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September 10, 2009

The Blue Screen of Death comes to us all in time

 But sometimes we win. I feel like my little Vaio has cheated death.

So my battery detached from my wonderful Sony VAIO laptop for 2 seconds and it died. DIED. And when I turned her back on, I got the dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). Except I couldn't see the son of a bitch. It flashed and reloaded.

I could tell from initial googling that the problem required a Windows XP boot disk. Problem 1: Where TF is the boot disk? The laptop didn't come with one, and although I'm sure I made one, I can't find it. And conveniently, MicroHELL only has a FLOPPY DISK download for XP recovery.

But I got one, courtesy of google. Here: http://www.download3000.com/download-xp-recovery-cd-maker-count-reg-17676.html

Just save the .ZIP file and extract the .ISO file to a CD. VOILA! Boot CD! (make sure you have plenty of blank CDs, I had to make about 4 copies since my laptop wouldn't recognize a CD again once I had popped it out to try to restart)

Ok, so once the boot CD is in the drive, start 'er up. Press any key to boot from CD. I didn't have a BIOS problem booting from CD, but it's possible others might. After the Recovery CD is running, then I loaded the Recovery Console.

I never realized just how much DOS I've forgotten in 15 years. The recovery console is a modified DOS shell.

Anyway, I tried a bunch of things and realized I wasn't loaded into the shell correctly. Crap. Must freeze BSOD. So I looked it up. To freeze the BSOD so you can read it and copy down the error codes, I had to open up the startup options menu (held down F8 at the VAIO logo) and select "Disable Automatic Restart on System Failure".

That was the easiest thing I had to do. Now that I had BSOD stopped, I could read it.

UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_ DEVICE STOP: 0x000000ED (0x8A789030, 0xC0000006, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

And back to google, which took me to three useful places.

First, here: http://msgoodies.blogspot.com/2007/08/fixing-unmountablebootvolume-on-windows.html, where the computer in question had an identical error,

and MicroHell: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;297185

and finally: http://www.smartcomputing.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles%2F2006%2Fs1712%2F08s12%2F08s12.asp

The last is written for non-geeks. Probably the most useful link.

Based on all of the sites I visited between 9:30 when it fried and 2:30 when it got fixed, I decided to try a solution that was a hybrid of all three suggestions.

First, I ran chkdsk /r on the root directory (c:). After that finished, I basically followed the steps in #3 above.

However, this left me with 3 possible boot choices. Annoying and a mess waiting to happen. So I edited the new and improved boot.ini through Windows once everything else was working.

See here for instructions: http://vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/bootini.htm

And finally, 5 hours later it seems to be working again, no losses. Tomorrow, ASAP, I will be doing a backup session to prevent the heart attack that was imminent for about 3 of those 5 hours.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 11, 2009

Never Forget

Eight years later, there's one memory of 9/11 that still haunts my dreams.  I can't speak of it, but Cathryn Friar does at RightPundits, and sums up my feelings more eloquently than I could have today.

Desperate people jumped from all four sides of the north tower. They jumped alone, they jumped in pairs and they jumped in groups. They jumped holding hands.Nobody survived on the floors from which people jumped. Ultimately the jumpers, often called the day’s most public victims, chose not whether to die but how they would die. I am quite certain I would not have such courage.
Click over and read more of this thoughtful piece on some of the most courageous of the 2996.
h/t Kate at Blatherings via Twitter

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:25 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack