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Windows 7: Random & frequent BSOD from IASTOR.SYS

16 Aug 2013   #41

Windows 7 home premium x64

Understood. I don't have a blank CD (I was lucky enough to have a blank DVD for Repair disk & extra USB for the installer) so I'll have to see tomorrow if someone has a blank CD. No computer stores here! I'll keep my fingers crossed. Thank you for the midnight help gregrocker, I really do appreciate the time you & Arc spent on me. Anna.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2013   #42

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit

You may put Partition Wizard in a bootable USB. Use Universal USB Installer to do it. It is very easy.

At step 1: Select a Linux Distribution .... scroll down to the list and select "Try unlisted Linux ISO".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2013   #43

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

Hi AnnaIrving, welcome to 7F! :) I'm Anak...aka...Steve.

We need to have more information about your machine and this "Hybrid Drive". If you can, I would like you to download either Belarc and or Speecy.

Belarc will create a MHTML file in C:\Program Files (x86)\Belarc\Advisor\Your user name\.bci, Please copy that file to your desktop then right click on it and go to "Send To" and when that opens select "Compressed (zipped file) Folder" you should see it on your desktop. From there you can upload it into your next post.

If you use Speecy, we need a screenshot of the Hard Drive Disk(s) information window. You can do the same with Speecy It will be different, but similar to Belarc C:\Program Files (x86)\Speecy\Advisor\Your user name\ and have a Speecy Computer Profile as the type of file.
You would do the same preparation as Belarc, copy to desktop, compress, then upload.

If it wouldn't be too much trouble it would be nice if you could post the results of both programs so we can compare them. It would also help to know the model number of your Dell Inspiron.

The Final setting of Intel SSD Drives should be, AHCI mode for SATA and the appropriate drivers that recognize the Hybrid SSD.

So we need to know what Belarc and/or Speecy show for your drive, is it or is it not an Intel drive?
I noticed changing your drive to AHCI for SATA , but then, changing it back? Maybe Arc can clarify that, and I noticed drivers being installed but there is nothing mentioned about the version numbers.

I was looking in your upload for old drivers and saw the model of your Inspiron, is this it? Product Support for Inspiron 14Z 5423 | Dell US

Here's those "oldies but goodies"
iirsp         iirsp                  Kernel        12/13/2005 1:47:54 PM 
nfrd960       nfrd960                Kernel         6/6/2006 2:11:48 PM   
secdrv        Security Driver        Kernel         9/13/2006 6:18:38 AM  

SiSRaid2      SiSRaid2               Kernel         9/24/2008 11:28:20 AM 
SiSRaid4      SiSRaid4               Kernel        10/1/2008 2:56:04 PM
About your storage/backup problem, you need around 204GB, couldn't you go to a reputable shop/department store and pick up a 500GB USB/Flash drive stick and upload your data to it?

And maybe, just maybe it would help to remove all the bloatware.

Anna, I have read though your thread and it was going fast and furious, I commend you for keeping up with Northernsoul55, Arc and Gregrocker.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Aug 2013   #44
Microsoft MVP


Anna I asked Steve to consult on this and recommend you follow his steps to enable AHCI while not abandoning the 32 gb caching drive yet unless it gives problems after the reinstall.

His suggestion to get an external HD is so that you can wipe all partitions with Diskpart Clean Command during install, since clearing boot code gives an extra measure of clean, most often needed in troubleshooting install failures. However if this is not possible we can use the same-disk storage workaround for now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2013   #45

Windows 7 home premium x64

Hello everyone (& thanks Steve for your time)

Sorry for the sudden silence, we had internet outage last weekend. However, I was able to download Partition Wizard into a bootable USB so I went ahead with the step of creating a 200GB backup partition for my User files. (Steve, the reason I'm not getting an external drive is because I'm in a low tech country and I'd probably have to go to the capitol to get one, plus it would be really expensive).

Partition Wizard was easy to use and I was able to create a 200GB unallocated space within my C: partition. However, because I could not read the directions I accidentally put the unallocated space to the right of my C: which Disk Management did not like. So I had to re-run PW a second time, so I could drag my C: to the right edge of the partition.

Then disaster struck. After the second time PW finished, Windows refused to boot. So this step is when I realized I should never work with computers, since I realized I'd forgotten to make any sort of system repair or backup. At all. Luckily, I did make a DELL Recovery disc beforehand and was able to boot Recovery console. I was able to confirm that the hard drive was good and my files were still intact. However, no OS was detected. Unfortunately, the Win7 Install USB was not booting despite setting BOOT from Second HD or USB or UEFI (the USB name comes up under UEFI boot, I don't know why).

After playing around with Bootrec commands, I was able to get Recovery console from zero OS to recovered OS to unknown OS. Progress? Now the error message at bootup is "BOOTMGR is missing, Ctl-Alt-Del". Now I'm stuck at this stage.

Things I've tried with System Repair run&reboot x3 after each step. (C: drive is the OS drive)

bcdedit /export c:\bcd_backup
cd boot
attrib bcd -s -h -r
ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
bootrec /rebuildbcd
This will result in message "total identified windows installations: 1". After I add it to the boot list and reboot, nothing changes.

Set OS partition to Active, set all others to Inactive, and run through the Bootrec commands.
No changes

bootrec /nt60 all /force
bootrec /fixmbr
Drives C: (OS) & E: (Recovery): "sucessfully updated NTFS filesystem bootcode"
Volume1: successfully updated FAT filesystem bootcode"
Volume4: "could not open the volume root directory: the parameter is incorrect"

I believe these are the same 4 partitions (C,E,1,4) from my HD that I see under the DISKPART List Volume command.

Where can I find BOOTMGR?
attrib c:\bootmgr (OS) : file NOT found
attrib d:\bootmgr (DELL Recovery disc) : file found
attrib e:\bootmgr (Recovery partition) : file found
So I don't have a BOOTMGR file anymore?

I finally said Why Not? and just copied Bootmgr from my Recovery Disc into my C:\Windows. That solved the BOOTMGR error, but gave me a \windows\system32\winload.exe error "status: 0xc0000098, the selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt" (even though I see winload's in the sys32 folder). Deleted Bootmgr and it's back to the Missing BOOTMGR error.

So After All That:
I guess I'd like advice on how best to go forward. I have two problems here.

1) missing BOOTMGR issue:
I don't even know what to try at this point.

2) IASTOR reboot issue:
I'd LIKE to somehow finish creating a backup drive out of the unallocated space and move my User files into it, then reinstalling Win7 on the C: drive. However, I don't know if Partition Wizard would be bootable from USB at this point. I know DISKPART can create drives as well, but I'm still rebooting every 5 min from the IASTOR problem (actually, Recovery command causes it to reboot after a minute or two) so I don't know if I want to trust DISKPART. Partition Wizard did not have any IASTOR reboot problems.

Suggestions, flagellations, advice, anything?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2013   #46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

Your welcome Anna,

I see Greg's in-forum, until he gets a chance to see your notification and reply, let's tackle your boot mgr. problem. Would this tutorial help: Bootmgr is missing - Fix It's a good thing you made that recovery disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2013   #47
Microsoft MVP


Hi Anna -

This is why I specifically said to
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Make sure you have the Win7 bootable installer or System Repair Disk on hand too in the rare case you need to Startup Repair the boot.
because if you resize on the boot sector you can lose the boot with PW.

Whenever this happens it normally only requires running Startup Repair once or twice to get it started.

However I wish you would have consulted us because trying everything randomly may have made it worse.

If you've Set Active the Active partition is C or System Reserved 100mb boot partition, next run Partition Wizard Rebuild MBR , then if it won't start boot into run 3 Startup Repairs. If it will not start, move the Active flag to the other and try again.

If it won't start it's very important you not do any more random damage, but work with me closely to run a rescue install of Win7:

Is it correct that you lost the boot when you slid the C partition to the right of the Unallocated Space you created out of it? This is often the case if you resize on the boot sector which is why I posted the warning to make your Repair CD.

Did it complete succesfully moving the C drive to the right? If in doubt boot PW CD now to Explore C to see if your data is all there an intact.

If so boot the Win7 installer, follow these exact steps to Clean Install Windows 7. At Steps 7 and 8, highlight the Unallocated space to create and format a new partition there. Then install Win7 there.

Since you have Win7 in what will now be your data partition, you can actually browse into it from Device Manager after install to pull your wireless driver over if needed. From the mssing driver's Drive tab, browse to Windows>System32 to find it. Once it installs, get online to enable Automatically deliver drivers via Windows Update (Step 3) then run all rounds of Important and Optional Windows Updates to completion to get the rest of your drivers. Let us help you supply any drivers not found by Windows Updates so that possibly bad drivers are not pulled over.

Then set it up perfectly following Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7. After you have an install you want we can help you move your files over or get rid of the old Win7 to use the old C partition as a data partition linking your User folders there to Win7: User Folders - Change Default Location
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2013   #48

Windows 7 home premium x64


I 100% deserve your words. I know I should've made the Repair discs, I read it, I told myself I'll do it before I do anything, and I forgot to when I finished downloading PW. It's pure dumbness on my part.

You're right, the booting problem started after the operation to move the move OS partition to the right of the unallocated space. PW message said the operation was successful. However, I do remember thinking the progress bar almost jumped from around 88% to operation finished. I confirmed PW said operation completed before rebooting to this mess.

Also, right now PW tells me the OS partition is still to the left of unallocated space (as if the second operation didn't happen at all, but it did! though maybe incorrectly). Also, I don't know if this is important, but the drive letters were always missing in PW from the beginning (I see * instead). I remember looking at the Create Partition option and the Drive Letter field was blanked out.

