0xC000021A



  • My Windows 8.1 computer told me that it needed to reboot for Windows Update, so I powered down my virtual machine, installed an NVIDIA update, and rebooted. It shut down the same way it does when it normally installs Windows Updates but when it tried to start back up, it gave me my first blue screen of death since I got this machine. The error it gave wasn't very helpful (0xC000021A apparently means "Windows couldn't start up") and the update seems to have cleared out all my system restore points. I installed Windows 8.1 through Windows Update a while ago, and my Windows 8 install disk isn't accepted by the recovery thing. I did a chkdsk and it didn't find anything.

    Things I've noticed that might help but probably won't:

    • My speakers have been randomly lowering their volume and then randomly putting it back to what it was for about a week.
    • Since I got this computer, the last 32 bytes of the color correction files from my Valve games on Steam have randomly been set to garbage. But only those files from those games. Nothing else on my computer has been modified. Windows doesn't seem to be aware of these changes as the modification time doesn't change and the audit log doesn't record any changes.
    • I started watching Game Grumps nonstop about a month ago.
    • Yesterday, I received "Steam Mobile Access" as a gift from a random person on Steam. Steam told me that the gift was already activated. I'm absolutely certain it was not phishing.
    • A space probe landed on a comet between the time I previously used my computer and now.


  • @ben_lubar said:

    My speakers have been randomly lowering their volume and then randomly putting it back to what it was for about a week.

    From my experience, that's due to people plugging and unplugging headphones and not realizing that Windows tracks multiple volume levels, one for each speaker-device you've used.

    However, you're smart enough to realize that, so I'm stumped.

    @ben_lubar said:

    Since I got this computer, the last 32 bytes of the color correction files from my Valve games on Steam have randomly been set to garbage. But only those files from those games. Nothing else on my computer has been modified. Windows doesn't seem to be aware of these changes as the modification time doesn't change and the audit log doesn't record any changes.

    Do you have to play the games for the files to get corrupted, or do they just get corrupted "magically?"

    If the former, it's probably either bad RAM or plain ol' buggy software. If the latter, it sounds like a HD issue. (Or possibly also bad RAM, but less likely.)

    @ben_lubar said:

    A space probe landed on a comet between the time I previously used my computer and now.

    Oh well, that's gonna cause all kinds of issues.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    From my experience, that's due to people plugging and unplugging headphones and not realizing that Windows tracks multiple volume levels, one for each speaker-device you've used.

    However, you're smart enough to realize that, so I'm stumped.

    I've never used headphones with this computer. I haven't plugged in or unplugged anything in the last month.



  • Well in my stupid opinion which is wrong and sucks, you either have a bad disk controller, or bad memory.



  • Although I do this for a living, and hate giving away free advice, here's a list of things.

    Possible problems in order of likelihood:

    • Memory
    • Graphics Card
    • Motherboard

    The last would be the controller @blakeyrat mentioned, although it could be the memory controller as well. Still, first thing I would do would be to drop memtest86 onto a USB drive and boot up. Not that it'll help your Windows install since it's very likely screwed by now and needs to be reinstalled from scratch. That's even if you do manage to restore it to a previous state, as you don't know when the first bit of corruption set it, and it'll never work the same (I speak from experience).

    @ben_lubar said:

    - A space probe landed on a comet between the time I previously used my computer and now.

    Correction: the probe may have landed, as it may also have bounced off.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @scrib said:

    Correction: the probe may have landed, as it may also have bounced off.
    Kerbal problems.



  • @ben_lubar said:

    - first blue screen of death [...] 0xC000021A apparently means "Windows couldn't start up"

    • the update seems to have cleared out all my system restore points
    • my Windows 8 install disk isn't accepted by the recovery thing

    Man, it's like everything bad about Windows decided to slap you in the face. Especially the recovery disc thing.

    There are three things Microsoft doesn't want their users to do:

    1. Recover their system when it fails to boot (otherwise they'd give away recovery images on their website).
    2. Encrypt their files (cough up an extra $80 for the Pro edition if you want to use Bitlocker)
    3. Change their language (same as with Bitlocker... yes, language packs are a "Pro feature")

    My diagnosis: computers hate you. Welcome to the club.

