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BSOD - Help!!

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Reason: Oh FFS!
scottishphototours

Hi PC Experts,

Today I have wakened to a blue screen of death on my main pc. This has never happened before, there are no new sware or hware items added in the last month. Have unplugged everything and it seems to happen when a certain external hard drive is connected. The drive functions ok and I had it running for 2 hours ok then suddenly up came the BSOD. When I startup the pc with the drive connected it will not start but continually goes into reboot or BSOD.

The relevant details come up and when I am prompted to "send to Microsoft for resolution" it doesn't come back indicating an error. I'm running W7 Pro.

Can anyone shed any light on why this could be happening and how I can debug the fault/get around it or do I just assume that the drive is on its last legs and try and back it up elsewhere.

Thanks for your time.

Andy

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14 Oct 2012 - 3:02 PM

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User_Removed
14 Oct 2012 - 3:17 PM

You need to, where possible, go through a process of elimination. Useful to have access to another PC.

Assuming USB drive probable causes are USB port problem, USB cable problem, drive problem, drive enclosure / controller problem, PC power supply problem, drive power supply problem.

So where possible try different ports, cables etc.

What happens if you boot PC first then plug in drive?

scottishphototours


Quote: What happens if you boot PC first then plug in drive?

First time I did it, immediate BSOD and would not boot up with drive connected, disconnected and rebooted and booted ok.

Second time the drive was connected after bootup, ran ok for 2 hours then BSOD.

cambirder
cambirder  107202 forum posts England
14 Oct 2012 - 3:22 PM

Often the BSOD is related to hard drive failures. If you can back that drive up and ditch it. One possible way of retrieving the data would be to boot the PC using a Linux live disk in the CD ROM / DVD drive. If that does not work your drive is probably totally buggered and you will need professional help to get your data back.

User_Removed
14 Oct 2012 - 3:23 PM

I had that problem with my wife's computer (also running Windows 7) a couple of months ago. I made sure all her data was backed up and then did a clean re-install of Windows from her original system disk. The only downside was that it took ages to re-update itself with all the service packs and updates that were lost when I formatted C: but it has performed flawlessly ever since. I suspect the problem was caused by some sort of hardware conflict such as two devices trying to access the same bus (or whatever the technical term is).

Ade_Osman
Ade_Osman e2 Member 114484 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
14 Oct 2012 - 6:38 PM

You need to go into your BIOS and ensure that the machine is booting from the correct disk in the right order.

This is accessed by pressing F8 or Delete when first starting the machine. Once in the BIOS, check to see how your machine is booting up and from what disk, this should be 'C' or the normal drive letter for your internal hard-drive, followed by 'D' The CD/DVD and then any other disks. If you have an option to boot from a USB port, you need to either disable it, or ensure that it's the last thing the machine tries to boot from.

This is why your getting the BSOD, the BIOS is trying to boot the machine from the external hard-drive, if there is no operating system such as Windows on it, then POST will fail and you get the Blue Screen!

Be very careful when making changes to your BIOS, you really need to be sure of what you are doing. IF NOT then your better off just plugging in the external hard drive as and when you need it and making sure it's disconnected before either trying to boot up or close down the machine!!!

AdeGrin

Last Modified By Ade_Osman at 14 Oct 2012 - 6:41 PM
manateevoyager
14 Oct 2012 - 6:49 PM

Hi seems to me you need to try first a different usb cable, then if the problem persists try the drive on another PC asap.

If it does the same thing then it is likely to be the drive, any spike on the usb connection will make the computer bluescreen to protect itself.

If it runs ok on another PC and you say you have not installed any h/ware or s/ware, does that include updates to windows or other software? A lot of software wants to update automatically in the background unless you have told it otherwise.

Oh and get the data backed up. The cost of repairing a drive will be more than buying a new one

hope that helps

manateevoyager
14 Oct 2012 - 6:59 PM


Quote: You need to go into your BIOS and ensure that the machine is booting from the correct disk in the right order.

This is accessed by pressing F8 or Delete when first starting the machine. Once in the BIOS, check to see how your machine is booting up and from what disk, this should be 'C' or the normal drive letter for your internal hard-drive, followed by 'D' The CD/DVD and then any other disks. If you have an option to boot from a USB port, you need to either disable it, or ensure that it's the last thing the machine tries to boot from.

