Dropped desktop now only gets as far as Windows login.

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Dropped desktop now only gets as far as Windows login.

Postby Xanthus » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:52 am

Intel Core i3 530 2.93GHz (Clarkdale) (Socket LGA1156) - Retail
Corsair XMS3 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 10666C8 1333MHz Dual-Channel (CMX4GX3M2A1333C8)
Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H Intel H55 (Socket 1156) DDR3 microATX Motherboard
Corsair CX 400W ATX Power Supply (CMPSU-400CXUK)

Samsung SSD C drive. Win 8.1.

I just took delivery into the UK of my desktop computer which I'd sent over from Italy. It was as well packed as I could make it and the insides were stuffed with clothes to stop cards etc. rattling about. When I took the computer out of the box, it had clearly been dropped (although there was no obvious damage to the box) because there was a large dint in the base of the case and the hard drives were displaced.

The computer worked fine before it left Italy and all drivers etc were up to date.

I checked that everything was seated and started up. It got as far as the Windows logo then it went into Repair. But it wouldn't and eventually said that there had been a problem and that details were stored in an SrtTrail.txt file.
I removed all the cards (the MB has internal graphics), all bar one of the memory sticks (in the correct socket for just one stick) and all the MB switches except the Start button connection. I double checked that everything was seated.
Started again and same result - gets as far as the Windows logo then goes to Repair then eventually can't repair.
I have an HD with a clean install of Win 8.1 on it and that gives the same result.
I fortunately have an HD caddy so I put the SSD in that and checked the SrtTrail.txt. The only error that that shows is:

Test Performed:
---------------------------
Name: Windows boot log diagnosis
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 0 ms

Root cause found:
---------------------------
Boot critical file C:\WINDOWS\System32\drivers\viamrx64.sys is corrupt.

It seems very strange that dropping an SSD would give such a very specific error.

I then checked the same file on the HD with just Win 8.1 and that file shows no errors!

I've run chkdsk and no errors on either disk (SSD or HD).

Having spent two days on this trying everything I could find here and elsewhere, I'm really stumped.

I could understand it not working at all, but to get so far and no further suggests a software rather than hardware issue but I don't understand how.

Any/all suggestions of things to try would be very welcome!

Andrew
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Re: Dropped desktop now only gets as far as Windows login.

Postby Karlsweldt » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:17 am

I would first report the damage to the shipping company. They should have insurance for physical damage, but maybe not for "data" damage. A mechanical hard drive has limits on how much of a shock it can sustain before failure, but an SSD type is almost immune to that effect unless physical damage to the electrical connections is done. Mechanical hard drives can be damaged by EMF radiation, such as strong radio waves or X-ray scanners.
There could be an issue with "regional" use, as some computer programs are constricted to certain countries and not permitted for use in others.
Check with the service personnel at Microsoft® as to a resolution.
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Re: Dropped desktop now only gets as far as Windows login.

Postby Xanthus » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:47 pm

Thanks for your reply. I don't think I'll get anywhere with the shipping company since I would have had to report it when it arrived and there was no visible damage to the box.

The SSD appears to be fine physically as does the HD and the HD travelled in a different box on a different date and was in the middle of a large box so I don't think that has mechanical or radiation damage. And it would be too much of a coincidence for both drives to be failing at exactly the same time (possible of course, but unlikely!).

It really has nothing to do with programmes only working in certain territories either since all the programmes used were installed in the UK before I left for Italy. And in any case, the problem is not with individual programmes - I can't get beyond the Windows logo!


Andrew
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Re: Dropped desktop now only gets as far as Windows login.

Postby Roach412 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:40 pm

have you tried to do a chkdsk /F, or just a basic chksk check/scan?

safemode?

if you have another drive with a viamrx64.sys file on it, try copying over the corrupted one(rename/copy the one there to something else before blowing it completely away).

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Re: Dropped desktop now only gets as far as Windows login.

