Bad PBR in Win XP Home Dell machine, need to recover data!

Getting Bad PBR on XP Home machine.  Tried slaving drive in another system to get important data off of it but when I try to load Drive in 'my computer' it asks if I want to format the disk.  I need to recover the data, or get the drive to boot.  HELP PLEASE.

I already ran the disk diagnostics from Dell (F12 when booting) and the drive passed all tests.  I also tried running 'repair' by booting the XP CD and it does not see the OS to repair.
mchyzikAsked:
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johnb6767Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I would slave the disk, (even though XP wants to format it, if you use the RAW recover scan in Easy Recovery Pro, it should still see the File System) and start the data recovery process immediately, ad do no further testing as it will only get slower.....

EasyRecovery Professional - Trial Edition  (you can scan for free, and purchase if you like what it finds...)
http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/include/document.asp?file=http://download.ontrack.com/freedownloads/ERPROT_610.exe

GetDataBack Data Recovery Software
http://runtime.org/downloads.htm

And when slaving the drive, you might need to take ownership of the files to gain access....

How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421
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lauchangkwangCommented:
try to run into Safe Mode (Keep pressing F8 during startup) ...... then have a try .......

Is that in your Drive D that keep asking for reformat ??
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
Go into safe mode then try what?
WHen I Put the 'bad' drive in my test machine as a 'slave",  I boot my test machine and try to see the files on the 'bad' hard drive... when I click on that drive (actually it comes up as the D drive) it asks if I want to reformat it.  NOrmally when I do this it just shows the files on that drive I slave.
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Crash2100Commented:
Have you tried running check disk on the drive from the Recovery Console?
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
Nope... have not run chkdsk yet.. should I use the -r switch with it?
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Crash2100Commented:
yes, chkdsk x: /r  (replace x: with whatever letter the drive is assigned)
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souseranCommented:
If this is a proprietary PC (Dell, Gateway, HP, etc.) you might also set the bad drive as the Master and run FIXMBR from the recovery console. These systems often have a system utilities partition. FIXMBR should overwrite that, allowing you to get to your data.
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
I tried chkdsk /r and I get the following error:  The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems... UGH!  Now what?
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
Yes, it is a Dell and has a partition just for the Dell recovery.  I will try the fixmbr next.
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
fixmbr is not working... unrecognized command.. doing this from c prompt in recovery console.
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Crash2100Commented:
Can you get to the files you need in the recovery console?  If so, you could copy them over to another drive in there.
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souseranCommented:
Were you able to run the FIXMBR?

Also, see this PAQ

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Q_21724834.html
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
when I do a dir of the c drive I receive the following error:  an error occurred during directory enumeration... doesnt look good does it?
NOthing happens when I do a fixmbr accept get an error that it is an unrecognize command.
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Crash2100Commented:
What exactly happens when you put the drive in as master and try to boot from it like normal?
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
I get the following message:
Loading PBR for descriptor 2 ..... done
Bad PBR
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Crash2100Commented:
I found several comments in this forum that said not to use the Fixmbr command with this:
http://www.cyberspacesupport.com/question.php?question_id=2401

Have you tried contacting Dell about this?
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nobusCommented:
try booting from a bootable cd, and access the data from there :
ftp://ftp.uni-kl.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V5.1.0CD-2006-12-30-EN.iso      Knoppix      
www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/                                     BartPe
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
Dell wants to do a total recovery, which will erase all data... not what I want to do yet (until I recover the data!)
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nobusCommented:
then try what i posted . . .
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snazyCommented:
I see this is an old thread,but "Loading PBR for descriptor 2 ..... done" sounds to me as a corrupted operatiing system.The pbr is actually responsible for loading ntldr.If it is not too late,connect your drive to a working pc,boot to recovery console  and run the following command:
COPY X:\i386\NTLDR y:
where x is the letter of your cd drive and y is the letter of the harddrive you want to repair.
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
I sed Bart CD and could not get data off the drive.  It does not recognize the c drive, get the error that it does not contain a recognized file system.  Help!
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nobusCommented:
try the knoppix one - it is a different system
or try running spinrite on your drive - one of the very best ! :  http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm      
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johnb6767Commented:
"EasyRecovery Professional - Trial Edition  (you can scan for free, and purchase if you like what it finds...)
http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/include/document.asp?file=http://download.ontrack.com/freedownloads/ERPROT_610.exe

