Can't get Safemode, no f8, and Recovery CD d/n work???


Sorry--I see so many similar threads, but nothing spot on.

Running Acer Aspire M3641 with 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium. 4MB installed. 2 partition drive; one partition includes the OEM reinstall files. Machine has worked BEAUTIFULLY for a year...until today's blue screen.

Blue screen unenlightening to me: 0x0000007B (0xFFFFF98000A069E0, 0xFFFFFFFFC0000034, 0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000)

On restart, F8 does NOTHING. Only options are Del (leading to Acer setup options) and F12 (boot device menu). Any effort to reboot leads to black "Windows Error Recovery" screen, with only "launch startup repair" and "start normally" as options. I can't change the option at all with arrow keys, so "launch startup repair" happens automatically. It fails quickly, bringing me to the same blue screen.

I made a Windows Recovery CD per instructions here. Gave CD/DVD priority first thru the boot device menu, then by changing BIOS. NOTHING HAPPENS DIFFERENTLY. Even burned a 32-bit version in case I was going insane. Same result.

The above is pretty much the limit of my programming prowess.

Surely there's SOME way to run chkdsk??? My wife is freaking out over her work...heeelp!!!
Egads, straight to Ubuntu? Please say it's not so! Is that really all there is??

Trust me, I hit a million keys to get it to boot from CD. And the ISO image is good--i checked it on another machine.

I'll start downloading 64-bit Ubuntu now, I guess...
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data rescue

One niggling question: will going through the data rescue process--specifically, force-mounting the drives--in any way compromise future efforts to fix the problem? I'm not conceding defeat am I?
Using Ubuntu in "Run without changing your system" mode from the CD, does what it says on the tin.
It's a sensible precaution to rescue your personal files before attempting repair of the system. The ultimate last-ditch repair is "factory reset" which will lose all your data.
We'll try to help you avoid that, but best be prepared lest it proves unavoidable if all else fails.
When it rains, it pours...

I've spent the last 24+ hours struggling with Ubuntu, which simply refuses to load cleanly. It hangs right when it gets to where the main graphical menu should be, and from what I gather, I'm not the only one...apparently Ubuntu is flummoxed by common, everyday nVidia graphics cards. Kinda surprised by that. None of the workarounds has worked yet. Now I'm about to try Puppy Linux.

It seems crazy that I'm practically teaching myself linux, but there you are.

Still plugging away....
With the new Ubuntu release it doesn't bring up the menu right away. Instead its got a timeout that well load the installer unless you press a key to display the menu instead.

Graphics and wireless is one of LInux's weaknesses. Quite simply, any distribution well do as long as you can get the ability to copy files.
Update-- many developments

I gave up on running Ubuntu on my machine. No one seems to have a solution (that I can implement, anyway) to whatever disagreement there is between Ubuntu and (probably) my nVidia card. I got it to load to the graphical desktop, then keyboard and mouse freeze. Same with Puppy Linux.

In the meantime, however, I succeeded in solving other problems. By changing the support for legacy USB peripherals, I got the machine to load the Vista Recovery CD correctly!

Then the problem became apparent: after trying to run System Repair, I got "A hard disk could not be found. If a hard disk is installed, it is not responding." Chkdsk couldn't find a c: drive.

Fearing the worst, I removed the HDD and took it to work. I took my 32-bit work desktop apart (after everyone else left!) and swapped HDDs, then booted from the Recovery CD. It found my OS on my HDD, and then I ran Chkdsk -- the drive is in perfect shape! I swapped SATA cables...still works, so that cable isn't the problem. I accidentally ran System Repair, which worked for quite awhile before "failing" with detailed error messages. I only ran it once, though. Can I even repair 64 bit Vista from within the 32-bit recovery disk????.

Then I booted Ubuntu 32-bit without a problem, found my HDD easily (!), and most important, determined I can easily recover those recent files that hadn't been backed up.

