Repairing MBR on HD with bad clusters.
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Thread: Repairing MBR on HD with bad clusters.

  1. #1
    Senior Member n01100110's Avatar
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    Repairing MBR on HD with bad clusters.

    Okay, the un-thinkable happened to me. Probably a simple endeavor for most of you, but for me I never encountered this problem so theres a jackass first for everything right ? .. heh.. I was installing Open SuSE live on my box, which i planned to dually partition with XP home. The monitor that I have, flickers quite a bit, it's an old piece of trash. So that led me to unplugging it more than once and plugging it back in (the monitor).. The result was nil. So i physically shut off the box during the install, **YES I KNOW**, dumb....... So i'm guessing that I caused some cross linkage problems with the hdd, and messed up the MBR altogether, and when i fire up the machine now, I get "No active OS Partition !, insert cd or reboot" .. [I really hope you guys don't break out the flame throwers on this thread ]

    Things i've tried thus far:
    1.) Seeing as I have a Vista recovery disk only, and not an XP disk, I fired up the Vista disk and skipped the install, went to recovery mode and got the command prompt open. I first tried fixboot, and fixmbr, which were to no avail, I thought they were available on vista too but i guess i was wrong. I tried scandisk, which didn't work either.. So finally, I ran chkdsk /f /r and let that run. It had alot of listings of bad sectors on which it claimed it repaired when that finished.

    2.) I had a system suite recovery disk which came with my laptop (vista), but it stated dually compatible with XP, vista, 7. So I went to the partition table, and on my hdd (79.6 GB), it states that 7.9 GB have bad sectors. "Wow". Even after running chkdsk and repairing all the bad sectors, I still have 7.9 GB of nil sectors ? I tried toggling the NTFS partition as "active" on the MBR, but it will *NOT* allow me to because of the bad sectors.. Now I have no problem stating myself as a Newbie on here. This problem I thought i could fix easily, but i'm leaving my ego at the door on this one. It took me a lot of hours of playing around before deciding to write this thread.. Help AO
    "Serenity is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wazz's Avatar
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    You need to get a Windows XP disk then run a FIXMBR and FIXBOOT.....I fear you may have made it worse with the Vista disk......especially if it's an OEM version which it sounds like it is......

    and the 7.9 gigs of bad sectors must be related to the XP\Vista File System\Architecture incompatibility.......ZOIKS!


    and.......the Vista Home disk repair could be formatting for FAT......EEK....I don't even wanna think about it! Good luck my friend, hope you can get her back up!
    Last edited by Wazz; August 14th, 2010 at 04:45 AM.
    "It is a shame that stupidity is not painful" - Anton LaVey

  3. #3
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    I am going out so I shall be quick.

    1. I don't think that turning off the machine did any harm..........hell! I have turned off windows machines at the power supply hundreds of times with no ill effects. All you usually get is the "windows did not shut down properly" message and the bootup mode options screen. All I would expect is that Linux would not work because it hadn't loaded completely.

    2. Are your Vista recovery disk and your system suite recovery disk the same thing?

    I will post later about the screen issue.

    Right now I do not hold out much hope as I think your HDD has been marked as having bad sectors.

    There is software that will probably fix that, but it costs as much as 3 or 4 HDDs and you have to buy it up front.

    Cheers for now
    Last edited by nihil; August 14th, 2010 at 12:23 PM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  4. #4
    HYBR|D
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    Hiya'h Bud..

    http://www.ambience.sk/fdisk-master-...ilo-fixmbr.php

    you ow me a cold Beer.

    you want to grab this util
    Download fixmbr - MbrFix tool to repair master boot record

    MbrFix is same as fixmbr or fdisk /mbr, but works in any Windows including Windows NT, XP, 2000, 2k.

  5. #5
    Senior Member n01100110's Avatar
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    HYBR|D: Listen man, i'll buy you a cold beer anyway, cause this is such a handy app. But I got some crappy news. I don't have a floppy drive on my laptop, so I threw the utility on a disk, and ran it as such: <quote> fixmbr.exe /drive 0 listpartitions:
    1.)NTFS
    2.)Win95 # Hmmmm. Possible conversion from the vista rescue disk ?
    </quote>
    So then I proceeded. <quote>E:\fixmbr.exe /drive 0 fixmbr</quote>

    Rebooted the machine and got <quote>Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device</quote>

    I then, go back into the recovery suite utility, into the manual partitioner, and it sais that there are still 7.9 gb of bad sectors, and that the primary partition is damaged. Yank the HDD or what folks ? <quote>Nihil: 2. Are your Vista recovery disk and your system suite recovery disk the same thing?</quote> Negative, they're different. As far as the monitor, garbage day is monday .. Any hope guys ?

