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Safe To Use fixmbr in Recovery Console?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 RayS

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 07:07 PM

To all,

Attempting to recover from BSOD on Dell4500 running WinXP Pro SP3. After Dell splash screen, I see "Boot error: -B00".

Using "Mini WinXP" from Hirin's Boot CD, I can confirm that my data is intact and some of my software will launch and run normally.

Long ago, I had created a second partition on that PC using System Commander. Online forum suggests running fixmbr from Recovery Console, but I fear that may destroy data on the main hard disk. I have been unable to establish connection between the affected PC and my main PC, therefore, I have not been able to back up my data (aprox 100gigs). My question: is it safe to run fixmbr from Recovery Console or is there danger of losing or corrupting data when I do so?


Note: This is my first posting here. In future, how can I search for all threads I start or post to? IOW, do these forums have anything like a "Sent" folder?

Many thanks,

RayS

I don't accept payment for my help, but it would please me if you perform a kindness for your neighbor. You might also contact your local animal shelter. They can always use a bag of kibble or a few cans of pet food. Who knows... you might even find a life-long furry friend there.


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#2 garmanma

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 08:31 PM

Note: This is my first posting here. In future, how can I search for all threads I start or post to? IOW, do these forums have anything like a "Sent" folder?


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#3 RayS

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 08:47 PM

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Hi garmanma,

Thanks for the quick reply.


To All,

I'm still fearful of using fixmbr without being able to back up my data first. Does anyone have experience with repairs to the Master Boot Record from within Recovery Console?

Thanks for the help,

RayS

I don't accept payment for my help, but it would please me if you perform a kindness for your neighbor. You might also contact your local animal shelter. They can always use a bag of kibble or a few cans of pet food. Who knows... you might even find a life-long furry friend there.


#4 Budapest

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 08:51 PM

Are you able to copy the data using "Mini WinXP" and a pen drive or external USB drive?
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#5 cryptodan

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 09:54 PM

Note: This is my first posting here. In future, how can I search for all threads I start or post to? IOW, do these forums have anything like a "Sent" folder?


Click on My Controls at the top right of the screen
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Just to add you can also use the "My Topics" link at the top too.

#6 RayS

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 09:17 PM

Are you able to copy the data using "Mini WinXP" and a pen drive or external USB drive?



Hi Budapest and all,

Yes, I am able to read and write to/from a pen drive using Mini WinXP. I have a Western Digital 500gig SATA drive inside a Thermaltake external enclosure which would easily hold a complete backup, but the enclosure may be malfunctioning. It is not being recognized on the problem machine nor on my main PC. I am using the USB receptacle in both cases. I need to back up about 100 gigs of data. That's just too much to do using a thumb drive.

Over the years, three external drives from three separate manufacturers have all died after only a few months of use. The environment here is benign. None of the drives were running hot. The latest one has an aluminum case and an internal fan. Maybe I should start a new thread, but if anyone is confident about the reliability of a particular make/model external enclosure, I would sure like to know which one it is.

So I have two questions pending now:

1. How much risk do I take if I try to use fixMBR or fixBoot from the Hirin's bootable utility disk?

2. Can you recommend a reliable 3.5-inch external enclosure -- preferably one that will accept input/output via both eSATA and USB cables?

Thanks for the advice.

RayS

I don't accept payment for my help, but it would please me if you perform a kindness for your neighbor. You might also contact your local animal shelter. They can always use a bag of kibble or a few cans of pet food. Who knows... you might even find a life-long furry friend there.


#7 garmanma

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 07:34 PM

Can you recommend a reliable 3.5-inch external enclosure -- preferably one that will accept input/output via both eSATA and USB cables?


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817707180
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#8 mrob

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:01 PM

See the "pinned" post at the beginning of this forum:

XP boot "fixes"

#9 RayS

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 02:53 AM

See the "pinned" post at the beginning of this forum:

XP boot "fixes"



To mrob and All,

This will answer my original question: What's the risk to my data in running fixmbr from Recovery Console?

I backed up all my data on a 64gig flash drive which I purchased specifically for this purpose. Then I ran "chkdsk /p/r" three times. It found errors the first two times but none on the third run. I then ran fixmbr. In this instance, fixmbr did not appear to damage any of my data.

I am still not booting normally into windows, and I am following one of the XP boot "fixes" in a pinned message. I'll start a new thread with the (new) error message I'm getting now.

Thanks for the help.

RayS

I don't accept payment for my help, but it would please me if you perform a kindness for your neighbor. You might also contact your local animal shelter. They can always use a bag of kibble or a few cans of pet food. Who knows... you might even find a life-long furry friend there.


#10 hamluis

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:42 AM

Feedback appreciated :thumbsup:.

FWIW: Asking questions like..."How much risk is this operation?"...is kind of like asking "Will I be hit by a car today?"

Anything that is done on a computer system (or anything else) always has some risk, due to the number of variables...no one can quantify such.

But, IMO...if a user is running a Microsoft operating system which is troubled...I tend to think that possible cures developed by Microsoft should be accepted in the same manner as existed when the O/S was installed. It's not often (if ever) that an O/S developer will come up with tools to attempt repair of its product...that are "risky" any more than anything else.

FWIW: The chkdsk /r command is the only command that a user has to run in situations calling for such. It is the most complete command and includes the services performed by a chkdsk /p or chkdsk /f command.

Louis

#11 RayS

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:20 PM

Feedback appreciated :thumbsup:.


Hi Louis,

Thank you for the lesson in philosophy.

It turns out that in my case there was no risk in using fixmbr and fixboot in Recovery Console. All my data had been backed up onto a second PC (which should have been done anyway), but no data was harmed by fixmbr or fixboot.

RayS

I don't accept payment for my help, but it would please me if you perform a kindness for your neighbor. You might also contact your local animal shelter. They can always use a bag of kibble or a few cans of pet food. Who knows... you might even find a life-long furry friend there.


#12 Budapest

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:24 PM

That's good news. :thumbsup:

Generally I think fixmbr and fixboot are safe to use but I'm sure they are not 100% safe - so it is very hard to quantify the risks involved.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw




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