Unable to boot - Safe Mode stops after crcdisk.sys

original title: Windows Vista 32-bit crashes as system is loading. Safe mode hangs after crcdisk.sys loads.  System restore also fails.

My computer (an HP m9200t) no longer fully boots after installing a new windows update.  When turned on the computer will begin to load windows and allow me sign in.  However, about 30 seconds to 2 minutes after signing in I can no longer interact with my desktop (although I can interact with programs that automatically load upon startup, like windows live messenger).  I sometimes receive a screen that says "kbd.exe failed to initialize properly".  I have tried to restore my system to a point before the update loaded, but I am told my file system is corrupt.  When I run a system diagnostic, I am told there is a problem with one of my hard drives.  I have also tried to boot in safe mode, but the system hangs immediately after loading crcdisk.sys

 

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Last updated December 9, 2018 Views 239,077 Applies to:

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If the System Restore doesn't work, do a Startup Repair by booting to the genuine Windows Vista Installation Disk (or one you can borrow from ANYONE) or from a Recovery Disk.  Here's the procedure: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial148.html.  To boot to the CD you may need to change the BIOS to make the CD-drive first in the boot sequence.  To do that, wait for the screen that tells you the F key to push to access the boot menu or boot setup.  Push it quickly. Make the changes, save your work, and exit.  Put the CD in the drive and reboot.  When prompted, push any key to boot from the CD.

If you don't have either disk, you can make a bootable Recovery Disk using
http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/ along with burning software like: http://www.snapfiles.com/get/active-isoburner.html and, of course, a blank CD (perhaps made on a different computer).

If that doesn't work, try to boot into safe mode (repeatedly click the F8 key while booting and go to safe mode with networking – or do so from the command prompt on the disk).  Then let's check some of your system files:

Go to Start / All Programs / Accessories / Command prompt and right click on command prompt and click run as Administrator (you can skip this step if using the disk).

If using the disk, cd to C:\Windows\System32. Type sfc /scannow and enter and let it run.  It will scan and try to fix some of your system files.  Hopefully it will complete with no corruption it could not repair (if there is such corruption post back here or try to analyze it to find the problem file(s) using
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928228.  Try to post any corrupted files here so we can see if they can be repaired with good copies from the installation disk (unless there are too many).

While in Command Prompt, type chkdsk /f /r and enter and let it run.  It will want to schedule itself to run at the next restart.   Answer yes and then reboot to run the program.  It will scan and try to fix any corruption or bad sectors on your hard drive and mostly remove that as a potential cause.

If that doesn't work, then please post any repeating error messages from the Event Viewer concerning startup (Start / Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Event Viewer).  Here's how to use Event Viewer: http://www.petri.co.il/vista-event-viewer.htm.  Look in the System section.

You may be infected with malware. Try to run anti-malware programs (in safe mode with networking ifnecessary). To fix this problem (if it is a problem) download, install, and run the following two programs:http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php andhttp://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html.  You may also want to try a free trial of Pandasoft (http://www.pandasecurity.com/usa/homeusers/solutions/global-protection/).  Before downloading pandasoft, uninstall whatever anti-virus program you are currently using (because installing and running two at the same time can cause conflicts, freezes, and all sorts of problems).  Once you've uninstalled your current AV program, download, install, update, and scan using Pandasoft.  I think you might be amazed at how much it finds that the other software missed.  Once complete, uninstall pandasoft and re-install your current AV program (unless you decide to switch which I did when I first tried it about 4 years ago).  You may also want to try the new, free Microsoft Security Essentialshttp://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/Microsoft-Security-Essentials-Download-131683.html (with the same caveat that only ONE AV program can be installed and running on your system at any one time).  You may also want to try the free Avira at:http://www.free-av.com/ and Avast at: http://www.avast.com/index.  Reboot after completing all the scans.  You may also want to try the free OneCare athttp://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/default.htm and let it run all the options (except the registry cleaner) because that’s good maintenance (it will take some time to complete but can be done in the background).

If that doesn't work, try a clean boot http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135.  If the problem goes away then it's just a matter of tracking down the culprit causing the problem.   Follow the procedures in the article.  Once found, delete, remove, deactivate, or uninstall it.  Once done be sure to reset Vista back to normal status as explained in the procedures. If the problem occurs in clean mode then just restore the system to normal status and reboot - this solution is not going to work.

Boot into Safe mode with networking and see if the problem occurs there.  Either result helps us narrow down the search for the cause.

