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This is a discussion on Problem Computer within the Windows 10 Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a ?weird? problem with a PC.. not sure if it is hardware, or Windows installation problem. I am


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Old 05-18-2020, 08:10 PM   #1
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I have a ?weird? problem with a PC.. not sure if it is hardware, or Windows installation problem.
I am not sure how to upload the txt file generated by Speccy on this machine so if anyone can explain how I will do so. I generated it as a text file when it was booting, but now no boot in the offending setup. I tried to upload this but it was blocked by your system... Cloudfare..
Short story is, computer is used to do genealogy and constantly backed up using a 4tb MyBook, and a 500gig Seagate Desktop external.
I was asked to look because it suddenly would not boot easily, and showed in the event viewer, Windows/System, an error on the hard drive, (stopped).
I removed the drive and checked it with WD Data Lifeguard on my test machine.. a clean result, no errors. Before trying the boot again I changed power and sata cables, and managed to get the system up again. Then because one of the symptoms of the problem was a weird colour flashing on the monitor( no screen pic, just alternating flashing colours) I decided to be sure the graphics driver was up to date..

Just to give an idea of the computer
Gigabyte GA H81M HD3
4 gig Ram
1Tb WD Blue Drive
500gig WD Blue drive
Asus DVD writer
Intel i3 6th Gen 4360
Graphics.. Onboard Intel HD Graphics 4600 (Gigabyte)

I installed the Intel Update tool, and then the updated Graphics driver.. and installed.. but no difference.
Another symptom was not wanting to boot and constant restarting and then finally starting.. and I found by accident that this seemed to be caused by a drive connected to a USB2 socket adjacent to the PS2 keyboard/mouse socket. THIS I think is a hardware/Bios issue, but not sure what as I have not seen any unusual settings in the Bios related to those particular sockets, and this does not occur if a drive is connected to the front panel USB2 socket.

On trying to troubleshoot the other problem,I did two specific things...I changed the Sata socket to another on the Mb, and I used a reasonably current System Image on another HDD and this booted without issue.

However, on connecting the original drive to this same socket to check that, initially booted, albeit to a temp profile, and enabled me to create a new User and transfer all user files to the new user... success?? alas, no.. when trying to reboot.. White screen.. continual apparent loading (disc activity) but no desktop... But when I swapped drives... to the newly imaged drive.. no problem with the boot.
Understand that when I did get the offending drive to boot, I performed an sfc, with no errors, and DISM /RestoreHealth...

I am currently getting the Data off the offending drive, and intend to Zero Write to it, and then try the Imaging on it to see if it performs OK.. ( I will recheck it first before the zero write)

Are there any thoughts on this... I neglected to add before that the system was scanned with both Windows Defender, and Malwarebytes which both returned clean results.. so not likely infected...


If you wish I can cut and paste the Speccy results I manged to get before the last stoppage.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:07 AM   #2
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In Speccy, go to File/Publish Snapshot. Copy the link and paste it into your next post.
I would troubleshoot your internal drive without the two External drives attached. One of these, possibly the Seagate, could be the problematic drive
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
In Speccy, go to File/Publish Snapshot. Copy the link and paste it into your next post.
I would troubleshoot your internal drive without the two External drives attached. One of these, possibly the Seagate, could be the problematic drive
Can't publish the snapshot, as I can no longer boot.. I will cut /paste the text file here.

All the work I did was without the externals connected.. I was just explaining the way the system was set up when the problem occurred.

Sorry.. can't cut/paste.. that is also blocked....
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:16 PM   #4
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I tried some remedies with the offending computer... connect drive to 2/3 sata socket.. and boot from that.. (This Mb has 4 sata sockets... 0/1 are sata 3, 2/3 are sata 2)
The original connections were made to 0/1 for both drives in the computer. Because I was suspicious and wanted to check, anyway, I connected the Boot drive to 2/3, and had no apparent issues.
I did find a really strange issue with that pair of sockets... I used a bootable WD Data Lifeguard Flash drive to test a hard drive connected there... couldn't see the drive with that (latest release) software, but fine on the Sata 3 sockets...

Another strange issue. If I connected a USB Flash drive to one of the two USB2 ports on the back panel (adjacent to the PS/2 keyboard/mouse port), it would not boot, just looped start/stop/start/stop..... but when connected to the front case USB2 socket, not a problem.

I am not sure why DL software can't see the drive on a Sata2 socket, but that is possibly irrelevant, as the computer will still boot with a drive connected there.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:16 PM   #5
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Just found something that to me is strange, though with MyBooks probably not.... the problem was with the MyBook... it MUST be standing up.... if not, it will not start.. and that causes a problem which makes the computer continually cycle an attempt to post.

