Vista Startup Repair fails

#1
I've read through some of the other threads on this, but didn't find an answer.

My wife said something wasn't working quite right in Quicken yesterday, so she did a reboot, from then on, started getting Startup Repair which fails. She also yesterday downloaded/unzipped Eclipse to use for a class she is taking.

Viewing the log from Startup Repair, everything is okay. "Root Cause" message at the end says something like "an unspecified configuration change" must be causing the problem.

I can get to the Recovery Center and I've restored to three different System Restore points for Windows. All of these have completed successfully, however, the Startup Repair still occurs.

One other thing, a few weeks ago, a chkdsk was forced at startup, but it completed successfuly and WIndows started up okay.

Please help with next steps!!

Thanks so much!!
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi,

Use the recovery center to access the command line, and from there try manually running a chkdsk session;

chkdsk.exe c: /f
 
#3
Ran a chkdsk. Below are the results. Startup still fails.


C:\>chkdsk.exe c: /f
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Cannot lock current drive.
Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another
process. Chkdsk may run if this volume is dismounted first.
ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID.
Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N) y
Volume dismounted. All opened handles to this volume are now invali
Volume label is OS.
CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
306240 file records processed.
File verification completed.
1139 large file records processed.
0 bad file records processed.
2 EA records processed.
108 reparse records processed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
1147476 index entries processed.
Index verification completed.
5 unindexed files processed.
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
306240 security descriptors processed.
Security descriptor verification completed.
40351 data files processed.
CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
36345488 USN bytes processed.
Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the
master file table (MFT) bitmap.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitma
Windows has made corrections to the file system.
233612287 KB total disk space.
162423732 KB in 261081 files.
135512 KB in 40352 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
425711 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
70627332 KB available on disk.
4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
58403071 total allocation units on disk.
17656833 allocation units available on disk.
Failed to transfer logged messages to the event log with status 50.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
Are you given an option to attempt Windows boot normally (should be below the startup repair option)? How far is that getting?

Lets try chkdsk one more time, with the /r option. Sometimes it needs to run more than once to repair everything:

chkdsk c: /r

If it continues to find errors that it is able to fix, run chkdsk until no errors are found. Try startup repair from the menu when thats done.
 
#5
Thanks Justin. Just to let you know I'm running the chkdsk /r. It's taking much longer this time and there are a few files being recovered. Will probably have to check it in the morning and see how things look.

Addendum:

The chkdsk from last night showed several files recovered or repaired. Startup failed again though. I started another chkdsk /r this morning before leaving for work. Not to be a "Negative Ned", but if this chkdsk runs clean and the startup still fails, what would be the recommended next step?

thanks
 
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#6
are you able to start it up normally? if so, then scan system with anti virus programs. Also Malware & spyware programs. If not try and go into safe mode, and follow the same procedure i mentioned.

If you need help getting them. Let me know. Ill help you get them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BE AWARE
That there are some fake Anti Virus programs out there that are like leeches. Ive ran into several, when working on my customers computers.
 
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#7
Unable to start Windows normally. Not sure what you are referencing by: "...and follow the same procedure i mentioned. If you need help getting them. Let me know. Ill help you get them."

Can you provide more info on this?
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#8
Are you able to get into Safe Mode at all? What version of Windows? Do you have the media?
 
#9
- Just got home, the chkdsk /r from this morning completed successfully
- Restart fails again
- Restart and get to Safe Mode menu
- tried Safe Mode option, ends up returning me to Startup Repair screen
- tried Safe Mode last good configuration, goes to Startup Repair
- tried Safe Mode cmd prompt, goes to Startup Repair

I am Windows Vista, I keep automatic updates on, so I should be current. This is a Dell, so what I have is an "Operating System Reinstallation" DVD for Vista Home Premium and also a Recovery partition that is accessible on the hard drive.

When I do startup, it goes through the screen where the progress bar shows the bios loading, the next screen with lots of text showing the hard drive controllers, etc., then just after that, the Startup Repair screen comes up.

Good news is that I am able to access my external hard drive, so last night I was able to copy all of my data over to it!!

I'm also ordering a new machine tonight, but that probably won't get here for a week or so.

