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Thread: Fix the MBR in Windows XP

  1. #16
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    I'd take the hard disk and put it in a working system. THen I'd copy the contents.

    You shouldn't need to fix the MBR to read the contents on the drive. The MBR just allows that drive to boot.

    If it is not a bootable drive, there is no need to fix the MBR. YOu just need to hook the drive up and copy the contents as quickly as possible. It sounds like the drive is dying.

  2. #17
    Senior Member blackhat's Avatar
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    Worf,
    BB's got the only solution I can see. Drag the 100gb into a working system as a slave and see if you can get any of the files out. Western Digital has pretty good Disk Utilities. You might be able to copy the disk onto the master, depending on how much free space the master has and how much data is actually on the 100gig. If you try this, it generates alot of heat. Keep the case open and an external fan on it. I think this your best shot. If the drive wont drive or the reader wont read, you're pretty much screwed. Last resort is to take it to a shop that specializes in data recovery. There are hundreds of them.


    How is the Starship Enterprise like a roll of toilet paper??

    They both circle "Uranus" and look for "Clingons"!! Good luck and let us know how you make out. DRB

  3. #18
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    Well, actually, I did try just copying the files, but there are no files found - no partition found - and all it said was The hard drive is not formatted, would you Like to format now? I will try the WD utilities. Thanks a LOT for your input!!

    Worf

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by worf6161
    Well, actually, I did try just copying the files, but there are no files found - no partition found - and all it said was The hard drive is not formatted, would you Like to format now? I will try the WD utilities. Thanks a LOT for your input!!

    Worf
    Have you at any time during this ordeal formatted that drive? If so, your data is erased and you'll have to use a recovery software to get the data back.

  5. #20
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by worf6161
    Well, actually, I did try just copying the files, but there are no files found - no partition found - and all it said was The hard drive is not formatted, would you Like to format now? I will try the WD utilities. Thanks a LOT for your input!!

    Worf
    My problem same as Worf. I've tried the following:-
    1) Boot using XP disk, run the console recovery and run the fixmbr ... failed.
    2) Tried to copy out the files (excel, word and pic files)...failed

    FYI, my second hd is detected by BIOS but not in My Computer. If I boot up the PC with the problem hd attached as 2nd hd, the error message "Third Slave Disk Error" will displayed. Then I need to press F4 to by pass it and the Windows XP will launch from my 1st hd.

    PLEASE... Anyone can help me to recover all my pictures (contains all my wife and kids pictures since beginning) and files.

    Thanks in advance.

  6. #21
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmayjmd
    My problem same as Worf. I've tried the following:-
    1) Boot using XP disk, run the console recovery and run the fixmbr ... failed.
    2) Tried to copy out the files (excel, word and pic files)...failed

    FYI, my second hd is detected by BIOS but not in My Computer. If I boot up the PC with the problem hd attached as 2nd hd, the error message "Third Slave Disk Error" will displayed. Then I need to press F4 to by pass it and the Windows XP will launch from my 1st hd.

    PLEASE... Anyone can help me to recover all my pictures (contains all my wife and kids pictures since beginning) and files.

    Thanks in advance.
    Do you have a disk enclosure? For example an external hard disk enclosure?

    If so, put the problematic hard disk into the enclosure, then boot the pc with a good hard disk with XP loaded.

    Plug in the enclosure and see if your computer can read it. If so, copy all the files you want onto another media (DVD, empty hard disk, CDRs...)

    THen format the drive and start over.

    If you don't have a hard disk enclosure, try booting with the XP cd, instead of running the console recovery, try doing a repair installation on the hard disk.

    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

    You can view how to do that at the site linked above.

    If none of that works, post back in this thread and i will try to think of something else.

    One question about the third slave device error, do you have the 2nd hard disk as a slave or master when you booted it?

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Booger
    It's odd that this procedure doesn't work. Everytime I have had an MBR issue the fix I posted above worked.


    You could try a few things...

    Run a repair install
    Reinstall over the existing installation

    Or using the XP disk, make a new partition, and install XP that way. Then you'll be all set.
    Would it not be possible to simply
    * Insert Windows XP CD
    * enter recovery console
    * copy command.com and fixmbr.(com, exe) to corrupted HDD
    * Go to drive in question
    * Type command.com (will effectively create a command session generating the appearance of system drive?)
    * Type FixMBR


    As I read in a Windows XP support page, FIXMBR only operates on the system drive! So if you boot from the CD, it'll try to re-write the MBR on the CD.

    This should work, assuming the Windows XP kernel respects the command interpereter. Each time you run command it creates a new session inside the first one, most of the environment variables should be moved over to the HDD.


