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Unexpected and invalid drive accesses during boot?

    General discussion

  • While checking whether ProcMon's Boot Logging option would work in W8 I noticed that Windows modules are shown being accessed from my D: drive!   That's where W7 is (from W8's perspective) so it might not be an error on ProcMon's part.   OTOH from DiskPart's perspective, the current drive, being the third partition, the second of the lettered partitions, might be viewed as D, given no other context, in which case there would be no error except on the part of ProcMon.   However, this reminded me that when I had the W8 without tools DVD loaded in the drive while booting W8 with tools that the DVD was being accessed quite a lot (e.g. annoying noise).  Removing the DVD avoided the symptom.   I never bothered investigating what might have been causing it.  Looks like I should have?

    BTW that monitored boot was at first a success.   But after that I got several strange symptoms including a hang during Restart.   First, my main monitor went wonky.   E.g. looked as if it had been switched to  Duplicate mode but Win-P showed that it was still (supposedly) in Extended mode.   More worrying it looked as if the Refresh rate might have been changed because it was flickering horribly.   That's what prompted the failed Restart.

    The hang during Restart was partially captured by ntbtlog.txt which proves that that diagnostic will not be a sufficient clue to explain the hang and that I will probably have to continue running PRocMon with Boot Logging.   Then a question is what if the ProcMon driver which the ntbtlog.txt shows as being loaded at boot time is causing the new (worse) symptoms, e.g. the problems with my monitor?   The only other anomaly I could spot between the boot logs was the appearance of  condrv.sys  (whatever that is)  in relation to  ProcMon20.sys  when it was invoked.

    In any case I intend to use this thread to track whether those DVD accesses recur when I reload the DVD and boot this partition.   First I'll try without ProcMon...

    Sunday, November 20, 2011 3:32 AM

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  • What I've noticed during my near two-month experience of working with WDP, is that most of the problems I face with are originating from faulty VGA drivers. And not only VGA drivers.

    Recently my mind got blasted by the fact that my mouse stopped functioning! Click handling went all funky. Really, that was a pityful case --- nowadays you can't do a thing without mouse.  I even couldn't run the command prompt elevated because I had no right-click replacement key on my notebook's keyboard. What would you think that was? My mouse pointer stuck in on of the Office Communicator's window! And nothing helped except for closing its window. Dunno what it was...

    If I were Microsoft, I would've prohibited development of hardware drivers by hardware vendors. With all my great respect to hardware and software vendors, few of them produce stable and reliable drivers. Take those Creative audio drivers --- that's a nightmare, they can't even properly enumerate their input.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...
    Sunday, November 20, 2011 10:49 AM
  • Click handling went all funky.


    I have seen something which is probably related occasionally in W7--the pointer inexplicably automatically traverses up to the top or bottom of a window.   I have concluded that with multiple drivers contending for control of it that it is probably caused by one after the other of them moving it the same amount.  Anyway, I always have Mousekeys active (which I suppose might account for the symptom by itself), so I just tap on one of the keys on the numeric keypad (any one) and that stops the mouse pointer's progressive movements.

     

    I even couldn't run the command prompt elevated because I had no right-click replacement key on my notebook's keyboard.


    Don't forget software replacements for broken hardware:  Mousekeys (Alt+Shift+NumLock) and On Screen Keyboard (Run... osk.exe).   And keyboard alternatives to right-click are:  Menu key or Shift-F10.  


    So, have you seen my  DVD  drive symptom or ProcMon Boot Logging anomalies too?   ; )

     

    HTH

    Robert
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    Sunday, November 20, 2011 12:30 PM
  • Don't forget software replacements for broken hardware:  Mousekeys (Alt+Shift+NumLock) and On Screen Keyboard (Run... osk.exe).   And keyboard alternatives to right-click are:  Menu key or Shift-F10.  

    Thanks, Robert! You'd be laughing but I didn't know of that keyboard shortcut! And, yup I've totally forgotten about Shift+F10 because I am used to using the dedicated menu key that is missing from my laptop's keyboard. Thank you!

