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

Posted on 2009-02-18
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.

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: for Dell utility.
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.

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). Same as before. Same as the other working Dell notebook.
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.
The Dell notebook still could not load XP. The screen is blank after the BIOS stage.

Boot from XP PE (Preinstall Environment) CD and it could read the notebook hard disk.

I use Ghost 8.3 to ghost it to an external USB drive. Working XP could read D: partition but not C: partition of that USB drive though it detects it as drive.

Ghost also shows that C: partition and D: partition use same ID: 07 though the labels are different.

Q#1. Is it normal that two partitions use same ID or is it a problem?
Q#2. How to fix the problem without reinstall XP or restore from Dell utility?
Question by:richtree

    Author Comment

    see previous discussion at

    Q#1: It is normal as I see it on another Dell notebook pc.

    Q#3. Why XP PE can see the 'bad' C: partition of the notebook hard disk but another working XP computer cannot see the equivalent 'C: partition' on the ghosted USB drive?

    Author Comment

    I have another identical Dell notebook which is working fine. The C: partition size is same as the the defective one.
    Q#4. Is is possible to copy the partition table/MBR from the working Dell notebook and write it to the defective unit?
    Q#5. If yes, will the data and program on the defective unit remain the same after partition table/MBR restore?
    LVL 87

    Accepted Solution

    Normally you wont be able to access the data on an HD with that error. Your best option if your data is that important, is to send it to a recovery agency. Sometimes you could also try changing the PCB of that HD with an identical drive and then test it again.

    A good recovery agency is gillware, but it may be better to look for one in your area.

    Author Comment

    Partition table doctor did not fix the issue. I guess it might help with non-OEM XP install, but not on this Dell OEM Windows install.
    It recognize the DellUtil partition as FAT16 and it screwed up the Dell Restore function.

    Expert Comment

    I have this error and with a simple PATA(2.5" & 3.5")/SATA to USB adapter I am able to at least retrieve the data... I do not think you need to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a recovery service. I would at least try a $30-$40 adapter first.

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