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Myth
03-08-2011, 07:36 PM
Need help/advice please
Have been given a computer which refuses to boot up - safe mode, last config that worked, normal boot.
Have ascertained that the MBR is completely hosed. FIXMBR does nothing, FIXBOOT does the same. Both report problem is fixed - which it is not

Have also tried taking the drive out and hooking it up (via IDE to USB connectors) to my Windows computer. Windows sees the drive as Healthy active but with no filesystem. Using Windows CD reports the filesystem is definitely NTFS but I have no way to repair without recovery console, and it won't allow me to do a dirty install without wanting to format first

From what I am reading; my best bet now is to find the copy of the MBR that XP creates auto (I think this is located in the middle of the drive).

Info online is somewhat conflicting and never having done this before it is getting to be rather irritating. I know there is a way of fixing the MBR by essentially copying XP's copy to sector 0.

Has anyone done this? Best tools for the job? Best advice/link?

Paul.Cov
03-08-2011, 07:56 PM
I trust the BIOS is trying to boot from this device, and hasn't become directed towards a CD/DVD or Pen drive!

mikebartnz
03-08-2011, 08:07 PM
Use a bootable Linux LiveCD to recover the data then do a complete reinstall.

Myth
03-08-2011, 09:38 PM
Have checked the BIOS boot devices menu already... it was definitely trying to boot from the HD

Re-install is a last ditch thing. This is a freebie for a mate... so I am using it as a learning experience. Hours spent trying to research/learn something new is irrelevant (at this stage)

wainuitech
03-08-2011, 09:54 PM
Theres several ways to try to fix that - Seen it happen and sometimes fixed it by simply running chkdsk /R from the recovery console / CD, that allows the OS to be found again and a repair install carried out.

It may also simply be a damaged boot.ini file, try the following.

Boot from the CD, enter the recovery console Type bootcfg . reboot and see if it now locates the Old install, if not then you may have to rebuild a new config file. Instructions here (http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ht/repairbootini.htm).

One thing -- If you do manage to get a repair install done, "IF" it has IE 8 installed, you may find after its done the repair install it will hang with a flashing cursor top left of the screen - this is IE8 causing the problem. There are commands using the recovery console to fix that as well, but I can can post those if its needed. :)


Edited:
Just in case its needed after a repair install, boot from the CD, enter recovery console, once you are at the C:\Windows> prompt, simply type in %windir%\ie8\spuninst\spuninst.exe and IE 8 will uninstall, reboot and it will now start normally, the above command really screws with IE, and it will make it non functioning, as well as other programs that depend on IE, Eg: outlook express, the way to fix it, is download IE8 from MS on another PC,copy to a USB drive and manually reinstall it.

fred_fish
03-08-2011, 10:08 PM
Testdisk

:)

:pf1mobmini:

wainuitech
03-08-2011, 10:11 PM
Damn time ran out-- for the bootcfg options had a read Here at MS (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/317521) what switches can be used and what they do.

Myth
04-08-2011, 05:13 AM
Theres several ways to try to fix that - Seen it happen and sometimes fixed it by simply running chkdsk /R from the recovery console / CD, that allows the OS to be found again and a repair install carried out.

It may also simply be a damaged boot.ini file, try the following.

Boot from the CD, enter the recovery console Type bootcfg . reboot and see if it now locates the Old install, if not then you may have to rebuild a new config file. Instructions here (http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ht/repairbootini.htm).

One thing -- If you do manage to get a repair install done, "IF" it has IE 8 installed, you may find after its done the repair install it will hang with a flashing cursor top left of the screen - this is IE8 causing the problem. There are commands using the recovery console to fix that as well, but I can can post those if its needed. :)


Edited:
Just in case its needed after a repair install, boot from the CD, enter recovery console, once you are at the C:\Windows> prompt, simply type in %windir%\ie8\spuninst\spuninst.exe and IE 8 will uninstall, reboot and it will now start normally, the above command really screws with IE, and it will make it non functioning, as well as other programs that depend on IE, Eg: outlook express, the way to fix it, is download IE8 from MS on another PC,copy to a USB drive and manually reinstall it.Excellent :D

TY Mr W-tech - the voice of experience wins through and I have learned something new :)

chkdsk /r fixed the problem nicely

wainuitech
04-08-2011, 08:55 AM
Sweet :banana Saves a lot of problems with reinstalling etc.

As I said to a customer last night - sometimes what seems the biggest problems can have the easiest fix -- Not always, but its nice when it happens.

Final bit of advice -- now go through and check out the rest, for infections missing files (sfc /sannow) , updates etc. Also check the eventvwr, look to see if there are any bunches of errors with "disk" - that usually indicates failing HDD.

fred_fish
04-08-2011, 09:13 AM
Escapee from MS slavery.

Apparently not ... :lol:

Myth
04-08-2011, 04:32 PM
Apparently not ... :lol:I no longer use Windows personally... don't need to :)

But it [Windows] does come in handy for helping to pay the bills :D