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Can't boot into WinXP -  Unknown hard error (0xC0000221)

Posted on 2002-03-07
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Last Modified: 2007-11-27
My cousin is having difficulties booting into WinXP Home.  He can do it in safe mode, but normal mode doesn't always work.  He can get into normal mode about 10% of the time.  WinXP itself runs fine, it doesn't crash at all, but if he happens to reboot, then he has a very slim chance of booting up without the blue screen & "unknown hard error" message.

I gave a high point value to this question, so hopefully it will attract attention.  He needs to get this resolved ASAP...and this is something that neither of us can even begin to figure out.

Thanks!  His system stats here:

ASUS A7A266
AMD 1.4GHz
256MB
Maxtor 40GB HD
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Question by:MDesigner
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6848535
Well to start off with have your cousin do Start > Run and type in

eventvwr.msc

and look under the system and application log and note all listed errors.

Scecond do Start > Run and type in

devmgmt.msc

and see if there is any red or yellow icons residing by any of the items. If so then click on that item and delete it and click on the menu item "Action > Scan for new hardware" and this will reinstall the driver you just deleted.


The Crazy One
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6848538
If this doesn't help have your cousin start pulling out the hardware one device at a time and reboot. Reboot several times and see if the problem resurfaces. If it doesn't then you probably have found the culprit. Do this with every piece of hardware inclunding pulling one RAM module at a time. Chances are there is a device that is bad are is poorly connected and just needs to be reseated.
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by:MDesigner
ID: 6848549
Thanks, I'll have him try these things out.  Keep posting ideas as you get them.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6848564
>>>Keep posting ideas as you get them

Hehehe, Ok I suspect you will be getting some more comments from other experts as well pretty soon.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6848806
BTW is your cousin overclocking the CPU?
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by:stevenlewis
ID: 6848808
unknown hard error
could we have the specific error message, and the numbers that go with it. those numbers will help us troubleshoot the issue
off the top of my head, does your cousing have ez cd creator installed, or somne other third party cd burning software?
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Author Comment

by:MDesigner
ID: 6849643
No, he's not overclocking.

stevenlewis: I gave the details in the subject.  The error is 0xC0000221.  And no, he has no CD burning software installed.

Here's the MS KB article on the issue:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q101096

But I assure you, his ntdll.dll file is not corrupt.  I did some searches and found that lots of people have this exact same error--and what are the chances of all of these people having a corrupt ntdll.dll?  We just installed this XP Home on a brand new, formatted hard drive.  So reformatting and installing again will just yield the same results.  This is something that can be fixed, but I don't think Microsoft has dug deep enough to get a REAL solution yet.

Thanks
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6849673
I think 0xC0000221 has something to do with a driver not being able to load. Hopefully the event viewer will shed some light on this.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6849676
Here look at this article. It is similar to the MS KB you looked at but is much more detailed. It even deals with it possibly being the RAM.

http://www.microsoft.com/WINDOWS2000/techinfo/reskit/en/ProRK/prhd_exe_dnvr.htm
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6849680
BTW a file can get corrupted at any point not just during an install. Most corruption happen either from a virus or a bad shutdown like when the power supplying the machine suddenly goes dead.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6849694
I think this has already be covered in the links already posted in this Q but just in case it hasn't.

Try using the System File Checker it may find that a file or two is corrupted or out of version.

This is an article from the MS KB

BEGIN ARTICLE

Description of the Windows System File Checker Tool (Q310747)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The information in this article applies to:


Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


SUMMARY
This article describes the System File Checker (Sfc.exe) tool, which is used with the Windows File Protection (WFP) feature.



MORE INFORMATION
The System File Checker tool gives an administrator the ability to scan all protected files to verify their versions. The System File Checker tool also checks and repopulates the %Systemroot%\System32\Dllcache folder. If the Dllcache folder becomes damaged or unusable, you can use the sfc /scanonce or sfc /scanboot command to repair its contents.

System File Checker Tool Syntax
Sfc [/Scanonce] [/Scanboot] [/Cancel] [/Quiet]
Sfc.exe : Scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions.


/Scanonce : Scans all protected system files one time.


/Scanboot : Scans all protected system files every time you start your computer.


/Cancel : Cancels all pending scans of protected system files.


/Quiet : Replaces all incorrect file versions without prompting the user.


/Enable : Enables WFP for normal operation.


/Purgecache : Purges the file cache and scans all protected system files immediately.


/Cachesize= x : Sets the file cache size.


For additional information about the Windows File Protection feature, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q222193 Description of the Windows 2000 Windows File Protection Feature

COPYRIGHT NOTICE. Copyright 2002 Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, Washington 98052-6399 U.S.A. All rights reserved.