Did you try that one yet? It has a RAW recovery feature, that can still scan a HDD even if no File Structure is found.....
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
I already did the knoppix cd, no luck... I am running the Easy Recovery Pro now.. 1.5 hrs to go on it.. it seems to be seeing the drive at least!
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johnb6767Commented:
Keep in mind, that if it finds good results, that is only a tral version, and in order to actually recover data, you would need to purchase the license....

Also, make note of the "Condition" of the files as well, as it most everything is damaged, then it might be a big risk recovering data that is unreadable....
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snazyCommented:
A bit more info on PBR.Bad PBR" means the partition boot record(PBR) the MBR is trying to load has an invalid sector signature."Loading PBR for descriptor 2" message before "bad PBR " means it is having trouble accessing the OS partition.
PBR resides on the active partition and points to three bootable partitions
1 is the Utility partition
2 is the System partition(OS)
3 is DSR(dell system recovery)
In your case you are having trouble accessing partition 2(XP partition)
There is 3 reasons why you cant get your data:
1.damaged OS(replace system files)
2.damaged PBR(follow the instructions beneath)
3.damaged harddrive
So if you are sure your harddrive is damaged,dont bother with the following suggestion
If replacing the ntldr doesnt help,you could try the following to recreate PBR
Get a spare hard drive.Use Dell Recovery CD to recreate the required(PBR) partitions on the new harddrive.Once it is booting ok,get this drive and your old drive and mount them as slaves in a PC.Replace the data on the C: drive of the new harddrive with the contents of your original drive.
If you manage to get your data back in this way or any other way and the drive isnt damaged,you could try pressing Ctrl+f11 at boot up to recreate the windows partition(partition 2) using dell recovery utility and reinstall your OS
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lauchangkwangCommented:
If the data really important to you, I would suggest send the Hard Disk to the Data Recovery Company in your area to recover that (even need to pay, but at last you can recover that) ...... Good luck !
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
Easy recovery pulled the files.. I called them and they wanted $499 for the product!  I thought it was $89 so now I am back to square one, find another product to recover the files.
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johnb6767Commented:
EasyRecovery" Lite 6.1 - Individual Edition    <~~~~Purchase link for Download.....
http://buyonline.ontrack.com/ecom/_additem.asp?variant_id=83&catalog_name=Ontrack%20Online&product_id=60ERDRL61&product_qty=1&delivery=Download%20only

Try this link, I gave you the Pro version trial, this should be the one for the Lite 6.1.....
http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/include/document.asp?file=http://download.ontrack.com/freedownloads/erdrt_610.exe
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
I used and purchased the 'getdataback' and it was a better product than the other one above.. and only $89 for NTFS!  All data was recovered, rebuilt system and all is fine now.  Still dont know what caused the drive to become so unstable and not boot.. any ideas?
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johnb6767Commented:
Sometimes corruption just gets bad over time. Keep an eye on the disk if you reinstalled on it after formatting it....
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nobusCommented:
i always suggest running a manufacturer test on problematic drives, before using them again :

http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
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mchyzikAuthor Commented:
I ran disk diagnostics FIRST before doing anything right at the beginning.. it passed everything.
I think the MBD is bad, perhaps lightening strike s none of the USB ports are working (all onboard). Bios doesnt even see them.
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johnb6767Commented:
Sounds like a feasible solution....Always a good time to upgrade!!

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nobusCommented:
can you try to reset the bios to default? maybe it will help - just take out the bios battery for a minute, while the pc is disconnected from the AC
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