This is why your getting the BSOD, the BIOS is trying to boot the machine from the external hard-drive, if there is no operating system such as Windows on it, then POST will fail and you get the Blue Screen!

Be very careful when making changes to your BIOS, you really need to be sure of what you are doing. IF NOT then your better off just plugging in the external hard drive as and when you need it and making sure it's disconnected before either trying to boot up or close down the machine!!!

AdeGrin

?????????????? don't get that at all. if it can't find the operating system it will just sit with a blinking cursor.
Blue screens are to protect the PC when conflicts occur that will harm the operating system, which at the bios stage hasn't loaded yet.

Ade_Osman
Ade_Osman e2 Member 114484 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
14 Oct 2012 - 10:20 PM

That depends very much on your motherboard manufacturer!.....

strawman
strawman  1021999 forum posts United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
14 Oct 2012 - 10:27 PM

One possible option is that the external USB device is causing an electrical overload of the USB port and possible causing one of the supply rails to drop too low. Is the external drive powered through the USB port? If yes then you could try running it through a powered external USB buffer. Have you other items on the USB bus? If yes try removing them, and try the drive on a different cable and a different USB port. In the past when I have had multiple drives mapped to the same letter windows just ignores some of the drives.

In my experience windows normally copes with external drives falling over, unless you are using them for speed buffering or swap file spaces. It would be good to check your main drive and verify it has plenty of space. Also check that no programs like photoshop have the external drive set up as swap space.

losbarbados
14 Oct 2012 - 10:36 PM

From reading the OP.

Unplug external drive
Boot PC up
Take a look in the control panel >> system and security >> Admin tools >> Event Viewer
The error messages that would cause a BSOD will likely be in the system log file. Then google anything with a big red cross on it.
My money would be on a corrupted usb driver or something similar

That will take you through the debug side of things. Unfortunately offering a fix is a little bit difficult with only a forum post to go on, but I after you have checked out the error messages (they may occur in more than one of the logs) then plug the external drive back in to a different port (if you have more than one bank of ports then use one in the other bank) and see if it replicates the error.
If it does then the chances are that the error is with the hard drive rather than the PC (dodgy cable etc) if it doesn't then it is possible that there is a short somewhere on the faulty port.

edit: just noticed that the CP allows you to filter your log files to only show errors of a certain level - pick critical and warning and you will see what has been going on

Last Modified By losbarbados at 14 Oct 2012 - 10:40 PM
User_Removed
15 Oct 2012 - 12:01 AM

[quote]This is why your getting the BSOD, the BIOS is trying to boot the machine from the external hard-drive, if there is no operating system such as Windows on it, then POST will fail and you get the Blue Screen!

Absolute rubbish.If he doesn't load Windows he can't get a BSOD - A BSOD is a Windows Error not a BIOS error

Andy, don't go changing settings in your bios

Ade_Osman
Ade_Osman e2 Member 114484 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
15 Oct 2012 - 4:08 AM

I think I been somewhat misunderstood, probably by me not explaining it correctly, I'll try again....

The point I was trying to to make was that if the system is trying to to boot from the external disk because it's things are are not set in the BIOS correctly this is what will throw up the error.

When switching on the machine the POST will start the BIOS which will then look for an operating to boot up from, either from C, D, or whatever. If this is in the wrong order or it's trying to boot from the external disk, This is what will bring up the error and the the BSOD. It's a known fault especially with Western Digital External Hard Drives running WD's own SmartWare software, but it's also known to happen with other ext Hard-Drives. I'm sorry if I caused any confusion if I was misunderstood.

As I said don't change the BIOS unless you know what you are doing......

Ade

User_Removed
15 Oct 2012 - 9:38 AM

You're still wrong.

I've yet to see a motherboard that by default will try to boot from an external USB drive before trying internal hard drives and optical drives.

Even if the OP's CMOS was set to do that and his motherboard did look at the external drive first and was so shocked that there wasn't a copy of Windows on there it wanted to have a fit it could not create a BSOD. Only Windows can create a BSOD and Windows hadn't loaded at that point because motherboard software was looking in the wrong place for Windows.

oldblokeh
oldblokeh  3767 forum posts United Kingdom
15 Oct 2012 - 9:59 AM


Quote: You're still wrong.

I've yet to see a motherboard that by default will try to boot from an external USB drive before trying internal hard drives and optical drives.

.

You've had a very sheltered existence, then. I see it all the time.

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