    (my recommendation: reinstall windows, reinstall apps, don't think about it until it happens again. You should always be ready to do so anyway.)



  • Chilling.

    I acquired a windows 8 laptop a few months ago and haven't used it much until relatively recently. I'm still of the instinct to blame windows 8 if something goes wrong.

    Apparently there's an update I can install. I was going to do that this weekend. I don't think I will, now.

    I see discourse won't let me see what I'm typing on a phone. I thought that had been fixed yesterday.


  • :belt_onion:

    @ben_lubar said:

    the update seems to have cleared out all my system restore points

    Why the hell would it do that? Mind you, I never had luck with restore points1, but still!

    [1] Most likely my rotten luck. Also, in most cases where I get a Windows machine that needs to be fixed it was already looked at and fiddled with by at least one person before me, and who the hell knows what they did.



  • @Onyx said:

    Most likely my rotten luck. Also, in most cases where I get a Windows machine that needs to be fixed it was already looked at and fiddled with by at least one person before me, and who the hell knows what they did.

    Not really luck, just poor design.

    I've had restore points work for me a few times when dealing with malware. When there was a clear delineation of when it was installed and that there in fact was a restore point before that. Amazingly there wasn't any trace of the crap on the computers after.

    However, most often by the time a computer gets into the hands of someone who knows what they're doing, it's already beyond a simple restore point fix.



  • @ben_lubar said:

    The error it gave wasn't very helpful (0xC000021A apparently means "Windows couldn't start up")

    It looks like an NTSTATUS code. Time for grep (as findstr is awkward :) )!

    Bas@FALLARBOR:C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Include\um\
    $ grep -ri C000021A .
    
    [nothingness]
    

    Okay, that wasn't helpful. Some more investigation resulted in that there's giant gaps in the status codes - hm.

    Trying the '7.1A' SDK (which is actually a refresh for OS version 6.1 patch level 1) was more helpful:

    Bas@FALLARBOR:C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1A\Include\
    $ grep -ri C000021A .
    ./ntstatus.h:#define STATUS_SYSTEM_PROCESS_TERMINATED ((NTSTATUS)0xC000021AL)
    

    ... which I usually get from I/O subsystem failures - the actual bugcheck parameters usually help with determining the actual termination code (usually another NTSTATUS) the process encountered, and like most users, the common flaw of not providing full details has been made here as well.

    @scrib said:

    I've had restore points work for me a few times when dealing with malware. When there was a clear delineation of when it was installed and that there in fact was a restore point before that. Amazingly there wasn't any trace of the crap on the computers after.

    ... I only ever used a 'restore point' to recover from a corrupted user registry hive (%userprofile%\ntuser.dat) after Ubisoft's Uplay launcher caused my system to completely hang while starting said application consistently, and trying various things after a reboot caused a write the NTFS journal couldn't replay on reboot.

    It later turned out that because I had local kernel debugging enabled (so I could analyze kernel structures in case a program I wrote deadlocked) the anti-debugging code in Uplay caused a kernel-mode breakpoint, which due to debugging being enabled hung the system, and as no debugger was actually attached, I couldn't resume from this condition - I actually had to attach a remote kernel debugger (which nowadays is doable using regular Ethernet as opposed to USB/serial debugging cables) and notice the breakpoint and subsequent 'Debugger detected! Bad user! Must terminate!' message upon resumption of execution post-breakpoint.


  • sockdevs

    @NTAuthority said:

    Ubisoft's Uplay

    and that is why, much as Assassins Creed looks awesome to play, Ubisoft is not allowed on any system i own or adminsiter.

    because [verb form of the worst swear word in the history of forever] that malware!



  • @accalia said:

    because belgium that malware!

    BTFY



  • @accalia said:

    much as Assassins Creed looks awesome to play,

    It... does?

    I've played 2 Assassin's Creed games and both were broken crap. I don't understand why people buy it.


  • sockdevs

    @blakeyrat said:

    It... does?