You may be having troubles with your device drivers, firmware, and/or software. Go to Device Manager by going to start / search box and type device manager and enter and then double-click on the program icon that appears.  Check each device for a red x, yellow ! or white ?.  These identify devices with problems (probably drivers, but also conflicts or something else).  Click on each for further details and troubleshooting tips.  If you need to get drivers (and you should do any you have time to do - they may help in ways beyond just resolving this problem), do so from the computer vendor or device manufacturer (NOT from Microsoft Updates).  In fact, you should turn off automatic driver updates from Windows Update as follows:http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/how-to-disable-automatic-driver-installation-in-windows-vista/. Proceed as follows to get the drivers: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/driverssupport/ht/driverdlmfgr.htm.  Once you have the drivers, you can install them through Device Manager as follows:http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/193584-device-manager-install-driver.html.

Let's test your hard drive and RAM for hardware problems:

To test your hard drive, check the manufacturer and then get the diagnostic utility from:http://www.techsupportforum.com/hardware-support/hard-drive-support/302602-hard-drive-diagnostic-utilities.html (and/or get one from your hard drive or computer manufacturer if they have one available – it wouldn’t hurt to try both).  If it fails the test, replace it.  If it passes the test, then there's probably nothing wrong with it.

You can also test your RAM at
http://www.memtest.org/.  If it fails, test each chip individually to find those that are bad and replace them.  If it passes, RAM is probably OK.

If that doesn't work, we'll need to do a system repair/upgrade using the genuine Windows Vista Installation Disk (one you own or one you can borrow from ANYONE).  To do this you have to also be able to boot normally. Here's the procedure:
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/88236-repair-install-vista.html.  Although this will not affect your data, settings, or programs, you should still backup your data before starting just to be on the safe side. You may have a lot of updates to re-install (including any service packs you had to remove).  If the version on the system came with SP1 or SP2 pre-installed and the disk is an earlier version, then you'll need to make a slipstream disk as follows:http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/151606-vista-sp1-slipstream-installation-dvd.html.

If that doesn't work (or you don’t have the disk), then I'm afraid the only option is a clean install.  You can use Knoppixhttp://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html with a good ISO copier like: http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm along with a blank CD.  This should give you enough access to the system (if you can't get in any other way) to backup your important data.  Once done, you can do a clean install either using the genuine Windows Vista Installation Disk or the Recovery Disk or the Recovery Partition (whatever process is dictated by your computer manufacturer – you may need to contact them for the procedure and perhaps to get recovery disks).  To do a clean install proceed as follows:http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_install_03.asp (adapted as necessary by the procedures of your computer manufacturer).  Then you will need to re-install all your programs, reset all your preferences, reconfigure your network and email settings, restore your backed up data, run Windows Update with possibly nearly 100 updates pending,...

Hopefully one of these procedures will resolve or at least identify the cause of your problem. 


Good luck!

Lorien - MCSE/MCSA/Network+/A+ --- If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.

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Wow. You're really into cutting/pasting entire textbooks, aren't you? This is why having actual tech experience is A Good Thing as opposed to just having book learning. The error the OP is getting has nothing to do with Windows Updates or his RAM or malware. It means that his hard drive is failing. And doing a clean install (as you suggest) on a failing hard drive isn't going to work, either.

To "Patrick Menge" - You can test the hard drive yourself or take the computer to a reputable local professional. You'll need to purchase a new hard drive and do a clean install/factory restore of Windows.

http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Hardware_Tshoot


MS-MVP - Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!

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I beg to differ.  This problem is not hardware it is software. I am trying to repair 12 laptops that all went down with this problem at the same time. System hangs on startup, forever and SafeMode shows the hang after crcdisk.sys loads. The crcdisk.sys is the cause of hard drive corruption (mbr and others), however, the driver that has been corrupted and is the initial sickness I have not yet identified.  Apparently caused by a Microsoft update installed on a system infected by some trojan, judging from most of the info I have gathered over the past few days.

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I have pulled out the "defective" hard drive and connected it as a secondary drive to another computer.  By doing this I am able to read all of the information on the hard drive.  That makes me think it is something in the windows software as well.  I didn't think my computer had a trojan at the time it went down, as I quite frequently check for them, but I guess you never know for sure.  If you are able to find an answer to the problem, I would really like to know.

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Hi Patrick Menge,

Try Startup Repair from the Recovery Console (if you have one) or from a Vista disk - if you do not
have a Vista disk you can borrow a friends (they are not copy protected) or make one. Also your
System maker will sell the physical disks cheap since you already own Windows.

This tells you how to access the System Recovery Options and/or with a Vista Disk
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/326b756b-1601-435e-99d0-1585439470351033.mspx

Try StartUp Repair from Recovery Options and/or a Vista disk.

