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A friend's computer is getting this error screen while trying to boot:

enter image description here

It boots up, gets into BIOS, then shuts down and boots again, never getting to an operating system. I had to record a video to interpret the error message because it was too quick for the naked eye to see.

I tried holding down F12 but it did not boot a live OS.

What should I do?

Error reads:

Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology - Option ...
Copyright(C) 2003-11 Intel Corporation. All Rights Reserved

The operating system did not shutdown cleanly.
Rreconstructing Cache Metadata.
Please do not Interrupt this process.

Reading Patched Metadata Into Memory... Done Processing Delta Log record.........?

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have you tried to enter the bios setup, instead of the boot menu? it may be helpful to enter setup, and Save and Exit. if that doesn't work identify the motherboard make and model, and look online for instructions on clearing the CMOS. follow them to clear the CMOS, and try again. –  Frank Thomas May 17 '13 at 4:58
    
thx for the suggestion! it does not enter menu via f2 or f12. i will clear the cmos now and get back to you –  stackOverFlew May 17 '13 at 7:52
    
It sounds like it might be a hard drive error caused by shutting down the computer while it was writing to the drive. Have you tried connecting the hard drive to another computer and running an error check? (Admittedly though, that probably wouldn't stop you from reaching the BIOS) –  Mark Kramer May 17 '13 at 8:18
    
Another thing you immediately need to try is reseating the memory. If that doesn't work, try the memory one stick at a time. I've had tons of startup errors caused by bad memory. I worked as a tech for quite a while and probably 50% of my startup problems were dead memory sticks –  Mark Kramer May 17 '13 at 8:22
    
you said it gets to the BIOS.. can you show the BIOS? Is the BIOS detecting the hard drive? you can press pause/break to pause the screen so you do'nt need to snapshot a video. –  barlop May 17 '13 at 9:32

1 Answer 1

First, you should verify F12 is really your boot selection key. The boot selection key is different for each computer manufacturer and sometimes is different between specific models. Also, generally you shouldn't just hold down the boot selection key. You simply need to press it at the right time. By holding it down, you may inadvertently be canceling the boot selection selection screen when it appears. Try repeatedly pressing and releasing it as the computer boots (slowly) as opposed to holding it down.

Additionally, what live OS are you trying to boot from? Have you used the live OS on a different computer successfully? Depending on the age of the laptop, there's also no guarantee that the computer supports boot selection. You may have to enter the BIOS setup and simply change the boot order.

Once you've worked out your live CD problem, if you're using Windows you could try using a DaRT recovery disk or Windows RE disk to boot and possibly repair any Windows specific problems.

Something else you should do is check the health of the hard drive. If you're using a Linux live CD, most of them come with smartmontools, so you can simply run smartctl -t long /dev/sdX where X is the appropriate letter for your disk (generally this will be a, however I see it as e frequently when the computer has a media card reader). You could also remove the hard drive and connect it to another computer and use Western Digital Data Lifeguard or Seagate SeaTools for Windows to test it (note that you should probably select the one that matches the manufacturer of your hard drive). Note, you should also examine the S.M.A.R.T. data for reallocated sectors, and read errors.

If the hard drive checks out to be okay, hook it up to another computer or use a live CD to look in the Windows folder for a folder named Minidumps, inside this you may find several <date-time-stamp>.dmp files. If you find these, you can use the Windows Debugging Tools, or DaRT to analyze them and possibly determine the cause of the problem. You can also upload them and I or someone else can analyze them for you.

You should also consider doing a memtest on the RAM. If using a Linux live CD, then most of them come with memtest86+.

If all else fails... Take it to a professional.

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