Corrupted Boot File Harbinger of Things to Come?

Posted on 2009-12-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
I just completed a disk repair on a Dell Latitude running XP. (I used the install CD, ran repair, and ran chkdsk /r.)  Can a corrupted boot file be an indicator of things going bad on a hard drive, or is it simply an anomaly that occasionally occurs?  
Question by:jdana
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    Are you still having problems with the machine?

    You could boot into the recovery console and run FIXBOOT and FIXBOOT /MBR to replace the boot files with fresh copies to ensure there aren't continuing issues.

    Sometimes the boot files are corrupted due to viruses/spyware, while as other time I've run into this its been completely at random.  Generally the chkdsk /r and FIXBOOT commands will resolve the issue, but other times it does get a bit hairy.

    Can you post any errors or symptoms you have?  This would include BIOS beep codes, computer make/model, and any event logs and I'd be happy to assist you further.
    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    It CAN be a sign, but isn't necessarily.  File corruption can be caused by many things, sometimes hardware failure, sometimes by user error, sometimes by a power surge, etc.

    For instance, if you hard power your machine off in the middle of a file write, it can often result in file corruption.  Power spikes can cause the same thing. Neither of these problems denotes an impending failure of the drive.

    However, if you start seeing consistently corrupted files, start hearing odd noises (clunks and clicks that you haven't heard before), and things like that, I would be wary of a hardware failure.

    In either case, always have good backups.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the good feedback.  FYI, The machine is now functional.

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