    Rigel
    Last edited by master_rigel2; January 1st, 2006 at 22:53 PM.

  8. #23
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by master_rigel2
    Would it not be possible to simply
    * Insert Windows XP CD
    * enter recovery console
    * copy command.com and fixmbr.(com, exe) to corrupted HDD
    * Go to drive in question
    * Type command.com (will effectively create a command session generating the appearance of system drive?)
    * Type FixMBR
    This would likely work, but how many people even know how to use the command line to copy files today? Or even to switch directories for that matter?

    But this will not work if the hard drive is dead..

    I was trying to make the process as simple as possible for someone who is uncomfortable with command line procedures.

    FIXMBR is about as simple as it gets...

    As I read in a Windows XP support page, FIXMBR only operates on the system drive! So if you boot from the CD, it'll try to re-write the MBR on the CD.
    The system drive was the drive you are trying to fix the MBR on... not the CD... I don't know what you are talking about when you say "So if you boot from the CD, it'll try to re-write the MBR on the CD."

    You use the CD to boot to the recovery console. That puts you at a command prompt. YOu type FIXMBR and it repairs the master boot record of the system drive. The system drive being the drive that holds your windows XP installation...
    Last edited by Big Booger; January 2nd, 2006 at 03:14 AM.

  9. #24
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    HELP!

    After reading this thread (found it doing a Google!) I think you might be able to help... I have a very similar problem.. (this might be long winded.. but I really need to get this drive back as it has photos of my son on it and I never back it up... )

    The drive in Question is set up as my Primary Slave and was just a spare drive to store work, Gen' stuff on and the odd program

    I noticed one day that some icons on my desktop had the default Windows logo, and not there actually ones. I went to check the programs that I had installed on to this drive (happens to be D:\) and when I double clicked to open it, it said that the drive wasn't formatted and did I want to format it now... HELL NO I said...

    Well, I booted up the PC with a Partition Magic 8 Bootable CD and it said that Drive 1 and 3 were fine (they showed the right size and usage) but drive 2 (the problem drive) wasn't active. I set it to active. but still not joy in windows. I checked in Disk Management and it shows all 3 HDD, but D:\ doesn't have a File system like the other two. (both NTFS like D:\ used to be.)

    So.. .if anyone can help... I'd owe them many a Beer... (not sure how I'd get the beer to them... but I'd try my damn'est!...

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeesRiK
    HELP!

    After reading this thread (found it doing a Google!) I think you might be able to help... I have a very similar problem.. (this might be long winded.. but I really need to get this drive back as it has photos of my son on it and I never back it up... )

    The drive in Question is set up as my Primary Slave and was just a spare drive to store work, Gen' stuff on and the odd program

    I noticed one day that some icons on my desktop had the default Windows logo, and not there actually ones. I went to check the programs that I had installed on to this drive (happens to be D:\) and when I double clicked to open it, it said that the drive wasn't formatted and did I want to format it now... HELL NO I said...

    Well, I booted up the PC with a Partition Magic 8 Bootable CD and it said that Drive 1 and 3 were fine (they showed the right size and usage) but drive 2 (the problem drive) wasn't active. I set it to active. but still not joy in windows. I checked in Disk Management and it shows all 3 HDD, but D:\ doesn't have a File system like the other two. (both NTFS like D:\ used to be.)

    So.. .if anyone can help... I'd owe them many a Beer... (not sure how I'd get the beer to them... but I'd try my damn'est!...

    First I'd check the cables, power etc.... unplug then plug it back it. Boot and see if you can read the drive.

    If not, check here:

    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/comp/hdd...ruption-c.html

    I'd be careful. If you value the data, then you might just want to use some other tooks to retrieve the data.

    Another option would be to use a Linux Live CD and see if you can access it from there. The live CD should make no changes to the disk, and might be able to access it.. but I dunno for sure.

  11. #26
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    I need some info on fdisk /mbr. Do you type it on the win98>. I am not getting any fix or any response when I type it in, it just goes back to the prompt. I am running XP Home, upgrade version from 98SE. My cd does not boot, it is an upgrade. My 98SE cd will boot. Thanks, be as detailed as you can please.

    I am running XP Home. Two days ago it would take forever to boot. It will take over a minute on the black Windows screen, then take another two minuts on a blank screen before it takes you to user password screen, then everything works kind of normal. It does not do this in safe mode. I tried last known config, restoring to an earlier time when this didnot happen but nothing changes same problem. I tried all my anti virus, spyware, malware software and it looks clean. Hijackthis looks clean. I cannot get it to boot from a cd because the boot won't give me that option on boot up. It is configured to boot from cd first but it won't. Help please. The whole boot process takes betwwen 5 and 6 minutes to get to the welcome screen. Correction, it will let me boot to cd but this cd is an upgrade to XP from 98. It will recognize the 98 cd but not the XP upgrade. I was trying to fix MBR to see if that will work. Any ideas.

