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  1.    24 Oct 2015 #1
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 7
    10

    Unable to boot after power outages


    Sorry my first post is to ask for help, but I'm having severe problems, I'm not familiar with Win 10, and I need help. I'll try to keep this as brief as possible.

    this morning, while I was out, my wife advise we had a bunch of power outages (10 or 12, in about 2 minutes). Not knowing what else to do, she unplugged both of our computers. She said mine kept trying to boot each time, and was mid-way into a boot when she unplugged it. Hers (also on Win 10) booted slowly, but normally.

    Mine (a Gateway DX4840-15C) failed to boot normally, and went into "Diagnosing your PC". After about 5 hours, it said it failed to boot properly (no, really?!) and offered the option of restarting. I tried that - after 3 hours, I was back to the "failed to boot normally" screen, then back to the "Diagnosing your PC" again.

    After another round (each attempt takes several hours), I used the "advanced options" to try to use "System Restore". It only offered a single restore point (just prior to the power outage), which worried me.

    after another hour with the system restore panel frozen on screen, it finally advised that "Drive E has errors, and must be repaired". It wouldn't go beyond this point. Problem is...I don't HAVE a Drive E, and Windows etc. is on Drive C.

    I'm not familiar with 10, and I have no idea what to do. I got to be okay with Win 7 repairs, with help from the forums, but I'm at a standstill. System restore doesn't seem available, nor can I boot into Safe mode (I can't boot at all). All the suggestions I've found so far require the computer to already be up & running (although I haven't found a single thread relating to the issue I'm having).

    Is it possible that, in all the restarts, it changed the boot drive designation to a non-existent drive? If so, how can that be repaired?

    At this point, I' stuck in an endless loop of "Diagnosing your PC", automatic restart, then "Your computer did not start normally", and back to "Diagnosing your PC" again.

    Can anyone help? Thanks, in advance!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    24 Oct 2015 #2
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 12,965
    Windows 10 Pro

    Hi Mh434,

    Welcome to the 10forums.

    Do you have recovery media, or are you able to create recovery media?
    There are a few things I can think of that could have happened when your wife unplugged the pc while it was trying to boot.
    We'll need recovery media, or installation media to check
    • if the system files are intact,
    • the data of the hard drive is intact,
    • the partitions of the hard drive.


    If you have recovery media you'll need to boot from it.
    To boot from recovery media, insert the media, go into your BIOS boot options and choose to boot from the inserted media.
    Once you have booted from the recovery media you see troubleshooting options, choose the advanced options.
    In the advanced options we need the command prompt to check for the system files.
    Open command prompt, type the following command and press enter
    Code:
    sfc/scannow
    This could take some time to finish, please let it run and let me know what the output is when it is finished.

    For testing the hard drive, there are a few methods which are explained in the tutorials below.
    With SeaTools, you can run it outside of Windows and is explained in the tutorial.



    Unable to boot after power outages Diagnostics Test Unable to boot after power outages
     HDD & SSD TEST

    Run SeaTools to check the integrity of your HDD. SeaTools for DOS and Windows - How to Use - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Note   Note
    Do not run SeaTools on an SSD as the results will be invalid.


    Run chkdsk Disk Check - Windows 7 Help Forums
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    24 Oct 2015 #3
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 142
    dual boot win10/win7

    Quote Originally Posted by Mh434 View Post
    Sorry my first post is to ask for help, but I'm having severe problems, I'm not familiar with Win 10, and I need help. I'll try to keep this as brief as possible.

    this morning, while I was out, my wife advise we had a bunch of power outages (10 or 12, in about 2 minutes). Not knowing what else to do, she unplugged both of our computers. She said mine kept trying to boot each time, and was mid-way into a boot when she unplugged it. Hers (also on Win 10) booted slowly, but normally.

    Mine (a Gateway DX4840-15C) failed to boot normally, and went into "Diagnosing your PC". After about 5 hours, it said it failed to boot properly (no, really?!) and offered the option of restarting. I tried that - after 3 hours, I was back to the "failed to boot normally" screen, then back to the "Diagnosing your PC" again.