END ARTICLE
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6849702
Ok the following is a quote from this link. Not all of it applies to your cousins case but take not what it says about the harddisk and also updating the BIOS

http://www.tricomm.org.au/techsupport/faq/showquestion.asp?faq=12&fldAuto=283
The error STOP 0xC0000221 (or sometimes STOP C0000221) unknown hard error means
Windows 2000 thinks that the specified file (ntdll.dll) is corrupted. However,
since the error occurs when Setup is trying to load Windows 2000 for the first
time, it's more likely that Setup has looked for ntdll.dll on you hard disk and
either can't find it or can't read it properly. This indicates to me that some
aspect of the hard disk is suss, and it's probably the driver. Dig out the
drivers that came with the hard disk or go to the manufacturer's Web site and
download drivers for Windows 2000. Put these on a diskette, run Windows 2000
Setup, press F6 when you see the message "Press F6 if you need to install a
third party SCSI or RAID driver." and insert the diskette when prompted. If
this doesn't help, check the Web site for the manufacturer of your motherboard,
and download and install any patches and/or BIOS updates.
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Author Comment

by:MDesigner
ID: 6849707
OK...this is plenty of info. :)  Gimme a few days to check this out
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6849714
Sorry for posting so many comments but my research seems to point in the direction of incorrect driver(s) for one or more of the hardware devices on the machine or faulty hardware.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6849715
:>)
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Author Comment

by:MDesigner
ID: 6854595
OK CrazyOne.. here are some answers/details for you. I'm at my cousin's place for a while today.

First, one more detail from him: he says the error only seems to occur after his computer has been off a while.  Sounds like a hardware problem to me....

Anyway, I cleared out the event viewer logs totally, and rebooted.  The blue screen did not occur, but I did see some interesting errors in the System log:

Event Type:     Error
Event Source:     Disk
Event Category:     None
Event ID:     11
Date:          3/10/2002
Time:          10:17:55 AM
User:          N/A
Computer:     MORPHIUS
Description:
The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk0\D.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: 03 01 68 00 01 00 b6 00   ..h...¶.
0008: 00 00 00 00 0b 00 04 c0   .......À
0010: 01 01 00 00 00 00 00 00   ........
0018: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ........
0020: 00 3e af bc 00 00 00 00   .>¯¼....
0028: 65 02 00 00 00 00 00 00   e.......
0030: ff ff ff ff 03 00 00 00   ÿÿÿÿ....
0038: 40 00 00 8f 02 00 00 00   @......
0040: ff 20 0a 12 4c 03 20 40   ÿ ..L. @
0048: 00 00 00 00 0a 00 00 00   ........
0050: 00 e0 2e 30 e8 15 7a 81   .à.0è.z
0058: 00 00 00 00 a0 35 7d 81   .... 5}
0060: 02 00 00 00 9f 57 5e 00   ....ŸW^.
0068: 28 00 00 5e 57 9f 00 00   (..^WŸ..
0070: 08 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ........
0078: f0 00 04 00 00 00 00 0b   ð.......
0080: 00 00 00 00 08 03 00 00   ........
0088: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ........

Event Type:     Error
Event Source:     atapi
Event Category:     None
Event ID:     5
Date:          3/10/2002
Time:          10:17:55 AM
User:          N/A
Computer:     MORPHIUS
Description:
A parity error was detected on \Device\Ide\IdePort1.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: 0f 06 10 00 01 00 64 00   ......d.
0008: 00 00 00 00 05 00 04 c0   .......À
0010: 03 00 00 80 00 00 00 00   ...€....
0018: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ........
0020: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ........
0028: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ........
0030: 00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00   ........

The first error (on \Device\Harddisk0\D) repeats a few times.

That's it so far.  We're going to turn off the computer a while and try to replicate the unknown hard error.
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Author Comment

by:MDesigner
ID: 6854599
I will also remind you that he has an ASUS A7A266 motherboard.  It uses ATA100, so if there's something I should know about this, let me know.  I have an A7V133 and on that board, the ATA100 bus is totally separate from the regular IDE bus, and I need drivers for it.  But I don't believe he needs any ATA100 drivers.  We already installed his motherboard drivers, so that's already taken care of.
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 6854614
Who makes the drive? get the diagnostic disk from their site and check the drive
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6854657
>>>>he says the error only seems to occur after his computer has been off a while.


Yeah your right it keeps pointing to being a hardware related issue espeically since it mostly happens after the computer has been off for awhile. It indicates to me that a connection is very slightly loose and/or dust and/or moisture had gotten into the connection slots.

