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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son tried to boot up the other day and got the message Sorry windows can't start" unmountable boot volume". I went to Microsoft's web site and followed the directions on running chkdsk and got it to boot. I ran Spybot and Adaware and defragged the drive and rebooted with no problem. Today he got the same message and same problem. I thought the the hard drive might be going bad but it is not making any unusual noise. Any advice or suggestions?
 

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Just a quick thought... However, I think you might be onto something about the hard disk drive being or going bad. I would find out who the manufacturer of your HDD is and go to their website and download their diagnostics tools. Test the drive. It is possible that the drive is not bad, but I would begin my testing there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll try that if I can get the computer to reboot. I will probably have to run chkdsk again to reboot it. It may be a few days till I can get over to my son's house where the computer is.
 

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if you have the install disk, and it's 2k or above, boot to the install disk, go to repair console, that should take you to the command prompt. If it asks for an admin password and you've not entered one, just hit enter to leave it blank, and you should be at the command prompt. From there you can run chkdsk /r and it will fix it.

Once you get it running again, first thing to do is to check the status of the fragmentation of the drive. Frequently this is caused by the boot sector getting corrupt/fragmented. Something to keep in mind, at least.

v
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is what I did to get it to boot the first time it did this.After iI got it to be I was going to defrag but the analysis said it was not needed.
 

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can you boot into safe mode at all? Or is the thing still stating unmountable boot volume, no matter what you do?

If you can, redo what you did to get into windows last time, and then open 'my computer', right click on 'c', choose properties > tools tab > error checking box > check now, that will force a reboot and scan the surface of the disk for errors.

btw, when you ran chkdsk, did it find and fix any clusters?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The first time this happened it would not boot in safe mode. It kept going back to the message about unmountable boot volume. I haven't been able to get over to his house to do anything since it went down the second time. When I ran chkdsk it took about an hour checking files and i think it said it repaired some but I am not sure. Like I said earlier it booted and appeared to be fixed.
 

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Save yourself some time and get the manufacturers diagnostics tools, if possible. Your HDD could have ECC errors (Linear) and this will not be detected by any of the tools Windows provides. You can always run the Windows tools if the drive passes the manufacturer's testing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well I guess the hard drive is dead. I ran the diagnostics that Dell has in a separate partition on the HD and it gave me two separate error codes(don't have them with me now) and when I Googled them every thing I could find was that it was a failing HD. It will now not boot at all. I can only get the screen that gives the choice of how to boot, normal, safe mode etc.When you tell it how to boot it does nothing.I tried running the recovery consol again but it goes thru a lot of checks and then goes to a screen that tells me to reboot but will not give me a dos prompt to run chkdsk.I hate to lose about 15-20 gigs of music files Is there any way to recover them.
 

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Get a new drive and install Windows....you can slave the drive to the new one and see if you can read it as booting takes so much more out of a drive more than using it for storage does. If you cannot, here is something that works about 1/2 the time. Stick the drive in a Ziplok bag in the freezer for about 4 hours. Then take it out and jumper it to slave opposite a master hard drive on same cable and then if you can now see it copy quickly as you have about an hour before it goes dark again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Could any one steer me to simple information on hooking up drives as master- slave?
 

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should be cake. You have two bays for your hd. Look at the back of your current hd drive, between the ide cable and the molex (power) connector, and you should see a series of copper pins:

:::::

On one of them will be a jumper, and that will denote either master, slave, or cable select. You can see the visual diagram on the hard drive itself; it will have a diagram of where to place the jumper to achieve the desired setting. Most likely, it will be cable select.. If that is the case, set the new hd as cable select, but make sure that the ide cable that you plug into it is has the LAST connection on the cable. That denotes master in cable select mode.

Any questions, feel free to ask. Easy as pie, generally.
 
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