Question PC failure. unable to boot to windows 10, after entering Toshiba password. Contradictory signs of Hard Drive to PC communications problem.

Nov 24, 2019
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Help. I have a Toshiba Satelitte laptop running Windows 10. It is basically paralized and is my primary PC. Lately it had been having g a calvacade of problems. Some apps can't be opened. At the end of daylight savings time the PC clock changed, but the taskscheduler contiued to work on DST. The cursor on screen disappears randomly for about a minute each time. In some apps mouse clicks and or key presses don't respond. The screen resolution changed and can't be set back too 1336 X 768.
I ran a system restore point. It seemed to have been successfully completed. But it failed to have any effect on the problems. Windows Defender has never reported finding a virus. I also ran an adware app and a registry repair app as a precaution. Both worked normally, The registry errors were corrected. Recently I turned on this PC one morning and found it was not able to start Windows 10. It did perform the usual startup of the Toshiba startup app. And it did take and accept the Toshiba password. It showed no sign of loading the W10 boot up files. Too me this seem to clear the RAM cache memory cards. This PC has two memory cards as I understand it if one card fails, PC's c an still work with the second card. It does seem that it could be yhe CPU causing the problem if it could execute the Toshiba start up portion of the boot up process.
I concluded that the problem would most likely cauased by failure of the hard drive. I then ran the Microsoft "Media Creation Tool". It takes 4 hours, and afterwards it reported that it had encountered a unspecified problem. It had not suceeded in changing or deleting the any files. Upon rebooting the PC performed a "Check Media" test and reported " [Fail] No bootable device--Please restart the system". Next I installed a freshly erased and reformated hard drive known to be good. After another 4 hrs of running thr Media Creation tool the PC remained unusable.
That caused me to think that the BIOSs had changed to boot up too the wrong drive. I resrarted the PC while pressing F2. The Toshiba portion of the start up proogam worked as normal. After re-entering it's password, the BIOS screen appeared. That seemed to be correctly set up to boot up. And more mysteriously the BIOS had the correct name and number of the drive listed in it. The PC must hav e sucessfully conected to the hard drive to get that infor mation about it. To be safe I restored the BIOS to the default seetings, then saved and exited the BIOS. Again that had no effect.
As a last resort I connected the original har drive to another PC.I used the file explorer to determine if it still had any files on it. I found the folders on it entitled "Progam file" "Users" "Windows". The Windows folder had many many sub folders and files. The other two folders were empty. I have run out of ideas as too what is wrong. Any suggestions? Tnx
 

Danra

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If the Program Files and Users folders are empty you have a very serious problem. It could be a failing hard drive or it could be a faulty component inside the laptop. Is there a way you can use a different drive to see if you have any future problems with the new or different drive?

Always back up your data. Drives fail or and sometimes dieing components inside a computer will destroy data on a hard drive or SSD. I saw a 1TB external USB hard drive the other day for $49, I think it was at NewEgg.
 
Nov 24, 2019
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As I stated stated previously the file explorer when used to inspect the apparent troubled drive showed only three folders.

  1. Program Files (This appeared to be empty)
  2. Users (This appeared to be empty)
  3. Windows (This appeared too have four sub folders containing files)
Afterwards it occurred to me that I had inspected the hard drive set to not show the hidden files. As a result two additional folders appeared.
  1. $SysReset (Has 5 folders in it, and two have files)
  2. Program Data (Has a folder in it with several subfolders with files)
A. Program Files (Now has one folder visible in it and a subfolder Access to this folder is denied and the icon thumbnail appears to be empty)
B.. Users (Now has one folder visible in it and a subfolder labeled "default". This folder appears as a faded outline with a faded file. Inside that folder are several folders that appear to be empty. Only one of those have files in it plus one .DAT file.
C. Windows (Now it shows that it has five subfolders that appear to have files in each)

The question now becomes, does this new accessment change the conclusion the health of the suspect hard drive?

Also could it be that the PC has changed denying the Media Creation to view and access some of these folders and files?

I would appreciate your accessment of the situation with the addition of this new information. Thank You.
 
Aug 3, 2019
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I just went through a miserable experience of my SSD failing on me while not having a recent backup. You can see the details in my recent post. Although you may be having a different problem, I'm certain you could learn from my mistake.

A couple of days ago Windows seemed to be updating itself when my screen froze all of a sudden. I had to force it to shut down then start it again. Windows would load but I couldn't login. I ran hardware diagnostic tests and it showed an error reading the hard drive. I had BitLocker on which made copying my data and files without accessing Windows extremely troublesome.

In the end I was able to copy most of my files using the recovery system then I replaced my failing SSD. I installed a fresh copy of Windows. Now everything is working and the hardware diagnostic tests show that everything is fine. My advice to you:
  • Never use BitLocker unless it's absolutely mandatory and you know what you're doing
  • Always back up your data on a separate (external) hard drive. Always. Always. Always.
 
Nov 24, 2019
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klingsor Thank you for your tip. The problem has been solved. According to one Toshiba forum writer this has been rarely experienced problem by the owners of Toshiba Satellites. He stated that the motherboard can develop a defect that can prevent a user's PC from detecting it's hard drive. Additionally it also prevents a successful clean reinstall of a fresh copy of Windows 10. Reportedly this board defect causes the Program Files folder and Users folder to be erased. And it also erases the same to folders when attempting a clean reinstall of W10.
The end result is the whole PC had to be replaced and the hard drive was still good. II was stripped clean of needed files for completing a successful clean reinstall after the three hour attempted setup failed. As weird as this sounds it has been shown to be true. The original hard drive and a spare works great when in a external USB hard drive box. A month ago if I was asked I would have thought that a defective component on the mother board could selectively erase the contents of two folders. Sounds crazy. Thanks again.
 

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