The following is a bit tedious but try this. Buy a can or two of compressed air made for working on computers. Open the machines case and one by one disconnect each IDE oand/or SCSI connection at booth ends of the connection and spray compressed air into the female and male connectors. Now gently reconnect and make sure the connections are snug. This includes pulling all the RAM modules and PCI - ISA cards one-at-a-time and doing the same to them. Note take your time doing this, don't get in a rush to get it done and be careful and pay close attention to what connects to what.
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Author Comment

by:MDesigner
ID: 6854707
A few more things:

We left the computer off, but only managed and UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME error.  No "Unknown hard error".

Also, he tells me that when he gets the "Unknown hard error," his hard drive clicks three times before he gets the error.

I'm gonna go to Maxtor's site & get the diagnostics utilities.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6855408
Good idea and I am glad Steve mentioned it. From your description of the sounds from the harddisk it sounds like it could either be a bad connection including possibly a bad ribbon cable or the Harddrive is getting ready to die. I would suggest to have your cousin backup all his/her important stuff as soon as possible even before doing the diagnostic.
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Author Comment

by:MDesigner
ID: 6861650
Did a diagnostic check w/ Maxtor utilities.. it said the drive is OK.  It should be, it's brand spanking new.

Sorry for the late response.. I have not & will not forget about this topic, but my cousin is pretty busy and I see him once in a while.

Next time I'm over there, we'll check all connections

I'm wondering of the UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME error he gets is related at all to the unknown hard error.

PS: All his drives (hard drive & CD-ROM) are on secondary IDE.  Primary IDE is totally unused.  Might this be a problem?

Thanks
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6861708
Well it makes no real logical sense to hsve the boot drive on the secondary IDE. I would suggest moving the Harddrive to the Primary IDE that is what the Primary is really for. Make sure the Hardisk is set as master and if there is an option in the BIOS for what IDE order to use then change it to the Primary IDE. :>)
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6861717
Check out this MS KB

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q297185

BEGIN ARTICLE

"STOP 0x000000ED UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME" Error Message During Windows XP Upgrade (Q297185)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The information in this article applies to:


Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


SYMPTOMS
When you first restart your computer during the upgrade to Windows XP or when you start Windows XP, you may receive the following error message :

STOP 0x000000ED (0x aaaaaaaa ,0x bbbbbbbb ,0x cccccccc ,0x dddddddd ) UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME
where aaaaaaaa , bbbbbbbb , cccccccc , and dddddddd are hexadecimal numbers that may vary.

NOTE : If you receive this error message when you restart the computer for the first time during an upgrade to Windows XP, your original operating system still works correctly. In some cases, a message appears on the BIOS report screen that states that the wrong cable is in use, but you may not see this message on computers that have a fast startup time.



CAUSE
This behavior can occur if either of the following conditions is true:

Your computer uses an Ultra Direct Memory Access (UDMA) hard disk controller, and the following conditions are true:


You use a standard 40-wire connector cable to connect the UDMA drive to the controller instead of the required 80-wire, 40-pin cable.


The basic input/output system (BIOS) settings are configured to force the faster UDMA modes.


The file system is damaged and cannot be mounted.





RESOLUTION
To resolve this behavior, use the appropriate method.

UDMA Controller
If your computer uses a UDMA hard disk controller, use the following procedures:
Replace the 40-wire cable with an 80-wire UDMA cable.


In the BIOS settings for your computer, load the 'Fail-Safe' default settings, and then reactivate the most frequently used options such as USB Support.


Damaged File System
If the second parameter (0x bbbbbbbb ) of the Stop error is 0xC0000032, then the file system is damaged.

If this is the case, restart the computer to the Recovery Console, and then use the chkdsk /r command to repair the volume. After you repair the volume, check your hardware to isolate the cause of the file system damage.

To do this, use the following steps:
Start your computer with the Windows startup disks, or with the Windows CD-ROM if your computer can start from the CD-ROM drive.


When the Welcome to Setup screen appears, press R to select the repair option.


If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the Windows installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.


Type the administrator password when you are prompted to do so.

NOTE : If no administrator password exists, just press ENTER.


At the command prompt, type chkdsk /r , and then press ENTER.


At the command prompt, type exit , and then press ENTER to restart your computer.

For additional information about how to use the Recovery Console in Windows XP, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q229716 Description of the Windows Recovery Console



STATUS
This behavior is by design.



MORE INFORMATION
The purpose of this behavior is to prevent potential data loss due to the use of an incorrect IDE cable for the faster UDMA modes or due to continued access to a drive on which the file system is damaged.