  12. #27
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badpapajj
    I need some info on fdisk /mbr. Do you type it on the win98>. I am not getting any fix or any response when I type it in, it just goes back to the prompt. I am running XP Home, upgrade version from 98SE. My cd does not boot, it is an upgrade. My 98SE cd will boot. Thanks, be as detailed as you can please.

    I am running XP Home. Two days ago it would take forever to boot. It will take over a minute on the black Windows screen, then take another two minuts on a blank screen before it takes you to user password screen, then everything works kind of normal. It does not do this in safe mode. I tried last known config, restoring to an earlier time when this didnot happen but nothing changes same problem. I tried all my anti virus, spyware, malware software and it looks clean. Hijackthis looks clean. I cannot get it to boot from a cd because the boot won't give me that option on boot up. It is configured to boot from cd first but it won't. Help please. The whole boot process takes betwwen 5 and 6 minutes to get to the welcome screen. Correction, it will let me boot to cd but this cd is an upgrade to XP from 98. It will recognize the 98 cd but not the XP upgrade. I was trying to fix MBR to see if that will work. Any ideas.
    You either have a virus, spyware, adware, or something else like that. If your computer will boot (even slowly), your MBR is fine AFAIK.

    http://www.techzonez.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9739

    Check that thread out on the double time! Move it soldier. Be all that you can be, get an edge on life in the spyware thread!

    http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/photos00/00254b.jpg

    Also something else that might slow up your booting times:

    Do you have a boot time defragger installed? Have you isntalled any software recently? Have you tried messing in the MSCONFIG settings under the startup tab * go there and remove any unnecessary crap*.

    Honestly you should do a clean install, instead of an upgrade from windows 98.

    http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase...p_sg_clean.asp

    that site will walk you through the process.

  13. #28
    Junior Member Ergolad's Avatar
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    Question Here's one for ya...

    So I've been reading this thread with interest. My situation is this:

    Installed GoBack 4 on an XP Home Toshiba Laptop that didn't like it. System posts, gives the Windows logo and then fades to black. Can boot into Safe Mode. The Symantec site shows that this can be a problem and blames a corrupted MBR:

    http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT...1101713193807?

    They provide an ISO to create a bootable disk that has utilities to correct the issue, but they didn't work. I check with Toshiba to see if the MBR is locked in some way and they say no. The solution they offered me was a complete system restore back to factory. Not so keen on that.

    Next I decided to go about repairing the MBR the ways suggested by this thread. Problem is that I can't load the Recovery Console because of the password issue with my admin account. I read up on the fix offered by MS, but the system I am using \doesn't have a floppy drive. Is there a way to access the appropriate utilities otherwise? I have a 98 SE upgrade disk, but it won't let me boot to it. Strange because I am able to boot to the XP cd...

    Any suggestions??

    Thanks in advance.

  14. #29
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ergolad
    So I've been reading this thread with interest. My situation is this:

    Installed GoBack 4 on an XP Home Toshiba Laptop that didn't like it. System posts, gives the Windows logo and then fades to black. Can boot into Safe Mode. The Symantec site shows that this can be a problem and blames a corrupted MBR:

    http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT...1101713193807?

    They provide an ISO to create a bootable disk that has utilities to correct the issue, but they didn't work. I check with Toshiba to see if the MBR is locked in some way and they say no. The solution they offered me was a complete system restore back to factory. Not so keen on that.

    Next I decided to go about repairing the MBR the ways suggested by this thread. Problem is that I can't load the Recovery Console because of the password issue with my admin account. I read up on the fix offered by MS, but the system I am using \doesn't have a floppy drive. Is there a way to access the appropriate utilities otherwise? I have a 98 SE upgrade disk, but it won't let me boot to it. Strange because I am able to boot to the XP cd...

    Any suggestions??

    Thanks in advance.
    External floppy disk? USB card reader (clip drive) etc...

  15. #30
    Junior Member Ergolad's Avatar
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    Thanks. I had been avoiding the option to restore the system to the last known config that had worked when booting. I was afraid that it would somehow screw up my ability to uninstall GoBack. It turns out that restore to a previous config indeed got things going again, and I was able to uninstall GoBack using Add/Remove.

    Thanks.

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