Not booting into anything?

Posted on 2006-05-24
Last Modified: 2013-12-05
Ok, I was having problems with not following the directions during a video card installation, so I led  myself to believe that I need to clear the cmos memory. So I cleared the CMOS memory and turned on the computer, and ran through the bios setup and everything is setup fine. There is no setting in the bios anywhere for partitions.

So when my computer gets past the dell boot screen with text for f2 & f12, the screen goes to a black screen with blue band at the top that says dell. Underneeth the band it says "loading pbr..." then it goes to a black screen and doesn't got any further.

I ran SLAX live CD and was able to locate my HD, the utility partition and my normal partition.
Question by:hansam
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    "I led  myself to believe that I need to clear the cmos "
    what was the original problem with the video, that you thought clearing the bios would fix?  you need the dell manual for your model - goto & enter your service tag - to get the correct settings for your bios.

    try holding f8 & booting into safe mode, then see if you can remove the device driver in device manager
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    can you boot in safe mode ? (hit F8 key during boot)
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    In regards to F8, it doesn't work. During the boot sequence it doesn't even make it to the Windows StartUp Screen.

    As for the problem that led me to believe that I needed to clear the bios. Since I believe that everyone needs at least one good laugh a day, I will tell you.

    I have a dell with onboard video, I just purchased a new radeon video card with TV out. While reading the installation instructions, it told me that I should disable the on board video after I put the phsyical card into my PCI slot. So ignoring the instructions, I continued on with the installation. During the software installation my screen kept on blanking in and out but the computer stayed on and the software installation was never haulted.

    Finally the screen just went completely blank. So I tried plugging the video card into the onboard video, and nothing. So I turned the computer off, removed the new card and turned the pc back on while trying to use my on board video. The screen was still blank, yet my monitor had its little test screen on with the different colors.

    I did a little research and came up with the idea that it was in the bios. So I figured out how to reset my bios. After that still same problem, so I decided to check the cables on the back of the computer and still nothing. Then out of no where I reached over to the cable going into my flat panel that I use for testing and I moved the cable around and quickly figured out that was my problem.

    So after I turned the computer on with video and ran through the bios setup screen, that led me to the problem originally posted.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    so the cable was the culprit of the video not working

    boot from an xp cd, press R for recovery console, & enter "fixmbr"
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    "Loading PBR for descriptor 2 ... failed" would be the exact error message if the MBR is unable to load the partition boot record for the second partition. There may be more, but here are three possible causes:
    1) the partition table is corrupted so that the descriptor points to the wrong place (i.e., says the partition is one place when it's really somewhere else); 2) the partition table descriptor points to the right place, but the boot record there is corrupted or has been erased; 3) the hard disk is failing and having trouble reading the sector with the boot record."

    run Dell hard disk diagnostic tests. Press F12 when the machine is starting and see if the bios boot menu offers you a hard disk diagnostic test that you can run. Or even better, if you know the brand of the hard disk, most manufacturers should have a free diagnostic utility you can download to test the hard disk.

    If fixmbr doesn't fix it, & the drive tests fine, then try
    1) boot from XP cd & try running Repair option or Setup option to reinstall on top of the existing o/s
    2) use Ctrl+F11 to run the Dell restore utility to recreate the Windows partition (will lose everything)

    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    Your PC is trying to boot from the LAN, this happens when either your HD isn't found or it can't boot from the HD for some other reason, like a bad or missing bootsector like mentioned above. To restore the mbr you can try the following:

    1. get a win98 boot floppy and run fdisk /mbr
    2. start with your windows CD (if it is a 2k or XP installation CD), then enter "r" when it asks if you want to repair, and then in the recovery console enter


    After that reboot and try again. If that doesn't help try a repair installation of 2k or XP. For this again boot the CD and don't press "r" when asked like above, but do press "r" when asked later. This will install XP without breaking your other software or data. If you can then boot, reinstall the latest servicepack and run the windowsupdates again.

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