Intel SSD boot failure after SETI 7.2 install-reboot...


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Questions and Answers : Windows : Intel SSD boot failure after SETI 7.2 install-reboot...

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mrperk
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Message 1467747 - Posted: 23 Jan 2014, 16:21:27 UTC

I have no idea whether the current version contributed to this issue, but figured I would share.

Downloaded and installed current version of SETI (7.2.33 x64; not the sandbox version). When prompted the restart computer, Windows boot loader failed. Attempted to use utility to revert to prior Restore point which failed. Tried complete Win7-HP reinstall from backup partition which failed. Booted into HP bios and saw SSD was no longer identified in boot series.

I remounted the SATA factory drive that came which the HP computer (my original drive that I cloned onto the SSD). Windows7 launched and I used utility in cloning software to check SSD partitions and rebuild master boot record.

Removed SATA hard drive and rebooted using Intel SSD. Windows 7 Home Premium loaded and so far system is stable with SETI crunching 3 units last night.

This has been a very stable box with only minor updates applied over time, e.g, increased RAM to 16 gb, installed 7700 Radeon video card, replaced power supply with 750W unit, installed Intel SSD.

As I mentioned, I have no clue as to what corrupted the master boot record, but it happened on the SETI install reboot. Never had this occur on any standard hard drive system. Only difference this time was installing SETI on an Intel SSD.

I will monitor and post update(s) on this SSD system and solutions as they arise.

The box is an x64-based PC: HP-Pavillion H8-1214; AMD FX-6100 cpu @ 3300 mhz; Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit vers. 6.1.7601 SP 1, Build 7601; Intel SSDSC2CW18 Disk #0, Drive has boot and two partitions (clone of factory disk).
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Message 1467752 - Posted: 23 Jan 2014, 16:39:05 UTC - in response to Message 1467747.
Last modified: 23 Jan 2014, 16:47:28 UTC

I feel it is very important to point out that you did not install SETI v7.2.33 x64 - you installed BOINC v7.2.33 x64. BOINC != SETI.

That said, since BOINC has absolutely no code to modify, or even touch, the Master Boot Record, I would proffer that it was merely a coincidence that it occurred after installing BOINC.

There were, however, several Windows 7 updates that went out recently. I would check your update logs to see which updates were installed recently. It is quite probable that once of the updates accidentally messed up the MBR.

Incidentally, I would also look into the firmware on the SSD itself. While deploying several hundred SSDs in my company's organization, we have found some SSD's would exhibit the same type of behavior you describe, and upon further testing, we found a faulty firmware was the culprit of the MBR being destroyed. [Edit] I see you mentioned you're using an Intel SSD. Those are usually manufactured to high standards, so the firmware may not be at play here. For some reason, our company decided to go with OCZ (likely cost/capacity reasons), only to get bitten by OCZ's nasty and widely known firmware bugs.

#1 rule in diagnosing computer problems: based upon the number of services and updates that are automatically pushed to systems, it is usually not the last thing you installed that is at fault for a recent issue. Deeper digging is usually required.

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Message 1467828 - Posted: 23 Jan 2014, 18:50:52 UTC - in response to Message 1467752.

As I originally posted, I was sharing the issue and how I resolved it. The post is not intended as a bash of BIONC/SETI. I regret that I did not write down the HP bios & Win7 boot error messages; I was more concerned with getting the box running again quickly.

Also edit my OP to read " I installed BIONC and only crunch SETI." I sit here corrected, and glad I have an Intel SSD.

I agree that there are many factors that contribute to system boot failures, such as power regulation, flaky firmware, corrupted data, failing drives, buggy OS updates, but I tend to look at the last action taken, first, before digging deeper. I start off that way on otherwise healthy boxes. Since use of a Restore point was not an option for me, I had to resort to digging deeper.

*Hindsight* I could have tossed the original SATA drive in one of my external USB enclosures and booted from it, and saved myself from cracking the case open, but I have never used that utility from a USB drive. I will have to check that out...
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Message 1467835 - Posted: 23 Jan 2014, 18:59:28 UTC

BTW - I looked at Win7 update logs and ruled those out. I checked SSD firmware and ran Intel Toolbox diagnostics - this machine has no errors, conflicts, or compatibility issues; all firmware and software are current versions. That said, I tend to agree that this is a "coincidence" that Win7 boot failed following a software installation. This is rare, well almost never, uh sometimes happens these days, but not that often, and easily fixed, well fairly easily fixed if the Restore option works. ;-)

BIONC is up and running. The box is working, so I am happy to move on.
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Message 1467842 - Posted: 23 Jan 2014, 19:15:03 UTC - in response to Message 1467828.

