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should I let scandisk "fix" the boot sector?

Posted on 2000-05-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
I recently recovered from a nasty loss of all files on my hard drive due to a boot sector change.  See PAQ http://www1.experts-exchange.com/bin/Q.10332829

I have now started from scratch, reformatted the drive with Maxblast. Loaded all my files from backups and after a few days, I want to run defrag. But when I do, I get an error message saying the disk has errors.  I run scan disk and it says there is an error being reported in the boot sector. "The drive's boot area contains important information that is damaged or invalid. This can cause windows to report the free space incorrectly or slowly. Scandisk repairs the boot area by recording the correct values in this area."

This is where I stop!!  I do believe this is what screwed me the last time.
Will I regret chosing the option "repair the error"?

What are my options?  

Can I use MS defrag, or am I better of using a 3rd party product like Norton Speed Disk?  (That used to work well for me, but I'm trying to avoid 3rd party stuff at this point).
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Question by:wavking
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:oldgreyguy
ID: 2765711
Since this seems to be the second time around, I would look at three things:

1/ have the hard drive tested, it may well be headed for the bar for the last call

2/ Check the parameters that your BIOS is setting for the drive, are they correct for the drive

3/ Why are you using MaxBlast, does your mainboard not support (the assumption is the drive is large) large drives?

I would look at number 3 first as the problem
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 2765761
I've recieved 3 brand new hard drives from maxtor
just by calling the tech number that shows up in their diagnostic
utility.

They are very good about replacing drives.

You could let scandisk fix that. If it messes up you can write a generic
MBR by booting with your rescue disk and typing

FDISK /MBR
I'd get another HD 1st and transfer the information to it.


Regards, Bud
http://www.geocities.com/budallen98_98/
Bud's Win95 Win98 Tips and Troubleshooter
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 2765763
I've recieved 3 brand new hard drives from maxtor
just by calling the tech number that shows up in their diagnostic
utility.

They are very good about replacing drives.

You could let scandisk fix that. If it messes up you can write a generic
MBR by booting with your rescue disk and typing

FDISK /MBR
I'd get another HD 1st and transfer the information to it.


Regards, Bud
http://www.geocities.com/budallen98_98/
Bud's Win95 Win98 Tips and Troubleshooter
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 2766122
wavking
I can't see your previous question (it will cost me 40 points to read it) but the problem that Norton finds is your Maxblast installation software on the HD, Since this isn't what is expected to find then it considered it an error. If you can set the HD up with FDISK then this would not be a problem.
IF you allow it to fix the problem again then you will most likely find yourself with an unbootable system again.
Most utility programs do not like the Disk Management software, they see them as errors or viruses and will try to fix or remove them and cause more problems then they fix
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2766602
do not use fdisk /mbr if you are using maxtor's DDO, maxblast.  This will cause you problems.

oher than that, Ray is correct.  The best way to go here is, if possible, running without the DDO.  If that requires a BIOS flash, that's the way to go.  If the BIOS can see the entire drive, throw the DDO out the windows2000!



1cell
http://members.home.com/liquitech
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 2767531
1cell,
 Tell me please.
What problems might occur by fdisk /mrb??
With the overlay of course.

Regards, Bud
http://www.geocities.com/budallen98_98/
Bud's Win95 Win98 Tips and Troubleshooter
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 2767959
I can answer this for 1cell,
Check this link for more info:
http://www.maxtor.com/technology/technotes/24003.html

Excert from it:
At times, a hard drive partition table (Master Boot Record {MBR}) can become corrupted. Corruption can stem from anything from operating system installation to boot sector viruses. In most cases the DOS Command Line syntax of FDISK/MBR can refresh a damaged MBR. The exception to this rule is hard drives that depend on MaxBlast (EZ BIOS). The scope of this document is to provide users with a procedure for restoring the MBR on a hard drive in a system where one of the drives has been formatted with  MaxBlast.
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2770087
thanks ray,

to add a bit, basically, the DDO software creates a modified MBR outside the scope of the OS.  When you use fdisk /mbr, it overwrites the DDO with a normal MBR.


1cell
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Author Comment

by:wavking
ID: 2770445
I crossed my fingers and let scandisk fix it and everything still works. So far so good. Thanks for the advice.
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Accepted Solution

by:
stubbs earned 100 total points
ID: 2780293
In a FAT32 partition, the FAT32 extended boot sector keeps track of the amount of free space left on the drive. The value in the boot sector can easily become out of sync with the amount of free space left on the drive.
It's usually not a sign of a more serious problem, and a tool like scandisk fixes the problem by recalculating the amount of free space and updating the boot sector.
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Author Comment

by:wavking
ID: 2780363
If you read the PAQ, you can see why I was a little gun shy about this. Similar circumstance with a different outcome. The drive is only a couple months old. The bigger they are the harder they crash....
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