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What happened to the MBR? :: Archived
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Shadow_Bshwackr
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Location: Central Illinois, USA
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:34 pm
Post subject: What happened to the MBR?

It seems as if there's been a rash of XP crashing that involves destroying the MBR Partition(Master Boot Record) not only making it impossible to boot, but the damage seems to extend to Windows not seeing the HardDrive(s). Symptoms will be...

1) After you reinstall XP, the computer will reboot to finish the install only to keep crashing and starting the reboot process over while staying in this loop.

2) Reformatting the drive(s) doesn't fix the problem even though XP seems to install normally until the reboot process, then the loop issue comes back.

The process of fixing is in using the utility program called "Ranish Partition Manager". This little program will let you 'boot' and fix all kinds of issues including the Master Boot and HD partitions.


Ranish Partition Manager

A word of note, if you don't know anything about this sort of thing..STAY AWAY as you could do more harm than good. On the other hand, if the computer seems hosed, what do you have to loose...lol

To get Ranish Partition Manager, Click HERE!

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Uhu_Rodion
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Location: L'Aquila, Italy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 2:11 am
Post subject: Re: What happened to the MBR?

Saved the link, Jerry, thaaaaaaank, you Smile

I'm just a bit confused - I suppose it's not the XOSL tool the one you refer to, though it looks great if, as I plan, I'm going to make a new Linux partition and need a multiple boot loader.

Amongst the Partition Manager versions there enlisted, which is the one you're actually using? The "stable" 2.40 or the "beta beta beta" 2.44?

Anyway, I'm downloading them all Mr. Green
Wink
Marco
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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 2:56 pm
Post subject: Re: What happened to the MBR?

I used the 2.44 Marco...:wink:
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Uhu_Rodion
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:44 am
Post subject: Re: What happened to the MBR?

I just got back my rig, with the following changes (some had been in the plan already before the crash, so I just took advantage of the circumstance):

1. old HD moved to slave - I expressely asked not to make anything at all to it - wanted to see what was going to happen.
2. new 160 Gig master HD, Ultra-ATA 133 7200 rpm, only Win-XP pro installed.
3. replaced old two ram cards by 256 Mb's each, clock 266, with two 1 Gig each clock 333 - the maximum my mother-board can bear.

After the intervention, the old HD shows all its old content perfectly available and usable, not a file corrupted, so that I could restore all my archives in no time. I also re-installed 90% of the previous apps, this time FS9 on the renamed F:/ drive, and FSX on the new C:/ (yes, I got it, hehe!).

Have to go in a rush, I'll add some lines later.
Laughing
Marco
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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:21 pm
Post subject: Re: What happened to the MBR?

That's great news Marco!! Did you try the Ranish program?
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Uhu_Rodion
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:45 am
Post subject: Re: What happened to the MBR?

Not yet, Jerry, but that's exactly what I'm going to do since Monday on - not today: I want to keep FS9 safe for until this Sunday flight is over Wink

As I wrote, the old HD's content was integer, and that makes me wonder, as I supposed a missing partition would have wiped out all the stuff in there. So I start thinking it really was a damaged Windows registry, and still asking myself how it could happen. Shocked

Yesterday evening I simulated an attempt at installing Linux, just to see if it could see the Win partitions on both HDs, and, yes, it did, both marked as NTFS as they were. I stopped at that point, 'cause I'm not yet sure about how to cut a portion of a Win partition for Linux without damaging anything. What Linux suggests me is not at all what I want, and undertaking an "expert" procedure gives birth to some riddles I'm not yet able to solve.

It's at this point that the Ranish Partition Manager might be of help, and I also want to see what the graphic XOSL tool can do, but not before tomorrow Mr. Green


Marco
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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:21 am
Post subject: Re: What happened to the MBR?

I'm updating this post to include another great utility for Master Boot Record or MBR repair. This on is called Super Grub and as always, it's a another one with my favorite price of FREE...

To see what SuperGrub is and get the download, Click HERE!

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:34 am
Post subject: Re: What happened to the MBR?

This recently happened to Stoopy Mk.II's brand-new new computer and although the onboard disgnostics are limite, the symptoms are exactly as described and I suspected the same thing. In our case, it turned out to be worthwhile to let the manufacturer suspect it was a bad drive and let them send a new drive (better unit, Western Digitial as opposed ot the Hitachi drive of same capacity it came with) and they ALSO sent us the REAL software install CD for XP and all the programs it came bundled with.

Turns out the "System Restore" CD in the box has practically NOTHIGN on it at all other than a routine that activates the "restore partition" on the hard drive...which was munched since the MBR was taco'd. So in reality, we'd have had no way to reinstall everything if we'd found out any different.

I was told that there's usually a $20 fee for "creating" the actual reinstall media DVD, but since we had a "bad hard drive" and it wasn't our fault, they provided it for free as partof the warranty action. Something to keep in mind on when purchasing some new systems.

Any word yet on what may be behind this sudden outbreak of HD/MBR problems?

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"Once your reputation is ruined, you can live quite freely."
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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:49 am
Post subject: Re: What happened to the MBR?

No, I haven't heard anything that's causing those problems, but I have noticed it seems more likely on SATA drives than the older IDE drives. (At least that's been my personal experience).

My own machine munched the MBR not long ago and I ended changing the active partition to another partition I had made earlier on that drive. It seems the old partition just wouldn't 'take' the OS for some reason. By changing the active partition to different partition, the OS went on without a hitch. Odd I know, but it works. Shocked

With SuperGrub, you can 'fix' your MBR, but if the partition is hosed, you're still outta' luck I'm afraid. Wink
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Uhu_Rodion
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:57 pm
Post subject: Re: What happened to the MBR?

More than three months passed since this happened, so I forgot some of the details, but the thing was, as I wrote before, that once the old HD had been moved as slave, I was able to see all its content again, and so I managed to save all the archives and precious stuff there stored.

The first thing I did then was not, as it would have been obvious maybe, a reformatting of the HD, but instead I begun to delete the content, folder after folder, until it came out that there was a single file in the Windows folder that I wasn't allowed to delete, because the system told me it was in use.

Unfortunately, I failed to note down the name, but it was a very large one, and the statement it was "in use", no way, had to be false, because the system was now operating from another HD. In the end, I couldn't get rid of it, and the only thing left to do was, at last, to reformat.

I came to the conclusion that somehow that file was scrambled, and possibly responsible for the failure of the MBR - evidently, that file was not on the MBR - several Mb's big, too big for it.
Shocked
I'm still wandering what really happened, and if possible I'm even more surprised reading that this is apparently a rather common problem, though there's no clear explanation.

The only thing I'm sure about: the affected disk wasn't a bad one - a deep scandisk found no damaged sectors, and now it is devoted exclusively to FS9 and faultlessly working. In brackets, it was not a SATA, but a standard ATA-EIDE HD; my new HD is a Ultra-ATA one, so I'm crossing my fingers, though I don't think the trouble is related to this.

Hope you manage to solve your problem quickly, Stoopy, and please report of any news that can shed light on the mistery.
Wink
Marco
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