Solved

Master boot record looks damaged

Posted on 2006-07-21
14
285 Views
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hi All-

I have a PC that has ceased booting windows - it tries, then bluescreens with the 'unmountable boot volume' message.  By "it tries" I mean that it shows the windows XP logo for a few seconds - which is obviously pulled from the drive - and then tanks.

I booted from a windows CD, and it wont see the install for a repair install.  It notes the partition type as "unknown".  It is that last clue that leads me to believe that the master boot record is tanked.  

I am posting to see if people agree with me, and if so, is there a way to repair it without a reload/reformat?  I would prefer to not have ot do that.

I do not know, but suspect that a power outage while the PC was on, did this.

Any thoughts, ask away.  Anything I can run or do to narrow things down, just let me know!

Thanks,  Eric
0
Comment
Question by:EricTuthill
14 Comments
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17156859
If the mbr was out, you wouldn't be able to boot at all. I think there is something else no good there. What windows CD did you boot from? Get a copy of the UBCD and boot your PC with it. Then test the RAM wirh memtest86+. Also use the HD manufacturer's testing utility to test the disk, it is probably going bad.

http://ultimatebootcd.com
0
 

Author Comment

by:EricTuthill
ID: 17157724
I will run that and post results in a bit - thanks!

Eric
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:_Mr_Limo
ID: 17158950
unmountable boot disk is most likely the drive itself - something to keep in mind if the above doesnt work.  

If it's the disk, you have two options, attempt a reformat (probably wont work), or professional recovery if the data is important.

Try http://www.drivesavers.com  if the data is critical, they're the best in the business.  Not the least expensive, but definitely the best.
0
Optimizing Cloud Backup for Low Bandwidth

With cloud storage prices going down a growing number of SMBs start to use it for backup storage. Unfortunately, business data volume rarely fits the average Internet speed. This article provides an overview of main Internet speed challenges and reveals backup best practices.

 

Expert Comment

by:jobshopr
ID: 17160859
BartPE is the best tool for fixing this.
It's free.
http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
You will need to have the Windows XP Home or Pro files in order to create the disc.
Sounds like you have some bad sectors on your hard drive.
This disc will boot to a Preboot Enviroment (PE) and allow you to see your files and run disc utilities.  You need to do a chkdsk and repair any bad sectors.

If you don't have the XP CD handy or don't want to mess with BartPE, you can get some standalone programs that will build bootable CDs or floppys for you to run disc recovery tools.
Here are the free ones:
http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Utilities/Disk_Maintenance_and_Repair_Utilities/free/

You should also look at this XP Repair site:
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm
0
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:scrathcyboy
ID: 17165185
If you have a clean disk, format it FAT32 (easier to recover than NTFS), and xcopy all the files from the other disk to the new one -- if you put both in a second system for this then just issue the command --

xcopy D:\*.*   E:\  /s/h/r/k/c/e

and then hook up the new disk only, boot from the XP CD, and go to recovery console, and type --

Fixboot C:

Now boot from the new disk, and you are fine.  WHen you are happy, you can try to reformat the old.
0
 

Author Comment

by:EricTuthill
ID: 17169956
Hi All-

Well, I decided to give ol checkdisk a try - usually futile, but this time it worked!  The reason I tried was just because I was getting a windows logo at bootup prior to crash.

Went to recovery console, ran it, boots fine now.  Chalk one up for wierdness.

Thanks for all the advice - I do want to address some of it.

I have an ultimate boot cd - its great.  But, even on hard disks I knew were bad, I have never seen the hard drive test utilities flag one as bad.


I will distro points up shortly... thanks to all!

Eric
0
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17170004
I've seen powermax say the disk has a problem, along with an errorcode. That code usually allows you to RMA the disk for warranty replacements.
0
 

Author Comment

by:EricTuthill
ID: 17170108
Ill  look for that program randi, thanks.
0
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17170182
There are 2 versions on the UBCD, but it'll only give the correct errorcodes on maxtor disks.
0
 

Author Comment

by:EricTuthill
ID: 17170222
Heh.  Maxtors have the error code right on the label though!  Right where it says... "Maxtor".

I dont use those anymore, too faulty.  Pardon my humor, hehe, but thanks for the tip.

Eric
0
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17170261
That error code doesn't qualify for a warranty replacement. I don't mind that humor at all, actually it is 150% correct, and I don't use maxtors anymore either...
0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
CetusMOD earned 0 total points
ID: 17682068
PAQed with points refunded (500)

CetusMOD
Community Support Moderator
0

Featured Post

Gigs: Get Your Project Delivered by an Expert

Select from freelancers specializing in everything from database administration to programming, who have proven themselves as experts in their field. Hire the best, collaborate easily, pay securely and get projects done right.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Having issues meeting security compliance criteria because of those pesky USB drives? Then I can help you! This article will explain how to disable USB Mass Storage devices in Windows Server 2008 R2.
Finding original email is quite difficult due to their duplicates. From this article, you will come to know why multiple duplicates of same emails appear and how to delete duplicate emails from Outlook securely and instantly while vital emails remai…
This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of installing the necessary services and then configuring a Windows Server 2012 system as an iSCSI target. To install the necessary roles, go to Server Manager, and select Add Roles and Featu…
This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…

775 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question