How to do a Startup Repair
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/91467-startup-repair.html

Also from the Command Prompt of Recovery or a Vista disk :

chkdsk /f /r

(there are spaces after k and before /   and after f and before / )

=======================================

If you need to make repair disks - these help repair Windows not re-install.

How to Make a Bootable Disk in Vista
http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/7050.aspx

Download: Windows Vista x86 32 bit Recovery Disc
http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/download-windows-vista-x64-recovery-disc/

Download: Windows Vista x64 64 bit Recovery Disc
http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/download-windows-vista-x64-recovery-disc/

How to Make a Windows Vista Repair Disk If You Don’t Have One
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/how-to-make-a-windows-vista-repair-disk-if-you-dont-have-one/

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If needed :

Check Andy Song's solution here :

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/itprovistasetup/thread/86ef2cea-808a-40ec-bc30-7a426577f48d

Check the solutions in this search for the crcdisk.sys error
http://search.microsoft.com/results.aspx?mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&q=crcdisk.sys

Hope this helps.

Rob Brown - MS MVP - Windows Desktop Experience : Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT 2010 - current
Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current

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Hi R-Ptaz,

There can be many reasons this error happens including disk corruption, some driver issues and
others.

Since you have 12 machines all with the same issue it sure sounds like a malware attack in your case.

It is possible that a driver up from Windows Update, an automatic updating program such as some
System makers load, or even antivirus/antispyware/security updates causes a driver corruption.

It could have been malware just waiting for an Update to attack or even a reboot to attack.

Certainly would do an intensive check for malware and then a format Clean install after backing up
any important data off the machine.

Please post back any feedback you can.

 


Rob Brown - MS MVP - Windows Desktop Experience : Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT 2010 - current
Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current

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I have already tried using a boot disk to do a startup repair and it did not work.  The startup repair runs and says issues are fixed, but windows still stalls after a hard disk boot.  I have already purchased another hard drive and reinstalled windows and my machine is up and running again, so it is either the windows software or a failing disk.  Like I said before, though, I am able to read information off of the old disk.  Thank you for your help though, and I would welcome any other suggestions on how to get the old drive up and running.

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Wow people like you drive me nuts! Don't belittle the poster because you don't understand his situation. I am running into the exact same problem due to malware. The problem is bad enough without snarky dorks playing the know-it-all and throwing insults around.

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Iam having the same problem, with two Windows 7 machines failing to start up at the same time.  I had a power failure, and found that the many "normal" troubleshooting cases I tried, including a fresh Windows 7 reinstall, all failed.  All of the machines uses SATA drives, one of the machines booted from an SSD drive.  I've experienced many many power failures and never had a problem the CHKDSK didn't fix, but in this case even a fresh install from the Windows 7 install disk would not fix the problem.  I reset the CMOS, removed the battery from my motherboard, tried every repair option I could find.  Eventually I disconnected all hard drives, bought a new drive and put that in, and installed Windows 7 on it.  But when trying to reconnect the old drives, one at a time, I could not even reformat the SSD drive, until I took it to my laptop  (a third machine, it's looking good at  96% complete).  The fact that the same hardware has two different results depending on which Win 7 machine I try to use it from tells me it's a problem with the original machine.  Yet I reset the BIOS settings, removed the battery, etc.  I don't get it.

The way this happened to two of my machines at home, and possibly a third at work (I'll investigate tomorrow) all at the same time, combined with the user above who reported it happening to 12 machines, tells me this is something other than a drive failure problem.  It's not hardware, unless a software update problem fried these drives. I believe all of the drives were SATA drives, so perhaps there is a bug in a Windows Update SATA driver or something, so that they were all put into some form of error state at the same time. 

At any rate, I found the message from Malkeleah to be thin on reading the problem and thick on abusing the poster who was trying to be helpful. I would report him for posting a message that offered no help but only insults, but it seems he is the moderator.  I agree that the long reply was not helpful because it was a shotgun reply trying to hit a target somewhere, but at least he was trying to help, and none of the insults help resolve the issue, which seems to me to be two-fold:

1. some update, perhaps SATA driver, results in an unbootable hard drive.

2. crcdisk.sys cannot deal with this situation and hangs.

If the second problem was at least detected and resolved, perhaps it could report whatever the condition was that would have otherwise put crcdisk.sys in that state, and that would provide a clue here.

 


Paul
Paul

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Malkeleah,

Man do you have issues.  I came here looking for answers to the same hanging post-crcdisk.sys issue in Vista and I run headlong into a supposed MVP with this kind of attitude.  The attitude guaranteed to keep someone like you out of management pretty much forever...and with good reason.

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