'Inaccessible Boot Device'

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functio

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Apr 25, 2002
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I've been hvaing problems recently with a hard-drive. It no longer boots and gives me this message:

Stop:0x0000007B (0xEB41B84c, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000) Inaccessible_Boot_Device

I've tried looking this up at the Microsoft site, and it's not very enlightening :( I've also run AVBoot, but it didn't find anything wrong. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what this problem might be, and if it's at all fixable?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
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423
I can't say for sure. Once when I had a similar problem I spent a lot of time figuring out that my IDE ribbon cable was faulty. This would most likely be the case if you have handled it in any way lately. The small wires can get broken or dislodged. Make sure it is plugged well into the board and the hard drive. It is possible for a poorly seated or damaged cable to give a hard drive evidence of working fine in some ways and not work right in others.
One quick way to check to see if it is your cable without having to buy another is to temporarily transpose your CDRom cable with your hard drive cable and see if anything changes. If your CDRom cable is not an 80 pin and you need an 80 pin for an at66-133 hard drive, it should still work but might go no higher than 33 mbs.
In order to help you more, people will want to know more about the background of your problem. For instance, have you been working on your system lately or did this just start up for no apparent reason? Any new software or OS installations?
 

functio

Thread Starter
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Apr 25, 2002
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I will give the ribbon cable idea a try and see if that works. But as far as the system itself, I haven't done anything to it recently and it's been fine for about 11 months (when I first started using this particular drive). It's a 40Gb Maxtor D540X ATA-133 (5400rpm, 2MB Cache) with Windows 2K installed on it, and it's about half-full. I've never had any problems with it before, so the error message was a bit of a shock :( Could you please explain what you mean about transposing the CD-ROM cable?
 
Joined
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Well, if you haven't touched the cable, don't bother. It isn't going to be the cable then. Cable problems are usually the fault of poor handling.

Remote possibility of a virus. Could be a failing drive too. Do you happen to have a copy of "Maxblast"- the utility disc that comes with the sale of a new hard drive? If you don't, you can download it at Maxtor. Run it to diagnose the drive, but don't low level format by mistake. The program has lots of stuff to help you figure out if your drive is faulty.
I personally only use Maxtor drives. I have that same drive, I think, in one of my computers. If it is nearing a year old, you may want to contact Maxtor ASAP (or your vendor if it is in a package computer) because Maxtor warrantees may only be a year on newer drives.
 

functio

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Apr 25, 2002
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I have the Maxtor disc you mention - I guess I just boot from this disc to check on what the problem may be?
 
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Yes, just boot with it and go to "powermax", which is the diagnosis utility. There are several disc tests. I can't remember what they are called just now, but just pick one that says something to the affect of "advanced test" or "factory recertification", and run it. It may take a while-go to work or watch a long movie while waiting.
This is under the assumption that you can get the maxtor floppy to find the hard drive. If you can't, then call Maxtor ASAP and see if the drive is under warrantee still. As for the data on the drive, It can be very expensive to get data off a broken drive. Perhaps a thousand dollars. You need to assess whether it is worth it. If you didn't backup data you may be wondering at this point why you ever ignored this advice you see everywhere.
 
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I've had this to deal with for about two years now. It can happen on any NT system (NT, 2000, XP) using an IDE boot device when the hard disk is swapped or repartitioned (Partition Magic), the IDE cable is swapped for 40- to 80-conductor or visa versa, the main board is swapped, the position of the boot device is changed on the ribbon cable, another IDE device is changed or added to the ribbon cable with the boot device, etc., etc., etc.

This is a common problem, I haven't seen any workaround for it and Microsoft is no help at all. I have researched documents on this subject all of the dozen or so times it has happened with no help over the last two years.

The only solution I have found that works is to reload Windows (NT, 2000, XP) all over again from scratch. This message you are getting is the most tormenting message I have ever gotten in all the 8 years I have been using Windows because it always happens (with VERY rare exception) that I have to build the software over again from scratch.

If anyone EVER finds a solution for this, I wish they would post it on billboards all over the country so I can be sure not to miss it.
 

Triple6

Rob
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Dec 26, 2002
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...and XP is the worst for that. There are some windows 2000/XP updates that can cause this error, although i don't know the solution off-hand or if in fact there is one. Bad hardware(hdd,ram, m/b) or a virus can also cause this.

When running the maxblast(?) start with the first test first - the get longer and longer as you go down the list, so if the drive is bad its nice if you find out after a minute instead of 1/2 hour. Most hdd if made before a year ago have a 3 year manufacturers warranty - might be worth looking into if thats the case.
 

functio

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 25, 2002
Messages
37
Thanks for all of your input. I downloaded the latest version of Max Blaster for the HDD, and used it to fix the MBR. The hard-disc now works as normal, which is a great relief! The problem was completely out of the blue, as there had been no changes to my PC nor it's cables since all of the stuff was installed last May - so I guess I should just put it down to 'one of those things' and backup everything vital onto CD ;)

Thanks again!
 
Joined
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Now be sure to do a virus check with up-to-date software. If you do not find the thing that caused this, It could happen again. Backup any data too.
 
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