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Windows 7: Catastrophic Crash After Removing Unspecified Device

27 Aug 2017   #1
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 
Catastrophic Crash After Removing Unspecified Device

This has now happened twice, each time necessitating a complete reinstall. My OS is W7 PRO. I have various things plugged into it, such as a cordless mouse/keyboard combo, two "dongles" for music libraries, a Wireless USB device, and I connect/disconnect a Glyph external hard drive, which is connected to two different computers, via USB to the one in question; via firewire to the other. I have to disconnect the USB line on the new computer to get the other computer to recognize the drive. I also trade the mouse dongle back and forth between the two computers, so I can use the same mouse. I use a wired keyboard however for the other computer. I also occasionally back up to a Passport external drive.

Yes, I had a system image, but it failed to install. All attempts at repair failed. The error message I get is that Windows failed to start, and it could be due to a hardware or software device which was disconnected.

Why does this happen? Is there any way to prevent it, or recover from it if it happens again?

I have already made another image, this time using Windows' own utility. I had used Clonezilla for the old one, as it works with both Linux and Windows. I also use Macrium sometimes.

thanks,

michael


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Aug 2017   #2
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

I am wondering if this was caused by Windows Update? I have been doing Security Only updates, and it happened after the most recent one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2017   #3
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

"The error message I get is that Windows failed to start..."
Can you explain in more detail the problem you're facing?
It can't boot or it boot's and crash?
Do you have a win 7 installation disk?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Aug 2017   #4
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

If you often unplug your hard drive without first "unmounting" it, you may have several orphaned devices listed in Device Manager. These orphaned devices may be causing the crashes.

The first thing you need to do is to run Device Manager. Go to the top entry in the right panel, right-click, and choose "Show Legacy Devices". Now look in the right panel at the USB devices. For each device which has an error marker by it, right click on it, and uninstall it. Now reboot the computer.

From this point forward, whenever you want to unplug your external hard drive from this computer, first right-click on its icon in File Manager, then choose Eject. Do not unplug the drive till Windows tells you that it is safe to do so.

If you have a document open that is stored on the external drive, you must first close the document before ejecting the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2017   #5
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
"The error message I get is that Windows failed to start..."
Can you explain in more detail the problem you're facing?
It can't boot or it boot's and crash?
Do you have a win 7 installation disk?
It failed to start at all. I tried the installation disk that came with it, also a repair disk I had made, albeit quite awhile ago. The repair disk said it could not be used with this version of Windows, which is strange as it was made with and for this computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2017   #6
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
If you often unplug your hard drive without first "unmounting" it, you may have several orphaned devices listed in Device Manager. These orphaned devices may be causing the crashes.

The first thing you need to do is to run Device Manager. Go to the top entry in the right panel, right-click, and choose "Show Legacy Devices". Now look in the right panel at the USB devices. For each device which has an error marker by it, right click on it, and uninstall it. Now reboot the computer.

From this point forward, whenever you want to unplug your external hard drive from this computer, first right-click on its icon in File Manager, then choose Eject. Do not unplug the drive till Windows tells you that it is safe to do so.

If you have a document open that is stored on the external drive, you must first close the document before ejecting the drive.
Hmm, you may have something there. I don't always remember to use the ejection utility, especially if I'm in a hurry. Would I need to use it for everything that is plugged in? For example, the mouse/keyboard dongle? Since I've rebuilt my system, I'm not trading that back and forth. I'm using a wired keyboard and mouse for my old computer, and keeping the dongle on the new one.

I'm a bit reluctant to follow your advice. I spent the past week getting this computer back to where I can use it, which included reinstalling windows and a bunch od music software. I use it exclusively to compose music. Yesterday was the first day in over a week I could actually compose. I don't want to break it again. For example, I do see that the dongles I use for two of my music libraries have errors. But if I uninstall the drivers, they won't work, and I won't be able to use my computer again. It's a big risk! Although I made an image last night, so theoretically I should be OK. But the last image I made didn't work. Granted, I used Clonezilla, where this one I made with Windows. But I look at system images as a last resort. They may or may not work. at this point, I don't know what to do. Maybe upgrade to 8.1? Or would I have the same problems?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2017   #7
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

You only need to "eject" (unmount) drives (external hard drive, flash drive, etc); you don't need to do that with printers, mice, and other USB devices.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2017   #8
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
You only need to "eject" (unmount) drives (external hard drive, flash drive, etc); you don't need to do that with printers, mice, and other USB devices.
OK, that's more encouraging. So do you think I should do the uninstall thing then for my external drives? I've already decided to keep my small USB drive, which I had been using to save my music on, away from this computer, and use instead the Glyph 500GB. It saves much faster, and I just used check-disk to scan and repair it so it's working smoothly. The other external drive is the passport, which is 3 TB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2017   #9
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

External HDD are very sensitive to shock damages. On the /hardware-devices of this forum you going to find hundreds of cases of external drives that failed. And I'm not talking about logical failures that can be fixed by check disk or a format. I'm talking about hardware permanent failures.
Don't trust them to keep data you can't loose.
As you have a Desktop, buy an internal drive to do the backups.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2017   #10
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by michael diemer View Post
OK, that's more encouraging. So do you think I should do the uninstall thing then for my external drives? I've already decided to keep my small USB drive, which I had been using to save my music on, away from this computer, and use instead the Glyph 500GB. It saves much faster, and I just used check-disk to scan and repair it so it's working smoothly. The other external drive is the passport, which is 3 TB.
If by "uninstall" you mean the procedure I described when you want to unplug an external drive, yes. You should always do that.

Also, I agree with what Megahertz07 said about external USB hard drives being unreliable. I have had two fail, and two friends of mine each had an external USB hard drive failure. Here's how I worked around that problem: I got a long SATA data cable and a long SATA power cable, I plugged them in inside of my computer case, and I extended them out of the case. Now, whenever I want to do a backup, I power down, connect my internal SATA hard drive to the cables, power up, then do a backup. I then go through the same steps to remove the drive when the backup is done. In this way, I have all of the advantages of both an internal drive (speed, reliability) and an external drive (portability).

(I keep the internal drive stored in a static bag when not in use.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Catastrophic Crash After Removing Unspecified Device




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