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kbcad
15-11-2009, 10:51 AM
The following (from another site) describes my own problem:

"My programs froze up so I shut my computer down and on reboot got the message on a black screen "Loading PBR for descriptor 2...done." What is this message and does this mean my computer crashed? Is there anything I can do to save any of my files? Was this message prompted by a virus? Please help."

The answer:

"Loading Descriptor for PBR 2..." is not an error message. Dell computers generally ship with two or three bootable partitions and use a special Master Boot Record to allow choosing between them. The fact that you are not booting to Windows after seeing this message, however, is a problem. It says that the sectors being loaded in preparation for starting Windows are corrupted or unreadable. The most common cause of this is a failed hard drive. If you start, or restart, the computer and press F12 during POST to get the one time boot menu, you can choose diagnostics to get a check of the hard drive status."

and

"1- Start up the computer and click F12 to give you the boot-up options.
2- Insert Windows Installation/Recovery CD into CDROM, choose CDROM boot option and click enter.
3- Let the installation process continue until it prompts you "Press R to repair". . .this should then take you into the DOS mode.
4- Type in FIXBOOT and when prompted, press "Y" to start creating the new boot partition. If everything goes right, you should get a message saying the partition was corrupted and a new one was created successfully.
5- Remove the CD and reboot your system, everything SHOULD be ok now."

I followed the above advice, but to no avail. My PC takes all day to even load up the desktop (the hard disk clicks away at about one click per second)

Any advice much appreciated.

Dell Inspiron 530 Win XP SP 2 (was SP 3 but recovery disk is SP 2)

KB

Speedy Gonzales
15-11-2009, 11:09 AM
Try some of the replies here (http://en.community.dell.com/forums/t/17662275.aspx). It looks like you need to fix the MBR on the hdd

wainuitech
15-11-2009, 11:13 AM
the hard disk clicks away at about one click per second thats known as the click of death. Basically thats indicates the drives failed / stuffed. Hope you have backups.

IF you dont and there is data on it that you HAVE to recover, there are places that will do it, but its not cheap.
last time I had a customers drive do that, I was quoted $90 to look and see if the data could be recovered then $1000 + to recover it, depending on how much time it took.

What you can try - is open the case and make sure the power plug has not come lose. Generally though this is not the case. You can also try booting from a linux Live CD, something like Ubuntu, and see if it can read the drive to recover any data.

kbcad
15-11-2009, 11:37 AM
Thanks for quick reply. Strangely, after about 2 hours slowly grinding away, my PC booted up and is running normally now :badpc:
I don't understand this, but it looks like a hard disk on the way out (?) so I'm making sure that I have all my data backed up :thanks

Terry_at_nz
15-11-2009, 12:09 PM
You seem to have solved the problem for now, but I would not trust it. Problem could be dodgy sectors that you can barely read; you were lucky this time.

For next time, and/or for preventative maintenance this time, I would recommend Spinrite from www.grc.com/spinrite.htm. Not cheap, but then not expensive either for what you get. It reads and writes to all sectors on the disk, refreshing anything that can be only marginally readable.

A cheaper "poor man's Spinrite" is a good defrag. It does a lot of rewriting.

Terry

pctek
15-11-2009, 02:58 PM
For next time, and/or for preventative maintenance this time, I would recommend Spinrite from www.grc.com/spinrite.htm. Not cheap, but then not expensive either for what you get. It reads and writes to all sectors on the disk, refreshing anything that can be only marginally readable.

A cheaper "poor man's Spinrite" is a good defrag. It does a lot of rewriting.

That doesn't fix failing drives. If it's failing I wouldn't bother messing with it, just back up as fast as possible and get another one.

Terry_at_nz
16-11-2009, 10:23 AM
It won't fix hardware failures. Possibly even be the last run that tips it right over the edge.

Spinrite is for fixing the gradual degradation of information as magnetism fades. Defrag may or may not rewrite the dodgy sector.

Terry