PDA

View Full Version : Win 7 Strange problem "Unmountable Boot Volume"


Appleby
04-04-2012, 12:13 AM
Need some advice with this one folks. I'm not at my office so I don't have everything at my fingertips so bare with me.

Customer brings in a very nice Dell Studio laptop with Win 7 and it's booting to a blue screen. The blue screen says "Unmountable Boot Volume" and I don't have the stop error in front of me but from research it often related to a bad hard drive. That seemed to make sense since most every time I see Unmountable Boot Volume errors I find a bad hard drive. I did some more research and a couple quick tests and decided to go ahead and slap in a new hard drive because the customer was in hurry to get a her pc back and I had to leave for an appt. so I went ahead and reinstalled Win 7 on the new HDD while I was gone.

Everything booted fine after the initial bootup and I shut it down. I came back and restarted it when I had a few minutes and the machine bluescreened on me! Guess what....Unmountable Boot Volume and 0x000000ED with the brand new HDD and the fresh install. Ok, I've got something else going on with the laptop and I'm not sure what.

Any thoughts on this one? I keep seeing info saying to run chkdsk /r but this is a brand new HDD with a brand new OS install and the same error as with the old HDD?

ConozoComputers
04-04-2012, 01:02 AM
Here's what i would do

-test the ram
-test the hard drive (yes, even the new one)
-make sure bios setting are set to default
-update the bios

PCX
04-04-2012, 01:29 AM
Here's what i would do

-test the ram
-test the hard drive (yes, even the new one)
-make sure bios setting are set to default
-update the bios

As always, agreed. If you are able to test the motherboard, you should do so. There could be an issue with the SATA controller on the motherboard. Its not common, but if the Memory is good and the hard drive is good, then there is not much left.

Appleby
04-04-2012, 01:42 AM
Thanks for the replies, I greatly appreciate it.


RAM has been tested and passed with no errors.

Two sticks of RAM in the laptop and I pulled them out one a time and tried to boot and got the same results with each stick.

BIOS set back to defaults


I will test the HDD next...

BIOS has not been updated yet. I have to admit that I got burned on couple failed BIOS updates waay back when and I've made it a policy that it is my very last resort and the customer understand the risks.

I'm not able to test the motherboard but I agree with this looking like a possible SATA controller problem. I sure hope not, customer doesn't want to be without the laptop, I've already got alot of time in this machine and I'm going to be out of the office on Friday, all those things are causing me to a rush a little more than I like on this fix.:(

Thanks for help guys.

PCX
04-04-2012, 01:54 AM
Thanks for the replies, I greatly appreciate it.


RAM has been tested and passed with no errors.

Two sticks of RAM in the laptop and I pulled them out one a time and tried to boot and got the same results with each stick.

BIOS set back to defaults


I will test the HDD next...

BIOS has not been updated yet. I have to admit that I got burned on couple failed BIOS updates waay back when and I've made it a policy that it is my very last resort and the customer understand the risks.

I'm not able to test the motherboard but I agree with this looking like a possible SATA controller problem. I sure hope not, customer doesn't want to be without the laptop, I've already got alot of time in this machine and I'm going to be out of the office on Friday, all those things are causing me to a rush a little more than I like on this fix.:(

Thanks for help guys.

This is why I change a diagnostics fee up front. Even if I put a lot of time into a computer that never gets repaired, at least I get paid something.

Appleby
04-04-2012, 03:15 AM
This is why I change a diagnostics fee up front. Even if I put a lot of time into a computer that never gets repaired, at least I get paid something.

I charge a minimal ($35) diagnostic fee if they choose not to do the repairs after a diagnosis is given. That very rarely if ever comes into play. However, in a case like this, until I can hammer down a for sure diagnosis, I couldn't even justify charging a fee.

I've got to figure this one out tonight...

PCX
04-04-2012, 03:34 AM
I charge a minimal ($35) diagnostic fee if they choose not to do the repairs after a diagnosis is given. That very rarely if ever comes into play. However, in a case like this, until I can hammer down a for sure diagnosis, I couldn't even justify charging a fee.

I've got to figure this one out tonight...


I do not know what it is that you do for a diagnostics, but a full diagnostics can easily take a full day. I can't see justifying charging less than $50. I charge $75 for laptops that have to be taken completely apart or that have power issues because they require more time.