    After another round (each attempt takes several hours), I used the "advanced options" to try to use "System Restore". It only offered a single restore point (just prior to the power outage), which worried me.

    after another hour with the system restore panel frozen on screen, it finally advised that "Drive E has errors, and must be repaired". It wouldn't go beyond this point. Problem is...I don't HAVE a Drive E, and Windows etc. is on Drive C.

    I'm not familiar with 10, and I have no idea what to do. I got to be okay with Win 7 repairs, with help from the forums, but I'm at a standstill. System restore doesn't seem available, nor can I boot into Safe mode (I can't boot at all). All the suggestions I've found so far require the computer to already be up & running (although I haven't found a single thread relating to the issue I'm having).

    Is it possible that, in all the restarts, it changed the boot drive designation to a non-existent drive? If so, how can that be repaired?

    At this point, I' stuck in an endless loop of "Diagnosing your PC", automatic restart, then "Your computer did not start normally", and back to "Diagnosing your PC" again.

    Can anyone help? Thanks, in advance!
    Hello,

    Sometimes on older systems, the CMOS battery can lose the ability to hold a charge. When the power goes out, the BIOS will reset to defaults. It is possible that the default hard drive and or boot order was changed, or set to the default of the BIOS, which is different than how Gateway set them up or yourself. Or you have installed a 2nd data hard drive and the system is trying to boot from that.

    In the bios, go to the BOOT menu and select hard drives, Make sure your system disc is selected.

    If this is the case, every power outage will cause these symptoms until the CMOS battery is replaced.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    24 Oct 2015 #4
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 7
    10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks, folks. Unfortunately, I don't have a boot disk for Win 10 (I did the free download, and haven't had the time to create a bootable disk...of course!). I'm not up to date on computer stuff anymore (I used to program in BasicA...remember that?), so I'm not sure how to go about creating recovery media. My wife's computer is also on Win10 (she updated at the same time I did), but I don't know if I could create one on hers that would work on mine (like I said...I'm not up to date).

    It does seem like the boot disk location default has changed to E drive. I have had backups assigned to a small, stand-alone Western Digital 1TB disk drive, but I don't recall what the drive designation it was assigned by my desktop. Unfortunately, this drive has a built-in password protection I haven't yet been able to disable, so if my desktop was trying to access it for some reason (BIOS problem?) to access the backup information, it wouldn't be able to. Or, maybe, I'm talking apples & oranges here?

    I've had someone advise me to look at my BIOS settings to see what the designated order for access is. I do have an option at initial startup (F-12, at the Gateway screen) to access startup settings. Presumably, access to the BIOS settings can be found there...but if they are, I have no idea what I'd be looking at, what to change, or how to change it.

    The computer is about 3 years old, and came with Windows 7 installed when new. I did the free update to Win10 at the beginning of August.

    Sorry I'm so inept at this! I feel like a bit of a fool knowing as little as I do, but I'm in trouble here, the data & programs on the computer are essential to me, and I don't know where else to turn.

    I DO appreciate your help!!!

    ** Edit - I should add that I actually have 2 Western Digital pocket hard drives, but if I recall correctly, the only one that was connected to the computer at the time of the crash was one that contains data only, and not my backups. In total, I guess I have C drive (the hard drive), D drive (the CD/DVD burner), and several photo card slots (all empty when this occurred). As the data-only Western Digital was the first accessory drive I acquired, I guess it makes sense that it would be assigned as E drive. If the BIOS set that drive to boot from during this event, it makes sense that there's no way to boot from it, as it has no bootable stuff on it...?
    Last edited by Mh434; 24 Oct 2015 at 16:17.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    25 Oct 2015 #5
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    The first thing that I would do is to install Macrium Reflect Free on your wife's computer:
    Macrium Reflect Free


    Make a Windows 10 (WinPE 10) rescue USB stick or DVD with Macrium Reflect Free - you'll need a small, like 4GB USB stick or a DVD for it. Macrium Reflect will prompt you to make the rescue media - if it doesn't, the option to do it is under the other tools menu.

