XP Boot sequence stops at btkrnl.sys and restarts - SATA RAID1 setup.......

Hi Guys, here's hoping someone can help me.

I have a PC with a RAID 1 setup (2 x 250gb SATA drives, mirrored).

PC Froze, so I had to press reset.

During restart, PC just kept restarting.

"Use your last good configuration...." doesn't work
"Safe Mode" and all other selections do nothing either.

When trying to boot in Safe Mode, boot sequence stops briefly at "C:\WINDOWS\System32\btkrnl.sys" before restarting.

I was using RAID1 for just such an instance, thinking that if I had a failure, then at least one of my drives would be able to Boot. Unfortunately this has not proven to be the case, and I am a little p***ed off to say the least.

Formatting is not an option, as I have all my family photos, business documents, websites all stored on these drives.

I have tried using an IDE drive to boot into windows, but then the SATA drives are not seen in My Computer.

Also tried Windows setup in "Repair" mode, but that didn't do it either.

Read elsewhere that it may be the RAM, took these out, changed them around etc., no dice.

Please, Please, Please can someone help??

Thanks in advance, and please note I'm not looking for any sarcastic comments about "backing up my data" - how far is one supposed to go with backing up? Backup my backups?

Win XP Home (SP2 + all updates)
2 x 250Gb Maxtor SATA Drives in RAID1
Asus A78NX-E Deluxe
Athlon 2800+
1024Mb DDR (PC3200) RAM

Any other info required, please let me know.
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venom96737Connect With a Mentor Commented:
In order for your sata drives to be seen in your IDE version of windows you must load the controller drivers then it will see them fine and you can retrieve your data.  but if a repair install didnt do it for you i would say its in the registry somewhere why dont you go back into recovery console and take an old registry snapshot and replace it with what is there
commands are as follows starting at c:\windows
cd \
cd system~1
cd _resto~1
 inside it there are several folders named RP1, RP2. These are restore points. RP1 is the oldest restore point.

so say you want to use rp3

cd rp3  
cd snapshot

copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software

The following commands are most of the time optional however the process might not work if they are not executed

copy _registry_machine_security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy _registry_machine_sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy _registry_user_.default c:\windows\system32\config\default

Type exit to reboot the system. Start the computer normally
Boot from your XP disk into Recovery Console.
Run chkdsk /r
Have a cup of tea, let it finish (it will take awhile)
Any change?
Maybe "btkrnl.sys" is corrupted.  After chkdsk, if you can reach Windows you may like to try system file checker:

Start > Run > type "SFC /scannow" (without the quotes) and press enter.
You may need your windows cd-rom.
Are you perhaps running BT bluetooth ?

"Enter the SFC, the System File Checker":
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carlos0371Author Commented:
Firstly, Thanks for extremely quick response;

OK, did that, but after rebooting, the same thing happened.

I've now done a clean install onto one of the drives (Deleted the RAID set and disconnected one of the drives, then installed Windows into "C:\WINDOWS2" folder.

I can now access the info on the drive (In "Documents and Settings\Carl"), but I need to repair the old installation (in "C:\WINDOWS\" if possible.

Any ideas?

As I can't get into the windows installtion, I can't run SFC. Yes, I was running Bluetooth, it's been running fine for over a year without any problems as well.

carlos0371Author Commented:

Thought I'd try something:
I renamed the btkrnl.sys file in the "corrupted" windows folder to btkrnl.bak and restarted, but still did the same thing.

This leads me to believe that it is the NEXT file (after btkrnl.sys) in the boot sequence that is causing problems.

Don't know how that sounds, I might be on completely the wrong track??

Several people are reporting a similar problem to yours. Re-naming the file will not help, apparently. Some quotes:

"currnt conclusion is the new "critical security updates" have blocked a port
used by this software during boot up stopping it from functioning and causing
the system to hang."

"Try resetting your motherboard's BIOS settings to vanilla (ie "bios
defaults" or "setup defaults") - hit the Del key at first boot to enter the
BIOS. Sometimes this works wonders with this particular problem. If it does,
try changing one setting only until you find the offending item."

Still investigating.   Found at least three other references to XP hanging at "btkrnl.sys" in the boot sequence, two more referring to Bluetooth, but as yet no resolution.  Here's one in which highlights have been left on.

Unfortunately the url link with a possible answer appears unavailable at this time >>
carlos0371Author Commented:
Had already tried this, but did it again anyway, without success.

I reset BIOS to defaults, then changed Boot sequence to boot from "SCSI" (SATA drive), and it does exactly the same thing.

I am currently going through the new windows installation and backing up all my data to DVDs and CDs - The most important bits were 10 years' worth of photos, Customer Websites and Business details (invoices etc.) for my work.