    No, I haven't seen any symptoms with DVD but that absolutely doesn't mean there aren't any on my system. I'll try checking it with my ProcMon when I am back to my PC with WDP and try to post back here to let you know of the results.

     


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...
    Sunday, November 20, 2011 2:04 PM
  • I intend to use this thread to track whether those DVD accesses recur when I reload the DVD and boot this partition.   First I'll try without ProcMon...


    It happened then.   Also happened infuriatingly while trying to watch a Build video.  I Ejected it but since I was watching the video using my Tablet I didn't like having the drive hang out and I didn't have anywhere to put the DVD so I pushed it back in.   IIRC there was a very brief flash of something about  Games?  (I checked later.  There is no directory on there with that word in it.  There is one with the word Game embedded in it but I'm sure that is not what I would have been seeing.)   Does the W8 DP with Tools DVD have such a directory?   ICIM I installed that over the W8 DP without Tools using a mount of the ISO (because my DVD isn't big enough and because I don't have a big enough USB stick.)

    And now I have tried a Restart with ProcMon doing Boot Logging with the DVD loaded and no more problem symptom?  Just a normal trial access of the drive.   Could it have been reset somehow last night while I ejected and reloaded it so that the Games thing (whatever it was) could finally be done?

    For now I will keep the DVD loaded and try keeping track of any more recurrences but without trying to run ProcMon.   Also try to get a better recollection of that "Games" symptom if I see it again.

     

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    Sunday, November 20, 2011 2:18 PM
  • I even couldn't run the command prompt elevated because I had no right-click replacement key on my notebook's keyboard.


    A relevant afterthought from a tip picked up watching a Build video:   Ctrl+Shift+Click  apparently is an automatic elevation request.   So, no right-click required there either.

    BTW check out this gold mine:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms971323.aspx#atg_keyboardshortcuts_windows_shortcut_keys

    I found the, for me now very essential,  Win-Shift-CursorLeft  for throwing windows opening on my Tablet over to my main monitor (or vice versa with Win-Shift-CursorRight) there.

    Hmm...  but strangely no mention of the elevation tip?   I had already noticed that the document would be soon out-of-date because in W8 Win-Space now means switch keyboards.

    Oh.  Wow.  Another gold mine.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/tims/default.aspx?PageIndex=1&PostSortBy=MostViewed

    (MSDN search for
        ctrl+Shift click elevate
    )

    Now that first one seems incomplete and not as useful as I thought.   ; }


    Thanks for making me find this!

     

    Robert
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    Sunday, November 20, 2011 7:42 PM
  • Hi, Robert!

    First of all, many thanks for sharing that many interesting things here! Fantastic tricks!

    Secondly, I am sorry to haven't reply to you for a week although I promised to post back. Okay, I did boot tracing on my system and that's what I've got:

    If you do NOT have any media in your DVD drive, your drive won't show at all. And even if you have a DVD-video disc inserted, your drive won't show and there will be no queries to the DVD drive at boot. I understand it is a new feature where Windows does not enable device when it is not used.

    If there's a media such as data CD, the DVD drive shows up in both Windows Explorer and Device Manager (when there's no media in it, the drive does not show in the devmgmt.msc)!

    Okay tracing showed 773 records referring to accessing HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\IDE\CdRom* hive and only 82 records that refer to accessing my F: drive which is the logical drive letter for my DVD. I guess it's okay, no?

    Robert, is it what you were talking about or I got it wrong?

    Cheers,

    Stas


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...
    Thursday, December 1, 2011 9:21 AM
  • Robert, is it what you were talking about or I got it wrong?


    I don't have any problem with those test accesses.   This is something much worse--noticeable enough that I think I could have had time to start ProcMon if I was thinking about it.   There is a very brief flash of a tooltip after an Eject and a reinsertion of the DVD.   I still don't have a clear recollection of the full content of the tooltip.  It was something about Games.  It hasn't happened again in quite a while.


    Robert
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    Thursday, December 1, 2011 3:27 PM