    Boot your computer from the USB or DVD that Macrium Reflect makes, and make an image of the hard drive to one of your external drives. That's the important goal to get accomplished.

    Then to make a Windows 10 installation media, you will install the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool on your wife's computer:
    Windows 10

    For this you will need an 8GB or larger USB stick - or a DVD. Select the second option to make media for installation on another PC. Select the exact same version of Windows 10 you have (or had) on your computer and make the USB or DVD. Then you can boot your computer from that USB or DVD and use it to reinstall Windows 10.

    Once you have Windows 10 reinstalled, you will then install Macrium Reflect Free and use it to explore the image you saved of your hard drive and retrieve your data from the image.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    25 Oct 2015 #6
    Join Date : May 2015
    Central IL
    Posts : 4,355
    Mac OS Sierra

    That many times that the power switched on and off. The hard drive heads have most likely slapped the platters, either damaging them or damaging the platters. If the repair does not work. You may want to get a new hard drive and also put the computers on a UPS, so that if you get another one of these outages, the computer will not notice it.

    Had the same thing happen with us a couple of years ago. It killed a U-Verse DVR hard drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    25 Oct 2015 #7
    Join Date : May 2015
    Central IL
    Posts : 4,355
    Mac OS Sierra

    Quote Originally Posted by mrpumpkin View Post
    Hello,

    Sometimes on older systems, the CMOS battery can lose the ability to hold a charge. When the power goes out, the BIOS will reset to defaults. It is possible that the default hard drive and or boot order was changed, or set to the default of the BIOS, which is different than how Gateway set them up or yourself. Or you have installed a 2nd data hard drive and the system is trying to boot from that.

    In the bios, go to the BOOT menu and select hard drives, Make sure your system disc is selected.

    If this is the case, every power outage will cause these symptoms until the CMOS battery is replaced.
    Has nothing to do with the CMOS battery. The power fluctuation most likely killed the hard drive or corrupted the bios. Had this happen to us, before I could flip the main breaker for the house. Ended up killing a U-Verse DVR.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    25 Oct 2015 #8
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 7
    10
    Thread Starter

    Yeah, I'm worried about physical damage to the HD. When it's in its endless bootup loop, the hard drive light is on, and stays on, for hours while it cycles through.

    I'm taking the computer into a repair shop today (they specialize in data recovery, etc. for these kinds of crashes). If it weren't for the irreplaceable emails, bookmarks, etc., I'd just get a newer computer and move one, but the stuff on it is critical to me.

    I'll let you know how I make out...
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    25 Oct 2015 #9
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 7
    10
    Thread Starter

    I dropped it off at a local repair place (good reputation for fixing these kinds of things, been there for years), and spoke to the tech who will be working on it. He said he doubts there are any hardware issues, but says that, particularly since Win10 came out, they've been getting lots of issues like mine due to power outages (common in our area, with heavy forestation & old power poles, lines, transformers, etc.). He thinks it's likely that just a few Win files are corrupted, and that it will be easy to fix. Worst case scenario, he says they'll download the contents of the HD, format, re-install Win10 from new, and reinstall all my data (he says I might lose a program or two, but all the emails, bookmarks, photos, documents, etc. will be fine).

    I'm still "nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs", but hopeful.

    I'll keep you posted!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    25 Oct 2015 #10
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 7
    10
    Thread Starter

    I spoke too soon - just heard back from the tech - my hard drive failed testing, with bad, non-recoverable sectors. They're going to install a solid-state HD, and save as much as they can from the old HD. Some data will probably be lost.

    Looks like I was nervous, for a reason. That's my luck (my buddy said that with my luck, which I'm famous for, if there's a one in a billion chance of a weird equipment failure no one's ever seen before, it'll happen to me, 100% of the time). Murphy is my copilot...and an optimist.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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