  6. #6
    Senior Member n01100110's Avatar
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    Angry

    HYBR|D: Listen man, i'll buy you a cold beer anyway, cause this is such a handy app. But I got some crappy news. I don't have a floppy drive on my laptop, so I threw the utility on a disk, and ran it as such: e:\fixmbr.exe /drive 0 listpartitions:
    1.)NTFS
    2.)Win95 # Hmmmm. Possible conversion from the vista rescue disk ?

    So then I proceeded. E:\fixmbr.exe /drive 0 fixmbr

    Rebooted the machine and got
    "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device"
    I then, go back into the recovery suite utility, into the manual partitioner, and it sais that there are still 7.9 gb of bad sectors, and that the primary partition is damaged. Yank the HDD or what folks ?
    Nihil: 2. Are your Vista recovery disk and your system suite recovery disk the same thing?
    Negative, they're different. As far as the monitor, garbage day is monday .. Any hope guys
    "Serenity is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it."

  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi there, I am back.............

    Went out and scored a couple of Segate Barracuda 160's for a very good price........ fell in with bad company and good beer so I have just resurfaced

    So, let us continue?

    I am guessing that you are in the USA so it will be early evening for you? it is around 24.00Hrs here, but I have just slept off the beer

    I have never tried to use AO as an interactive chat site but it must be possible?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  8. #8
    Senior Member n01100110's Avatar
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    Hmm.. I have never thought of trying it either lol, but you & I will be the creators of this new found glory eh ? lol.. Atleast it will ease my troubleshooting pain in the mean time.. Yes, I am USA, east coast, new england . (Ripping hair out, due to system) .. Hehe, can't help it folks.
    "Serenity is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it."

  9. #9
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    OK, I have been given a system to fix................pretty much the same; as the HDD is hosed, and shows 440MB of bad sectors out of 40GB.

    I tried loading XP Home and then MOON OS (a Cambodian Linux distro based on Ubuntu/Debian)..... no joy, the drive is hosed.

    Now, back to your problem:

    What I suspect is that you were not setting Linux up correctly to run in a Linux/Windows environment. You need to tell Linux to put its boot manager (Grub/Lilo) in the Linux partition, otherwise it will go native and overwrite the Windows MBR.

    This is usually fixable through FIXMBR and FIXBOOT but that is if you let Linux complete loading.

    I guess that it didn't work because Linux hadn't finished?

    I do not think that this is recoverable.............if you PM me with a snail mail addy. I can send you a CD that might help

    Windows XP Home SP3.............OK there are about 90 updates for hotfixes, but it will save a lot of time?

    It will work just fine if you use the numbers off the sticker on your PC to install it.


    EDIT:

    Regarding what Cber|d suggested................ should work, but you ran chkdsk from an external medium (CD). chkdsk is a real HDD brickmaker, as it sees something it doesn't understand and marks it as a bad sector.




    Last edited by nihil; August 15th, 2010 at 12:46 AM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  10. #10
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Updates off topic a bit

    Hi, I promised a bit more info so here goes:

    1. chkdsk

    This utility will fix file system errors but can be very dangerous, as it will tag any sector it cannot understand as "bad". This is a problem as it does not apply to Windows systems only.

    Please be aware that it does not repair bad sectors, it just marks them as such. This can cause big problems.

    2. Flickering Screen

    As a general principle you should not run a system with known failing hardware.

    The probable causes are:

    1. Refresh rate set too low.......60 MHz for example.....72,75,85 are what you should be looking for with a CRT. If you have an LCD then 60 is just fine....they don't flicker they just crap out

    2. You are running in safe mode or installing an OS.............they default to the lowest "safe" settings..... which would be 60 MHz.

    3. Defective VGA cable or ports (screenside or MoBo) Try a different cable. If it is the ports then you need to replace the equipment, if you do not have an alternative connection.

    4. The screen is dying. You should replace it immediately, as it can cause untold damage to your system.

    5. Heat. With the screen unplugged from the power run a vacuum cleaner over its ventilation slots.

    DO NOT REMOVE THE CASING UNLESS YOU ARE A QUALIFIED TV ENGINEER

    Three months after you last used it, there are capacitors in there that will kill you
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

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