Client called, I went running.
System is a first generation Core i7, 12Gb RAM, EVGA SLI motherboard, 2 EVGA GTX 295 cards in SLI, 2 WD 500Gb 7200RPM drives in RAID1 (mirror), with a Corsair 800W PSU.
An electrician was working on their house, and tripped the breaker to the entire property without first asking that they turn off their computer (even better, the client had work on the machine that is likely lost, but that's another story). When power was restored, the PC would power up, but no POST, no display. So I was called in.
My voltmeter immediately showed the PSU was providing weak voltages, so I assumed it had popped. I broke the machine down and tested it alone, and it's voltages were perfect... so I put the machine back together, and it booted. So I was a little confused here. Checked the PSU once more and it was spot-on.
It wouldn't read the hard disks, so I checked the BIOS, and it was wiped. Factory default. I re-enabled the RAID controller, which has an independent BIOS, and it remembered the RAID1 and assigned the drives. Went back to try to boot, and it gave me this:
"Windows failed to start. A Recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
1. Insert your windows installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then click next.
3. Click "repair your computer."
Turns out the machine has Windows 7 Ultimate on it, so my W7HP disc won't attach to repair, so I'm going back tomorrow with the proper disc. This is a pre-loaded system so of course they have no backup copy.
Any ideas? The video cards, the memory, the processor all check out normal, and the hard disks pass basic checks (I can't run potentially destructive bit checks at this point). I've had machines weird out before following some idiot popping the power on and off, but in this case they had solid surge suppression. I just can't explain a PSU that tests bad, then tests fine, or a machine that doesn't work until you yank the video cards and PSU out and then stick them back in.
I'm going to try to fix the boot sector tomorrow with my backup copy of Windows. God willing the important stuff is still there. On the plus side, I'm billing the electrical contractor for damage, and this may be nasty when he sees what I charge.
As far as im concerned, i'd see a PSU that run ok sometimes and just a little load would drop the 12V to 7-8V and then return to 12V (i think the capacitor were dead as it return to it's correct voltage after the initial 1-2 sec load, but that still is a random BSOD diagnosis)
Also i've seen one that running cold is ok but when it was hot it can't handle correct voltage so maybe you could check that (however it's just a guess from a cheap PSU that died on me)
For the windows OS, legally you'll have to find a Win 7 ultimate disc to reinstall this OS for sure, or just reformat with another one but again "legally" you'll need a new serial...
You can try to plug the HDD in another PC to see if you're still able to read from these 2 HDDs and save all the data on it, also, maybe it's just the Raid driver that is not installed properly or corrupted as i know: 0xc000000e is "The system has failed to start because a required device is inaccessible"
Maybe one of the 2 drive is dead and keep doing error so the controller can't boot correctly.
In other case CPU/RAM/Mobo are my first concern in this type of failure as (i imagine you already know) all the VRM would still try to supply the correct voltage and short-circuit or sudden voltage drops amd peak will stress them to the max in a untested environnement so abnormal wear will ocur and the failure of a board that have maybe 3 years for a first gen I7 is really possible...
All the hardware checked out, and the file table is all OK (though the indexes are trashed, but easily fixable). We did replace the PSU because if anything got any excess voltage, it's there, and the contractor is paying for it.
Windows won't boot, but I was able to bring the system up to the repair console to browse files and ensure that the important stuff is working. Microsoft is sending a repair disc with an additional key to her, so we'll ressurect the system at that point. She's set up with a spare rig for the time being that is slower but will do her work, and I'll work with it when the disc gets here next week.
Nice to read, hope that will solve the problem !!! good luck ;)
Forgot to update. The system got a Win7 repair, and came right back up! No data lost!
What a headache.
Nice, all that trouble for a simple system restore :P but it happens !!!! glad to know everything went fine !!
This is a great example of how it's not always a simple fix.
Had the same thing happen with my Dell laptop except my HDD was so messed up that vista failed to install.
I recommend on Vista/7/8 that if you reach this point, boot into repair off of the DVD, go to the command prompt, and CHKDSK /F. Sometimes you get variances between the indexes and the file table which will kill any attempt to restore the OS, and running that (usually I recommend 3 times or until you get a clean scan) will clean things up enough that you can get a new copy of the OS to load on top of the corrupt.
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