Appleby
04-04-2012, 03:48 AM
I do not know what it is that you do for a diagnostics, but a full diagnostics can easily take a full day. I can't see justifying charging less than $50. I charge $75 for laptops that have to be taken completely apart or that have power issues because they require more time.

I don't want to get too far off track but very rarely do I get a computer in (like this one) that isn't a pretty straightforward fix. Granted, I do run into some (like this one) that can turn into nightmares, but (knock on wood) these types of cases have been about one every couple months or so. It seems like most of my repairs are pretty obvious....cracked LCD, bad hard drive, virus, basic clean up etc. Most other stuff is on-site for my business customers and they are paying by the hour, so there is no diagnostic fee. If it's a software problem, that is usually one of those things that once you figure it out, you fixed it. On those, I give them an estimate up front and if I fix it, they pay it.

Maybe I'm just getting lucky on little to no diagnostics?lol

PCX
04-04-2012, 04:13 AM
I don't want to get too far off track but very rarely do I get a computer in (like this one) that isn't a pretty straightforward fix. Granted, I do run into some (like this one) that can turn into nightmares, but (knock on wood) these types of cases have been about one every couple months or so. It seems like most of my repairs are pretty obvious....cracked LCD, bad hard drive, virus, basic clean up etc. Most other stuff is on-site for my business customers and they are paying by the hour, so there is no diagnostic fee. If it's a software problem, that is usually one of those things that once you figure it out, you fixed it. On those, I give them an estimate up front and if I fix it, they pay it.

Maybe I'm just getting lucky on little to no diagnostics?lol

Its not a matter of getting lucky . . . I guess I should rephrase myself. Situations like this is just one of the reasons why I charge a diagnostics fee up front. There are several other reasons why I do it and it just makes good business sense. Obviously this is for stuff done in shop and not on-site.

There are a lot of benefits and a lot of reasons why you should charge a diagnostics fee up front opposed to charging it only if a customer chooses not to repair their computer. If you would like to discuss it further, you can PM me.

oldtech
04-04-2012, 05:15 AM
To the original question. Try changing the sata interface in the bios to ide if it's set to ahci if it boots then it's a driver issue or bad controller.

Rob_NNCC
04-04-2012, 02:15 PM
Also, I would like to come out and say this: Unmountable boot volume does not always mean bad HDD. Most times for me the HDD is just corrupt. Usually I fix it and check the system log, and I find an improper shutdown...

Appleby
04-04-2012, 11:55 PM
To the original question. Try changing the sata interface in the bios to ide if it's set to ahci if it boots then it's a driver issue or bad controller.

Yep tired that too! I def. believe at this point it's the controller. I can't figure anything else after the process of elimination. I spoke with the customer this morning and she was going to check the paper work and see if she has an ext. warranty because she doesn't want to spend the money for a mobo. ...Ok customer just called while I was typing this and the warranty period is over and she's going to come pick it up and does not want to spend the money for a mobo replacement.

Also, I would like to come out and say this: Unmountable boot volume does not always mean bad HDD. Most times for me the HDD is just corrupt. Usually I fix it and check the system log, and I find an improper shutdown...

I agree that it doesn't always mean a bad HDD and I should have worded what I said a little better. But I do find that it's a bad hard drive or at least a failing hard drive alot of the time, but not always.

shamrin
04-05-2012, 12:17 AM
Sorry if I missed you mentioning this (and it appears that it's too late anyway) but did you try booting to a Windows 7 install disc and running a Repair? I don't know what I would expect it to do but it might be interesting. Might be fun to run /fixboot and /fixmbr on it as well.

Appleby
04-05-2012, 01:36 AM
Sorry if I missed you mentioning this (and it appears that it's too late anyway) but did you try booting to a Windows 7 install disc and running a Repair? I don't know what I would expect it to do but it might be interesting. Might be fun to run /fixboot and /fixmbr on it as well.

Good point and I should have tried that....but instead......not sure if I mentioned this or not but I took the new hard drive with the newly installed OS (but still non-booting) out of her laptop this afternoon. I had a Toshiba laptop come in with a dead HDD, so just for grins, I stuck the new HDD from her laptop in the Toshiba and booted it up and.......it booted up just fine. No BSOD at all.

I think this lends even more credence to the motherboard problem....

Thanks!