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Need to create MBR on blank Hard Drives

Posted on 2013-06-26
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I have a blank hard drive...I mean blank...nothing at all on it...no MBR etc.

I have PfSense 2.3 iso.gz unpacked and burned to disk...at least I think I have it done properly...It will not install....period.

Please, I have a lot depending on getting some stuff set up, i.e. the hard drives set up to allow installs...specifically the PfSense 2.3 and Zentyal 3.0.

Thank you...
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Question by:ChuckInAtl
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39280492
What disk model is it??

does the drive show in the bios?
i would run a diag on it first - to be sure its OK

go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD, make the cd, and boot from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download
since the downloaded file is an ISO file, you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
 
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section - long diag !
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page
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Author Comment

by:ChuckInAtl
ID: 39280956
Hello Nobus,

Thanks for your prompt reply.

I downloaded a program called Ultimate Boot Disk and installed it.  It installs as a Linux OS.

I then reformatted the drive a Western Digital 600 Protege...it now appears to have a boot partition.

I had downloaded and unpacked PfSense 2.03 from PfSense a iso.gz file, unpacked it, put the DVD into the CD/DVD and rebooted the computer.

Something new happened, the screen now says the disk is not bootable!?  I think my question now is that I am now unpacking the iso.gz file properly.  

I do use CDBurnerXP as you mentioned.  I open CDBurnerXP, highlight pfSense-LiveCD-2.0.3-RELEASE-amd64-20130412-1027 which is the file in question and extract it to its own folder after which I burn to a DVD.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks again Nobus.

Chuck
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39281486
correct me if i'm wrong :
you unpâcked the PfSense 2.3 iso.gz  - what was the result? should be :  Pf sense2.3.iso
normally, iso files are ProgramName.iso, and ; when burned will be bootable.
unfortunately, i have no linux system around for testing
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Author Comment

by:ChuckInAtl
ID: 39281641
Me again,

I did figure out what I was doing wrong re burning an iso image....i had opened win explorer, selected the unpacked files and click 'burn' at the top of the dialog box.  What I should have done and finally did was first open CDBrunerXP, select burn ISO burn then open the iso image and burn it...that problem solved.  I did try and install, it actually did go into install mode but apparently there is something funky about how how the "Ultimate Boot Disk" format/partitioned the drive.

What would recommend as a method, hopefully one that just require me to install a fix it disk, to properly format/partition install MBR the drive?

Thanks,
Chuck
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39281936
that is what i posted above - did you NOT read it ? ?
"since the downloaded file is an ISO file, you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/     "
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Author Comment

by:ChuckInAtl
ID: 39283299
You just stepped over the line.

Yes, I read your direction....AFTER I had figured it out myself what I was doing wrong.

I followed that with what was the second part which was format/partitioning MBR onto a blank disc using some kind of CD boot disk that would then allow me to format.

Your post reeks of sarcasm.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39283589
chuck -  if you see sarcasm -  that is only how you feel; i cannot see from here when or what you read.
i only was astonished that you told me "i found the problem" and posted exactly what i posted 8 hrs before
certainly no sarcasm intended - but many people asking questions skim over the posts thinking "that's not for me"  - that's why i asked you if you did read it
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Author Comment

by:ChuckInAtl
ID: 39283992
Astonished?  Pretty big word for something like this...

But to move on, do you have direction as far as the hard drive is concerned?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39284964
yes - answer the questions i asked before, so i can  assist correctly :
What disk model is it??
and
does the drive show in the bios?

then you run the diag on it as i described in my first post
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Author Comment

by:ChuckInAtl
ID: 39284978
Now who's not reading the post :)

I quote "I then reformatted the drive a Western Digital 600 Protege...it now appears to have a boot partition." etc.

Yes the drive does show in BIOS and the drive shows no problems in diag.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39286288
ok that is a 60 GB Pata drive, running at 5400 rpm (small and slow, by modern standards)
i suppose that drive is connected directly to IDE port of your system as a slave drive - right?
you can run the diag on it from the HDD\Diagnosis section - use the WD lifeguard program
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Author Comment

by:ChuckInAtl
ID: 39286975
Right about the drive, will be used to mount PfSense a firewall program so it is fine for that.

The drive is primary on IDE port
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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 500 total points
ID: 39287780
ok what are the diag results?
if ok, i suggest to boot from the normal systemdrive
then open disk management, and chek if this drive is seen
if so, right click it and assign it a drive letter

more info :  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307844
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Author Closing Comment

by:ChuckInAtl
ID: 39289874
???

The reason for my post was two fold.

I could not in any way boot the drive and that the drive was missing it's MBR and at the time of the post I did not know how to remedy that.

Also, the ISO burn issue, that I did figure out just prior to reading your direction...which I appreciate...yet you took issue with .... again sorry.

I have figured out how to repair the drive and have installed its OS.  

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR EFFORTS :)

Please accept my sincere thanks and no follow on 'cryptic'  reply.

Chuck
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