I had a similar problem with a failing storage internal drive on my own PC that had trouble starting, and basically slowed the boot to a crawl.. but this is different in that when it is connected as an external, and is continually cycling power on and off in the drive itself, the computer just will not post.

The reason I did not suspect it was that all the other times I had this connected I had it standing... but this one time I had it lying down and I got this problem occuring. The Seagate drive has never shown issues, but I have heard many bad stories about MyBook drives with strange issues with computers.
What is strange is that if you try to connect one to a running system when it is in this position (lying down/not starting) it is recognised as being there by the device system, but never shown in Explorer.

I am continuing to test, but seems this was the root cause of all the problems
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:07 AM   #6
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It sounded like one of the drives to me. Keep testing and let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
It sounded like one of the drives to me. Keep testing and let us know how it goes.
Can duplicate the refusal to start.. that is easy, just lie the MyBook drive down, then connect, and then try to start the computer... which just cycle on/off continually.
I am loath to screw up the stable system I now have with testing against that boot, but will maybe try with my 'test' boot which I used to set up the current system, as this is on a different drive.

What surprised me most is that a bad external can screw up a good Windows system so easily, just because it doesn't want to start.
In my own case/experience, the Windows system was not compromised at all, just the initial boot, and if the drive was not recognised.. it just 'was not there' in Windows.
I do know that CD/DVD drives in an unresponsive state can lock up a Windows system completely... requiring a power off or a lot of patience due to the continual 're-trying' to connect or read.. I have seen this in all variations of Windows, ( not yet seen in a Linux distro) and have heard of it even in MacOS... but that has never seemed to cause any major compromise of the system, just sometimes a file system check on restart occasionally.

I will set up the other drive and see if the connected MyBook, connected AFTER boot does anything weird.

I will add.. I trolled WD forums regarding MyBooks and there are a huge number of horror stories re lost data and problems, so I suggest

NEVER get a MyBook... they are Trouble
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Old 05-21-2020, 04:49 PM   #8
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Any Hardware that is not working correctly will slow a computer down and may make it not boot till it is removed.
The HDD manufacturers who make these drives put in there very nice dependable HDD's into a cheap enclosure with a USB-SATA connector that is even cheaper. If bumped or dropped or looked at funny, this USB controller will fail. In the old days, you could disassemble this enclosure and remove the HDD and attach it internally to a desktop or put it into another Dock or Enclosure. But WD now has a proprietary boards With proprietary connection on their drives that can only be attached to another WD Enclosure of the same model #.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
Any Hardware that is not working correctly will slow a computer down and may make it not boot till it is removed.
The HDD manufacturers who make these drives put in there very nice dependable HDD's into a cheap enclosure with a USB-SATA connector that is even cheaper. If bumped or dropped or looked at funny, this USB controller will fail. In the old days, you could disassemble this enclosure and remove the HDD and attach it internally to a desktop or put it into another Dock or Enclosure. But WD now has a proprietary boards With proprietary connection on their drives that can only be attached to another WD Enclosure of the same model #.
I realised that, but did not expect corruption of the windows system by having such a drive connected.

AND WD are VERY quick to claim no liability for any loss of data in a drive failing under warranty.... naturally this is in the small print no-one reads relating to the warranty for the drives.
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Old 05-22-2020, 02:29 PM   #10
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None the less WD will replace any drive under warranty. check your warranty here https://support-en.wd.com/app/warrantystatus They will probably replace it with a Refurbished drive in return for free.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:27 AM   #11
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Yes.. already checked.. when I could get it started to bring up the serial number. Is in 'limited warranty' until 7/4/2022

You may also be interested to know of another strange occurrence.... I tested it with Data Lifeguard for Windows.. short test came out fine.. ( I have previously tested with bootable media/Dos Version which is different) but when viewing the Smart info, there are a number of entries highlighted in Red ink... and shows then as failed... However, if I retest with the short test again, comes up clean and reverts the failed to OK (red cross to green tick).

I currently have a query to WD as to how it can say a bad Smart test can be over-ridden by a good short test.

Have marked this as solved...
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:20 PM   #12
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A short test is just a quick glance over Many times this comes out with no errors. The S.M.A.R.T. test is from the HDD's controller on the HDD's board, which predicts HDD failure before it happens.
A Long test goes sector by sector and takes a long time. This gives you a definitive answer about which sectors are bad, this will always be more accurate.
There are other tests that can confirm this for you but it will still be the same results, the drive needs to be replaced.
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