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How to fix Dell Inspiron 6000 "Loading PBR 2...done" Error?

richtree asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 notebook running XP Pro. Today it stops at message "Loading PBR 2...done". It does not boot any further.
I run diagnostic test by pressing fn key and power it on. Here is the result:
1. Quick (system) test: pass
2. Complete hard disk test: Read test and Verify test failed at block14277757, all other tests (confidence test, device self test, seek test, S.M.A.R.T test) pass.
Q#1. What is the cause of this issue: MBR corrupted?
Q#2. How to fix it without reinstalling the Windows XP and application on it?
Q#3. Will the block#14277757 cause any issue if I have to reinstall the Windows?

Watch Question

Pop in your XP CD and reboot.
Press any key to run from CD
Press R for Repair.

If this doesn't work, get to a cmd prompt from the XP cd
and do a fixmbr and reboot.

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correction to andeporter:

Put in your Windows XP disk, and reboot, during the Dell screen, press F12 key to select boot device.
Select your onboard or USB CDROM, and then when it says "press any key to boot to CD.." Press a key.

Option 1:
let it run through its thing, then on the first screen, press Enter to install windows, then press F8 to agree to EULA.  Then press R to repair windows, if it's an option.

Option 2:
let it run through its thing, then on the first screen, press R to start the recovery console.  Log in to your windows installation using a blank administrator password (unless you set one up).  then run CHKDSK /r

Option 3:
Find and download Hirem's boot CD.  It'll attempt to repair that sector on your Hard drive, and then you can run normally.


I boot it from XP CD, choose R, go to command prompt, run fixmbr and reboot. Same problem.

Next I boot it from XP CD, choose to reinstall. Now it shows the following partitions. (I have not chosen to proceed yet, so no info is lost from this action):
-: Partition1 [FAT], 63MB, (55MB free)
C: Partition2 [Unknown], 20003MB (20002 MB free)
D: Partition3 (Data) [NTFS], 53176 MB (25913 MB free)
F: Partition4 [FAT32], 3075 MB (670 MB free).
I think D: and F: drive is correct.
Partition1 seems to be extra.
Partition2 is wrong. It should have more data in it, thus less free space.
Now repair by 'reinstall' will not work as it does not recognize the Windows XP install on C: partition.
Q#4. Any way to make it recognize the C: partition correctly?
Q#5. Any other non-disruptive repair method/tools?

Top Expert 2009
There is a very long discussion of this problem, with lots of tips on how to possibly solve it on the following page:

loading PBR for descriptor 2 ... done?

I would suggest you first try running CHKDSK on your C: drive from the Recovery Console.


I am running chkdsk /r which is performing additional checking or recovery. Will update here how it goes.


Here is the result:
1. boot from XP CD and choose 'R' option. Run chkdsk /r command. It finds and fixed some errors on the volume.
2. reboot and try to boot from hard disk: Windows could not start because \Windowssystem32\config\system file is missing or corrupted.
3. Reboot it from XP CD and choose 'R' option. Run 'fixboot' command. It shows successful
4. Reboot it from hard disk: nothing shows on the screen. 'Loading PBR 2...done' message is gone too.
5. Reboot it from XP CD and choose 'reinstall' option. Now it shows C: partition as follows:
-: Partition1 [FAT], 63 MB (55 MB free)
C: Partition2 (MySystem) [NTFS], 20003 MB (6487 MB free).
D: same as before
F: same as before.
But it still does NOT recognize C: as Windows partition. I do not have the option to 'repair' by reinstall Windows.
Q#6. What to do next (without wiping out the data and application on C: partition)?
Top Expert 2009
Well, that message about \Windows\System32\Config\system file missing or corrupted means a major part of your registry need to be recovered.  You may have to use the rather involved procedure referenced in this Microsoft article:

How to Recover from a Corrupted Registry that Prevents Windows XP from Starting

This page has, perhaps, a more understandable treatment of the above article:

Windows XP Crashed - Here's Help

If you have an OEM-installed WinXP, then, according to the above MS article, you should not perform the above procedure (quotation below):

Warning: Do not use the procedure that is described in this article if your computer has an OEM-installed operating system. The system hive on OEM installations creates passwords and user accounts that did not exist previously. If you use the procedure that is described in this article, you may not be able to log back into the recovery console to restore the original registry hives.  

You can perform this slightly modified version of the MS method, as in the answer by venom96737 to this question:



Dell tech support recommends 'restore' it by using the Dell Restore utility. Because it will restore the factory default thus all data and application will be gone, I hesitate to use it unless absolutely necessary.

Also, I just realized that the 'Recovery Console' does not go to c:\windows folder. It ends in c:\ root directory. When I try to run 'cd windows' and it shows 'Access is denied'.
Note: on the working windows xp partition, the 'Recovery console' goes into c:\windows directory.
The Dell notebook comes with OEM XP installation.

Q#6. What to do next (without wiping out the data and application on C: partition)?
Top Expert 2009
I don't understand why you can't reach the Windows folder.  As the MS article says below, you can access the root folder and the %SystemRoot% folder, which is the \Windows\ folder:

Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console

Did you try CHDIR instead of CD ?
You're hard drive is probably going bad... you need to get this up and running as soon as possible.. Bad sectors start, and they just continue to grow.  Get Hirem's boot CD, Run a hard drive regenerator on it, and it'll be useful for a while.  But, it might go tomorrow, it might make it two years.



Will Hiren boot CDfix the boot issue? I  will try it tomorrow and update here. Any idea/tip is appreciated.
http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd does not allow me to download. I do not see a link even to purchase a copy of it.
How to get it?
Any other tools to try?


Unable to accept multiple responses as solution. It also happened in the past.
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