Personal computing discussed

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Bobs_Your_Uncle
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Laptop Bricked - Assistance Requested

Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:03 pm

I've managed to turn my 2012 Samsung QX410 into a paperweight with a glowing screen & need help to restore it. I've been running Win10 Home upgraded from Win7 Home, I maintain regular backups, I've successfully restored & recovered the system a handful of times in the past. This time I'm just dead in the water.

I've tried every system generated recovery option (several times) save 2: One of them involves a full formatting of the SSD (a 500GB Samsung Evo 500), & despite backups I'm concerned about loosing files/data. The other option not tried involves booting from the C: prompt. I'm not Command Line (or Code) savy & not real comfortable there when fudging about without specific instruction sets.

The only meaningful error message generated is "System Image Restore Failed - The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure ...and that the volume is not corrupted." paired with the (nowhere defined by MS) error code 0x800703ED.

I'm at a complete loss at this point. Save the phone I'm typing this on, my laptop is currently my sole resource for office-oriented computing & communications, so any insights and/or help offered will be greatly appreciated.
 
meerkt
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Re: Laptop Bricked - Assistance Requested

Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:31 pm

Before anything else, assuming your internal storage is readable:
Prepare a flash drive with a bootable OS (like Ubuntu), boot from that, and copy your important files to external media.
 
mikewinddale
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Re: Laptop Bricked - Assistance Requested

Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:17 pm

I second what Meerkt said about booting to a Linux USB and backing up your data to an external drive.

Another option is to get a cheap SSD and replace your laptop's drive with it. Put your laptop's original SSD into a USB enclosure. Then, install Windows to the cheap SSD you just installed in your laptop. (You can download a Windows media creation tool from Microsoft, although you'll need a working OS to use it to create the Windows installation USB.)

Now that your laptop's original SSD is in a USB enclosure, you can easily boot to the cheap SSD's Windows and try to fix the original SSD over USB. You can try reformatting or doing a disk check from within the functional Windows on the cheap SSD.

I like to use 128 GB ADATA SU800 SSDs because they're less than $30. A USB enclosure should be about $10.
 
Bobs_Your_Uncle
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Re: Laptop Bricked - Assistance Requested

Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:20 pm

Thanks to both meerkt & mikewinddale for your above suggestions! I've been mulling the idea of testing Linux waters for awhile now, so there's no time like the present I guess.

I also happen to already have a 2-bay docking station and can easily free up a bay for the purpose of repairing my primary internal drive. And as I live in a MicroCenter city, I have quick & easy access to value SSDs.

With a strategy in sight, (& to augment my initial post a bit) I've also received a few system messages stating certain critical drivers are missing & are preventing recovery or restoration to an earlier, properly working configuration. Any thoughts on where to seek either instruction or software tools for diagnosing & repairing these MIA chunks of code? (Or even, perhaps, other more general system faults that may develop ... or that I've somehow screwed up & unwittingly introduce?)
Last edited by Bobs_Your_Uncle on Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Captain Ned
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Re: Laptop Bricked - Assistance Requested

Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:36 pm

At this point, with those extra messages, it sounds like it's Ripley time.
Humans sleep soundly in their beds because rough cats stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
 
Neutronbeam
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Re: Laptop Bricked - Assistance Requested

Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:37 pm

Any chance your laptop's manufacturer has all the drivers for this model still available on the website? First thing I do after buying a new system is get fresh copies of the drivers--and I do that annually until the system is no longer supported.

Howzis?https://www.samsung.com/us/support/owners/product/np-qx410
"the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." -- Senator Ted Kennedy, 1980 Democratic National Convention speech
 
roncat
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Re: Laptop Bricked - Assistance Requested

Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:40 pm

I third the advice: Backup all the photos, spreadsheets, etc. personal files that you want to recover. Don't fool around with trying to restore drivers and "critical files" until that is complete.

The drive is likely on its death bed, since windows system files don't just disappear or get corrupted for no reason. You can try and grab the missing files from a former backup, but if the disk is dying you'll just repeat this same situation in a few weeks or days or minutes...
 
mikewinddale
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Re: Laptop Bricked - Assistance Requested

Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:16 pm

As roncat said, something worse is afoot. Drivers don't just disappear. Furthermore, Windows always has sufficient drivers to at least get a system working. When you first install Windows, but before you install manufacturer drivers, the system still works well enough to at least get on the internet and download proper drivers. (E.g., without proper graphics drivers, you might have limited resolution and color, but you're still able to see things on the monitor.)

