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When I google this Error, hundreds, if not thousands of links appear describing what may be the cause.
They range from Malware, Quicktime, and to USB connected devices such as Card Readers, Flash Drives, and external drives.
Assuming you've never seen this before, is there something unique about any usb connected devices ???
Did you do a scan for anti-virus and malware ???
Does your system have all the latest MS Updates, drivers and Quicktime ???
Any additional info on your setup (HW & SW) may help to isolate...
USB connected devices such as Card Readers, Flash Drives, and external drives.
This has been a recent cause of concern. I got a warning on this from my reseller, and will go to his e-mail, to see if he linked to an MS KB article. If so, I'll post a link. IIRC, this was affecting both PC's and Mac's.
In the meantime, I would remove every USB device, except for mouse and keyboard, reboot and test.
Unexplained Crashes, lock-ups, Failure to boot and boot-looping in Vista and XP and MAC OS-X.
Have a USB2 external hard drive hooked up to your system? A number of these devices are starting to show up as the cause of the problems listed above. The cause has been linked to drives that were manufactured a year or more ago. Note I said manufactured not purchased. The cause is poor USB 2.0 specifications that the drive case manufactures followed which has deteriorated with age causing the above failures. If this happens to you try disconnecting your external drive and see if your problem goes away. A couple of multifunction printers have also been the cause of similar problems but most of these have higher visibility on internet search engines than the external hard drives.
Sorry, no KB article link. The above is from my reseller, who deals in imaging workstations exclusively.
Yes, to everyone who had replied re: USB / extral drive - I haven't tested all the way yet because I actually got it to move forward but I do have an external hard drive attached so I bet that is it.
I've seen a lot of issues with ThumbDrives (USB) and booting, plus running some Adobe programs. In most of those cases, the user was able to boot, then insert the ThumbDrive, do all copy/save work, and things were fine. It was just booting that was an issue and not with everybody.
As for the USB externals, I've not encountered this, though have to admit that I do not use many any longer. Everything in my studio has gone over to FW-800 and I'll be upgrading a lot of those to eSATA with the next computer.
Still, with the warning e-mails that I've gotten lately, seems that something is a foot. It was Kobebuster's comment that triggered with me.
Good luck, and other than booting, you should be able to plug-in, turn on and have the external work fine. I do not know why we were not seeing a lot of this back when USB externals first came out, but maybe the problems were just underreported.