    I've played 2 Assassin's Creed games and both were broken crap. I don't understand why people buy it.

    it looks awesome to play.

    i don't know that it is, because thanks to UPlay i refuse to purchase or install the games.



  • @NTAuthority said:

    which I usually get from I/O subsystem failures - the actual bugcheck parameters usually help with determining the actual termination code (usually another NTSTATUS) the process encountered, and like most users, the common flaw of not providing full details has been made here as well.

    Yeah, @ben_lubar should get us the full bugcheck parameters -- they should be available from the event log post-mortem.

    @NTAuthority said:

    ... I only ever used a 'restore point' to recover from a corrupted user registry hive (%userprofile%\ntuser.dat) after Ubisoft's Uplay launcher caused my system to completely hang while starting said application consistently, and trying various things after a reboot caused a write the NTFS journal couldn't replay on reboot.

    It later turned out that because I had local kernel debugging enabled (so I could analyze kernel structures in case a program I wrote deadlocked) the anti-debugging code in Uplay caused a kernel-mode breakpoint, which due to debugging being enabled hung the system, and as no debugger was actually attached, I couldn't resume from this condition - I actually had to attach a remote kernel debugger (which nowadays is doable using regular Ethernet as opposed to USB/serial debugging cables) and notice the breakpoint and subsequent 'Debugger detected! Bad user! Must terminate!' message upon resumption of execution post-breakpoint.

    And this is why anti-debug code is a hazard to the health of all computers everywhere. Tip: get a cheapo IEEE 1394 card or two if you don't already have IEEE 1394 ports on your computers, and then you can kernel debug over an ordinary IEEE 1394/FireWire cable. However, that's not all that helpful when you have anti-debug code tossing its cookies all over the place -- heaven help anyone who dares run Uplay under Application Verifier, or likely a checked build of Windows for that matter!



  • @ben_lubar said:

    My speakers have been randomly lowering their volume and then randomly putting it back to what it was for about a week.

    Steam.


  • sockdevs

    @Magus said:

    Steam

    if steam is comming out of your computer you have bigger problems on your hands than the fact the computer no longer wants to boot.



  • Within the last week or two, Valve decided to make Steam even more annoying than before.

    It used to be that if I had voice chat on, videos in the background would get their volume adjusted down and never turned back up.

    Now what they've done is make it so that every time someone messages you and you have another window active, it lowers your volume, plays its beep, and puts the volume back up afterward. I get why they're making an OS: to keep you from being distracted by content not provided by Valve.



  • It's not like there's existing functionality in Windows to automate all that or anything



  • And maybe they're finally actually using that. But I really wish they weren't using it on their notification sounds...


  • mod

    Yeah, I was going to say the sound thing sounds like what Mumble and Skype and so on do when people try to get ahold of you while you're listening to music.



  • Except that:

    • The volume changing happened randomly, and for about a minute at a time.
    • I don't think I've ever gotten a Steam message during the volume change.
    • Mumble was reduced in volume by the same amount for the same duration.
    • I had the "When Windows detects communications activity" setting shown above set to "Do nothing".


  • Have you checked your physical volume control to make sure someone hasn't attached an Arduino with some sort of actuator?


  • :belt_onion:

    @Keith said:

    Have you checked your physical volume control to make sure someone hasn't attached an Arduino with some sort of actuator?

    I love it how "Arduino" became the go-to solution before "crappy potentiometer".



  • ITVOLMONROBOT<i



  • @Magus said:

    It used to be that if I had voice chat on, videos in the background would get their volume adjusted down and never turned back up.

    Oh goddamned. Audacity does that bullshit too. It ties-in the volume controls on its UI with the systemwide volume. God knows why. I'm sure they did it on purpose, but it smells like a bug to me.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Onyx said:

    Why the hell would it do that?

    8.0 restore points probably would corrupt an 8.1 installation due to outdated versions of system files?



  • I totally would have had 8.0 system restore points on my computer that has had 8.1 for almost a year now.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    It was just a guess. If you don't like it, look at it this way, you got what you paid for.


  • :belt_onion:

    @FrostCat said:

    8.0 restore points probably would corrupt an 8.1 installation due to outdated versions of system files?