Postby Mr T » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:48 am

This is what I would do:
Take all the stuff out of the PC case and build it on the bench.
Use 1 of everything (1 stick of RAM etc).
Also reseat the CPU, it might have been dislodged in transit enough to cause an issue.
Check the PSU for damage, esp a side dent or a broken fan - a bad PSU may cause this issue...
Power up the PC (use a small screwdriver or metal implement to short the two power switch pins) when you have reseated and attached all the things. IF it boots into windows fine, then it could have been the CPU or the case being bashed.
If still the same issue, got to Ubuntu and download it, burn to disc or if you have a bit more expertise put it on a pendrive. Boot with that and run the Live edition, don't install to your hard drive. If that works fine, your hardware is fine. From the ubuntu live desktop, you can run a program called gparted. This is like a partition manager, but has a facility to check hard drives for errors - I have recovered many hard drives with this (MacOS, NTFS etc)...

Just things to try...
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Re: Dropped desktop now only gets as far as Windows login.

Postby Xanthus » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:51 am

Many thanks for your replies.

I've tried replacing the viamrx64.sys and with no more success than before.

I think I'll next try running Ubuntu since it's less of a faff than taking everything out of the case. If that doesn't work then I will try your hardware suggestion.

Andrew
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Re: Dropped desktop now only gets as far as Windows login.

Postby Xanthus » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:38 pm

Update: I put Ubuntu on a USB stick and it ran fine, so at least the MB and CPU etc were working.

So, by my logic, the problem was some how with the SATA connections or their power supplies.

I have been using some extra SATAs on an internal card. I thought I'd give that a go first. I did and it worked and windows loaded from my SSD (which showed there was no problem with it). So then I tried each SATA cable connected directly to the MB one by one and again, they all worked!

At this stage I was only using one memory stick in the correct slot for one stick.

So I connected everything else up - all the drives and all the on board switches (and I'd forgotten how fiddly they are!) and again everything worked - all the drives accessible and everything.

So the only thing left was to put in the other three memory sticks. I put them all in and the CPU fan started for a moment as normal then stopped and the computer closed down. A minute or so later it started up again and did that cycle until I switched it off.

I tried various memory configurations and have come to the conclusion that a) all the memory sticks are actually ok since I can put any pair of them into any pair of memory slots and they work. If I put just one more stick in (so now filling three out of four slots) it still works fine but of course only sees two sticks. As soon as I put a fourth stick in into any slot it goes back to starting then stopping etc.

So at the moment I just have two sticks in place.

Two things - firstly, what on earth has happened to get the computer to boot? I'm not aware of having done anything I hadn't done before and the worrying thing is that if the computer was to die on my again then I would be no wiser as to what course of action to take.
Secondly, what could cause the behaviour of the memory sticks/slots?

Regards

Andrew
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Re: Dropped desktop now only gets as far as Windows login.

Postby Karlsweldt » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:29 pm

Some motherboard models may not function optimally if all memory slots are filled. With memory designs having dual or triple channel setups, each bank must have the exact same module timings and capacity. Matched modules are preferred.
Commonly there are two memory slots of different colors in each bank. Use only the same color slot in each bank for the first set of modules, the second color (typically black) if needed.
There have been some instances of the OS not installing properly if maxing out memory during setup. But installing a nominal memory amount, getting the OS to settle in, then adding to maximum memory, may work.
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Re: Dropped desktop now only gets as far as Windows login.

Postby Xanthus » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:53 am

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I realise that the memory sticks have to be installed in certain configurations. I have two sets of matching memory that worked in the correct configuration until the machine was dropped/damaged in transit. I've tried reinstalling the memory in many different combinations and still it will accept three sticks (only two of which are recognised) but not four.

Can anyone think of a scenario to explain this?

Andrew
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Re: Dropped desktop now only gets as far as Windows login.

Postby evasive » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:00 am

physical damage in memory slot #4?

can you boot from either pair of memory slots? so 1/3 and 2/4 (or 1/2 and 3/4 depending on how they allow things)? or even one stick in slot 1 then 2 then 3 then 4?

bios reset to defaults already so any optimized memory timings taken out?
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