Still hoping there's going to be another solution to this, kind of makes a mockery of having a RAID1 system if neither disk can boot?!?

As you say, no resolution as yet - BIOS reset didn't do anything.

Been looking for solution to this for 3 days now, since it happened, loads of instances of it happening with the btkrnl.sys file, but as yet, no solutions for me.

At least  now you have a comprehensive backup of all that crucial data!!!

I wonder if btkrnl.sys is the problem, or if that is simply as far as Windows gets before something else initialises?
Like I said, there appears to be plenty in the forums about thisissue, but no conclusive resolution yet...
carlos0371Author Commented:
OK, I'll leave this open, it's only day 1, let's see if others out there can help.

Thanks for taking the time you two.

If you did a repair install all the files that sfc scans have been replaced.
OH wait you have already messed up your chance of doing my resolution using the system restore hives because u reinstalled windows on the same partition under a different folder that overwrites the data.  You have no registry to go back to that installation is gone sorry.
carlos0371Author Commented:
Would this work if I disconnected the SATA drive that I've installed the new copy of windows onto, reconnected the other SATA drive (which HASN'T had a new copy of windows installed on it), and tried it on that?

I could then (theoretically) rebuild the RAID set......

Hopefully - I'll await your reply......
carlos0371Author Commented:

I get "Access Denied" when I type "cd system~1"
JonveeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
@ carlos0371
Located the following information which possibly i'm reading out of context, but if it may help until venom96737 returns (it's *his* call after all !)  ...=>
"XP is not loading (file missing)":

Scroll to "Answer 10", 2nd section, and you'll see this >>

NOTE: If a message Access Denied is displayed while attempting this fix, perform the following steps:
Type cd \ and press the <Enter> key.
Type cd windows\system32\config and press the <Enter> key.
Type ren system system.bak and press the <Enter> key.
Type exit and press the <Enter> key.
Restart the computer.
Continue troubleshooting below.
Scroll on to "Answer 11", and continue, thus ...
To copy the restore point in the recovery console, perform the following steps:

Type cd \ and press the <Enter> key.
Type cd system~1\_resto~1 and press the <Enter> key.   .. etc ...
If or when you successfully reach the last line above ..>

Type cd system~1\_resto~1 and press the <Enter> key.
.. suggest you then re-consult venom96737's suggestion for selecting the appropriate restore point.
You may also find that there are further helpful comments in the "techrepublic" url above.
carlos0371Author Commented:
You absolute Beauty!!!!

Followed it step by step, used Restore Point 254 (from Wednesday 13th) and presto!!! Logged straight back in.

However, next up we have the Desktop Theme - I changed this back to what I had before, and I got a BSOD - DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and the system restarted again.

I noticed (what I think is the SATA driver) - Si3112r.sys - at the bottom of the BSOD.

Looks like there's a problem with the SATA driver perhaps?

If you could confirm my suspicions (and perhaps, a cure?), that would be great ;o)

Bear in mind I currently only have one SATA drive installed, the one which DOESN'T have the new installation of Windows on it, and I deleted the RAID set.
carlos0371Author Commented:
Yep, it's definitely the SATA raid driver causing problems now. I can't do anything in Windows without it restarting.

Safe mode appears to be fine.

It's 01:40 GMT now, so I'm off to sleep on this one for tonight - Hopefully there'll be some fresh ideas here by tomorrow.....?

Thanks for all the help so far Guys.

'nite, Carl.
carlos0371Author Commented:
02:12 and still going......

Seem to have solved the re-boot problem, updated drivers from ASUS website, and everything seems to have settled.

However, after all this, I'm still hving other problems (Goldfish Screensaver not working properly, themes missing etc.) so I think a clean install after getting the remainder of my data off this drive will have to be done.

I think it's because of all the messing about I've done over the last few days.

Just want to say Thanks to phototropic, Jonvee, and venom for all their help.

Points split according to how I regarded the help given, hope this is OK.
@jonvee that is the correct way to fix the access denied message and sorry carlos I couldnt get back to you in time glad you got the drive to boot.  A clean install is your call but would tidy up the mess caused for whatever reason.  Just remember though that the restore points would not have been there anymore as you had installed a parallel install over the old install which rewrites the restore point information but atleast you know now how to do a restore of the registry from recovery console never know when that might come in handy good luck.
@ carlos0371:    Just logged on to read the good news .. that's great, you've done well !
Hope you can recover *all* of that valuable data prior to a clean install.
The points situation seems very fair from here, it was after all venom96737's good idea that was just 'expanded' a bit.

@venom96737:   Thanks for confirming the "access denied" fix technique, it was good working alongside you !
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