So, continued help to get my current machine up and going is greatly appreciated!!!!

btw, below is the output from the Startup Repair in case that's helpful:

Startup Repair diagnosis and repair log
---------------------------
Last successful boot time: 6/27/2010 12:16:13 AM (GMT)
Number of repair attempts: 13
Session details
---------------------------
System Disk = \Device\Harddisk0
Windows directory = C:\Windows
AutoChk Run = 0
Number of root causes = 1
Test Performed:
---------------------------
Name: Check for updates
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 63 ms
Test Performed:
---------------------------
Name: System disk test
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 0 ms
Test Performed:
---------------------------
Name: Disk failure diagnosis
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 109 ms
Test Performed:
---------------------------
Name: Disk metadata test
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 47 ms
Test Performed:
---------------------------
Name: Target OS test
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 46 ms
Test Performed:
---------------------------
Name: Volume content check
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 156 ms
Test Performed:
---------------------------
Name: Boot manager diagnosis
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 0 ms
Test Performed:
---------------------------
Name: System boot log diagnosis
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 0 ms
Test Performed:
---------------------------
Name: Event log diagnosis
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 125 ms
Test Performed:
---------------------------
Name: Internal state check
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 63 ms
Root cause found:
---------------------------
Startup Repair has tried several times but still cannot determine the cause of the problem.
---------------------------
---------------------------
Session details
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#10
Alright since Safe Mode is not and option, you are left with really only 1 choice aside from a flat our format and reinstall.

Recovering the Vista Bootloader from the DVD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

Step 2 shows the option to choose to use a System Restore Point. If your lucky there is a restore point from right before the install of the Quicken and Eclipse programs which seemed to have clashed. Maybe even just the Eclipse.

This is going to be your best bet to try and get the PC operational.
 
#11
<deep breath> .... so this is a bit scary.

I checked out the link to the Vista Bootloader. You specifically reference step 2 and choosing a System Restore Point. I've already tried three different System Restore points (all prior to the Eclipse install and Quicken issue). Is going through this process going to produce something different when I select System Restore??

Let me see if I understand the basic steps:
1. Download the Vista Recover image from NeoSmart and burn to CD
2. Boot bad computer from this CD
3. Select "Repair COmputer"
4. At this point, the link's instructions say to select "Startup Repair" to repair the bootloader. Are you saying to select "System Restore" at this point?

Quicken has been installed for some time and I don't think it is the likely problem. The Eclipse install was supposedly just an unzip and little else.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#12
Is chkdsk still reporting that its fixing something? Like I said, run it until theres nothing it can find to fix. Run startup repair when thats done.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#13
Justin running chkdsk at this point isnt going to net him any better results. The problem is that the system thinks that there was a change that didnt get saved properly. So it tries to make that change but it cant. Because Windows wants to change it back to its default settings, which are different than what they were upon the last boot with the programs installed. As they made a change that is not what Windows wants.

So no matter how many times he repairs the system files and checks his disk integrity, the issue will still be present as it is a system file that is corrupted and cant be fixed by chkdsk it would need sfc /scannow.

Now to Bard's questions.

Since you already tried 3 different restore points, which is my fault i missed that part in your OP, your last ditch effort is this.

Get to the command prompt. Run the command i stated above.

sfc /scannow

Run that and maybe, just maybe, Windows can fix the bad file.
 
#15
okay, sounds like sfc is the next step. But, I'm a bit confused for actually running it.

Can I just run it from my command prompt or is it necessary to have the Neosmart Recovery disc?

And, is it just "sfc /scannow" or the longer "sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\windows\"

Addendum:

sfc didn't get very far. Is it time to put in the Vista Reinstallation DVD?

C:\>sfc /scannow
Beginning system scan. This process will take some time.
There is a system repair pending which requires reboot to complete. Restart
Windows and run sfc again.
C:\>
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#16
Shorter command in Windows because it assumes the current system, longer command otherwise.

From the posted details things don't look good. No errors or scanning messages. Looks like a re-install well be needed.
 
#17
Hi,

Use the recovery center to access the command line, and from there try manually running a chkdsk session;

chkdsk.exe c: /f
I bought a Acer laptop W/Vista basic. And quite frankly, the repair function at the startup of vista did not do anything for me. So basically i installed windows 7 home, and upgraded from that to PRO.

Point of the story is I DONT TRUST VISTA.....Not even like it. I think they were focusing on GUI more then anything :lup:. Not the performance. But thats just me.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#19
I don't have any great problem with Vista, (I used it yesterday trying to rescue W7 after I'd accidentally borked my keyboard driver) but W7 is a definite improvement Jus. Startup and shutdown are miles faster and UAC is active without being intrusive. I'd forgotten how annoying the screen greying out was, after nearly a year of 99% W7 use till it cropped up several times in a few minutes just renaming a few files.)
It's not massively different, but it is basically Vista SP3 minus the bad bits. (sadly also minus some useful bits (like Mail) , but those are portable across if you have both.)
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#20
For how long will a copy of Mail that shipped in 2006 remain "usable" in a world where "6 month old" tech is too old, though?