So now:

1. Can I keep running System Repair on my 64-bit Vista from within my little jury-rigged 32-bit machine? And should I?

2. It seems to me like my home machine really has a hardware problem, if it isn't "finding" my HDD. I tried a different SATA port; that wasn't it. I've ruled out the SATA cable. At this point, do I simply have to bring it to a tech with the diagnostic equip to tell me if it's another cable, or the HDD controller, or whatever?

3. Or is it still possible that my home machine isn't "finding" the HDD because of Windows corruption? It doesn't seem like it to me, since the machine at work found the HDD just fine.

Do you have another HDD you can plug into the faulty PC to check whether the BIOS detects it ?
If not it sounds like the mobo has a problem.
I'll try the reverse HDD swap tonight.

Any thoughts on the question of repairing Vista 64-bit using the "system repair" on a 32-bit recovery CD?
It should say "not compatible with this OS" and stop if you've got the wrong recovery ISO for the OS you want to fix.

1. I swapped HDDs in my home machine. Went to setup and saw that BIOS does recognize each drive (old or new) by its different model number, plugged into the correct SATA port. So, at least at this basic level the drives are being recognized.

2. Nonetheless, when I boot to the Windows recovery CD, it still doesn't see a HDD attached, with either HDD. Got a command prompt and tried C: and chkdsk c: /f and got "The device is not ready" and "Cannot open volume for direct access."

3. You're correct about system repair. Back on my jury-rigged 32-bit machine, the 32-bit recovery CD told me it couldn't recognize the OS on my HDD.

4. I tried booting the 32-bit wrk machine off my home HDD, just for kicks. Unlike at home, it DID offer up the startup repair window and DID make some efforts at repair. Now, I really can't imagine how Vista 64b was going to repair itself on a x86 machine, but anyways.....Each effort produced the same error messages:

Startup Repair V2
Problem Signal01: Auto Failover
Problem Signal02: 6.0.6000.16386.6.0.6001.18000
Problem Signal03: 3
Problem Signal04: 131974
Problem Signal05: BadDriver
Problem Signal06: BadDriver
Problem Signal07: 0
Problem Signal08: 3
Problem Signal09: WrpRepair
Problem Signal10: 0
OS: 6.0.6000.
Locale: 1033

Latest thoughts? I think I really need to be able to run 64b recovery CD on this HDD, but my home system just won't allow it. It just doesn't seem to recognize any HDD past the BIOS setup menu.


Also: when I run startup repair from home 64b machine, on original HDD (now that we know the HDD itself is fine), the error messages change as follows:

Problem Signature 04: 65537
Problem Signature 05: unknown
Problem Signature 06: NoHardDrive

Problem Signature 09: unknown
Problem Signature 10: 1168
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Ok, BIOS says it detects hard drive, Windows disc doesn't. Chkdsk runs fine? Ok...

Try resetting your BIOS settings to the default setup, and see if a newer BIOS is available for your machine.

That failing, if you're sure its not the mobo or hard drive and if your datas rescued do you have a Windows install disc? Boot up Ubuntu on the machine where you can boot it and completely wipe out the partitions on the drive. This should allow you to re-install Windows.
I'll do the default BIOS settings and look for an update (I'm not hopeful). Tho' I do wonder what could have changed re: BIOS to make what was a completely stable system blow up like this.

You mention, "if you're sure it's not the mobo." I don't know if I am. I'm wondering how I might troubleshoot to rule the mobo out.

I did just find my windows install discs--2 of them. Now, this machine also had all the OEM software on a separate partition. Am I correct that that's all pretty much out the window (oops, unintended pun) now? Just wipe it all and restart with Windows Vista alone?

Thanks again for your continuing help. At least I'm getting somewhere now, and I've got my data...
Have you tried the Vista repair disk available on this site, which is the one you should have made when you installed the system.
If your disks are OEM it depends. My Dell discs just contain the OS, nothing else that came along with the computer. Than my family has some older XP discs that contatin both the OS and all the trial software commonly found on a new computer. If theres anything you paid for besides the OS you should have got discs for that too, like McAfee if it came pre-installed, or Office if you purchased it with your computer.