Monday, 18 February 2008

Acer hard drive failure, flaky behaviour, and subsequent BSOD STOP framebuf 0x000000EA

Lately, one of our client's users was complaining about their laptop taking an inordinately long time to boot up.

To us, this usually indicates to us that there is a physical problem on the hard drive in the area where the OS has files written to. The extra time is the OS rereading the same sectors over and over again to get a proper read off of them.

So, we contacted Acer for a new hard drive. They sent one out immediately as this particular client always purchases the Acer Total Damage 3 Year warranty.

In the mean time, we took a ShadowProtect image of the existing OS and restored it to an identical replacement hard drive we keep around the shop for situations like this. Thus, we get the client's user back up and running in short order, and we place the incoming warranty drive on the shelf to be swapped back out when the user has some time to spare.

The hard drive swap did indeed work. The system now booted up in a reasonable amount of time, and seemed to be running all-around in a quicker manner.

So, out the door it went.

We then received a call from the user a few days later indicating that the system had blue screened again, and that their Kinston USB flash drive (DTSP) was no longer working with the laptop USB ports.

They were on-site and required an immediate replacement to get productive again. We brought in one of the older laptop spares they keep around for situations like this.

When we brought the system back to the shop, we figured that the preveious hard drive failure may have caused some spotty corruption in Windows XP, so we took the replacement warranty hard drive sent to us by Acer and ran the restore to factory default recovery DVD.

We had started the process at the end of the day, and this is what greeted us the following morning:

Windows XP Pro: STOP framebuf 0x000000EA

Ouch.

A force power down, and a power up again brought the system up into the Windows XP startup routine and subsequently the Acer setup routine once into the OS.

But, given the number of other flaky things the laptop was doing, along with the BSOD on recovering to factory default, this is a pretty clear indication that something has failed or is failing on the system main board.

A phone call into Acer, and we will be seeing a courier here to pick the unit up shortly.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

We seen alot bad hard disk older Model not realy that many in the travemated serios

what also happen some how drivers get messed up the hard disk switch to pio mode and not udma and you get the slow boot up

also on some model they issues with hard disk dection in right mode and the bios update fix them from acer euro ftp

Andy

Anonymous said...

We seen alot bad hard disk older Model not realy that many in the travemated serios

what also happen some how drivers get messed up the hard disk switch to pio mode and not udma and you get the slow boot up

also on some model they issues with hard disk dection in right mode and the bios update fix them from acer euro ftp

Andy

Philip E. said...

To date, most of the hard drive failures on the laptop front have been on Hitachi or Toshiba manufactured models.

In some cases, out of the factory, we have been seeing Acer use Seagate Momentus laptop drives and most of reached the 18 month mark where we would see a lot of Hitachi/Toshiba drives die.

I will make sure to take a look at the setup in the BIOS and in the device manager to make sure that those settings are not messed up the next time!

Thanks for the comment,

Philip