Sunday, March 22, 2015

HP Mini T210 3F0 boot failure and System Rollback Data disk space issues with Roxio BackOnTrack / aswrvt.sys

If you have an HP Mini 210 or 100 and have had issues with disk running out of space, failures to boot, I feel for you. After a heap of hassle, I sorted my out problems without having to reinstall Windows, and so I'm sharing my experiences as I found many many people with the same issue, but no central resolution. The issues I've had are as follows

  • Failure to boot: 3F0 Harddisk does not exist
  • Running out of space (see Roxio BackOnTrack)
  • Black screen after attempting to uninstall Roxio BackOnTrack

3F0 Harddisk does not exist

IF you get a failure to startup, screen with 3F0 Harddisk does not exist:

  1. To access the BIOS, turn on the computer and immediately press the esc key to display the Startup Menu, and then press the F10 key.
  2. Press F9 to reset the BIOS defaults, and press Enter to confirm the action.
  3. Press F10 to save the change and exit the BIOS, and then press Enter to confirm.

Hopefully now the computer will restart.

Low disk space - "System Rollback Data" hidden secret directory

This netbook came preinstalled with Roxio BackOnTrack, which is the primary source of my woes. Recently I found I was running out of disk space and after deleting a heap of data, then finding I was running out again I installed WinDirStat to check what was going on. On inspection I found a super secret hidden folder System Rollback Data, which is not even visible with "show system files" switched on. Note this is not to be confused with Microsoft Windows System Restore. This folder contained 160Gb out of my 250Gb SSD !!

So after reading I found many pointers for Roxio BackOnTrack being the culprit of the System Restore Data directory size. Note that it seems Roxio BackOnTrack and this super secret directory may have a hook into the boot loader. So beware!

Anyway, without further ado here's what I hit and how to fix it.

  • Uninstall Roxio BackOnTrack from the Programs & Features or similar. Note this may take a long time if the backup store is large. I didn't wait, and end task'ed the uninstall process. That may have been a bad idea.
  • After killing the uninstall and rebooting I got the dreaded 3F0 hard disk does not exist, fix as per above.
  • After fixing 3F0 issue, Windows would not boot, I tried safe mode, command prompt, last known good configuration, all that happened was a black screen after the initial Windows splash. On logging I found Windows load stopped at aswrvt.sys, no further progress. After a lot of searching I found a post that mentioned to delete the file delete the syscow32.sys file in WINDOWS/system32/drivers folder. The next issue was trying to get a utility running so I could get access to the C:\ Drive.
  • As the HP Mini 210 doesn't have a CD/DVD drive I decided to run a USB Boot program, after trying Windows restore disk, which didn't boot, I decided to use EaseUS Todo Back Emergency Disk, so I did the following:
    • Installed EaseUS Todo Backup Free to another computer and ran it.
    • Tools > Create Emergency disk, then created USB bootable drive
    • Put that in the HP Mini and changed boot options to move USB to top of the list
    • When EaseUS started up went to Tools > Windows Command Prompt and ran commands along the lines of the following and found I only had syscow32x.sys, so backed up and deleted that:
      cd windows\system32\drivers
      copy syscow32x.sys c:\temp
      del syscow32x.sys
    • Closed EaseUS Todo Backup
  • Rebooted - filesystem check kicked in, and Windows booted successfully !

  • Get rid of Roxio BackOnTrack - run uninstallapp.exe from C:\Program Files\Roxio ... takes a long time (10's of minutes dependeing on data size), watch the disk space free up as it runs :-)

  • Remove Roxio BackOnTrack via Control Panel - Programs and Features

After all that, my machine is running sweetly again. Hopefully this post saves someone from throwing a perfectly fine HP Mini 100 / 210 out the window !!

Catch ya!

This is a post from Gareth's blog at