So if the system cannot even boot or be restored, it means that parts of Windows itself are missing. And I suspect that more than just drivers are missing. Whatever made the drivers that are included with Windows disappear, probably made other parts of Windows disappear too.

I once had a system fail to boot because it complained that it was missing one particular driver. When I restored that one driver file, the system complained that it was missing a second driver file. When I restored that file, the system complained it was missing a third file. Finally, after I had restored half a dozen different driver files, and the system still complained it was missing something else, I realized it was a lost cause.

So I'd say you should just backup everything on the drive, wipe it clean, and reinstall Windows. Then, you can restore all your user files (e.g. Word documents, etc.).
 
HERETIC
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Re: Laptop Bricked - Assistance Requested

Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:19 pm

Is that a OEM drive-" (a 500GB Samsung Evo 500),"??????

Time-period points to a possible 840 Series, which was Sammy's one and only lemon............
If so, buy a replacement drive-swap out-nice clean fresh install of w10-place old drive in docking station, and recover what you can................

RECOMMENDED DRIVES
Crucial MX500
Samsung 860 Evo
WD Blue 3D

Good luck.
 
Bobs_Your_Uncle
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Re: Laptop Bricked - Assistance Requested

Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:52 pm

Thanks to all for the continued input! To address a couple of points above:
- the drive is a 500GB Samsung 850 Evo that replaced an OEM 650GB HDD (& that I clumsily misidentified because reasons)

- the laptop (& drive) have have been rock solid from their respective initiations, but a few minor, non-replicating quirks in functionality over the last maybe 4 weeks had left me wondering a bit ...

- I'm hoping faults prove to be drive-based rather than hardware for reasons of both cost & circumstantial timing

Again, many thanks for your responses & any additional input will be similarly appreciated, including all Ripley imagery!
 
Bobs_Your_Uncle
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Re: Laptop Bricked - Assistance Requested

Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:06 am

So to offer a status update:
Hardware - Following the advice of mikewinddale I replaced the 500GB Samsung 560 EVO with an inexpensive 120GB PNY CS900. I already had a Win10 image thumb-drive on hand, and upon plugging it into my Samsung NP-QX410-JUS, the laptop fired up without hesitation and completed the OS install without any issues, including retrieval of the OS activation key. Big ol' sigh of relief.

Software - In addition to weekly backups utilizing the native (Win7) Windows Backup tool, I also redundantly save really important files to a couple of local external drives, and I've worked OneDrive storage into the mix as well. While I haven't had time to do a comprehensive review yet, it looks like I have most of the really important stuff I don't want to be without. So another pretty big sigh of relief. That said, I still don't have access to a number of easily recognizable files (music downloads, certain images/photos, etc.) that cam hopefully be recovered from backups.

Corrupted Drive - With Win10 freshly installed on a new SSD, I plug the corrupted 850 EVO into one of the ports on my docking station and, as expected, Windows returns the message "You need to format the disk in drive G: before you can use it." followed by the message "G:\ is not accessible. The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted." I clearly don''t want to format the drive just yet as it contains files/data I may still hope to recover

So ... Questions:
- I'm presuming the EVO 560 can't be considered reliable for anything important. Is it likely the "missing drivers" referenced above are inherent to the EVO's controllers and don't impact upon any of the other laptop's hardware?

- Do Linux distros include a functionality (absent from Windows) that allows a failed drive to be read/diagnosed and, possibly, used for file recovery?

- Are there any (hopefully freeware) Windows applications that can be installed to allow for reading/diagnosing/recovering-data from failed drives?

- After an eventual reformatting attempt on the corrupted EVO 560, is there any reason to expect that it may serve duty in some non-critical storage capacity, or am I better off taking Captain Ned's advice and going full Ripley on it? And if it's a Ripley, should I take the "Human Ripley" tactic or the "Cross-species Hybridized Ripley" approach?

- Are there system backup applications that are decidedly superior to the Win10 (i.e. Win 7) software native to the OS, and what are your favorite recommendations? (edited to add prev question)

Wrapping up, thanks again to all who helped guide me through this (my most recent) freak-out and return me to the path of being a productive and regular ol' very stable genius. ... ;)

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