I didn't speak up because I thought you were bashing BOINC/SETI. I spoke up because as an IT professional it bugs me to no end when people blame things on the first thing they "see" (a.k.a. last user action) when often it is the things they don't see that is the root cause.

Using critical thinking while troubleshooting, the obvious question in your situation should have been "What in the BOINC installer could have caused corruption in the MBR?" The answer is that BOINC utilizes the Microsoft Installer like most other Windows applications. This installer, if faulty, would have exhibited this behavior on a wide range of other applications that use the Microsoft Installer as well if it were buggy.

Since you posted several things that are more likely the cause, it does bother me that the thread title and the insinuation in your first post directly suggests a connection between the BOINC installer and your issue, and knowing that it is impossible for there to be a positive connection between the two, I'm concerned that this may result in a more wide-spread false-positive set of claims that then need to be fended off, causing unnecessary work for people like me that devote my free time to helping others on this forum.

That would be why I spoke up.

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Message 1467886 - Posted: 23 Jan 2014, 22:00:42 UTC

The threads title is an accurate statement of the event, and what I did to return the computer to working order. I have installed BIONC/SETI on numerous computers since April 2002 which used IDE, EIDE, SCSI hard drives, and once on an SSD.

I have no knowledge of any other claims or rumors that need fending off. All of my experiences with BIONC/SETI have been flawless. My post is not intended to start a rumor about either the software or hardware. It just happened that way.

My suspicion is that it was a fluke* as I have found no reports to the contrary. Should I observe or otherwise identify a cause (i.e., a repeat of the boot failure), I will report it here if it has anything to do with BIONC. However, I am not going to uninstall re-install BIONC on this computer to try and recreate the event. BIONC/SETI is running fine on my Intel SSD.

At the moment I have a computer running stable with a fresh/clean install of Win7, new RAM, new Power Supply, and new Intel SSD. Due to limited drive space on the SSD, I have installed a limited number of necessary programs.

*By fluke, I mean that the SSD was a clone of the factory SATA hard drive and I did not run the master boot record utility on the SSD after installing the drive. I reformat the 1st partition following the cloning process to run a factory default (fresh) Win7 installation from the default Restore Drive (partition 2). This all proceeded w/o any issues, and amazingly fast.

If I was a person who jumps to conclusions or assumes things, my suspicion would be a cronked MBR from the cloning which was waiting to fail. In hindsight, my suggestion would be to run a disk utility program following the cloning/fresh re-install process. I do not suspect the Windows Installer program or MS Updates as there have been no hangs or failures from these program to date.

I did not disable my antivirus program (AVG 2014) prior to the BIONC install, so it was resident. I will monitor this, but I have not had any problems so far during boots. I do not use hibernate/suspend features; this computer is either on for extended periods or turned off.
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Message 1467901 - Posted: 23 Jan 2014, 22:28:26 UTC - in response to Message 1467886.

Your title may be accurate, but it is misleading. Again, you implied the experiences were related, but you even admit they are not. While there are no claims that need fending off *right now*, merely making the suggested connection between the two could easily lead to further false-positives about destroyed MBRs due to upgrading BOINC. I'm trying to head such claims off at the pass, as it were, by engaging you and challenging the implication you've made. Lesser technically inclined people may not know the two aren't related and may attempt to argue that they were, in fact, related.

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Message 1467921 - Posted: 23 Jan 2014, 23:00:14 UTC - in response to Message 1467886.

By the way, it's BOINC, not BIONC. See
It stands for Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing.
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Message 1468211 - Posted: 24 Jan 2014, 14:39:18 UTC

There is objection over the thread title, and I have resolved the issue to my satisfaction. I find the direction of the posts deliberately annoying and the conversation is being hijacked over spelling errors and non-relevant personal views. Therefore, I am requesting the Forum Admin remove, hide, or lock this thread.
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Questions and Answers : Windows : Intel SSD boot failure after SETI 7.2 install-reboot...

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