    I assumed that @ben_lubar was talking about the update that broke his system, not 8.1 update.



  • @FrostCat said:

    ...you got what you paid for.

    No, he paid for Windows. But it doesn't work, so he doesn't have Windows.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    He didn't pay for my advice, though, so he got nothing. Although the one wasn't the cause of the other.



  • UPDATE

    My dad brought the computer to Milwaukee PC three days ago (it was under warranty). The quote said one day. He called them this morning and apparently they haven't taken a look at it yet.

    Current status: crying softly to myself in bed while watching Game Grumps for the third day in a row.

    Current status: installing Eclipse on my mom's laptop so I can do my homework.

    Current status: apparently 64 bit Eclipse doesn't work on 64 bit Windows.



  • @ben_lubar said:

    My dad brought the computer to Milwaukee PC three days ago (it was under warranty). The quote said one day. He called them this morning and apparently they haven't taken a look at it yet.

    Ah, IRS timing. "It'll take 3 days to do, when we actually get around to it. We won't get around to it for 6 weeks."

    @ben_lubar said:

    Current status: apparently 64 bit Eclipse doesn't work on 64 bit Windows.

    Makes sense.


  • area_deu

    @ben_lubar said:

    Milwaukee PC

    How can you trust these guys to not completely abuse your computer?



  • I know Ben's in the Midwest, but they still have like... iBuyPower shipments there, right?

    Milwaukee PC repairing it if it's under warranty, well ok. But why buy it from them in the first place?



  • To be honest, I'm more worried that they'll erase it and I'll have to redownload everything. The only stuff I don't have backed up is my ssh keys and stuff like that.

    Now that I think of it, I'm probably more concerned about them taking data from my hard drive. Someone could probably steal my identity, assuming they can access my Chrome profile without my Windows password.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @ben_lubar said:

    Current status: apparently 64 bit Eclipse doesn't work on 64 bit Windows.

    That doesn't seem likely, but I'm not on the right computer at the moment to check, but I would swear it's worked for me repeatedly. Where'd you get your Eclipse?



  • eclipse.org

    I got my Java from java.com and was very careful to not allow it to install a toolbar.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @ben_lubar said:

    Java from java.com and was very careful to not allow it to install a toolbar.

    Something doesn't sound right to me but my son's on the computer with Eclipse, and this one has sketchy internet, making Eclipse-sized downloads iffy. When I get a chance I'll double-check but I am pretty sure it should work.

    Regarding the toolbar, you know if you get the offline installer instead of the regular one, it won't offer you the toolbar, right?



  • I'm assuming it didn't work because java.com only has a button for the 32 bit version of Java. I'm not doing anything with 2GB calendars on my mom's laptop, so it shouldn't matter anyway.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @ben_lubar said:

    I'm assuming it didn't work because java.com only has a button for the 32 bit version of Java.

    Ah, so it's "64-bit oracle doesn't work with 32-bit java", probably.

    On the java.com download page, there's a link on the left for the rest of the installers: http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

    Get the 64-bit offline one from there and try again.



  • UPDATE

    @an instant message from my dad said:

    Ben: I spoke to Milwaukee PC. The hardware is good. The problem was something goofed up in the attempted upgrade to 8.1. They will reinstall 8.1. Unfortunately your data on the disc will be lost. They have disks to load 8.1 directly w/o going thru 8.0 first. Should be done today, but they will call me when done.

    Summary: After five days, they have diagnosed the problem as "the thing @ben_lubar said it was on day 1". Instead of using the built-in "refresh" install mode, they have decided to reformat the hard drive and start from scratch - something I could have done with my Windows 8.0 install disk on day 1.

    Well, at least they didn't destroy my computer. Just my data.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Is your dad always that formal when talking to you? Does he think of you more like an employee than a son?



  • He often signs his instant messages, and he always addresses them. I think he doesn't quite grasp how instant messages work.



  • UPDATE

    my friend sent me this:


  • mod

    Another use case for the Dislike button.



  • I posted it here because I'm pretty sure that's Jeff falling down the stairs.



  • @ben_lubar said:

    my friend sent me this:

    Is he still your friend after?


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