Note that a variety of issues can cause file system damage, from faulty hardware to software configuration problems or viruses. You can run Chkdsk /r at a command prompt to resolve the file system damage, but you may lose some data.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Published May 30 2001 8:26PM  Issue Type kbprb  
Last Modifed Dec 28 2001 4:35PM  Additional Query Words 0xed unmountable boot volume  
Keywords kberrmsg kbsetup  

COPYRIGHT NOTICE. Copyright 2002 Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, Washington 98052-6399 U.S.A. All rights reserved.
 
END  ARTICLE
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6861737
Here is another link to look at. It covers some of the same stuff we have discussed already but I think it is still worth giving it a look.

http://forums.viaarena.com/messageview.cfm?catid=20&threadid=5442
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Accepted Solution

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CrazyOne earned 300 total points
ID: 6861757
Here again is some territory we have already coverd but from a different angle and may be some new info.

http://www.maco.sk/win/unmountable.html

QUOTE

Like the Microsoft said this is a "design" bug(?)
So what;s going on around here?

The blue screen comes up and shows something like UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. Microsoft sait that this occurs when you upgrade from Win95 or Win98 to WinXP or Win2000. When this message comes up you can still choose to boot Win95 or 98 but not WinXP or 2000.

How to solve this problem?
Boot from the win Install CD and choose Repair Instalation or something like that. Press "c" for console prepair. In console there are few commands you can use for repairing. Type 'chkdsk /R' and wait few hours depending on how big your HDD is. Then type 'fixboot X:' where X is your boot partiton and try to reboot. If there is still blue screen switch back to rescue command line and type 'fixmbr'.

If nothing from the above helped swtch to win 95 or 98 and in start-run type 'sys X:' and repeat the above process. If still nothing in 95/98 type 'sys X:' and reinstall your windows 2000/XP.

I have found out, that this problem can be also solved other way (have no clue why it works, but it works): Power on your PC and set some different options in BIOS (such as seek floppy or fast boot enable/disable) and try to reboot. Sometimes windows starts the right way after this :). Don't ask me why please. Also, sometimes is enough to reboot pc few times (3-4) or to power off PC and turm on after a while (30 minutes?). When this happens to me (and it happens very often I just boot to linux and reboot. Win then comes up sometimes, sometimes after more reboots. Weird....

The absolutely last chance is to format your disk after backuping all of your data in 'low level' mode but this can be very dangerouse for some types of disks. Check your disk manual. Lov level formatting is available from old BIOSes or as utilities from your hdd manufacturer (check their web pages-utilities). This will absolutely destroy all of your data on the hdd.

UNQUOTE



http://www.driverforum.com/bios3/3108.html
QUOTE

Machines are being shipped with a 40 wire ide cable, when in fact the hdd is a udma 100 which require an 80 wire cable.
Windows will at some point realise this and then we get the error, and boot is halted.

If you can boot into safe mode try the following: (If doesn’t work Reinstall)
 Boot to safe mode
 START>RUN> chkdsk /r
 You will then get a message warning you that the volume is in use by another app would you like to schedule chkdsk to run on the next restart
 Press Y then Enter
 Restart the PC and the check disk will run automatically (Will take quite a while)
 Windows should boot normally after this, if not Reinstall the PC.

Please note: this solution will not work if the partition is corrupted or the hdd is damaged.

Recurring Problem

 UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME ERROR, REQUIRES ATA 66/100 IDE CABLE SEE MS KNOWLEDGE BASE ARTICLE Q297185

this error can occur more readily on machines that are using uDMA on the HDD.

If the machine has an option to turn DMA off, then try that and also load failsafe defaults. Ensure that any USB keyboard option is enabled before saving changes.

In cases where the motherboard is a VIA the latest 4-in-one drivers from www.viatech.com might overcome this issue once access to Windows has been achieved

hope this helps

Jase

UNQUOTE
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 7135703
Have you been helped here or is more needed?  Since time has passed since your last comment, an update is appreciated (in case things have changed).  If you've been helped, convert the expert's comment to the Accepted Answer to grade and close it.  If more than one helped you, ask for a point split by posting a zero point question in the Community Support topic area, include this link and details with your request (expert name and point values to each).  If you feel you've found/posted your own solutions, let it be known here and then request a refund/PAQ in the link below (again, include the question link).

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Author Comment

by:MDesigner
ID: 7135965
Sorry for the delay.  We decided to just reformat.. the problem is gone.

Points go to CrazyOne for all his effort.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 7136022
Thanks a bunch for returning and finalizing this.
":0) Asta
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by:uKER
ID: 14368927
Now, after some time, was that really the solution?
I'm having the EXACT SAME problem as you were.
The machine that doesn't start after having been off for a while, the randomness in the bootup failures, etc.
For me it feels too ill to be just a matter of reformating, but if it worked for you, what kind of reformat did you do? Partition? Full disk? Low-level?
Please help me get out of it now. :)
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