs will be similar.

Image your system with free Macrium

Imaging with free Macrium


I have not used Linux, but have repaired boot file of people that have tried to un-installed it.
Some like Linux and some don't, you will have to try it yourself to see if you want to use it.


Let us know if you have any questions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 Home on a Dell Studio 540 Desktop repeated crash troubles




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