I can't send a screenshot of PW, but here's what I see:

Partition Capacity Used Unused Fs Type Status
Disk 1
* _(blank) 39MB 229KB 38MB FAT Primary Hidden
* recovery 20GB 11.5GB 8.3GB NTSF Primary None
* __OS___ 242GB 172GB 70GB NTSF Primary Active
* _(blank) 203GB _0B__ 203GB Unalloc Logical None
Disk 2
* _(blank) 8GB __8GB ___0B__ Other Primary None
* _(blank) 22GB __0B ___22GB Unalloc Logical None
Disk 3
* pendrive 3.6GB 63MB 3.5GB FAT32 Primary Active

I am going to try the PW Rebuild MBR option. I'm not sure how to Explore C from PW? NM, the Explore option, okay

My data in C: is all intact, upto and including the drivers and the belarc report I created.
The only files I don't recognize is a found.000 folder but the most recent date is 07/20/13. However, I see that the Belarc Advisor I downloaded has the date 07/16, so I think the dates are off by a month. Which makes the found.000 folder dated from today, which is worrisome.


Setting OS partition as Active, PW Repair MBR, and Repair x4 didn't work.
I don't see a System Reserved partition. I did try to set the 39MB FAT, Hidden partition to Active but PW said it couldn't find a Windows directory. But when I Explore it, it has a Boot folder and DELLBIO file.

Wait, actually, is there a difference between a red flag for Partition-Modify-Active and one for Partition-set Windows Boot Partition? (I haven't done anything other than the above)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2013   #49
Microsoft MVP


It shows in your screenshot earlier that Recovery partition was marked Active. Did you mark it Active again and try the Rebuild and 3x Startup Repairs? Make sure you don't run Recovery if it's triggered at all.

It's good to know your data is intact in C but I am concerned about proceeding because of problems with following the steps in such a high-wire risky operation where you have no external backup. Why try to move the huge OS partition over to the right side of the HD without this being suggested? If you'd asked us we could have told you that this risks the data being scrambled if it fails. While PW CD has never failed in countless thousands of times we've used it here, that much data is too much of a risk to move across the HD with no backup and for no good reason without being advised to do so.

So now that Win7 may be unbootable the risk is too great to do anything other than a Clean Reinstall to the Unallocated Space until you get an external backup method for the data. Then we can help you save your data and a backup image externally, delete the old OS, 39mb OEM and Recovery partitions, to resize the new C to the left into the preferred HD space. To do that any sooner would risk the data, even if you can fit it all on the new C.

So boot the WIn7 installer, follow the illustrated steps in Clean Install Windows 7, during Steps 7 and 8 use the Drive Options to create and format a new partition in the unallocated space you shrunk. Make sure you only choose that space and not OS when you create new partition, and again when you format, and then when you click Next to install. If you click on OS you will lose your data if you format it.

I showed you in my last post how to browse into old C Windows>System 32 for the wireless driver if its not provided, then enable Automatically deliver drivers via Windows Update (Step 3) and run all rounds of Important and Optional Windows Updates to completion before importing any drivers. Look over the steps again for Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 to make sure you follow them if you want a perfect install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2013   #50

Windows 7 home premium x64

I've been using the DELL Recovery disc. I haven't run Recovery partition as far as I know. I did go into command console during Recovery, go to DISKPART, and inactivate all partitions except my OS partition. I know I should have stopped once I realized Recovery console was subject to IASTOR BSOD, I'm sure the forced reboots didn't help things any.

I think the reason I moved C: over to the right is because I didn't understand what I was supposed to do. Plus my internet access was disrupted after I got PW working. Instead of stopping there, I thought I knew what I was doing (HA). After I shrunk C: and the Unallocated space was to the right, I told PW to Create Partition, which worked (but without allowing me to set the drive letter). Rebooted into Windows, and Disk Management didn't show a partition (only C: with half the space) even after Refresh. I thought maybe I needed to let Disk Management create the partition, so I went back to PW and Delete Partition, checked back in DM and still no changes, still not allowing me to create a partition. Then I assumed (ASSUME, I know) that since DM can only shrink if the unallocated space is on the left side, it was the same for creating partitions? And then I decided to move C: to the right and you know the rest of the story.

I don't mean to make excuses, only write down my reasoning so future people who may find this thread will know What Not To Do. Also, may I suggest the PW Tutorial updated with a warning so non-computer people like me will know not to move C: to the right?

Okay, so my next step would be to Clean Install win7 in the unallocated space.

Questions (see, I learned my lesson):
1) I am not sure if my USB is normal or UEFI compatible or what. I have to go through some weird steps before I can boot PW from it. First I set BIOS to boot from UEFI and select Patriot UEFI pendrive. Then boot fails and I have to set BIO to Legacy and boot from HD. Boot fails again and I then set to boot from Second HD, then I can boot PW. If I skip any of the 3 steps I can't boot from my USB. Is there a way to check if this is because USB is UEFI or due to some other reason that won't affect how Win7 installs?

2) Way back at the beginning when my only problem with the IASTOR.SYS BSOD, we were talking about setting Sata Controller to AHCI before booting the Install USB. Is this still the plan?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Random & frequent BSOD from IASTOR.SYS

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